Valley of Death (Bydgoszcz)

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Commanders of so-called "Volksdeutscher Selbstschutz" in Bydgoszcz. From the left: SS-Standartenführer Ludolf von Alvensleben – chief of the Selbstschutz’s inspectorate in Płutowo. SS-Obersturmbannführer Erich Spaarmann - chief of the Selbstschutz’s inspectorate in Bydgoszcz (to November 1939). SS-Obersturmbannführer Hans Kölzow – chief of the Selbstschutz’s inspectorate in Inowrocław. SS-Sturmbannführer Christian Schnug – chief of the Selbstschutz’s inspectorate in Bydgoszcz (since December 1939).

Valley of Death (Polish: Dolina Śmierci) in Fordon, Bydgoszcz, northern Poland, is a site of Nazi German mass murder and a mass grave of 1,200 – 1,400 Poles and Jews murdered in October and November 1939 by the local Germans (Selbstschutz) and the Gestapo. The murders were a part of Intelligenzaktion in Pomerania, a Nazi action aimed at the elimination of the Polish intelligentsia in Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia, which included the former Pomeranian Voivodeship ("Polish Corridor"), at the beginning of World War II. It was part of a larger genocidal action that took place in all German occupied Poland, code-named Operation Tannenberg.[1]

History[edit]

Main article: Intelligenzaktion

Victims, mainly Polish intelligentsia: teachers, priests, office workers, were listed on so called Sonderfahndungsbuch Polen (a list of people destined to be executed, made by Third Reich officials before World War II) and another list made by Gestapo during the war.

The perpetrators were mainly "Volksdeutscher Selbstschutz" - paramilitary formation composed of members of the German minority in pre-war Poland and Einsatzkommando 16 of SS Einsatzgruppen under command of SS-Sturmbannführer dr Rudolf Tröger.[2] Between September 1939 and April 1940 Selbstschutz - together with other Nazi-German formations - murdered tens of thousands of Poles in Pomerania.

Polish teachers from Bydgoszcz guarded by members of Volksdeutscher Selbstschutz before execution

Established investigations point to Ludolf von Alvensleben and Jakub Löllgen, as the main culprits of mass murder. Other involved in the crimes were:

Other Nazi German mass murder sites in Bydgoszcz area are the villages of Tryszczyn and Borówno.

Memorial to the murdered at the Valley of Death

See also[edit]

Media related to Valley of Death at Wikimedia Commons
Media related to Bydgoszcz during World War II at Wikimedia Commons

References[edit]

  1. ^ Friedländer,Das dritte Reich und die Juden|publisher=C.H.Beck,Munich 2006,ISBN 3-406-54966-7
  2. ^ Jochen Böhler, Klaus-Michael Mallmann, Jürgen Matthäus: Einsatzgruppen in Polen. Warszawa: Bellona, 2009. ISBN 9788311115880, s. 44-45.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Jochen Böhler, Klaus-Michael Mallmann, Jürgen Matthäus: Einsatzgruppen in Polen. Warszawa: Bellona, 2009. ISBN 978-83-11-11588-0

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°9′23″N 18°8′5″E / 53.15639°N 18.13472°E / 53.15639; 18.13472