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Polish Border Strip

The Polish Border Strip (German: Polnischer Grenzstreifen; Polish: Polski Pas Graniczny), also known as the Polish Frontier Strip, refers to those territories which the German Empire wanted to annex from Congress Poland after World War I. It appeared in plans proposed by German officials as a territory to be ceded by the Kingdom of Poland to the German Empire after an expected German and Central Powers victory. German planners intentions envisaged the removal of the Polish and Jewish population in this territory and the settlement of German colonists in their place.[1][2] The proposed area of the Border Strip comprised up to 30,000 square kilometers (approximately the size of Belgium), and up to 3 million people would have had to be removed by German Empire to make room for Germans.[3] The strip was also intended to separate the Polish inhabitants of Prussian-held Greater Poland from those in Congress Poland. The plan has been described by historian Hajo Holborn as the first instance in modern European history of removing whole populations as a solution to national conflicts.[4]


  • Details 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Map shows the planned Polish Border Strip and other German war aims in the Eastern Front

In July 1917 the German supreme command under General Ludendorff, as part of the debate and planning regarding the cession of the "border strip" to Germany, specified its own designs in a memorandum.[1] It proposed annexing a greatly enlarged "border strip" of 20,000 square kilometres, and removing the pre-existing Polish and Jewish population (numbering between 2.000.000 and 3.000.000[5]) from a territory of 8,000 square kilometres and settling it with ethnic Germans.,[1][2][6][7] Poles living in Prussia, especially in the province of Posen, were to be "encouraged" by unspecified means to move into the German-ruled Kingdom of Poland.[3][5]

The German minority living in Congress Poland, which had earlier suggested the annexation of all territory up to Pan-German League.[3] Parts of the plans were adopted by Nazis after the war, and implemented in the genocidal Generalplan Ost[3]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Keith Bullivant, Geoffrey J. Giles, Walter Pape, Germany and Eastern Europe: Cultural Identity and Cultural Differences, Rodopi (1999), p. 28-29.
  2. ^ a b Hein Erich Goemans, War and Punishment: The Causes of War Termination and the First World War, Princeton University Press (2000), p. 104-105.
  3. ^ a b c d Immanuel Geiss "Tzw. polski pas graniczny 1914-1918". Warszawa 1964
  4. ^ Hajo Holborn, A History of Modern Germany: 1840-1945. Princeton University Press (1982), p. 449.
  5. ^ a b Immanuel Geiss Tzw. polski pas graniczny 1914-1918. Warszawa (1964).
  6. ^ Carole Fink, Defending the Rights of Others: The Great Powers, the Jews, and International Minority Protection, 1878-1938 Cambridge University Press (2006), p. 70.
  7. ^ Defending the Rights of Others: The Great Powers, the Jews, and International Minority Protection, 1878-1938 Carole Fink, Cambridge University Press, 2006 page 70
  8. ^ Aleksander Kraushar, Warszawa podczas okupacji niemieckiej 1915-1918, Lwów (1921), p. 39.

External links

  • Map detailing the Polish Border Strip (in black)
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