The General Government, sometimes also General Governorate (German: Generalgouvernement, Polish: Generalne Gubernatorstwo, Ukrainian: Генеральна губернія) was a territory in Poland and Ukraine carved out by Adolf Hitler at the onset of World War II after the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. The newly occupied Second Polish Republic was split into three zones: the General Government in its centre, Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany in the west and Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union in the east.The basis for the formation of General Government was a German claim of the total collapse of the Polish state, proclaimed unilaterally by the Führer on October 8, 1939 through the so-called Annexation Decree on the Administration of the Occupied Polish Territories. This rationale was utilized by the German Supreme Court to reassign the identity of all Polish nationals as stateless subjects, with exception of the ethnic Germans of interwar Poland, named the only rightful citizens of the Third Reich, in disregard of international law.The General Government was run by Nazi Germany as a separate administrative unit for logistical purposes, in contrast to the Soviet practice of directly annexing everything it captured. When the Wehrmacht forces attacked the Soviet positions in Kresy in June 1941 during its initially successful Operation Barbarossa, the area of the General Government was enlarged by the inclusion of the regions of Poland occupied by the Red Army since 1939. Within days, so-called Eastern Galicia was overrun and renamed Distrikt Galizien. Until 1945 the General Government comprised much of central and southern Poland (and of modern-day western Ukraine), including the major Polish cities of Warsaw, Kraków, Lwów, Lublin, Tarnopol and Stanisławów among others.The Nazi German rulers of the Generalgouvernement territory had no intention of sharing power with the Poles or Ukrainians throughout the war, regardless of their political orientation. The authorities rarely even mentioned the name ""Poland"" in government correspondence. The only exception to this was the General Government's Bank of Issue in Poland (Polish: Bank Emisyjny w Polsce, German: Emissionbank in Polen). The government and administration of the General Government was composed entirely of Germans, with the intent that the area was to be colonized by German settlers who would exterminate most Poles and reduce the remaining population to the level of serfs before their final genocide.