What marked the Beginning of World War II was the German Invasion of Poland. On August 22 of 1939 at Hitler’s Obersalzburg home, Hitler addressed his Wehrmacht commanders in regards to the Invasion of Poland:
"I will provide a propagandistic casus belli. Its credibility doesn't matter. The victor will not be asked whether he told the truth."
This excerpt is now known to be a part of the “Armenian Quote”, getting its name because of Hitler’s reference to“Who, after all, speaks today of the Annihilation of the Armenians."
Hitler wanted to invade Poland and implement his ethnic cleansing program. The invasion had been in the works since 1928 when Wehrmacht General Werner Von Fritsch started working on the Fall Weiss strategic plan for the Invasion of Poland.
Although Hitler was confident in his abilities to successfully invade Poland, he was not confident in the support he had from the German people. Hitler saw firsthand through World War I how losing popular support can lead to a defeat in the war, so he made it a primary objective to make the Polish people a common enemy to the people of Germany.
Hitler was able to successfully do this through a national and international propaganda campaign that accused Poles and Polish authorities of committing violent atrocities against ethnic Germans that were living in Poland. Although this did help in creating opposition to the Poles, Hitler needed something bigger to fully justify the invasion.
At Hitler’s orders the German propaganda campaign against the Poles came to its peak under “Operation Himmler”,which was a false flag project that would show there was Polish aggression, giving the people of Germany fear of their neighbors in Poland, leading them to support a first strike. Hitler succeeded in making the invasion an act of defense, an attack or be attacked situation.
On August 31, 1939, the night before the invasion of Poland, undercover German units dressed in Polish uniforms attacked and seized the Gleiwitz station where they broadcasted an anti-German message in Poland. To make the plan look even more valid, the Germans took Poles from concentration camps, killed them, put them in uniform, and left them dead at the scene.
Along with the Gleiwitz incident there were other incidents throughout the night along the Polish-German border. The next day when Hitler announced the invasion of Poland, he cited the border incidents, calling them all very serious and a justification for the German invasion of Poland.