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0 The beginning of the second world war

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  • 21-11-2020
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On September 1, 1939, Adolf Hitler announced the invasion of Poland after regular soldiers from this country had allegedly attacked German territory. In reality, it was all a Nazi hoax to justify the invasion of the neighboring country.
Josep Gavaldà

 

Like almost all wars, World War II began with a lie. In the words of Adolf Hitler himself on September 1, 1939 in front of the German Reichstag: "Tonight, regular Polish soldiers fired on our territory for the first time." At the end of the First World War and after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, the The 20th century will witness the rise in Europe of totalitarian regimes such as Fascism in Italy or Nazism in Germany.

The victors of the contest, Great Britain, France and E.E. The USA, were the great beneficiaries of the conditions imposed in the Paris Conference of 1919. However, Germany firmly believed in the theory of "living space" (Lebensraum) created by the German geographer Friedrich Ratzel, and which consisted of annexation of territories with the ultimate purpose of achieving the development of a country, in this case, of German-speaking territories located in other countries. Hitler combined part of this idea with his peculiar racist conceptions, which had, in turn, a social and cultural background. The conquest of this vital space guided the efforts of the führer to give its particular meaning to the war that would break out in September 1939.

 

AGAINST THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES
Thus, after his seizure of power in 1933, Adolf Hitler withdrew Germany from the League of Nations and the Conference on Disarmament. In January 1935, the League of Nations held a plebiscite in the Saarland, a territory that had once belonged to Germany and was now administered by this international body, on its possible reincorporation to the German country. In the midst of intense agitation, on January 13, 1935, with a favorable vote of 90.73%, the Saar was reincorporated to Germany on the 17th of the same month. Two months later, in March 1935, Hitler rejected the clauses of the Treaty of Versailles, which were intended to keep Germany disarmed, and despite the agreements reached at Locarno in 1926 by which Germany, France, Belgium, Great Britain and Italy sought to guarantee maintaining peace in Western Europe, he openly reconstituted the German army and on March 7, 1936 occupied the Rhineland, supposedly a demilitarized zone. In France there was talk of acting, but the French Government was divided on the matter and was not willing to do it without the support of England; and the English did not want to risk a war to prevent German troops from occupying what they considered German soil. In 1937, Hitler demanded for Germany the annexation of the free city of Danzig (Gdansk in Polish), which the Treaty of Versailles had placed under the protection of the League of Nations, and also extraterritorial rail access through the "Polish corridor", the border of Poland with East Prussia. In 1938, German forces entered Austria - before the enthusiastic reception of the population -, consummating the political union of Germany and Austria, the so-called Anschluss. In September 1938 it was Czechoslovakia's turn with the crisis in the Sudeten region, which was also annexed by Germany.

The request of the Sudetenland on the part of Germany and the request of aid on the part of the Czech Government to France and England provoked the celebration in September 1938 of the Munich Conference to decide not only the fate of Czechoslovakia, but also that of the whole of Europe. . Chamberlain, Daladier, Mussolini and Hitler met, and the German occupation of Czechoslovakia was accepted only in the German-speaking areas. They naively believed that Hitler would fulfill his commitment and not invade other countries. They thought that the Conference had ensured "peace for our century", but it barely lasted a year.

At the Munich Conference, the European powers accepted the German occupation of the German-speaking areas of Czechoslovakia and trusted Hitler's promise not to invade other countries.

THE "OPERATION HIMMLER"
It all started on August 31, 1939 in the framework of "Operation Himmler", when half a dozen members of the SS, pretending to be rioters, broke into the radio station in Gleiwitz, a region of Upper Silesia, shooting into the air. The assailants reduced the three employees and a policeman who were there at the time and launched violent proclamations against the Führer and the Third Reich - they were the same men who had started sabotage campaigns a year earlier when they planted a bomb in the railway station. from Tarnow, Poland. The command connected a microphone to allow an interpreter to deliver patriotic and anti-German slogans in Polish. One of them said: "Attention! This is Gleiwitz. The station is in Polish hands."

To make the scene even more credible they brought a Polish nationalist who had been arrested a day earlier by the SS, named Franz Honiok, a 43-year-old farmer who was selected after having participated in some revolt. They dragged him there completely drugged and, as soon as he arrived, they shot him in the door, leaving his body in full view of everyone. To avoid confusion, they had dressed him in a Polish army uniform that they had previously stolen. The SS only spent 15 minutes on the station and due to a technical failure only part of the speech was broadcast. Although the part of the speech that was broadcast did not announce the false invasion of Germany, it was enough for Hitler to find his desired casus belli. Then Franz Honiok's body was brought up to the broadcasting room to take the photos that would be published in the newspapers.

On August 31, 1939, half a dozen members of the SS pretended to be Polish rioters who took over the Gleiwitz radio station, launching proclamations against Hitler and the Third Reich.

The invasion of Poland had already been announced days before by Adolf Hitler in a speech addressed to the top of the German army in which he made his intentions very clear: "Annihilate Poland in the first place. Have no mercy. Act brutally." Finally, on the morning of September 1, 1939, and with the justification of the events that occurred the day before, German soldiers prepared in advance advanced towards Poland through different border points. Hitler had wanted to start the war against Poland for a long time, what he did not foresee is that, in a matter of a few days, Great Britain and France would take the Polish side: the Second World War had begun.

 

 

 


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