The Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau, 1939-1945 - part 7
August 3, 2015
Carolyn reads Chapter 13, titled "Poland." The German War Crimes Bureau was set up on Sept. 4, 1939 in response to the huge increase of reports of attacks against ethnic Germans, mainly from the former German provinces of Posen and West Prussia.
The first judges arrived as early as Sept. 9 and began taking depositions at Bromberg and Hohelsalza. By the end of October, they had six volumes of documents and commentary, each about 500 pages, organized as follows:
- 1) Polish atrocities in Bromberg, Pless, and Stopnica;
- 2) Polish atrocities against ethnic Germans and POW's in Poznan;
- 3-4) Violations of laws of war by the Polish Army;
- 5) Massacre of ethnic Germans in Lodz;
- 6) Polish murders of ethnic Germans (an addendum).
The Bureau's investigations found no evidence of franc tireur or “fifth column” activities among the ethnic Germans, which is what Polish soldiers and civilians were claiming as excuses to rob and kill them. The chapter ends with de Zayas asserting that German SS and SD were committing what he considered to be war crimes against Polish irregular fighters. 52m
Below: Journalists of the major Western press on May 4, 1939 "convince themselves" of the reality of Polish crimes against minority Germans. Standing over the bodies is a German Catholic priest. Enlarge