"Poland wanted war with Germany"

Discussions on all aspects of Poland during the Second Polish Republic and the Second World War. Hosted by Piotr Kapuscinski.
George L Gregory
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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by George L Gregory » 10 Apr 2022 23:11

NickA wrote:
10 Apr 2022 13:03
Why have we been demonising it for 90 or 100 years?

I'm asking questions like this because, to me, the importance of WW2 is learning how to avoid making the same mistakes. One of which is falsely accusing others of acting aggressive when we might be accused of all kinds of things that really do amount to aggression.
The reason why the Roman salute has been “demonised” since the end of WW2 is because it’s synonymous with mass-murder since it was used by a regime that was responsible for the deaths of millions of people. I thought that was a no-brainer. Were you born yesterday or something?

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by George L Gregory » 10 Apr 2022 23:16

NickA wrote:
09 Apr 2022 21:51
I'm looking for evidence of violence and intimidation of "minority" populations in this period - maybe Germans driven out of Bromberg - but Poles driven out of Danzig would be equally concerning. There doesn't seem to be much information (other than Germans were definitely leaving Bromberg).
Blah, blah, blah. You post complete bunk. The reason you can’t find any evidence is because no such thing happened. The Nazis themselves didn’t even claim that massacres were happening to the German minority in Poland prior to WW2. Cases of violence on both sides happened undoubtedly, but massacres did not happen. The Germans had been trying to dominate the Poles for hundreds of years so it’s obvious there was going to be done hostility. You should try reading a book about the subject!
Danzig should have been prospering between the wars (unless there were some other factors I'm not aware of). Jews were certainly leaving Germany (though under supposedly favourable conditions, tranfering their wealth to Palestine) but I'm not sure why they would have been leaving Danzig.
Why should Danzig have been prospering during the interwar years?

gebhk
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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by gebhk » 11 Apr 2022 11:15

Danzig should have been prospering between the wars (unless there were some other factors I'm not aware of). Jews were certainly leaving Germany (though under supposedly favourable conditions, tranfering their wealth to Palestine) but I'm not sure why they would have been leaving Danzig.
I am not sure why you think that Danzig should have been prospering between the wars. Like every other centre that lived off import/export, it was very badly hit by the depression. It's throughput in raw tonnage in 1932 was just under 60% that in 1928 (data based on Cieslak's Historia Gdanska [History of Gdansk], vol 4). It did not regain it's pre-depression turnover until 1939. In addition from 1924 it faced competition from Gdynia - a facility both more modern and blessed, no doubt, with cheaper labour. Starting from next to nothing, Gdynia's throughput doubled or more every year in the first few years from 1924 and from 1933 exceeded that of Danzig until the first half of 1939 (and I would speculate that the sudden boost to Danzig's fortunes in 1939 was due to movement of war materials and equipment from mainland Germany to East Prussia rather than any economic upturn per se). This was discussed in some detail in the thread "1930s books about the Polish Corridor".

Needless to say, this reduction in throughput that needed to be handled and the need to cut costs to compete with Gdynia would have meant reductions in labour force. Over 10% of the overall population of Danzig became unemployed during the depression years (G Berendt. Historia Spolecznosci. Wirtualny Sztetl). At the same time there would have been strong incentives for the redundant dock workers to go either to Gdynia (which was booming even in the depths of the Great Depression and continued to do so), to other European ports which recovered more quickly than those of Danzig and Germany or, eventually, even to Germany to benefit from the various Nazi job creation schemes. I would suggest this in itself would have been sufficient to drop the population by 5% even without the added incentive of Nazi abuses against sections of the population.
Last edited by gebhk on 11 Apr 2022 14:28, edited 3 times in total.

gebhk
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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by gebhk » 11 Apr 2022 11:53

"military style salute" uses the open hand, a sign of peace and absence of weapons
Is it your interpretation or is there a source that posits the modern military salute uses the open hand as a sign of piece? My understanding is that, in modern times, it simply developed from the traditional greeting of subordinates to superiors by removal of headgear (much as the 'tugging of the forelock' did in civilian British life). Thus this salute often varied, depending on what headgear had traditionally been worn by a service and Royal Navy men of the Napoleonic Wars era apparently saluted their officers, somewhat contrary to your thesis, with a clenched fist held to the brow.

