THE FORGOTTEN HOLOCAUST
"The world rightly knows about what happened to our Jewish brothers and
sisters, but it knows so little about us. We should not be forgotten."
Reverend Jan Januszewski
Hitlers plan to establish the supremacy of the Aryan race meant not only the elimination of
Jewish Poles, but also of Polish Christians, who were referred to by the Nazis as
Untermenschen, that is, subhuman. According to Himmler, Hitler ordered the killing
"without pity or mercy all men, women, and children of Polish descent or language... [in
order to] obtain the living space ..[the German nation needed]." Hitler's hatred for the
Polish people was so immense he intended to eliminate them from the face of the earth.
He declared, "It is essential that the great German people should consider it as its major
task to destroy all Poles.”
When Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, the first plan of action was to round up and execute the
Polish intelligentsia (Jews and Christians). Mass executions took place, the bodies later buried in mass graves.
The Nazi plan was to enslave the Polish nation by eradicating the Jews. Many of the men were subjected to
castration experiments and then sent to the gas chambers. Jews soon became the majority of interns there and
many other concentration camps, and were singled out for the harshest treatment and sentences. There were
over 2,000 concentration camps just in Poland.
While Poles were not herded into ghettos like the Jews, they were prisoners just the same. Central Poland was
called the Gouvernement General, by the Nazis, and was in reality one gigantic penal colony in which Poles were
routinely hunted down, rounded up and sent to concentration camps, or summarily executed for violating any
number of German "laws", or decrees.
The Polish people were systematically executed by the Nazis; 40 % of professors, 57% of lawyers, the majority of
journalists, and 20% of the Catholic clergy. All were subjected to the most sadistic treatment by the Nazis.
In Hitlers plan of Lebensraum, he de-Polonized the territory. Hundreds of thousands of Christian and Jewish Poles
were deported to central Poland where they were to be enslaved in the service of the German race. Over 110,000
Poles in Lublin were forced out of their homes to make room for incoming German settlers. Many Poles were
deported to Germany as slave labor for factories and farms.
The Germans outlawed all Polish education, closing down universities, and schools, leaving open only primary
schools of education. Even speaking Polish was forbidden. Also banned were Polish music, literature, and
museums. In the process of Germanization of the Polish nation, thousands of blond, blue-eyed Polish children
were forcibly taken away from their families and deported to Germany. They were given falsified birth certificates,
and placed with German families. Many of these children have never been found. The Germans confiscated Polish
property to finance their war efforts. Poles were subjected to such meager food rations that they were being
slowly starved to death. In order to survive many Poles obtained fake ration cards entitling them to more food than
was normally allotted to each person.
The Nazi principle of collective responsibility was meant to deter Polish resistance. For every German killed by a
Pole, there were at least a hundred Poles who were executed. The Germans, in their policy of pacification, wiped
out as many as 500 Polish villages. In Lublin, the entire village of Jozefow was completely eliminated because of
the murder of one German family there at the hands of the Poles.
Mention of the Holocaust conjures up horrible images of people being exterminated for no other reason than the
fact that they were of the Jewish faith. This has made the Holocaust a symbol of Jewish suffering to the exclusion
of the suffering of "other victims ", who were Polish Christians. Few people are aware that the Poles suffered as
greatly as the Jews under Nazi terror. To Hitler's twisted evil mind, Polish people, both Jews and Christians, were
to be eliminated.
It is true that 6,000,000 Jews were murdered by the Nazis. Of this total, 3,000,000 Jews were of Polish nationality
and the remainder deported to Poland from all parts of Europe. But unbeknowst by many people, there was
another 3,000,000 murdered who were of Polish ethnic descent. This tragedy is made more painful for the
survivors of Polish victims because the world refuses to hear the truth. We cannot forget the 3,000.000 Poles
who suffered and died in unimaginable agony.
We must recognize and acknowledge that Polish Christians were also victims of the Holocaust. To deny this, or
ignore it would be the greatest tragedy of mankind.
We must never forget.