Intelligenzaktion

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Intelligenzaktion
LocationPoland
Date1939 - 1940
TargetPolish intellectuals and the upper classes.
Attack type
Massacres
WeaponsAutomatic weapons
Deaths60,000
PerpetratorsGermany Nazi Germany

Intelligenzaktion was a genocidal action of Nazi Germany targeting Polish elites (primarily intelligentsia - teachers, priests, etc.) as part of elimination of potentially dangerous elements. It was an early measure of the Generalplan Ost. About 60,000 people were killed as the result of this operation. The Intelligenzaktion took place soon after the German invasion of Poland, lasting from fall of 1939 till spring of 1940. It was continued by the German AB-Aktion operation in Poland.[1]

Purpose

These Polish elites were regarded as "Polish masters", an undesirable trait that might cause Poles to disobey their German masters.[2] Hitler himself decreed:[2]

Once more the Führer must point out that the Poles can only have one master, and that is the German; two masters cannot and muct not exist side by side; therefore all representatives of the Polish intelligentsia should be eliminated (umbringen). This sounds harsh, but such are the laws of life.

The elite of Polish society was regarded by Nazi racial theories as being most likely of German blood, because their dynamic leadership contrasted with Slavonic fatalism,[3] but the removal of such elements was regarded as necessary to remove leadership from the Polish nation,[2] and because their patriotism and hatred of Germany would prevent full-scale Germanization.[4] Furthermore, German blood must not be used the service of a foreign nation.[2] (Their children were targeted for abduction and Germanization.[2] Such programs, the Nazis believed, would prevent a resurgence of any intelligentsia.[3])

Method of realization

The action was realized by SS paramilitary death squads - Einsatzgruppen and the paramilitary organization of the German minority in Poland - Selbstschutz.[5] The units involved were instructed by their commanders that their role would be far more difficult than merely fighting in battle, having to suppress obstructive populations or carry out executions.[6]

The aim of this action was the elimination of Polish society's elite, defined very broadly as: Polish nobles, intelligentsia, teachers, entrepreneurs, social workers, military veterans, members of national organisations, priests, judges, political activists, and anyone who had attended secondary school.[6] People were arrested according to an "enemies of the Reich list" - Sonderfahndungsbuch Polen prepared before the war by members of the German minority in Poland in cooperation with German Intelligence.

Regional actions

See also

References

  1. ^ Tadeusz Piotrowski, "Poland's holocaust: ethnic strife, collaboration with occupying forces and genocide in the Second Republic, 1918-1947", McFarland, 1998, pg. 25
  2. ^ a b c d e "Chapter XIII - GERMANIZATION AND SPOLIATION"
  3. ^ a b Richard C. Lukas, Did the Children Cry? Hitler's War against Jewish and Polish Children, 1939-1945. Hippocrene Books, New York, 2001.
  4. ^ "HITLER'S PLANS FOR EASTERN EUROPE"
  5. ^ Andrzej Szcześniak: Generalplan Ost. Plan Zagłady Słowian. Radom: Polskie Wydawnictwo Encyklopedyczne, 2001, ISBN 83-88822-03-9.
  6. ^ a b Richard C. Lukas, Forgotten Holocaust p8 ISBN 0-7818-0528-7
  7. ^ *Maria Wardzyńska "Był rok 1939 Operacja niemieckiej policji bezpieczeństwa w Polsce. Intelligenzaktion" IPN Instytut Pamięci Narodowej, 2009 ISBN 978-83-7629-063-8

Internet

Further reading

  • Maria Wardzyńska: "Intelligenzaktion" na Warmii, Mazurach oraz Północnym Mazowszu. Główna Komisja Ścigania Zbrodni Przeciwko Narodowi Polskiemu. Biuletyn Instytutu Pamięci Narodowej nr. 12/1, 2003/2004, ss. 38-42. [3]
  • Andrzej Szcześniak: Generalplan Ost. Plan Zagłady Słowian. Radom: Polskie Wydawnictwo Encyklopedyczne, 2001, ISBN 83-88822-03-9.
  • Meier, Anna "Die Intelligenzaktion: Die Vernichtung Der Polnischen Oberschicht Im Gau Danzig-Westpreusen" VDM Verlag Dr. Müller, ISBN 3639047214 ISBN 978-3639047219
  • Maria Wardzyńska "Był rok 1939 Operacja niemieckiej policji bezpieczeństwa w Polsce. Intelligenzaktion" IPN Instytut Pamięci Narodowej, 2009 ISBN 978-83-7629-063-8