Polish university ravaged by Nazis in 1939 (9-17-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (September 17, 1944)

Polish university ravaged by Nazis

Professors murdered, valuable books stolen

Lublin, Poland (RNS) –
How the Germans ravaged Lublin Catholic University, murdered its professors and instructors, and plundered its valuable library was told here by Father Józef Kruszyński, rector of the university, who was held prisoner by the Germans for more than six months without any charges being preferred against him.

Dr. Kruszyński disclosed that in 1939, during the middle examination sessions at the school, the Germans arrested all professors, many of whom are still in concentration camps.

They included Bishop Fulman, who had been sentenced to death and whose sentence was later commuted. The fate of Prof. E. S. Goral, also condemned to death, is unknown.

Library burned

At the same time, the university library was raided by the Germans and 1,500 of the most valuable books transported to Germany. The rest of the library, including priceless Polish volumes, was burned.

Dr. Kruszyński said:

The Germans behaved in Poland neither like conquerors nor colonizers, but rather as executioners. Who but executioners and sadists could have conceived the monstrous joke played by the Germans at Kraków University?

He continued:

All the professors there were summoned to hear a lecture by a German professor on the subject, “Hitlerism – Man’s Real Life.” When the professors had assembled, a drunken Storm Trooper mounted the platform and delivered a disconnected diatribe.

Then a detachment of soldiers marched into the hall and 118 professors were taken away. Among those who perished were such well-known figures as Rostworowski, professor of international law, and Krasovski, professor of history and literature.

‘Terrible crimes’

Dr. Kruszyński said that he himself had witnessed “terrible crimes.”

He continued:

When confined in Lublin Castle, I saw Germans on Christmas Day lead some prisoners into the yard. They shot six, two of whom were priests, before my eyes.