Operation Himmler (less often known as Operation Konserve or Operation Canned Goods) was a 1939 false flag project planned by Nazi Germany to create the appearance of Polish aggression against Germany, which was subsequently used by the Nazis to justify the invasion of Poland. This included staging false attacks on themselves using innocent people or concentration camp prisoners. Operation Himmler was arguably the first act of the Second World War in Europe.
For months[ quantify ] prior to the 1939 invasion, German newspapers and politicians like Adolf Hitler had carried out a national and international propaganda campaign accusing Polish authorities of organizing or tolerating violent ethnic cleansing of ethnic Germans living in Poland.
The plan, named after its originator, Heinrich Himmler,was supervised by Reinhard Heydrich and managed by Heinrich Müller. The goal of this false flag project was to create the appearance of Polish aggression against Germany, which could be used to justify the German invasion of Poland. Hitler also might have hoped to confuse Poland's allies, the United Kingdom and France, into delaying or stopping their declaration of war on Germany.
The operations were mostly carried out on 31 August 1939.The operation - as well as the main German offensive - was originally scheduled for 26 August; the shifting diplomatic situation resulted in delay until 31 August/1 September - but one of the German undercover units was not informed and carried out its attack on a German customs post; several Germans were killed before the incident ended. The operations were carried by agents of the SS and the SD. The German troops, dressed in Polish uniforms, would storm various border buildings, scare the locals with inaccurate shots, carry out acts of vandalism, and retreat, leaving behind dead bodies in Polish uniforms. The bodies were in fact prisoners from concentration camps; they were dressed in Polish uniforms, killed (by a lethal injection, then shot for appearance) and left behind. They were described in plans as "Konserve", i.e. 'canned goods' (which also led to the more informal name of the operation, Operation Konserve).
There were several separate operations, including staged attacks on:
On the night of 31 August 1939 a small group of German operatives, dressed in Polish uniforms and led by Alfred Naujocks, seized the Gleiwitz station and broadcast a short anti-German message in Polish (sources vary on the content of the message). Several prisoners (most likely from the Dachau concentration camp) and a local Polish-Silesian activist (arrested a day before) were left dead on the scene in Polish uniforms.
On 1 September, in a speech in the Reichstag, Adolf Hitler cited the 21 border incidents as justification for Germany's "defensive" action against Poland:
I can no longer find any willingness on the part of the Polish Government to conduct serious negotiations with us. These proposals for mediation have failed because in the meanwhile there, first of all, came as an answer the sudden Polish general mobilization, followed by more Polish atrocities. These were again repeated last night. Recently in one night there were as many as twenty-one frontier incidents: last night there were fourteen, of which three were quite serious. I have, therefore, resolved to speak to Poland in the same language that Poland for months past has used toward us... This night for the first time Polish regular soldiers fired on our own territory. Since 5:45 a. m. we have been returning the fire... I will continue this struggle, no matter against whom, until the safety of the Reich and its rights are secured
By mid-1939, thousands of Polish Volksdeutsche had been secretly prepared for sabotage and guerrilla warfare by the Breslau (Wrocław) office of the Abwehr; the purpose of their activities was to provoke anti-German reprisals that could be claimed as provocations by the Germans.Those German agents indeed cooperated with the German forces during the invasion of Poland, leading to some reprisals, which were highly exaggerated by the German Nazi propaganda. One of the most notable cases of such a scenario was reportedly carried out during Bydgoszcz Bloody Sunday. An instruction issued by the Ministry of Propaganda for the press said:
must show news on the barbarism of Poles in Bromberg. The expression "bloody sunday" must enter as a permanent term in the dictionary and circumnavigate the globe. For that reason, this term must be continuously underlined.
The operation failed to convince international public opinion of the German claims.
Heinrich Luitpold Himmler was Reichsführer of the Schutzstaffel, and a leading member of the Nazi Party (NSDAP) of Germany. Himmler was one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany and a main architect of the Holocaust.
Reinhard Tristan Eugen Heydrich was a high-ranking German SS and police official during the Nazi era and a main architect of the Holocaust. He was chief of the Reich Main Security Office. He was also Stellvertretender Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia. He served as president of the International Criminal Police Commission and chaired the January 1942 Wannsee Conference which formalised plans for the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question"—the deportation and genocide of all Jews in German-occupied Europe.
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".
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Bloody Sunday was a sequence of events that took place in Bydgoszcz, a Polish city with a sizable German minority, between 3 and 4 September 1939, during the German invasion of Poland.
The invasion of Poland, marked the beginning of World War II. The German invasion began on 1 September 1939, one week after the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact between Germany and the Soviet Union, and one day after the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union had approved the pact. The Soviets invaded Poland on 17 September. The campaign ended on 6 October with Germany and the Soviet Union dividing and annexing the whole of Poland under the terms of the German–Soviet Frontier Treaty.
The Venlo incident was a covert German Sicherheitsdienst operation on 9 November 1939, in the course of which two British Secret Intelligence Service agents were captured five meters (16 ft) from the German border, on the outskirts of the Dutch town of Venlo.
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 Gleiwitz incident was a covert Nazi German attack on the German radio station Sender Gleiwitz on the night of 31 August 1939. The attack was a false flag operation, staged with some two dozen similar German incidents on the eve of the invasion of Poland leading up to World War II in Europe. The attackers posed as Polish nationals. Adolf Hitler's armed forces invaded Poland the next morning after a lengthy period of preparations. During his declaration of war, Hitler did not mention the Gleiwitz incident but grouped all provocations staged by the SS as an alleged Polish assault on Germany. The Gleiwitz incident is the best-known action of Operation Himmler, a series of special operations undertaken by the Schutzstaffel (SS) to serve Nazi German propaganda at the outbreak of war. The operation was intended to create the appearance of Polish aggression against Germany to justify the invasion of Poland. Evidence for the Gleiwitz attack by the SS was provided by the German SS officer, Alfred Naujocks in 1945.
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Odilo Globočnik was an Austrian war criminal. He was a member of the National Socialist German Worker's Party and later a high-ranking leader of the Schutzstaffel. As an associate of Adolf Eichmann, he had a leading role in Operation Reinhard, which saw the murder of over one million mostly Polish Jews during the Holocaust in Nazi extermination camps Majdanek, Treblinka, Sobibór and Bełżec. Historian Michael Allen described him as "the vilest individual in the vilest organization ever known".
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Alfred Helmut Naujocks, alias Hans Müller, Alfred Bonsen, and Rudolf Möbert, was a German SS functionary during the Third Reich. He took part in the staged Gleiwitz incident, a False flag intended to provide the justification for the attack on Poland by Nazi Germany, starting the Second World War in Europe.
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31. On 1 September, the day of the beginning of the battle against Poland, Hitler's speech in the Reichstag gave the instruc- tions for the press, especially as to the ticklish problem of the at- titude of the Western powers.(what displays as page 188 on bottom of page is page 193/1125 of this PDF)