On the 79th anniversary of the Wola Massacre, perpetrated by nazi Germany

Mateusz Morawiecki's message about one of the most gruesome massacres of WWII

The history of Poland in World War II is a read not suitable for sensitive stomachs, especially in certain chapters.

Wanda Lurie: the Polish Catholic whose baby was born after surviving a nazi execution
Warsaw 1944: when Poland rose against the Third Reich ... and Stalin stand idly by

The atrocities committed by the Germans and the Soviets after the joint invasion of Poland in 1939 seem like a portrait of the darkest corners of the human soul. The evil that was embodied in those crimes has its maximum expression in the Holocaust, the planned extermination of millions of people for being Jews, Poles, Gypsies, Jehovah's Witnesses and members of other minorities. There are also much less well-known crimes of genocide outside Poland. One of the worst was committed by the Germans in Warsaw now 79 years ago: the Wola Massacre, initiated by the Germans on August 5, 1944, four days after the start of the Warsaw Uprising.

Two years ago I told you here the story of Wanda Lurie, one of the victims of that massacre. This woman was pregnant when the occupants machine-gunned her and her young children. She miraculously survived. I had to summarize her testimony a lot about what happened in that massacre, because some would have been dizzy and nauseated to know everything that this brave woman recounted to accuse the nazi war criminals.

The Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, posted a lengthy message on Twitter today in which he talks about this massacre. I warn that some parts of his message may hurt sensitivity, but you have to read it, because what he recounts are historical facts that we should never forget, to prevent things like this from repeating themselves.


"When I think of the Warsaw Uprising, in its early days, horrible images come to mind. They are images of streets, squares, parks, cemeteries, backyards of the Wola neighborhood of Warsaw, where, thanks to the German barbarians, heaps of corpses of those murdered were piled up, which according to witnesses they were 2 meters high and 30 meters long.

On August 5, the German executioners unleashed a veritable pandemonium in Wola. They murdered everyone: captured insurgents, women, children, the elderly. They murdered with extreme brutality. They killed with shots to the back of the neck, bursts of machine guns, stabbed with bayonets, buried people alive, smashed the heads of babies, and threw children and their mothers into burning buildings.

Every time I am in Wola, I feel a painful tremor in my heart. Decades have passed and the demonic horror of those August days hangs in the air at the places of execution. According to witnesses, the massacre was so terrible that the German soldiers who witnessed it reported cases of nervous breakdown.

Thousands of brutally murdered inhabitants of Wola, our compatriots, call us from the depths of these 79 years to remember, but also to reparation. The Wola massacre was an unbridled eruption of German hatred of the Poles. This hatred and its heaven-screaming vengeance are the most important items on our list of reparation demands. The murder of 50,000 innocent Poles in Wola cannot be explained by the fact that it was allegedly the result of insubordination by "dubious elements" of collaborationist and criminal units of the Dirlewanger regiment.

I do not accept such translations.

The perpetrators of this unimaginable crime were Germans. Its commander, SS-Gruppenführer Heinz Reinefarth, lived to a respectable age as mayor of the city of Westerland, working as a respected lawyer. I do not agree with this course of events, I do not agree with this injustice. How could a man responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent Warsawians be allowed to enjoy la dolce vita in long-term peace?

The people of Wola killed by the Germans are our national heroes. They deserve an everlasting memory. And their descendants ultimately deserve fair compensation."


Photo: Mateusz Morawiecki.

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