How would a surviving Second Polish Republic have handled the collapse of the Soviet Union?

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How would a surviving Second Polish Republic have handled the collapse of the Soviet Union?

Post by Futurist » 24 May 2020 02:18

How do you think a surviving Second Polish Republic would have handled the collapse of the Soviet Union--if this, of course, would have still eventually occurred in this scenario? I am asking because such a Poland might have very well still been in control of territories that Ukrainians, Belarusians, and Lithuanians would have still desired for their own countries--though Poland in this scenario would have also likely been considerably wealthier by the end of the 20th century in comparison to real life due to the lack of decades of Communist rule. Another interesting question, of course, would be how the much wealthier Polish Ukrainians and Polish Belarusians would have interacted with their much poorer ethnic kinsmen across the border after the collapse of the Soviet Union in this scenario.

Any thoughts on all of this?

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Re: How would a surviving Second Polish Republic have handled the collapse of the Soviet Union?

Post by Futurist » 25 May 2020 21:50

FWIW, I know that the Second Polish Republic was big on supporting separatist movements in Russia/the Soviet Union:

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

So, I was wondering how it would have actually handled the collapse of the Soviet Union and its aftermath had it still occurred in this scenario and had it actually managed to survive long enough to actually see it.

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Re: How would a surviving Second Polish Republic have handled the collapse of the Soviet Union?

Post by Futurist » 07 Jun 2020 19:09

@wm: Any thoughts on this?

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Re: How would a surviving Second Polish Republic have handled the collapse of the Soviet Union?

Post by wm » 07 Jun 2020 20:26

I don't think anything interesting could have happened, the Polish nationalists firmly believed Poland had enough minorities already.
And the ruling Sanacja had enough internal problems already. Beck famously said when Ribbentrop offered him Ukraine (without specifying which one) that he had no idea what to do with such a gift.

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Re: How would a surviving Second Polish Republic have handled the collapse of the Soviet Union?

Post by Futurist » 07 Jun 2020 21:47

wm wrote:
07 Jun 2020 20:26
I don't think anything interesting could have happened, the Polish nationalists firmly believed Poland had enough minorities already.
And the ruling Sanacja had enough internal problems already. Beck famously said when Ribbentrop offered him Ukraine (without specifying which one) that he had no idea what to do with such a gift.
What about having Poland push to create an Intermarium with the ex-USSR countries?

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Re: How would a surviving Second Polish Republic have handled the collapse of the Soviet Union?

Post by wm » 08 Jun 2020 21:44

Prometheism and Intermarium were dead by the end of the thirties.
Generally, Poland would regard such countries as a threat to her Eastern Borderlands.

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Re: How would a surviving Second Polish Republic have handled the collapse of the Soviet Union?

Post by Futurist » 08 Jun 2020 21:59

wm wrote:
08 Jun 2020 21:44
Prometheism and Intermarium were dead by the end of the thirties.
Why exactly?
Generally, Poland would regard such countries as a threat to her Eastern Borderlands.
But wouldn't Poland also want to weaken Russia?

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Re: How would a surviving Second Polish Republic have handled the collapse of the Soviet Union?

Post by Futurist » 09 Jun 2020 02:48

It seems like creating an Intermarium with countries such as Ukraine and Belarus in this scenario would have been a good idea for Poland after the collapse of the Soviet Union (had it still occurred in this scenario, that is) for two simple reasons:

1. This would have allowed Ukrainians and Belarusians to have a stronger connection with their ethnic brethren in Poland, thus reducing the amount of Ukrainian and Belarusian irredentism directed against Poland. After all, if everyone is together in a mini-EU with each other, why be hostile over this?
2. This would have kept these countries out of Russia's orbit--and a post-Soviet Russia is likely to want to try pulling these countries back into its own orbit.

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Re: How would a surviving Second Polish Republic have handled the collapse of the Soviet Union?

Post by Futurist » 01 Sep 2020 04:17

wm wrote:
07 Jun 2020 20:26
I don't think anything interesting could have happened, the Polish nationalists firmly believed Poland had enough minorities already.
And the ruling Sanacja had enough internal problems already. Beck famously said when Ribbentrop offered him Ukraine (without specifying which one) that he had no idea what to do with such a gift.
BTW, are there different Ukraines? I thought that there was just one Ukraine.

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Re: How would a surviving Second Polish Republic have handled the collapse of the Soviet Union?

Post by wm » 01 Sep 2020 08:43

Ukraine was partitioned between Poland, the USSR, and Czechoslovakia.

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Re: How would a surviving Second Polish Republic have handled the collapse of the Soviet Union?

Post by Futurist » 01 Sep 2020 19:15

wm wrote:
01 Sep 2020 08:43
Ukraine was partitioned between Poland, the USSR, and Czechoslovakia.
Was Czech Ukraine ever actually offered to Poland, though?

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Re: How would a surviving Second Polish Republic have handled the collapse of the Soviet Union?

Post by wm » 01 Sep 2020 20:14

I don't think so. That was the best offer there were.

The Poles believed the Czechoslovak Ukraine was an illegally occupied by the Czechs Hungarian territory so they weren't going to act against their friends, the Hungarians.
They merely wanted a common border with Hungary.

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Re: How would a surviving Second Polish Republic have handled the collapse of the Soviet Union?

Post by gebhk » 01 Sep 2020 20:42

The problem with the intermarium concept was that it was impossible without Czechoslovakia and I would imagine Polish decision-makers were mostly aware of this obvious fact by the 30s - even if they might not care to admit it. At the same time, while there were clearly groups in both countries that were in favour of Polish-Czechoslovak co-operation, alliance or even union, the suicidal intransigence of others on both sides of the border made this politically impossible.
Last edited by gebhk on 02 Sep 2020 00:43, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How would a surviving Second Polish Republic have handled the collapse of the Soviet Union?

Post by Futurist » 01 Sep 2020 21:10

wm wrote:
01 Sep 2020 20:14
I don't think so. That was the best offer there were.
Specifically giving Soviet Ukraine to Poland?
The Poles believed the Czechoslovak Ukraine was an illegally occupied by the Czechs Hungarian territory so they weren't going to act against their friends, the Hungarians.
They merely wanted a common border with Hungary.
Did the Poles support Hungarian revanchism anywhere else?

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Re: How would a surviving Second Polish Republic have handled the collapse of the Soviet Union?

Post by wm » 01 Sep 2020 21:30

Certainly against Czechoslovakia, because Czechoslovakia was an enemy of Poland, but not against Romania, an ally.

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