|Churchill proposed the genocidal plan adopted at the 1945 Potsdam Conference for putting Poland
"on wheels" and "rolling it westward" into German lands. As a result of his final solution to the
"German problem", millions of Poles were displaced from territories granted to the USSR and even
more millions of Germans were expelled from lands they had inhabited since the 13th century.
|Silesian Germans, some of whom had roots in Silesia going back centuries, and who before World
War II amounted to about 4 million, were collectively labelled "German partisans" and either fled or
were murdered, put in camps, sent to the Gulags or expelled. Often, the men would be rounded up
from the villages and camps and marched a short distance away, shot and buried in mass graves.
Under the terms of the agreements at the Yalta Conference of 1944 and the Potsdam Agreement of
1945, German Silesia east of the rivers Oder and Lusatian Neisse was transferred to Poland. Poles
from lands stolen by Stalin were trucked in and resettled there before the blood had even dried. The
Germans were sometimes ordered to not only leave all of their possessions behind, they were
ordered to leave the beds made with clean linen. It was efficient, well-planned and organized.
|It was not just adults who were expelled from their homes. Children became adults overnight when
suddenly orphaned or when separated from their parents, and they had to face the hard and
dangerous treks alone, at the mercy of the elements and vicious predators. The violence used to
obliterate the ethnic memory of Germans was degrading and often fatal.
|Stolen Heritage: German Silesia
|With German defeat in 1945, all of Silesia was suddenly occupied by the Soviet Red Army who,
following their violent pattern, embarked upon another horrendous spree of rape. In one instance,
182 Catholic nuns were raped in Neisse and in the diocese of Kattowitz, they left behind 66 pregnant
nuns. Even small children were not spared the horrors of violent sexual assault, and little girls were
being attacked as often as their mothers. Boys who tried to protect their mothers and sisters were
shot, as were many of the victims afterward.
|Reduced to slaves by their new masters, Germans were forced to make public apologies for their
"collective guilt" at social and governmental gatherings. Others were sent to camps with unbearable
conditions. Of 8,064 Germans in Camp Lamsdorf in Upper Silesia, 6,488, including hundreds of
children, died from starvation, disease, hard labor, and physical maltreatment including torture. This
repeated itself by the thousands. Illness brought on by bad water, starvation, exposure and even
poisoning was rampant and suicides epidemic. Five times as many Germans died in the first year
after the War's end as died during five of the War itself.
|“. . . In unending succession were girls, women and nuns violated. . . Not merely in secret, in hidden
corners, but in the sight of everybody, even in churches, in the streets and in public places were
nuns, women and even eight-year-old girls attacked again and again. Mothers were violated before
the eyes of their children; girls in the presence of their brothers; nuns, in the sight of pupils, were
outraged again and again to their very death and even as corpses . . . ”
Mississippi Senator Eastland quoting from a letter smuggled out of Breslau September, 1945
|In the parts of Germany taken for Poland in 1945, the entire ethnic German population was either
murdered, expelled or faced severe reprisals at war's end. As cited elsewhere, in East Prussia and
Pomerania, from Danzig to Stettin to Elbing and to all of the old Baltic German cities, catastrophic
Allied bombing was followed by Red Terror. The few surviving Germans in these areas were placed
before violent Communist led "verification" committees who decided their fate. Their language and
civil rights were immediately suspended. Thousands died trying to flee. Slave labor camps in Poland
included, among those run by the infamously sadistic Salomon Morel and Czesław Gęborski, the
Central Labour Camp Jaworzno, Central Labour Camp Potulice, Łambinowice, Zgoda labour camp
and others. Aside from being thrown into one of these 1,255 "labor" camps under Polish
administration in early 1945, it was estimated that about 165,000 Germans were deported to slave
labor in the Soviet Union from the German territories annexed de-facto by Poland.
|It is interesting to note that not all Germans were expelled: in the Opole/Oppeln region in Upper
Silesia. Some German miners and their families were "allowed" to stay, but their culture was
repressed and they were virtual slaves. German language remained forbidden for the next forty
years.Forced out at gunpoint, old and young, rich and poor had to leave their family homes behind
furnished and unlocked for the new inhabitants. The Oder-Neisse as the border of a new postwar
Germany was deceptively described as "tentative" until a final peace settlement with Germany. The
issue was not laid to rest by Germany until it was forced to sign it as the high price for German
reunification: some or nothing at all.
|Although the city was only bombed once, massive destruction took place in the aftermath. Breslau
was largely destroyed. The medieval parts of the city and almost all historical landmarks were gutted.
The buildings that escaped bomb damage were burned and looted by the Soviets. It was said there
was a murdered, disfigured or disemboweled German hung on every lamp post in the city.
|The 40,000 survivors of the German garrison who surrendered were executed, thrown into mass
graves or taken to the Gulag, from which few returned. Over 30,000 more civilians would die, most
from homicide, but there were also about 3,000 suicides. The Red Army went house to house and
block to block embarking on vicious rape and slaughter. For 77 days, the carnage and mayhem
lasted, the Soviets murdering and burning people alive. Thousands of Breslauers lay dead in the
ruins, and the city was almost 70% destroyed. Like most of Silesia, Breslau was placed under Polish
administration. Most surviving German inhabitants were expelled and all German property was taken.
By the 1950s, Breslau had been cleansed of most of its dried blood as well as remaining Germans
and the real history of the city. Renamed "Wrocław", it was resettled with Poles.
|The entire youth of Germany, boys of 14 to 17 years, and the Volkstrum, consisting of old men,
were all the defense that was left during these last days of war. These pitiful troops were all that
stood between Germany and Armageddon. Over a thousand of these boys arrived to defend Breslau
where they awaited the Russian onslaught. Many of the youngest boys killed themselves out of sheer
terror while others fought on desperately for days until the city finally fell on May 6, 1945.
|Thousands of Breslau civilians had waited to evacuate the city when they heard news of the Soviet
advance on January 14, 1945.They could not evacuate until 6 days later because of rail damage and
battles. In panic and desperation, 50,000 to 60,000 left on foot, mostly women and children, in bitter
winter weather. In the process, some 18,000 frozen bodies were recovered along their trails and 70
children were crushed to death under wagon wheels. 90,000 Breslauers are thought to have died in
the trek. Partly because they realized the hopelessness of evacuating, another 200,000 or so civilians
remained in the inner city, and by February 15, the Soviet noose tightened around them. Breslau was
the last major city in eastern Germany to fall on May 7, 1945.
|Gerhart Hauptmann's birthplace was a resort town in Silesia named Bad Salzbrunn. Fortunately for
him, he died long before 1945 when he would have joined the millions of other Germans cast from
their homes forever. An order of expulsion was placed upon the expellees by Communist Section
Commander Major Zinkowski:
|The US media in the wire
photo, right, describes the
murdered and displaced
German civilians collectively
as "nazi followers".