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Gallery » Danzig Report 44 - July, August, September 1984 » Post office after the bombardment

The Polish Post Office Siege

(Above): Polish P.O. (No. 3) relative to the Rathaus (15), the Artushof (16), and the Marienkirche (22).

(Left): Gdansk postmark, 25.9.1937 to 31.8.1939.

(Left): Post office after the bombardment.

The “Totenkopf” formations served with the SS-VT in occupying Austria, the Sudetenland and Czechoslovakia, and were further increased in 1939 by 12 new regiments. Raised at that time from ethnic Germans in the Danzig area was Infantry Battalion SS-”Heimwehr Danzig”. Later its strength was augmented by an SS Totenkopf Battalion “Götze” and was initially used to police the Danzig area.

The SS-Heimwehr jumped the gun and surrounded the Polish post office at 4:17 AM on 1 Septmber 1939. They called upon the 51 armed postal workers inside to surrender. A 1967 Warsaw publication states: Detachments of the SS, the police and the army attacked the building of the Polish Post Office (located in the Square now named after the Defenders of the Polish Post Office), whose staff, led by an engineer, Lt. Konrad Guderski, defended itself for fourteen hours. It was only after the Germans had been reinforced by artillery and flame-throwers and had set fire to the building, that the staff capitulated. The commander of the Nazi detachments, Gen. Friedrich Eberhardt, refused to consider the staff of the Post Office as soldiers, although they were uniformed and fighting on Polish territory & sentenced them to death. Six of the Polish postal employees were killed in battle, six died in hospitals of wounds sustained, 39 were court-marshalled by “Gruppe Eberhardt” and shot, 28 who were absent from the building died in concentration camps and 1 fell as a partisan.

Danzig Report  Nr. 44 - July - August - September - 1984, Page 3.

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