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The Reichsgau
Reichsgau
Wartheland (initially Reichsgau
Reichsgau
Posen, also: Warthegau) was a Nazi German
Nazi German
Reichsgau
Reichsgau
formed from parts of Polish territory annexed in 1939 during World War II. It comprised the region of Greater Poland
Poland
and adjacent areas. Parts of Warthegau matched the similarly named pre-Versailles Prussian province of Posen. The name was initially derived from the capital city, Posen (Poznań), and later from the main river, Warthe (Warta). During the Partitions of Poland
Poland
from 1793, the bulk of the area had been annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia
Prussia
until 1807 as South Prussia. From 1815 to 1849, the territory was within the autonomous Grand Duchy of Posen, which was the Province of Posen
Province of Posen
until Poland
Poland
was re-established in 1918–1919 following World War I. The area is currently the Greater Poland
Poland
Voivodeship.

Contents

1 Invasion and occupation of Poland 2 Characteristics 3 End of war 4 See also 5 Notes 6 Sources

Invasion and occupation of Poland[edit] Main articles: Gleiwitz incident
Gleiwitz incident
and Expulsion of Poles by Nazi Germany (1939–1944)

Poles led to the trains under German army escort, as part of the Nazi German ethnic cleansing of western Poland
Poland
annexed to the Reich immediately following the invasion of 1939.

After the invasion of Poland, the conquered territory of Greater Poland
Poland
was split between four different Reichsgaue and the General Government area (further east). The Militärbezirk Posen was created in September 1939, and on 8 October 1939 annexed by Germany, as the Reichsgau
Reichsgau
Posen, with SS Obergruppenfuhrer
Obergruppenfuhrer
Arthur Greiser
Arthur Greiser
as the only Gauleiter. The name Reichsgau
Reichsgau
Wartheland was introduced on 29 January 1940. The Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
established there the Wehrkreis
Wehrkreis
XXI, based at Poznań, under the command of General der Artillerie Walter Petsel. Its primary operational unit was the 48th Panzer
Panzer
Korps, covering so-called Militärische Unterregion-Hauptsitze including Poznań, Leszno, Inowrocław, Włocławek, Kalisz, and Łódź. It maintained training areas at Sieradz
Sieradz
and Biedrusko. The territory was inhabited predominantly by the ethnic Poles with a German minority of 16.7% in 1921, and the Polish Jews, most of whom were imprisoned at the Łódź Ghetto eventually, and exterminated at Vernichtungslager Kulmhof within the next two years.[1] Characteristics[edit]

Counties (Regierungsbezirk) and districts (Kreis), 1944

The Governor of Reichsgau
Reichsgau
Wartheland, Arthur Greiser,[2] embarked on a program of complete removal of the formerly Polish citizenry upon his nomination by Heinrich Himmler.[3] The plan also entailed the re-settling of ethnic Germans from the Baltic and other regions into farms and homes formerly owned by Poles and Jews.[4] He also authorized the clandestine operation of exterminating 100,000 Polish Jews (about one-third of the total Jewish population of Wartheland),[5] in the process of the region's complete "Germanization".[6] In the first year of World War II, some 630,000 Poles and Jews were forcibly removed from Wartheland and transported to the occupied General Government
General Government
(more than 70,000 from Poznań alone) in a series of operations called the Kleine Planung covering most Polish territories annexed by Germany
Polish territories annexed by Germany
at about the same time. By the end of 1940, some 325,000 Poles and Jews from the Wartheland and the Polish Corridor
Polish Corridor
were expelled to General Government, often forced to abandon most of their belongings.[7] Fatalities were numerous. In 1941, the Nazis expelled a further 45,000 people, and from autumn of that year they "began killing Jews by shooting and in gas vans, at first spasmodically and experimentally."[8] Reichsgau Wartheland had the population: 4,693,700 by 1941. Greiser wrote in November 1942: "I myself do not believe that the Führer needs to be asked again in this matter, especially since at our last discussion with regard to the Jews he told me that I could proceed with these according to my own judgement."[9]

Heim ins Reich re-settlement in Warthegau. Map of the Third Reich in 1939 (dark grey) after the conquest of Poland; with pockets of German colonists brought into Reichsgau
Reichsgau
Wartheland from the Soviet "sphere of influence" – superimposed with the red outline of Poland
Poland
missing entirely from the original print.[10]

End of war[edit] By 1945 nearly half a million Germanic Volksdeutsche
Volksdeutsche
had been resettled in the Warthegau alone among the areas annexed by Nazi Germany while the Soviet forces began to push the retreating Nazi forces back through the Polish lands. Most German residents along with over a million colonists fled westward. Some did not, due to restrictions by Germany's own government and the quickly advancing Red Army. An estimated 50,000 refugees died from the severe winter conditions, others as war atrocities committed by Soviet military. The remaining ethnically German population was expelled to new Germany after the war ended.[11] See also[edit]

History of Poland
Poland
(1939–1945) World War II atrocities in Poland Special
Special
Prosecution Book-Poland Intelligenzaktion Volksdeutscher Selbstschutz

