Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

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Re: Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

Post by 4thskorpion » 20 Nov 2015 09:31

wm wrote:
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.
Sarah Terry's book was published in 1983, so 32 years old, and therefore predates your reference book somewhat...I know time flies. :D

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Re: Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 20 Nov 2015 11:28

So Retinger was the one who first proposed new Polish western border along the Oder and Lusatian Neisse?

Interestingly, Retinger's ancestors - the Röttinger family - came to Poland from Germany around year 1700:

http://kangur.uek.krakow.pl/biblioteka/ ... 8-1960.pdf
(...) Przodkowie Retingera pochodzili z Niemiec, w Polsce osiedlili się na przełomie XVII i XVIII wieku. Ojciec Józefa Hieronima miał jeszcze dyplom doktorski wystawiony na nazwisko Röttinger, które później, zgodnie z obowiązującym w Galicji trybem naturalizacji, zmieniono (spolszczono) na Retinger2. (...)
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 » 20 Nov 2015 12:34

Peter K wrote:So Retinger was the one who first proposed new Polish western border along the Oder and Lusatian Neisse?
According to Łaptos, Retinger as political advisor and confidant to Sikorski, PM of the Polish government-in-exile was...
...the ‘de facto author of what was called in émigré circles, the Sikorski Plan
Prof. Sarah M. Terry has shown the "Sikorski' plan included the westward shift of Poland's post-war borders to include former German territories along the so-called Oder-Neisse line in a Polish-Czechoslovak federation.

We also have confirmation that Sikorski discussed with the British Foreign Office the idea of Polish compensatory territorial gains elsewhere (obviously Germany) should the territories lost to Russia in the east of Poland prove unrecoverable. He was able to look at the bigger picture.
Report held in the PRO re Rex Leeper of the FO and Sikorski on 25 November 1939 which clearly mentions Sikorksi aimed at finding "compensation elsewhere" should it prove impossible to recover that which Poland lost to Russia.
We also know Retinger wrote that he considered the Allies (ie.The Big Three) deal for post-war Polish boundaries was a fair one, in in his memoirs Retinger wrote: "At the Tehran Conference, in November 1943, the Big Three agreed that Poland should receive territorial compensation in the West, at Germany's expense, for the land it was to lose to Russia in Central and Eastern Europe. This seemed like a fair bargain."

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Re: Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

Post by wm » 20 Nov 2015 17:39

As to that Oder and Lusatian Neisse race for the first place honors, for the first time that border was proposed in 1805.
From April 1939 onwards more or less every month it was proposed/advocated by someone.

Prof. Sarah M. Terry has shown they say, but unfortunately not to us. :)

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Re: Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

Post by Steve » 21 Nov 2015 04:53

According to the historian Anna Cienciala General Sikorski on his return from Moscow gave three versions of what had been said about borders. The official Polish note agrees with what Anders says in his memoirs which is that the subject was touched upon but Sikorski refused to discuss the issue. In a report to the Polish Council of Ministers Sikorski said that Stalin proposed a Polish Soviet frontier agreement before a wars end peace conference but he declined the offer. A written account of the meeting in Moscow was given to Churchill on January 31 1942. Sikorsky's said that Stalin offered East Prussia and a border on the Oder river.

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Re: Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

Post by 4thskorpion » 21 Nov 2015 10:33

wm wrote:From April 1939 onwards more or less every month it was proposed/advocated by someone.
And those "someone's" we're Poles including Retinger and Sikorski representing the Polish government in exile.

So "did Poland have territorial plans against Germany" then the unequivocal answer must be, yes, if as you say "From April 1939 onwards more or less every month it was proposed/advocated by someone".

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Re: Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

Post by wm » 21 Nov 2015 12:55

They were Poles, but Sikorsky or the government wasn't among them. I haven't seen any scrap of paper demanding the Oder-Neisse line - signed by Sikorsky or the government.

Below Sikorsky refusing Stalin's Oder line offer:
Conversation of Corps General Sikorski with Chairman of the Council of the Soviets Stalin during dinner in Kremlin 4.XII.1941
Most secret
[...]Stalin stressed that Poland should be large and powerful, more powerful than ever.
Stalin: you conquered Moscow twice. The Russians visited Warsaw a few times. We fought each other constantly. It's time to stop this brawling.
[...]
General Sikorsky said [...] he is ready not to pursue the idea "more powerful than ever". He wants Poland stronger than she was in 1939.
Danzig and Eastern Prussia are German colonies and a bulwark towards the East, both must belong to Poland (Stalin is nodding vigorously).
But forcing on us the Lower Oder line is unrealistic.
(Why? Stalin asks. Because we can, using their methods deal with 2 millions Germans, with 9 millions we can't). We will help you to destroy Germans - Stalin says.[...]

