The Dark Heart of Hitler’s Europe: Nazi Rule in Poland Under the General Government

by Martin Winstone

94e47c28-29dd-48e7-a860-a1bce7882457Even amidst the horrors of Nazi rule in Europe, the tragic history of the General Government – the Nazi colony created out of the historic core of Poland, including Warsaw and Krakow, following the German and Soviet invasion of 1939 – stands out. Separate from but ruled by Germany through a brutal and corrupt regime headed by the vain and callous Hans Frank, this was indeed the dark heart of Hitler’s empire. As the principal ‘racial laboratory’ of the Third Reich, the General Government was the site of Aktion Reinhard, the largest killing operation of the Holocaust, and of a campaign of terror and ethnic cleansing against Poles which was intended to be a template for the rest of eastern Europe.