Wola Massacre and Polish Authorities: Another Case of Political Amnesia

Wola Massacre and Polish Authorities: Another Case of Political Amnesia

Poland is suffering political amnesia. The condition gets acute any time one mentions the mass crimes committed against Polish nationals. There is a plethora of examples to prove the case. The Volyn massacre is the most illustrative one. Ukrainian nationalists brutally tortured and killed dozens of thousands of old men, women and children. For all that, the Polish government supports the successors of Stepan Bandera who have seized power in Ukraine. 

There is another example – the pogroms in Wola that took place during the Warsaw uprising (Wola - a district of western Warsaw). German fascists killed around 60 thousand Poles in two days (August 5-6, 1944) - the largest single massacre in WWII. 

Today the Polish authorities do the best to get around the details that led to the tragedy. A lot has been said in Poland about the Warsaw uprising. By and large it all boils down to denigrating Soviet soldiers who deliberately remained where they were as allowing the Wehrmacht time to regroup and put the insurgence down. It is said that, whatever Russians say about liberating Poland «Bolsheviks are even worse than Hitlerites», no matter German fascists killed Poles just because they were Slav people. That’s exactly what they did in Wola. 

The reason Germans were so cruel towards Poles is an open secret. In their statements Nazi top officials were candid enough explaining their attitude. But Polish and Ukrainian propaganda outlets keep silent about it. The following examples are eloquent enough. Just one week prior to the launching of the attack on Poland, Hitler made an address to his chief military commanders at Obersalzberg on August 22, 1939. He said, «Our strength consists in our speed and in our brutality. Genghis Khan led millions of women and children to slaughter – with premeditation and a happy heart. History sees in him solely the founder of a state. It’s a matter of indifference to me what a weak western European civilization will say about me. I have issued the command – and I’ll have anybody who utters but one word of criticism executed by a firing squad – that our war aim does not consist in reaching certain lines, but in the physical destruction of the enemy. Accordingly, I have placed my death-head formation in readiness – for the present only in the East – with orders to them to send to death mercilessly and without compassion, men, women, and children of Polish derivation and language. Only thus shall we gain the living space (Lebensraum) which we need.» 

Hans Frank was appointed Governor General of the Occupied Polish Territories by a Hitler decree dated 12 October 1939. On January 1, 1940 the official told the conference of department heads that he was given an order to devastate the territory leaving no traces of economy, culture, social and political structures. He said Poland was wartime a booty to be treated accordingly.

The Nazi really made no difference between their words and deeds. The destruction of Warsaw and the Volyn massacre provide a good evidence to go upon. Neither the contemporary Polish Russophobe propaganda warriors, nor overseas story-tellers shed light on who was behind the tragic events. One has to get acquainted with the testimony provided right after the massacre by witnesses, those who saw what happened with their own eyes to testify right after the events. Underground Trybuna Wolnosci (the edition N 64, 1944), a newspaper of Polish Workers Party, published an article signed by Lieutenant Zenon (real name Zenon Kliszko), deputy commander of Army Liudova (the People's Army of Poland) at the time of Warsaw uprising. He said, «The very thought of bloodshed in Warsaw, the city lying in ruins, never leaves the minds of those who fight for full liberation of the country from the Hitler’s yoke. The stronger is the pain, the more clearly we realize how hard our people suffered and how important it is to pinpoint the real culprits. All the details have to be clarified and come into the open. The problem of uprising in Poland has been many times discussed on the pages of party press. The leadership of party noted that such an action cannot be improvised. It has to be thoroughly planned taking into consideration the experience gathered by guerilla movement. It has to coincide with an active phase of mass struggle. It is imperative to coordinate activities with allied military, especially with the Red Army liberating Poland…

These days the German Eastern Front was rolling back. There was an impression that the Red Army and Polish people were about to liberate Warsaw from Hitler’s occupants. The great victories of Red Army made leaders of Armia Krajowa (the Home Army) panic. They decided to seize Warsaw and bring their reactionary clique to power. 

Contrary to good reason and logic and ignoring the opinion of others, the Armia Krajowa incited the uprising in August 1. The rebellion unleashed by Bor (meaning «the Forest» - the code-name of General Count Tadeusz Komorowski, the commander in chief a day before the capitulation of the Warsaw uprising) and his accomplices happened to be a criminal political venture. 

As soon as the uprising started the real intentions of its leaders became known. The staff of Armia Krajowa failed to come up with an operational plan. The action was not well-prepared. True, the state of combat readiness had been declared a number of times for training purposes. There was no clarity about the start of combat action - the H-hour was changed all the time. Many Armia Krajowa units were not engaged in the operation at all. The real intent was not to organize an uprising against Germans, but rather liberate the city without the participation of Soviet forces. That’s what the root of the problem was and that’s what doomed the action to failure. Two days before the insurgence the «convent of independent organizations» spread around leaflets denigrating the Red Army. The leadership of Armia Krajowa was blinded by hatred. It forgot about Germans in Warsaw. It said that the units of Red Army deployed at the forward edge of battle area were nothing else but dozens of tank divisions ready to enter the city at any given moment. The Armia Krajowa commanders did not consider Germans to be their enemies anymore. 

They considered the Soviet Union and entire camp of Polish democracy as the prime target. That’s what made the leadership of Armia Krajowa and the Polish London-based government-in-exile commit this grave crime in Warsaw». 

The testimony adduced here provides undisputed evidence which allows to strictly define what really caused the Wola tragic events.