Kresy Jews moving to central and western Poland for better economic opportunities?

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Re: Kresy Jews moving to central and western Poland for better economic opportunities?

Post by Futurist » 09 Nov 2021 20:11

gebhk wrote:
09 Nov 2021 09:29
Polish unemployment being higher than French unemployment due to Poland's more rural character and Polish farms already having a surplus of labor?
The picture is further complicated by mass movements of the large Polish diaspora. For example a significant chunk of the Polish (particuilarly mining) immigration into Belgium in the early 1920s was not from Poland but from Westphalia and the Rhineland.
German Poles (especially Ruhrpolen) moving to Belgium after World War I. Interesting. I guess that the poor economic situation in Germany had something to do with this migration?

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Re: Kresy Jews moving to central and western Poland for better economic opportunities?

Post by gebhk » 10 Nov 2021 07:37

According to Dzwonkowski, it was for 'political' reasons - whatever that means (his work dates back to 1976). That aside, it is a fact that at the time Belgium was expanding its mining and heavy industries and therefore presumably in need of skilled labour (supply/demand=better prospects/higher pay etc) whereas in Germany, the Poles were competing against native internal migrants in a relatively stagnant economy. So I suspect you are at least partly right though to what extent I don't know.

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Re: Kresy Jews moving to central and western Poland for better economic opportunities?

Post by wm » 10 Nov 2021 14:26

I've read in the pre-war Polish press about deportation of about a thousand Jews from Belgium for loitering and hawking.
I assumed it was to Poland but it seems now it was to Germany and it was part of that migration.

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Re: Kresy Jews moving to central and western Poland for better economic opportunities?

Post by Futurist » 11 Nov 2021 23:02

wm wrote:
10 Nov 2021 14:26
I've read in the pre-war Polish press about deportation of about a thousand Jews from Belgium for loitering and hawking.
I assumed it was to Poland but it seems now it was to Germany and it was part of that migration.
Do you know the year?

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Re: Kresy Jews moving to central and western Poland for better economic opportunities?

Post by wm » 12 Nov 2021 00:05

I was sure it was in the thirties but I'm not so sure now. It was just a few sentences, nothing more.

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Re: Kresy Jews moving to central and western Poland for better economic opportunities?

Post by Futurist » 12 Nov 2021 00:38

I was just wondering if it was pre-Nazis or post-Nazis.

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Re: Kresy Jews moving to central and western Poland for better economic opportunities?

Post by gebhk » 12 Nov 2021 09:46

Interestingly, in the context of this thread, around half the immigrants into Belgium from Poland were Jewish.

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Re: Kresy Jews moving to central and western Poland for better economic opportunities?

Post by Futurist » 12 Nov 2021 21:05

gebhk wrote:
12 Nov 2021 09:46
Interestingly, in the context of this thread, around half the immigrants into Belgium from Poland were Jewish.
And almost all of the other half were ethnic Poles, with there being few Ukrainians, Belarusians, Lithuanians, and Volhynian Czechs among them?

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Re: Kresy Jews moving to central and western Poland for better economic opportunities?

Post by gebhk » 12 Nov 2021 21:10

That would be my guess - the Belgians needed miners and industrial workers rather than farmers.

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Re: Kresy Jews moving to central and western Poland for better economic opportunities?

Post by Futurist » 12 Nov 2021 21:53

gebhk wrote:
12 Nov 2021 21:10
That would be my guess - the Belgians needed miners and industrial workers rather than farmers.
What did the Jews who moved to Belgium do? The same thing? Or other jobs such as businessmen, merchants, traders, craftsmen, and artisans?

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Re: Kresy Jews moving to central and western Poland for better economic opportunities?

Post by gebhk » 13 Nov 2021 08:46

Good question to which I don't know the answer. My guess would be that they did the same because that was what was needed. Also, aside from the initial wave of Polish immigration from Germany (1920-1924), the vast bulk of the 1920s-30s immigration was (according to Dzwonkowski) from South-West Poland (where I presume there were few Ukrainians, Belarusians, Lithuanians, and Volhynian Czechs to be had..... :wink:) and went directly to the mining and heavy industry areas. The point of this less than subtle witticism and the rest, being that the deterimining factor was Belgian need for skilled mining and heavy industry labour, not Polish need to export the poor - who were concentrated in the Eastern part of the country.

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Re: Kresy Jews moving to central and western Poland for better economic opportunities?

Post by Futurist » 13 Nov 2021 22:55

gebhk wrote:
13 Nov 2021 08:46
Good question to which I don't know the answer. My guess would be that they did the same because that was what was needed. Also, aside from the initial wave of Polish immigration from Germany (1920-1924), the vast bulk of the 1920s-30s immigration was (according to Dzwonkowski) from South-West Poland (where I presume there were few Ukrainians, Belarusians, Lithuanians, and Volhynian Czechs to be had..... :wink:) and went directly to the mining and heavy industry areas. The point of this less than subtle witticism and the rest, being that the deterimining factor was Belgian need for skilled mining and heavy industry labour, not Polish need to export the poor - who were concentrated in the Eastern part of the country.
Southwest Poland meaning Upper Silesia + Krakow or the territories further to the east of them?

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Re: Kresy Jews moving to central and western Poland for better economic opportunities?

Post by gebhk » 14 Nov 2021 12:29

Upper Silesia as the main source would be my guess, although guess it only is. The migration was not one-way and the main impact on the relative strengths of the two streams in the counterflow was the opportunities for miners and heavy industry workers in the two countries. Not dissimilar to the more recent situation in the UK regarding Polish plumbers!

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