Operation “Withdrawal”: the evacuation of selected groups of Poles from the Polish-German borderland in 1939 Cover Image

Akcja „wycofania”: Ewakuacja wybranych grup Polaków z polsko-niemieckiego obszaru przygranicznego w 1939 roku
Operation “Withdrawal”: the evacuation of selected groups of Poles from the Polish-German borderland in 1939

Author(s): Paweł Sękowski
Subject(s): Military history, Interwar Period (1920 - 1939), WW II and following years (1940 - 1949)
Published by: Oficyna Wydawnicza KA AFM
Keywords: evacuation of civilians; World War II; withdrawal plan; Polish-German border region; Silesia; Greater Poland; Pomerania

Summary/Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to analyse the preparation and implementation of the evacuation of selected groups of Polish civilians from the Polish-German borderland in 1939. During the interwar period, the outlines of a limited evacuation from selected parts of the voivodeships of Silesia, Pomerania and Poznan were completely subordinate to military objectives. Those outlines had been prepared since 1925 and modified at the end of the 1930s, in the last years before the war. The evacuation (“withdrawal”) concerned the staff of all government institutions, except for the staff of the Ministry of Justice and of certain institutions subordinate to the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Public Education. A voluntary evacuation was possible in the case of local administration officials and of the families of all evacuated officials. Until the German invasion of Poland, no outline of the evacuation of the whole civilian population had been prepared. The entire “operation withdrawal in the case of Z (West)” was prepared in haste and in such a way as not to provoke Germans. The instructions of evacuation and of the deployment of some categories of the population were inconsistent with the general transportation plans in the case of war. The “withdrawal” plan had no chance of being implemented within a few days of the outbreak of World War II.

  • Issue Year: XXVI/2017
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 207-228
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Polish