Warsaw Burning - September, 1939

Warsaw Burning - September, 1939 Tragedies and Triumphs Famous Historical Events Social Studies Visual Arts World War II

In the early days of World War II, Hitler and his forces invaded and bombed Poland. The devastation was astonishing as the Poles witnessed a new type of warfare which the Nazis called Blitzkrieg ("lightning war").

What was "lightning war?" Constant, ferocious, unbearable pounding of gunfire, bombing and other forms of intimidation intended to cause people to submit to Hitler's superior military power (and his plan of conquest).

The impact on people, like nine-year-old Ryszard Pajewski, is self-evident as we can see in this photo by Julien Bryan. It depicts the young lad sitting on a pile of rubble—former homes—in the Praga area of Warsaw.

Although the people of Warsaw bravely held-out as long as they could, after eighteen days of continuous bombardment by German forces, the city surrendered to the Nazis on September 27, 1939.

The precise time of the surrender was at 2 o’clock that afternoon.

With the fall of Warsaw, and Poland, Hitler believed that the war would be over soon. He anticipated France and Britain would accept the terms of his peace offer.

When both Britain and France turned him down, Hitler would have realized that the war would not be over quickly. He was finally defeated on the 30th of April, in 1945 (when he committed suicide in Berlin).

Meanwhile, however, his policies caused destruction and a vast loss of life throughout Europe. And ... with the fall of Poland, in 1939 ... Hitler had a path to a Nazi-orchestrated Holocaust. Many of his deadliest concentration camps, like Auschwitz, were located in Poland.

The photograph of Warsaw, by an unnamed photographer, depicts the inner city of Warsaw burning following massive bombing in September, 1939.

0 Question or Comment?
click to read or comment
2 Questions 2 Ponder
click to read and respond
0 It's Awesome!
vote for your favorite

Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Jan 20, 2020

Media Credits

Image, at the top of the page, is a public-domain photo by an unnamed photographer, depicting the devastation in Warsaw (during September of 1939), online via the Polish National Digital Archive.


To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Warsaw Burning - September, 1939" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Jan 20, 2020.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips