Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by wm » 16 May 2022 23:43

Considering that Beck, when refusing to accept Hitler's gesamtlösung represented the united will of the nation, why do we propose an impossible solution (i.e., To submit to Germany)?
The Polish people weren't going to accept any submitting, full stop. This is why Beck kept the negotiations strictly secret for as long as possible.

When the Nazis were confronted with his "we are not the Czechs" it wasn't something out of the blue.
That was what Polish newspapers wrote after Munich, "the Czechs are cowards but we are not the Czechs. We wouldn't surrender."
Last edited by wm on 17 May 2022 07:53, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by DavidFrankenberg » 16 May 2022 23:53

gebhk wrote:
16 May 2022 20:15
You are assuming that the "1934 preventive war plan" existed. But so far we have no proof and everything leads to deny it. This is the very matter of the topic here.
Nope, I am assuming that Morstin asked the questions that he asked and got the replies that he did. And it was you after all who produced the citation to that effect :thumbsup:

Mind you, Pilsudski is supposed to have said to Barthou in 1934 "France has money but doesn't want to fight. Poland has no money but wants to fight. So give us money and we will fight for you". I wonder what Barthou's' response was?
You are referring to the polish article i posted. Unfortunately, it does not have any source.
gebhk wrote:
16 May 2022 21:58
Do you have any photo of Beck bowing to Stalin, Laval, Benes or Barthou ?
With respect, it is you that is pushing the theory that Beck bowed lower to Hitler than other heads of state, so it is up to you to provide the evidence :D As I said before, I don't have much time for or expertise in, comparative etiquette studies or the spinning of fanciful theories based upon them.
That being said, did Beck ever meet Stalin and/or Benes? If not it would be a bit of a toughie finding photos of such a meeting! Barthou and Laval were also foreign minsters, not heads of state and therefore Beck's equals; so the depth of mutual bowing is not a useful comparator - not that I have ever seen pictures of their first 'pressing of the flesh'.
I published a photo of the 5th january meeting showing the very obsequious way of greeting Hitler Beck had. Very unusual and very submissive way. Demonstrating perfectly the attitude and position of Beck toward Hitler.
Someone else replied that Beck usually saluted this way, that it was a polish way of saluting. This person has to provide photo supporting his idea.

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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by gebhk » 17 May 2022 00:42

Very unusual and very submissive way. Demonstrating perfectly the attitude and position of Beck toward Hitler.
And again - you say it's a very unusual way. So where is the evidence that it is unusual? And where is the evidence that the attituide and position of Beck towards Hitler was unusual and submissive? Since this is your theory - let's have it without circular argument and the presenta\tion of opinion as fact.

And presumably we must, if we follow your logic, assume that President Obama and Teresa May (to name but a few) greeted the Queen in a very unusual and very submissive way which demonstarted perfectly their attitude and position towards the Queen?

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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by DavidFrankenberg » 17 May 2022 11:26

gebhk wrote:
17 May 2022 00:42
Very unusual and very submissive way. Demonstrating perfectly the attitude and position of Beck toward Hitler.
And again - you say it's a very unusual way. So where is the evidence that it is unusual? And where is the evidence that the attituide and position of Beck towards Hitler was unusual and submissive? Since this is your theory - let's have it without circular argument and the presenta\tion of opinion as fact.
Some people have posted many photos of polish officials receiving Barthou and Laval.
Do you see Beck bowing to Barthou or Laval or Benes ?
I dont.
And presumably we must, if we follow your logic, assume that President Obama and Teresa May (to name but a few) greeted the Queen in a very unusual and very submissive way which demonstarted perfectly their attitude and position towards the Queen?
Please, try to stay on to the topic.
Btw Obama and Teresa May did not bow to the Queen, and Hitler can not be compared to Elizabeth II.

