Invasion of Poland

Deutsche Soldaten demontieren einen polnischen Grenz-SchlagbaumSome months before the beginning of the war, the Nazis had set up ‘Operation Himmler’, a campaign to make it appear as though Polish hostility towards Germany was increasing. As part of the operation, on the night of 31st August 1939, a small group of German operatives in Polish uniforms stormed into the Gleiwitz broadcasting station. There, they broadcast a short anti-German message, in Polish, wishing to make the attack look like it had been carried out by anti-German Polish saboteurs. On the back of this last ‘pretext’, German forces invaded Poland from the north, south and west on 1st September.

The Polish Army simply could not hold back the advance. On 3rd September, both Britain and France declared war on Germany, but actually gave little support during the September campaign. The invasion of Poland was declared a success on 6th October 1939, when Germany and the Soviet Union divided and annexed the country between them.

United States Holocaust Memorial and Museum

1st September 1939
Wehrmacht History
Includes historical photos

This Day In History: German Invasion of Poland
Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust

Invasion OF Poland
BBC History
Discussion of Hitler’s miscalculation that England and France would continue their policy of appeasement

The Nazi Occupation of Poland
Eyewitness to History
Excerpts from the diary of Dr. Zygmunt Klukowski, who chronicled the Nazi occupation of Poland

The Attack on Poland
History Learning Site

The Invasion of Poland, 1939
Canadian newspapers and the Second World War
Canadian War Museum
Links to newspaper articles from September 1939, from various Canadian newspapers

Neville Chamberlain on the Nazi Invasion of Poland
Great Speeches Collection
The History Place
Text of speech given Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain to the British House of Commons on September 1st, 1939, just hours after Hitler’s troops had invaded Poland. By

Timeline of the Invasion of Poland

German Invasion of Poland Timeline
Second World War History

World War II

Invasion of Poland
World War 2 Database

London, Thursday, July 1st 1943 Issue No. 71
“Slaughter of the Jews in Poland “
Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team
Texts of reports by two Jewish women who in the Autumn of 1942 succeeded in escaping from Poland They had lived in Poland continually since the outbreak of the war, and consequently for three years were witnesses of the tragic situation of the Jews in Poland under the German occupation.

“How the Germans are starving Poland”
Polish Ministry of Information No. 58
Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team
Includes charts of allotted food rations, in grams and ounces

Youtube Video:
Invasion of Poland in 1939 by German Army,

Youtube Video:
WW2: September 1, 1939 The Invasion of Poland 1

Invasion of Poland
A Teacher’s Guide to the Holocaust

World War II: The Invasion of Poland and the Winter War
The Atlantic
Photos of the first few months of WWII



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