Notes[edit]

^ HolocaustHistory.org: "ninety-seven thousand have been processed, using three vans, without any defects showing up in the vehicles." Postwar testimony Obersturmbannführer August Becker, the gas van inspector. See: Ernst Klee, Willi Dressen, Volker Riess (1991). The gas-vans: A new and better method of killing had to be found. The Good Old Days: The Holocaust As Seen by Its Perpetrators and Bystanders. Konecky Konecky. pp. 69–70. ISBN 1568521332. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link) Also in: Christopher Browning (2000), Evidence for the Implementation of the Final Solution with archives of the RSHA. ^ Ian Kershaw (2013). Hitler 1936-1945. Penguin UK. pp. vi. ISBN 0141909595.  ^ "Poles: Victims of the Nazi Era". United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Retrieved 24 May 2013.  ^ Lynn H. Nicholas, Cruel World: The Children of Europe in the Nazi Web pp. 207-9, ISBN 0-679-77663-X. ^ " Special
Special
treatment" (Sonderbehandlung)". The Holocaust History Project. Archived from the original on 2013-05-28.  ^ Main Commission for Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, German Crimes in Poland
Poland
(Warsaw: 1946, 1947); Archive of Jewish Gombin Genealogy, with introduction by Leon Zamosc. Note: The Main (or Central) Commission for Investigation of German Crimes in Poland (Polish: Główna Komisja Badania Zbrodni Niemieckich w Polsce, GKBZNwP) founded in 1945 was the predecessor of the Institute of National Remembrance (see also the "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 12, 1997. Retrieved 1997-02-12.  Check date values in: access-date= (help)). Quote: "The creation of the Main Commission... was preceded by work done in London since 1943 by the Polish Government in Exile." ^ Lynn H. Nicholas, Cruel World: The Children of Europe in the Nazi Web pp. 213-214, ISBN 0-679-77663-X. ^ Max Hastings, "The Most Evil Emperor," NYRB October 23, 2008, p. 48. ^ Ian Kershaw, Hitler, the Germans, and the Final Solution (Yale University Press, 2008), p. 75. ^ R. M. Douglas (2012). Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War. Yale University Press. p. 21. ISBN 0300183763. In a keynote address to the Reichstag to mark the end of the 'Polish campaign', on October 6, 1939, Hitler announced the Heim ins Reich (Back to the Reich) program. The prospect of being uprooted from their homes to face an uncertain future not even in Germany proper, but in the considerably less salubrious environment of western Poland, was greeted with a deep sense of betrayal.  ^ Norman M. Naimark, The Russians in Germany. p. 75. ISBN 0674784057.

Sources[edit]

Shoa.de - List of Gaue and Gauleiter
Gauleiter
(in German) Die NS Gaue at the Deutsches Historisches Museum
Deutsches Historisches Museum
website (in German) Die Gaue der NSDAP (in German)

v t e

Historical administrative divisions of Greater Poland

12–13th century

Duchy of Greater Poland

until 1768

Poznań / Kalisz
Kalisz
Voivodeships

until 1793

Poznań / Kalisz / Gniezno Voivodeships Netze District

until 1806

South Prussia

until 1815

Poznań / Kalisz / Bydgoszcz Departments

until 1837 1848

Kalisz
Kalisz
Voivodeship Grand Duchy of Posen

until 1918

Province of Posen Kalisz / Warsaw Governorates

until 1939

Poznań / Łódź
Łódź
Voivodeships Posen-West Prussia

until 1945

Reichsgau
Reichsgau
Wartheland

until 1975

Poznań
Poznań
Voivodeship

until 1998

Poznań / Kalisz / Leszno / Konin / Piła Voivodeships

since 1998

Greater Poland
Poland
Voivodeship

v t e

Administrative divisions of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
(1933–1945)

Gaue

Baden-Alsace Bayreuth Berlin Cologne-Aachen Düsseldorf Eastern Hanover East Prussia Electoral Hesse Essen Franconia Halle-Merseburg Hamburg Hesse-Nassau Lower Silesia Magdeburg-Anhalt Main Franconia March of Brandenburg Mecklenburg Moselland Munich-Upper Bavaria NSDAP/AO Pomerania Saxony Schleswig-Holstein Silesia Swabia Southern Hanover-Brunswick Thuringia Upper Silesia Weser-Ems Westphalia-North Westphalia-South Westmark Württemberg-Hohenzollern

Reichsgaue

Danzig-Westpreußen Flandern Kärnten Niederdonau Oberdonau Salzburg Steiermark Sudetenland Tirol-Vorarlberg Wallonien Wartheland Wien

Bezirke

Bialystok Brüssel (de jure)

Autonomous Regions

Bohemia and Moravia General Government

Galicia Kraków Lublin Radom Warsaw

Operational Zones

Adriatisches Küstenland Alpenvorland

Related articles: List of Gauleiters Gauliga

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 146000476 GND: 4107585-7 NKC: ge406059

Coordinates: 52°24′00″N 16°55′00″E / 52.400000°N 16.916667°E / 52

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