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On August 23, 1939 Hitler achieved yet another successful diplomatic move by concluding a pact with the Soviet Union. Eastern Europe was divided into Soviet and German spheres of influence. As a result Poland was divided in two. Eight days later Hitler invaded Poland.

The first attack on Poland by the Germans came on day break of September 1, 1939. German armies gave the Polish, both soldiers and civilians alike, the firs taste of sudden death and destruction from the skies ever experienced on any great scale on the earth in what is known as a battle between horses and tanks.

The German armies poured across Polish frontier and converged Warsaw from north, south, and west. The German warplanes targeted the Polish troops, columns, bridges, ammunition dumps, railroads, and open cities. Within two days of the September 1st German attack on Poland, France and Britain declared war with Germany.

Hitler invaded Poland not to recoup the losses imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles of 1919, but to create a living space for what he called his "master race" which would dominate continental Europe and destroy its enemies.

The major difference between occupation policy in Poland and that in Western Europe was the prominent role played by the SS in Poland. Special SS "task forces" were attached to Germany army units. These "task forces" were used to eliminate actual and potential Polish leaders; including intelligentsia, army officers, nobility, and the clergy. Poles under the German control were to form a docile class of manual laborers for unskilled work. Polish children of "good blood", on the other hand, were to be sent to Germany and be educated. Any sign of disagreement among the Poles was countered with noticeable brutality.

Hitler had executed his first military maneuver and the assimilation of a culture with deadly precision.

By Molly "The Donkey" Sparkman