War comes to Europe (again) - Poland in the crosshairs.

September 17-20, 1939 – Europe At War – On The Ground; Escalation – On The Air; Altercation

War comes to Europe (again) – Poland in the crosshairs.

September 17-20, 1939 – Commentary from Berlin – news from London, Berlin and Rome via Shortwave – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.

While the war on the ground was still limited to the German invasion of Poland, the war of words via radio was heating up. German radio was ramping up reports of Polish atrocities; reports routinely condemned as fabrications by both the Poles and their allies. For their part, the BBC reported growing allied support for Polish efforts to stop German advances. Even a clandestine station in Germany (The German Freedom Station) was reporting the majority of Germans were against Hitler’s latest incursion into Polish territory. Messages of solidarity between the people of Britain to the people of Poland were broadcast by the BBC. The President of Poland expressed appreciation for the support and went on to report it was the German army committing atrocities and mass killings of Polish civilians. There was also anticipation that British and French forces would join Poland in turning back the German invasion, and hoping that help would come soon.

The German Freedom station, broadcasting from “somewhere in Germany” urged Germans to work on overthrowing the Nazi regime and to do all they could in halting German aggression – “the sooner we get rid of our criminal regime, the sooner we shall have peace” the broadcast added. The announcer also claimed that some 1,000 Nazi party members had been executed for sabotage and pro-war activities since the war began. The broadcast ended with a call to Austrian Catholics to rise up and fight for a free Austria.

Much more news and commentary from this three-day overview of the war in Europe, as it was unfolding in September 1939.


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