An anniversary of the commencement of German street executions in Warsaw 16.10.1943
October 16, 1943, the Germans began mass public executions in the occupied Warsaw.
The German terror aimed at breaking the resistance of Poles in their capital city, the place most hated by Germans for Polish greatest resistance. Warsaw had the most extensive conspiracy units that carried out sabotage actions against the occupying forces. Warsaw housed authorities of the Polish Underground State with representations of political parties. The people of Warsaw resisted Nazis disobeying orders of their brutal occupier.
In this situation, the Germans decided to break Warsaw with unspeakable terror. Although already terrorized in unprecedented manner, what was to take place in October 1943 years had no precedent, and has not been repeated in the other occupied cities of Europe.
So far, the Germans murdered Poles discretely – as in Palmiry. However, in the Autumn of 1943 the senior German commanders decided to set an example and make the people of Warsaw witness German’s ” strong stand to Polish resistance.”
At the end of September 1943, Franz Kutschera was appointed the chief of SS police in the district of Warsaw General Government. It was he, who ordered the executions of “hostages” on the streets of Warsaw.
The first series of executions took place on 16.10.1943, at 141 Independence Avenue, the stretch between Różana and Madaliński streets.
German’s continued their terrorizing actions against Warsaw inhabitants including Pawiak’s prisoners and ordinary bystanders detained in roundups. Anyone could become a victim in an instant. The residents of Warsaw were never sure if they manage to return home safely.
In total, the Germans conducted several dozens of street executions exerting a shocking impression on the residents of Warsaw.
These executions continued until the end of February 1944 until special action conducted by Kedyw AK resulted in a successful assassination of Kutschera, and Germans decided not to continue the repression on such a scale.
This tragic ” Teutonicum furor,” which Warsaw had the misfortune to experience is commemorated by plaques in places of execution. Officially there are about 200 of them, but unofficially there are many more. The setting up places of memorials began since the end of 1940-s, in locations where Warsaw residents were killed.
Charles Tchorek, a Polish sculptor, has won a competition of the Association of Polish Architects for the creation of those memorial plaques.
Translated and edited from: http://mail.sofresh-email.pl/p/lmbod8kfy5/pz2nw421vp/