Poland's plans for Belarus in the event of a more decisive Polish victory in the Polish-Soviet War?

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Poland's plans for Belarus in the event of a more decisive Polish victory in the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by Futurist » 07 Nov 2021 19:51

What were Poland's plans for Belarus in the event of a more decisive Polish victory in the Polish-Soviet War? I know that the Poles wanted to have an independent puppet Ukrainian state led by Symon Petliura east of the Zbruch River, but what about Belarus? Did they want an independent puppet Belarus or did they (as in, Jozef Pilsudski and his supporters) actually want to outright annex all of Belarus into Poland? If it's the latter, then would they have desired to turn Belarus into a Polish version of Lebensraum, or would there have already been too many people in Belarus for Poland to actually contemplate doing this?

Any thoughts on this?

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Re: Poland's plans for Belarus in the event of a more decisive Polish victory in the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by wm » 07 Nov 2021 22:27

Poland didn't really have any plans.
But at that time the nationalists held the upper hand and ran the show. And they didn't want any more minorities, didn't want independent Ukraine, didn't want independent Belarus.
So the end result would be the same.

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Re: Poland's plans for Belarus in the event of a more decisive Polish victory in the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by Futurist » 07 Nov 2021 22:42

wm wrote:
07 Nov 2021 22:27
Poland didn't really have any plans.
But at that time the nationalists held the upper hand and ran the show. And they didn't want any more minorities, didn't want independent Ukraine, didn't want independent Belarus.
So the end result would be the same.
A population exchange with the Soviet Union would have still been nice to have in order to protect the remaining Poles in the Soviet Union from Communist tyranny, though.

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Re: Poland's plans for Belarus in the event of a more decisive Polish victory in the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by wm » 07 Nov 2021 22:50

The population exchange was in the treaty. Many Poles and Jews returned to Poland thanks to it.

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Re: Poland's plans for Belarus in the event of a more decisive Polish victory in the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by Futurist » 07 Nov 2021 22:58

wm wrote:
07 Nov 2021 22:50
The population exchange was in the treaty. Many Poles and Jews returned to Poland thanks to it.
But many chose to stay. The Polish percentage in various parts of the Ukrainian SSR, in 1926:

Image

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Re: Poland's plans for Belarus in the event of a more decisive Polish victory in the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by wm » 07 Nov 2021 23:11

It wasn't easy to abandon everything and almost penniless begin life from nothing.

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Re: Poland's plans for Belarus in the event of a more decisive Polish victory in the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by Futurist » 08 Nov 2021 05:14

wm wrote:
07 Nov 2021 23:11
It wasn't easy to abandon everything and almost penniless begin life from nothing.
They could have sold their property in exchange for getting some money to take back with them to Poland, no?

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Re: Poland's plans for Belarus in the event of a more decisive Polish victory in the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by wm » 08 Nov 2021 21:28

They could but their rubbles were worthless outside the USSR.
It was the same problem the German Jews faced - a non-convertible currency.

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Re: Poland's plans for Belarus in the event of a more decisive Polish victory in the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by Futurist » 08 Nov 2021 21:48

Interesting; thank you. For German Jews, this meant that Hitler stripping them of their wealth didn't make any difference to the West since either way they were going to have no money if/once they actually arrived in the West, correct?

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Re: Poland's plans for Belarus in the event of a more decisive Polish victory in the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by wm » 08 Nov 2021 23:00

Although Hitler didn't strip them of their wealth they could have taken their marks with them.
The German people faced the same problem - I don't think there was any difference.
They could have taken their valuables with them, jewelry, I don't know about gold.

That's why the Haavara Agreement was signed - it replaced money with barter - so their wealth could have been transferred.

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Re: Poland's plans for Belarus in the event of a more decisive Polish victory in the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by Futurist » 09 Nov 2021 01:49

But didn't you say that the German mark was non-convertible?

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Re: Poland's plans for Belarus in the event of a more decisive Polish victory in the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by wm » 09 Nov 2021 03:21

Barter is "an act of trading goods ... without the use of money."
Jewish wealth was transferred in the form of German goods they bought with their own German money.
In Palestine, the importers paid the German Jews for the goods with Palestinian pounds (virtually - in reality, it was land, homes, etc.)

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Re: Poland's plans for Belarus in the event of a more decisive Polish victory in the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by Futurist » 09 Nov 2021 05:17

That makes sense; thanks, wm! :)

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Re: Poland's plans for Belarus in the event of a more decisive Polish victory in the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by Futurist » 12 Nov 2021 01:38

wm wrote:
07 Nov 2021 22:27
Poland didn't really have any plans.
But at that time the nationalists held the upper hand and ran the show. And they didn't want any more minorities, didn't want independent Ukraine, didn't want independent Belarus.
So the end result would be the same.
Question for you: Had Poland decided to, against its better judgment, accept a larger part of Belarus in 1921 (or, if you want, you could imagine Germany winning World War I and giving Poland Belarus as compensation for the loss of the Polish Border Strip or whatever), how many Poles would have subsequently moved to Belarus? Yes, Belarus was poor and backward, but surely Poles could turn it into something better, no? As in, bring a larger amount of civilization there and whatnot?

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Re: Poland's plans for Belarus in the event of a more decisive Polish victory in the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by wm » 12 Nov 2021 15:59

Some better-off peasants because the land was much cheaper there (my family actually did that) - unless the government would provide sufficiently fat subsidies and that wasn't going to happen.

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