He is considered to be one of the most elaborate war of lies: the staged attack on the radio station Gleiwitz. In the night from 31. August 1. September, from 1939, the occupying German SS-men, the stations of the city, close to the German-Polish border, as Polish insurgents and pretending to have an attack of Poland to the German Reich. “Since 5.45 am is now a shot back!” Adolf Hitler announced before the Reichstag in Berlin. Hitler is not wasting an hour, the attack takes place as early as 4.45 am. The Second world war begins.

The relations between Poland and Germany, two of them are still dominated by war and occupation, experiences, prejudices, and a different way of dealing with the shared history. How this story should be interpreted, will also be discussed today. Unlike in Poland, the memory of the German invasion of Poland in Germany so far only a minor role. She stands in the shadow of the subsequent conquest and extermination wars. Influenced by the NS-Propaganda, dominate, also, memory images of a “fast, clean Blitzkrieg”. In cooperation with the master’s program in Public History, the memorial would like to and educational site house of the Wannsee conference (GHWK) help to correct this picture.

the project mute testimonies of 1939 – The German invasion of Poland in pictures and documents are to be worn different perspectives on the beginning of the war in 1939, a society’s interaction with the events to trigger 80 years ago. TIME ONLINE supports this project and helps with a call to:

Send us photos and documents! You have photographs, diaries, letters or other documents from your family’s estate, the German invasion of Poland from the 1. September 1939 document?
Then send them to [email protected]. For more information and a postal address can be found on the sides of the memorial site house of the Wannsee conference.

what to look for with this call? In an online exhibition, the GHWK shows an example of such photographs and recordings of the German soldier Kurt Bruno Seeliger. As a captain and battery leader of the motorized observation Department 13, he participated in the German invasion of Poland in 1939. He took 96 photographs, which he compiled in an annotated series of photographs. Some of his pictures we show here:

1/10 Zwoleń, 1939, while Germany invaded Poland and the Second world war started: A Wehrmacht soldier of the Polish Jews for forced labor. The photographer of this and the following pictures is of the German soldier Kurt Seeliger. He commented cynically: “you are kindly requested to work.” Zwoleń was destroyed already by air and artillery attacks to 80 percent. © CC BY 4.0 DE GHWK 2/10 soldiers listen to Wehrmacht-a speech by Adolf Hitler on the Radio. Probably on 1. September 1939. © CC BY 4.0 DE GHWK 3/10 At 4. September escapes the Polish country population from Osjaków. © CC BY 4.0 DE GHWK 4/10 In this photo Kurt Seeliger is in the back left, along with soldiers of his unit, when you eat in Rusiec. © CC BY 4.0 DE GHWK 5/10 On 6. September travels Seeligers unit through the destroyed Radomsko. © CC BY 4.0 DE GHWK 6/10 On the marketplace in Drzewica are to protect alleged “Tree”. Probably it is for men to regular Polish soldiers. © CC BY 4.0 DE GHWK 7/10 everyday life under occupation: A German soldier chooses as an “honorary virgin” clad in the winner of an athletic contest. © CC BY 4.0 DE GHWK 8/10 This Polish girl photographed Kurt Seeliger at 9. September in Zakościele. © CC BY 4.0 DE GHWK 9/10 Two nurses of the Polish Red cross who were taken prisoner by the Wehrmacht. © CC BY 4.0 DE GHWK 10/10 A grave for the fallen soldiers of the Wehrmacht in Szczerców. © CC BY 4.0 DE GHWK

tell the Different sources from Germany and Poland, history of everyday life and individual perceptions. Such legacies are of great historical significance and can add up to a kaleidoscope of events, perceptions, and attitudes, from which a new image of history. The historical classification of such sources, however, is an important prerequisite in order to bring them to Speak. Otherwise, they remain of only limited informative value – so silent. Students of the Free University of Berlin will explore unknown source material from private collections and contextualize, to tell that story.

The project mute testimonies of 1939 – The German invasion of Poland in pictures and documents the results of the collection call and the research for the 80. Anniversary of the outbreak of war in an online exhibition to publish. Also TIME ONLINE is required to be published after examination by historians of Material from the collection call. In addition, you can accompany the progress of the project on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The prelude to the war of extermination

referred to The historian Jochen Böhler, the German invasion of Poland as a “prelude to the war of extermination”. Because of the attack showed a radicalisation and dynamics of Violence that culminated in the later millions of murders. Wehrmacht soldiers and the SS and police units committed in Poland in September 1939, numerous crimes against the civilian population and the opposing soldiers. The indiscriminate destruction of villages and cities, acts of violence against the civilian population, but also the shooting of prisoners of war and hostages were on the agenda. The Jewish population was in many places, victims of the “lightning pogroms” and massacres that were staged as a “retaliation”. After the end of the military administration on the 26. October 1939, were killed in the course of a murderous policy of occupation until the end of the war another five million people, including about three million Polish Jews.

The Wehrmacht in Poland in a quick war of Movement. Numerically superior and technically better equipped, succeeded by the German army to compel the Polish forces to retreat. The invasion of Germany’s ally Soviet troops on 17. September 1939, sealed the Polish defeat. A part of the Polish army surrendered after fierce Fighting on September 27. September in Warsaw. To the East of the Vistula were the last of the Polishtroops of the 6. October 1939, after the battle of Kock.


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