1. CONFERENCE ON THE GREATEST CRIME OF THE WEHRMACHT DURING WORLD WAR II
On 28 September 2019, a scientific conference was held in Warsaw entitled “Genocide Wola 44” (Pol.: „Osądzić Rzeź Woli”). The Conference was devoted to the greatest war crime of the Wehrmacht during the Second World War. Although the Conference was held under the honorary patronage of the Deputy Speaker of the Sejm (Parliament) of the Republic of Poland Małgorzata Gosiewska and the President of the Institute of National Remembrance Jarosław Szarek, due to its subject matter, the mainstream media omitted the Conference completely. This text sets forth the reasons and origins of this conference.
Genocide Wola is a crime never ajudged and has been hidden from public opinion in the West for several decades. During the first days of August 1944, regular German army units murdered about 50,000 men and women, children and elderly in the Warsaw district of Wola without any connection to the ongoing fighting of the Warsaw Uprising and without any military justification. It was an obvious crime of genocide, but its perpetrators remained unpunished. The reasons for this state of affairs were and are purely political, as neither Russia nor the Western Allies were able to reveal and remind the world of this Polish martyrdom. The Nuremberg trials scrupulously omitted the crimes committed against the Poles, because they would obviously put to question Russia’s participation in the destruction of the Polish state in 1939 as well as Russia’s responsibility for the annihilation of Warsaw in 1944. In recent years, another new trend appeared, according to which Poland and Poles are blamed for the murder of European Jews, and even for the outbreak of World War II. The social consciousness and awareness level is being worked out in such a way, that the Poles are no longer seen as victims, but as perpetrators of World War II.
Although Genocide Wola in itself presents another apogee of German crimes on the Polish nation, it shows the reality of the whole German occupation in Poland. The Genocide Wola was preceded by other acts of murder in many smaller towns and cities. The mass extermination of Poles also shows what realistic possibilities the Poles had to save Jews.
The “Genocide Wola 44” conference had 2 main goals – to bring back the memory of the murdered and to bring to justice the perpetrators of the genocide in the Wola district, or their legal successors. Such goals made the Conference politically inconvenient. It was not in sync with the policy of the world elites – it brought back the memory of the crime that had not been tried and, what is more important, it showed that the German occupation in Poland, due to the level of barbarism, was in no way like any other occupation in other countries.
The conference was divided into 3 thematic sections:
– the section covering testimonies,
– the historic section
– the legal section
The first section presents accounts of surviving witnesses as well as photographs and documentaries. This section, together with the preceding Holy Mass took place in the Church of St. Adalbert on Wolska Street (see Fig. 1). This church was in a way the center of events connected with the Genocide Wola. The church was at the same time in 1944 a place of execution, a transit camp for those awaiting death and an operating room for the wounded. Before the beginning of the Conference, a special exhibition “Traces of the Genocide Wola” was opened in the church. (see Fig. 2), which was exhibited for the next two months and visited by large numbers of Warsaw residents.
The remaining two thematic sections took place in the hall of the Institute of National Remembrance “History Stop” locate on Marszałkowska Street. Within the historical and legal themed sections (Fig. 3), 5 and 6 papers were delivered respectively. At the end, a general discussion took place, as a result of which the listeners adopted resolutions on further activities. At the end of the Conference, the participants expressed their thanks to the organizing committee, obliging it to supervise the implementation of the resolutions.
The papers presented during the Conference and a number of documents related to its subject have been posted on the website https://genocidewola44.pl/.
2. THE WEHRMACHT’S BIGGEST SINGLE CRIME DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR
The outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising on August 1, 1944, brought about historical consequences to Poland that have been felt on many levels – political, economic, cultural and demographic. These consequences are the reason for a constant dispute about the meaning of the Warsaw Uprising. Truthfully, nobody is accusing the Home Army (Pol. acronym: AK) of “cooperation with the Nazis”, nor of “standing idly by with guns at their side” during the occupation, although such lies were spread by the propaganda machine of the Polish People’s Republic for years. Now the opponents of the independence vein, accuse the leadership of the AK of thoughtlessly provoking for the start of the Warsaw Uprising and thereby causing the destruction of Warsaw and the death of its inhabitants. These two accusations require a brief commentary.
