12. Generalgouvernement 1943

The Generalgouvernement comprised the central Polish districts of Cracow, Radom, Warsaw and Lublin. From 1st. August 1941, after the German invasion of the Soviet Union, the district of Galicia round Lemberg (present-day Lviv in the Ukraine) was also part of the Generalgouvernement. Chronicles of Nazi crimes in Europe more frequently mention the destruction of the Czech town of Lidice and the bloodbath in the French village of Ouradour than the Generalgouvernement, in which hundreds of places suffered the same fate.

The system of extermination of its almost three million Jews had nothing to do with the necessities of war; in fact it damaged the interests of the German army. Here12 million non-Jewish Poles also had to be deported or eliminated to make room for German colonists in the following 15 to 20 years. Only a small proportion were to be allowed to remain as slaves of the ‘Herrenvolk’. The existing secondary education and Polish cultural institutions were abolished.

This travel guide published in 1943 shows little of this policy of destruction. But the creative role of Germans and their culture in the history of the towns was stressed. In passing this Baedeker says of the many Jews of Lublin: ‘In 1862 57% of the city were Jews, now it is ‘Judenfrei’(free of Jews). The map shows the centre of Lublin, including the Jewish quarter around the castle and the Lubartower Street which had already been destroyed.

Map of the Generalgouvernement, from: K. Baedeker, Das Generalgouvernement, Leipzig 1943

Map of the Generalgouvernement, from: K. Baedeker, Das Generalgouvernement, Leipzig 1943

 

 

Map of Lublin, from: K. Baedeker, Das Generalgouvernement, Leipzig 1943

Map of Lublin, from: K. Baedeker, Das Generalgouvernement, Leipzig 1943