german occupation of poland

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the top 2 pictures are of Polish resistance forces during the warsaw rising in 1944. 

The 3rd picture is warsaw after the destruction of the city by German forces.   By january 1945 90% of Polish buildings were rubble. 

The last picture is soviet forces parading through the destroyed city on the 17th of January 1945. 

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March 14th 1943: Kraków Ghetto is ‘liquidated’

On this day in 1943 the last Jews in the Kraków Ghetto were killed or sent to concentration camps.  Kraków was one of the five major Jewish ghettos created by Nazi Germany during the German occupation of Poland during World War Two. The purpose of the ghettos was for the persecution, terror and exploitation of Polish Jews. Life in the ghetto was unimaginably hard; 15,000 Jews were crammed into the area which was previously inhabited by 3,000 people. From May 1942 onward, the Nazis had been deporting Jews from the ghetto to concentration camps, where they would likely be murdered. On this day, the final 'liquidation’ of Kraków was completed, under the command of SS commander Amon Göth. 8,000 Jews were deemed able to work and were taken to Plaszow labour camp. 2,000 were deemed unable to work and they were either killed in the streets of taken to Auschwitz for extermination.

An Old Man Studying, 1896, Maurycy Trębacz

“Maurycy Trębacz (May 3, 1861 – January 29, 1941) was one of the most popular Jewish painters in Poland in the late 19th and early 20th century. Many of his paintings were lost in the Holocaust, but a representative selection of his artwork survived. Trębacz died of starvation in the Litzmannstadt Ghetto during the Nazi German occupation of Poland.”

anonymous asked:

So I've recently noticed something in the comic in the legend of the iron wolf where Liet and Poland were taking about their capital's legends. And there was this man in the background saying "it's been a while since I've seen mr. Poland joking around" and I got very curious of that. Maybe you know why he said that? It's been bothering me for some time now. Does Poland has a side that he doesn't show to others and wears a smile instead? Is that why he acts egoistical? Thank you

Considering Poland’s history, he clearly had decades where he had to endure great suffering. Many just see the German occupation of Poland from 1939 to 1944, but that’s rather narrowly minded. Poland suffered in world war one, too, when Germany expanded to the east. Germany basically won the war in the east in WW1, signing a peace treaty with Russia in 1917. Poland formally belonged to Germany then until the treaty of Versailles was signed.
Furthermore, after the Nazi’s defeat, Poland stood under harsh indirect soviet rule. Unlike Nazism that basically died after more or less 15 years, the Soviet Union existed until 1991. Though Poland’s liberator, the Red Army and Stalin brought suffering to the nation again, though it was a different type of suffering. Economy was restricted. People were rather poor and hungry. Though not directly part of the Union, Poland had no choice but be ruled by very Soviet-friendly communists.
And even before the 20th century, Poland’s history was blood stained. The country had a more than suboptimal position as it had Russia to the east and Germany, earlier Austria-Hungary and Prussia, to the west.

Recently, especially in comparison to the 20th century, Poland goes through brighter times. Now in an alliance with Germany through the EU and the Nato, safety and economy have been improved as communism has turned into capitalism and isolation to globalization.

Looking at Warsaw in particular, it’s been the heart of Poland through all these years and decades. With events like the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, it resembles the strength of the Polish people to fight back in times of terror and incredible suffering. It also bears witness to the atrocities this country has experienced.

After this incredibly long lesson of Polish history, I think aph Poland does have a lot of sorrow inside of him. He had to see his people being kicked around for literally decades. With his seemingly high confidence, he might want to hide his fears and insecurities that are a result of his history.
(I want to point out I am not Polish and not an expert of its history, so if I got something wrong, doooont kill me..!)

@imaginehetaliadorks Do you agree with me?

