Borderlands under German Tyranny (1941-44)
Following the German invasion of Poland on 1st September 1939, Western Poland was placed under a German administration called the “General Government”.
Einsatzgruppen (SS) death squads followed Wermacht soldiers arresting or killing Polish civilians
Polish citizens under German Nazi occupation were subject to the following repressions:
- Depriving Poles of their rights
- Elimination or suppression of political, religious and intellectual leaders
- Deporting and exterminating Jews
- Ethnic segregation
- Deportation to concentration camps
- Mass deportations to forced labour
- Mass imprisonment and executions
- Suppression of Roman Catholic Church and other religions
- Abolition of 2nd and higher education
- Germanisation and expulsion of Poles
- Kidnapping of children
- Terror and pacification operations
- Indiscriminate executions
On the 22 June 1941 Nazi Germany invaded Soviet-occupied Poland in “Operation Barbarossa”
Generalplan Ost was a secret Nazi German plan to colonise Eastern Europe (including Kresy). It would have meant the ethnic cleansing and genocide of most slavic people in Eastern Europe. The majority of Germany’s 12 million forced labourers were abducted from Eastern Europe.
Kresy under German occupation was divided into the following administrative zones :
- General Government – Eastern Galicia (the southeastern part of Kresy)
- Reichskommissariat Ostland – Lithuania and White Ruthenia (current Western Belarus)
- Reichskommissariat Ukraine – Wolyn and Ukraine
In 1943 – 1944 units of the UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army) carried out an ethnic cleansing campaign, the mass murder of Poles living Kresy – known as the “Wolyn Massacres”. This was actively encouraged by the Germans.
In January 1944, Soviet troops reached the former Polish-Soviet border bringing Kresy back under USSR control.
Lived in Wolyn through the German Occupation and survived the Ukrainian Nationalist Genocide