3. THE MEANING OF THE WARSAW UPRISING
The argumentation brought forth that the decision about the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising was pointless is supposed to bring the whole dispute about it down to a comparison of the insurgents’ and the Wehrmacht’s military forces, seeing the fall of the Uprising as final proof of its senselessness. Such a way of thinking may be applied equally to the decision of entering into a defensive war by Poland in 1939, which also ended in defeat. From such an argumentative standpoint, it follows that any form of defense against aggression would be senseless, in which there was to be no guarantee of defeating the attacking aggressor. The decisions made in 1939 by the countries of the Baltic Entente1 (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) with 6 million inhabitants and also Finland with 3.7 million are instructive in this matter. The Baltic States agreed to allow Russian troops to enter their territory without defending their sovereignty. As a result, not only in June 1940 were they deprived of independence and incorporated into the USSR, but further years led to the extermination of the native population of these countries and the threat of complete annihilation of the 3 nations. In contrast to the countries of the Baltic Entente, Finland fought against Soviet aggression to defend its sovereignty. As a result of the so-called “Winter War” (from November 30, 1939 to March 13, 1940) after 3 months, Finland was forced to enter into a peace agreement with the loss of part of its territory, but she never lost her independence.
It is impossible to settle the dispute whether the fate of Poland and Poles would have been better if the Uprising had not broken out. We know history only in one variant – i.e., in which the Uprising did break out. However, in all the analyses these two circumstances must not be omitted. The first one is the state or the level of consciousness of our contemporaries when questioning the handing over of a defenseless army into Russian hands; such a move inadvertently ends up with a Katyń-type ending. The second circumstance – completely ignored in discussions about the Warsaw Uprising – is that none of its participants were forced to fight. Each insurgent was a volunteer and each fought of his/her own free will. Furthermore, despite the increasingly dramatic situation, the phenomenon of desertion in the ranks of the insurgents until the last days of the Uprising did not exist. The Warsaw insurgents submitted evidence of unprecedented bravery – 63 days of the capital’s fight can only be compared with the ancient struggles such as the Battle of Thermopylae. Just as Leonidas’ troops, thanks to their sacrifice, enabled the Greeks to gather forces and finally win the Battle of Platoia, The Warsaw Uprising caused the Soviets to stop their offensive for 5 months, allowing the Allied Forces to liberate Western Europe and reach the Elbe River line. Only a small part of Germany fell into Russian hands, where they organized the Germain Democratic Republic (the GDR).
4. TO SNUFF OUT THE MEMORY OF THE REAL CIRCUMSTANCES AND TIME OF WARSAW’S EXTERMINATION
The destruction of the capital, Warsaw, and indeed the annihilation of the city, was not the result of insurgent fighting, but of German plans preceding the outbreak of the war and the decision steadily realized since fighting broke out in 1939, according to which Warsaw was to be demolished to its foundations, and in its place, the “Neue Deutsche Stadt Warschau” (New City of Warsaw) was to be built. It was to be a provincial German city with 100,000 inhabitants. German policy with regard to Warsaw and its effects are presented in detail in two documents which were prepared by the War Compensation Office two years after the war ended: “Report on Poland’s War Losses and Damages” (Pol.: Sprawozdanie w przedmiocie strat i szkód wojennych Warszawy)  (Fig. 5) and the “Report on Wartime Losses of Warsaw” (Pol.: Raport o stratach wojennych Warszawy) , as well as the album “Wartime Losses of Warsaw 1939-1945. A report” (Pol.: Straty wojenne Warszawy 1939-1945. Raport) . The latter, on 700 pages, presents pre-war Warsaw, during and after the war, showing both the beauty of the pre-war city and the German fury in its destruction.
