This propaganda picture is dated 10th February 1940 yet most of the confiscations had taken place as early as October 1939. The ‘new’ German town of Gotenhafen was under the Danzig-West Prussia area controlled by Gauleiter Albert Forster, a long established Nazi with the ear of Hitler. He initially enthusiastically supported the resettlement policies of the Reich. Many if not most of the 130,000 Polish inhabitants were swiftly expelled in ‘wild’ expulsions that took place early in the war.
Poles were given a few hours to pack a single suitcase and told to leave their homes in good tidy order so that they would be presentable to the incoming German nationals.They were then sent off in open wagons to the General Government area. Possibly 12,000 Poles were simply shot.
However there were only some 17,000 German nationals to replace them, many re-settled from the Baltic states now occupied by the Soviets. Gotenhafen, formerly an important port, became a ghost town.
Forster changed his mind about the expulsion policy, which was scaled back dramatically elsewhere in his region. He also became dissatisfied with the settlers who were too elderly or ‘plutocratic’ to replace the Polish port workers and forced many of them to move on.