In September of 1939, Poland, the first country in the world to do so, stood up to the military machine of the two most murderous regimes of the 20th century: Nazi Germany and Bolshevik Russia. It was an unfair fight, with the powers of the Third Reich and the Soviet Union on one side and a country which only 20 years earlier had recovered its independence on the other. The heroism of the Polish army and of the people bravely supporting its efforts knows no equal in modern history. The history of the September Campaign, as the period is known in Polish historiography, bears witness to the famous words spoken by Poland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, col. Józef Beck, in May of 1939 in response to Nazi demands: Peace is a precious and desired thing. Our generation, blood-spattered in wars, certainly deserves peace. But peace as almost all matters of this world has its own price, high but measurable. In Poland we do not know the concept of peace at all costs. Only one thing in the life of people, nations and states is considered priceless. That thing is honor.
On the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the outbreak of World War II and through the collection September 1939, the National Library is making available to the public digital copies of newspapers, proclamations, flyers and other documents published in Poland between the end of August until early October of 1939. In the early days of the war, when the country was under constant attack, with the civil population dispersed and cut off from their homes, the press and leaflets served very often as the only source of information. The newspapers and printed material presented in the collection September 1939, many of which have never been presented before, will therefore surely serve as a source of invaluable information complementing historical knowledge of that period not only for historians but for everyone interested in the events and the atmosphere of the September Campaign.
To browse digital documents click "Publications list" on the left-hand side menu.
Number of publications in collection:560