The vast majority of Germans do not know what the Slaughter of Wola and other German crimes committed on Poles were. They do not know that their fathers and grandfathers were murderers, monsters in human skin. They do not know the true course of the German occupation of Poland. They do not understand the responsibility of their nation for the tragedy of Poles.
What will we do?
We will send the book The Wola Massacre. Crime Unsettled by Piotr Gursztyn to German schools. At the beginning, we want them to be delivered to educational institutions in Schleswig-Holstein. There, in the town of Westerland on the island of Sylt, the executioner of Wola – Heinz Reinefarth – lived after World War II. Our primary goal is for the Germans, who know Reienefarth as the mayor of Westerland and a sympathetic lawyer, to find out who he really was: a murderer of Polish women and children. If successful, we will continue to deliver The Wola Massacre. Crime Unsettled translated into German to schools and libraries across Germany.
The book by Piotr Gursztyn, a historian and journalist associated with many Polish media, is a reliable and exhaustive study which presents in an accessible way the crimes against the civilian population of Warsaw in the first days of the Uprising. German teachers, students, their parents and grandparents should read it. We will do everything to make this happen and that our action will bring about a wide discussion in Germany about the destruction of Warsaw and the suffering of Poles.
Why are we doing this?
Public opinion polls show that Germans do not know what their fathers and grandfathers were doing in Poland in 1939-1945. They don’t know because of Germany’s historical policy shifting responsibility towards non-national “Nazis” and deliberately omitting the occupation of our country.
The tangible proof of the systemic character of the suppression of the social responsibility of Germany for the unimaginable crimes committed by this nation in Poland are the local school textbooks. Finding there information about the scale of terror used against Poles by the German occupiers is practically impossible. There exist textbooks where there is more information on the “authoritarian rule of Sanation” in pre-war Poland than the destruction of our Homeland by the Germans.
How can you help?
In order to buy the right number of German-language editions of The Wola Massacre, deliver them to German schools and publicise our action in Germany, we need money. Our Foundation does not receive support from the state or public institutions in any form. It is a conscious decision that gives us full independence of action. We believe in the power of social mobilisation and the strength of Polish hearts. We are convinced that we will be able to collect the right amount from donations of individuals. Every zloty counts and we thank you for it. We will also be grateful for your comments regarding the campaign as well as help in publicising it. The more Poles join, the more Germans will know the truth.
In the first stage, we need to collect 100,000. zlotys. This will allow the purchase of the books, their shipment and promotional activities.
We invite you to financially support the campaign.
What was the Wola Massacre?
The Wola massacre was the largest single crime committed against the civilian population during World War II in Europe. According to various sources, on August 5-7, 1944, the Germans murdered from approximately 30,000 to 60,000 inhabitants of the Wola district of Warsaw. Women and children, men in their prime and the elderly were shot. German soldiers and commanders complained in reports to their superiors that they could not kill as many Poles as they wanted because they lacked ammunition.
Who was Heinz Reinefarth?
Heinz Reinefarth was a German military serviceman, member of the NSDAP, SS-Gruppenfuhrer and general
of the Waffen SS. He commanded the pacification
of Warsaw’s Wola. He is also responsible for numerous other war crimes committed by the Germans during the Warsaw Uprising.
After the Second World War, instead of being hanged
or imprisoned, Heinz Reinefarth found himself on the island
of Sylt. In 1951, just 7 years after he ordered the killing
of civilians in Warsaw, he became mayor of the city
of Westerland. Reinefarth held this position until 1967.
At the same time, from 1958 he was a member of the state parliament of Schleswig-Holstein.
Reinefarth has never been held responsible for the crimes committed in Poland.