Roundup (history)

A roundup (Polish: łapanka, [waˈpanka] (listen); French: rafle or attrapage; Dutch: "razzia") was a widespread German World War II security and economic exploitation tactic used in occupied countries, especially in German-occupied Poland, whereby the SS, Wehrmacht and German police took captive at random thousands of civilians on the streets of subjugated cities. The civilians were captured in groups of unsuspecting passers-by, or kidnapped from selected city quarters that had been surrounded in advance by German forces.[1]

Those caught in roundups were most often sent to slave labour in Germany, but were also taken as hostages or executed in reprisal actions; imprisoned and sent to concentration camps; or summarily executed in numerous ethnic-cleansing operations.[2]

Lapanka zoliborz warszawa Polska 1941
1941 roundup in Warsaw's Żoliborz district
LocationGerman-occupied Europe, predominantly Nazi occupied Poland
PeriodWorld War II (1939–1945)


Street roundup in Warsaw.jpeg
Street roundup in Warsaw 1941

The term łapanka, derived from the Polish verb łapać ("to catch"), carried a sardonic connotation due to the prior use of the word łapanka for the children's game known in English as "tag".

"Round ups, or lapankas, the Polish name they were known under, became an essential feature of life in Warsaw and precipitated much wider ferocity on both sides. (...) Whole streets were sealed off by police and soldiers and most trapped men and women were carted off to concentration camps or sent as slave labour to the Reich. Tram and trainloads of people, regardless of work documents, were herded like cattle into trucks, many never to see home or family again." - Ron Jeffery memoir, 1943[3]

Niemiecki obóz przejściowy na Śródmieściu przy ul. Myśliwieckej
Victims of roundup, transit camp at Szwoleżerów Street (pl), Warsaw, 1942

Most people who were rounded up were transported to labour camps (Arbeitslager), including Auschwitz. Many Polish women were selected for sexual slavery. Many Polish children were kidnapped for adoption by German families. Some − those without proper documents or carrying contraband − were transported to concentration and death camps. Others, particularly Jews in hiding and Poles wanted for harboring them, were shot dead on the spot.

The term was also used for describing the tactic of cordoning-off of streets, and the systematic searching of buildings. For young men in their 20s and 30s, the only reliable defense against being taken away by the Nazis was the possession of an identity card (called Ausweis) certifying that the holder was employed by a German company or a government agency locally (for example, by the city utilities or the railways). Thus, many of those who were taken from cafes and restaurants in Warsaw on the night of December 5, 1940 were subsequently released after their documents had been checked.[4]

Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1971-067-07, Sicherheitsdienst in Polen, Razzia
Sicherheitsdienst roundup, occupied Poland

According to estimates, in Warsaw alone between 1942 and 1944 the Nazi łapankas claimed at least 400 victims every day, with numbers reaching several thousand on some days. On 19 September 1942, nearly 3,000 men and women, who had been caught in massive round-ups all over Warsaw during the previous two days, were transported by train-loads to slave labour in Germany.[2]

Targeted territories

Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-027-1477-04, Marseille, Rue Bonneterie, Razzia
Nazi German roundup in France (rafle), Marseille

Such roundups as Poland's łapanka were carried out by the Germans in other occupied countries as well, particularly in northern France, although not as extensively as in Poland. The French term for this practice was rafle, applied primarily to the rounding-up of French Jews. In Denmark and the Netherlands, a Nazi roundup was called razzia.

In historical terms, the razzia roundup was used in French colonial context for Muslim raids particularly to plunder and capture slaves from Western and Central Africa, also known as rezzou when practiced by the Tuareg. (See also: Barbary slave trade) The word was adopted from ġaziya of Algerian Arabic vernacular and later became a figurative name for any act of pillage, with its verb form razzier. The Soviets used similar tactics to round up middle-class Poles in the part of Poland that they occupied following the 1939 invasion of Poland. Men, women, and children were transported to labour camps in remote regions of the Soviet Union.[5]

Polish resistance

Warsaw roundup

In 1940, one roundup was used by Home Army secret agent Witold Pilecki to gain entry into the Auschwitz camp set up at about that time for Polish prisoners.[6] There, he gathered first-hand intelligence on the camp, and organised inmate resistance.[7] Pilecki deliberately went out into the street during a Warsaw roundup on 19 September 1940, and was arrested by the Germans along with other civilians. Auschwitz was the main destination for the Poles from beyond the ghetto.[6] There he organised Związek Organizacji Wojskowej (ZOW, the Military Organization Association), and in November 1940 sent its first report about the camp and the genocide being committed there to Home Army headquarters in Warsaw.[8][9]

