Two files containing the documents of the Safety Department of the District Council of Nowy Tomyśl from 1938 are stored in the collections of the State Archive in Poznań. Together they make 602 pages. Thematically, they assembled the documents regarding the border protection, the border traffic, the stay in the frontier zone, the expulsion from the border security zone or other border incidents. To a huge extent, their content speaks about “the camp in Zbąszyń for the Jews and other Polish citizens deported from Germany”. The sheet of this sets constitute a record of contacts between the Jews deported from the German Reich and imprisoned in Zbąszyń during the so-called “Polenaktion” and the local authorities of the Republic of Poland.Further reading
The deportees to Zbąszyń registered their requests, which would have improved their dramatic situation in that overcrowded border town, if they had been fulfilled. Some of them tried to get out. They would send letters asking for release. Initially they addressed them to the “Magnificent District Council of Nowy Tomyśl”. After a couple months of deepening desperation, they started writing letters directly to Felicjan Sławoj-Składkowski, the Polish Prime Minister at the time. They referred to the businesses they needed to lead, to the families awaiting their support or to their declining health. The families tried to get others out. They submitted letters from quite often distant destinations in Poland. They assured of their funds to provide livelihood for “the misfortunate of Zbąszyń”. They guaranteed that after a short stay at home and recovery the ones from Zbąszyń would eventually emigrate from Poland. All of them were charged 5,50 zloty, which used to be quite a significant sum at the time, just to process their claims. Some of the trapped in Zbąszyń managed to obtain a “certificate of poverty”, attesting the loss of property by the deportation and excusing from the charge. Beside a couple of exceptions, all of them – the ones from Zbąszyń as well as the ones from the outer world – ultimately received the same response. A short note, copied on a duplicating machine and finished with the sentence: “All the persons expelled from Germany to Poland are to stay at the present places until further dispositions”.