Commander in Chief of the Polish Army in the USSR
Władysław Anders, Divisional General
from: Polskie Dokumenty Dyplomatyczne 1941

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Re: Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 04 Dec 2015 01:01

I've found a French map by certain F. Pigeon from 1915, titled "L'Europe future de demain. démembrement des empires Allemand & Austro-Hongrois - déchéance du Royaume de Prusse". It shows post-war Germany's eastern border along the Oder-Neisse line. It also shows Germany partitioned into six independent states, plus French and Belgian territories expanded westward at the cost of Germany.

There is also a wide "Neutral Zone" with capital city called Francfort (Frenchisized version of Frankfurt am Main).
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 » 04 Dec 2015 08:40

Is "Poland" indicated on the map of 1915?

=====================================

Yes but only as a Russian puppet state.

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Re: Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

Post by michael mills » 12 Jan 2016 12:18

As to that Oder and Lusatian Neisse race for the first place honors, for the first time that border was proposed in 1805.
Interesting. By whom was it proposed? Napoleon?

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Re: Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 12 Jan 2016 18:42

It is interesting to note that in year 1931 territories stretching between the pre-war Eastern border of Poland (Riga 1921 border) and the post-war Western and Northern borders of Poland (the Oder-Neisse Line and modern Polish-Russian border in East Prussia) were inhabited in total by around 40,489,000 persons - including 8,381,700 in parts of Germany and Danzig which became Polish after WW2, 10,772,000 in eastern parts of Poland which became Soviet after WW2 and 21,335,300 in areas which were parts of Poland both before and after WW2.

If we take that territory as a whole (just like we count Czechoslovakia as a whole), then ethnic Poles were a solid and absolute majority in that area. In fact, ethnic Poles were more numerous (as percentage of the total population) in that whole territory (stretching between Riga 1921 border and the Oder-Neisse Line), than were ethnic Russians in the Soviet Union and ethnic Czechs in Czechoslovakia.
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 michael mills » 12 Jan 2016 22:18

Peter,

That sort of mathematical manipulation is highly artificial, and can be done in any way one likes in order to achieve a desired result.

For example, ethnic Germans constituted an overwhelming majority of the population of the German Realm of 1871-1914, despite the presence of large numbers of ethnic Poles in its eastern provinces.

In fact, if the German Realm had included the parts of Russian Poland that had belonged to Prussia between 1795 and 1806 (ie the parts taken from Prussia by Napoleon to form the Duchy of Warsaw and then given to Russia in 1815), ethnic Germans would still have constituted an overwhelming majority, despite the presence of an even larger Polish minority.

Between 1815 and 1918, ethnic Poles were not a majority anywhere, being just minorities in each of the three states to which they belonged during that period. For example in 1911 Polish-speakers represented 9.6% of the population of Austria-Hungary, occupying fourth place after German, Hungarian and Czech. In 1897, 9.13% of the population of the Russian Empire was recorded as belonging to the Catholic Church, the great majority of them being Polish-speaking. In 1910, Polish-speakers (including Masurians and Kashubians) constituted 5.9% of the population of the German Empire, the second-largest ethnic group but minimal compared with the overwhelming 92% German-speaking majority.

Thus, the Poles of the period 1815-1918 might be compared with the Kurds of today, a numerically large people divided among different states and being a minority in each of them. The International Community has not yet seen fit to grant the Kurds an independent state of their own, and by analogy it could be said that between 1815 and 1918 the Poles did not have a right to a state of their own, which only goes to show the absurdity of the sort of mathematical manipulation made in your post.

As another example, the Grossdeutschland that existed between 1939 and 1945 included almost all of inter-war Poland (if we count the General-Government and Bialystok District and being part of Grossdeutschland), yet ethnic Germans still represented the great majority of the population of that strange entity (which of course included the ethnic Germans of Austria and the Sudetenland).

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Re: Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 13 Jan 2016 14:09

Hi Michael,

Yes.

The poor old Kurds also suffer from the additional handicap that they have never had a state of their own before - an entirely specious argument used by some against them having a state now.

The Treaty of Versailles was remarkably fair in stripping away only those border areas with non-German majorities. The Germany of Weimar was thus remarkably homogenous.

Except at Danzig, where the League of Nations engineered a compromise unsatifactory to all concernerd, the borders settled down along fairly reasonable lines over 1919-39. This left the Poles with little scope for practical "territorial plans against Germany" before the war.

