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The REICHSGAU WARTHELAND (initially Reichsgau
Reichsgau
Posen, also: WARTHEGAU) was a 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
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
World War I
. The area is currently the Greater Poland
Poland
Voivodeship .

CONTENTS

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

INVASION AND OCCUPATION OF POLAND

Main articles: 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 annexed to the Reich
Reich
immediately following the invasion of 1939 .

After the invasion of Poland
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 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 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
Leszno
, Inowrocław , Włocławek , Kalisz
Kalisz
, and Łódź . It maintained training areas at 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.

CHARACTERISTICS

Counties ( Regierungsbezirk ) and districts (Kreis ), 1944

The Governor of Reichsgau
Reichsgau
Wartheland, Arthur Greiser
Arthur Greiser
, embarked on a program of complete removal of the formerly Polish citizenry upon his nomination by Heinrich Himmler . 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. He also authorized the clandestine operation of exterminating 100,000 Polish Jews (about one-third of the total Jewish population of Wartheland), in the process of the region's complete " Germanization ". 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 (more than 70,000 from Poznań alone) in a series of operations called the Kleine Planung covering most 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. 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." Reichsgau
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." Heim ins Reich
Reich
re-settlement in Warthegau. Map of the Third Reich
Reich
in 1939 (dark grey) after the conquest of Poland
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.

END OF WAR

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.

SEE ALSO

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

NOTES

* ^ 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. * ^ 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 February 12, 1997, at the Wayback Machine .). 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
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

* Shoa.de - List of Gaue and 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
Poland

12–13TH CENTURY

* Duchy of Greater Poland
Poland

UNTIL 1768

* Poznań / Kalisz
Kalisz
Voivodeships

UNTIL 1793

* Poznań / Kalisz
Kalisz
/ Gniezno Voivodeships * Netze District

UNTIL 1806

* South Prussia
Prussia

UNTIL 1815

* Poznań / Kalisz
Kalisz
/ Bydgoszcz Departments

* until 1837 * 1848

* Kalisz
Kalisz
Voivodeship * Grand Duchy of Posen

UNTIL 1918

* Province of Posen
Province of Posen
* Kalisz
Kalisz
/ Warsaw Governorates

UNTIL 1939

* Poznań / Łódź Voivodeships * Posen-West Prussia
Prussia

UNTIL 1945

* Reichsgau
Reichsgau
Wartheland

UNTIL 1975

* Poznań Voivodeship

UNTIL 1998

* Poznań / Kalisz
Kalisz
/ Leszno
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
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
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

Coordinates : 52°24′00″N 16°55′00″E / 52.400000°N 16.916667°E / 52.400000; 16.916667 Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Reichsgau_Wartheland additional terms may apply