Warsaw: Państwowe Przedsiębiorstwo Wydawnictw Kartograficznych, 1971. Single leaf printed in color, with vertical and horizontal folds, measuring 60 × 48 cm. In Polish, Russian, French, English and German. Scale 1:1 500 000. Light soil to recto; still about very good.
A stark pictogram map of Nazi atrocities and war crimes in Poland, based on the documents assembled by the Główna Komisja Ścigania Zbrodni przeciwko Narodowi Polskiemu (Chief Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation) which operated 1945–1999. The map documents sites of mass executions, concentration camps, POW camps, locates villages that were razed in their entirety, and includes camps of forced labor. In collaboration with Allied forces, the commission gathered documents, photographs, ephemera, and conducted interviews with thousands of witnesses and survivors, producing reports used in Nazi trials and initiating over 12.000 crime investigations. The materials were also used by historians Janus Gumkowski and Kazimierz Leszczyński for their 1961 “Poland Under Nazi Occupation,” which served as the basis for this map. The first simplified version of the map was published in 1962, also in five languages and in color, likely for the second round of Auschwitz trials held in Frankfurt in 1963–1965. Later more detailed versions in different sizes and scale produced for educational and propaganda purposes appeared in 1965, 1968, 1971, with a much smaller final version in 1982.
This 1971 edition features expanded commentary on the atrocities in five languages in red ink to the bottom of the map, stating that over six million “Poles and Polish subjects lost their lives” during WWII, a number close to 20% of the Polish population. The notes also indicate that nearly one million Soviet soldiers were killed in action or executed on Polish territory, emphasizing the Soviet perspective which was likely a condition for publication by the censorship body. The Polish borders of the map further suggest Soviet censorship, excluding eastern areas annexed by the Soviet Union after WWII. In line with the contemporary Soviet policy, despite careful documentation of atrocities in concentration camps such as Oswięcim and Majdanek, the map does not explicitly name the fact of Jewish extermination, or the targeting of Jews by the Nazis in WWII. The commentary also estimates material losses to the Polish nation at 50 billion dollars of value as of 1938, suggesting that the map may have been used in reparations cases. A closing note indicates that, for the sake of legibility, only 10% of all the sites of the war crimes have been marked, excluding sites were fewer than 50 people lost their lives at one time. All versions of the map were edited by Jan Laskowski (1928–2019), a cartographer, WWII veteran, and member of the commission, who produced other maps for the commission. Editorial support for the various editions was provided by Longin Kaczanowski, Urszula Cichowska, Krystyna Zalewska, Wanda Łyżwińska. KVK, OCLC show three copies of this smaller 1971 version in North America: at the LoC, the University of Texas, and the Hoover Institution.
Book ID: 52022