And who can blame them for making hay while the sun shone after WWII?

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

Post by michael mills » 13 Jan 2016 22:12

This left the Poles with little scope for practical "territorial plans against Germany" before the war.
"The Poles"? Which Poles?

You are overlooking the fact that there were two opposing schools of Polish expansionist nationalism. The "Piast Tendency", led by Dmowski and the National Democrats, proposed westward expansion by taking territory from Germany, if possible right up to the Oder River. The "Jagiellonian Tendency", led by Pilsudski, proposed eastward expansion by taking territory from Russia, ie Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine.

In the immediate aftermath of the First World War, Pilsudski had little interest in taking territory from Germany, since his eyes were set on the former Polish territories in the east. However, he did not then have supreme power, and it was Dmowski who was instrumental in persuading the Allies to transfer German territory to a resurrected Poland in the peace settlement.

Once Pilsudski seized power in 1926, there was no longer any interest in further expansion to the east, since his unachieved ambition was to renew the drive to the east which had failed in 1920. Pilsudski even suppressed Polish nationalists who were anti-German; for example he threw Korfanty into prison in 1930.

After Pilsudski's death in 1935, there was a struggle for power between his successors. The faction headed by Rydz-Smigly tried to gain the support of the Piast nationalists who had opposed Pilsudski during his lifetime, and to that end began to gradually adopt their anti-German position.

The crux of the matter is that the Piast aim of expansion to the Oder-Neisse frontier, which had been the western boundary of the Piast state back in the 10th Century, could only be achieved through a war with Germany, which Poland was too weak to pursue successfully on its own, particularly after Germany began rearming in the 1930s. However, Britain's offer of an alliance against Germany made in March 1939 opened the prospect of a coalition war in which Poland would be supported by the full military might of Britain and France (or so the Polish leaders thought, mistakenly as it turned out).

The Treaty of Versailles was remarkably fair in stripping away only those border areas with non-German majorities.
The eastern territories taken from Germany by the Treaty of Versailles had a substantial German minority of 40% before 1914, so their population was by no means overwhelmingly Polish. In the years immediately after the end of the First World War, the German minority was massively reduced by large-scale ethnic cleansing, not so much by the Polish Government as by unofficial insurgent groups who used coercion to induce a flight of the German population. It is estimated that up to one million ethnic Germans left the territories given to Poland, and they were by no means all Government officials as claimed in Polish apologetic historiography.

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Re: Did Poland have territorial plans against Germany?

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 14 Jan 2016 00:33

michael mills wrote:Peter,

That sort of mathematical manipulation is highly artificial,
That was to illustrate that even Poland stretching from Daugavpils to Stettin would have had a higher percent of Poles than Czechoslovakia had of Czechs and the USSR of Russians. I know it is artificial, but no more than giving Sudetenland without a plebiscite to the Czechs.

===========================

Michael, as for you next post (a response to Sid):

I wonder where did you take these numbers from - do you have an exact breakdown by region (for example how many from Pomerelia, how many from Provinz Posen, etc.?) of those "up to one million ethnic Germans who left the territories given to Poland after WW1" ???

I think that the real number was smaller (but at the moment I don't have exact data for Provinz Posen and Ostoberschlesien, only for Pomerelia or West Prussia). And we must also remember, that there was a large number of ethnic Poles moving in the opposite direction (i.e. ethnic Poles emigrating to Poland from parts of West Prussia, Provinz Posen and Regierungsbezirk Oppeln which remained in Germany).

For example, if someone did not like the result of the partition of Upper Silesia, he or she could change the place of residence and move to the other side of the border - such a possibility had been arranged already before the Plebiscite, and was later carried out after the final division of the region. I have exact numbers for what became Województwo Pomorskie (Pomerelian Voivodeship) in 1920 - read below:

The number of Germans (and ethnic Poles who preferred to live in Germany - if there were such) who emigrated from that area between June 1919 and January 1920 (that is - from the moment when it was officially announced that it was going to become part of Poland, to the moment when German military and administration retreated from the area, and Polish administration and military took it over) was around 125,000 (according to: Marek Stażewski, "Exodus: emigration of German population from Pomerelia to the Reich after WW1", Gdańsk 1998).

Please note, that emigration of those 125,000 Germans from Pomerelia took place BEFORE German police, army and administration handed over the area to Polish police, army and administration (the takeover by Polish administration was in January-February 1920). We cannot talk about any "ethnic cleansing" here - those Germans emigrated on their own, no matter whether they were officials or civilians.

