The Creators of This Hell Feb 28, 2016 0:37:49 GMT
Post by spanishspy on Feb 28, 2016 0:37:49 GMT
Preface: This timeline was originally written as a background guide for a Model United Nations Conference for Middle Schoolers and then was posted to alternatehistory.com as a timeline on May 11th, 2014.
THE CREATORS OF THIS HELL
"There is nothing shameful in our desire to stay out of war, to save our youth from the dive bombers and the flame throwing tanks in the unutterable hell of modern warfare.
But is there not an evidence of suicidal insanity in our failure to help those who now stand between us and the creators of this hell?"
- advertisement from the Committee to Defend America, 1940
The day of June 14th, 1940, was a pivotal day in the history of the world up to this point, in our year of 1947. It was on that day, in a walk in the German Reich’s capital of Berlin, the country’s first Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler, was killed in a car accident, with, most ironically, a Volkswagen Porsche. This action sent the Reich into an intense political confusion, with massive memorial gatherings held in cities throughout Germany and her annexed territories in Poland, Austria, and the Sudetenland.
Out of this chaos, the Fuhrer’s inner circle chose Hermann Goring, the President of the Reichstag and Minister President of the Free State of Prussia, as the new Fuhrer. In a speech to a crowd of thousands in Nuremberg, the de facto Mecca of the Nazi Party then and now, Goring announced that “the death of the beloved leader will not deter us from our goal. France will cower, Britain will concede defeat, and the Reich will assume its place as the strong nation that Versailles denied us to be.” The various leaders of the Reich looked upon such talk as exactly what they needed; the death of Hitler must not have been Germany’s undoing.
And so it was not. A week and a day later, on June 22nd, the Second Armistice at Compiegne was signed, signifying the surrender of the French government to Germany, a site deliberately chosen as a deliberate snub; it was where Germany surrendered to France at the conclusion of the Great War. France would be divided into three areas: a German occupied area in the North, an Italian occupied area in the Southeast, and the remainder to be put under the command of Marshal Philippe Petain, with its capital in Vichy, Auvergne. However, the First War of the Polish Partition, as it would come to be known, was not over. Britain still fought on, as did the remnants of the French in North Africa.
A month later, France was firmly under the control of the German war machine. Petain was complacent, and the resistance stood no chance against the might of the formidable Wehrmacht. However, since Britain was still at war with Germany, Goring and the rest of the German leadership saw it fitting to continue the war, and to bring it to Britain. A plan for an all-out invasion of the island, Operation Sealion, was quickly rejected by the Reich general staff as implausible in success, as its method of invasion of Britain was using Rhine river barges, easily destroyed by the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.
Rather, a plan using the Luftwaffe, or the German Air Force, was agreed upon. Goring in particular supported this plan, as he was a German fighter ace in the Great War and the current Reichsminister of Aviation, therefore signifying his knowledge of affairs relating to aircraft and aerial warfare. In objection to other members of the Reich leadership that supported a massive terror bombing campaign initially, Goring saw the value of destroying the Royal Air Force bases first and foremost, such that the German bombardment could continue unimpeded.
The first Luftwaffe attacks began on July 10th, 1940, in the beginning of the largest cohesive aerial military operation up to this day. During the initial phases of the assault, there was a significant dispute in terms of strategy; would London be a target to quell the British resistance, championed by Albert Kesselring, or would the systematic destruction of British aerial defense infrastructure come first, championed by Hugo Sperrle? This debate continued for some time, until Goring decided in favor of Sperrle.
The German plan was to destroy the various RAF air bases throughout the country, crippling the British ability to resist the constant onslaught of Luftwaffe planes coming in from northern France and southwestern Norway. After the RAF was severely weakened, the various Royal Navy bases in the southern coast of England, as well as in other ports around the country, would be bombarded to cripple British resistance on the seas. Thirdly, railroads and important roads would be destroyed to cripple transportation ability, combined with the destruction of British army bases. Fourthly, the terror bombings of various British cities would commence, with the intent of breaking the will of the British people. London would be the prime target, but cities with large amounts of historical significance in the country would be attacked as well. Goring summarized the third branch of the plan: “Britain must be reminded that it is no longer her time. It is Germany’s place in the sun now, and thusly her monuments, her castles, and so many other reminders of her heritage, must crumble.”
