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Exiled Polish Pows In German Hands


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#1 Mikel2

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 2035 PM

How did the Germans treat Polish POWs captured while fighting alongside the Western allies (such as in Italy)?


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#2 rmgill

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 2211 PM

I suspect many weren't easily captured given their dislike for the Germans.
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#3 JWB

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 1000 AM

Info is scant but it seems they were used as forced labor:

https://www.icrc.org...misc/57jnwv.htm


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#4 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 1014 AM

Well civilian labour was depriving them of their legitimacy as combatants, a clear difference from they they treated most western POW's. But as far as forced labour, ANY POW's taken by the Germans were used that way. My own Grandfather was impressed as force Labour on Polish farms. The only ones they didnt appeared to be Soviets or other slavs. From what little I heard from him, they kept they kept them in a big cage and starved them.


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#5 Markus Becker

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 1046 AM

The only ones they didnt appeared to be Soviets or other slavs. From what little I heard from him, they kept they kept them in a big cage and starved them.


Only at first but labour shortages changed that quickly. Soviet POW still got the worst treatment, unless they worked as farmhands which many did.
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#6 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 1112 AM

Yeah, im not sure what timeframe my Grandfather was talking about, and he didnt like to talk much about it. I THINK they were either Poles or Slavs of some description, because when I said 'Angliski', he changed the subject. Which of course mean's English in Polish and Russian. I only found out later from my Mother that he once described a big cage in the middle of the Allied Camp which held the 'other's, in appalling conditions I gather. I assume this was Stalag 15A where he stayed, but conceivably it was somewhere else.

 

As far as forced work, all allied prisoners (well non Officers anyway) captured by the Germans were forced to work. As I say, my grandfather worked on Polish farms, but the same camp seemingly had allied prisoners working in quarries. Which to my mind is getting very close to the kind of work we usually associate with forced labourers. No idea what conditions they were working in on that.


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#7 Mikel2

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 1121 AM

Info is scant but it seems they were used as forced labor:

https://www.icrc.org...misc/57jnwv.htm

 

Yes, but those were captured in 1939.  I was wondering about those who fled to the West and were captured at a later time while fighting alongside the US/Brits/etc.


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#8 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 1126 AM

I would think at the very least RAF personnel would be treated identically to the rest of them. Naval or Army? Thats a good question. Personally In those circumstances, I question whether the Germans would even take prisoners. The poles probably wouldnt.


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#9 Markus Becker

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 1146 AM

Were there enough opportunities for the germans to take Polish soldiers POW after 1940? From 42 onwards the Allies were on the offensive and the ones taking prisoners.

Did the Polish ground forces see considerable action between 40 and 42?
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#10 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 1246 PM

I cant think of many, other than the RAF Bomber Command and Fighter Command squadrons. The poles in the far east I dont think even made it out of the USSR till March 1942.

https://en.wikipedia...ki/Anders'_Army

 

Worth remembering this remarkable ship, and her equally remarkable sister ship 'Grom', lost off Norway in 1940.

https://en.wikipedia...ORP_BÅ‚yskawica


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 18 May 2019 - 1249 PM.

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#11 R011

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 1456 PM

I would suspect the Communist Polish army soldiers would be treated like other Red Army soldiers and those serving in the West treated like Western soldiers. The Home Army soldiers who capitulated at the end of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising were treated as POWs.
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#12 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 19 May 2019 - 0216 AM

Is there is a source for that? I always assumed they were shot at partisans.


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#13 Markus Becker

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Posted 19 May 2019 - 0546 AM

I read that too. They got POW status.
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#14 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 19 May 2019 - 0614 AM

Thats interesting. I guess by that point for a few senior officiers, they were thinking of the future. The writing was already on the wall.


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#15 Markus Becker

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Posted 19 May 2019 - 0806 AM

That and there were lots of German POW in western allied hands. And the Poles met the legal requirements for combatants.
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#16 R011

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Posted 19 May 2019 - 1018 AM

Thats interesting. I guess by that point for a few senior officiers, they were thinking of the future. The writing was already on the wall.


They negotiated a Polish surrender. Until that happened Home Army soldiers and other insurgents and civilians received the normal German COIN treatment.
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