Thursday, September 1, 2011

German Army Attacks Poland; Cities Bombed, Port Blockaded; Danzig Is Accepted Into Reich






















On This Day


Front Page Image

German Army Attacks Poland; Cities Bombed, Port Blockaded; Danzig Is Accepted Into Reich

Hitler Gives Word

In a Proclamation He Accuses Warsaw of Appeal to Arms

Foreigners Are Warned

They Remain in Poland at Own Risk--Nazis to Shoot at Any Planes

Gdynia Blockaded By German Fleet

Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES


British Mobilizing: Navy Raised to Its Full Strength, Army and Air Reserves Called Up: Parliament Is Convoked: Midnight Meeting Is Held by Ministers--Negotiations Admitted Failure

Daladier Summons Cabinet To Confer: News of Attack on Poland spurs Prompt Action--Military Move Thought Likely

British Children Taken From Cities: 3,000,000 Persons Are in First Evacuation Group, Which Is to Be Moved Today

Soviet Ratifies Reich Non-Aggression Pact; Gibes at British and French Amuse Deputies

Hostilities Begun: Warsaw Reports German Offensive Moving on Three Objectives: Roosevelt Warns Navy: Also Notifies Army Leaders of Warfare--Envoys Tell of Bombing of 4 Cities

Free City Is Seized: Forster Notifies Hitler of Order Putting Danzig Into the Reich: Accepted By Chancellor: Poles Ready, Made Their Preparations After Hostilities Appeared Inevitable

Hitler Acts Against Poland

Hitler Tells the Reichstag 'Bomb Will Be Met by Bomb': Chancellor Vows 'Fight Until Resolution' Against Poland--Gives Order of Succession As Goering, Hess, Then Senate to Choose

Berlin, Friday, Sept. 1, 1939--Charging that Germany had been attacked, Chancellor Hitler at 5:11 o'clock this morning issued a proclamation to the army declaring that from now on force will be met with force and calling on the armed forces "to fulfill their duty to the end."

The text of the proclamation reads:

To the defense forces:

The Polish nation refused my efforts for a peaceful regulation of neighborly relations; instead it has appealed to weapons.

Germans in Poland are persecuted with a bloody terror and are driven from their homes. The series of border violations, which are unbearable to a great power, prove that the Poles no longer are willing to respect the German frontier. In order to put an end to this frantic activity no other means is left to me now than to meet force with force.

"Battle for Honor"

German defense forces will carry on the battle for the honor of the living rights of the re- awakened German people with firm determination.

I expect every German soldier, in view of the great tradition of eternal German soldiery, to do his duty until the end.

Remember always in all situations you are the representatives of National Socialist Greater Germany!

Long live our people and our Reich!

Berlin, Sept. 1, 1939.
Adolf Hitler

The commander-in-chief of the air force issued a decree effective immediately prohibiting the passage of any airplanes over German territory excepting those of the Reich air force or the government.

This morning the naval authorities ordered all German mercantile ships in the Baltic Sea not to run to Danzig or Polish ports.

Anti-air raid defenses were mobilized throughout the country early this morning.

A formal declaration of war against Poland had not yet been declared up to 8 o'clock [3 A.M. New York time] this morning and the question of whether the two countries are in a state of active belligerency is still open.

Reichstag Will Meet Today

Foreign correspondents at an official conference at the Reich Press Ministry at 8:30 o'clock [3:30 A.M. New York time] were told that they would receive every opportunity to facilitate the transmission of dispatches. Wireless stations have been instructed to speed up communications and the Ministry is installing additional batteries of telephones.

The Reichstag has been summoned to meet at 10 o'clock [5 A.M. New York time] to receive a more formal declaration from Herr Hitler.

The Hitler army order is interpreted as providing, for the time being, armed defense of the German frontiers against aggression. The action is also suspected of forcing international diplomatic action.

The Germans announced that foreigners remain in Polish territory at their own risk.

Flying over Polish territory as well as the maritime areas is forbidden by the German authorities and any violators will be shot down.

When Herr Hitler made his announcement Berlin's streets were still deserted except for the conventional early traffic, and there were no outward signs that the nation was finding itself in the first stages of war.

The government area was completely deserted, and the two guards doing sentry duty in front of the Chancellery remained their usual mute symbol of authority. It was only when official placards containing the orders to the populace began to appear on the billboards that early workers became aware of the situation.

Border Clashes Increase

Wireless to The New York Times

Berlin, Friday, Sept. 1--An increasing number of border incidents involving shooting and mutual Polish-German casualties are reported by the German press and radio. The most serious is reported from Gleiwitz, a German city on the line where the southwestern portion of Poland meets the Reich.

At 8 P.M., according to the semi-official news agency, a group of Polish insurrectionists forced an entrance into the Gleiwitz radio station, overpowering the watchmen and beating and generally mishandling the attendants. The Gleiwitz station was relaying a Breslau station's program, which was broken off by the Poles.

They proceeded to broadcast a prepared proclamation, partly in Polish and partly in German, announcing themselves as "the Polish Volunteer Corps of Upper Silesia speaking from the Polish station in Gleiwitz." The city, they alleged, was in Polish hands.

Gleiwitz's surprised radio listeners notified the police, who halted the broadcast and exchanged fire with the insurrectionists, killing one and capturing the rest. The police are said to have discovered that the attackers were assisted by regular Polish troops. The Gleiwitz incident is alleged here to have been the signal "for a general attack by Polish franctireurs on German territory."

Two other points--Pitsachen, near Kreuzburg, and Hochlinden, northeast of Ratibor, both in the same vicinity as Gleiwitz, were the scenes of violations of the German boundary, it is claimed, with fighting at both places still under way.

Copyright 2010 The New York Times Company



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