German Invasion & Occupation

Introduction

The story of occupied Poland during World War Two has two parts: the Nazi occupation and the Soviet occupation. In September of 1939, Poland was divided more or less in half between Stalin's Soviet Union and Hitler's Nazi Germany. Each zone of occupation was subjected to a unique brand of terror. These pages will help illuminate the Nazi occupation.

The Polish provinces occupied by the Germans, in whole or in part, were, in the north (from west to east) Poznan, Pomerania, Warsaw and Bialystok, in the centre (from west to east) Lodz, Kielce and Lublin and in the south, (from west to east) Slask and Cracow. The German occupation zone was actually further divided into 2 sections. Much of western Poland was annexed ("incorporated") by Germany effective October 26, 1939, while more or less central and south-central Poland was transformed into a separate state called the "Government General."

The primary difference between the two areas is that in the annexed western portions of Poland, many Poles were physically driven out of their homes in order to make room for an influx of German "settlers." The "Government General" was to house these expelled Poles (Jewish Poles included) and act as a reservoir of labour for the Reich.  

The Defence of Poland

The following are excerpts from the book "The Defence of Poland, September 1939," by Lt. Gen. M. Norwid Neugebauer, published in Polish in 1941 and translated into English in 1942. The book was written to counter the voluminous, one-sided German propaganda during the German occupation of Poland.

The German Invasion of Poland

Excerpts from "The German Invasion of Poland" (The Polish Black Book), the first compilation published by the Polish Government in Exile in 1940.   Produced by the Polish Ministry of Information in London from reports collected in the last months of 1939.  Published by Hutchinson & Co. Ltd.

Excerpts from other works

Excerpts from other works that include first-hand witness accounts of what was happening in the German-controlled areas of Poland.

The German New Order in Poland

This is a transcript of the book "The German New Order in Poland" published for the Polish Ministry of Information by Hutchinson & Co., London, in late 1941. The period covered by the book is September 1939 to June 1941.

Female and Young Victims

A sampling of the 100s of entries compiled by the Slownik Uczestniczek Walki o Niepodleglosc Polski 1939-1945, ("Dictionary of Female Participants in the War for the Independence of Poland 1939-1945") published by the Panstwowy Instytut Wydawniczy in Warsaw, 1988.

What the Poles had to look forward to

Excerpts from various sources showing the full etent of the German plans for Poland and its population.

Common Errors Repeated in History

Some wartime German propaganda has become accepted as fact by both the media and a number of historians. These tall tales have been repeated over and over in various texts and articles, despite the fact that the truth is well known.

Poland and WW2 Timeline