September 1939

1 SEPTEMBER

Events

The German attack on Poland and the beginning of the Second World War. At 4.45 am, the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein began shelling Westerplatte, the Military Transit Depot in the Free City of Gdańsk, defended by a garrison (about 200 soldiers) under the command of Maj. Henryk Sucharski and Cpt. Franciszek Dąbrowski. For seven days, the Poles heroically repelled repeated German attacks from the sea, land and air, becoming a symbol of Polish resistance.

The defense of the Polish Post in Gdańsk (commanded by Konrad Guderski). The Poles surrender in the afternoon, when the mail building is set on fire. A month later they are shot by the Germans.

Operation "Tannenberg". The organized and planned German murder of civilians, especially the Polish elite in the western territories of the Republic of Poland, is carried out by the Selbstschutz (sabotage units recruited from members of German minority living in Poland) and security police (the so-called Einsatzgruppen).

The bombing of Wieluń. One of the first attacked towns is Wieluń, bombed by the Luftwaffe - the number of victims is estimated at around 1,200 civilians.

Photographs

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