Did Kresy Poles prefer to be resettled in the Recovered Territories or did they prefer to be resettled elsewhere?

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Re: Did Kresy Poles prefer to be resettled in the Recovered Territories or did they prefer to be resettled elsewhere?

Post by wm » 07 Oct 2020 13:19

It doesn't matter.
The palace survived the war unscathed, looked marvelous, and then turned into ruins quickly. The ruins look better today than then because some restoration was carried out.

The palace was (slowly) looted by people who worked there by day and by locals at night. Eventually, it was set on fire to erase the crimes.
The locals were such funny folks - they drag out the dead owner and put it standing up at the entrance to their boozer.

The only reason for all of that was the palace had no real owner.
It's not the only one; there are about 800 similar examples in books written by Hannibal Smoke (although actually many of them were destroyed or damaged by Soviet soldiers too).

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Re: Did Kresy Poles prefer to be resettled in the Recovered Territories or did they prefer to be resettled elsewhere?

Post by gebhk » 08 Oct 2020 11:05

A agree that it doesn't matter in the wider scheme, because this whole example proves nothing. Buildings going to rack and ruin, especially after they have been damaged by a cataclysmic event such as a fire are a universal feature of life regardless of political system. Are you claiming that arson and buildings' neglect is unique to communist regimes? I hope not, but if so, I can point to hundreds if not thousands of similar properties in the UK in similar condition and certainly not because they 'have no real owner'.

Just like Schloss Koppitz they always had a real owner. The real issue is whether the owner has the will and the resources to maintain it. The amount of will is dependent on the usefulness of the structure - its functionality. The model which supported traditional palaces of this nature were extensive agricultural holdings and later huge family industrial businesses. They were, in effect, vanity projects, serving the same purpose as lavish company HQs of modern times. This model is no longer in demand all over the world. And unless an alternative function is found (such as a being a tourist attraction) such buildings inevitably fall into disrepair and eventual collapse. In the UK the vast majority of such buildings at best scrape by in what is euphemistically called 'managed decline' because few people/organisations are willing and/or can afford to employ the hundreds of personnel necessary to maintain them. In the UK the process was deliberately hastened beginning from the end of the 19th century by the death tax which proved an effective tool in breaking up large estates. I think few would disagree that this was a deliberate ploy to break the political stranglehold of the landed gentry on British politics. Deprived of their source of support the great manor houses were abandoned by their former owners and fell into decline purely because they had lost their raison d'etre - just as Schloss Koppitz had when the von Schaffgotsch family left for pastures new.

It does matter however, in a historical forum, if you claim things which are untrue or unlikely to be true in your arguments. The castle did not survive WW2 unscathed. The departing owners took what they could (ie what was most valuable and easily transportable) with them when they fled. The building was then occupied for several months by Soviet soldiers. While I do not know exactly what happened during this time in Kopice, I can easily imagine by extrapolation from the experience of my family in Krakow. When they returned to their apartment after just a few days occupation by Soviet troops there were piles of human excrement behind the living-room sofa (presumably those particular Soviet troops had no idea what the perfectly functioning lavatory was for) and wooden furniture and fittings had been ripped out and smashed up for firewood because they had no idea how to operate the central heating system or the gas stove in the kitchen. That Kopice Castle survived several months of occupation unscathed and 'looking marvellous' I find, therefore, unlikely in the extreme.

It did not 'turn' into ruins as you suggest, but was razed by a fire 15 years later and certainly not because of the political shading of the government. Deliberate arson to cover up crimes is a daily event everywhere in the world regardless of political climate. Theft by people working on-site and by locals from without is hardly a feature unique to communist countries either. In Kopice, perhaps the only difference is that since the fall of communism, the removal of parts of the structure is no longer theft because the owners are degrading their own property. Makes no odds, the property is still being degraded, albeit on a grander scale it would appear, with entire buildings being removed. Another difference is that keen to maximise the benefit from the degradation for themselves, the owners have improved security to ensure the degradation of the property benefits them more than the community as a whole. If you consider that periodic half-hearted attempts to tidy up the site while removing significant parts of the structure are meaningful improvements, then we shall have to agree to differ. However even if one were to accept this as true, then similar attempts were carried out under communist rule also - most notably after the fire of 1958, so this too fails as an argument for the 'badness' of communist government.

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Re: Did Kresy Poles prefer to be resettled in the Recovered Territories or did they prefer to be resettled elsewhere?

Post by wm » 08 Oct 2020 20:18

Yes, I'm claiming such massive arson and buildings' neglect is unique to communist regimes.