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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by gebhk » 17 May 2022 13:02

Some people have posted many photos of polish officials receiving Barthou and Laval.
But none have posted photos of the first handshake with the above. So there is nothing there to support your thesis. And in any event, as these two gentlemen were not heads of state but foreign ministers, ie Beck's equals one would expect the same depth of bow by both.
Do you see Beck bowing to Barthou or Laval or Benes ?
I dont.
With respect, your imaginings are not evidence. I imagine Beck would greet Benes (if he ever met him) and greeted Laval and Barthou appropriately as he did Herr Hitler. So what? Those are just my imaginings too. And in the meantime we could stick to what Beck actually gave the Germans. Which is nothing. Hardly a pro-German stance or evidence of pro-German leanings. Or even better, we could stick to the actual topic of the thread which is 'Pilsudski's preventive war'.
Please, try to stay on to the topic.
I'd love to, but folk keep offtoping into conspiracy theories about subsequent events, pretending they know the inside of dead men's minds, the bowing habits of 30s diplomats, the relative qualities of various Warsaw railway stations and so forth.
Btw Obama and Teresa May did not bow to the Queen,
Obama most certainly did. It is documented on dozens of photographs and videos. Teresa May did not, that is true: she curtsied, the female equivalent. Both did so (particulalry Teresa May) far more deeply than was required by protocol.
Hitler can not be compared to Elizabeth II
That is a logical fallacy. Any two things can be compared. And in respect of this off-top discussion - initiated by you, not me, may I add - they are entirely comparable in that both are/were heads of state who shook hands with and were bowed to by foreign diplomats and leaders.

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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by DavidFrankenberg » 17 May 2022 13:41

So far you have posted no photo supporting your claims.

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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by Steve » 17 May 2022 22:00

I see that wm is not a fan of Madame Pilsudski or seemingly of Marshall Pilsudski either. He asks what was postponed by Pilsudski’s 1934 ten year pact. I think the answer is a war over German grievances against Poland. Pilsudski did seemingly underestimate the speed of German rearmament and thus when Germany would be able to raise these grievances. However, he was right in thinking that it was only a matter of time before Germany would.

Pilsudski said the pact would give the Poles longer to prepare their defences and wm thinks this was absurd. I think wm agrees with the Polish decision to fight in 1939 so surely the longer they had to prepare their defences the better. If you think that no amount of Polish preparation could avert defeat (which is correct) then the decision to fight was illogical but a better word may be stupid.

Madame Pilsudski is not an unbiased source on her husband but she is a source and not “worthless”. Were Pilsudski’s policies a failure? He had been dead for four years before relations between Poland and Germany broke down so I don’t see how he is to blame for that. Which of his policies were failures?

So Beck was not surprised when in September 1938 the issue of Danzig and the corridor were raised. If he was not surprised then presumably he had been expecting Hitler at some point to bring it up. The Polish leadership does not give this impression to me.

Beck” basically embraced the proposed idea of "gesamtlösung" - but in a modified by him form.” So he only wanted to modify Ribbentrop’s proposals for the return of Danzig and an extra territorial highway and a railway across the corridor. What were these modifications?

“It should be remembered the meeting Ribbentrop-Lipski was primarily dedicated to other (primarily international) problems - "gesamtlösung" was only a small part of it.” I think this is the wrong way round the “gesamtlösung" was the main part the other problems were the small part. Poland and Germany were not going to go to war over the Hungarian Polish border. Lipski had gone to the meeting expecting to discuss other matters.

"wanted to meet Hitler to check that Ribbentrop had got it right" actually has no support in facts either.” I admit that I did not express myself very well. Ribbentrop and Lipski met on December 15 when Lipski passed on an invitation from Beck for Ribbentrop to visit Warsaw. During the meeting Ribbentrop expressed regret that his conversation with Lipski on October 24 had been misunderstood by Beck. Naturally Beck would have wanted to know where Hitler stood and as Hitler had indicated a desire to meet him a meeting was arranged for January 5.

In an earlier post I mentioned that British diplomat Vansittard in his autobiography said that the British had been informed by their ambassador in Berlin Rumbold about Pilsudski’s offer to France. Rumbold left in 1933 and his replacement ambassador Phipps in November 1933 also informed London about Pilsudski’s offer to France. Phipps’s source was the head of the Polish news agency in Berlin.

