Follow-up letter from Reinhard Heydrich to the German diplomat Martin Luther asking for administrative assistance in the implementation of the Final Solution, 26 February 1942
Soviet Prime Minister Vyacheslav Molotov signs the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. Behind him stand (left) Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop of Germany and (right) Joseph Stalin. The non-aggression pact had a secret protocol attached in which arrangements were made for a partition of Poland's territory.
Hitler's prophecy speech in the Reichstag, 30 January 1939
Polish infantry in action during the Invasion of Poland in September 1939
The villa at 56–58 Am Großen Wannsee, where the Wannsee Conference was held, is now a memorial and museum.
Polish anti-aircraft artillery in September 1939
Himmler note 18 December 1941: als Partisanen auszurotten
Polish cavalry at Battle of the Bzura
Nazi extermination camps marked with black and white skulls. General Government territory: centre, Distrikt Galizien: lower–right. Death camp at Auschwitz: lower–left (in Provinz Oberschlesien), Nazi-Soviet line in red
Survivor of bombing of Warsaw
Berlin, Reichstag session of 11 December 1941: Adolf Hitler declares war on the United States of America
Soviet invasion of Poland, September 1939
Poland was partitioned in 1939 as agreed by Germany and the Soviet Union in their treaty; division of Polish territories in 1939–41
Changes in administration of Polish territories following the 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union
Hans Frank
Public execution of 54 Poles in Rożki village, 1942
Photos from The Black Book of Poland, published in London in 1942 by the Polish Government-in-Exile
One of the mass graves of the Katyn massacre (spring 1940), exhumed in 1943. The number of victims is estimated at 22,000, with a lower limit of confirmed dead of 21,768. Of them 4,421 were from Kozelsk, 3,820 from Starobelsk, 6,311 from Ostashkov, and 7,305 from Byelorussian and Ukrainian prisons.
Wanda Wasilewska
German recruitment poster: "Let's do agricultural work in Germany: report immediately to your Vogt"
An announcement of fifty Poles tried and sentenced to death by a Standgericht in retaliation for the assassination of one German policeman, 1944
Battalion Zośka soldiers in Wola during the Warsaw Uprising
Warsaw Uprising in the Old Town
Starving Jewish children in the Warsaw Ghetto (1940–1943), during the German occupation of Poland
The entrance to the Auschwitz I concentration camp, established by Nazi Germany in Poland
Victims of a massacre committed by the UPA in the village of Lipniki in Volhynia, 1943
Władysław Sikorski
Polish volunteers to Anders' Army, released from a Soviet POW camp
January 1945 aerial photo of destroyed Warsaw
The PKWN Manifesto was issued on 22 July 1944
The legacy of World War II: Poland's old and new borders

In his monograph, The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939 – March 1942, Christopher Browning argues that Nazi policy toward the Jews was radicalized twice: in September 1939, when the invasion of Poland implied policies of mass expulsion and massive loss of Jewish lives; and in spring 1941, when preparation for Operation Barbarossa involved the planning of mass execution, mass expulsion, and starvation—to dwarf what had happened in Jewish Poland.

- Final Solution

The Nazi anti-Jewish persecutions assumed the characteristics and proportions of genocide, and, from the fall of 1941, of the organized Final Solution.

- History of Poland (1939–1945)
Follow-up letter from Reinhard Heydrich to the German diplomat Martin Luther asking for administrative assistance in the implementation of the Final Solution, 26 February 1942

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Resettlement of Jews to the Ghetto area c. undefined March 1940. Old Synagogue in the far background (no longer existing).

Łódź Ghetto

Nazi ghetto established by the German authorities for Polish Jews and Roma following the Invasion of Poland.

Nazi ghetto established by the German authorities for Polish Jews and Roma following the Invasion of Poland.

Resettlement of Jews to the Ghetto area c. undefined March 1940. Old Synagogue in the far background (no longer existing).
German and Jewish police guard at the entrance to the Ghetto
Chaim Rumkowski delivering a speech in the ghetto, 1941–42
Young girl working in the paper factory
Identity card Lodz Ghetto 19-4-1942
Children rounded up for deportation to the Chełmno death camp, September 1942
Jews clean and repair coats salvaged at Chełmno for redistribution among Volksdeutsche in accordance with the top secret August Frank memorandum. The yellow badge was removed.
The Gypsy quarter in the Ghetto after its inhabitants had been transported to the Chełmno extermination camp
Jewish prisoners of the Gestapo KZ Radogoszcz in Łódź, 1940
Photographs such as this served to record the horrors of ghetto life for posterity.
The Polish rescuers and the Jewish survivors plant Trees of Memory during the ceremony at the Park of the Rescued Park Ocalałych w Łodzi inaugurated in Łódź in August 2009.

After the invasion of Poland, many Jews, particularly the intellectual and political elite, had fled the advancing German army into the Soviet-occupied eastern Poland and to the area of future General Government in the hope of the Polish counter-attack which never came.

The Chełmno extermination camp set up by SS-Sturmbannführer Herbert Lange, served as a pilot project for the secretive Operation Reinhard, the deadliest phase of the "Final Solution".