Announcement by Hans Frank - Force Labor (1940)
Hans Frank's announcement of forced labor, 1940
Łapanka in Bydgoszcz - arrested Poles at Parkowa Street 02
Bydgoszcz roundup, 8 September 1939 – Polish civilian being guarded by Luftwaffe soldier

In retribution for roundups as acts of Nazi terror, the Polish resistance carried out attacks on German forces and prepared lists of Nazi leaders to be eliminated for their crimes against civilians.[10] Nazi personnel responsible for organizing roundups, such as members of local unemployment offices, the SS, SD, and German police, were sentenced to death by the Special Courts of the Polish Underground for crimes against Polish citizens during the Occupation of Poland. Because of the particular brutality of the police, the AK killed 361 gendarmes in 1943, and 584 in 1944. In Warsaw alone, ten Germans were killed daily. From August to December 1942, the AK launched 87 attacks on the German administration and members of the apparatus of terror. In 1943 this number rose radically − the AK carried out 514 attacks during the first four months.[11] In an underground operation known as Operacja Główki (Operation Heads), Polish underground combat units from Kedyw eliminated roundup organizers such as:

  1. Kurt Hoffman - chief of the unemployment office in Warsaw responsible for organising roundups of Poles. Executed by the AK on 9 April 1943.[12]
  2. Hugo Dietz - Hoffmann's assistant. Executed on 13 April 1943.
  3. Fritz Geist - chief of the unemployment office department. Killed on 10 May 1943.
  4. Willi Lübbert - worked at the unemployment office and organised roundups of Poles to be sent to Nazi labor camps. Executed on 1 July 1944.
  5. Eugen Bollodino - worked at the unemployment office and organised roundups of Poles to be sent to Nazi labor camps. Executed by combat patrol unit DB-17 on 8 June 1944.

In culture

Criticism of the German practice of roundups was the theme of the most popular song of occupied Warsaw, Siekiera, motyka (Polish for Axe, Hoe).[13] In 1943 it was published by the Polish resistance's underground presses in the book Posłuchajcie ludzie... (Listen, folks), one of the bibuła publications of the Komisja Propagandy (Propaganda Commission) of the Armia Krajowa (Home Army). The song was also reproduced in several books and records after the German occupation ended. In 1946 the song was featured in the first Polish movie created after the war, Zakazane piosenki, directed by Leonard Buczkowski.

See also


  1. ^ Ron Jeffery (1989), Red Runs the Vistula. Nevron Associates Publ., Manurewa, Auckland, New Zealand. ISBN 090873400X via Google Books, snippet.
  2. ^ a b Władysław Bartoszewski, 1859 dni Warszawy (1859 Days of Warsaw), pp. 303-4.
  3. ^ Ron Jeffery, "Red Runs the Vistula", Nevron Associates Publ.,Manurewa, Auckland, New Zealand 1985
  4. ^ Władysław Bartoszewski, 1859 dni Warszawy (1859 Days of Warsaw), p. 167.
  5. ^ Norman Davies (1996), Europe: A History, Oxford University Press, pp. 1002-3. ISBN 0198201710.
  6. ^ a b Snyder, Timothy (2010). Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin. New York: Basic Books. p. 281. ISBN 978-0-465-00239-9.
  7. ^ Jozef Garlinski (1975), Fighting Auschwitz: the Resistance Movement in the Concentration Camp, Fawcett, ISBN 0-449-22599-2; reprinted by Time Life Education, 1993. ISBN 0-8094-8925-2.
  8. ^ Adam Cyra, Ochotnik do Auschwitz - Witold Pilecki 1901-1948 [Volunteer for Auschwitz], Oświęcim 2000. ISBN 83-912000-3-5
  9. ^ Hershel Edelheit, History of the Holocaust: A Handbook and Dictionary, Westview Press, 1994, ISBN 0-8133-2240-5,Google Print, p.413
  10. ^ Henryk Witkowski "Kedyw okręgu warszawskiego AK w latach 1943-1944", Warszawa 1984
  11. ^ EUGENIUSZ DURACZYŃSKI "WOJNA I OKUPACJA", Wiedza Powszechna 1974
  12. ^ Władysław Bartoszewski, 1859 dni Warszawy, Kraków, 1974
  13. ^ Stanisław Salmonowicz, Polskie Państwo Podziemne, Wydawnictwa Szkolne i Pedagogiczne, Warszawa, 1994, ISBN 83-02-05500-X, p.255


