The Nazi Invasion of Poland: Background information when reading 22 Britannia Road

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22 Britannia Road

A Novel

by Amanda Hodgkinson

22 Britannia Road
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2011, 336 pages
    Apr 2012, 336 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Sacha Dollacker

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Beyond the Book:
The Nazi Invasion of Poland

In Amanda Hodgkinson's 22 Britannia Road, Silvana and Janusz are plunged into war when Germany invades Poland in 1939. Though the invasion catches them (and their real-life counterparts) by surprise, Polish-German relations had been increasingly strained since the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, which redrew European borders at the end of World War I in 1919. A German-Polish Non-Aggression Pact, signed in 1934, had promised to keep relations between the two countries cordial, but, among other reasons, Germany's unwillingness to cede the Polish Corridor, per terms of the Treaty of Versailles, strained diplomacy.

Polish Corridor map As Hitler gained power, he focused his vision of a hegemonic Germany, taking territories from surrounding countries to create a "living space" that would expand "Greater Germany." An obvious choice was the Polish Corridor, a splice of land that belonged to Poland and cut East Prussia off from Hitler's expansion. The area was contested by both countries and inhabited by...

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