Polish soldiers in the service of Hitler
In the current situation, when the “Katyn song” about how brutally the USSR was guilty before Poland, turning it from a German governor-general into a state and allowing the Poles to settle in East German lands, seems to be the loudest possible, we can recall other curious aspects Russian-Polish relations.
For example, about how much of the modern Polish population is the direct descendants of Hitler's soldiers. It would also be interesting to understand which side of the front line of the Second World War more Poles fought.
Professor Ryszard Kaczmarek, Director of the Institute Stories Silesian University, the author of the book "The Poles in the Wehrmacht," for example, said on this occasion the Polish Gazeta Wyborcza: "We can assume that 2-3 million people in Poland have a relative who served in the Wehrmacht. How many of them know what became of them? Probably a few. Students constantly come to me and ask how to establish what happened to my uncle, with my grandfather. Their relatives were silent about this, they got off with the phrase that the grandfather died in the war. But the third post-war generation is no longer enough. "
At 2-3 of millions of Poles, the grandfather or uncle served the Germans. And how many of them died "in the war", that is, on the side of Adolf Hitler, how many were left alive?
“Accurate data does not exist. The Germans considered the Poles, called up in the Wehrmacht, only until the autumn of 1943. Then, 200 of thousands of soldiers arrived from the Polish Reich of Upper Silesia and Pomorye. However, the set in the Wehrmacht lasted for another year and on a much larger scale. From the reports of the representation of the Polish government in occupied Poland, it follows that by the end of 1944, about 450 of thousands of citizens of pre-war Poland had been called up in the Wehrmacht. In general, we can assume that about half a million have passed through the German army during the war, ”the professor said.
That is, the call was made from the territories (mentioned above Upper Silesia and Pomerania) attached to Germany. The Germans divided the local population into several categories according to the national political principle.
Polish origin did not prevent them from leaving to serve in the Hitler army with enthusiasm: “During the departure of the recruits, which were initially held at the stations with great fanfare, often sang Polish songs. Mainly in Pomerania, especially in Polish Gdynia. In Silesia, however, in areas with traditionally strong ties with the Polish speech: in the Pszczyna, Rybnik or Tarnovské Gury regions. The recruits began to sing, then their relatives joined, and it soon turned out that the entire station sang during the Nazi event. Therefore, the Germans abandoned the ceremonial wires, because it compromised them. True, they sang mostly religious songs. Situations when someone fled from mobilization were extremely rare. ”
In the early years, the Poles had a good service for Hitler: “At first, it seemed that everything was not so bad. The first set took place in the spring and summer of 1940. While the recruits went through training and got to their units, the war on the Western Front was over. The Germans captured Denmark, Norway, Belgium and Holland, defeated France. Military operations continued only in Africa. At the junction of 1941 and 1942, the service looked like peaceful times. I was in the army, so I can imagine that after a while a person gets used to the new conditions and makes sure that you can live, that no one tragedy happened. The Silesians wrote about how they live well in occupied France. They sent home pictures on the background of the Eiffel Tower, drank French wine, and spent their free time in the company of French women. They served in the garrisons on the Atlantic Val, which was built at that time. I fell on the trail of a Silesian who spent the entire war in the Greek Cyclades. In complete peace, as if he were on vacation. Even his album, in which he painted landscapes, was preserved. ”
But, alas, this serene Polish existence in the German service with French women and landscapes was brutally broken by the wicked Muscovites in Stalingrad. After this battle, the Poles began to be sent in large numbers to the Eastern Front: “Stalingrad changed everything ... that at one moment it turned out that army recruitment meant certain death. The recruits most often died, sometimes after only two months of service ... People were not afraid that someone would pay them for serving the Germans, they were afraid of sudden death. The German soldier was also afraid, but in the center of the Reich people believed in the meaning of the war, in Hitler, in the fact that some miracle would save the Germansweapon. In Silesia, with a few exceptions, no one shared this faith. But the Silesians were afraid of the Russians in panic ... It is clear that the greatest losses were on the Eastern Front ... if we consider that every second Wehrmacht soldier died, then we can accept that the front could die before 250 thousands of Poles. ”
According to the director of the Institute of History of the Silesian University, the Poles fought for Hitler: “on the Western and Eastern fronts, from Rommel in Africa and the Balkans. At the cemetery in Crete, where the dead participants of the German landing party 1941 of the year lay, I found Silesian names as well. I found the same names in military cemeteries in Finland, where Wehrmacht soldiers who had supported Finns in the war with the USSR were buried. ”
About how many Red Army soldiers, soldiers of the United States and Great Britain, partisans of Yugoslavia, Greece and civilians were killed by the Poles of Hitler, Professor Kaczmarek has not yet provided data. Probably not yet counted ...
- Maxim Bush
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