There’s such a huge range in this photograph — a range of faces, of ages, of attitudes. But all of these people are part of the same plight — they are Polish civilians who have been forcibly expelled from their homes in Czerniejewo by German authorities. After Germany invaded Poland, there was a mass expulsion of ethnic Poles in German-occupied Poland as part of the German Lebensraum policy. The Polish were forced out of their homes to make room for Germans and this village would later be renamed Schwarzenau, where Germans would remain until the end of the war.

Lebensraum

Czerniejewo, Greater Poland Voivodeship, Poland.

September 1939.

Image taken by Wilhelm Holtfreter.       

Credit: Anti-Worlds