German plans were implemented from the beginning of the war with the selective bombing of Warsaw in September 1939. The bombardment’s aim was to destroy mainly the buildings that testified to Warsaw’s historical achievements – the Royal Castle and historic buildings and palaces. Over 10% of the capital’s buildings were destroyed during the bombardment of the city in this way. The Germans issued a ban on rebuilding the destroyed buildings and buildings “to remind Poles of their defeat of 1939” .
On the order of General Governor Hans Frank, Friedrich Pabst, who was the chief architect of the occupying forces of Warsaw since 1939, executed the so-called “Pabst plan” with his team  implementing a plan whereby on the ruins of Warsaw in the “Neue Deutsche Stadt Warschau” – a new city would arise, inhabited by about 100,000 Germans, and only on the right bank of the Vistula River there would be left a colony for 30,000 Poles destined for slave labor. The plan developed by the Germans assumed that Warsaw would be completely demolished, leaving behind only buildings considered to be relics of Germanic architecture. The first stage of this plan was the destruction of Warsaw during the siege in 1939 and a ban on rebuilding the ruins. Pabst’s plan, consistently implemented, brought about the gradual annihilation of the Polish capital in subsequent stages. The next stage was to raze the Warsaw Ghetto area after the fall of the Ghetto Uprising in 1943. This brought a further 15% destruction to the city – see Fig. 6.
The next stage was connected with the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising in August 1944. During the fighting, another 25% of the building stock was destroyed . But these damages were only partly caused by military action, i.e., a result of bombing and artillery fire. Much of the damage was the result of intentional torching and demolition in the districts controlled by the Germans without any relation to the fighting still underway. The Royal Castle in the Old Town district was mined and blown up on September 9, 1944  after the fall of the Uprising in that part of the city (September 2, 1944). However, the main destruction of Warsaw took place after the capitulation of the Uprising, and before the Russians entered the city – i.e., between October 2, 1944 to January 16, 1945.
It should be stressed that it was in breach of the capitulation agreement. In item 10 of the “Agreement on Cessation of Warfare in Warsaw” (Pol.: Układ o zaprzestaniu działań wojennych w Warszawie) the Germans undertook to spare the public and private property remaining in the city, with particular emphasis on buildings of high historical, cultural or religious value . Contrary to these obligations, Himmler issued an order of the complete destruction of Warsaw, declaring: “No stone placed upon a stone should remain of the city. All buildings should be demolished down to their foundations” . Special military units were established, which first robbed public buildings and private apartments. After the robbery of all movable goods was completed, special units of the “Brennkommando” set the buildings on fire, and after they were burned down, the units of “Vernichtungskommando” completed the demolition work. In this way, 30% of the buildings on the left bank of Warsaw were completely destroyed , transforming the city into a sea of ruins. Special attention was paid to the destruction of cultural assets, libraries and archives. The level of German hatred for Poland and its culture is best evidenced by the fact that as late as on January 17, 1945, the day the Russians entered Warsaw, the Germans set fire to the Public Library on Koszykowa Street, where about 300,000 library books and collection artifacts were set on fire.
The annihilation of Warsaw did not take place as a result of the Uprising, although during the fighting there was also significant damage incurred by the city. Since the beginning of the war, the destruction was planned and carried out with great effort and applied resources without any relation to military actions. Even when the Germans were holding back the Soviet Army in the east and the Allies in the west, they withdrew numerous units from the fighting with the task of destroying Warsaw completely before leaving.
5. THE FATE OF POLES UNDER GERMAN OCCUPATION
The annihilation of Warsaw was planned and consistently implemented by the Germans during the 5 year occupation period, unwarranted due to any military necessity. The fate of Warsaw reveals the real goals that the Germans had set for themselves as concerned Poland and the Poles. It was not about defeating Poland, but about the liquidation of the Polish state and nation. Warsaw was the capital of the country hated by the Germans, so they decided to annihilate it. However, the intention was not limited to erasing the capital itself from the map, but included the destruction of Poles as a nation.