[photo: Soldiers of the Soviet Red Army greeting the surviving children of Auschwitz Concentration Camp, 27th of January, 1945]

72 years ago, as the Soviet Red Army and the Polish People’s Army advanced westwards to liberate Poland from German Nazi occupation, on the 27th of January, 1945, the First Ukrainian Front of the Red Army under the command of Marshal Ivan Konev arrived at the gates of Auschwitz Concentration Camp, liberating its 54,651 surviving inmates whom the Nazi SS imprisoned. As the Soviet soldiers open the gates inscribed with the fascist slogan “arbeit macht frei”, releasing the surviving prisoners of Auschwitz, they were greeted with utmost joy and relief by the prisoners, as their ordeal of years of the most brutal fascist oppression has finally ended. Entering the concentration camp, the soldiers of the Soviet Red Army discover the horrifying graphic evidence of the Nazis’ torture, human experimentation, and mass extermination of Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, invalids, homosexuals, communists, and anyone they deem as “untermensch” (“subhuman”).

Afterwards, the survivors of Auscwhitz were immediately brought to medical attention by the Soviet Red Army to be nurtured back to health. Rudolf Höß, the commandant of Auschwitz Concentration Camp, was executed by the troops of the Polish People’s Army at the site of the camp on the 16th of April, 1947 after being tried and sentenced to death in Warsaw by the Supreme National Tribunal of the Polish People’s Republic. On the 1st of November, 2005, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted Resolution 60/7 to annually commemorate the 27th of January, the anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz Concentration Camp in 1945, as “International Holocaust Remembrance Day.”

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The Bechowiec Submachine Gun,

During World War II Poland suffered terribly under German occupation.  As a result the Polish Resistance was one of the largest partisan groups in Europe during the war.  Unfortunately the Polish had difficulties obtaining weapons, as they were too far away from the Western Allies and the Soviet Union to receive regular arms shipments.  As a result the Polish often had to produce their own weapons.  The most common weapon produced was the British Sten as it was simple, required few resources to produce, and were easy to build.  However, the Polish also built a number of ingenius indigenous designs as well.

 When the Germans occupied Poland in 1939, a Polish blacksmith named Henryk Strąpoć from the village of Czerwona Góra decided he would use his skills to help in the war effort,  In 1943 he designed and built a working submachine gun from various things lying around that he thought would be useful.  The submachine gun he designed looked crude compared to mass produced weapons used by professional armies, yet it was reliable, effective, and deadly.

The weapon Strapoc created was incredibly brilliant for a homemade insurgency weapon.  Unlike many homemade SMG’s it could fire both semi-automatic or fully automatic, and also had a safety setting.  Built mostly of stamped metal, the Bechowiec used a blowback operated hammerfired closed bolt.  The bolt itself operated more like a slide on an automatic pistol.  While this design was novel, something that wasn’t repeated until HK developed the MP5 decades later, out of ignorance Strapoc didn’t see anything special about his creation.  He had little knowledge of how submachine guns worked, to him that must have been how it was done. 

Just as incredible as his design was the way they were produced.  The design specs were given to a team of metalworkers at a local metalworks.  At the time the metalworks was occupied by the Germans to produce goods for the German war effort.  Under the Germans noses, the workers produced parts for the Bechowiec SMG, then smuggled them out a piece at a time.  Strapoc took the responsibility of assembling the guns and finishing them, where they were then donated to the local resistance group.  Altogether, between late 1943 and July of 1944 thirteen Bechowiec SMG’s were built.  Another 20 were produced but never assembled as German Army units occupied the area to fight the oncoming Soviets.  The first 9 were produced in 9mm Para, which was commonly used by the Germans.  The last 4 were produced in 7.62 Tokarev, a caliber commonly used by the Soviets.

Today only one Strapoc built Bechowiec SMG is known to exist.  It is currently on display at the Museum of the Polish Army.

Interesting historical figure of the day: Edmund Roman Orlik. Polish officer cadet and tankette commander in the 71st Armoured Division during the invasion of Poland. Knocked out ten German tanks total in one of these things: 

In one engagement on September 18th he singlehandedly ambushed and destroyed three German tanks from the 1st Light Division, two Panzer 35(t)s and a Panzer IV. During the scrap he also killed Prince Victor Albrecht von Ratlibor IV, who was commanding one of the 35(t)s. 

He survived the invasion and subsequent occupation of Poland by German forces, despite being a member of the Armia Krajowa. After the war he became an architect. 