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Winston Churchill, had recently obtained the office after the resignation of the previous Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, widely derided as the ‘appeaser’ who let Hitler run rampant across Europe. Under Churchill, the United Kingdom was placed under a state of emergency. It was fully expected that the nation would have to undergo bombardment throughout the coming year, perhaps more.
Over the next eight months, the Luftwaffe pounded Britain day after day, with the major RAF bases in Britain being destroyed in surgical strikes authorized by Goring and Sperrle. A small naval invasion was launched on the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey, preventing their usage by the British armed forces. The plan worked wonderfully. By December, a large amount of RAF bases had been destroyed, and the remainder of capable squadrons was relocated to several bases around London with the intent of defending what was left of the Royal Navy bases on the south coast of England.
With Britain being dealt with by the Luftwaffe, Germany and Italy turned their attention to Eastern Europe. In March of 1941, Prince Paul of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia agreed to German insistence that they join the Tripartite Pact, the alliance between Italy, Germany, and the Empire of Japan. Before he could begin any military action favorable to this pact, on March 27th a cadre of Yugoslavian military officers overthrew him and instated the eighteen year old crown prince of the kingdom as Peter II of Yugoslavia.
Incensed, Goring declared war on Yugoslavia, and shortly thereafter Italy did the same. A massive bombing campaign took place over Belgrade, killing many, including the new king and many of the coup plotters. German and Italian forces invaded the northeaster parts of Yugoslavia, while German forces based in western Bulgaria invaded the southern parts.
The possibility of an independent Yugoslavia died when, on April 17th, Yugoslavia surrendered to the Germans, Italians, and Hungarians.
Out of this chaos emerged the Independent State of Croatia, led by Prime Minister and Poglavnik (leader of the Ustase, the Croatian fascist party) Ante Pavelic, designed to make sure an independent Yugoslavia could not pose a threat to Germany and Italy. Additionally, Prince Paul, the regnant of the now-deceased Peter II, was crowned King Paul of the Serbians, in the new state of the Kingdom of Serbia, with its capital in Belgrade. Whatever remained of the old Yugoslavia, free and independent from other nations, was gone. In its place were Croatia and Serbia, firm allies of the Tripartite Pact.
Shortly after the destruction of Yugoslavia, Goring turned his attention to Greece, a longstanding location of the desires of Mussolini. Goring understood an Axis-sympathetic Greece could be able to aid the alliance of Germany and Italy in the future, and thusly ordered the German army to invade Greece and aid the Italians. Athens fell within a month, and without any support from Britain or the rest of the Empire, Greece was put under a puppet government led by the collaborationist General Georgios Tsolakoglou.
As Serbia, Croatia, Albania, and Greece fell to the forces of the Pact of Steel, Goring and Mussolini both basked in the knowledge that they, jointly, had a sphere of influence rivalling the empires of Napoleon or Charlemagne. However, an ocean away, the United States of America remained neutral. The American government under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had no desire to enter the First War of the Polish Partition, as his country was still undergoing massive public works projects under the banner of the New Deal, the Democratic Party’s name for such endeavors.
As the war between Britain and Germany raged throughout the year of 1941, America watched attentively. Some Americans, eager to fight, organized private battalions to fight for Britain, such as the famed Eagle Squadron, fighter pilots who joined the RAF to defend the country against the Luftwaffe. However, Washington was committed to staying out of a war that it felt was between two imperialist powers. This all changed on December 7th, 1941.
That day, ‘a date which will live in infamy,’ in the worlds of President Roosevelt, was the day when forces of the Empire of Japan led by Chuichi Nagumo and Isoroku Yamamoto launched a surprise attack on the United States’ naval base Pearl Harbor, in Hawaii territory, to avenge the United States’ refusal to sell Japan oil due to its wars of conquest in China. The United States Congress voted to declare war on Japan, which had also attacked the Philippines, an American holding, and the British holdings of Singapore, Malaya, and Hong Kong.