After the German assault on September 1, 1939 and the Russian assault on Poland on September 17, 1939, both occupiers began the execution of their plan by murdering ethnic Poles and introducing terror unprecedented in other occupied countries. The invaders knew how strong the striving for independence characterized the Poles. Poland was an exception among all the countries occupied by Germany – never in Poland did the Germans manage to form a collaborative government like the Vichy government in France or the Quisling regime in Norway. Also, no Polish military units cooperating with Germany were ever formed, which existed in all other European countries that were usually incorporated into SS forces . Poland was a unique phenomenon on a historical scale – apart from the army fighting alongside the Allies in Western Europe (249,000 soldiers ), in their occupied country, Poles created an underground state with their own underground army (400,000), and an administration, educational and judicial system. And all this in conditions of unprecedented terror. It was only in Poland that so-called “round-ups” were organized in the streets of the cities and Poles were publicly executed. In the years 1939-1945, over 10,000 Polish villages were affected by various forms of German repressions, of which in about 900 villages those murdered numbered from a few to several hundred inhabitants . As a result of unusual German crimes during the entire period of the German occupation in Poland (1939-1945), over 3 million  Poles and about 2.7 million  Polish citizens of Jewish origin were killed, which gives a total of over 6 million Polish citizens. To this must be added the terrible material damage incurred (Fig. 6) and looting of property. The estimated losses of the Polish population as a result of the activities of the Third Reich in the occupied territories are presented in Table 1.
The German intention was to eliminate the Polish nation as such. In order to achieve this goal, they tried, above all, to murder the intelligentsia, and at the same time to prevent an upcoming young generation of intelligentsia from being educated. Among the layers of educated society and intelligentsia, as a result of deliberate extermination actions, such as Intelligenzaktion or Aktion AB, the following deaths occurred in Poland: 39% of the country’s doctors, 33% of its teachers of lower schools, 30% of its scientists and university lecturers (700 professors), 28% of the population of priests and 26% of its lawyers . Never in the past has any state set itself as a goal to annihilate an entire nation and erase its capital city from the map. Nor has it ever brought its intentions so close to reaching such a goal.
It should be emphasized that between the years 1939 to 1942, mainly ethnic Poles (among them, Saint Maximilian Kolbe) were killed in German camps. The Jews were then held in ghettos. German death camps, in which Jews were murdered en masse, started their activity from the time of the Wannsee Conference in January 1942 . In total, about 1.3 million to 1.5 million ethnic Poles died in German camps in occupied Poland . The losses of the Polish population include 570,000 victims of the totalitarian Soviet system  and 234,000 victims of Ukrainian genocide committed against Poles in the Province of Eastern Lesser Poland (Pol.: Małopolska Wschodnia) . Thus, not counting Poles murdered on the territory of the Third Reich (and other countries) and Poles who died on all European fronts, no less than 3.8 million Poles died on the territory of the Second Republic alone. Poland, compared to other countries occupied by the Third Reich, lost 220 people for every 1,000 of its citizens (the USA – 2.9, Belgium – 7, Great Britain – 8, France – 15, Holland – 22, and the USSR – 116 citizens) .
In Poland, the Germans murdered about 600,000-700,000 Jews in collective and individual executions, about 600,000 in ghettos and about 1.4 million in death camps. This gives a total of 2.7 million murdered Polish citizens of Jewish origin [13, 19]. Unlike in other countries, the Polish authorities and Polish institutions did not participate in this atrocious crime.
The situation was different in the countries of Western Europe, where thousands of Jews were deported to death camps in occupied Poland with the help of local authorities. Their death burdened not only the Germans, but also the authorities of France, Belgium, the Netherlands and other countries collaborating with the Germans. This international action of killing Jews resulted in a total death count of 4 million Jews from all over Europe killed on Polish territory (out of the total number of 5.1 million Jews murdered in death camps) .
