n addition to about 2.9 million Polish Jews (mostly killed in Operation Reinhard), about 2.8 million non-Jewish Polish citizens perished during the course of the war. Two million were ethnic Poles, the remaining 500,000 were mainly ethnic minority Ukrainians and Belarusians living in Poland.
The majority of those killed by Nazi Germany were civilians (exceeding military deaths nearly 10:1).
From the start of the war against Poland, Germany intended to realize the plan laid-out by theNazi leader Adolf Hitler in his 1926 book Mein Kampf. The aim of this plan was to turn Eastern Europe into part of greater Germany, the so-called German Lebensraum ("living space"). Nazi ideology had viewed Slavs as a racially inferior group. On August 22, 1939, on the invasion of Poland, Hitler gave explicit permission to his commanders to kill "without pity or mercy, men, women, and children of Polish descent or language".
Genocide was conducted systematically against Polish people: on September 7, 1939 Reinhard Heydrich stated that all Polish nobles, clergy and Jews are to be killed, on September 12 Wilhelm Keitel added intelligentsia to the list, at the end of 1940 Hitler demanded liquidation of "all leading elements in Poland" and on March 15, 1940, Himmler stated All Polish specialists will be exploited in our military-industrial complex. Later, all Poles will disappear from this world. It is imperative that the great German nation considers the elimination of all Polish people as its chief task.
1939 September Campaign
About 150,000 to 200,000 Polish civilians were killed during the one-month September Campaign, characterized by the indiscriminate and often deliberate targeting of civilians by the invading forces of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Many of the them were killed in the Luftwaffe's terror bombing operations (including the bombing of Frampol and Wielu?,). Massive air raids were conducted on these, and other towns which had no military infrastructure. Columns of fleeing refugees were systematically attacked by the German fighter and dive-bomber aircraft.
From the first day of the war, the round-ups and summary executions of Poles commenced by Wehrmacht, SS and Selbstschutz. Several thousand Polish POWs were also murdered.