Exodus of the Warsaw population

For the Germans, it was important to move people out of Warsaw as quickly as possible to then plunder the city and raze it to the ground. Even during the uprising, residents in one occupied part of the city were driven out one after the other. 


Following the surrender, a planned process to resettle Warsaw’s population began. Patients from entire hospitals and residents from orphanages and old people’s homes were also among those evacuated. Columns of displaced people, who were carrying what was left of their possessions on their backs, were led under guard to a railway station, where they awaited transport to transit camps; upon arrival, a decision was then made as to where they would go. The resettlement of almost the entire population of Warsaw was an unprecedented event in the history of Europe: For a few months, a great city – the capital of a great European state – practically disappeared from the face of the earth. Once the inhabitants had been expelled, German special forces set out to plunder and destroy the city.   


Task 1

Define the term “exodus”.

task 2

Make assumptions as to why the Germans expelled the Polish people from Warsaw. 

task 3

Explain the events following the exodus of the population. 

task 4

Describe where Warsaw’s inhabitants were driven. 


Explain how inhabitants’ goods and possessions were dealt with following the expulsion. 


Make assumptions about the future perceptions of the Polish people and discuss them. 

Task 7

Describe the image (right). Based on their clothing, find out which inhabitants had to leave the city. 


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