Poland Travel & Tourism Guide
History of Poland - World War II


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Grave of insurgent from Warsaw Uprising

The Sanacja movement controlled Poland until the start of World War II in 1939, when Nazi Germany invaded on 1 September and the Soviet invasion of Poland followed on 17 September. Warsaw capitulated on 28 September 1939. As agreed in the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, Poland was split into two zones, one occupied by Germany while the eastern provinces fell under the control of the Soviet Union.

Of all the countries involved in the war, Poland lost the highest percentage of its citizens: over six million perished, half of them Polish Jews. Poland made the fourth-largest troop contribution to the Allied war effort, after the Soviets, the British and the Americans. The Polish expeditionary corps played an important role in the Italian Campaign, particularly at the Battle of Monte Cassino. At the war's conclusion, Poland's borders were shifted westwards, pushing the eastern border to the Curzon Line. Meanwhile, the western border was moved to the Oder-Neisse line. The new Poland emerged 20% smaller by 77,500 square kilometres (29,900 sq mi). The shift forced the migration of millions of people, most of whom were Poles, Germans, Ukrainians, and Jews.

Source: Wikipedia Encyclopedia

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