Schadewaldt Hans - The Polish Atrocities against the German Minority in Poland

Author : Schadewaldt Hans
Title : The Polish Atrocities against the German Minority in Poland
Year : 1940

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The statement of the acts of atrocity committed on minority Germans in Poland is based on the following documentary evidence, the penal records of the Special Courts of Justice in Bromberg and Posen, the investigation files of the Special Police Commissions, the testimony of the medico-legal experts of the Health Inspection Department of the Military High Command, and the original records of the Military Commission attached to the Military High Command for the investigation of breaches of International Law. The documentary evidence concerning the individual cases of atrocity has been taken from the aforementioned files. The Special Courts of Justice set up at Bromberg and Posen are regular courts, their administration of justice being based on the Common Law of Germany and the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of the Reich, and which deal with all cases in complete accordance with the principles of the German Penal Code. The legally justified confirmation of verdicts and the sworn statements of German as well as Polish witnesses have been used. These were taken from the records of these Special Courts of Justice up to the Nov. 15, 1939. The various Criminal Investigation Departments' reports, documents, and photographs, have been employed and taken from the files of the Special Commissions. Reproductions of statements, photographs and preserved specimens, as well as the collective memoranda representing a report on the result of the autopsy on the victims, were taken from the records of the medico-legal experts. The statements of eye-witnesses sworn and taken down before the military legal officials, have been taken mainly from the investigation files of the Army Investigation Department. These in turn are based upon extracts from the High Command's (Legal Dept.) book on this subject, issued in two volumes, "Polish Atrocities on minority Germans and Prisoners of War in Bromberg, Pless, Stopanica" (vol. 1) and "Polish Atrocities on minority Germans and Prisoners of War in the District and Province of Posen" (vol. 2) and in which the various statements are compiled. The records have been supplemented by accounts of personal experiences by individuals of the German minority arrested, ill-treated, and abducted, as well as by photographs of numerous atrocities on minority Germans, as perpetrated by soldiers of the Polish army and by Polish civilians (i. e. murders, mutilations, and arson). The photographs are genuine copies of snap shots taken of the actual victims, either beaten to death, shot dead, or mutilated, and taken on the spots where the victims were found and the crimes committed. Any pictures that could not be considered definitely authentic were rejected and not included in the collection. Attached are photographic reproductions of whole pages of "dead and missing" notices. These appeared daily for weeks, after those days of horror, in the Bromberg and Posen newspapers. Sd. K. Ls. or Sd. Is. with consecutive file numbers. Those resulting from the investigation of the Special Police Commission of the Criminal Police Office of the Reich are marked RKPA., and those of autopsy and post mortem findings with OKW. HS. In. Br. or P. The amount of material on atrocities was so great as to render it impossible to print the full text of the sworn statements in all cases. Some are printed in their original version. Others refer to the decisive position, as narrated by the eye-witnesses. For the same reason it was decided to omit the history of illness suffered by minority Germans, due to their serious injuries received during the marches they were forced to make through Poland. All this collection of facts is stored in the Protestant Deaconess Hospital of Posen and in the German Military Field Hospital and Municipal Hospital in Bromberg, and is open to any further investigation. Only a selection of the copious photographic material is used in this book. All the documents and proofs used in this collection of material are filed in the respective central offices in Berlin. This book deals exclusively with acts of violence committed by Poles on minority Germans. Further evidence of the Polish breaches of International and Military Law, in so far as it concerns the treatment of German prisoners of war and Germans killed in action, has been placed in safety elsewhere and has not been included in this book, as well as that of numerous acts of atrocity committed on minority Germans before the outbreak of war. ...

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