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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by DavidFrankenberg » 18 May 2022 12:33

From Nuremberg Trial quoted by Steve : https://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/12-06-45.asp
"The Fuehrer has ordered: Apart from the three contingencies mentioned in the instructions of that date of 21 October 1938, preparations are also to be made to enable the Free State of Danzig to be occupied by German troops by surprise ...."The preparations will be made on the following basis: Condition is a quasi-revolutionary occupation of Danzig, exploiting a politically favorable situation, not a war against Poland."
a luncheon which took place at the Grand Hotel, Berchtesgaden, on the 24th of October, where Ribbentrop saw Mr. Lipski, the Polish ambassador to Germany:
"In a conversation of the 29th of October, over a luncheon at the Grand Hotel, Berchtesgaden, at which M. Hewel was present, Von Ribbentrop put forward a proposal for a general settlement of issues between Poland and Germany. This included the reunion of Danzig with the Reich, while Poland
Mr. Beck, the Polish Foreign Minister, gave to Mr. Lipski to hand to the German Government in reply to the suggestion put forward by Ribbentrop at Berchtesgaden on the 24th of October.
On the 5th of January 1939 Mr. Beck had a conversation with Hitler.
conversation between Mr. Beck and Ribbentrop, on the day after the one to which I have just referred between Beck and Hitler. (...)
"Mr. Beck asked Ribbentrop to inform the Chancellor that whereas previously, after all his conversations and contacts with German statesmen, he had been feeling optimistic, today, for the first time he was in a pessimistic mood. Particularly in regard to the Danzig question, as it had been raised by the Chancellor, he saw no possibility whatever of agreement."
On the 25th of the same month, January 1939, some fortnight or three weeks later, Ribbentrop was in Warsaw
Hitler again spoke in the Reichstag, 30th of January 1939, and gave further assurances of their good faith.
But what happened in november and december ?
There is a 2 months gap.

Paul Otto Schmidt, Hitler's interpreter adds some things about the 5th and 6th meetings.

The reason of the meeting was the Ruthenian question.
In november 1938 Ruthenia became independent.
Poland wanted Ruthenia to be annexed by Hungary and wanted Slovakia to be placed under polish protection.
Hitler of course claimed that both were under his protection.

So there were some frictions bertween Poland and Germany.

The 5th january meeting was to clear this problem.
Why Hitler spoke about Danzig then ?
It is quite obvious : Hitler proposed to exchange Ruthenia and Slovakia for Danzig. But Beck refused.

That was a good deal. Hitler could not understand the stuborness of Beck. That's why he sent Ribbentrop to harass Beck the following day, the 6th. With no results.

Hitler did not give up. He wanted an agreement for the 26th january 1939. It would be the 5th anniversary of german-polish pact of non-agression. If Beck accepts the deal, Hitler would be happy : the non-agression pact would be prolonged 10 more years and, secretly, they would agree that Danzig was german and that Slovakia and Ruthenia was in polish hands. When Hitler would invade Czech in march, Poland would invade Slovakia, and Poland or Hungary would invade Ruthenia. All would be friends forever before a common attack against USSR.

That's why Hitler sent Ribbentrop to Varsaw the 25th january. The last hope train.
The 25th january Ribbentrop arrived in Varsaw, very well received. But when he talked again about Danzig, Beck didnt change a iota. It was a total failure.

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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by wm » 19 May 2022 09:59

Steve wrote:
17 May 2022 22:00
Pilsudski said the pact would give the Poles longer to prepare their defences and wm thinks this was absurd. I think wm agrees with the Polish decision to fight in 1939 so surely the longer they had to prepare their defences the better. If you think that no amount of Polish preparation could avert defeat (which is correct) then the decision to fight was illogical but a better word may be stupid.
Militarily Germany outspent Poland up to 10 to 1.
And that remembering it's assumed 3:1 gives a reasonable expectation of victory over the weaker opponent.
It was like announcing to a temporarily-reprieved death row inmate he would be given more time to prepare. Great, more time but for what?

Piłsudski was, of course, aware of that. His plan was to avoid war (at least as long as possible), but when it would be inevitable to internationalize the conflict, make it a European war.
Beck did better than that. He accepted war when Poland was at peak political power - i.e. when willing Britain arrived with France in tow.


