Re-blogged to commemorate the end of the Ghetto Uprising in mid-May.
Introduction – An Ideological Conflict & the Partition of Poland:
With the outbreak of war in September 1939, an ideological conflict of peculiar savagery began with the Nazi-Soviet invasion of Poland. Well before the fighting began Hitler and Himmler indicated that German forces should ignore the usual Geneva ‘convention’ distinguishing between the treatment of civilians and soldiers. Jews were a particular target, but Jews who were also communists were to be given no quarter. In the wake of the advancing armies came four so-called Einsatzgruppen, operated by the SS as hit squads against any alleged political or ‘pre-designated’ racial enemies of the régime. Unknowable thousands of civilians were slaughtered in the first few months of the occupation. This brutality spilt over to the Wehrmacht, whose view of the enemy was shaped by racist propaganda. The victorious Germans adopted a policy of forcing enormous numbers of Jews into ghettos, small…
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