|Intelligentsia mass shootings|
|Target||Poles (teachers, priests, intellectuals, civic officials, and the upper classes).|
(61,000 from lists)
The Intelligenzaktion (German pronunciation: [ɪntɛliˈɡɛnt͡s.akˌt͡sjoːn] ), or Intelligentsia mass shootings, was a mass murder conducted by Nazi Germany against the Polish intelligentsia (teachers, priests, physicians, and other prominent members of Polish society) early in the Second World War (1939–45). The operations were conducted to realise the Germanization of the western regions of occupied Poland, before territorial annexation to the German Reich.
The mass murder operations of Intelligenzaktion killed 100,000 Polish people; by way of forced disappearance, the Nazis imprisoned and killed selected citizens of Polish society, identified before the war as enemies of the Reich; they were buried in mass graves at remote places.To facilitate the depopulation of Poland, the Nazis terrorised the general populace with the public, summary executions of selected intellectuals and community leaders, before effecting the expulsions of the general population from occupied Poland. The executioners of the Einsatzgruppen death squads and the local Volksdeutscher Selbstschutz , the German-minority militia, pretended that their police-work was meant to eliminate politically dangerous people from Polish society.
The Intelligenzaktion was a major step towards implementing Sonderaktion Tannenberg (Special Operation Tannenberg), the installation of Nazi policemen and functionaries — from the SiPo (composed of the Kripo and Gestapo), and the SD — to manage the occupation and facilitate the realisation of Generalplan Ost , the German colonization of Poland.Among the 100,000 people killed in the Intelligenzaktion operations, approximately 61,000 were of the Polish intelligentsia, whom the Nazis identified as political targets in the Special Prosecution Book-Poland, compiled before the war began in September 1939. The Intelligenzaktion occurred soon after the German invasion of Poland (1 September 1939), and lasted from the autumn of 1939 until the spring of 1940; the mass murder of the Polish intellectuals continued with the operations of the AB-Aktion.
Adolf Hitler ordered the murder of the intelligentsia and the social élites of Poland to prevent them from organising the Poles against their German masters, and thwart the occupation and colonisation of the country; the mass murder was to occur before the annexation of Poland to the Greater Germanic Reich:
Once more, the Führer must point out that the Poles can only have one master, and that is the German; two masters cannot and must not exist side by side; therefore, all representatives of the Polish intelligentsia should be eliminated [umbringen]. This sounds harsh, but such are the laws of life.
Nazi racialism considered the Polish élites as being most likely of German blood, because their style of dynamic leadership contrasted positively against the “Slavonic fatalism” of the Russian people;nonetheless, the extermination of such national leaders was necessary, because their patriotism (moral authority) would prevent the full-scale Germanization of the enslaved populace of Poland.
Moreover, by way of the Rassenpolitisches Amt der NSDAP (Nazi Party Office of Racial Policy),the racially valuable (Aryan-looking) children of the Polish intelligentsia were to be kidnapped to the Reich proper, for Germanization; Nazi ideology claimed that such non-Slavic acculturation would prevent the generational resurgence of the Polish intelligentsia, and thus prevent the resurgence of Polish nationalism in Germanised Poland.
Upon controlling Poland, the German Nazis arrested, imprisoned, and killed approximately 61,000 people as enemies of the German Reich, all of whom were identified as the intelligentsia of each city, town, and village. Each man and woman was biographically listed in the Special Prosecution Book-Poland (Sonderfahndungsbuch Polen), which German citizens of Poland loyal to the Nazi party in the German Reich compiled before the war for the German police and security forces of the SiPo (Security Police) and the SD (Security Service).
The Einsatzgruppen and the Volksdeutscher Selbstschutz , the Ethnic Self-defence militia of the German minority in Poland, were to kill the intelligentsia identified in the Special Prosecution Book–Poland.Aware they would be killing unarmed civilians, the commanders of the paramilitary militias strengthened morale with ideological and racialist instructions to the soldier–policemen, that their political role in the ethnic cleansing of Poland (executions, counterinsurgency, policing) would be more difficult than fighting in battle against soldiers; as noted by Martin Borman, in a meeting (2 October 1940) between Hitler and Hans Frank:
The Führer must emphasize, once again, that for Poles there is only one master, and he is a German; there can be no two masters, beside each other, and there is no consent to such, hence, all representatives of the Polish intelligentsia are to be killed. . . . The General Government is a Polish reservation, a great Polish labour camp.
