Wola Massacre

71 years ago, the “Wola Massacre” was going on in Warsaw, Poland? What is that? Well, if you read my last post, the Warsaw uprising had started on 01 August 1944. In an attempt to curb the uprising (crush is probably a better word), the Germans began the systematic murder of the civilian population in the Wola district of Warsaw. This lasted for nearly a week, from August 5-12. Under direct orders from Himmler, special units went from block to block, systematically murdering the local population. The murdered were mostly women, the elderly, and children. Several hospitals were burned while crammed with patients, people were systematically tortured, sexually assaulted, and sadistically murdered. One man’s story summarizes some of what went on [the words are my summary]:

The Germans came to our block and rounded everyone up, herding us into a local park area. It was surrounded by mounted machine guns. I was forced there with my wife and family. Then the machine guns opened fire, for a long time, until we were all mowed down. I was not hit, but fell to the ground like everyone else. The firing went on for a long time. I heard my little daughter moaning in pain next to me but dared not move. Soldiers were moving among the bodies, shooting those still alive. I heard a shot next to me. My daughter stopped moaning. She was dead. I feigned death. Later, other Polish prisoners were sent in to remove the bodies. I got up and became one of them. My whole family was murdered, I alone survived…. I ended up in a concentration camp, but survived the war. All of my family perished…. I alone survived….”

On the first day of this  “action,” it’s estimated that 10,000 civilians were systematically murdered, and more tens of thousands in the following days. After the war, though several of the leaders were known, not one was prosecuted. There is some controversy about this even today in Poland, as a car dealership has been built upon a field that contains the ashes of many of these innocent victims of the Wola Massacre.

You can read more about the Wola Massacre here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wola_massacre. It’s not a pretty story, not a fun story, but it’s history.

The Germans hoped that their actions would break the will of the Polish Home Army and end the Warsaw uprising. If anything, it stiffened the resolve of the Poles who fought on nearly two more months, tying down countless armies of Germans. In the end, abandoned by her so-called allies (England and America), the Poles were left to themselves, slaughtered, abandoned, and handed over to Stalin, They were defeated in part by the allies they so brilliantly and fiercely supported during the war. War sucks, doesn’t it…..

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