As dominant as Adolf Hitler was during the Second World War, he still needed somebody close to him that he could trust and confide in. The man to the right in the photograph is Heinrich Himmler, and he was privy to Hitler’s long-term plans.
In fact, from 1929 to 1945, Heinrich Himmler was appointed Reich Leader of the SS Squadron of the Nazi party. Known as the Schutzstaffel, it was a major paramilitary organization that literally translates to “Protection Squadron.” Himmler was regarded as the second most powerful man in all of Germany at the time, and the dark mastermind behind the mass genocide of the Jewish people.
Impromptu Graveyard In Warsaw
Poland had its back against the wall when the German forces invaded their country on September 1st, 1939. They would put up a fight against the invasion, however, on September 17th, the foreign forces would be further buttressed by the Soviets. They were attacked in every which way—air, land, and sea—and soon their cities and towns were stacked up with dead bodies.
Preoccupied with the ongoing war, they no longer had time for the proper ceremonies normally afforded to the dead. Instead, they were forced to simply bury them wherever the ground seemed suitable.
They Never Stood A Chance
Poland became the staging ground for what would become the Second World War. The most devastating war of all-time started here, when Germany’s air force, the Luftwaffe, bombed the Polish town of Wieluń.
Taking Poland by surprise, the Germans compounded their air attacks by commanding their battleships to open fire. They bombarded a Polish base at the Westerplatte Peninsula positioned on the Baltic Coast. The Polish forces didn’t stand much of a chance, and the photograph above shows their unfinished aircraft at the Okezie military airport near Warsaw, helpless, as they were faced down by a far superior enemy.
Germany’s invasion of Poland sent Polish citizens sliding down into the dregs of a conquered society. They were completely overpowered, confused, still recovering from the shock of the unexpected battle. In fact, there are few formal documents to really show what most Polish citizens went through during captivity.
What we do know is, immediately after their defeat, Polish men and women were put to forced labor, as shown by this picture. They were ordered to clean captured Polish weaponry at the Modlin fortress just north of Poland. It is possible that some of them may have been sent to factories, and those that could not be taken advantage of—the old, and the sick—sent to extermination camps.
Work In The Ghetto
Jewish men, who were captives of the invading force, are seen rebuilding a part of the Kutno Ghetto that was damaged during the war against the Germans. Put into hard labor, they are no different from men being told to dig their own graves. They wear the Star of David badge while repairing what used to be a sugar factory.
The occupying German soldiers would en-swathe the factory with barbed wires, and guard the area to prevent its prisoners from escaping. Inside the factory, all the sweetness of sugar changed to the smell of urine, feces, the breath of starving, sick, dying, and dead human beings. It is believed that the only time the residents of Kutno would be free again was through the extermination camps at Chelmno.