Steve wrote:
17 May 2022 22:00
So Beck was not surprised when in September 1938 the issue of Danzig and the corridor were raised. If he was not surprised then presumably he had been expecting Hitler at some point to bring it up. The Polish leadership does not give this impression to me.
We don't know what Beck thought, he didn't open up with anyone.
He said to Szembek that he wanted to talk with Hitler about Czechoslovakia and Danzig - in this order, so Danzig seemed not that important to him.
This is what he said to Ribbentrop in Warsaw:
Poles are not nervous, it is enough for them that the Chancellor has no territorial claims in Europe and that he is declaring this publicly (although the matter of Danzig would seem to contradict this)
Certainly till Memel, he and Polish leaders didn't expect war.

It wasn't like Beck wasn't aware that the Nazis in Danzig wanted to join the mothership badly, that German borderlands clamored for war with Poland. That some people expected war, another partition of Poland, German-Soviet understanding.
He received such reports regularly.
He was aware of the possibility of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact months earlier, that it would be signed days earlier.


Steve wrote:
17 May 2022 22:00
Beck” basically embraced the proposed idea of "gesamtlösung" - but in a modified by him form.” So he only wanted to modify Ribbentrop’s proposals for the return of Danzig and an extra territorial highway and a railway across the corridor. What were these modifications?
the Polish Government proposes the replacement of the League of Nations guarantee and its prerogatives by a bi-lateral Polish-German Agreement.
This Agreement should guarantee the existence of the Free City of Danzig so as to assure freedom of national and cultural life to its German majority, and also should guarantee all Polish rights.

Steve wrote:
17 May 2022 22:00
In an earlier post I mentioned that British diplomat Vansittard in his autobiography said that the British had been informed by their ambassador in Berlin Rumbold about Pilsudski’s offer to France. Rumbold left in 1933 and his replacement ambassador Phipps in November 1933 also informed London about Pilsudski’s offer to France. Phipps’s source was the head of the Polish news agency in Berlin.
That's just another rumor.

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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by Steve » 20 May 2022 00:21

David wrote “But what happened in november and december ?
There is a 2 months gap.

I hope I have this right. Lipski met Ribbentrop on October 24 on October 31 Beck instructed Lipski to communicate a rejection of the German proposals, on November 12 Lipski informed Beck that Ribbentrop was inaccessible. On November 19 Lipski met Ribbentrop. In early December Lipski returned to Warsaw for discussions and then met Ribbentrop on December 15. Beck met Hitler on January 5.

“That was what Polish newspapers wrote after Munich, "the Czechs are cowards but we are not the Czechs. We wouldn't surrender."
On September 28 a conference was held at Cz army Headquarters. Leading Generals agreed to set up a military government to resist to the utmost if Poland did not intervene. But Poland did intervene.

“Militarily Germany outspent Poland up to 10 to 1.
And that remembering it's assumed 3:1 gives a reasonable expectation of victory over the weaker opponent.
It was like announcing to a temporarily-reprieved death row inmate he would be given more time to prepare. Great, more time but for what?”

I read that as wm agreeing with me that the Polish decision to fight makes no sense.

Anthony Biddle the US ambassador seems to have been very well informed about Polish German talks from what he wrote in The Biddle Report. A quote from the report which shows that the Poles considered a highway across the corridor -

“I had gained the impression that Minister Beck and his associates were inclined to prefer a non-extra-territorial autostrada to the then existent numerous routes of communication between the Reich and East Prussia. In that they felt these numerous routes served to facilitate anti-Polish espionage activities, they looked upon the establishment of one main route as affording better opportunity to guard against these activities. I furthermore gained the impression that they hoped to trade a Polish-financed non-extra-territorial autostrada for a just and permanent settlement of the Danzig question.” According to Biddle the Germans submitted several plans for the road.

Biddle also talked to Beck about his January 5 meeting with Hitler “As to whether he thought Herr Hitler was bluffing or meant war, Minister Beck observed that he did not know. Herr Hitler, previous to the close of 1938, had been confident he could gain his objectives without involving Germany in a war. His easy "bloodless" successes had apparently gone to his head, an effect which had in a large measure contributed towards the change which Minister Beck discerned on January 5.”