Among the Jews living in Poland in 1939, about 500,000 survived the war. This number includes in this figure about 100,000 Jews who survived under the German occupation.This number is equal to the number of Jews hidden and fed by ethnic Poles, because only thanks to such help could a Jew have saved his life under the German occupation .
It should be emphasized here that it was only in occupied Poland that the Germans met with such mass help being offered to the persecuted Jews that to cut it off, they introduced an ineffable terror response of collective responsibility – for hiding or other forms of help for any Jew – the punishment was death of not only the person responsible for providing the sheltered hiding place, but the whole family and even the whole town. In such a reality, hiding and helping Jews was not only a sign of empathy, but proof of true heroism. One had to risk not only one’s own life, but that of the whole family. The French or the Belgians who were hiding Jews never faced such an abhorrent risk.
6. THE SLAUGHTER THAT TOOK PLACE IN WARSAW’S WOLA DISTRICT AS A CRIME OF GENOCIDE
Against the background of the extraordinary terror and extermination of the Polish population unleashed by the Germans against the Poles, the crime described as the Wola Genocide (in Poland known as the “Slaughter of Wola”) deserves special attention. It was the greatest crime committed by the Wehrmacht during the Second World War and never tried in a court of law. The crime, which is commonly referred to as the Wola Genocide, was not committed by gangs of disorganized criminals, nor was it committed in secret from the world like the Katyń murder or mass executions in secretly surrounded extermination camps by their criminal crews. The Wola Genocide is something unique that the world has not encountered since the hordes of Genghis Khan invaded Europe. In broad daylight, units of the German army – the Wehrmacht – on the order of its command, murdered tens of thousands of defenseless civilians – men and women, children and the elderly, without any regard for gender or the age of their victims in the streets and courtyards of the European capital of Warsaw. The murder was carried out in August 1944 during the Warsaw Uprising, but without any connection to the ongoing fighting going on in the city’s streets. Not only the residents of the Wola district were murdered, but also the patients and staff of hospitals, children’s shelters and old people’s homes – all who may have met up with German troops in the city. During the genocide that took place in the Warsaw district of Wola on August 5-7, 1944, between 30,000 and 65,000 Polish men, women and children were murdered .
The exact number of those murdered will probably never be established, as after the crime, the bodies of the victims were burned on piles arranged near the execution sites by special units of the so-called Verbrennungskommando. A shocking account of this case was given by Tadeusz Klimaszewski in his book: “Verbrennungskommando Warschau” . The scale of the crime during the Wola Genocide has no equivalent in other high-profile Wehrmacht crimes. For comparison – in French Oradour-sur-Glane, 642 people were murdered in retaliation for killing a German officer, and in Czech Lidice, 340 people were killed in retaliation for killing Reinhard Heydrich.
The Wola Genocide as a crime of genocide is not timebarred, but unlike the criminals of Oradour-sur-Glane and Lidice, who were tried and sentenced for their actions, the guilty of the Wola Genocide were never tried or punished. The fate of SS General Heinz Reinefarth, who was in charge of the genocide, who settled in Germany after the war and ran a law firm, remains a disgrace to the world’s conscience. As a respected citizen, he was elected mayor of the city of Westerland and even for over a period of 10 years, served as a member of the Landtag of Schleswig-Holstein. He was never prosecuted for his crimes. Although he was accused of war crimes in the 1960s, the German justice system completely cleared him of the charges and, as a “model” citizen, he continued to hold honorable public office.
