History of Poland (1939–1945)

German occupation of PolandGerman occupationPolandoccupied PolandGerman-occupied PolandHistory of Poland (1939–45)Nazi occupation of PolandoccupationGerman occupation of Poland in World War IINazi occupation
The history of Poland from 1939 to 1945 encompasses primarily the period from the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union to the end of World War II. Following the German-Soviet non-aggression pact, Poland was invaded by Nazi Germany on 1 September 1939 and by the Soviet Union on 17 September.wikipedia
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History of the Jews in Poland

Polish JewsPolish-JewishJewish
The Jews were singled out by the Germans for a quick and total annihilation and about 90% of Polish Jews (close to three million people) were murdered as part of the Holocaust.
During World War II there was a nearly complete genocidal destruction of the Polish Jewish community by Nazi Germany and its collaborators, during the 1939–1945 German occupation of Poland and the ensuing Holocaust.

Home Army

Armia KrajowaPolish Home ArmyAK
Its largest military component was a part of the Polish Underground State network of organizations and activities and became known as the Home Army.
The Home Army (Armia Krajowa, AK; ) was the dominant Polish resistance movement in Poland, occupied by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, during World War II.

Communism in Poland

Polish communistsPolish communistcommunist
Stalin pursued a strategy of facilitating the formation of a Polish government independent of (and in opposition to) the exile government in London by empowering the Polish communists.
In 1939, World War II began and Poland was conquered by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

Łódź Ghetto

Lodz GhettoGhetto LitzmannstadtLitzmannstadt Ghetto
Jews were expelled from the annexed areas and placed in ghettos such as the Warsaw Ghetto or the Łódź Ghetto.
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.

Pawiak prison

PawiakWarsaw
Tens of thousands of members of the resistance and others were tortured and executed at the Pawiak prison in Warsaw.
During the World War II German occupation of Poland, it was used by the Germans, and in 1944 it was destroyed in the Warsaw Uprising.

Invasion of Poland

German invasion of Polandinvaded PolandSeptember Campaign
The history of Poland from 1939 to 1945 encompasses primarily the period from the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union to the end of World War II.

Soviet invasion of Poland

invaded Polandinvasion of PolandSoviet invasion
Following the German-Soviet non-aggression pact, Poland was invaded by Nazi Germany on 1 September 1939 and by the Soviet Union on 17 September.

Polish resistance movement in World War II

Polish resistancePolish resistance movementPolish underground
Resistance movement began organizing in Poland in 1939, soon after the invasions.

Białystok

BialystokBelostokBialystok, Poland
Among the industrial installations dismantled and sent east were most of the Białystok textile industry factories.
After the Nazi attack on Soviet Union in 1941, Białystok was occupied by the German Army on 27 June 1941, during the Battle of Białystok–Minsk, and the city became the capital of Bezirk Białystok, a separate region in German occupied Poland, until 1944.

Bataliony Chłopskie

Peasants' BattalionsBataliony ChlopskieBCh
There were also peasant, right-wing, leftist, Jewish and Soviet partisan organizations.

Treaty of Versailles

Versailles TreatyVersaillesVersailles Peace Treaty
The officially pursued German rearmament began in 1935 under Adolf Hitler, contrary to the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles – the foundation of the post-World War I international order.
These sharpening ethnic conflicts would lead to public demands to reattach the annexed territory in 1938 and become a pretext for Hitler's annexations of Czechoslovakia and parts of Poland.

Polish Armed Forces in the East

PolandPolish Army in the Eastin the East
A new Polish army was formed in the Soviet Union to fight together with the Soviets.

Operation Tempest

Burzanationwide uprisingall-national uprising
In 1944, the Polish Government-in-Exile approved and the underground in Poland undertook unilateral political and military actions aimed at establishing an independent Polish authority, but the efforts were thwarted by the Soviets.

Belzec extermination camp

BelzecBełżecBełżec extermination camp
Six extermination camps (Auschwitz, Bełżec, Chełmno, Majdanek, Sobibór and Treblinka) were established in which the most extreme measure of the Holocaust, the mass murder of millions of Jews from Poland and other countries, was carried out between 1942 and 1945.
Bełżec fell within the German zone of occupation in accordance with the German-Soviet Pact against Poland.

Council of National Unity

Rada Jedności Narodowejpolitical
In 1944, the Polish Government-in-Exile approved and the underground in Poland undertook unilateral political and military actions aimed at establishing an independent Polish authority, but the efforts were thwarted by the Soviets.
* History of Poland (1939–45)

The Holocaust in Poland

the Holocaust in occupied Polandthe HolocaustHolocaust in Poland
Six extermination camps (Auschwitz, Bełżec, Chełmno, Majdanek, Sobibór and Treblinka) were established in which the most extreme measure of the Holocaust, the mass murder of millions of Jews from Poland and other countries, was carried out between 1942 and 1945. The most catastrophic series of events was the extermination of the Jews known as the Holocaust.
No Polish collaborative government was ever formed during World War II.

Szmalcownik

szmalcownicyszmalcownik peopleszmalcowniks
Fugitive Jews (and members of the resistance) were handed over to the Gestapo by the so-called "szmalcowniks", who received financial rewards.
Szmalcownik, in English also spelled shmaltsovnik, is a pejorative Polish slang expression that was used during World War II for a person who blackmailed Jews who were in hiding, or who blackmailed Poles who protected Jews during the German occupation.

Tadeusz Piotrowski (sociologist)

Tadeusz Piotrowski
Tadeusz Piotrowski quotes Joseph Rothschild as saying: "The Polish Home Army (AK) was by and large untainted by collaboration" and that "the honor of AK as a whole is beyond reproach".
Piotrowski is the author of several books on the subject of Poland's World War II history, with a special focus on Polish ethnic groups and minorities.

Operation Tannenberg

Sonderaktion Tannenbergincluding its elitelists prepared in advance
Tens of thousands were murdered in the German campaign of extermination of the Polish intelligentsia and other elements thought likely to resist (e.g. Operation Tannenberg and Aktion AB).

Polish contribution to World War II

Polish contribution to WWIIFree PolishPolish
Many Poles took part in the Battle of France, the Battle of Britain, and, allied with the British forces, in other operations (see Polish contribution to World War II).

Kielce pogrom

1946 Kielce pogroma massive pogrom in Polandpogrom
For a number of reasons, including antisemitic activities such as the Kielce pogrom of 1946, Żydokomuna accusations, loss of families, communities and property, desire to emigrate to Palestine or to places in the West deemed more advantageous than post-war Poland, most of the surviving Jews left Poland in several stages after the war.
During the German occupation of Poland, Kielce and the villages around it were completely ethnically cleansed by the Nazis and their local Polish collaborators of its pre-war Jewish community.

German AB-Aktion in Poland

AB ActionAB-AktionGerman AB-Aktion operation in Poland
Tens of thousands were murdered in the German campaign of extermination of the Polish intelligentsia and other elements thought likely to resist (e.g. Operation Tannenberg and Aktion AB).

Expulsion of Poles by Nazi Germany

expulsion of PolesexpulsionsExpulsion of Poles by Nazi Germany (1939–1944)
(see also: Expulsion of Poles by Nazi Germany)

Flight and expulsion of Germans (1944–1950)

expelledexpulsion of Germans after World War IIexpulsion of Germans
Terrified by the reports of Soviet-committed atrocities, masses of Germans fled in the westerly direction.
They assured the leaders of the émigré governments of Poland and Czechoslovakia, both occupied by Nazi Germany, of their support on this issue.