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Campaign in Poland (1940)

Campaign in Poland

“Feldzug in Polen” (The Campaign in Poland) is a Nazi propaganda film released in 1940 depicting the 1939 invasion of Poland and directed by Fritz Hippler.

Portraying the Poles as aggressors and ethnic Germans living in Poland as an oppressed minority, the film alleges that the Poles employed unheroic tactics in the war and characterizes as senseless the defence of a besieged Warsaw.

The film was often screened by German minorities overseas to clarify the German point of view. The Gleiwitz incident was part of Operation Himmler run by the SS and SD to justify German aggression. It involved dressing Nazi concentration camp prisoners as Polish soldiers who apparently attacked a German radio station. The prisoners were murdered by the SS/SD, appearing to have been shot by heroic German defenders. Other parts of Operation Himmler involved terrorist attacks on the Polish Railways and attacks by ethnic Germans on Polish property.

French involvement was de-emphasized, in order to present Great Britain, in its attempt to encircle Germany, as the villain, to justify the Nazi-Soviet pact. Polish provocations finally resulted in the blitzkrieg, led by Hitler; Poles were sometimes depicted as brave, to emphasize the German triumph.

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