3400 W. Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018
For Immediate Release:
2023 Historical Essay Competition of the Polonia Institute
First Prize – $3,000
Sponsored by the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland
May 20, 2023
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA:
Polonia Institute announces 2023 Historical Essay Competition on the German extermination of ethnic Poles during WWII.
I have placed my death-head formations in readiness – for the present only in the East – with orders to them to send to death, mercilessly and without compassion, men, woman, and children of Polish derivation and language.
August 22, 1939
On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. Within two months, the Germans destroyed 434 Polish villages and several hundred Polish towns, devastated Warsaw, and launched the Extraordinary Pacification Action called Action AB, in which at least 6,500 people were murdered.
For 55 days, from September 1 to October 26, Wehrmacht participated in 311 mass executions of Polish civilians and soldiers of the Polish Army. Thousands of other mass murders of ethnic Poles were carried out by units of the German Selbstschutz and Volksdeutsche militias as well as police units and SD Operational Groups. In total German invaders carried out at least 764 mass executions during this period, killing at least 24,000 Polish people.
After combat had ended, unlawful acts were taking place on a massive scale in violation of international law and norms and without military necessity. Taking and shooting hostages in towns occupied by the Wehrmacht and Einsatzkommandos, setting houses on fire, and expelling the local population were regular occurrences.
Mass Extermination of Ethnic Poles
During the entire occupation of Poland between 1939 and 1944, the Germans regularly carried out round-ups on the streets of Polish cities, in trains, or even at schools, and deported Polish civilians en masse to concentration camps or slave labor camps. Throughout occupied Poland, Germans built many concentration camps to exterminate the local Polish population. Frequently, the Polish people were arrested and murdered based on proscription lists prepared by the German minority in Poland. Starvation rates for food were introduced for ethnic Poles to exterminate the Polish population biologically.
About 100,000 people were murdered in a “political cleaning-up” operation code-named “Tannenberg.” It was the first such planned extermination operation carried out with great precision and determination during World War II. According to Alexander Rossino “the unlimited, almost nihilistic violence of the Wehrmacht” emerges first in these initial weeks of the Polish campaign… The invasion of Poland thus occupies a crucial place in the history of Nazi Germany’s descent into mass murder and genocide.”
While in Eastern Poland ethnic Poles were exterminated by NKVD or deported to Siberia, in Western Poland the civilian population of ethnic Poles was exterminated in Gestapo prisons, in street executions, or in death, concentration, or labor camps.
Throughout the Second World War, which lasted 2076 days, Germany murdered, on average, about 3,000 Polish citizens every day, which is more than the total number of all people killed in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center – every day for 2076 days!
On the day of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising on August 1, 1944, Hitler ordered Himmler to raze Warsaw to the ground and murder all the inhabitants. According to SS-Obergruppenführer Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski, this was the order:
EVERY INHABITANT OF WARSAW MUST BE KILLED.
NO PRISONERS MUST BE TAKEN.
WARSAW IS TO BE RAZED TO THE GROUND.
After the fall of the Warsaw Uprising, the Reichsführer-SS Himmler ordered on October 9, 1944, the complete destruction of Warsaw. The order was as follows:
THIS CITY IS TO COMPLETELY DISAPPEAR FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH… STONE UPON STONE SHOULD NOT REMAIN. ALL BUILDINGS MUST BE DEMOLISHED DOWN TO THEIR FOUNDATIONS.
During the war, Poland lost from German hand 39% of its doctors, 33% of its teachers, 30% of its academic faculty, including 700 professors, 28% of its priests, and 26% of lawyers. Germans kidnapped over 200,000 young Polish children and shipped them to Germany for Germanization. Material damage and non-material losses caused by Germany to Poland in WWII amounted to 6 trillion 220 billion 609 million Polish zlotys. To this day, Germany has not compensated Poland for these losses and has not educated its people about the crimes committed by Germans against ethnic Poles in WWII.
In your essay, please analyze the following issues: 1) German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, 2) Action A-B, 3) Operation Tannenberg, 4) ethnic Poles in KL Stutthof, 5) ethnic Poles in KL Auschwitz, 6) Polish priests in KL Dachau, 7) Polish women in KL Ravensbrück, 8) Polish men in KL Mauthausen-Gusen, 9) Polish children in KZ Litzmannstadt in Lódź, 10) Operation Zamość, 11) 1944 Wola genocide, 12) lesson for today. Please reach out to the sources of the Polish Institute of National Remembrance here: https://ipn.gov.pl/en. Do not use references to Wikipedia.
The essay shall reflect the contestant’s own research and original thinking.
The paper shall not exceed 15 typed pages (including bibliography), shall be typed in 12-point font, double-spaced with 1” margins; pages shall be numbered. The essay shall be submitted in the English language. All entries become the property of the Polonia Institute.
The 2023 Essay Competition on the History of Poland is open to adults at least 18 years and older as of October 15, 2023. Proof of age is required. A copy of a valid document showing the date of birth is acceptable.
Deadline: October 15, 2023. Results will be announced on or about November 11, 2023.
Awards: First Prize is $3,000. Additional monetary awards may be offered.
Additional essays may be considered for recognition and publication. Polonia Institute reserves the right to publish selected essays and/or excerpts of selected essays in future publications, newsletters, and other materials.
Procedure: The Application Form can be found here.
Email your essay with the Application Form and proof of age to:
with cc to:
For more information, send an email to: email@example.com
Polonia Institute, Inc.
2023 Historical Essay Scholarship Competition
First Name ____________________________________________________
Last Name: ____________________________________________________
School or University: _______________________________________________
Title of the Essay: _________________________________________________
Number of Pages: _________________________________________________