Brief Historical Background
Ernst Klopp in the Wartheland ( 1940 – 1945)
The partitions of Poland and Lithuania were three partitions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth that took place toward the end of the 18th century and ended the existence of the state, resulting in the elimination of sovereign Poland and Lithuania for 123 years. The partitions were conducted by the Habsburg Monarchy, the Kingdom of Prussia, and the Russian Empire, which divided up the Commonwealth lands among themselves progressively in the process of territorial seizures and annexations.
My readers may remember that my grandmother Emma Klopp had settled in Elsenau, West Prussia not many years after her husband Peter Friedrich Klopp has died in 1900. Due to the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles, in 1920 she had to move west together with thousands of other dispossessed Germans. Also the area further south around the city of Posen (today Poznan) had to be returned to the newly created Polish State. That particular region was known as the Warthegau during the Nazi era and was named after the River Warthe. It was here in the area near Dietfurt (Znin) that my father Ernst Klopp received his assignment as director of three abandoned farms.
On 1 September 1939, without a formal declaration of war, Nazi Germany invaded Poland, using the pretext of the Gleiwitz incident, a provocation (one of many) staged by the Germans, who claimed that Polish troops attacked a post along the German-Polish border. During the following days and weeks the technically, logistically and numerically superior German forces rapidly advanced into the Polish territory. Secured by the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, the Soviet troops also invaded Poland on 17 September 1939. Before the end of the month, most of Poland was divided between the Germans and the Soviets.