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Old 22nd February 2008, 06:41
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Polish War Crimes

On 4 Sep 1939 the Wehrmacht established the War Crimes Bureau in response to numerous report of Polish war crimes and atrocities committed against not only German servicement but also German civilians who resided within the borders of 1939 Poland. The agency was the logical successor to the Prussian Military Bureau of Investigation of Violations of the Laws of War which had been created in 1914 to determine through the gathering of physical evidence and witness statements whether war crimes had been committed by enemy soldiers and civilians. All the eyewitness statements had to be corroborated by either physical evidence or the testimony of the captured enemy. Thus, after only three days of war, the Poles were already engaged in the violations of the laws and regulations of warfare to which the Polish government was signatory.

The most famous atrocity committed by the Poles during this period against Germans was at Bromberg on 3 September and thereafter which is called Bloody Sunday by the Germans. The German survivors gave testimony which was backed up by autopsies of the corpses. The Polish claim that all these people were insurgents who were armed is contradicted by the German survivors who stated they had no weapons and is also contradicted by captured Poles who stated that no weapons were ever found by the Poles. The victims included children one year of age and priests and men and women who were very old including 75-year olds. Autopsies confirmed that many of the victims were killed at close range in the back of the head or neck. Many were also bayonetted after capture.

At Targowisko the corpses of 46 ethnic Germans were discovered. Of these 46, the ages ranged from six month to 80 years of age. Half of them were females and 18 were children. Only five were adult males of military age. They were all murdered by firearms. The lists of massacre sites is endless but it is a fact that at least 9000 civilians of ethnic German origin were murdered by the Poles. Josef Goebbels later increased this to 58,000 which counter-productive since few in the West believed him but it also led to the West disbelieving in any Polish atrocities. To this day it is politically incorrect to accuse anyone but the Germans of war crimes.

A crime against German soldiers occurred on 9 September a musical band of 31 soldiers was captured by Polish soldiers and this group was later joined by about 16 other POWs in the area of Stopnica. They were forced into a ditch by about 60 Polish soldiers who proceeded to fire on them. About a dozen German soldiers survived, wounded. Depositions were taken of the survivors in the hospital by a military judge.

The War Crimes Bureau received around a dozen reports each day of atrocities. The military judges were very busy investigating these allegations and their reports are very thorough, with evidence that would stand up in an American court (unless the judge is a liberal bleeding heart. The War Crimes Bureau published six volumes, each of about 500 pages, of the war crimes committed by the Poles which include the following:
I. Polish atrocities in Bromberg, Pless, and Stopnica
II. Polish atrocities against German civilians and POWs in the province of Poznan
III. and IV. Violations of the laws of war by the Polish Army
V. Massacre of German civilians in Lodz
VI. Polish murders of German civilians

For the sake of history and research, the German government should release these six volumes. David Irving who uses only primary sources and documents would be an excellent writer to delve into this topic.

In the 1960s the Federal German Archives in Koblenz established a commission to determine the identity of the German victims of the Poles in September 1939. They were able to name 3841 persons. Without the cooperation of the Polish government (Communist), this is as far as the investigation allowed.

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