The attacks on the latter holdings brought the United States and Britain onto the same side of the war against the Japanese. The United States initially had no intention of entering the First War of the Polish Partition, but on December 11th, 1941, Goring and Mussolini consulted their respective governments and declared war on the United States. Both leaders thought that the alliance between the United States and the United Kingdom in Asia would lead to a similar alliance in Europe, and as such opened hostilities.
This declaration of war was reciprocated on the same day by the United States Congress, which also saw their joining of the First War of the Polish Partition, to be concurrent with the nascent Japanese-American War, as a convenient excuse to begin sending advisors and supplies to the British Isles. The British Aid Act was passed by Congress in January of 1942, and various elements of the United States Navy and Army (including the Army Air Corps) were sent en route to Britain via the Atlantic.
It was in the Atlantic where the German navy, the Kriegsmarine, first came into contact with the United States Navy. The German Unterseeboot, or U-boat (submarine) deployments in the North Atlantic, already doing quite well against the Royal Navy, were sent against the American aid convoys coming to Britain, and were given explicit authorization from Berlin to fire on American ships.
The first American aid ships came in February of 1942, but they did not lead to the decisive turning point in the war that the British hoped it would. The Americans came to Britain to find a country lacking many forms of essential infrastructure, such as proper landing pads for their aircraft in most of the country – these were mostly concentrated around London to be used as a way of defending the Royal Navy bases on the southern coast. American and British engineers began to repair this infrastructure, but the damage had been done.
What had been a war in Germany’s favor had now approached something of a stalemate, as the United States Air Force was not to the levels of damage as the Royal Air Force, but had neither the training for the infrastructure to make the fullest of the opportunity. Landing strips were dilapidated or bombed out, and supply ships continued to be destroyed by U-boats despite the increased presence of the United States Navy, the majority of which was deployed in the Pacific against the Japanese.
In Europe, this status quo continued for the first half of 1942. Then, in June, a particularly daring raid by the Luftwaffe over London, intended as a terror bombing to strike fear into the hearts of the British public, succeeded magnificently in the eyes of Goring. The Palace of Westminster, the premier representation of British democracy, was destroyed. Prime Minister Churchill happened to be inside when the bombing took place, and hence died when the House of Commons chamber collapsed. The bombing did not end; the Luftwaffe also leveled Buckingham Palace, killing King George VI. Additionally, several remaining RAF bases were destroyed.
This daring raid, dubbed the ‘Guillotine Raid’ by Philippe Petain of France, effectively severed the head of the British government. Clement Attlee, Churchill’s Deputy Prime Minister, assumed the role of Prime Minister due to the former’s death in the bombing raid. Those that remained of Parliament began calling for what two years previously seemed untenable: peace. The new situation did seem too much for Britain and the United States to handle, and the war in the Pacific was far from over. Hence, in consultation with the American government and military, commanded by General Dwight David Eisenhower, the British government sued for peace.
Goring was elated to hear that his Luftwaffe, the branch of the German armed forces that he personally was the head of as Reichsminister of Aviation, was able to defeat not only the United Kingdom, but the United States (although the latter had a very limited presence in Europe).
Enthused, Goring sent Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop to meet with a variety of American and British delegates in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss a possible end to the war. The Allied delegation was led by Secretary of State Cordell Hull of the United States and Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden of the United Kingdom.
The Treaty of Geneva, as the agreement came to be known, officially ended the First War of the Polish Partition on July 1st, 1942, on terms generally favorable to Germany and detrimental to Britain. Foreign Secretary Eden remarked that “[American Secretary of State Cordell] Hull seemed eager to get away from Geneva. His country was preoccupied with Japan and, to Britain’s dismay, had good reason to be doing so. Thusly, his commitment was at best half-hearted.” Echoing Eden’s sentiment, the terms of the Treaty of Geneva officially ended any form of Allied-sympathetic government in France, and the German and Italian occupation zones were formally ceded to Vichy France under Marshal Philippe Petain. Britain agreed to cease any activities in the states occupied by Germany, Italy, or other nations allied to them such as Hungary, Romania, or Bulgaria. The occupation of the Low Countries, on the other hand, ended as it was France, not the Netherlands, Belgium, or Luxembourg, that initially antagonized Germany.
