Room 5a. Borderlands under German Tyranny (1941-44)
Lived in Wolyn through the German Occupation and survived the Ukrainian Nationalist Genocide
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Following the German invasion of Poland on 1st September 1939, Western Poland was placed under a German administration called the “General Government”. Einsatzgruppen (SS) death squads followed Wermacht soldiers…
Following the German invasion of Poland on 1st September 1939, Western Poland was placed under a German administration called the “General Government”.
Einsatzgruppen (SS) death squads followed Wermacht soldiers arresting or killing Polish civilians
Polish citizens under German Nazi occupation were subject to the following repressions:
Depriving Poles of their rights
Elimination or suppression of political, religious and intellectual leaders
Deporting and exterminating Jews
Deportation to concentration camps
Mass deportations to forced labour
Mass imprisonment and executions
Suppression of Roman Catholic Church and other religions
Abolition of 2nd and higher education
Germanisation and expulsion of Poles
Kidnapping of children
Terror and pacification operations
On the 22 June 1941 Nazi Germany invaded Soviet-occupied Poland in “Operation Barbarossa”
Generalplan Ost was a secret Nazi German plan to colonise Eastern Europe (including Kresy). It would have meant the ethnic cleansing and genocide of most slavic people in Eastern Europe. The majority of Germany’s 12 million forced labourers were abducted from Eastern Europe.
Kresy under German occupation was divided into the following administrative zones :
General Government – Eastern Galicia (the southeastern part of Kresy)
Reichskommissariat Ostland – Lithuania and White Ruthenia (current Western Belarus)
In 1943 – 1944 units of the UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army) carried out an ethnic cleansing campaign, the mass murder of Poles living Kresy – known as the “Wolyn Massacres”. This was actively encouraged by the Germans.
In January 1944, Soviet troops reached the former Polish-Soviet border bringing Kresy back under USSR control.
About 6 million Polish citizens died between 1939 and 1945 as a result of the occupation,half of whom were Polish Jews.