By Wilfried Heink
The last two chapters of Verbrechen der Sieger are titled “Polen” (Poland) and “Tschechoslowakei” (Czechoslovakia).
Poland was defeated and therefore did not have any legitimate armed forces and as a consequence not able to capture “Prisoners of War”. About 800,000 German POWs were concentrated in the area of East/Germany-Poland, among them 7,500 POWs discharged by Americans and delivered to the Poles (p.342). Nobody knows how many Germans were given to the Poles by the Russians, for one because both the Russians as well as the Poles refuse to allow access to the archives. And two, because the Poles did not label their camps ‘POW camps’ but ‘work camps’, and with this managing to get around the bothersome legalities concerning Prisoners of War. These camps also housed civilians, impossible therefore to come up with precise POW numbers. The closes estimate is 70,000; employed in a variety of slave labor positions, from mines to farm work (pp.228/39).