At the same time when those people emigrated, at least 53,000 ethnic Poles (and ethnic Germans who preferred to live in Poland - if there were such) came to that area from neighbouring areas which remained part of Germany after WW1. So the net difference in period 1918 - 1921 in that region was 72,000 more people emigrating from Poland to Germany than people emigrating from Germany to Poland.

The total population of that area was 935,643 in 1921 (according to another source 939,000), of whom 132,187 were immigrants (not born in the region) - that included at least 53,000 born in areas which remained parts of Germany after WW1 (but who decided to move to Poland between 1919 and 1921), 30,000 born in Provinz Posen, 1,200 born in Ostoberschlesien (part of Upper Silesia which became Polish after WW1), 36,400 born in Congress Poland, 9,200 born in Austria (mostly in Galicia and Teschen Silesia), 2,100 born in the Russian Empire (apart from Congress Poland) and 500 born in Central Lithuania. The remaining part of the population - 0,8 million - were native to the region.

According to the Polish census of 1921 - which asked people about their national identity (narodowość in Polish) -, the number of people who declared German nationality in that area was 175,771 (or 18,8 percent of the total population).

In 1910 census (before demographic losses caused by World War 1 and by 72,000 people net migration loss in 1918 - 1921), the population of roughly the same region was 989,715 (acccording to another source 973,000), of whom 421,029 (or 42,5 percent of the total population) were reported as people who spoke German as their native language - that number included 20,963 people (so relatively few) who were reported in the census as so called "Bilinguals" - people with two mother tongues, including German.

Considering that emigration in 1918 - 1921 was 72,000 higher than immigration, population in 1921 should be 918 thousand. But it was 936 thousand - obviously due to natural growth (for which I don't have data, but which was most likely negative - i.e. more deaths than births - during WW1, but recovered back to positive values after the end of WW1).

However, the number of German-speakers was reported as 421,029 in 1910 and the number of people declaring German national identity was 175,771 in 1921 - the difference between these two numbers being 245,000 - of which only 125,000 can be explained by emigration of Germans in period 1918-1921. So what with the remaining 120,000 ???

Well, first of all let's start with the fact that the 1910 census was falsified - it exaggerated the number of German-speakers in some communes (this is visible especially when we resort to "high resolution" analysis of data, and compare 1910 census data to data from 1911 census of school children or to data from previous censuses - such as that of 1905).

For example in the commune of Subkowy in Kreis Dirschau the census of 1905 reported 935 Polish-speakers, 238 German-speakers and 7 others, while the census of 1910 reported - in the same commune - 273 Polish-speakers and 976 German-speakers, including "Bilinguals".

Unless entire commune suddenly switched from Polish to German as their native language (and this can't be done because native language is the one which people learn as small babies, since birth until they start talking), the 1910 figure was falsified.

To confirm that the 1905 census was correct (and the 1910 census was wrong), let's see the Polish census of 1921. In 1921 in the same commune - Subkowy in Kreis Dirschau (now County Tczew), 1262 people reported Polish nationality, 72 German nationality and 8 - other.

So here is the data for Subkowy commune (I will use terms "Poles" and "Germans" for all censuses below):

Population of Subkowy in 1905 - 935 Poles, 238 Germans, 7 others
Population of Subkowy in 1910 - 273 Poles, 976 Germans (including "Bilinguals")
Population of Subkowy in 1921 - 1262 Poles, 72 Germans, 8 others

This is how things changed in Subkowy. As you can see "German" and "Polish" were very fluent and plastic categories there.

But let's get back to the general picture, to reasons why those figures can't be compared:

The second reason why the two censuses cannot be really compared, is because they reported two different things.

The German census of 1910 reported language, while the Polish census of 1921 reported national identity. Therefore someone whose native language was reported as German in the census of 1910, could then report Polish national identity in the census of 1921 (for example).

So - to sum up - all those "missing Germans" were in fact "misreported Germans" from the 1910 census.

For the most part it was wishful thinking, since they weren't Germans.

The same people were largely reported as Polish-speakers in 1905 census, and all of them as Poles by nationality in 1921 census.
michael mills wrote:The eastern territories taken from Germany by the Treaty of Versailles had a substantial German minority of 40% before 1914
Parts of West Prussia given to Poland - or the "Polish Corridor" (Pomerelia) - had a German-speaking minority of 40% according to the census of 1910 (which - however - exaggerated the percentage of German speakers, as all other censuses including the census of 1905 and the census of School Children from 1911 prove). But parts of Posen and Silesia given to Poland certainly did not have so numerous Germans.

