It is often forgotten that Christian Poles and other Slavs, notably Ukrainians and Byelorussians, were also primary targets of Nazi Germany hatred during World War II. To the Nazis, the Slavs were considered Untermenschen,or subhumans, and nothing more than obstacles to gaining territory necessary for the superior German race. This philosophy is apparent in Hitler's statement, "The destruction of Poland is our primary task. The aim is not the arrival at a certain line but the annihilation of living forces...."
The combination of a Nazi genocidal policy and the Nazis' thirst for more living space resulted in disaster for Polish, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian populations. Millions of Slavs were deported to Germany for forced labor. The highly educated people that had something to offer, like teachers, physicians, clergy, business owners, attorneys, engineers, landowners, and writers, were imprisoned in concentration camps or publicly executed. Tens of thousands of Ukrainians were executed by mobile killing squads, or Einsatzgruppen.
Those who were sent to camps had to wear badges, of course. There was not one badge designation for Poles and other Slavs. Rather, a Polish or Slavic person was categorized as a criminal, asocial, political prisoner, and so on. Millions upon millions of non-Jews were slaughtered in the Slavic countries.
Who were they?
Why were they were persecuted?
In what ways did they suffer?
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