As part of Generalplan Ost , the political purpose of the Intelligenzaktion was extermination of the élites of Polish society, which the Nazis broadly defined as the Szlachta (Polish nobles), the intelligentsia, teachers, social workers, judges, military veterans, priests and businessmen; any Polish man and woman who had attended secondary school, and so could provide nationalist leadership to resist the Nazi occupation of Poland.
In Nazi German terminology, Volksdeutsche were "people whose language and culture had German origins but who did not hold German citizenship". The term is the nominalised plural of volksdeutsch, with Volksdeutsche denoting a singular female, and Volksdeutsche(r), a singular male. The words Volk and völkisch conveyed the meanings of "folk".
The General Government, also referred to as the General Governorate for the Occupied Polish Region, was a German zone of occupation established after the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, Slovakia and the Soviet Union in 1939 at the onset of World War II. The newly occupied Second Polish Republic was split into three zones: the General Government in its centre, Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany in the west, and Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union in the east. The territory was expanded substantially in 1941, after the German Invasion of the Soviet Union, to include the new District of Galicia.
The Generalplan Ost, abbreviated GPO, was the Nazi German government's plan for the genocide and ethnic cleansing on a vast scale, and colonization of Central and Eastern Europe by Germans. It was to be undertaken in territories occupied by Germany during World War II. The plan was attempted during the war, resulting indirectly and directly in the deaths of millions by shootings, starvation, disease, extermination through labor, and genocide. But its full implementation was not considered practicable during the major military operations, and was prevented by Germany's defeat.
Operation Tannenberg was a codename for one of the anti-Polish extermination actions by Nazi Germany that was directed at the Poles during the opening stages of World War II in Europe, as part of the Generalplan Ost for the German colonization of the East. The shootings were conducted with the use of a proscription list, compiled by the Gestapo in the span of two years before the 1939 invasion.
The AB-Aktion, was a second stage of the Nazi German campaign of violence during World War II aimed to eliminate the intellectuals and the upper classes of the Second Polish Republic across the territories slated for eventual annexation. Most of the killings were arranged in a form of forced disappearances from multiple cities and towns upon the German arrival. In the spring and summer of 1940, more than 30,000 Polish citizens were arrested by the Nazi authorities in German-occupied central Poland, the so-called General Government. About 7,000 of them including community leaders, professors, teachers and priests were subsequently massacred secretly at various locations including at the Palmiry forest complex near Palmiry. The others were sent to Nazi concentration camps.
The pacification actions in German-occupied Poland during World War II were one of many punitive measures designed to inflict terror on the civilian population of local villages and towns with the use of military and police force. They were an integral part of the war of aggression against the Polish nation waged by Nazi Germany since September 1, 1939. The projected goal of pacification operations was to prevent and suppress the Polish resistance movement in World War II nevertheless, among the victims were children as young as 1.5 years old, women, fathers attempting to save their families, farmers rushing to rescue livestock from burning buildings, patients, victims already wounded, and hostages of many ethnicities including Poles and Jews.
Selbstschutz is the name given to different iterations of ethnic-German self-protection units formed both after the First World War and in the lead-up to the Second World War.
Crimes against the Polish nation committed by Nazi Germany and Axis collaborationist forces during the invasion of Poland, along with auxiliary battalions during the subsequent occupation of Poland in World War II, consisted of the murder of millions of ethnic Poles and the systematic extermination of Jewish Poles. The Germans justified these genocides on the basis of Nazi racial theory, which regarded Poles and other Slavic peoples as racially inferior Untermenschen and depicted Jews as a constant threat. By 1942, the Nazi Germans were implementing their plan to kill every Jew in German-occupied Europe, and had also developed plans to eliminate the Polish people through mass murder, ethnic cleansing, enslavement and extermination through labor, and assimilation into German identity of a small minority of Poles deemed "racially valuable". During World War II, the Germans not only murdered millions of Poles, but ethnically cleansed millions more through forced deportation to make room for “racially superior” German settlers. The genocides claimed the lives of 2.7 to 3 million Polish Jews and 1.8 to 2.77 million non-Jewish ethnic Poles, according to various sources such as Poland's Institute of National Remembrance.
Holocaust victims were people targeted by the government of Nazi Germany based on their ethnicity, religion, political beliefs, or sexual orientation. The institutionalized practice by the Nazis of singling out and persecuting people resulted in the Holocaust, which began with legalized social discrimination against specific groups, involuntary hospitalization, euthanasia, and forced sterilization of persons considered physically or mentally unfit for society. The vast majority of the Nazi regime's victims were Jews, Sinti-Roma peoples, and Slavs but victims also encompassed people identified as social outsiders in the Nazi worldview, such as homosexuals, and political enemies. Nazi persecution escalated during World War II and included: non-judicial incarceration, confiscation of property, forced labor, sexual slavery, death through overwork, human experimentation, undernourishment, and execution through a variety of methods. For specified groups like the Jews, genocide was the Nazis' primary goal.