Yes, the palaces and mansions had owners.
They were handed over to kolkhozes, sovkhozes, and similar communist entities, but they didn't have the money or even the desire to maintain them.

For them, it was reasonable to exploit them till they turned to dust, to dismantle and reuse the building materials in their own projects, to set them on fire.

For them, it was the only reasonable and prudent thing to do.

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Re: Did Kresy Poles prefer to be resettled in the Recovered Territories or did they prefer to be resettled elsewhere?

Post by gebhk » 09 Oct 2020 13:22

Yes, I'm claiming such massive arson and buildings' neglect is unique to communist regimes
.
Then alas we clearly live on different planets and we should probably leave it at that :oops: . You've obviously never heard of Crystal Palace, just one example off the top of my head of literally tens if not hundreds of thousands that undoubtedly exist.
they didn't have the money or even the desire to maintain them.

For them, it was reasonable to exploit them till they turned to dust, to dismantle and reuse the building materials in their own projects, to set them on fire.

For them, it was the only reasonable and prudent thing to do.
And how exactly is that different to what happened to virtually all the great buildings of Ancient Rome, thousands of years before communism was even invented? The mediaeval castles and abbeys that litter the countryside all over Europe? Or to Irwell House, once a grand family seat near Prestwich? First it was turned into an isolation hospital and then
In April 1958, the house was set on fire in a civil defense exercise. The roof collapsed and the fine architectural stonework and beautiful plaster decorations of the Georgian mansion were allowed to rot until nothing remained of the grandeur of Irwell House and its park"
Or, for that matter, how is that different from what continued to be done to the Kopice Palace after 1990?

At the same time I would challenge you to find anything like the Old Town in Warsaw anywhere in the UK.

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Re: Did Kresy Poles prefer to be resettled in the Recovered Territories or did they prefer to be resettled elsewhere?

Post by Futurist » 09 Oct 2020 21:25

@gebhk: If you don't mind me asking, are you a Pole who currently lives in the UK?

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Re: Did Kresy Poles prefer to be resettled in the Recovered Territories or did they prefer to be resettled elsewhere?

Post by gebhk » 10 Oct 2020 13:53

I don't mind at all :) .

Perhaps a more accurate description would be that I am a Pole born in the UK who still lives there.

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Re: Did Kresy Poles prefer to be resettled in the Recovered Territories or did they prefer to be resettled elsewhere?

Post by Futurist » 11 Oct 2020 05:13

When did your parents move from Poland to the UK?

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Re: Did Kresy Poles prefer to be resettled in the Recovered Territories or did they prefer to be resettled elsewhere?

Post by gebhk » 11 Oct 2020 09:08

Again, like many Polish stories, not as simple as that.

Mother was deported to the USSR (with her mother and older brother) in late 1940/early 41. By purest chance, her mother was found by a Polish liaison officer and the family was reunited with grandfather in the Polish army in the Soviet Union and with it left for Palestine via Iraq. They moved from Palestine to Britain after the war ended; I don't know the date off-hand, although 1948 sounds about right.

Dad, on the other hand ended up in a German concentration camp, was liberated by the Americans and returned to Poland. However after a brief sojourn there he decided the new 'peoples' paradise' wasn't for him and did a bunk. He ended up in Italy in the 2nd Corps (2nd Armoured Division to be precise) and moved to Britain when the Division was demobbed.

They met (in University) and married, in London, in the 50s.

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Re: Did Kresy Poles prefer to be resettled in the Recovered Territories or did they prefer to be resettled elsewhere?

Post by Futurist » 25 Oct 2020 05:22

Very interesting story, gebhk!

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Re: Did Kresy Poles prefer to be resettled in the Recovered Territories or did they prefer to be resettled elsewhere?

Post by wm » 01 Nov 2020 14:51

The Crystal Palace was a failed enterprise and its owners eventually had to declare bankruptcy. It happens.

Ancient Rome disintegrated and most of its structures didn't survive it for long. In the new Europe, the new rulers had no use for them (mainly because they were too costly to defend as I understand it).

In communism (and in the first post-communism years) neglect and looting were structural, it was part of the system like the shortage economy, queues, nomenclature, nepotism, theft, police state.

There is a similar story here.

What the Soviet soldiers did has nothing to do with it. In war looting, rape, banditry are to be expected.

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Re: Did Kresy Poles prefer to be resettled in the Recovered Territories or did they prefer to be resettled elsewhere?

Post by gebhk » 01 Nov 2020 20:09

The Crystal Palace was a failed enterprise and its owners eventually had to declare bankruptcy. It happens.
Err, no, it burnt down and was uneconomical to rebuild. At the time of the fire it was in fact turning a profit.

