Jagiellonian University


On November 6, 1939, at the request of SS-Obersturmbannführer Bruno Müller, about 175 professors and teachers from universities in Krakow, Lublin and Vilnius gathered at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. These believed that the university’s principal would inform them what changes the German occupation would mean for further education. But instead, they were informed by Müller that the university had no permission to pursue any education. The participants were then arrested in chaotic circumstances and taken to Montelupich prison. They then ended up in several prisons before finally being sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp in late November. The arrest was called Sonderaktion Krakau and was part of a program called the Ausserordentliche Befriedungsaktion which aimed to eliminate all potential resistance to the German occupying power. However, the action provoked protests from. Mussolini and the Vatican and this led to the release of 101 professors older than 40 years in February 1940. But a combination of weather, poor conditions and old age meant that twelve professors had time to die before the decision on release was taken. Those who were not released were sent to Dachau in March 1940 and finally released in January 1941.

Current status: Preserved with monument (2013).

Address: ul. Golebia 24, 31-007 Kraków.

Get there: Walk from central Krakow.

My comment:

After the Germans attacked the Soviet union in june 1941, a similar action was carried out against polish professors in Lviv. This time there were no doubts on the part of the Germans as to whether they could be murdered or not. In July, some 50 people were murdered for the same reason that those in Krakow had been arrested, considered a threat to German hegemony.

Follow up in books: Lukas, Richard C: Forgotten Holocaust: The Poles Under German Occupation 1939-1944 (2008).