Nazis invade Poland 1 September 1939
Hitler enters the city of Gdansk,
known as Danzig in German,
after the Nazis’ 1939 invasion of Poland.
Photograph: Corbis, via Getty Images
Poland Urged to Look for Nazi-Looted Art Still Held in Its Museums
Despite the Polish government’s
efforts to recover cultural objects lost during World War II,
researchers say its museums hold stolen items left behind by the Nazis.
Published Jan. 12, 2020
Updated Jan. 14, 2020
Nazi Germany invades Poland September 1, 1939
Nazi soldiers arrive in Gdańsk, Poland,
Tehran Children: A Holocaust Refugee Odyssey – review
Sun 1 Dec 2019 11.00 GMT
Beginning of World War II
as the United Kingdom
declares war on Germany
in response to the invasion.
The Soviet Union
invades from the east.
and the Soviet Union
divide Poland between them
and treat Polish citizens
with extreme brutality.
On Sept. 1, 1939,
Nazi Germany invaded Poland,
the act that started World War II.
The day before,
Nazi operatives had posed
as Polish military officers
to stage an attack on the radio station
in the Silesian city of Gleiwitz.
Germany used the event
as the pretext
for its invasion of Poland.
The New York Times article
about the invasion included
a report of the Gleiwitz episode
as well as Chancellor Adolf Hitler’s
proclamation to the German army,
which portrayed Germany’s
action as one of self-defense:
“In order to put an end
to this frantic activity
no other means is left to me now
than to meet force with force.”
France and England
declared war against Germany
on Sept. 3,
but neither country
was prepared to fight
and would not deploy
a significant number
of military forces
until the next year,
leaving Poland alone
in its defense.
Although it had an army
of more than 700,000,
Poland was unprepared
for Germany’s blitzkrieg tactics.
Its army could not deploy
its troops quickly enough
to defend against
the more powerful German forces.
As a result,
many civilians lost their lives.
of repelling the invasion
were dashed on Sept. 17,
when the Soviet Red Army
invaded from east.
By the end of September, Germany
and the Soviet Union
had control of the country.
The last organized Polish resistance
was defeated on Oct. 6.
things appeared to quickly quiet down.
News was sparse from the front lines,
and the American press started
referring to the situation as the “Phony War.”
During this time, however,
German forces steadily occupied Poland
and continued to focus on civilians,
imprisoning and murdering thousands
of the country’s residents.
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