Beck’s Chef de Cabinet Michal Lubienski in his writings after the war referred to Beck as an alcoholic. Beck died of tuberculosis and there is quite a lot of information on the net about heavy alcohol consumption and its link to tuberculosis.

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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by DavidFrankenberg » 20 May 2022 02:35

Steve wrote:
20 May 2022 00:21
David wrote “But what happened in november and december ?
There is a 2 months gap.

I hope I have this right. Lipski met Ribbentrop on October 24 on October 31 Beck instructed Lipski to communicate a rejection of the German proposals, on November 12 Lipski informed Beck that Ribbentrop was inaccessible. On November 19 Lipski met Ribbentrop. In early December Lipski returned to Warsaw for discussions and then met Ribbentrop on December 15. Beck met Hitler on January 5.
Looks like Hitler refused to talk before 5th january.
Anthony Biddle the US ambassador seems to have been very well informed about Polish German talks from what he wrote in The Biddle Report. A quote from the report which shows that the Poles considered a highway across the corridor -

“I had gained the impression that Minister Beck and his associates were inclined to prefer a non-extra-territorial autostrada to the then existent numerous routes of communication between the Reich and East Prussia. In that they felt these numerous routes served to facilitate anti-Polish espionage activities, they looked upon the establishment of one main route as affording better opportunity to guard against these activities. I furthermore gained the impression that they hoped to trade a Polish-financed non-extra-territorial autostrada for a just and permanent settlement of the Danzig question.” According to Biddle the Germans submitted several plans for the road.

Biddle also talked to Beck about his January 5 meeting with Hitler “As to whether he thought Herr Hitler was bluffing or meant war, Minister Beck observed that he did not know. Herr Hitler, previous to the close of 1938, had been confident he could gain his objectives without involving Germany in a war. His easy "bloodless" successes had apparently gone to his head, an effect which had in a large measure contributed towards the change which Minister Beck discerned on January 5.”
Yes, Beck did not think Hitler would attack. He was sure he would not. He hoped it so much, he believed in his friendship.
Beck’s Chef de Cabinet Michal Lubienski in his writings after the war referred to Beck as an alcoholic. Beck died of tuberculosis and there is quite a lot of information on the net about heavy alcohol consumption and its link to tuberculosis.
Léon Noël again :
Léon Noël wrote:En réalité, c’était un malade, névropathe et tuberculeux, sujet – je le tiens de Mme Beck elle-même – à des crises de dépression et qui se remontait à force d’alcool et de boissons variées. Je me suis même demandé parfois s’il n’usait pas de stupéfiants, si grand était le contraste entre les heures où il se montrait loquace, brillant, sûr de lui-même, escrimeur adroit dans la discussion, et celle où, incapable de la moindre réaction, il fuyait toute controverse et ne paraissait plus qu’une loque.
Le matin, quoiqu’il arrivât, il ne fallait pas espérer le joindre avant midi. L’après-midi, il demeurait d’ordinaire invisible jusqu’à cinq ou six heures du soir et c’était habituellement la nuit, en pleine nuit, que lorsqu’il n’était pas ivre, on le trouvait en pleine possession de ses moyens.
Son intempérance était connue de toute la Pologne et il m’en a donné maintes preuves. C’était chez lui défaut ancien que sa seconde femme avait, disait-on, combattu non sans certain succès. De fait, lorsque d’aventure elle s’absentait, il semblait s’y adonner avec moins de retenue encore, mais, vers la fin, je crois bien que cette influence s’était usée.