Ironically, many now believe that the 'Roman salute' (salutatio militaris) was similar to modern military salutes while what became the Fascist/Nazi salute was invented and ascribed to the Romans by 18th century French art (there is not a single example of it in Roman art or literature AFAIK).

Incidentally, the clenched fist salute of some movements (and not necessarily socialist/communist ones) is supposed to signify 'unity in struggle' and not the 'willingness to do violence'. Nor do I buy for one moment that the open hand in the Fascist/Nazi salute, given the overtly militaristic ethos of those movements, was meant to signify peaceful intentions.
Last edited by gebhk on 11 Apr 2022 12:39, edited 1 time in total.

gebhk
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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by gebhk » 11 Apr 2022 12:18

I'm not sure why they would have been leaving Danzig.
I would have thought that to any rational person, the destruction of 60 shops and of private residences during a government-incited race riot in 1937, an official policy of discrimination against the Jews instituted in 1938, further race riots in November 1938 (aping the Kristallnacht riots in Germany, including the burning of synagogues) and finally the introduction of the Nuremberg Laws, to name just some of the 'lowlights' of a history of increasing abuse, harassment and expropriation that started even before the Nazis came to power in Danzig, would seem pretty damn good reasons to leave.

However, if you don't see why Jews would be leaving Danzig, a town which from 1933-4 was run by the NSDAP, then I would recommend any history of the background to the Holocaust. Gershon C. Bacon's Danzig Jewry. A short history might be a good starter relating specifically to Danzig Jews. In any event, whether you can see the reason or not, there were approximately 12K Jews living in Danzig in 1937, 1,666 in 1939.
Last edited by gebhk on 11 Apr 2022 13:13, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by gebhk » 11 Apr 2022 12:29

There doesn't seem to be much information (other than Germans were definitely leaving Bromberg).
As far as I know, after the mass exodus of 1920-22, the German population of Bydgoszcz stabilised and remained steady until WW2. Is there evidence that there was some significant outward movement after 1922 (aside from the Great Depression era when the entire population of Bydgoszcz went into temporary decline)?

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by gebhk » 18 Apr 2022 09:27

Since it has been a month or so since I asked for evidence that
Germans were definitely leaving Bromberg
can we assume that NickA's conviction:
I'm pretty sure the Polish-speakers took to persecuting German-speakers in eg Bromberg, leading to a steep decline in the numbers of such German speakers.
is based on somewhat dubious grounds?

gebhk
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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by gebhk » 18 Apr 2022 11:05

Hi WM
lots of Germans (and Jews and even Poles) left the regained (at the expense of Germany) territories for the simple reasons they were Germans citizens and life was better in Germany than in Poland
While broadly true, this covers a complex 'multitude of sins'.
(a) From being the lords and masters, the German population became suddenly just another minority group with no special standing or privileges. Suddenly their 'Germanness' did not give them a vast competitive advantage for jobs in the administration, especially the plum ones. Not unlike the situation of the varous Anglo-Indian groups in India after 1947. This was clearly linked to:
(b) De-Germanization. The new Polish regime wanted, not unreasonably, to stamp its way of doing things when that did not coincide with the German way of doing things and, perhaps more importnatly, to stamp a Polish identity throughout its territories. However it can also be seen often and perhaps also not entirely unreasonably, as a reaction against the previous era of of Germanisation (with the Kulturkampf being a noteworthy and, then, relatively recent and highly resented example).
(c) Better economic prospects outside Poland

Not surprisingly German authors on the subject tend to concentrate on (b) and when politics demands it, expand it into tales of vicious persecution of all Germans. One might be forgiven for thinking there may be some transference involved when the said authors were Nazi's or their sympathisers. That being said, there can be little doubt that the previous and now fallen 'ruling class' was disliked and despised by many and that this dislike would often be directed, by association, to all Germans. I also, have little doubt that on occassion this flared into personal confrontations 'down at the pub', but to say that this demonstrated some sort of 'ethnic cleansing' is just plain hooey. On the contrary, the German minority sems to have been given a greater level of trust, respect and opportunity than any other in inter-war Poland. An ethnic German was given command of the Polish navy. I can't imagine similar trust being extended to a citizen from any other minority.

