Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

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Re: Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

Post by wm » 13 Nov 2015 19:25

The problem is that the question was "did Poland have territorial plans against Germany" before the WW2?
The answer is:
- the Government had no plans,
- major political parties or organisations - nothing,
- small stuff - nothing,
- insane groups - nothing.

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Re: Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 13 Nov 2015 19:39

Sid Guttridge wrote:Look at it another way - apart from its losses to Poland (and Russia) what other territorial losses did inter-war Germany suffer?

None. As far as I am aware, all its other borders were unaltered.
The Dutch wanted to annex large parts of German territory, but in the end that did not happen - read more about this here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_ann ... Schut_Plan

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Black_Tulip

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 6#p1607100

There were plans to eradicate Germany entirely, such as those by Theodore N. Kaufman, Henry J. Morgenthau, Louis Nizer, Earnest A. Hooton, Ernest Hemmingway, Ivor Duncan, etc. Of those plans the one by Morgenthau was the least radical one, and was supported by Roosevelt.

Kaufman, Nizer, Hemmingway, Duncan and Hooton apart from dismantling Germany also proposed various types of "final solution" for Germans. Hooton wanted to encourage mass immigration of Non-Germans to Germany and ethnic mixing, to "breed war strain out of Germans".

Kaufman and Duncan wanted to sterilize all Germans and to wait until they naturally die out. There were also suggestions to deport Germans out of Europe - similar to wartime Nazi Germany's plans of deporting Jews to Madagascar and Slavs to Siberia, behind the Ural. Michael Mills once mentioned, that Germans had a plan of deporting Poles to Brazil. Something similar was envisaged for Germans by Americans.
Sid Guttridge wrote:Would a return to the borders of 1933 have been widely acceptable given what the Nazis had done in WWII?
Keeping East Prussia as an exclave of Germany was certainly out of the question. The most favourable scenario for the Germans, could be creation of a separate independent state there, populated largely by ethnic Germans, as was the case for example with Austria.

But the Pan-Germanic idea that all German-speakers must be united under one government proved too destructive to stick to it.
There are words which carry the presage of defeat. Defence is such a word. What is the result of an even victorious defence? The next attempt of imposing it to that weaker, defender. The attacker, despite temporary setback, feels the master of situation.

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Re: Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 13 Nov 2015 20:28

Sid Guttridge wrote:Germany had to be punished more effectively than after WWI (when it lost only 13% of its territory, arguably all of it with non-German majorities).
Territories lost by Germany to Poland after WW1 were ethnically mostly Non-German even according to German-made maps.

Guntram Henrik Herb wrote the following in his "Under the Map of Germany: Nationalism and Propaganda" - in this chapter:

Image

(...)

Image

Image

During the 19th century Germans themselves also made maps showing, for example, half of East Prussia as ethnically Polish:

Just to mention this map by Ernst Zimmerriemer, "Die Verbreitung der protestantischen Polen in Masuren":

Image

German 19th century publications also recognized, that "Verfluchte Polacken", rather than Germans, lived in Upper Silesia:

Rudolf Virchow, "Mittheilungen über die in Oberschlesien herrschende Typhus-Epidemie", wrote in 1848:

Image

In Sudetenland before the spread of Pan-German nationalism, many of German-speakers identified as Bohemians, rather than Germans:

Pieter M. Judson, "Inventing Germanness in the Habsburg Monarchy", 1993:

(in case of Sudetenland it was "deutsch-sprechenden Böhmen" becoming "Deutschen"):

http://cas.umn.edu/assets/pdf/WP932.PDF
There are words which carry the presage of defeat. Defence is such a word. What is the result of an even victorious defence? The next attempt of imposing it to that weaker, defender. The attacker, despite temporary setback, feels the master of situation.

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Re: Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

Post by Steve » 14 Nov 2015 00:42

Sikorski may well have floated the idea of a frontier running along the Oder and the Neisse but the evidence seems rather weak. To give him the credit for it seems odd as he was powerless to bring it about.