With the end of the Geneva summit, the United States and United Kingdom still had to tackle the problem of Japan, still occupying various Pacific territories of both nations. To solidify their alliance, the United States and United Kingdom saw the necessity of a formal agreement to coordinate military action. Thusly, the governments of the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Newfoundland, the Union of South Africa, Egypt, China, the Netherlands, and India met in Johannesburg, South Africa, and signed the Johannesburg Accords, creating the United Nations, a military alliance against the Japanese Empire in the Pacific.
German response to the formation of the United Nations was hesitant; it was a codification of the alliance that had existed previously against Germany and Italy. The Netherlands, in particular, was hostile to both Germany and Japan but ceased hostilities with the end of the First War of the Polish Partition, and whose colony of the Dutch East Indies was under attack by the Japanese. However, Petain’s France had negotiated with Japan, with German and Italian backing, to have the former withdraw from French Indochina, ending any hostility between France and Japan (France had retained control of all of its colonies in Africa, the Americas, and Asia).
Nevertheless, the United Nations continued the pursuance of the war in the Pacific, while Germany and Italy, along with their allies, had begun to leer eastward. The Republic of Poland had been dismembered in 1939 when the joint forces of Germany and the Soviet Union invaded the country together. The German sphere of the country was under the command of the Polish General Government, a German-backed state, officially a special administrative region of the Reich, with its capital in Krakow. The Soviet sphere of the country, gained in addition to the three small republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, was annexed to the various western republics of the Union.
However, during his lifetime Adolf Hitler had predicted a war between Germany and the Soviet Union, and Goring was intent on starting that war. However, he knew that he needed allies, as the sheer mass of the Soviet Union would not lend itself to conquest by the Wehrmacht alone. Hence, in August 1942, representatives from Germany, Italy, Serbia, Croatia, Greece, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Albania, Norway, France, Spain (an ally of Germany since the Spanish Civil War, but did not participate in the invasion of France), Denmark, and Finland (Finland had fought the Winter War against the Soviet Union since 1941) met in Hamburg to expand the Pact of Steel to more than just Germany and Italy, to the nations among these.
In early September of that year, the armies of most of these nations gathered in Warsaw in the Polish General Government’s territory, and proceeded to move towards the Soviet border. On September 21st, 1942, these combined forces of the Pactist states began moving into Soviet territory. The Red Army under the command of Mikhail Kovalyov was taken completely by surprise, and the Pactist forces under command of Erich von Manstein easily destroyed the Red Army guards and began moving into Belarus. Likewise, German and other Pactist forces under the command of Gerd von Rundstedt moved into Ukraine and easily defeated Red Army forces under the command of Semyon Timoshenko. Such a bold stroke was the beginning of the Second War of the Polish Partition.
However, the United Nations had a vested interest in keeping the Soviet Union alive, despite the vast incongruence between the views and intentions of both; the United Kingdom and United States both felt it necessary to prop up the Soviet state as a method of keeping Germany in check. Hence, the United States Congress passed the Lend-Lease Act to send aid to the Soviet Union in terms of arms shipments while not actually being at war. Likewise, the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed the Russian Arms Act, authorizing much the same from British factories. Similar acts were passed throughout the Dominions of the British Empire.
Both Minsk and Kiev, the capitals of the Belarusian and Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republics, respectively, fell in October. Joseph Stalin, premier of the Soviet Union, ordered a massive troop surge from the Central Asian and Caucasian republics of the Union to counteract the new invasion. Nevertheless, this was too late. Later that month, the cities of Pskov and Smolensk fell to Pactist forces. The war continued for two months, during which von Rundstedt’s and von Manstein’s forces converged and began their march into western Russia.
In January of the next year, 1943, the Pactist forces besieged the city of Bryansk, a battle that lasted two weeks, in which tenacious Soviet defenders under the command of Georgy Zhukov were forced to retreat given the superior Pactist supplies. However, winter had already set in, and the worst was yet to come. This would play a decisive role when the Pactist forces began to besiege Moscow in February.
