The Poles had (have today) a hateful attitude toward the Germans. I believe that is because they were instigated by an evil press, evil editors of books and to a big part envy of the German people. The Germans are generally very successful due to their diligence and intelligence; and the Poles were considered disorganized at that time.
German soldiers getting some food from ethnic Germans rescued by them from the Polish Murderers
Book to purchase: Death in Poland – the fate of the ethnic Germans
“Whereas reason requiers, that those vices, to which any nation dothe naturally inclyne, should be restrayned by seveare lawes, those are in Polonia barbarous cruelty and lubricity, thys last being as common as the first.” From: Sir George Carew, A Relation of the State of Polonia and the united Provinces of that Crown anno 1598.
Let our foe, the German, fall! I, your priest do promise you Plunder, rob, and set on fire! Bliss and joy in Heaven above . . . Let the enemy die in pain; But the curse will fall on him. He that hangs those German dogs, Who doth plead the German cause,
Reaps reward from God on High. – Polish hymn of hate against Germany dating from the 1848 revolution.
“. . . They (the Polish authorities) torture those that refuse to confess in so grim a manner, that the inquisition of the Middle-Ages dwindles into nothingness before the sufferings to which the Poles subject their prisoners in and near Vilna.” From: Pierre Valmigère, “And to-morrow . . . ? France, Germany and Poland”.
The further you go into Poland, the more you find pillage and murder. Russian proverb.
“One, however, of the Slav Peoples, the Poles, forms a sorry exception. Violence and intolerance have left their mark on its history.” From: Danilewsky, Russia and Europe.
“. . . The oppression of the Ukrainian minority in Poland is growing worse every day. It would perhaps be wearisome to record the oppressive acts, . . . such a record would be of almost impossible length. But there are certain things that cannot be left unrecorded, that must be heard by the civilised world — namely, the horrible and inhuman barbarities that are inflicted on Ukrainian political prisoners in Polish gaols, and which are part of the war waged by the Polish dictatorship against the Ukrainian minority.” From: “Manchester Guardian” of December 12, 1931: “Oppression of Ukrainians. Methods of Middle Ages revived by Poles.” Special Report from Lemberg (East Galicia).
“. . . As long as the Poles show some insight, and are outnumbered, they appear submissive and adaptable; but once they have found a weak spot and have gained the upper hand, they become headstrong, arrogant and cruel . . . The unfettered licence in which the Poles live, and their law, which allows all crimes with the exception of one or two to be expiated by money, is the real cause of the fact that, among other things, homicide is very common in Poland.” From the Diary of the Frisian Nobleman Ulrich von Werdum 1671/72.
“Fellow countrymen and brothers, who like myself have had the misfortune to become acquainted with the Poles, unite with me in order to eradicate, once and for all, the maliciousness and falsity of that people. Let all brothers hear, let every echo resound that the Pole knows no law and justice and that the word of a Tartar is a hundred times better than all the treaties signed in Poland.” From: Méthée: Histoire de la Prétendue Révolution de Pologne. Paris 1792, p. 184.
“This nation of peasants inclines to drink, quarrel, abuse and murder; it would be hard to find so many murders in any other nation.” From: Richard Roepell: Geschichte Polens, Bd. I., Hamburg 1840.
“Poland is a mixture of sarmatian — well-nigh aboriginal cruelty and French super- arrogance; an ignorant people with not a trace of taste, yet given to luxury, gambling and fashion.” From: Georg Forster: Forsters Briefe, I., p. 467.
Polish Pamphlet Inciting the Mob to Murder.
“Why cannot we act like the Spaniards? Let every one who is fit take up arms and march on the enemy. Let the women, the boys and the old men murder at home whenever an enemy soldier is billeted with them. When their troops march through the town throw boiling water and stones from the windows. Destroy him where you find him! Hide all food from him. Out in the lines our glorious Polish army will deal with them!
— We shall see whether our foes, all three of them, will stand up to us, even for a few months, on our holy Polish soil. No, not even that long will they hold out. Those that will escape our weapons will run for the frontier.” From the Polish pamphlet “Words of truth for the Polish People”. Printed under the auspices of Our Lady, the Patron of Poland. 1848.
