German Crimes in Poland
Central Commission for Investigation of German Crimes in Poland.
Volume I, Warsaw 1946

Background/Introduction

The Central Commission for the Investigation of German crimes in Poland, after more than a yearís work, is now publishing the first results of its investigations of the crimes which the Germans committed between 1939 and 1945.

For months members of the Commission investigated any traces left by the occupants of the crimes they had committed, collected documents and all available proofs of crime, and took evidence from witnesses and from surviving victims of the criminal proceedings, in an endeavour to obtain as detailed and true a picture of the offences as possible. It is due to the fact that these investigations were carried out in due legal form, by examination of witnesses and according to the principles which are valid in all judicial proceedings-i.e. impartiality, proper caution in collecting evidence, and careful verification of witnessesí statements-that so long a time has elapsed before the Commission could publish the first results of its work. All data which appear in this bulletin are based on evidence which has been very carefully examined from every angle and properly verified. The only statements and documents that have been considered were those which could be treated as factual evidence. Only data of unquestioned evidential value were considered fit for publication.

The Bulletin of the Central Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland aim at recording the unique historical and sociological phenomenon of the crimes which the Germans committed in Poland during the world war 1939-45. The recording of these crimes and their detailed reconstruction has been considered by the Commission as a duty, not only towards the Polish nation, but towards humanity. Not merely the present but also future generations ought to realize what deeds were performed by the Germans under the influence of national-socialistic ideology; what certain ideas and social myths lead to, and of what kind and range where the crimes committed by the Germans in the middle of the twentieth century in a country the population of which was considered by the rulers of the Third Reich as mere slaves, condemned to death.

The crimes that were committed in Poland cannot be treated as transgressions by individuals against laws, regulations, or orders. They are not merely the criminal acts of individual people, in breach of valid laws. They were planned and prepared for by the chief German governmental authorities, who explicitly instructed offices and government officials as to the way in which they should be carried out. They were committed in accordance with Nazi law and with Nazi ethics and ideology; not only by members of the Gestapo, SS and police, but also by officers and soldiers of the German army, German administrative officials, railway officials, doctors, and by representatives of German industry and science. The whole governmental system in Poland was criminal, and every crime was an inevitable consequence of the official German attitude.

The ashes of the millions of victims of these official German crimes have the right to request those who survived that history should accurately depict the period 1939-1945, and that the real truth about these years may be fully revealed.

Document compiled by Dr S D Stein
Last update 01/02/2000
Stuart.Stein@uwe.ac.uk
©S D Stein

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