When it comes to part of Upper Silesia - on what basis do you claim 40% "Germans" there? If you count people who voted for Germany in the Plebiscite - then it could be around 40% in the area granted to Poland. But if you count ethnically German and German-speaking population - then it was by no means so many. And we must as well remember, that while up to 40% of people in Ostoberschlesien voted for Germany, also around 30% of people in Westoberschlesien - which remained part of Germany - voted for Poland. So not only were a lot of people who wanted to live in Germany granted to Poland, but also a lot of people who wanted to live in Poland were left in Germany, especially in the countryside (while those who voted for Germany in Ostoberschlesien lived especially in cities, such as Katowice). For that reason, however, population exchanges were arranged after 1921 - not everyone moved in accordance to how they had voted, but some people did.

Now when it comes to Provinz Posen:

Let's remember that not all of Provinz Posen was given to Poland - large part remained in Germany and became known as "Grenzmark Posen-Westpreußen". That was the part in which German-speaking population was concentrated, being the absolute majority there. However, there were still many ethnically Polish settlements and communes in Grenzmark Posen-Westpreußen (such as Kramsko/Kramzig).

Polish wrestler Leon Stanislav Pinetzki - about whom we talked in another thread - was born before WW1, but was born in that area which became Grenzmark Posen-Westpreußen after WW1 (this is the reason why he didn't have Polish citizenship until 1945).

====================================

As for the census of School Children from 1911 (based on which Eugeniusz Romer made one of his ethnic maps):

It differentiated kids according to mother tongue, and it showed a much higher percent of Polish children among the total number of children, than was the share of Poles among the total population according to the census of 1910. One reason for that was - as already mentioned - the fact that the census of 1910 was falsified. Another reason, however, was that ethnic Poles were having more children per adult than ethnic Germans - because Poles were breeding like rabbits (at that particular time period), and Germans - not any more. Germans entered the "demographic transition" a few decades earlier than Poles, but also the phase of declining birth rates a few decades earlier.

It clearly shows, that the percentage of Poles was still going to increase with each year after 1911, and the percentage of Germans was going to decline in each subsequent year - even if all other factors (such as migrations or assimilation) did not play any role.

In the Middle Ages I suppose it was the other way around - with Germans breeding faster than Poles. Otherwise I can't imagine them Germanizing such large areas, with low sub-replacement fertility rates such as these that Germans are having now.
michael mills wrote:In the years immediately after the end of the First World War, the German minority was massively reduced by large-scale ethnic cleansing, not so much by the Polish Government as by unofficial insurgent groups who used coercion to induce a flight of the German population. It is estimated that up to one million ethnic Germans left the territories given to Poland, and they were by no means all Government officials
These are unsupported claims, in my opinion.

As I wrote above - in case of Pomerelia at least -, Germans emigrated before Polish "unofficial insurgent groups" even had a chance to start existing. They emigrated when the area was still under German control, with German police, army and administration. To claim that they were forced out would be like claiming that German-Americans were ethnically cleansed from Germantown (while in reality we know well, that they fled from Germantown on their own - as they did also from all other cities to which African-Americans immigrated):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germantown,_Philadelphia
(...) Germantown was founded on October 6, 1683, by German settlers: thirteen Quaker and Mennonite families from Krefeld.[11][12] Today the founding day of Germantown is remembered as German-American Day, a holiday in the United States, observed annually on October 6.

(...)

Between 1954 and 1956 Germantown experienced an influx of lower-income African Americans, resulting in a decline in property values and triggering a "white flight" of the majority of white residents to the suburbs.[17] The demographic shift caused a slow but steady decline in central Germantown's upscale shopping district, with the last department store, a J. C. Penney branch, closing in the early 1980s.[18] The current demographics of Germantown reflects this shift. As of the 2010 US Census, Germantown proper is 77% black, 15% white [including Hispanic], 3% non-white Hispanic, and 2% Asian,[3] and East Germantown is 92% black, 3% white, 2% non-white Hispanic, and 2% Asian.[3]

Eugene Stackhouse, a retired former president of the Germantown Historical Society says that the demographic transition of Germantown into a predominantly black neighborhood was the result of the now illegal practice of blockbusting. "It was a great disgrace. Cheap houses would be sold to a black family, then the realtors would go around and tell the neighbors that the blacks are invading," said Stackhouse.[19] The practice was used to trigger panic selling.[18] (...)
Germans escaped almost as fast from a bunch of Afro-American migrants as they did from the Red Army in East Prussia in 1945 (!).

And all of that just because someone told them that - quote - "Blacks were invading". What if someone told the Germans in 1919 that "Poles were invading", and they emigrated just like those escaping few decades later from "Black invasion" in Germantown, Philadelphia?
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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