But Poland’s immediate neighbours have known those brilliant promises for a long time — and hence mistrust them.
From their experience they are afraid that the Poles, in the administration of their new independence will show an utter disregard for order and will prove themselves unreliable and irresponsible anarchists.
Since their neighbours know the Poles to be vindictive, irate and quarrelsome, they fear that their regime will be brutal, clumsy, intolerant and tyrannical.”
From: D’Etchegoyen, Olivier: Pologne, Pologne . . . Paris 1925.
“The minorities in Poland are to disappear, and it is Polish policy that they shall not disappear only on paper. This policy is being pushed forward ruthlessly and without the slightest regard for public opinion abroad, for international treaties, and for the League of Nations. The Ukraine under Polish rule is an inferno — White Russia is an even more hellish inferno. The purpose of Polish policy is the disappearance of the national minorities, both on paper and in reality.” From: “Manchester Guardian”, December 14, 1931 (special report from Warsaw).
French Protest against Polish Police Terrors.
“A wave of terror is sweeping Poland at this very moment. The Press can hardly breathe a word because it is gagged. A police regime with all its horrors and its wild measures of oppression strangles the country. The prisons of the Republic to-day hold more than 3000 political criminals who are maltreated by their jailers, humiliated and beaten up with belts and sticks. The life they have to stand is such that in many prisons the inmates prefer death to the slow torture inflicted upon them.”
Paul Painlevé, Edouard Herriot, Léon Blum, Paul Boncour, Séverine, Romain Rolland, Victor Basch, Georges Pioch, Pierre Caron, Charles Richet, Aulard, Hadamard, Bouglé, F. Herold, Mathias Mornardt, Jean- Richard Bloch, Pierre Hamp, Charles Vildrac, Lucien Descaves, Henri Béraud, Michel Corday, Léon Bazalgette, Paul Colin, Albert Crémieux, Henri Marx, Paul Reboux, Noel Garnier.
From: Protest against the terrorisation of minorities in Poland submitted by French politicians and men of letters, 1924.
1 9 3 9
More than 58,000, Dead and Missing,
were lost by the German minority in Poland during the days of their liberation from the Polish yoke, as far as can be ascertained at present. The Polish nation must for all time be held responsible for this appalling massacre consequent upon that Polish reign of terror. Up to November 17, 1939, the closing day for the documentary evidence contained in the first edition of this book, 5,437 murders, committed by members of the Polish armed forces and by Polish civilians on men, women and children of the German minority had already been irrefutably proved. It was quite apparent even then that the actual number of murders far exceeded this figure, and by February 1, 1940, the total number of identified bodies of the German minority had increased to 12,857. Official investigations carried out since the outbreak of the German-Polish war have shown that to these 12,857 killed there must be added more than 45,000 missing, all of whom must be accounted dead since no trace of them can be found. Thus the victims belonging to the German minority in Poland already now total over 58,000. Even this appalling figure by no means covers the sum total of the losses sustained by the German minority. There can be no doubt at all that investigations which are still being conducted will disclose many more thousand dead and wounded. The following description of the Polish atrocities which is not only confined to murders and mutilations but includes other deeds of violence such as maltreatment, rape, robbery and arson applies to only a small section of the terrible events for which irrefutable and official evidence is here established.
THE RUSSIANS AND POLES OFTEN WORKED TOGETHER ON THEIR CRIMES
Flight, expulsion and extinction of the Germans – Joachim Nolywaika – “Die Sieger im Schatten Ihrer Schuld”
On 12 January 1945, the Red Army troops advanced in a massive numerical advantage from Baranov, Magnuszew and Pulawy for their great and last offensive. Their attacks towards Königsberg, Breslau, and the upper Silesian industrial area pushed through everywhere because the German defenses were too weak, as they had to defend also the fronts in the West and South against overpowering opponents. Now it impaired the Germans that they moved their units from the eastern front because of the Ardennes offensive in the West. This gave the Red Army the chance to move in with an avalanche of tanks. … Breslau held up until May 7, 1945. But on that day the Red Army entered into the shattered city, which the Russians gave over to their men for plundering and raping.
