How did occupation affect peoples’ lives?

Extracts from a letter written by a young Polish girl, February 2nd 1940

Catalogue ref: FO 371/24472

Extract a

For the killing of one German whole massacres among the Poles are being perpetrated every day and in general shooting of people goes on constantly for the most trivial reasons, as well as putting them to prison. Tens of thousands of completely innocent people are filling the prisons. In spite of it all Warsaw is as a paradise compared to Pomerania or Posnania, where people are being driven out of their dwelling places and not allowed to take anything with them. Then they put them into unheated trucks and leave them somewhere in the open country in this cold. Untold horrors are being done with the Jews.

Extract b

All classes and all professions are equally staunch in their absolute hatred of the Germans and no wonder. If you had lived through the siege, or rather the murder of Warsaw and passed some further months under the rule of the enemy, you would understand... They are complete savages without even a vestige of the most commonplace decency or any kind of moral feeling. . . And if all this is to last longer, then - after a far far away victory of the Allies nothing will be left here except the naked soil. The nation will have died. Everybody here believes that the Germans will leave in summer at the latest. To imagine any other solution to be possible would drive one to madness. People are afraid even to think of it. And in spring people are to be driven to Germany to do field work.