When the German army invaded Poland in September 1939, the Nazis were determinated to transform Poland into a huge reserve of slave labor ready to be used by the German war industry. In order to reach this goal, the Nazis adopted a policy immediately:
- To exterminate the Polish elite (professors, lawyers, scientists, etc...).
- To exterminate any potential opponent.
- To close all places of education (school, college, universities) excepting professional schools.
- To forbid any cultural or political activities under death sentence.
- To create an exclusively German Zone by confiscating all private property and or simply killing the original Polish population.
During the winter of 1939, the Polish elite and anybody who had a role in the cultural or scientific life in Poland is exterminated: "the slaves don't need culture". At the same time, the entire population of hundreds of villages in the western Poland is deported or exterminated, after their property had been seized without compensation of any kind in order to make place for the German "colonists". The new German population is settled on the expropriated farms and several regions are at this time exclusively German.
Poland became also for the Nazis a kind of "laboratory" in the matter of Jewish extermination. The order to build an extermination camp in Auschwitz was given by Himmler on April 27th 1940. The first convoy arrive in the camp on June 14th 1940...the "Death Factory" is ready. Other extermination camps are coming soon: Majdanek and Belzec in November 1941, Chelmno in December 1941, Sobibor in March 1942, Treblinka in May 1942, and many other smaller camps.
In the same period, the first ghettos are created. The most "notorious" is the ghetto of Varsovie which is created by the Nazis on November 23th 1939. The entire Jewish population of Varsovie is transfered into the ghetto and, after some weeks, due to the total lack of care and food, the condition of life in this very small place became incredible wretched. In November 1940, the access to the ghetto is closed: 400,000 Jews are trapped in a 12 km2 intolerable...hell-hole. Most of them will be transferd to Treblinka or Auchwitz and gassed.
In 1943, the 70,000 Jews remaining, decide to rebel against the Nazis. During more than one month, they fought bravely, and against overwhelming odds to defend each house, each floor, until they are killed or taken prisoner (in this case, they were automaticaly executed by the SS). The survivors of the revolt were transported to Auchwitz, and gassed.
The devastation and massacres were incredible in Poland. In Varsovie alone, there were 4,717 public executions with 551,930 victims. Before the war, Varsovie had over one million inhabitants. On January 17th 1945, the day of the liberation of the city, only 100,000 survived and the entire city was destroyed. Just a few less than one million humans were slaughtered by Hitler's Nazi war machines, in this single example.
In 1945, the Polish government tried to count the number of Polish victims of the German occupation. From thirty plus million inhabitants in 1939, more than six million Polish citizens were killed by the Germans... 20% of the entire population ...
Hangings In Poland. The murderers smile...