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General Government (Poland)

Last modified: 2002-12-14 by
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General government (1939-1944)

Does anyone know if the Nazis used a distinctive flag or coat-of-arms for German-occupied Poland (aka the "General Government") during WWII?
Such a coat of arms was mentioned by Niklaus Frank (son of Hans Frank, the Governor General of Poland who was executed as a war criminal at the end of WWII) in his book "In The Shadow of the Reich." Frank states that his father, in a mocking attempt to curry favor with the Polish population, allowed forced laborers to wear the coat-of-arms of the General Government on their
clothes in place of the violet "P" which Poles previously had to wear.
Assuming the younger Frank has his information right, what might this COA look like? A Polish friend of mine recently showed me the labor permits which the Germans issued to his grandparents while they worked in an arms factory in the General Government. The only state symbol visible on the documents is the coat of arms of the Third Reich itself - the stylized eagle above an encircled swastika.
If anyone has any information about this putative coat of arms, please let me know.
Jeremy March, 1 Dec 2002

There wasn't any distinctive flag nor CoA. Only German swastika symbols were officialy in use. General Government was meant as a temporary entity only, to be incorporated into "Third Reich" later, so even unofficial proposals are very unlikely. I only know of one case where other symbols were "officialy" in use: General Government coins were minted of pre-WWII Polish dies, so they featured Polish eagles of 1919 and 1927.
Mariusz Borkowski, 2 Dec 2002

Late in 1940 Dr.Neubecker submitted a proposal of the Arms and flag for GG but because of the temporary nature of the territory, as Mr.Borkowski explained earlier, the Nazi authorities never considered adopting them. (Hans Frank reportedly was in favor of them.). The Arms were in the form of shield with the black cross of the Teutonic Knights on white field with the sword superimpossed on it. The black handle of the silver cross was outlined with gold ornamentation for contrast and effect.
The flag was representation of the arms and was reported by Jaume Ollé some time ago.
I don't have access to my old files right now, but if requested, I will be happy to post those Arms soon.
Chrystian Kretowicz, 3 Dec 2002

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