General Anders was with Sikorski when he met Stalin in December 1941 and in his memoirs makes no mention of any discussion on Poland’s western border. The question of Poland’s eastern border did arise and it was Stalin who brought it up in a roundabout way. At the end of a seemingly short conversation Stalin said “be sure we shall not wrong you”. Sikorski then told Stalin that he could not accept in principle any suggestion implying an alteration in Polish frontiers. Anders now quotes Sikorski as saying “The 1939 frontiers cannot be questioned. Mr President, will you allow me to return to this question?” Stalin replied “please do; I shall be glad”. The conversation moved on.

Either there was another conversation between Sikorski and Stalin or Anders apparently decided not to mention what was said regarding the western border. Halik Kochanski in her book The Eagle Unbowed tells of a conversation between Sikorski and Hugh Dalton a member of Churchill’s cabinet. Sikorski said that Stalin offered a border on the Oder but he thought the idea was a “provocation”. This was because the population of Lower Silesia was predominantly German.

In London Sikorski reported to his council of ministers that Poland would not be deprived of its eastern territories in exchange for territories in the west. He also told them that Roosevelt supported Poland receiving East Prussia and part of Silesia.

A memorandum from Mikolajczyk was transmitted to Roosevelt on the 17th of November 1943. “The attribution to Poland of Eastern Prussia, Danzig, Opole Silesia and the straightening and shortening of the Polish western frontier are in any case dictated by the need to provide for the stability of future peace.” On January 6th 1943 the counselor at the Polish embassy in Washington expressed the desire that Poland should be given “East Prussia, part of Pomerania as well as Upper Silesia”.
From Nemesis at Potsdam by Alfred M de Zayas.

There does not seem to be any evidence that the London Poles were pushing for a border on the Oder and Neisse rivers. They wanted to keep their 1939 eastern border but would make some concessions. In return they wanted East Prussia the rest of Upper Silesia and a defendable western border which meant some territory in Pomerania. It was the conference at Tehran that changed everything. The three allied leader agreed on the Curzon line in the east. Poland’s compensation would be a western border on the Oder Neisse and Polish opinion on the matter was not asked for.

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Re: Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 14 Nov 2015 14:34

Steve wrote:The three allied leader agreed on the Curzon line in the east.
But the current eastern frontier of Poland is not along the original Curzon Line.

Just to mention, that the Curzon Line only demarcated Poland from White Russians, therefore it did not extend into East Galicia.

See Piotr Eberhardt, "The Curzon Line as the Eastern Boundary of Poland: the Origins and the Political Background", 2012:

https://www.geographiapolonica.pl/artic ... /7563.html

http://rcin.org.pl/Content/28362/WA51_4 ... rhardt.pdf

By the way, the Soviets initially tried to portray the German-Soviet Boundary of Friendship from 1939 as the Curzon Line.
There are words which carry the presage of defeat. Defence is such a word. What is the result of an even victorious defence? The next attempt of imposing it to that weaker, defender. The attacker, despite temporary setback, feels the master of situation.

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Re: Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

Post by 4thskorpion » 15 Nov 2015 10:51

Steve wrote:Sikorski may well have floated the idea of a frontier running along the Oder and the Neisse but the evidence seems rather weak.
Although Sikorski documentation is acknowledged as being far from complete see:
biuletyn_1940a.jpg
biuletyn_1940b.jpg
biuletyn_1940d.jpg
So, did Poland have territorial plans against Germany? An unequivocal yes!
biuletyn_1940e.jpg
biuletyn_1940_mapa.jpg
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Re: Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

Post by 4thskorpion » 16 Nov 2015 12:09

One reason that the Polish origins of a plan to expropriate the Oder-Neisse territories from post-war Germany is often omitted from the exile government's public pronouncements can be explained thus:
Oder-Neisse.jpg
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Re: Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

Post by Steve » 18 Nov 2015 01:26

Poland’s eastern border follows the Curzon line version A with minor variations and of that there is no doubt.

On December 4 1942 Sikorski submitted a memorandum for transmission to Roosevelt. It was quite a long memorandum but its main line of argument was that Poland’s border in the west should be more or less on the Oder Neisse line. It would be surprising if the Polish Government in London had no knowledge of it. Professor Sarah M. Terry seems to the discoverer of this.