The beginning of the siege of Moscow by Pactist forces jointly commanded by von Manstein and von Rundstedt in the February of 1943 marked the turning point of the Second War of the Polish Partition. The German forces had prepared woefully insufficiently for the brutal Russian winter and thusly were operating at less than full capacity when they began their attack on the Soviet capital. However, they were still a decent match for the Soviet forces under General Zhukov, and the siege would last until April of that year. By the end of April, however, the Soviet Union was successful in breaking the German lines and sent them retreating westward to one of their major supply bases in Bryansk.
The Soviet Union then split its forces into two groups: one under Georgy Zhukov to invade Poland, and another under Kliment Voroshilov to invade Romania and incite rebellion in the various German client states in southeastern Europe. Voroshilov moved from Ukraine into Romania, winning the battles of Suceava, Tecucia, and Focsansi in that country, and finally took the nation’s capital of Bucharest in March. The Pactist-backed leader, Ion Antonescu, was deposed and publicly executed, and the Romanian Communist Party was installed with the new President Vasile Luca.
The fight continued to Bulgaria, where in April they won the battles of Russe, Svishtov, and Pleven against vastly inferior forces, with little of the prized German military able to aid them. In May, Lukovit and Botevgrad fell to Voroshilov’s forces, and shortly thereafter Sofia fell as well. The Bulgarian government was, much like in Romania, executed publicly, and the Bulgarian Communist leader Georgi Dimitrov was installed as the president.
The final target in this obscenely long march was Athens, in Greece. In August of 1945, the Soviet Union decisively won the battle of Kavala against a dilapidated Greek Army, the majority of which had been destroyed in Barbarossa. After Kavala, the Soviet Union began the monthlong siege of Thessaloniki, ending the siege on September. From there, they took Athens with not much trouble. Giorgios Santos, a Communist resistance leader, was installed as the leader.
In Poland, however, the situation was quite different. In February 1945 the Red Army under General Zhukov won the battle of Bialystok decisively, and rapidly began moving westwards towards the Vistula. From there, one force split from the main force, which was heading towards Warsaw, towards the northern city of Lomza. Lomza fell without much incident, but Zhukov and von Manstein would be going head to head at Warsaw.
When the Red Army began the Siege of Warsaw, the German force was headquartered on the western portion of the Vistula. German artillery had taken defensive positions around the western part of Warsaw, and began a monstrous battery of the Soviet force. This barbaric, nigh-hellish barrage predicted the siege of Warsaw that would continue for a year.
Meanwhile, other Soviet forces came to a standstill in the Polish city of Deblin, where the German and Soviet forces continued to be bogged down in fighting. Eventually, by the beginning of 1946, both sides had had enough. In Deblin, Zhukov, von Manstein, and representatives of the German and Soviet governments met in Deblin to agree on ceasefire terms. On January 26th, 1946, the Deblin Ceasefire was signed between the two sides. The agreement prohibited each side from going across the Vistula to the other side, and designated a north-south line as a further border between the two sides going northward from Modlin, running between the cities of Mlawa on the German side and Lomza on the Soviet side.
It became known to both sides that they would have to legitimize their holdings in Poland to secure international recognition for their acquisitions. On both sides of the Vistula, the solution was to grant their holdings ‘independence,’ but with all important strings pulled from either Berlin or Moscow. On the German side, the Polish General Government under Arthur Seyss-Inquart was granted independence as the Independent State of Poland, colloquially known as West Poland. On the Soviet side, Zhukov installed a Polish Communist, Michal Rola-Zymierski, as the president of the Polish People’s Republic, known colloquially as East Poland.