As an aside, I have often wondered (but never found statistical evidence to either prove or disprove) whether the ethnic Germans in the Polish armed forces and government would have been more likely to side with the government during Pilsudski's coup d-etat in 1926. My instinctive thought is that they would have, as they were less likely to have personal connections to Pilsudski and more likely to have been brought up in an ethic of loyalty to the legal establishment. Of course in many if not most cases, which side officers and officials took had a profound impact on their future careers in the services. Thus if Germans indeed predominantly sided with the government in 1926, one would expect the proportion of Germans in key positions to fall after that date.

Polish authors, while not denying (b) place (perhaps in a more nuanced way) more stress on the (a) and (c). As WM points out, it was not just the Germans that were flooding out of Poland in search of gainful employment elsewhere - even in Germany. Ironically, the last thing Germany needed was hordes of unemployed pen-pushers, which was much of what it was getting from the German immigration from Poland. It needed coal miners and workers for the industry and farmers to help repopulate the farmland of eastern Germany, denuded by emigration of the local farming population to better jobs in industry in Western Germany. Unfortunately, as WM also pointed out, the German farmers were often successful in Poland and were staying put.

In short, Germany, plagued by a disapointingly low birth rate in the 20s needed more people and the last thing it needed was more agricultural 'lebensraum'. The only thing wrong with a mass German exodus from Poland into Germany was that it was not necessarily the 'right' sort of Germans that were returning.

George L Gregory
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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by George L Gregory » 08 May 2022 10:58

gebhk wrote:
18 Apr 2022 09:27
Since it has been a month or so since I asked for evidence that
Germans were definitely leaving Bromberg
can we assume that NickA's conviction:
I'm pretty sure the Polish-speakers took to persecuting German-speakers in eg Bromberg, leading to a steep decline in the numbers of such German speakers.
is based on somewhat dubious grounds?
He did the same thing a while ago:

viewtopic.php?f=44&t=261273&start=180#p2394258

It's becoming a bit of a pattern.

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by NickA » 09 May 2022 05:59

gebhk wrote:
11 Apr 2022 11:15
NickA wrote:Danzig should have been prospering between the wars (unless there were some other factors I'm not aware of). Jews were certainly leaving Germany (though under supposedly favourable conditions, tranfering their wealth to Palestine) but I'm not sure why they would have been leaving Danzig.
I am not sure why you think that Danzig should have been prospering between the wars. Like every other centre that lived off import/export, it was very badly hit by the depression. It's throughput in raw tonnage in 1932 was just under 60% that in 1928 (data based on Cieslak's Historia Gdanska [History of Gdansk], vol 4). It did not regain it's pre-depression turnover until 1939. In addition from 1924 it faced competition from Gdynia - a facility both more modern and blessed, no doubt, with cheaper labour. Starting from next to nothing, Gdynia's throughput doubled or more every year in the first few years from 1924 and from 1933 exceeded that of Danzig until the first half of 1939 (and I would speculate that the sudden boost to Danzig's fortunes in 1939 was due to movement of war materials and equipment from mainland Germany to East Prussia rather than any economic upturn per se). This was discussed in some detail in the thread "1930s books about the Polish Corridor".
The level of personal abuse is so high in this Forum that I stopped coming. Some postings have been removed because I've objected individually. But many are still here - did I make an objection that's been ignored?
gebhk wrote:
11 Apr 2022 11:15
Needless to say, this reduction in throughput that needed to be handled and the need to cut costs to compete with Gdynia would have meant reductions in labour force. Over 10% of the overall population of Danzig became unemployed during the depression years (G Berendt. Historia Spolecznosci. Wirtualny Sztetl). At the same time there would have been strong incentives for the redundant dock workers to go either to Gdynia (which was booming even in the depths of the Great Depression and continued to do so), to other European ports which recovered more quickly than those of Danzig and Germany or, eventually, even to Germany to benefit from the various Nazi job creation schemes. I would suggest this in itself would have been sufficient to drop the population by 5% even without the added incentive of Nazi abuses against sections of the population.
You're obviously an expert and I can see no obvious flaw in your position. Nevertheless, there is a strong case that this Ukraine war is something we brought about by inciting the Ukrainian-speakers against the Russian-speakers. There are rumours of similar severe border and displacement problems for Germany in the 1920s and 1930s. If those things were incited from outside then somebody wanted WW2. Roosevelt is an obvious candidate, with Churchill's personal ambition the vehicle.