Guido Schmidt, le dernier ministre des Affaires étrangères d’Autriche avant l’Anschluss, était de passage à Varsovie. Il y avait eu un dîner à la Légation d’Autriche. Evoquant des souvenirs de jeunesse, Beck avait chanté des romances viennoises – et on avait beaucoup bu. A la soirée qui suivit, il fut évident, pour les invités dont j’étais, que le ministre polonais avait dépassé toutes les bornes. A l’heure du départ, il m’aperçut au vestiaire. Le chapeau en arrière, la langue embarrassée, il me fit brusquement, devant les domestiques et les personnes attendant leur manteau, une profession de foi de francophilie. Ma gêne se devine. « On ne m’a pas compris », s’écria-t-il ; « il faudra que je vous explique cela un jour ». La comtesse Michel Lubienski, femme de son directeur de cabinet, chargée, ce soir-là, en l’absence de Mme Beck, de l’accompagner – et de le surveiller – dut l’entraîner vers sa voiture.
Quelques jours avant l’Anschluss, à un bal de l’Ambassade de France, il se montra dans le même état et il se mit à me tenir, au sujet de l’Autriche, des propos d’une sincérité qui ne lui était pas habituelle. Mme Beck s’émut et l’emmena en toute hâte, en invoquant son mauvais état de santé.

A la veille de la guerre, il arriva qu’une nuit, je dus m’acquitter d’urgence auprès de lui d’une communication de la plus haute importance. Je lui fis demander de me recevoir sur-le-champ. On répondit à un de mes collaborateurs qu’il lui était impossible de m’accueillir, qu’il dormait et que le comte Szembek le remplacerait. J’insistai, me doutant que, malgré l’heure très tardive, il était en train de pérorer en fumant des cigarettes et en buvant quelques verres de whisky. Sans attendre une nouvelle réponse, je fis annoncer que je me rendais chez lui. En arrivant dans la coquette petite maison – communiquant avec le ministère des Affaires étrangères – le Palais Brühl – qui lui servait de résidence, je compris pourquoi ses secrétaires avaient cherché à m’empêcher de le voir. Il était complètement ivre. La conversation commença bien : il me tint des propos marquant un vif attachement pour la France ! Mais, très vite, l’entretien devint presque impossible. Il se montra nerveux et incohérent. Et il s’agissait non plus de combinaisons diplomatiques quelconques, mais de la paix et de la guerre ! Il s’agissait d’essayer d’empêcher l’irréparable, de chercher les derniers moyens auxquels on pouvait penser, s’il y en avait encore, pour éviter la catastrophe que l’on sentait prête à s’abattre sur le monde ! C’était le sort de la Pologne et le sort de l’Europe qui étaient en jeu !

A Kuty enfin, dans la localité de la frontière polono-roumaine, où je le vis pour la dernière fois en fonction, les 16 et 17 septembre 1939, il me donna un spectacle non moins lamentable. Je le trouvai dans une pièce, presque dépourvue de meubles, d’une très modeste villa, sa dernière résidence officielle en Pologne : une simple couchette dans un coin, une petite table de bois blanc et deux chaises de paille. Sur la table, il y avait une bouteille d’épais vin rouge dont il venait de se servir des rasades. Il était aviné. Il l’était également, lorsque le lendemain, en ce jour tragique du dimanche 17 septembre, où les troupes soviétiques entrèrent, à leur tour, en Pologne, je le retrouvai dans la même villa. Ceux qui savent ce qu’est un entretien diplomatique et qui sont accoutumés aux grandes affaires peuvent seuls comprendre l’impression insupportable que l’on ressentait en traitant avec un pareil homme des plus graves problèmes.
translation wrote:In reality, he was sick, neuropathic and tuberculous, subject – I have it from Mrs. Beck herself – to attacks of depression and who recovered from alcohol and various drinks. I even sometimes wondered if he was not using narcotics, so great was the contrast between the hours when he showed himself to be talkative, brilliant, sure of himself, a skilful swordsman in discussion, and those when, incapable of the slightest reaction, he shunned all controversy and seemed no more than a wreck.
In the morning, whatever happened, you could not hope to reach him before noon. In the afternoon he usually remained invisible until five or six o'clock in the evening, and it was usually at night, in the middle of the night, that when he was not drunk, he was found in full possession of its means.

Guido Schmidt, Austria's last foreign minister before the Anschluss, was in Warsaw. There had been a dinner at the Austrian Legation. Evoking childhood memories, Beck had sung Viennese romances – and we had drunk a lot. At the evening that followed, it was obvious to the guests, including myself, that the Polish minister had exceeded all limits. When it was time to leave, he saw me in the locker room. Hat back, tongue confused, he suddenly made me, in front of the servants and the people waiting for their coats, a profession of faith of Francophile. My embarrassment can be guessed. “I have not been understood,” he exclaimed; “I will have to explain this to you one day”. Countess Michel Lubienski, wife of his chief of staff, responsible that evening, in Madame Beck's absence, for accompanying him - and watching him - had to drag him to his car.