  • Władysław Bartoszewski, 1859 dni Warszawy (1859 Days of Warsaw), Kraków, 1974.
  • Norman Davies, Europe: A History, ISBN 0-19-520912-5.
  • Ron Jeffery, "Red Runs the Vistula", Nevron Associates Publ.,Manurewa, Auckland, New Zealand 1985
  • Richard C. Lukas "Forgotten Holocaust - The Poles Under German Occupation 1939-1944" Hippocrene Books 1997 ISBN 0-7818-0901-0
  • Tomasz Strzembosz, Akcje zbrojne podziemnej Warszawy 1939-1944, Warszawa, 1978.
  • Stachiewicz Piotr, Akcja "Kutschera", Książka i Wiedza, 1987, ISBN 83-05-11024-9.
  • Henryk Witkowski, Kedyw okręgu Warszawskiego Armii Krajowej w latach 1943- 1944, Fakty i Dokumenty,(Kedyw of Warsaw area. Facts and documents) 1984.
"Polish death camp" controversy

"Polish death camp" and "Polish concentration camp" are misnomers that have been a subject of controversy and legislation. Such terms have been used by news media and by public figures in reference to concentration camps that were built and run during World War II by Nazi Germany in German-occupied Poland.

When used in relation to the Jewish Holocaust or to the murder of Poles and other nationalities in German-operated facilities, these expressions have been used to refer to the camps' geographic location in German-occupied Poland. However, the expressions have also allegedly been used to undermine Germany's responsibility for the Holocaust, and can be misconstrued as meaning "death camps set up by Poles" or "run by Poland". Polish officials and organizations, and private citizens in Poland and among the Polish diaspora, have objected to such expressions as criminally misleading.In 2018 an Amendment to the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance was signed into law by Polish President Andrzej Duda. It criminalized false public statements that ascribe to the Polish nation collective responsibility in Holocaust-related crimes, crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, or war crimes, or which "grossly reduce the responsibility of the actual perpetrators". Exempted from such strictures were scholarly studies, discussions of history, and artistic activities. It was generally understood that the law would have criminalized the use of the expressions "Polish death camp" and "Polish concentration camp". The legislation was controversial; it led to Israeli-Polish consensus-building, cooperation in rewriting the legislation four months later, and a joint statement condemning both antisemitism and anti-Polish sentiment.

Alive 90.5

Alive 90.5 (formerly 2CCR) is a community radio station based in Baulkham Hills in Sydney. The station broadcasts to the Hills District and parts of Greater Western Sydney. This includes the City of Parramatta, Cumberland Council and The Hills Shire.


Blackbirding involves the coercion of people through trickery and kidnapping to work as labourers. Generally, persons of European ancestry, or others being paid by them, coerced persons of non-European ancestry to work as labourers throughout the Southeast Pacific region. Blackbirders sought labourers for several major industries or plantations.

From the 1860s, blackbirding ships in the Pacific sought workers to mine the guano deposits on the Chincha Islands in Peru. In the 1870s the blackbirding trade focused on supplying labourers to plantations, particularly those producing sugar-cane in Queensland, Australia, and Fiji. In the early days of the pearling industry in Western Australia at Nickol Bay and Broome, local Aborigines were blackbirded from the surrounding areas.

The practice of blackbirding has continued to the present day, in certain developing countries. One example is the kidnapping and coercion, often at gunpoint, of indigenous peoples in Central America to work as plantation labourers in the region. They are subjected to poor living conditions, are exposed to heavy pesticide loads, and do hard labour for very little pay.

Culture of Evans County, Georgia

The Culture of Evans County, Georgia is a subculture of the state of Georgia. The most common ancestries in Evans County are American; English; Irish; German; Scots-Irish; French; and Italian. The county has many customs, among them an annual Rattlesnake and Wildlife Festival and a century ride. Evans County's cuisine including seafood, corn on the cob and Brunswick stew, as well as Mexican and Chinese food.

History and recreation are very important in Evans County. A number of books have been written concerning the county's history since its creation on August 11, 1914, as well as memoirs of the lives of some who have lived in the county. Outdoor activities include school sports, fishing, going to local parks, and golf.

