Reconstituted as a state after the Great War, Poland was again partitioned between Germany and Russia in 1939. The whole of Poland was taken over by Germany in 1941.

The Western part of Poland was immediately organised into two new Reichsgaue, Danzig-West Prussia and Wartheland with smaller areas attached to the neighbouring gaue of Upper Silesia and East Prussia. A small amount of territory was also handed to Slovakia.

Central Poland became known as the Generalgouvernment, into which were crowded Poles from the West in order to serve as a pool of labour for German industry. This was not to form the basis of a puppet state, and no significant local collaboration was sort. The Generalgouvernment was divided into four districts: Krakau, Radom, Lublin and Warschau.

The Eastern Part of Poland was under Soviet rule between 1939 and 1941. After the invasion of Russia, Eastern Poland was attached to the Generalgouvernment as Galicia District, to the Reichskommissariat Ukraine or Ostland, and to the separate Belostok District.