On the eve of the war, it happened that one night, I had to carry out urgent communication with him of the highest importance. I asked him to see me at once. One of my collaborators was told that it was impossible for him to welcome me, that he was sleeping and that Count Szembek would replace him. I insisted, suspecting that, despite the very late hour, he was holding forth while smoking cigarettes and drinking a few glasses of whiskey. Without waiting for a new answer, I announced that I was going to his house. Arriving in the pretty little house - communicating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs - the Brühl Palace - which served as his residence, I understood why his secretaries had tried to prevent me from seeing him. He was completely drunk. The conversation started off well: he spoke to me about a strong attachment to France! But, very quickly, maintenance became almost impossible. He looked nervous and incoherent. And it was no longer a question of any diplomatic combinations, but of peace and war! It was a question of trying to prevent the irreparable, of looking for the last means that one could think of, if there were still any, to avoid the catastrophe that one felt was ready to fall on the world! It was the fate of Poland and the fate of Europe that were at stake!

Finally, at Kuty, in the locality on the Polish-Romanian border, where I saw him for the last time in office, on September 16 and 17, 1939, he gave me a no less lamentable spectacle. I found him in a room, almost devoid of furniture, of a very modest villa, his last official residence in Poland: a single berth in one corner, a small white wooden table and two straw chairs. On the table was a bottle of thick red wine he had just poured down. He was drunk. He was also so, when the next day, on that tragic day of Sunday, September 17, when the Soviet troops entered, in turn, Poland, I found him in the same villa. Only those who know what a diplomatic interview is and who are accustomed to big business can understand the unbearable impression one felt in dealing with such a man of the most serious problems.
Beck had a hard time. Poland was in very difficult situation since it occupied many foreign countries (Czech, German, Ukrainian, Belarus etc).
Pilsudski and Beck should have revised the borders in order to become friends with other countries and to befriend neighbors like Czech or SU.
Instead they chose a suicidal policy between nazi Germany and SU.
Beck should have found the courage to do this.

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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by George L Gregory » 20 May 2022 09:58

gebhk wrote:
17 May 2022 13:02
That is a logical fallacy. Any two things can be compared.
That’s not true. That’s a logical fallacy. :lol:

It’s known as the “false equivalence”.

https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/log ... quivalence

Remember, it’s like comparing apples to oranges… :thumbsup:

George L Gregory
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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by George L Gregory » 20 May 2022 10:05

gebhk wrote:
16 May 2022 20:22
Hi Steve
They should have chosen option 3 “to submit to Germany” the reason being that I don’t think it was quite as stark a choice as that.
On balance, based on the very consistent outcomes for neighbours, I tend to agree.
Erm, why?

So by your logic the Ukrainians should just succumb to Vladimir Putin’s demands now in order to avoid more blood shed and allow the Russians to annex Ukraine?

I don’t understand why anyone thinks that any citizens of an independent country should succumb willingly to a more powerful neighbouring country.

The Poles in WW2 did what any courageous nation should do and that is never give up and fight until the end.

My mind boggles when I read a Pole such as in this case wm - he claims to be a Pole - who think that the Germans had some sort of right to invade Poland and conquer all of the territory.

It’s almost like trying to rewrite history with the notion, “WW2 could have been avoided if countries had just allowed Adolf Hitler and the Nazis to do what they wanted to do.”

There’s a reason why foreign diplomats began to change their opinions of Hitler after he occupied the rest of Czechoslovakia. They knew that he wasn’t just interested in annexing ethnically German territories and the territories that had been taken away from Germany after WW1.

