General Government

German-occupied zone in Poland in World War II

General Government (GG, Polish: Generalne Gubernatorstwo) is a term for a region in central Poland. This region, after its annexation from the Nazi Germany in 1939, was declared semi-autonomous with local civil and military administration. Unlike Vidkun Quisling's Norway, it wasn't a puppet state. The local authorities were staffed with Germans faithful to National Socialism.

Administrative map of General Government (1941)

The creation


Germany invaded in Poland on September 1, 1939, triggering the start of World War II. Germany won Poland in just 18 days. In September 18, the Soviet Union, signatory party of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, also invades Poland. Thus, Poland was divided into three main parts:

  • The western part who was annexed directly in the Greater German Reich as Gau Wartheland.
  • The eastern part was annexed by the Soviet Union. Unlike Germany, much of the occupied Polish territory remained in the Soviet Union after the war.
  • The central part is remaining occupied by Germany. According to a Hitler's decree of October 12, 1939,[1] a General Government is created.[2]

At first, General Government was composed of four Polish voivodeships: Warsaw, Radom, Lublin and Kraków. In August 1941, the General Government was enlarged, incorporating Galicia which was detached from the Soviet Union. Kraków was the capital.


  1. Axis History Forum
  2. Yad Vashem (pdf)

Other websites