Even today, more than half a century after that fateful September of 1939, one may hear these words being expressed thoughtfully and almost instinctively by some of my countrymen who witnessed the outbreak of the Second World War on the Polish soil. September of 1939, that witnessed an unparalleled eruption of the Nazi and Soviet murderous instincts – in the heart of Europe, the heart of civilized world. September of 1939, that embossed on our and future generations’ collective memory pictures of unprecedented heroism, immeasurable suffering and destruction. September of 1939, that changed the face of our Country and our Nation. And changed our individual lives forever.
In response to September 1, 1939 German aggression on Poland her allies, Great Britain and France, bound by bilateral agreements, declared war on Germany (September 3, 1939). “The phoney war”, as it has been named for the effort made, included massive bombardment of German cities by the British Royal Air Force with… propaganda leaflets and French, less than skin deep, invasion of Germany. The French, unopposed and almost ignored by the Germans, withdrew hurriedly when Soviet Russia joined Nazi Germany actively and invaded Poland on September 17. In fact Great Britain and France assisted the Nazis and Soviets in the September 1939 Slaughter of Poland by successfully sabotaging her efforts to defend herself (General Mobilization). One political commentator summarized it: Having friends like Britain and France that country (Poland) is in no need for enemies, really.
Invasion of Poland was Hitler’s first major war campaign which met unexpectedly fierce resistance. From the very first day of the war the Nazis were unpleasantly surprised by high number of casualties and heavy blows to their war machine. In retribution, they turned against the Polish civilian population. New born babies, children, women and elderly became easy targets for the “heroes of swastika” – bombed, slaughtered by machine gun fire, herded in barns and burned alive. Hitler needed not only Lebensraum – he also wanted revenge. Humans were not the only target of aggression – anything on the Polish soil was an enemy: apartment buildings, houses, hospitals, churches, villages, crops in the fields and farm animals. A totalitarian regime waged a totalitarian war.
The Soviets followed in their Nazi friends’ footsteps. They aimed at Polish intelligentsia, army and police officers, scientists, politicians and state officials – an obstacle to be eliminated in order to facilitate the replacement of the existing democracy by communist regime. Murderous terror, to which the Polish population on the occupied territories was subjected, was meant to make the imposition of the Soviet regime easier. More than 1.5 mln Polish citizens were deported to Soviet forced labour concentration camps, where most of them died of freezing cold, starvation and disease. The Katyn Forest Massacre exemplifies the methods employed by the “progressive” Soviet system and became a symbol of an unprecedented genocide.
LIDICE is the name of a Czech village which gained world-wide attention for the fact, that all its inhabitants were either murdered on the spot or condemned by the Nazis to certain death in concentration camps. Hundreds of Polish villages were treated in the very same, barbaric way. But, who knows about that… who remembers their names today…? Mass executions of Polish citizens, whether by the Nazis or Soviets, occured on a daily basis. Lucky were those shot or hanged, as thousands of others went through weeks and months of torture before death liberated them from the torment of life.
The Second World War ended officially on May 9, 1945. NOT FOR EVERYBODY! From 1943 in Teheran, the so-called Western Democracies worked tirelessly and secretly with their ally – the Soviets, on the New World Order. In exchange for Soviet cannon fodder, Great Britain and the United States of America cooperated eagerly and cynically in enslaving their former, not needed anymore, ally – Poland and the rest of Central Europe by the Soviets. For those nations the war did not end on May 9, 1945! For almost half a century they fought for their freedom one, common enemy – Soviet Russia. Soviet Russia’s allies, Great Britain and the United States of America – countries, who claimed friendship with Poland before and during the war, lost their lustre in many eyes.