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Any race that was not expanding, he believed, was doomed to disappear. In Augustjust days before the invasion of Poland, Adolf Hitler spoke to his generals about the coming war:. Our strength lies in our speed and our brutality. Genghis Khan hunted millions of women and children to their deaths, consciously and with a joyous heart. History sees in him only the great founder of a state. I have issued a command—and I will have everyone who utters even a single word of criticism shot—that the aim of the war lies not in reaching particular lines but in the physical annihilation of the enemy.
Poland will be depopulated and settled with Germans. A German pilot known only as Pohl who was captured later in the war described his actions in the early days of the war in a conversation with Meyer, a fellow prisoner:. Pohl: On the second day of the Polish war I had to drop bombs on a station at Posen. Eight of the 16 bombs fell on the town, among the houses, I did not like that. On the third day I did not care a hoot, and on the fourth day I was enjoying it.
It was our before-breakfast amusement to chase single [Polish] soldiers over the fields with [machine gun] fire and to leave them lying there with a few bullets in the back. Pohl: People civilians too.
The leader bombed the street, the two supporting machines the ditches, because there are always ditches there. You should have seen I always want Poland horses stampede! Pohl: I was sorry for the horses, but not at all for the people. But I was sorry for the horses up to the last day. Pilots attack their targets from a distance; soldiers come face to face with theirs. Gerhard M. Burning houses, weeping women, screaming children. A picture of misery. In one of the primitive peasant houses we even surprised a woman servicing a Polish machine-gun.
The house was turned over and set alight. After a short while the woman was surrounded by flames and tried to get out. But we stopped her, as hard as it was. Her screaming rang in my ears long after. The whole village burned. We had to walk exactly in the middle of the street because the heat from the burning houses on both sides was too great.
There are a considerable of cases of officers illegally driving people from their homes, confiscating items without permission, enriching themselves by failing to report or stealing goods, mistreating or threatening their inferiors, partly in states of excitement and irresponsible drunkenness, failing to carry out orders with grave consequences for the troops under their command, and committing sexual offenses against married women. The image that is that of a pack of marauding mercenaries who cannot be reprimanded sharply enough.
Whether they are acting consciously or not, these officers are parasites who have no business in our ranks. But he continued to issue new regulations until the end of in order to maintain discipline in the ranks. Citations 1 : Doris L.
Knopf,47— Knopf, Sholem Aleichem enjoyed extraordinary popularity among Yiddish speakers. Add or Edit Playlist. Reading. Next Reading. A German pilot known only as Pohl who was captured later in the war described his actions in the early days of the war in a conversation with Meyer, a fellow prisoner: Pohl: On the second day of the Polish war I had to drop bombs on a station at Posen.
Meyer: But always against soldiers?
Meyer: Disgusting that with the horses. How was their conquest of Poland different from what many people in expected from war? How do you explain the change? What do the sources in this reading suggest about the motivations of German soldiers who treated Polish civilians brutally? What did Walther von Brauchitsch find disturbing about the behavior of German soldiers toward Polish civilians?
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Invasion of Poland