77 years ago, Germany invaded Poland.
This was not an ordinary war; this was not a normal warfare.
From the first moments of war Germans committed bestial acts against Polish soldiers and Poland’s civilian population.
We have to remember it, because contemporary pop culture completely distorts the image of this war – on one hand, it rightly shows the horror of the Holocaust, but on the other – it fails to mention any other German victims but Jews and in recent years it also idealizes the “chivalrous” German Wehrmacht, as opposed to the demonic Waffen SS.
It must be made clear – if Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939, in cooperation with the Soviets, was a violation of international law, as German perpetrators were tried and convicted in Nuremberg, then, the German Wehrmacht, which committed war crimes from the first moments of the war, must be condemned, and no Pole should ever refer with sympathy to members of the German army which invaded Poland in 1939.
Unfortunately, such instances do occur – for example, Bronislaw Komorowski’s glorification of Stauffenberg. Stauffenberg talked about Poles in the worst possible words and took part in the invasion of Poland in 1939.
There were exceptions of course – for example, Otto Schimek, who was executed for refusing to shoot civilians, or a certain German soldier, who defected, joined Polish partisans in the Podkarpackie Region, and became a soldier in the Home Army.
That said, above all, we must remember the crimes committed by Wehrmacht – for example, when on the first day of war soldiers burned to the ground the Parzymiechy and Zimnawoda villages in the Czestochowa Region and when soldiers of the Wehrmacht’s 18th Infantry Division murdered 130 individuals, including 30 children.
We owe it to the victims to never forget, and we must forever condemn Wehrmacht murderers and track down all criminals still alive today.
Reduta Dobrego Imienia
Polish League Against Defamation