And how is
Ancient Rome disintegrated and most of its structures didn't survive it for long. In the new Europe, the new rulers had no use for them (mainly because they were too costly to defend as I understand it).
Different to:
In communism (and in the first post-communism years) neglect and looting were structural, it was part of the system like the shortage economy, queues, nomenclature, nepotism, theft, police state.
?
There is a similar story here.
Except it relates to the post-communist era
What the Soviet soldiers did has nothing to do with it.
It does if we claim that a building was unscathed and looked marvellous after Soviet troops had occupied it for months.

The fact is that buildings and other human constructs tend to fall into disrepair and eventually collapse (and or their materials are 'repurposed') when their original purpose disappears, unless a new use can be found for them. This has always been the case and no doubt will continue thus, the world over. It is not a phenomenon unique to communist systems in any way.

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Re: Did Kresy Poles prefer to be resettled in the Recovered Territories or did they prefer to be resettled elsewhere?

Post by wm » 04 Nov 2020 10:44

Yes, it relates to the post-communist era but the communist economy still existed then.
Just for a few years - this is why the people managing the palace and the locals looted it so quickly.

Wikipedia says, in a properly annotated article that the Crystal Palace was a failed enterprise:
While the original palace cost £150,000 (equivalent to £16.5 million in 2019), the move to Sydenham cost £1,300,000—(£133 million in 2019), burdening the company with a debt it never repaid, partly because admission fees were depressed by the inability to cater for Sunday visitors in its early years: many people worked every day except Sunday, when the Palace was closed.
...
By the 1890s the Palace's popularity and state of repair had deteriorated; the appearance of stalls and booths had made it a more downmarket attraction.
...
In the years after the Festival of Empire the building fell into disrepair, as the huge debt and maintenance costs became unsustainable, and in 1911 bankruptcy was declared.

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Re: Did Kresy Poles prefer to be resettled in the Recovered Territories or did they prefer to be resettled elsewhere?

Post by gebhk » 04 Nov 2020 12:14

If you read that article to its conclusion you will find that the building was bought by the Earl of Plymouth and then bought from the earl for the nation by public subscription. It was refurbished and began to make a modest profit before being destroyed by fire beyond economical repair (it was inadequately insured). Thereafter what remained was pulled down and just the foundations remain.

Hiowever, whatever the ins and outs of its demise, it is in fact demised (far more comprehensively than the Polish examples you have quoted) and it is not and never has been in a communist country. Ergo self-evidently demonstrates that the demise of buildings following fires and due to neglect is not a phenomenon of communist countries alone. As you say - it happens. All over the world.

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Re: Did Kresy Poles prefer to be resettled in the Recovered Territories or did they prefer to be resettled elsewhere?

Post by wm » 05 Nov 2020 11:07

Accidents happen.
Partial insurance is usually a conscious business decision - a calculated risk.
Similarily inadequate maintenance - it sometimes pays to maintain property inadequately and then refurbish - than maintain it perfectly.
Businessmen have to make such decisions all the time.
I'm sure the Earl protected his assets as good as he could. That he failed doesn't prove he didn't.

In communism, administrators don't protect "their" assets as good as the Earl did. It's not in their best interest. It doesn't pay properly.

Especially if the assets are secondary to their main task, i.e., agriculture or manufacturing, and the assets have little value from that point of view.

The documentary where the local kolkhoz used its palace priceless, mahogany floors to dry grain demonstrate that perfectly.
For the kolhoz the floors were worthless, the grain priceless.

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Re: Did Kresy Poles prefer to be resettled in the Recovered Territories or did they prefer to be resettled elsewhere?

Post by gebhk » 05 Nov 2020 13:34

The documentary where the local kolkhoz used its palace priceless, mahogany floors to dry grain demonstrate that perfectly.
For the kolhoz the floors were worthless, the grain priceless.
There we are in agreement. Buildings and other human constructions are only maintained if they have value ie serve a function - even if it is only sentimental value. And that is hardly restricted to communist countries. In much the same way Irwell House was. on the day of its demise, of more value to someone as a fiery backdrop to a para-military exercise than as an object of beauty and architectural merit.

With regard to Crystal Palace, in fact the Earl did little or no refurbishment- he bought the building and its site to prevent developers getting their hands on it and in time resold it to the nation. If there was any failure, it was not his. It was the Board of Trustees under Sir Henry Buckland that set about refurbishing the site in the 1920s but failed to ensure it adequately.

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