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1939: The War Against The Jews
 pg. 174 
A Polish cleric is detained for questioning by members of the German Security Service (SD). These security forces were commanded by Reinhard Heydrich, the right-hand man of Heinrich Himmler. The SD was a crucial instrument of the German occupational forces, and was especially active in the campaigns against the Jews. Once the German military had defeated the enemy, members of the SD and other branches of the German SS went into action. Members of the SD tended to be fanatically in tune with the ideals of National Socialism.
Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
Inmates at the Stutthof concentration camp in Danzig, Poland, line up for food. Designed to house "civilian prisoners of war," the Stutthof camp was populated by Jews and other opponents of the Nazi regime. As the German military campaigns moved eastward and more concentration camps were built, the Nazis employed the methods that they had perfected in Germany during the preceding six years. Prisoners were collected, shipped to selected sites, and forced to build the camps' infrastructures.
Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
Hans Frank

Vanquished Poland became the testing ground for the "Final Solution." There, the Nazis practiced and perfected their extermination methods under Hans Frank, governor-general of Occupied Poland.

Frank, the former Nazi minister of justice, proclaimed Poland a colony and its people the "slaves of the German Reich." He in turn annihilated the Polish aristocracy, military and political leaders, priests, and intelligentsia. He robbed art treasures, exploited material resources, and forced tens of thousands into slave labor. As people suffered, Frank lived ostentatiously in the royal palace in Kraków.

However, Frank's power steadily eroded in jurisdictional disputes with the SS. Frustrated by the dumping of Jews into his territory, he lamented the difficulty of "shooting or poisoning three and a half million Jews," but pledged to "take measures" which would "lead, somehow, to their annihilation." Six million perished during the Nazi seizure and occupation of Poland; more than half were Jews. In 1946 Frank was executed as a war criminal.
Photo: Lena Fagen, courtesy of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive

 October 1939: Hitler orders that selected physicians be authorized to administer "mercy deaths"--euthanasia--to incurably ill or undesirable German citizens. No legal justification for the killings is necessary.
 October 1, 1939: The Polish government-in-exile is formed in France. When hostilities escalate, the government will move to London.
 October 4, 1939: A triumphant Hitler tours Warsaw, Poland.
 October 6, 1939: In an address to the Reichstag, Hitler offers peace to England and France, but only if Germany's former colonies are returned, Germany is allowed to join world trade, and Britain and France allow Germany to solve the "Jewish problem."
1939: The War Against The Jews
 pg. 174 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.