Sabotage — a form of warfare, also in civil resistance. The main forms of sabotage during the war were: the evasion of work for the Germans, deliberate poor quality of work and deliberate damage of machinery and tools.
Salami tactics — method of attaining power by Communist parties in the countries dominated by the Soviet Union after WWII. The tactics consisted of three stages. In the first stage, Communist leaders took over all key government positions including the army, the police and secret service, while seemingly respecting democratic principles. In the second stage, repressions were instituted against democratic organizations, from the political right to the democratic left. The third stage involved the ultimate elimination of legal opposition and the declaration of the victory of “people’s democracy” over “bourgeois democracy.” These tactics were employed in all countries “freed” by the Soviet Union: Czechoslovakia (through a coup d'état), Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Albania and Romania (through the falsification of elections).
Small sabotage — supplementary conspiracy actions carried out during the German occupation such as drawing anti-Nazi wall graffiti, displaying Polish national symbols in public places, ridiculing German decrees and sabotaging German propaganda. The main goal of small sabotage was to let the public know that resistance existed and to keep up the spirit among the Polish citizens (compare: Wawer).
Smuggling (Polish: szmugiel) — illegal import of food from farms in the countryside to cities.
Sonderaktion Krakau — German term for the Nazi pacification aimed at Polish scholars in Kraków. On November 6, 1939, German authorities invited the Jagiellonian University professors to an alleged meeting to supposedly discuss the guidelines of the university operations under new circumstances of German occupation. During the meeting, 184 professors were arrested and sent to a concentration camp in Sachsenhausen. After international protests, 102 of them were freed in February of 1940.
Szmalcownik (from Polish “szmalec” meaning “money, dough”)—derogatory slang denoting a person who blackmailed the Jews in hiding or Poles who were helping the Jews during the Nazi occupation. Szmalcownik faced punishment by death from the Polish underground courts.
Trial of the Sixteen — a trial of 16 leaders of the Polish Underground State, held by Soviet secret police NKVD (Russian: Narodnyi Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del). In March of 1945, sixteen Polish leaders were invited to attend a meeting with Soviet authorities but instead they were arrested and accused of running illegal Underground state and of collaboration with Germans. Jan Stanisław Jankowski (Deputy of the Polish government-in-exile in London), Kazimierz Pużak (President of the Council of National Unity) and General Leopold Okulicki (former Commander-in-Chief of the Home Army) were among the arrested. They were tried and convicted during a staged trial in June of 1945 before the Soviet tribunal in Moscow.
Volksdeutsch — German word used during WWII for a citizen of a country other than Germany or Austria who acknowledged his/her German origins. Being on a so-called Volksliste guaranteed special privileges. In General Government, a Volksdeutsch was considered a traitor by Poles.
Wannsee Conference — a meeting of high-ranked Third Reich officials such as ministers and SS representatives held on January 20, 1942 at a Villa located at Großer Wannsee in the suburbs of Berlin. Its purpose was to address the quickest and most efficient method of the extermination of the Jews in Europe (see also: Final solution to the Jewish question). The conference decided on the elimination of all the Jews, defined by racial criteria and therefore including people of Jewish origin.
Warsaw Uprising - Warsaw's last attempt to stand up against Nazi Germany. It began on August 1, 1944, and which was organized by the Polish Home Army. It smain goal was to secure Poland’s independence of the Soviet Union. Crushed by the more technologically advanced military power of the German forces, the fighters surrendered after 63 days of intensive combat. The civilians were marched out of the city and the German troops commenced a systematic destruction of the city.
Wawer — Polish name for an underground Small Sabotage Organization, named in memory of the victims of a mass execution on December 27, 1939 at the Wawer district of Warsaw. It started its operations on November 5, 1940 and was commanded by Aleksander Kamiński (see: small sabotage).
Yad Vashem — Hebrew term for the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority. It operates in Israel with the mission of research and preservation of the memory of the Holocaust victims. One of its goals is to recognize people and organizations that helped the Jews during WWII.
Yom Ha-Shoa — Hebrew term for Holocaust Remembrance Day observed in Israel and within the Jewish Diaspora on the 27th day of Nisan of the Hebrew calendar (it falls in March or April).
Zionists — members of a Jewish political and social movement, the objective of which was to create a Jewish state on the Palestinian territory.
Żegota — Polish codename for Polish Council to Aid Jews (Polish: Rada Pomocy Żydom). It was founded in December of 1942 and operated under the auspices of the Polish government-in-exile in London with the purpose of helping the Jews. Among its most prominent members were Zofia Kossak-Szczucka, Irena Sendler and Władysław Bartoszewski.