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The Systematic Nazi German Mass Murders of Poles and Jews in 1939,

jan peczkis|Friday, November 13, 2015

This work surveys the murders of Polish and Jewish civilians during the 1939 war, and in the remaining two months of 1939. However, it does not touch on the thousands of disarmed Polish POWs who were murdered by the Germans in the wake of the 1939 German-Soviet conquest of Poland.

The Systematic Nazi German Mass Murders of Poles and Jews in 1939, November 11, 2015 By  Jan Peczkis This review is from: War, Pacification, and Mass Murder, 1939: The Einsatzgruppen in Poland (Documenting Life and Destruction: Holocaust Sources in Context) (Kindle Edition)

This work features German and Polish documents, along with analyses, as well as eyewitness accounts. It relies, in part, on the research of Polish historian Bogdan Musial.

Unfortunately, authors Matthaus et al. distort the events at Bydgoszcz (Bromberg), by making a contrived ambiguity of the fact of German fifth-column attacks on Polish troops. (p. 51). For corrective, please click on, and read my detailed English-language review of, Dywersja niemiecka i zbrodnie hitlerowskie w Bydgoszczy na tle wydarzen w dniu 3 IX 1939 (Polish and German Edition).


The German mass murderers of Poles were Wehrmacht soldiers (e. g, p. 67—accounting for about 12,000 Polish civilians in September 1939), Einsatzgruppen units, and—perhaps surprisingly—local VOLKSDEUTSCHEN. In fact, these local Germans—citizens of pre-WWII Poland--accounted for roughly HALF of all the estimated 65,000 ethnic Polish civilians murdered by the Germans through the end of 1939. (p. 83).

The Germans murdered at least 7,000 of Poland's Jews through the end of 1939. (p. 87). Clearly, the Germans murdered many more Poles than Jews during this time.


The numbers quoted above may be underestimates, for a number of reasons. The Einsatzgruppen did not keep records of the numbers of people they killed. (p. 3). In fact, the Germans were reluctant to put their murderous policies in writing, because these were deemed “too radical”. (p. 37). [Later, these "do not write it down" habits were carried over to the enactment of Holocaust.]

In addition to all this, subsequent German crimes obscured the earlier ones. Matthaus et al. comment, (quote) Quantifying the deadliness of the Einsatzgruppen is difficult for various reasons: after the invasion, Poland suffered more than five years of German occupation, at the end of which one in seven Polish citizens had been killed. Furthermore, the Germans systematically tried to destroy traces of mass graves prior to their withdrawal. As a result, postwar Polish authorities had enormous difficulties in coming up with a reliable count. Compounding this problem, the testimonies of eyewitnesses are often not very reliable…particularly when estimates were made under the highly traumatizing circumstances of the time. (unquote) (p. 150).


The standard overemphasis of the Holocaust, at the expense of the genocides of other peoples, has many different manifestations. When Polish suffering, at the hands of the Nazis, is not ignored entirely, it is belittled. For instance, we hear that, “Jews died because they were Jews; Poles died because it was war.” Amazingly, we even hear the remark that, “Poles were collateral damage.” Failing that, we hear that, “The Germans killed Poles all right—but only to enforce obedience and to stamp out potential resistance.”

The truth was entirely different. The long-term genocidal aims of Nazi actions against Poland were unambiguous. According to the frank statements of leading Nazis, Poland was not only to be militarily defeated; she was to be prevented from becoming a relevant political factor for decades to come! (pp. 6-7).

The actual murderous Nazi actions soon escalated beyond the ongoing destruction of Poland’s intelligentsia. Here is what transpired, (quote) A day later [that is, September 9, 1939] Halder informed a small circle that, according to one participant, “It is the intention of the Fuhrer and [Hermann] Goering to annihilate and wipe out the Polish people. The rest of what was said cannot even by hinted at in writing.” (unquote) (p. 18).

Despite presenting this information, this book does not begin to do justice to the full extent of Nazi German genocidal policies against Poles. For a remedy, please click on, and read my detailed review, of Axis Rule In Occupied Europe: Laws Of Occupation, Analysis Of Government, Proposals For Redress.


Matthaus et al. quote a VOLKSDEUTSCHE woman, Lily Jungblut, who bravely wrote a letter to Hermann Goering. In it, she protesting the arbitrariness of German killings and the wantonness of German anti-Catholic actions. For this letter, she was arrested and later released. Here is what she wrote, (quote) …thousands and thousands of innocent people in these circles have been shot; all teachers, both male and female, male and female doctors, lawyers, notaries, judges and state prosecutors, merchants and landowners…What glory do ethnic Germans and trustees earn when they have almost all the crucifixes and Crosses of Mary along the roads sawn down and broken to pieces, and when they invade the workers’ homes, pull down images of the saints from the walls, and trample them, thereby profoundly insulting the pious Catholic rural population?... (unquote) (p. 65).


One quoted Einsatzkommando document, is telling. Dated October 1939, it shows that, even at that relatively early stage of Nazi wartime thinking, the Germans were already strategizing a systematic program of the all-around destruction of the Polish nation. It went beyond the obvious physically-repressive, destructive, and murderous policies, (quote) In addition, however, in our estimation the moral resistance of the Poles must be destroyed by suitable propaganda measures. (unquote). (p. 148).

The informed reader no doubt realizes that the foregoing theme is timeless. The destruction of the moral resistance of the Poles was subsequently practiced by the Soviet-imposed Communist puppet government. Nowadays, the attempted destruction of the moral resistance of the Poles is attempted through the demonization of Polish history, as regularly practiced by an assortment of lewaks (leftists), Euro-enthusiasts, and even by some of those who promote the Holocaust and its presumed specialness.
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