As the horrors and brutality committed by the Soviet soldiers became known relatively late due to their rapid advance and prompted the civilian population too late to run away, many refugee columns and treks were overrun by the Soviets, and indescribable scenes took place there.
On 30 Jan., Koenigsberg was encircled, and on 1 March the Red Army reached Koszalin at the shores of the Baltic Sea. Kolberg was defendet until the last refugee and occupation of the city was saved. The escape route over land was now cut off for all refugees from Eastern Pomerania and Gdańsk. All treks flocked back now to Gotenhafen and Danzig, to escape the pursuing Soviets across the lake. But these two cities fell on March 27 to the Soviets. [… detailed description how various cities fell – but omitted…]
In these places people were beaten, kidnapped, killed, and desecrated. This has been established in thousands of documents. Already on October 16, …the Soviets reached German territory of the Reich at Eydtkuhnen. Four hundred German villages and towns were lost in this first rush, including also Wirballen, Rominta and Goldap. There were a total of four Soviet armies that stormed into East Prussia.
On October 20, 1944, the 11th guard tank army of the Soviets reached Nemmersdorf on the evening of the following day. When this Russian unit was thrown back by the “5th PD” and the “PD-Hermann Göring”, and German Panzer men came into Nemmersdorf they came across a scene of horror. Women were nailed in a crucified position on barn walls. Children with shattered skulls were laying in ditches and cesspools. War court advisor Paul Groch and medical officer Dr. Werner Rose arrived first at the site of this massacre. A medical Commission which maintained records of these crimes followed them.
The witness Dr. Heinrich Amberger reported the following: “On the side of the road and in the courtyards and houses massive amounts of bodies of civilians who were killed-not in the course of hostilities by stray bullets but systematically murdered-were everywhere. Among other things, I saw numerous women that had been raped, judged by the situation of the displaced and torn clothes and then shot dead. Some of them also had their killed children next to them.
The Geneva courier published the eyewitness report of its special correspondent on the eastern front on November 7, 1944. It reported: “The situation is not only bad because of the fierce fighting of the regular troops, but unfortunately also due to the mutilation and execution of prisoners and the almost complete extermination of the German farmers.”
Also in Alt – Wusterwitz – South Gumbinnen similar crimes of the Red Army were reported. Per witness Hans Zirm: “On October 24, I took my convoy with me to an anti-aircraft position in the area west of Girnen, about nine miles south of Gumbinnen. I also came to the village of Alt-Wusterwitz looking for accommodation and had to make the following observation: the Russians brought all civilians that did not succeed in escaping, to a farm were they murdered them in a bestial way. Six burned skeletons were laying in the stable, beside them a young girl, almost naked, that first was raped (the genitals were bloody) and then was killed by two bullets in the chest and stomach. In the shed there was also a dead girl who had been raped.”
These things were no isolated situations. In countless villages of East Prussia, Pomerania and Silesia, these atrocities showed up in the last months of the war. So for example in Metgethen. This is a report of the Commander of a Tiger tank [German], who finished in a counterattack of Metgethen:
„. . . Without tank failures, we reached the first line of the enemy. The baggage train and artillery were ahead on the run. When we reached Metgethen, the blood froze in our veins. Deeply shaken, we saw what the Russians had done there at the end of January 1945. A refugee train stood in a train station. In it, were women and girls who had been raped. Then they just killed them. In the course of the 20th of February, the village Powayen was recaptured by us. Here as well as in the village of Gross-Medenau, taken into our possession on 23 February, the same images. Slain and mutilated people of all ages and gender. Beaten to death and mutilated civilians were laying next to babies on the streets of the villages, in the homes and lined up in the gardens.”
This was not Goebbels propaganda, as the enemy side always sounded. Here, German soldiers saw with their own eyes what was done to the civilian population in unimaginable ways. And it was worse than anything they had heard. The soldier B. H. testified about Metgethen: “In the course of the German attack to restore the land connection between Königsberg and Pillau from the 19th to the 24th February 1945, all soldiers of the attack group observed the following crimes:
* “In the town of Metgethen, a Western suburb of Königsberg, we found murdered and desecrated in many homes women and children at the ages of ten to eighty years. We have collected and brought with our troop vehicles about two hundred dead for identification. That many in the action strip of the 1st and 561st Infantry Division alone!
