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History of Warsaw's contributions levied by the German Occupation Authority during the Second World War
by Tomasz Sluszkiewicz.
POLSKI - POLISH
A contribution is a monetary penalty to be paid by civilians to the Occupied Authority.
The city of Warsaw has a long history of such experiences. It started in 1656 by the Swedish Army; then in 1709 King August II levied a city for supporting King Stanislaw Leszczynski. Extensive contributions were laid by the German Occupied Authority during World War II. The first one laid on the Jewish population was in October, the second in November 1939. Both were paid by Warsaw's Jewish Community.
The three contributions laid on the Polish inhabitants of Warsaw were obligatory; on payment each person received a contribution certificate. It was a receipt for the fine paid; however, they looked similar to emergency money. Below is a short history of incidents, which most probably caused contributions to be levied.
1) The contribution 1.000.000 zl, October 31, 1942(photo 1)
- October 8, seven AK(Home Army) sapper's patrols blew up all railways around Warsaw and derailed several trains.
- October 15, Germans executed 39 Poles and hung 50 "hostages" all over the city.
- October 24, in revenge, GL(Peoples Guard) threw hand-grenades at German locals "Cafe Club" and Restaurant in the main railroad station.
- In the middle of October, underground resistance groups posted an imitation of the original German poster, signed by the chief of GG propaganda Ohlenbus:"Recently certain pranks individuals, on the basis of political motives have tried to influence the inhabitants of Warsaw to boycott cinema theatres. Those pranks have gone so far, that hundreds of cases of destruction of the clothes of cinema lovers, by pouring on them caustic liquids or even by burning innocent spectators have been reported by police. And how many such accidents were not reported to the police? These and similar hooligan's activities(like beating), have a powerful influence on poor attendance in cinemas. It should be explained that all cinemas in GG are owned by GG Propaganda Office, all profit is transferred to support the German Army, bleeding for long time for the welfare of the New Europe. The German Army constantly needs new equipment and the money earned in cinemas is used for it. Warsaw's civilians, your money spent in cinemas is contributing to establish a new order in Europe. The German Army makes an appeal to all people in GG; Help us! Give your money for new German weapons! All should visit cinemas!"
- October 27, an order by Governor Fischer to levy a contribution on "the Polish inhabitants of the city Warsaw in amount of 1.000.000 zl (as punishment) for criminal attempts using "hydrochloric acid"" was posted. On the same day, Fischer wrote to the Government of GG: "recently, public safety on Warsaw's streets has been permanently threaten by hydrochloric acid attacks by Polish fanatics on German soldiers and civilians. Polish elements pour hydrochloric acid on German passers-by after dark, causing destruction of their clothing. Wermacht itself reported over 100 of these incidents. Many employees of the District Offices had big losses also, because buying new winter coats of the same quality is not possible"
- October 28, several dozen Poles were executed by Germans
2) The contribution 10.000.000 zl, February 10, 1943(photo 2)
- January 18, the ZOB(Jewish Fighting Organization) appealed to fight and defend against the German Police in the Warsaw Ghetto.
- January 23, an unsuccessful attempt was made to burn the Arbeistampt(Employment Office) data by group "Plan".
- February 2, 19 Poles were executed by Germans
- February 4, German communicated the capitulation of their VI Army to the Russian at Stalingrad. Graffiti on the walls of the city read: "kaput" and "1918"
- February 6, Germans discovered the underground printer "Szaniec",and destroyed it after a few hours of fighting.
- February 12, 70 Poles were executed by Germans
- February 12, Chief of SS and Police Ferdynand von Sammern-Franke announced a levy in the amount of 10.000.000 zl "because of many attacks on German men and women, in the last week by armed bandits"
- The contribution was, in half, a levy on the property owners; the rest was in the form of a payment of 5 zl from every adult having food ration cards.
3) The contribution 100.000.000 zl, February 2, 1944(photo 3)
- January 15, around 300 Poles were executed by Germans
- January 21, 30 Poles were executed by Germans
- January 24, 77 Poles were executed by Germans
- January 25, 38 Poles were executed by Germans
- January 27, 32 Poles were executed by Germans
- January 28, around 200 Poles were executed by Germans
- January 31, 47 Poles were executed by Germans
- February 1, detachment AK "Pegaz", successfully assassinated General Franz Kutchera, chief of SS and Police in Warsaw District, who was responsible for mass crimes. Four members of AK "Pegaz" died; surrounded by Germans K.Scott and Z.Gesicki, and few a days later B.Pietraszewicz and M.Senger died of their wounds.
- February 1, detachment AK "Kedyw" killed Lubbert, the chief of Arbeitsamt GG(employment office).
- February 1, detachment AK "Mokotow" killed Dr.Eitner, Executor Commissioner of Jewish Properties.
- February 2, 300 Poles were executed by Germans
- February 2, German announcement:"because the population was obliged to fight criminal elements and didn't do their duty, we will levy a contribution in the amount of 100.000.000 zl on the inhabitants of Warsaw, all Polish restaurants will remain closed until further notice, and from 7pm to 5am a curfew will be in effect".
Certificates of contribution were issued by the Polish Municipal Administration of Warsaw and signed by Julian Kulski, Commissioner President(Mayor) of the city of Warsaw. The text contains the information that the owner of this certificate paid a certain contribution levied on Polish inhabitants of city of Warsaw according to German orders.
Before the war Julian Kulski was the vice-president of the city. This is a record of the all other Warsaw mayors during the war:
- -Jan Okolo-Kulak, vice-president, killed September 25, 1939, in the city hall during bomb attack.
- -Jan Pohoski, vice-president, arrested in March 1940, executed by Germans, June 21, 1940
- -Stefan Starzynski, president, arrested on October 26, 1939, executed by Germans, October 21, 1940.
- W. Bartoszewski "1859 dni Warszawy" Znak 1984
- "Encyklopedia Historii Gospodarczej Polski" Wiedza Powszechna 1981
- N. Davies "Gods Playground, a history of Poland" Oxford University Press 1981
The author welcomes hearing from anyone who may have any additional information regarding these subject, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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