Wola massacre: The systematic Killing begins (August 5, 1944) - History Key

Wola massacre: The systematic Killing begins (August 5, 1944)

The Wola Massacre took place between August 5 and 12, 1944. It was the systematic killing of around 40,000-50,000 people by German troops during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944.

During this massacre, polish civilians and captured resistance fighters were executed in Wola which is a district of Warsaw, Poland. The German’s goal was to destroy any wills and hopes of the Polish resistance fighters in order to end the Warsaw Uprising. Even if not everyone agrees, recent studies suggested that total number of the victims could be around 100,000.

Polish civilians murdered during the Wola massacre in Warsaw, August 1944
Polish civilians murdered during the Wola massacre in Warsaw, August 1944 © Image Source: Wikipedia

Brutal. Cruel. Evil.

Well, during the Warsaw Uprising the Germans were affected in many ways. You name them. However, the Germans were unable to stabilize the uprising so they did things a little bit differently. So, the Germans started looking in every single house and started to shoot inhabitants. Many of them were instantly killed, but also some of them were tortured and sexually abused.

A column of Polish women with children being led by German troops along Wolska Street in early August 1944
A column of Polish women with children being led by German troops along Wolska Street in early August 1944 © Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-695-0423-14 / Leher / CC-BY-SA 3.0/Image Source: Wikipedia

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The worst part is that most of the victims were children, women and elders. Also during the Wola Massacre three hospitals were burned with the patients still inside. You might thing that you read is enough, but if you have strong bowels, keep reading.

The nurses and the doctors from the hospitals were hanged. When the Germans tried to move from one place to another, they used woman as human shields. Despite that the massacre ended on August 12, the shootings and killings in Warsaw ended around September.

Ashes of 4,000 Wola massacre victims murdered at the Franaszek factory buried in a hole in the ground and commemorated by provisional cross
Ashes of 4,000 Wola massacre victims murdered at the Franaszek factory buried in a hole in the ground and commemorated by provisional cross © Leonard Sempoliński /Image Source: Wikipedia

The responsible ones for this brutal and evil way to “educate” the “anarchists” were Heinz Reinefarth and Oskar Dirlewanger. Dirlewanger was arrested on June, 1945 by the French while he was trying to escape. He was dressed in civilians and false documents indicating a false name. He died in one week after he was captured and sent in a French prison camp.

Oskar Dirlewanger
Oskar Dirlewanger © Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-S73495 / Anton Ahrens / CC-BY-SA 3.0 /Image Source: Wikipedia

The unjust thing was that after the war, no German soldier or leader involved in the Wola Massacre wasn’t held responsible for his actions.

Soldiers tentatively identified as members of the SS-Sturmbrigade "Dirlewanger" in central Warsaw in 1944
Soldiers tentatively identified as members of the SS-Sturmbrigade “Dirlewanger” in central Warsaw in 1944 © Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-97906 / CC-BY-SA 3.0
/Image Source: Wikipedia

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