A Brief History
On August 12, 1944, German Nazi troops finished off a massacre of between 40,000 and 50,000 Poles, many of them Jewish. The excuse for this massacre was to put down the Warsaw Uprising and to discourage any further resistance to the occupying forces.
After the Germans took over Poland in 1939 (with the Soviets coming in through Poland’s back door, stabbing their neighbor in the back), the conquered Poles were treated like subhuman slaves. Finally in 1944, partisan forces rose up and fought back against the Nazi overlords in an attempt to kick the Germans out of Poland. The Polish resistance forces (known as the Polish Home Army) had expected to work in conjunction with a Soviet advance, with each side receiving support from the others’ actions. The Soviets thought otherwise. Believing the Polish Home Army (PHA) was too closely related to the exiled Polish Government and that the PHA would not likely welcome communism in Poland (the Soviet’s after-war plan for Europe), the Soviets sat back and waited for the Germans to annihilate the Polish forces. After crushing the unsupported Poles, the Nazi troops went on a spree of vengeance and reprisals, punishing the Poles for having the temerity to resist. Over the course of a week, thousands of captured partisan soldiers and thousands more random civilians were gathered up and executed until the numbers of the dead reached staggering proportions. The city of Warsaw was then razed to the ground and almost totally destroyed when Polish resistance continued on despite the massacre.
No Germans were ever prosecuted for the Wola Massacre, which is beyond comprehension! The events are remembered at the Warsaw Uprising Museum located in the Wola district of Warsaw which was opened in 2004 on the 60th anniversary of the uprising. As said many times before, anyone with any nostalgia for the Nazi period or any misguided respect for the Nazi regime does not know history. The same can be said for the Soviets. If you disagree, tell us why.
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For more information, please see…
Richie, Alexandra. Warsaw 1944: Hitler, Himmler, and the Warsaw Uprising. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013.
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