gebhk
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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by gebhk » 09 May 2022 09:38

Hi Nick
I am rather confused - I don't see anything abusive about the first quotation. It was an invitation for you to say why you believe that Danzig should have been prospering between ther wars. However, if you feel abused then I am sorry for that, because that was never my intention.

Regarding the second quotation - I am sorry but I am bemused why you are linking my suggestions why the population of Danzig regressed in the 30s to conspiracy theories about the origins of WW2, let alone the current Russian aggression in Ukraina.

For the record, I am no expert - just willing to reach for readily available factual data.

George L Gregory
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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by George L Gregory » 10 May 2022 10:24

Nick,

I think that you’re just trolling this forum.

Personal attacks aren’t allowed, but what is allowed is for someone to call out someone else for posting unsourced material and conspiracy theories.

gebhk asking you to provide evidence to support your claims is not a personal attack. Similarly, I asked you to verify a quote that you continued to use on another thread and you kept replying with conspiracy theories and other nonsense. That sort of crap isn’t appreciated here so obviously people are going to call you out for it. When I asked you to provide sources to confirm a quote that you quoted time and time again you replied “It doesn't need one” and then “show me…”

viewtopic.php?f=44&t=261273&start=180#p2394951

Then eventually you ran away:

viewtopic.php?f=44&t=261273&start=195#p2394979

People on here are going to call you out and rightly so.

You aren’t here to learn. You aren’t here to provide information for readers. You’re here to act like a contrarian and post loads of piffle.

What is worse is that you don’t even seem to be learning. You’re now posting conspiracy theories about the origins of WW2 and linking them with conspiracy theories about the war in Ukraine at the moment.

You’re digging yourself a deeper hole every time you decide to post on this forum.

George L Gregory
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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by George L Gregory » 10 May 2022 10:27

:idea:
gebhk wrote:
09 May 2022 09:38
Hi Nick
I am rather confused - I don't see anything abusive about the first quotation. It was an invitation for you to say why you believe that Danzig should have been prospering between ther wars. However, if you feel abused then I am sorry for that, because that was never my intention.

Regarding the second quotation - I am sorry but I am bemused why you are linking my suggestions why the population of Danzig regressed in the 30s to conspiracy theories about the origins of WW2, let alone the current Russian aggression in Ukraina.

For the record, I am no expert - just willing to reach for readily available factual data.
With all due respect I think that you should have read his other posts before you apologised to him.

Check the following out:

viewtopic.php?f=44&t=261273&start=150#p2392459

NickA
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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by NickA » 17 May 2022 07:17

gebhk wrote:
09 May 2022 09:38
Hi Nick
I am rather confused - I don't see anything abusive about the first quotation. It was an invitation for you to say why you believe that Danzig should have been prospering between ther wars. However, if you feel abused then I am sorry for that, because that was never my intention.

Regarding the second quotation - I am sorry but I am bemused why you are linking my suggestions why the population of Danzig regressed in the 30s to conspiracy theories about the origins of WW2, let alone the current Russian aggression in Ukraina.

For the record, I am no expert - just willing to reach for readily available factual data.
You're a credit to the Forum. Pity there are others who render it unpleasant to navigate.

Even some of the good faith contributors post messages apparently intended for me but not addressed as such, I entirely miss some/many and others I see out of order.

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