Aug23 1939: #GermanReich & #USSR entered into a non-aggression pact, signed by J. #Ribbentrop & V. #Molotov
The treaty had a secret protocol on the division of sovereign states of 🇪🇪 🇫🇮 🇱🇹 🇱🇻 🇵🇱 and 🇷🇴
In Sept1939 both states attacked 🇵🇱,starting #WWII.

#80WW2 #BlackRibbonDay
1939: On 1 Sept, Germany attacked Poland. The German battleship Schleswig-Holstein shelling a 🇵🇱 base on the Westerplatte peninsula fired the opening shots of WWII.

On 17 Sept, Red Army invaded 🇵🇱, as set out in the secret protocol of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.

Sept1-Oct6 1939: During the Poland campaign, battles were fought against the aggressors, #GermanReich & #USSR.

The campaign's largest clash was Battle of the #Bzura, an offensive maneuver at the rear of the #German troops heading toward #Warsaw without almost any cover.

The blitz tactics allowed the #GermanReich to control most of Europe and North Africa by 1942.

In response to 🇯🇵 attack on #PearlHarbor, 🇺🇸 joined the war.

Among 🇺🇸 recruits was Kazimierz Lenard, a 🇵🇱 American, engaged in combat duty all the way from Africa to 🇫🇷.

@PolishEmbassyUS @USEmbassyWarsaw @USAmbPoland @AmbWilczek @PLinChicago @PLinLosAngeles @PLinNewYork @PLInst_NewYork Over 60 mln people, i.e. 3% of 🌍's population, lost lives in WWII.

On Sept 1, a 4-year-old Wanda Saganowska, killed in Wielun, was 1 of WWII’s 1st civilian victims.

Konstanty Jezierski, a Pole killed at Westerplatte, was presumably the 1st soldier killed in battle.

@PolishEmbassyUS @USEmbassyWarsaw @USAmbPoland @AmbWilczek @PLinChicago @PLinLosAngeles @PLinNewYork @PLInst_NewYork Sept 7-10, 1939: One of the Poland campaign battles, fought near #Wizna, gained the name of the Polish Thermopylae.

For each 🇵🇱 soldier there were ca. 40 German troopers. Poles fought bravely until the end, holding German troops for two days as they marched for Brzesc.

@PolishEmbassyUS @USEmbassyWarsaw @USAmbPoland @AmbWilczek @PLinChicago @PLinLosAngeles @PLinNewYork @PLInst_NewYork #OTD September 3, 1939: #France & #GreatBritain, bound by alliance treaties with #Poland, declared war on the #GermanReich.

Declaring the war did not lead to actual military action by 🇫🇷 & 🇬🇧. Poland continued the lone fight against the invader.

@PolishEmbassyUS @USEmbassyWarsaw @USAmbPoland @AmbWilczek @PLinChicago @PLinLosAngeles @PLinNewYork @PLInst_NewYork 1939: The German total war on Poland 🇵🇱.

Germans aimed not only to defeat the Polish army and to occupy the country, but also to exterminate its people. From September 1 to October 25 alone, Germans carried out 700 mass executions, killing over 16,000 people.

@PolishEmbassyUS @USEmbassyWarsaw @USAmbPoland @AmbWilczek @PLinChicago @PLinLosAngeles @PLinNewYork @PLInst_NewYork Starving people: Germans imposed an obligation on Polish farmers to supply food. If they did not comply, they were killed. In cities, food was rationed and rations were three times below the necessary norms.

As a result, famine and infectious diseases spread rapidly.

@PolishEmbassyUS @USEmbassyWarsaw @USAmbPoland @AmbWilczek @PLinChicago @PLinLosAngeles @PLinNewYork @PLInst_NewYork 1939: As a result of the occupation of the whole territory of Poland 🇵🇱, Polish authorities were forced to leave the country.

The government in exile was based in Paris, then Angers, and since 1940 in London.

@PolishEmbassyUS @USEmbassyWarsaw @USAmbPoland @AmbWilczek @PLinChicago @PLinLosAngeles @PLinNewYork @PLInst_NewYork The Polish Underground State - the first underground units & resistance organizations were set up in September 1939. They formed the Home Army of about 380,000 soldiers.

@PolishEmbassyUS @USEmbassyWarsaw @USAmbPoland @AmbWilczek @PLinChicago @PLinLosAngeles @PLinNewYork @PLInst_NewYork Sept 2, 1939: construction started in #Stutthof of the first and longest-operating Nazi German concentration camp on the territory of today's Poland.

About 65,000 people lost their lives in KL Stutthof.