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The Polish Situation
At the end of the Second War of the Polish Partition, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany agreed on a ceasefire line bounded by the Vistula River. The Soviet Union established its own puppet government in Lvov, led by the Polish Communists. The Germans, on the other hand, understanding that their annexation would not be looked upon well by the United Nations in particular and the rest of the world in general, established their own Republic of Poland with its capital in Poznan, close to the German Border. Additionally, the city of Warsaw, the capital of Poland before the Wars of the Polish Partition, was divided into eastern and western sections governed by the respective governments. The German section was established as the Independent State of Poland under the government of Chancellor Arthur Seyss-Inquart, while the Soviet section was declared the Polish People’s Republic under Michal Rola-Zymierski. However, colloquially, these two parts are known as West and East Poland, respectively.
However, the Second War of the Polish Partition has not officially ended, and the ultimate fate of Poland is unknown; the only form of closure was the Deblin ceasefire, signed in the eponymous city on the Vistula between the German general Erich von Manstein and the Soviet general Georgy Zhukov. The two Polish governments refuse to recognize one another, and Warsaw is in a constant state of militarization, as are Modlin, Deblin, and Sandomierz, with each having substantial military forces on both sides of the Vistula. Each Polish government holds it is the legitimate government of all Poland.
Of notable question is the fate of the city of Danzig (Gdansk in Polish). The majority of the population is German, but the government of East Poland claims it, as well as the entirety of the Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia, and has expressed interest in claiming the territories of Reichsgau East Prussia as well, to the objections of the German-allied powers. Before the First War of the Polish Partition, Danzig was a quasi-independent state run by League of Nations mandate until its annexation by Germany in 1935. Northwestern parts of the original Republic of Poland are still a part of Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia, including the city of Bromberg/Bydgoszcz, are also claimed by the PPR.
There is the occasional border flare-up between the two Polish states, but all have previously ended in no substantial action. The border between the two states is a haven for weapons smuggling and other forms of banditry. The police forces of both Polish states have secured their portions of the border, but the part of the border not bounded by the Vistula is still an easy way to enter the other state, and is used as such by aforementioned undesirables.
This situation is only complicated by the refusal of either state to recognize the legitimacy of the other, and so any form of cross-border cooperation is unlikely. It is criminal in both Polish states to enter the territory of the other Polish state on the penalty of execution. PPR travelers to the ISP are branded “traitors to the Revolution” and those from the ISP travelling to the PPR are called “enemies of National Socialism,” epithets that mandate death and nothing less.
The United Nations, led by the United States and the United Kingdom and their allies in the First War of the Polish Partition, has spoken in favor of having a neutral summit in which the two Polish states may work out a solution together, hence their insistence that both governments send delegations to the Stockholm Peace Accords. The Stockholm Peace Accords were first proposed during the Toronto Declaration of 1946, held in the eponymous city in Canada and attended by the various nations of the British Commonwealth as well as the United States and the European states of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. The Toronto Declaration, written by a variety of delegates from throughout the United Nations, proposed the One Poland Plan, conceptualized by American secretary of state Cordell Hull (who had been kept in his place as Secretary of State by Wendell Willkie after his victory over Henry A. Wallace in 1944). The One Poland Plan dictates that the two Polish states should be unified under one government with its capital to be established in the currently militarized city of Warsaw, the capital of the Polish government before the wars of the Polish partition.
Of notable controversy contained within the Toronto Declaration is its insistence that Reichsgaus of Danzig-West Prussia and East Prussia be incorporated into the Polish state after reunification. The German government has denounced such a plan and has repeatedly made clear its refusal to cede any territory from the Reich to Poland, and Seyss-Inquart has agreed. Likewise, the Soviet Union has refused to allow a reunification in which the Fascist government officials may have any part in. Hence, the Stockholm Peace Accords appear to be on the verge of deadlock.
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Topic 2: The Displaced Persons Question
Predating even the First War of the Polish Partition, there have been scattered reports of the German Wehrmacht and Schutzstaffel (SS) taking large amounts of the populations of their various allied states and moving them to points unknown. The German government, rabid racial supremacists since the rise of Hitler before his death, has made clear its eventual desire to take control of several parts of Europe for the creation of an expanded German state, dubbing its eventual goals Lebensraum, or ‘Living Space.’ Original documents made public explicitly stated Poland was to be one of the major areas to be settled by ethnic Germans.