Valley of Death in Fordon, Bydgoszcz, northern Poland, is a site of Nazi German mass murder committed at the beginning of World War II and a mass grave of 1,200 – 1,400 Poles and Jews murdered in October and November 1939 by the local German Selbstschutz and the Gestapo. The murders were a part of Intelligenzaktion in Pomerania, a Nazi action aimed at the elimination of the Polish intelligentsia in Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia, which included the former Pomeranian Voivodeship. It was part of a larger genocidal action that took place in all German occupied Poland, code-named Operation Tannenberg.
The Expulsion of Poles by Germany was a prolonged anti-Polish campaign of ethnic cleansing by violent and terror-inspiring means lasting nearly half a century. It began with the concept of Pan-Germanism developed in the early 19th century and culminated in the racial policy of Nazi Germany that asserted the superiority of the Aryan race. The removal of Poles by Germany stemmed from historic ideas of expansionist nationalism. It was implemented at different levels and different stages by successive German governments. It ended with the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945.
The massacres in Piaśnica were a set of mass executions carried out by Nazi Germany during World War II, between the fall of 1939 and spring of 1940 in Piaśnica Wielka in the Darzlubska Wilderness near Wejherowo. The exact number of people murdered is unknown, but estimates range between 12,000 and 14,000 victims. Most of them were Polish intellectuals from Gdańsk Pomerania, but Poles, Jews, Czechs and German inmates from mental hospitals from the General Government and the Third Reich were also murdered. After the Stutthof concentration camp, Piaśnica was the largest site of killings of Polish civilians in Pomerania by the Germans, and for this reason, is sometimes referred to as the "second" or "Pomeranian" Katyn. It was the first large scale Nazi atrocity in occupied Poland.
The Intelligenzaktion Pommern was a Nazi German operation aimed at the eradication of the Polish intelligentsia in Pomeranian Voivodeship and the surrounding areas at the beginning of World War II. It was part of a larger genocidal Intelligenzaktion, that took place across most of Nazi-occupied western Poland in the course of Operation Tannenberg, purposed to install Nazi officials from Sipo, Kripo, Gestapo and SD at the helm of a new administrative machine.
The Expulsion of Poles by Nazi Germany during World War II was a massive Nazi German operation consisting of the forced resettlement of over 1.7 million Poles from all territories of occupied Poland with the aim of their geopolitical Germanization between 1939 and 1944. The expulsions were justified by Nazi racial doctrine, which depicted Poles and other Slavs as racially inferior Untermenschen.
Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin is a book by Yale historian Timothy D. Snyder that was first published by Basic Books on October 28, 2010.
Special Prosecution Book-Poland was the proscription list prepared by the Germans immediately before the onset of war, that identified more than 61,000 members of Polish elites: activists, intelligentsia, scholars, actors, former officers, and prominent others, who were to be interned or shot on the spot upon their identification following the invasion.
The Volksdeutscher Selbstschutz was an ethnic German self-protection militia, a paramilitary organization consisting of ethnic German (Volksdeutsche) mobilized from among the German minority in Poland. The Volksdeutscher Selbstschutz operated before, and during the opening stages of, World War II in the western half of Poland and were responsible for, and took part in, massacres of Poles, along with SS Einsatzgruppen. Selbstschutz counted circa 100,000 members, who formed greater part of German minority members "fit for action".
During the German Occupation of Poland (1939–1945), the Nazis brutally suppressed the Catholic Church in Poland, most severely in German-occupied areas of Poland. Thousands of churches and monasteries were systematically closed, seized or destroyed. As a result, many works of religious art and objects were permanently lost.
The occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during World War II (1939–1945) began with the German-Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939, and it was formally concluded with the defeat of Germany by the Allies in May 1945. Throughout the entire course of the occupation, the territory of Poland was divided between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union (USSR) both of which intended to eradicate Poland's culture and subjugate its people. In the summer-autumn of 1941, the lands which were annexed by the Soviets were overrun by Germany in the course of the initially successful German attack on the USSR. After a few years of fighting, the Red Army drove the German forces out of the USSR and crossed into Poland from the rest of Central and Eastern Europe.
An intense process of Germanisation was carried out by Nazi Germany in German-occupied Poland during World War II.
Oblicza się, że akcja „Inteligencja” pochłonęła ponad 100 tys. ofiar. Translation: It is estimated that Intelligenzaktion took the lives of 100,000 Poles.