@PolishEmbassyUS @USEmbassyWarsaw @USAmbPoland @AmbWilczek @PLinChicago @PLinLosAngeles @PLinNewYork @PLInst_NewYork 1939-45: Hundreds of thousands of Poles were held captive by Germans in concentration camps. They were forced to do slave labor before they died. The hardest conditions were in Mauthausen-Gusen camp.

It became the largest extermination site of the Polish intelligentsia.

@PolishEmbassyUS @USEmbassyWarsaw @USAmbPoland @AmbWilczek @PLinChicago @PLinLosAngeles @PLinNewYork @PLInst_NewYork @AuschwitzMuseum Germans abolished Polish secondary schools and universities, banned the teaching of history, literature and geography.

📚Many Polish teachers organized secret classes in their homes. The secret education was supervised by the Polish Underground State.

@PolishEmbassyUS @USEmbassyWarsaw @USAmbPoland @AmbWilczek @PLinChicago @PLinLosAngeles @PLinNewYork @PLInst_NewYork @AuschwitzMuseum 1939-40: The Tannenberg operations - the German extermination actions against the Polish 🇵🇱 intelligentsia included mass murders. Within a few months in the Pomerania region alone Germans killed several thousand people.

@PolishEmbassyUS @USEmbassyWarsaw @USAmbPoland @AmbWilczek @PLinChicago @PLinLosAngeles @PLinNewYork @PLInst_NewYork @AuschwitzMuseum 1944: the Warsaw Rising.

The Uprising that broke out in Warsaw on August 1 was the biggest freedom surge in the history of #WWII.

Nearly 50,000 of the Home Army insurgents faced the might of Germans occupying the Polish 🇵🇱 capital since 1939.

@PolishEmbassyUS @USEmbassyWarsaw @USAmbPoland @AmbWilczek @PLinChicago @PLinLosAngeles @PLinNewYork @PLInst_NewYork @AuschwitzMuseum Aug 5-7, 1944: The Wola Massacre

During the Warsaw Rising, Germans murdered from 30,000 to 60,000 🇵🇱 civilians, including women & children in the Wola district of Warsaw.

🕯️The Wola Massacre is one of the most heinous of German crimes on Polish lands under occupation.

@PolishEmbassyUS @USEmbassyWarsaw @USAmbPoland @AmbWilczek @PLinChicago @PLinLosAngeles @PLinNewYork @PLInst_NewYork @AuschwitzMuseum 1939-45: German crimes in Poland were aimed at total annihilation of Jews, extermination of 🇵🇱 elites & gradual destruction of Polish nation.

Many Poles helped Jews despite the tragic situation. 🇵🇱 was the only country where Germans made helping Jews punishable by death.

@PolishEmbassyUS @USEmbassyWarsaw @USAmbPoland @AmbWilczek @PLinChicago @PLinLosAngeles @PLinNewYork @PLInst_NewYork @AuschwitzMuseum 1942: Zofia Kossak-Szczucka set up the Provisional Committee to Aid Jews.

A few months later 🇵🇱 the Underground State founded the Polish Council to Aid Jews, aka "Żegota".

By Aug 1944, various forms of help reached up to 50,000 Jews within the General Governorate.

@PolishEmbassyUS @USEmbassyWarsaw @USAmbPoland @AmbWilczek @PLinChicago @PLinLosAngeles @PLinNewYork @PLInst_NewYork @AuschwitzMuseum 1939-45: The German policy was aimed at total annihilation of Jews in Europe.✡️

⚫️Jews were locked in ghettos and camps.
⚫️From 1941 onward, Germans built camps for immediate extermination.
⚫️During #WWII Germans murdered 6 million Jews, including 3 million 🇵🇱 citizens.

@PolishEmbassyUS @USEmbassyWarsaw @USAmbPoland @AmbWilczek @PLinChicago @PLinLosAngeles @PLinNewYork @PLInst_NewYork @AuschwitzMuseum 1939-45: Many Poles helped Jews despite the threat of death penalty.

▶️The Ulmas sheltered 8 Jews for which the family was murdered: Józef, his pregnant wife & 6 children.

▶️Irena Sendler & her organization saved ca. 2,500 ✡ children whom she helped escape the ghetto.

Polish diplomats saved Jews #WWII

➡️Raczyński's note - 1st official report on the #Holocaust

➡️#ŁadośGroup - 8,000-10,000 Jews obtained false passports, a few thousand escaped the Holocaust

➡️Tadeusz Romer provided assistance to 🇵🇱 Jews in Japan & China.

📢 Since 1940, Jan Karski informed the 🇬🇧 & 🇺🇸 governments about the German crimes committed against Jews in occupied Poland.

➡️As a political emissary, he infiltrated the Warsaw Ghetto.
➡️He alarmed the Allies about the Holocaust.