After Sikorski’s death the London Poles were not pushing for a border on the Oder Neisse line. Their memorandum to Roosevelt on November 17 1943 shows that. They wanted as far as possible to keep Poland’s 1939 border and clearly they were not going to have that and a border on the Oder Neisse.

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Re: Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 18 Nov 2015 04:40

Curzon Line version A is in fact Namier Line of Bernstein- Niemirowski. The original line was version B, with Lvov in Poland. Though at the very beginning, in 1919, Curzon Line was designed as a demarcation line between Poles and White Russians of the Civil War (legal successors of the Russian Empire), and therefore it didn't divide Galicia. The line was extended into Galicia only later on, in 1920.
There are words which carry the presage of defeat. Defence is such a word. What is the result of an even victorious defence? The next attempt of imposing it to that weaker, defender. The attacker, despite temporary setback, feels the master of situation.

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Re: Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

Post by wm » 18 Nov 2015 10:20

Steve wrote:On December 4 1942 Sikorski submitted a memorandum for transmission to Roosevelt. It was quite a long memorandum but its main line of argument was that Poland’s border in the west should be more or less on the Oder Neisse line. It would be surprising if the Polish Government in London had no knowledge of it. Professor Sarah M. Terry seems to the discoverer of this.
Sorry, but not true.
I have that Aide-mémoire [...] to the Governments of Great Britain and United States of North America. A huge document but still the word Oder is written there only once.

During the WW2 lots of people, organizations, groups, obscure government departments wrote on this subjects. There were articles, leaflets, memorandas, books. And actually many of them advocated the Oder. But they weren't "the Poles", "the Poles" was an official resolution of the the government or the parliament.

Sikorsky and the Government certainly were aware of all that, but it seems to believe it wasn't a good idea. And probably the reason for that was there was a real chance it would be another Treaty of Versailles thing with similarly bad consequences. A small country can't play stupid games with a major power without getting stupid results.

And actually the Germans didn't acknowledge the new border till the seventies. Earlier their maps showed the old border - and territories under temporary Polish administration. Below a map of Germany as seen on their TV in the sixties - during weather forecasts, it was scary stuff:
60.jpg
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Re: Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

Post by Steve » 18 Nov 2015 12:15

Semantics, as far as most of the world is concerned its the Curzon line A. At Tehran the talk was of the Curzon line with some changes in favor of Poland not about the line of Berntein - Nieminovski.

As far as the word Oder being written only once let me give three examples:-
"control of the mouth of the Oder which possesses paramount importance..." and "Western Pomerania based on the lower Oder...." and "the zone of the Oder and Lusatian Neisse..."

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Re: Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

Post by wm » 18 Nov 2015 15:30

That's true. I have the memorandum on paper and I haven't figured out where to click there to do a word search. Must be some kind of alien technology this paper.

But the point is the memorandum presents all the reasons they could find for a new and improved Poland’s border in the west. It doesn't demands anything. It says something should be done, without saying what.

A month later the Minister in the Polish Government in Exile Marian Seyda speaking before the National Council of Poland more or less repeated all the information in the memorandum and said that according to his best knowledge there was a 50:50 chance for incorporation of Eastern Prussia, 5% chance for incorporation of Opolian Silesia.
And there was lots of work to do, because there was a real danger Poland would get nothing at all.
Steve wrote:Professor Sarah M. Terry seems to the discoverer of this.
I have this memorandum and over a hundred similar writings in a 25 years old book. Nothing new.

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Re: Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