* On the tennis court of Metgethen, an explosion tunnel of about ten meters diameter and a depth of four meters was located. Inside, on the border and in the immediate vicinity of the funnel, on the high wire fence of the tennis court and in the branches of the surrounding tall trees were dirt-smeared corpses and body parts from about twenty-five men, women and children, three or four anti-aircraft soldiers and some men in German police uniform. All around the funnel were horse carcasses and carts with torn refugee possessions. We found other body parts, such as knees, an arm with a hand, etc. up to two hundred meters in the vicinity of the tennis court.”
“To the explanation of this massacre: apparently refugees, captured soldiers and policemen were driven into the crater caused by an aerial bomb in the tennis court. They were surrounded by the wagons of the refugees and an explosive charge was initiated in the center of the assembled victims. (For all above statements see: Bundesarchiv Koblenz: East books, 1 / 31, 2 / 20, 2 / 14, 2/9, 2 / 8, and others.)”
“A Sergeant pointed to a girl and two German soldiers that had been found in the church. The girl had been crucified and hanged to her left and right from her were the two soldiers.”
“On my way, corpses of civilians were strewn about everywhere up to the intersection after Powayen. While the men were usually killed by a shot in the neck, the women had been completely stripped, raped and then killed by bayonet stitches or rifle butts in brute ways. The children had their skulls smashed with a hard object or the small body had been pierced with numerous stab wounds.” Of these countless brutalities and inhumanities that occurred with the rise of an army of monsters from the Balkans to the Baltic Sea, the depiction of a column of refugees clashing with Polish partisans and a Soviet tank top are here:
Sofie Jesko and her group were met about thirty kilometers behind Posen by their fate. They had a long and arduous March behind them, which was made difficult due to the road conditions and the piercing cold. Some had given up exhausted; the others moved further, possessed by the thought to get as quickly as possible to their goal. Near the town of Schroda, they were suddenly overtaken by a ‘German’ truck convoy coming from South. The trucks stopped and the occupants jumped down. To the dismay of the refugees, they were Polish partisans, who drove them at gunpoint from the street and immediately began to pillage the luggage of the refugees. These unfortunate ones watched resigned and exasperated, how the little they had rescued and painstakingly dragged along, now was stolen from them.
Shortly afterwards they heard a dull rhythmic rumbling; with horror, they heard it get closer and saw finally it was Soviet tanks that rolled slowly and threateningly at them and then stopped. The tower lid of one of the tanks slowly opened and an officer appeared, asking for German soldiers. As he received no reply that satisfied him, he ordered the tank gunner to liquidate all the suspects immediately.
The soldiers obeyed and fired fog grenades. In the artificial fog, they jumped out of their tanks and at a signal they began the slaughter, plunder, and rape. One heard shots, the cries of the dying, the screaming of the raped women, the cries for help of children and old women answered by the howling and the incomprehensible yelling of the attackers.
How long the Inferno lasted, Sofie Jesko was unable to tell; She reported only that she could save herself thanks to her perfect knowledge of the Russian and Polish language because she told the Soviets she was an abducted East worker. Finally, all was quiet, and the living could count the dead, who were in the majority. The woman [Sofie] was looking for her friend Frau Lange. She found her among the dead with her son, who lay next to the bodies together with the Germans from Penczniew who had fled Poland.
The Soviets had calmed down and equipped themselves to leave while throwing indifferent glances at what they had done. But now the partisans returned, and for the survivors, the next, even more terrifying tragedy came.
Sofie Jesko immediately saw the old woman who sat dressed in an open fur with white hair fluttering in the wind on one of the trucks and looked like a fury. Sofie Jesko was instinctively grabbed by horror. The young mothers who were spared in the massacre were encountered with their young children on their arms by the Polish boys and pushed toward the white-haired old woman and had to line up. The woman ripped the mothers’ babies from their arms and struck their heads with all her strength on the edge of the truck. The desperately screaming mothers collapsed and were dragged away.