🌳Righteous Among the Nations.

In 1932, 🇵🇱 mathematicians Marian Rejewski, Henryk Zygalski & Jerzy Różycki broke the #Enigma ciphers.

They passed the results of their work to the Allies before the outbreak of WWII. They continued their work until 1945 breaking codes in France 🇫🇷 and then in 🇬🇧.

1939-45: The Polish 🇵🇱 AP radio stations proved successful for clandestine activity. 📻

One of the best was the AP5 radio station designed by engineer Tadeusz Heftman & manufactured in the UK. Germans found it very hard to track. It was shock-resistant and easy to hide.

1939: CPL Piotr Konieczka – 🇵🇱 soldier who defended the 🇵🇱 Customs Office from German saboteurs.

He was killed on Sep 1, 1939 just hours before German battleship fired opening shots of #WWII at Westerplatte.

CPL Konieczka was laid to rest in Śmiłowo, Greater Poland.

1941-42: The Polish 🇵🇱 mine detector was the first reliable device of its type.

☑️ In proving-ground tests, the design performed better than other available devices. It was immediately put into production and was widely used by the Allies until the end of the war.

After 1939, Poles 🇵🇱 fought within the Allied powers, e.g in the Polish Armed Forces in the West.

In 1940, Polish 🇵🇱 troops defended Norway 🇳🇴, France 🇫🇷 and the UK 🇬🇧. Later, 🇵🇱 soldiers fought to free the occupied countries.

1940: Poles 🇵🇱 fought bravely in the Battle of Britain. 🛩️

The German air strike on Great Britain 🇬🇧 was to be followed by a landing operation.

✅🇵🇱 pilots distinguished themselves in the battle. As many as 12% of the Luftwaffe aircraft were shot down by Polish airmen

1941: Gen. Anders formed 🇵🇱 army in #USSR.

After Germans attacked #USSR, Soviets allowed for 🇵🇱 army to be formed.

Ca. 80,000 inmates released from Soviets labor camps joined its ranks. Gen. Anders led them through the Middle East to the victorious Italian Campaign.

🇵🇱 soldiers led by Gen. Anders captured Monte Cassino on May 18, 1944.

➡️Monte Cassino was a key location on German defense line in Italy.

➡️Different Allied troops made several attack attempts.

✅The hill was eventually taken by the 🇵🇱 II Corps after heavy fighting.

Polish 🇵🇱 war hero General Stanisław Maczek was the commander of the 1st Armored Division.

🌷As a token of gratitude for the liberation of the Netherlands from German occupation, he was awarded honorary citizenship of Breda 🇳🇱.

1939-45: Millions of 🇵🇱 soldiers fought in #WWII at home & at the frontlines:

⚫️1939 battles: 1,000,000
⚫️Underground: 400,000
⚫️1939-40 in Western Europe: 85,000
⚫️Polish Army in USSR: 180,000
⚫️Warsaw Uprising: 45,000
⚫️Polish Armed Forces in the West 1940-45: 219,000

1939-45: About 6 million Polish 🇵🇱 citizens lost their lives in World War II.

Among them:
🔸5,700,000 civilians, incl.:
✡️3,000,000 Polish Jews.

300,000 🇵🇱 soldiers were killed in battle.

We remember 🕯️

Polish 🇵🇱 #WWII intelligence was vital for the Allies - e.g. it provided information on the German Wunderwaffe: the V1 and V2 rockets.

This information made it possible for the Allies to bomb the German production plant at Peenemünde.


Witold Pilecki, a HA soldier, infiltrated Auschwitz from 1940 to get intelligence. Set up a conspiracy & reported the genocide. After #WWII stayed underground for which he was killed by Communists.


Sept 17, 1939: USSR attacked Poland 🇵🇱.

❌Red Army crossed the 🇵🇱 border violating the non-aggression pact of 1932.

❌When 🇵🇱 was attacked, the Polish government still remained in the country.

❌Soviet aggression was followed by acts of terror against Polish civilians.

1939-45: USSR occupied parts of Polish 🇵🇱 lands.

⚫️Thousands of 🇵🇱 were thrown in prisons or held captive in labor camps, often tortured.

⚫️From 1940 on, masses of Poles were sent far into the USSR.

1940-41: Soviets deported 320,000 🇵🇱 citizens to Siberia & Kazakhstan.

1940: NKVD perpetrated the Katyn massacre killing about 22,000 Polish 🇵🇱 citizens.

⚫️Among the victims were 10,000 officers - POWs.

⚫️Soviet political police killed Poles with shots in the back of the head.

Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Ministry of Foreign Affairs 🇵🇱
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!