The General Government (German: Generalgouvernement, Polish: Generalne Gubernatorstwo, Ukrainian: Генеральна губернія) was an area of the Second Republic of Poland that was under Nazi German rule during the duration of World War II, from 1939 to early 1945. The Nazi government designated the territory as a separate administrative region of the Third Reich. It included much of central and southern Poland, including the major cities of Warsaw and Kraków. Following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa in June 1941, the region of Eastern Galicia, formerly Polish territory which was invaded and annexed by the Soviet Union subsequent to the Nazi–Soviet pact, was incorporated into the General Government.
In terms of international and civil law, all of these acts were illegal from their inception, according to section III of the Fourth Hague Convention (1907) accepted by Germany. The area was not a puppet state; its rulers had no goal of cooperating with Poles throughout the war, regardless of their political orientation. The Nazi authorities made a determined effort to avoid even mentioning the name "Poland" in government correspondence. The only exception to this were the German-backed banknotes and coins (called 'zloty' and 'grosz') printed in 1940 in which the word was used for propaganda purposes. The government and administration of the General Government was composed entirely of Germans, with the intent that the area was eventually to become an ethnic German province. According to the Heim ins Reich initiative the only locals remaining were to be those of German descent.
Famous quotes containing the words general and/or government:
“A writer who writes, I am alone ... can be considered rather comical. It is comical for a man to recognize his solitude by addressing a reader and by using methods that prevent the individual from being alone. The word alone is just as general as the word bread. To pronounce it is to summon to oneself the presence of everything the word excludes.”
—Maurice Blanchot (b. 1907)
“I dont know jokes; I just watch the government and report the facts.”
—Will Rogers (18791935)