It only ended when all babies were killed. Then the survivors were ordered under threat of force, to return to Penczniew along the same route, on which they had come, and that was now flanked by the bodies of the shot and hanged just like milestones. They returned to their heavily damaged hometown which no longer was their town.”(Document, d. Vertreibg. d. of Germans from Eastern Europe, Federal )
f. displaced persons, 1954, no. 92, 271, 47, 49, 102, 106)
Could these murders, these inhuman crimes have happened without the knowledge of top Soviet leaders? Was it single crimes and not commands from above that were handed out? (About the terror of the murders to be expected of the Soviets against the German civilian population, even the British Ministry of Information was inaugurated February 1944, well before the events. See chapter I, page 15-17, in this book.) Who even remotely scrolls through the tens of thousands of witness testimonies of the affected population and the soldiers, is convinced that all this was so ordered at the highest level and that the de-humanized Soldateska only too happily followed these instructions that have been arranged in operational commands and calls on them. One might remind people that the soldiers of the Red Army came primarily from the Asiatic areas of the Soviet Union and as regards to cruelty in the fight, these people cannot be compared with Central Europeans. The German Landser, who stood on the eastern front, had to endure four years of this behavior of the opponent until the bitter end. The invasion by the Red Army in Central and Eastern Europe has put Genghis Khan to shame.
In the political departments of the fronts – as the Russian army groups were called – the ground for these crimes were systematically prepared. Army and front newspapers, call outs, for example, that of Ilja Ehrenburg, to murder and defile, to burn and kill, did the rest. The calls for revenge had no Red Army soldiers doubt that it meant that he was prompted to commit all these crimes. This went even so far that troops derailed from their leaders.
The great plundering actions were carried out by Soviet major units. All homes have been swept by them. Those who moved into the conquered towns and villages behind the back of the fighting troops, stole literally everything. And what they could not lug away, was smashed or burned. Every soldier of the Red Army had been allowed once a month to send a package weighing 15 kilograms back to the Soviet Union. This was enough to make an army of millions a gang of looters […]
Translated from German original text.
1946: The Hight of Expulsion
The year of the greatest expulsion actions was 1946 which included the whole east German area under Polish reign. In this year 2 Million Germans were literally driven out of Poland. In the brutality how this was done nothing had changed.
The plans were hard and criminal. They were not allowed to take more than five hundred Reichsmark and only as much luggage as they could carry in their hands. In these forced expulsion there was no medical help or food.
The brutality of the military police to often leave their homes within minutes was the same as before. Still as during the war and right after the war the people driven off their homes were put on Kilometer long marches into concentration camps where they had to wait for weeks before the transport continued. When they arrived in Germany, they were not welcomed with open arms. [Germany was starving.] Mostly they had to stay in a refugee camp for many months and eventually found some temporary housing. The damage from the bombing in the German cities brought an unimaginable shortage of housing. But the Germans in Germany were other than Stalin thought they would be. They were still disciplined even through the horrors of bombing.
In these never ending transports from the East to the West the numbers of dying were ever present. People died of the cold, hunger and the constant mistreatment on the trek. Many of the displaced had already from 1/2 to 1.5 years from hunger, forced labor, illness, pandemic disease, mistreatment, and brutalities and were severely weakened.
The Red Cross was nowhere in sight. Whoever could not handle the stress and suffering died like an animal on the road.
The winter of 1946 was brutal but the Poles continued to shove the ethnic Germans out of the country. The British turned some of them back and had to go through the same trek at a later time. By 1946 it was 5,7 Million Germans who were left in Poland at the time, pushed out of Poland or dead.
In 1947 a new and final round of brutal expulsion took place in Poland. Then also in the northern East Prussia under Soviet reign the expulsions just started.
The Fate of the Ethnic Germans
Edwin Erich Dwinger.
Before and at the beginning of World War Two the ethnic Germans in Poland were the victims of widespread pogroms of which the ‘Bloody Sunday of Bromberg’ was but the best-known. This book details some of the acts of incomprehensible brutality that were directed against the civilian ethnic Germans in countless Polish cities, towns and villages:
Death in Poland – online booklet
Polish Atrocities – Hitler speaks
Tortured to Death – post
Table of German Deaths – media
Crimes Against Germans – video photos