Polish Literature: Trees die differently than people by Halina Poświatowska

Trees die differently than people. Trees look as if they enjoyed their dying. It’s true, spring will return and again they will burst into bloom. But as you well know, one can never be sure. And how can trees know that? Surely for them every fall is the last one.

■ Halina Poświatowska (May 9, 1935 in Częstochowa, Poland – October 11, 1967 in Warsaw, Poland) died at 32 after a second heart operation to correct an acquired chronic heart defect that limited her mobility and breathing, which befell her due to chronic chill as a 9-year-old child during the World War II German occupation of Poland.

anonymous asked:

i am strongly pro-communism. what are your views on it?

Well, I’m from Poland. And my country had suffered from communism not so long ago, because the first partially democratic elections were held in 1989. So let me tell you a quick story about how being pro-communism is almost like being pro-nazism. And how do I know? Because after the war had ended in 1945, Poland, freed from Nazi German occupation, Poland had become the “Polish People’s Republic” - that was a polite name for living under Soviet communism. So, the war had ended in 1945. But Poland wasn’t free till 1989.

So, maybe let’s start with the fact that barely months after the war, most prominent Polish war heroes, members of the Polish conspiracies (as the country hadn’t technically existed during the war) were sentenced to life imprisonment or, in most cases, death (see: Witold Pilecki). So, the Soviet communists had killed all of the people who wanted the country free, all of the people they knew could ‘cause riots as they would have understood that communism is just another form of occupation. Think this is inhuman? Wait till you see the rest. Pilecki was murdered in 1948, that was barely the beginning of the communism era in Poland.

I won’t focus on  economy much because I’m not an expert, let me just tell you that now, due to everything the communist government had done to our economy, our official (I say official because no one can tell if it’s accurate) public debt is around 1000 billion PLN, that’s around 300 billion dollars. That’s how the shops looked in the 80s. I’m not even exaggerating, there was a time where there was literally nothing but oil in the shops. And even before, you had to have special coupons to buy literally anything, sugar, meat, fruit etc. Of course if you weren’t a member of the party, you didn’t get plenty of them. Standard Polish family couldn’t afford chocolate or fruit more than once a month. How cool is that?

Back to politics though. Of course people had soon realised that what was supposed to get Poland up off our knees was bringing us down. So, despite the fact that the communist government had murdered people who could ‘cause riots, normal, ordiinary people started to protest too. It had all started in Poznan 1956 (more here) with a bunch of workers, it had soon grown to a 100.000 people protest. Around 60 were killed, hundreds injured. Yes, that’s how communist government handles democratic protests. 

There were quite a few protests like the Poznan’s one later, like in March 1968, December 1970 etc. Every single one of them ended in dozens or hundreds of killed, hundreds or thousands of injured and thousands of interned. Because if there’s any opposition to the communist government, it’s put in prison for the silliest reason and kept there for months without a trial. These are communist methods.

No one and nothing was free. There was censorship that forbidden artists to criticise the government, the party or its members, you couldn’t say or do anything artistic without any control from the party. 

So, in conclusion: communism is a form of tyranny. It’s not a fun thing because oh, the more left-wing the better. No. Extremes are always damaging. Always. I hope that now when you’re educated how communism actually works you will stop with this bullshit. Thousands of people had died in Poland only because of communism.

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March 14th 1943: Kraków Ghetto is ‘liquidated’

On this day in 1943 the last Jews in the Kraków Ghetto were killed or sent to concentration camps. Kraków was one of the five major Jewish ghettos created by Nazi Germany during the German occupation of Poland during World War Two. The ghettoes were centres of terrible persecution and privation. Life in the ghetto was unimaginably difficult; 15,000 Jews were forced into an area which previously held only 3,000 people. From May 1942 onward, the Nazis had been deporting Jews from the ghetto to concentration camps, where they would most likely perish. On this day, the final ‘liquidation’ of Kraków was completed, under the leadership of SS commander Amon Göth. 8,000 Jews were deemed able to work and were taken to Plaszow labour camp. 2,000 more were considered unable to work and were thus killed in the streets or taken to Auschwitz for extermination.