This video is part of a series of 19 animated maps.

View series: Europe and nations, 1918-1942

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Poland Conquered and Dismantled (1939-1941)

This map is part of a series of 19 animated maps showing the history of Europe and nations, 1918-1942.

After Czechoslovakia had been carved up in March 1939, Hitler turned his attention to Poland and claimed the city of Dantzig.

August, Hitler and Stalin signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and secretly agreed to share out Polish territory between them. Poland was invaded and quickly conquered in September first by the German Army, then by the Russian Army.

The population was suffered dreadfully at the hands of the two conquerors: the elite were eliminated or deported, the economy was systematically looted.

Hitler’s attack against Poland forced France and England to declare war on Germany.

By the time Germany invaded the USSR in June 1941, the Reich controlled the entire territory of Poland, most of which had been incorporated into “Greater Germany”.