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wm
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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by wm » 20 May 2022 10:58

Steve wrote:
20 May 2022 00:21
I hope I have this right. Lipski met Ribbentrop on October 24 on October 31 Beck instructed Lipski to communicate a rejection of the German proposals, on November 12 Lipski informed Beck that Ribbentrop was inaccessible. On November 19 Lipski met Ribbentrop. In early December Lipski returned to Warsaw for discussions and then met Ribbentrop on December 15. Beck met Hitler on January 5.
There were additional talks on November 22, December 3, and post-November 23 (in Budapest).
In the meantime, both Kristallnacht and the Polenaktion happened so low-level meetings and talks were intense.


Steve wrote:
20 May 2022 00:21
On September 28 a conference was held at Cz army Headquarters. Leading Generals agreed to set up a military government to resist to the utmost if Poland did not intervene. But Poland did intervene.
That's fake history. Poland "intervened" (i.e., demanded what the Czechs and the Munich Pact promised earlier) after the Czechs had surrendered.


Steve wrote:
20 May 2022 00:21
I read that as wm agreeing with me that the Polish decision to fight makes no sense.
The plan was to internationalize the conflict and Beck did it beautifully by creating the French-British-Polish alliance.
Never before Poland had such a chance to stop German revisionism and even to defeat Germany. And probably never would have had after. So it was the best moment ever to fight.

And it wasn't a decision. The Poles were unanimous in their will to resist. The government could have accepted it or resigned in disgrace. That was its only choice.


Steve wrote:
20 May 2022 00:21
Anthony Biddle the US ambassador seems to have been very well informed about Polish German talks from what he wrote in The Biddle Report. A quote from the report which shows that the Poles considered a highway across the corridor -
The statement was:
The Polish government ... is ready to consider most favorably the matter of transit facilitations, even for passenger cars. Transport facilitations could be the subject of negotiations.


Steve wrote:
20 May 2022 00:21
Beck’s Chef de Cabinet Michal Lubienski in his writings after the war referred to Beck as an alcoholic.
I'm not aware of any of his post-war writings and anyway it was a rumor spread by Beck's enemies and adopted with vengeance by communist propaganda later.

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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by gebhk » 20 May 2022 12:51

Hi George
Remember, it’s like comparing apples to oranges…
Comparing is the act of noting, measuring or estimating the similarities and/or differences between two or more things. So there is no reason why you can't compare apples and oranges. Both are fruit, one has an orange pitted skin, the other a green and smooth skin. :D. As for 'false equivalence, there was none in my comment either. For one thing I was not comparing Queen Elizabeth II to Chancellor Hitler but the bowing/curtseing of Minister Beck, President Obama and Prime Minister May to a head of state. My argument was in fact countering the fallacious equivalence that all bowing while shaking hands equates to servility.
Erm, why?
For the simple reason that, on balance, it likely would have spared the country a great many lives and much destruction for no great benefit.
I don’t understand why anyone thinks that any citizens of an independent country should succumb willingly to a more powerful neighbouring country.
We are not talking about 'willingly' here or the citizens of course, but I personally have no problem understanding why the citizens of an independent country may succumb, even willingly, to a foreign power and it happens with some frequency throughout history. By and large, it is because they believe they will have a better quality of life under the government of that foreign power. The anschluss is a fine example - while we may argue how universal the willingness was, there is litle doubt that at least a significant portion of the citizens of Austria were more than willing for that to happen.

However, what we are talking about here, is the government of a country taking decisions that it deems in the best interest of the people it governs. It has to weigh up (and without the benefit if hindsight, like we do!) the likely costs and benefits of fighting vs succumbing and decide accordingly. And the fact is that those neighbouring countries that opposed the Axis suffered proportional casualties at least an order greater than those who succumbed, with little if any comparative benefit.
The Poles in WW2 did what any courageous nation should do and that is never give up and fight until the end.
But they didn't fight to the end, did they? They did not, aside from a small minority, fight the Soviet takeover 1944-45.
So by your logic the Ukrainians should just succumb to Vladimir Putin’s demands now in order to avoid more blood shed and allow the Russians to annex Ukraine?
But you can't apply 'my logic' to this conflict because it is not over yet. We do not know what the outcome is going to be even in the short run, let alone the long one, so we have no way of evaluating the real costs/benefits.
Last edited by gebhk on 20 May 2022 13:53, edited 1 time in total.

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