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On This Day… Poland Surrendered

Written by: George Chittenden : 28 Sep 2019

It was on this day, 27th Sept back in 1939 when Poland surrendered to Germany and 140,000 Polish troops were taken prisoner. The German invasion began weeks earlier on September 1st 1939, one week after the signing of an agreement between Germany and the Soviet Union. The agreement was the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, and it provided a written guarantee of peace between the Germans and Russians, declaring that neither government would ally itself to, or aid an enemy of the other party.

Hitler watching German soldiers marching into Poland in September 1939.

Hitler watching German soldiers marching into Poland in September 1939.

Following Germany’s invasion of Poland, the Soviet Union also invaded Poland. Eventually on October 6th Germany and the Soviet Union divided and annexed the whole of Poland under the terms of the German–Soviet Frontier Treaty and World War II became inevitable. In Poland the Germans started executing members of Poland’s middle and upper classes including Doctors, teachers, landowners and even priests were rounded up and killed.

Polish soldiers with anti-aircraft artillery near the Warsaw Central Station in the first days of Se

Polish soldiers with anti-aircraft artillery near the Warsaw Central Station in the first days of Se

Why Poland? Well it was partly down to the fact that years earlier when Hitler first took power he signed a nonaggression pact with Poland. This wasn’t popular with many Germans who supported Hitler but despised the fact that Poland had been given the former German provinces of West Prussia, Poznan, and Upper Silesia under the Treaty of Versailles.

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