Evans County, Georgia

Evans County is a county in the southeastern portion of the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 11,000. The county seat is Claxton. A bill creating the county was passed in the Georgia General Assembly on August 11, 1914, and later, on November 3, 1914, an amendment was ratified by a vote of the people which formally created the county.

Evans County is located in an area known as the Magnolia Midlands within the Historic South region. The current Evans County Courthouse was created in 1923 and, in 1940, the people of Evans County elected their first female sheriff. Later, in the 1950s and 1960s, new growth came to the county with the building of Evans Memorial Hospital and the Claxton-Evans County Airport. In 2010, the population was 11,000; however, the 2012 Census Estimate showed a population of 10,689.

The county sits firmly within Georgia's coastal plain region and has predominantly sedimentary rock and red and yellow clays. The Canoochee River is the major body of water flowing through the county.

Manufacturing, educational, health and social services make up much of Evans County's diverse economy. Major employers in the county include Camellia Health and Rehabilitation, Claxton Poultry Company, Georgia Department of Corrections, Nesmith Chevrolet Company, Pinewood Christian Academy, and Valmont Newmark. The county is ranked 64 out of 71 Tier 1 counties with an 8% sales tax. Businesses in the county are 100% exempt on all classes of certain business inventory from property taxes.

German military brothels in World War II

German military brothels were set up by Nazi Germany during World War II throughout much of occupied Europe for the use of Wehrmacht and SS soldiers. These brothels were generally new creations, but in the West, they were sometimes set up using existing brothels as well as many other buildings. Until 1942, there were around 500 military brothels of this kind in German-occupied Europe. Often operating in confiscated hotels and guarded by the Wehrmacht, these facilities served travelling soldiers and those withdrawn from the front. According to records, at least 34,140 European women were forced to serve as prostitutes during the German occupation of their own countries along with female prisoners of concentration camp brothels. In many cases in Eastern Europe, the women involved were kidnapped on the streets of occupied cities during German military and police round ups called łapanka or rafle.


Impressment, colloquially "the press" or the "press gang", is the taking of men into a military or naval force by compulsion, with or without notice. Navies of several nations used forced recruitment by various means. The large size of the British Royal Navy in the Age of Sail meant impressment was most commonly associated with Britain. It was used by the Royal Navy in wartime, beginning in 1664 and during the 18th and early 19th centuries as a means of crewing warships, although legal sanction for the practice can be traced back to the time of Edward I of England. The Royal Navy impressed many merchant sailors, as well as some sailors from other, mostly European, nations. People liable to impressment were "eligible men of seafaring habits between the ages of 18 and 55 years". Non-seamen were impressed as well, though rarely.

Impressment was strongly criticized by those who believed it to be contrary to the British constitution; unlike many of its continental rivals at the time, British subjects were not subject to conscription for military service, with the exception of a brief experiment with army impressment from 1778 to 1780. Though the public opposed conscription in general, impressment was repeatedly upheld by the courts, as it was deemed vital to the strength of the navy and, by extension, to the survival of the British influence and realm.

Impressment was essentially a Royal Navy practice, reflecting the size of the British fleet and its substantial manpower demands. While other European navies applied forced recruitment in times of war, this was generally done as an extension of the practice of formal conscription applied by most European armies from the Napoleonic Wars on. The U.S. Continental Navy also applied a form of impressment during the American War of Independence.

The impressment of seamen from American ships caused serious tensions between Britain and the Thirteen Colonies in the years leading up to the Revolutionary War. One of the 27 colonial grievances directly highlights the practice. It was again a cause of tension leading up to the War of 1812. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1814, Britain ended the practice; later conscription was not limited to the Royal Navy but covered all armed forces.

Mykel Hawke

Mykel Hawke (born November 29, 1965) is a retired U.S. Army Special Forces officer, author, and television and film personality. He is perhaps best known for the television programs he created on Discovery Channel called Man, Woman, Wild and One Man Army. He left Discovery to work on two new programs: Lost Survivors for Travel Channel and Elite Tactical Unit for Outdoor Channel.

Outline of Montana

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the U.S. state of Montana:

Montana – fourth most extensive of the 50 states of the United States of America. Montana is the northernmost of the western Mountain States. The Territory of Montana joined the Union as the 41st state on November 8, 1889.


Shanghaiing or crimping is the practice of kidnapping people to serve as sailors by coercive techniques such as trickery, intimidation, or violence. Those engaged in this form of kidnapping were known as crimps. The related term press gang refers specifically to impressment practices in Great Britain's Royal Navy.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.