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2011 | 19 | 153-177

Article title

Eksterminacja ludności polskiej w Grudziądzu jesienią 1939 roku

Title variants

The extermination of the Polish and Jewish population in Grudziądz in Autumn 1939

Languages of publication



Upon attacking Poland in 1939, the authorities of Nazi Germany had clearly precise plans regarding their conduct towards Poles residing in Pomerania. In the first place, they wanted to eliminate the leading layer of the Polish state, the clergy and the intellectuals. The extermination action did not pass by Grudziądz either. On the city’s territory, there acted special units called Einsatzgruppen which through formerly prepared registers, made number of arrests of the Poles and Jewish population. Next to Gestapo, it was the Selbstschutz organisation, associating the group of indigenous Germans, that had the greatest share in the extermination action on the city’s territory. Initially, the arrested Poles were kept in the Borderline Dormitory, however after a public rally with the participation of Albert Forster, the Gauleiter of the Gdansk–Western Prussia District, on 19th October, it was ordained to physically eliminate the majority of prisoners. In the period between September and December 1939, the local Selbstschutz murdered over 300 people in Księże Góry, including few dozen of teachers and clergymen. Moreover, the Grudziądz citizens were also murdered in other regions of the country. Certainly a part of citizens was murdered in the places of mass execution in Grupa and Mniszek. There was a sole mass execution of 10 hostages conducted on 29th October on the city’s territory. The greatest intensification of the extermination falls on mid October to early December. The incorporation of the city directly into the Third Reich, which was related to the seizure of authority by civil administration which would have stopped drastic means of getting rid of people hostile towards the Nazi authority, gave rise to such state of affairs. The direct extermination action was practically ended together with the dissolution of Selbstschutz. Since then it was the Nazi tribunals that were engaged in repressions towards Poles.







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