As it was indicated above, the Wola Genocide, although it was the apogee of war crimes of the German army in Warsaw, was only a stage in the planned extermination of the capital city. As was mentioned, according to Pabst’s Plan , Warsaw was to be almost entirely demolished and transformed into a German city of 100,000 people. Only 30,000 Warsaw residents performing slave functions were to remain alive. This plan was implemented gradually throughout the entire occupation period. Out of 1.3 million inhabitants of Warsaw in 1939, only half remained alive until the Warsaw Uprising. The murder of the Treblinka Ghetto inhabitants (about 310,000), deportations to forced labor and death camps, resulted in the death of 400,000 Varsovians. Moreover, in mass street executions and in KL Warschau, another 200,000 Varsovians died before the Uprising . According to the post-war testimony of the SS and the Police Commander of the Warsaw District, the Reich’s Main Security Office established a “standard” – for the murder of 400 Varsovians per day .
7. THE DEFAMATION OF POLAND
The Wola Genocide continues as an unhealed wound on Poland and the Polish nation. None of the perpetrators have been punished, and none of the wronged persons have been compensated. The families of the murdered cannot lay flowers on the graves of their loved ones, because their bodies were burned.
The Polish state never demanded that the perpetrators of the Wola Genocide and the Destruction of Warsaw be punished. In the Nuremberg Trial, only general reference was made to German crimes committed in Poland. The crimes committed by the Germans in connection with the Warsaw Uprising, and in particular the Wola Genocide, were not its subject. Also, the Wola Genocide was never charged before Polish courts. Despite the establishment of the Supreme National Court (Pol.: Najwyższy Trybunał Narodowy)  in 1946, whose task was to administer justice “for crimes committed on the territory of the Polish State during the occupation”, neither the subject of the Wola Genocide itself nor any of its direct perpetrators has ever been tried.
This inaction of the Polish State and resignation from demanding justice for the greatest crime of the Wehrmacht arouses both opposition and indignation, all the more so because in recent months Poland and Poles, celebrating the 100th anniversary of regaining its independence, have been subjected to a well-coordinated campaign of slander, as if they were accomplices to the extermination of the Jews. The wave of anti-Polonism spreading more and more widely on both sides of the Atlantic is facilitated by Poland’s passivity in demanding justice for the perpetrators of crimes against Poles. A few dozen years of falsified history and slandering of Poland on both sides of the “Iron Curtain” has led to the petrification of awareness to historic fact in many countries of the free world as well. In this consciousness, Poland is not only the place, but also the perpetrator, or at least an accomplice, of the Holocaust together with some undefined Nazis.
Until recently, it seemed that wars could be waged on land, water and air. For some time now, we have also witnessed war in cyberspace. But the oldest of wars is war in the informational sphere – the war for human consciousness and awareness. It has to be said that there is an informational war going on against Poland – that we were attacked by the combined forces of anti-Polonism. Enemy Polish centers are to be found not only in the USA and Israel, but also in other countries. These include, above all, opinion-forming academic and journalistic circles. They are the avant-garde of the media troops winning over the consciousness of subsequent circles for its anti-Polish version of history. In this informational war, Poland for several dozen years was being marginalized and by its silence, in effect, admitting the rightness of the slanderers. The damage that these slanderers did to Poland is enormous. Even among the friends of Poland there is a consensus that Poles are anti-Semites. This thesis is also supported by those who come to Poland and are confronted with the “propaganda of shame” led by an infamous newspaper and its circle of adherers.
We do not know how further history will continue to unravel, but without active counter-action to the anti-Polish offensive, we will be reduced to the role of those guilty not only of the Holocaust, but also of the outbreak of World War II with obvious consequences in the form of material claims. So far, there is no plan to counteract the defamation offensive. The Jedwabne case has been left at a shameful point for Poland. The Citizen’s Committee for the Resumption of Exhumation in Jedwabne (Pol.: Komitet Obywatelski Na Rzecz Wznowienia Ekshumacji w Jedwabnem) , established by Dr. Ewa Kurek, collected over 60,000 signatures under a petition to resume exhumation . It was unsuccessful. The activity of Prof. Jan Grabowski from Ottawa, who is defaming Poland, does not meet any objections from the Polish state. On February 21- 22, 2019, a conference entitled “A new Polish school for the study of the history of the Holocaust” was organized in Paris, during which speakers from the Polish Center for Holocaust Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) told the world public opinion that Poles are anti- Semitic murderers and co-authors of the Holocaust . A group of Poles protested against these lies, but these protests were condemned both by the President of PAN  and by the Scientific Council of the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of PAN . Tomasz Gross, who claims that during World War II Poles killed more Jews than Germans, was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland by President Aleksander Kwaśniewski… In this situation, the anti-Polish statements of Israeli politicians Netanyahu and Katz are hardly surprising.