Post by 4thskorpion » 19 Nov 2015 16:39

From an address given by Joseph Retinger on the future of the European continent (London, 7 May 1946) taking about the Polish exile government's plan for a federal Eastern Europe developed by Retinger and Sikorski. Retinger, claimed that he had been instrumental in converting Sikorski to the cause of federalism in the late 1930s and was, according to Łaptos, the ‘de facto author of what was called in émigré circles, the Sikorski Plan’ (3)
We spent 1939 and 1940 maturing our ideas. The first public indication of them was given as early as November, 1939, in a speech General Sikorski made before the Foreign Prow Association in London. He said then, that he could not envisage any hopeful outcome of the war, unless it produced some system of democratic co-operation among the nations of the Continent, which would allow of the problems of economic reconstruction being peacefully settled and produce a true balance of power. It was not enough for the peoples to be democratic, but their Governments must be so too and also the method of their cooperation. Sikorski was also the first active European statesman to indicate publicly and officially, that the European states ought to relinquish part of their sovereignty for the common interest.
Archives historiques de l'Union européenne, Florence, Villa Il Poggiolo. Dépôts, DEP. Mouvement européen. ME 268.
I must emphasise that behind our proposals there was never any thought or intention of creating so-called “sanitary” or other cordons; nor were our schemes in any way inspired by the British, though Mr. Churchill and Mr. Eden regarded the constructive part of them without displeasure and they did receive great moral support from Mr. Bevin and Sir Stafford Cripps. That was why General Sikorski was so confident, that he could not be suspected of disloyalty or double-dealing, when he discussed his proposals at length with Mr. Stalin. To him he confided his plans and they certainly did not meet with disapproval, as is obvious if you read the text of the Stalin-Sikorski declaration of 4th December, 1941, especially that part referring to mutual co-operation. Our plan was above-board and, therefore, we hid it from nobody, neither from the British Government, nor from President Roosevelt, nor from the Communists.

Archives historiques de l'Union européenne, Florence, Villa Il Poggiolo. Dépôts, DEP. Mouvement européen. ME 268.
(3) Józef Łaptos, ‘Józef Retinger, “le père d’ombre” de l’Europe: le role de Józef Retinger et de ses réseaux personnels dans les débuts de la construction européenne’, in G.Bossuat, dir., Inventer l’Europe: Histoire nouvelle des groupes d’influence et des acteurs de l’unité européenne, Brussels, PIE-Peter Lang SA, 2003, 181

It is clear that Sikorski and Retinger discussed their Eastern Europe federation plans - which included territorial expropriation from Germany in the west - with Stalin and that these plans were not inspired by the British, and that both Churchill and Eden "regarded the constructive part of them without displeasure" and 'they did receive great moral support from Mr. Bevin and Sir Stafford Cripps."

We also know that In March 1941, Retinger went with General Sikorski to the US and Canada. In Washington, Sikorski met with Roosevelt to inform him of the situation of Poland and to present their project for a federation in Central East Europe. President Roosevelt supported this project.

It is inconceivable that Retinger and Sikorski did take the opportunity to discuss their federalist plans during the negotiations with Maisky in the summer of 1941. These talks were attended by General Sikorski, British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden, the Soviet ambassador in London, Ivan Maisky and Joseph Retinger. The talks lasted over a month after which the Sikorski–Mayski agreement was signed July 30, 1941. Interestingly, Anthony Eden had said that after Sikorski, Retinger was the most important person in the negotiations.

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Re: Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

Post by wm » 19 Nov 2015 22:08

Well, after the Oder and paper debacle I'm going to do it right. Let's see, searching The Maisky Diaries for Sikorsky - 35 results found, searching for Retinger - 0 results found. Sorry, importance of Retinger not confirmed.

The dreams of an European/World Federation or a World Government were very popular since Edward Bellamy's 1888 book Looking Backward, a bestseller in its time.
Lots of people wrote about/proposed unions, federations, governments. See for example Paneuropean Union (1923), and generally Ideas of European unity before 1945 - many known politicians there including Trotsky (Soviet United States of Europe).

I've told you, don't trust that man. :)

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Re: Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

Post by 4thskorpion » 19 Nov 2015 22:47

wm wrote:Sorry, importance of Retinger not confirmed.
Ignorance is bliss, so they say :D

During World War II, Retinger was a key advisor to the Polish Prime Ministers in exile. When Germany attacked France his connections helped to get permission from Churchill for evacuation of the Polish forces into England.

Marcin Święcicki: Józef Retinger, the Polish Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi
Marcin Święcicki is a Polish politician and economist. He is a former deputy minister of economy, former minister for foreign economic relations as well as a former mayor of Warsaw
Sorry, importance of Retinger is confirmed. :D
"It is obvious that Retinger operated at the level of high politics"

Europe on the Move: The Impact of Eastern Enlargement on the European Union
By A. T. Lane, Elżbieta Stadtmüller
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