Special Courts (Polish Sądy Specjalne) were the underground courts organized by the Polish Government in Exile during World War II in occupied Poland. The courts determined punishments for the citizens of Poland who were subject to the Polish law before the war.
That is why on April 16, 1940, the Polish Government in Exile in London decided that the underground Polish courts be created for persecution of criminalists, traitors, informants and collaborators. Contrary to common belief, the Special Courts tried only the pre-war citizens of Poland who were legally subjects of the Polish law. No citizens of other states (including members of the occupying forces of Germany and USSR) were ever sentenced by the Special Courts. However, at times such claims were made by the Bureau of Information and Propaganda for propaganda reasons; nevertheless, executions of members of the SS and Gestapo were treated as elements of partisan warfare. The reason for such policy was a belief that the agendas of the Polish Secret State should act as if the occupation and dismemberment of Poland never happened.
Polish special underground courts reviewed about 10,000-17,000 cases of collaboration, sentenced over 3,500 individuals to death (2,500 executions were carried out; many others were sentenced to punishments like beatings or fines).
However, some German historians claim that after 1939 Poland did not exist, and the execution of Polish law on German-held territory was therefore against international law. These claims remain controversial, since the annexation of Poland in 1939 was unilateral and acknowledged only by the Axis Powers and the USSR (which later declared its pact with Germany null and void).
Speech of and Answers to Questions of Mass Media by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during Joint Press Conference Summarizing the Results of Negotiations with Oic Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Moscow, 7 June 2013
Jun 07, 2013; MOSCOW, Russia -- The following information was released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation: Dear...