Jewish, Roma, and other populations have been noted to be disappearing without any trace and their property sold off by the local governments in Croatia, Serbia, Albania, Greece, Hungary, Slovakia, France, Denmark, Norway, and the Independent State of Poland. Official German releases state that these populations are being relocated to the reservations in the ISP run jointly by the German and West Polish governments. Other nations friendly to Germany have agreed this is the case, and records have been published.
However, the situation is complicated by the abject secrecy of the process, from initial acquisition of these populations to their resettlement. Trains carrying these people are heavily guarded by forces from all branches of the militaries of the participating states, and multiple reporters have been shot or imprisoned on the pretext of attempting sabotage or revealing German state secrets. The United Nations has called for an official inquiry into the resettlement, and it has agreed it will be discussed at the Stockholm Peace Accords.
The situation is further complicated when eyewitness reports of these resettlement camps have claimed that something far more sinister is occurring: a form of industrial genocide. There are two resettlement camps refugees have been mainly flowing from: the Polish city of Oswiecim, near the border with Slovakia, and the German city of Stutthof, near Danzig. These survivors have released to the international press the alleged conditions of the camps. The German government, as well as the governments of the various nations allied to them, have denied these allegations and have made it clear they will deny them at the Stockholm Peace Accords. However, eyewitnesses have committed to speaking to the assembled delegates in Stockholm to press their case.
The forms of industrialized murder used in these camps has been described in conflicting, often erratic matters, as those who escape are inevitably tinged by their own emotional biases, which may be either sincere or be fabricating their stories based off of their own political agendas. There does, however, seem to be a correlation between stories in that a form of poison gas (an unpleasant reminder of the Great War) is being used in these camps. This is made even murkier in the usage of camp escapees for propaganda purposes by both the United Nations and the Eastern Bloc, and both use escapees as spokespeople for their causes against Germany. Hence, the ‘revelations’ have a distinct amount of political tinge to them.
The United Nations, meeting in the Australian city of Cairns in September 1946, signed the Cairns Declaration on Displaced Persons (CDDP), an agreement stating sympathy from the governments of the United States and the various states of the British Empire and affiliated states with those who have come from the alleged resettlement camps. The author of the Declaration, Australian Foreign Minister H. V. Evatt, spoke for the entirety of the United Nations in saying that “these terrible crimes, if they are true, are an affront to the Treaty of Versailles and to common decency, and to the self-determination of peoples enshrined within the League of Nations that Germany was a part of until its insidious government detached itself from, thereby rejecting all forms of good conduct among nations.”
The bloc dominated by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, controlling the People’s Polish Republic and a variety of Eastern European states, has also spoken out against the possible terrors happening in Osweicim and Stutthof as well as in other possible camps throughout France, Serbia, and Croatia. In the Polish city of Wilno, the delegations of the Communist Bloc in concord agreed on the Wilno Accords on Death Camps (WADC), calling for the “removal of these insidious camps from the territories of the Polish People’s Republic and through the oppressed nations in southeastern Europe.” In the WADC, the Soviet Union and Polish People’s Republic have guaranteed homes for refugees in their territories for escapees in their lands, with the refugee camps at Sandomierz, Bialystok, Minsk, Simferopol, Baku, and Sverdlovsk, among other locations. It is notable that the Polish People’s Republic still claims two German Reichsgaus and the entirety of the Independent State of Poland, and thus sees them as rightful Polish territory, adding a significant nationalist/ideological bent to the declaration.
The nations of the Pact of Steel have struck back in the form of the Treaty of Vorarlberg, held in the eponymous city in the German Reichsgau of Tirol-Vorarlberg. The Treaty of Vorarlberg states that all signatories to the agreement will turn over all caught activists who claim to have escaped from these camps, which the German government firmly denies are the death camps that they are alleged to be. Chancellor of Germany Hermann Goring has stated in the 1946 Nuremberg rally that those who spread such rumors about these camps will “face the full wrath of the Greater German Reich.”
The League of Nations has authorized, with German approval, a commission to investigate the camps, and whether or not they are actually things of evil, or simply blown out of all rational proportion. The results of this investigation will be revealed at the Stockholm Peace Accords.