In every war it is necessary to recognize the enemy’s targets and the type of attack. Obviously, the purpose of the attack on Poland is to introduce into the social consciousness of all the important nations, the conviction that Poland is responsible for the murder of Jews during the Second World War, and the reason for this was the inborn anti-Semitism of Poles.
A closer look at the way Poland is being attacked also allows us to identify the means used for this purpose. The main means of attack is to lie about the reality of the Nazi occupation of Poland. A minor direction of the attack is the falsification of Polish-Jewish relations in the interwar period. At the same time, it even conceals what the fate of Jews in Poland was like during the First Polish Republic, which the Jews themselves considered to be a Jewish paradise (Latin: Paradisus Iudaeorum), as well as during the period when Poland was under partitioning . What the Polish-Jewish relations looked like during the Second World War, but in different areas not under German occupation, is also hidden from view. The main attack of anti-Polonism comes down to a lie about what the German occupation looked like in Poland. Only then and only in this area. A lie so placed in time and space is the essence of the attack.
According to this lie, even if there were some “Nazis” on Polish territory during the war (not Germans, but “Nazis”), the Poles were in the same situation as the French, Belgians, or Danes and could help the Jews with virtually no risk, and in the meantime they willingly joined the Nazi torturers and murdered Jews.
This slander cannot be countered by recalling testimonies from other periods or from other areas, e.g. showing the contribution of Poland to the independence of Israel . The only effective defense is to annihilate this lie by demonstrating on the international forum how different the German occupation in Poland was from that of France, Belgium or Denmark. This means not only the necessity to show the martyrdom of the Polish nation, but also the necessity to demand compensation and, above all, to demand that those guilty of numerous crimes committed by the Germans against Poles and Polish citizens of Jewish origin be punished. Without demanding punishment for the guilty, any explanation will be unbelievable and will be treated as an attempt to “whitewash Poland”.
How the German occupation of Poland differed from that of other European countries is best illustrated by the story of Anne Frank, a Jewish girl who was hidden by the Dutch in Amsterdam. Denounced by a Dutch “blackmailer”, she and her family were sent to a concentration camp (she died of typhus in the Bergen Belsen camp). After the war, Anne Frank’s memoirs were published by her Dutch caretaker and became a bestseller of world literature. What would have happened to this caretaker in German-occupied Poland is best illustrated by the fate of the Ulma Family from Markowa – all family members, including children and their pregnant mother, were immediately executed for hiding Jews.
In order to make the world public aware of the difference between the German occupation of Poland and the occupation of Belgium, the Netherlands or Denmark, it is not possible to narrate all the tragic events of that period. It is necessary to focus on what was most tragic, most beastly and most forgotten. It’s the Wola Genocide. It is a crime many times bigger than the Katyń crime, about which the whole world knows today. Nobody knows about the Wola Genocide outside of Poland, and even few people in Poland know about it. That’s why, in order to show the essence of the German occupation in Poland through the prism of the Wola Genocide, the group of people forming the organizing committee decided to organize a scientific conference entitled “Ajudging the Wola Genocide”. (Full title: Genocide Wola ‘44). The aim of the conference was, on the one hand, to restore national and international public opinion to the memory of the greatest crime of the German army and, on the other hand, to bring the perpetrators of this crime and their legal successors before a competent judicial authority.
Translation from Polish: Jan Czarniecki
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