January 29, 2018




Roman Dmowski made a concerted bid at the Peace Conference for the restoration of Poland's pre-partition boundaries. As a Polish delegate at the Paris Peace Conference and a signatory of the Versailles Treaty, Dmowski wielded considerable influence. At the meeting, Dmowski stated that he had little interest in laying claim to areas of Ukraine and Lithuania that were formerly part of Poland, but no longer had a Polish majority. But he pressed for the return of Polish territories , ie those with Polish-speaking majorities taken by Prussia from Poland in 1790s. Dmowski was disappointed with the Treaty of Versailles partly because he was strongly opposed to the Minority Rights Treaty imposed on Poland and partly because he wanted the German-Polish border to be somewhat farther to the west than what the Versailles had allowed.


Germany renamed Reichsgau Posen, in occupied Poland, to Reichsgau Wartheland.  It comprised the region of Greater Poland and adjacent areas. Parts of Warthegau matched the similarly named pre-Versailles Prussian province of Posen. The name was initially derived from the capital city, Posen (Poznań), and later from the main river, Warthe (Warta). The Governor of Reichsgau Wartheland, Arthur Greiser, embarked on a program of complete removal of the formerly Polish citizenry upon his nomination by Heinrich Himmler. The plan also entailed the re-settling of ethnic Germans from the Baltic and other regions into farms and homes formerly owned by Poles and Jews. He also authorized the clandestine operation of exterminating 100,000 Polish Jews (about one-third of the total Jewish population of Wartheland), in the process of the region's complete "Germanization.


Heinrich Himmler issued a directive that established the SS Sonderkommando Dirlewanger as a volunteer formation of the SS. This formation, which drew its personnel from concentration camps and hardened criminals, would become notorious for its war crimes against civilians in Poland. (Note: They were referred to as the Dirlewanger Brigade. On August 5, 1944, they killed 35,000 Polish men, women, and children. The commander of the unit, Oskar Dirlewanger. Historians have described him as "a psychopathic killer and child molester" by Steven Zaloga, "violently sadistic" by Richard Rhodes, "an expert in extermination and a devotee of sadism and necrophilia" by J. Bowyer Bell, and "a sadist and necrophiliac" by Bryan Mark Rigg.According to Timothy Snyder, "in all the theaters of the Second World War, few could compete in cruelty" with Dirlewanger.


Nazis ordered all Gypsies arrested and sent to extermination camps. The Nazis referred to the Romani people as "a-socials" or "habitual criminals" and sent them to concentration camps. Nearly every concentration camp in Germany had Romani prisoners. In the camps, all prisoners were forced to wear markings of various shapes and colors, which identified them by category of prisoner. Roma wore black triangular patches, the symbol for "a-socials," or green ones, the symbol for "professional" criminals.


Koniuchy Massacre was perpetrated by Soviet partisan units under the command of the Central Partisan Command in Moscow. The raid was carried out by over 100 partisans from various units, which included 30 Jewish partisans from the "Avengers" and "To Victory" units (under the command of Jacob (Yaakov) Prenner.  According to the findings of the Institute of National Remembrance, at least 38 Polish men, women and children were murdered indiscriminately and homes destroyed. (Note: There remains controversies about the Koniuchy Massacre, that is, some historians believe that Koniuchy was a "pro-German" town that was used as a staging ground for German attacks against the partisans.)


German submarine U-763 was scuttled in the Schichau-Werke shipyard in Königsberg after being damaged in a Soviet air raid. ( On February 4, 1944, U-763 shot down a RAF Liberator bomber of 53 Squadron in the Bay of Biscay. The next day, she successfully warded off three separate air attacks by the RAF, resulting in damage to a Liberator of 53 Squadron, a Wellington bomber of 172 Squadron and the loss of a Halifax bomber from 502 Squadron. She was also part of the wolf pack (Rugen 3)

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