"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.
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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by wm » 11 May 2020 02:11

It was clear to me that a conflict with Poland had to come sooner or later. I had already made this decision in the spring, but I thought that I would first turn against the West in a few years, and only after that against the East.

But the sequence of these things cannot be fixed. Nor should one close one's eyes to threatening situations. I wanted first of all to establish a tolerable relationship with Poland in order to fight first against the West.

But this plan, which appealed to me, could not be executed, as fundamental points had changed. It became clear to me that, in the event of a conflict with the West, Poland would attack us. Poland is striving for access to the sea. The further development appeared after the occupation of the Memel Territory and it became clear to me that in certain circumstances a conflict with Poland might come at an inopportune moment. [...]

The political objective goes further. A start has been made on the destruction of England's hegemony.
Hitler’s Speech to the Commanders in Chief (August 22, 1939)

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by Futurist » 11 May 2020 21:04

How exactly was Hitler going to start a conflict in the West without a simultaneous conflict in the East? Would the German people have actually been willing to spark a new World War over, say, Eupen-Malmedy or even Alsace-Lorraine?

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by wm » 11 May 2020 23:04

As he said himself:
I wanted first of all to establish a tolerable relationship with Poland
but later
It became clear to me that, in the event of a conflict with the West, Poland would attack us.

Reasonably, the German people weren't very keen on wars of aggression, this is why Hitler so desired that war with Czechoslovakia in 1938, he could have blamed Czechoslovakia for it.
He quite successfully blamed the Poles (prodded by Jews and British plutocrats) for the ww2, but what he planned for the French we don't know.

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 11 May 2020 23:14

Futurist wrote:
11 May 2020 21:04
How exactly was Hitler going to start a conflict in the West without a simultaneous conflict in the East? Would the German people have actually been willing to spark a new World War over, say, Eupen-Malmedy or even Alsace-Lorraine?
The answer to that lies in the thinking of the people of the era. For several years I made it a point to read a number of biographies of lower ranking German soldiers, most of which covered the run up to total war 1938-1941. In every case they had the same idea that it was the German people vs a cabal of enemies, Some bought off the 'Jewish' conspiracy, some the Bolshevik threat, others believed it was a group of uber wealthy industrialists & their political lap dogs. The point was all these men, relatively young and not illiterate, some well educated, fell for for a propaganda line that guided them into believing it was the other nations that were forcing the war on Germany. These men all claimed they were not wanting war, that they were concerned about the chances of victory, that they feared the possible destruction, but everyone personal account I read described a determination to give their all defending their homeland through their best effort at defeating the "aggressor nations".

I'm certain there were more than a few exceptions to this collective outlook, but I've not run across any of the soldiers, or many of the middle class civilians thinking otherwise. Looking more broadly those like the Communists or other opposition who might have refuse war enmass were effectively leaderless by 1938. The few publicly opposing the nazi party and military action lacked the numbers and active followers to be effective.

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by wm » 12 May 2020 10:07

According to primary sources, in 1939 German soldiers invariably blamed Jews for the war. Plutocrats were abstracts and distant. I seems, to a lesser degree, they maintained the attitude till the end of the war.
That resulted in a wave of mistreatment of Polish Jews in 1939. Killings happened but were rare.

On the other hand the Poles were seen as incurable anti-German troublemakers, and the only cure was mass executions of all real and imagined suspects.

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by Sid Guttridge » 12 May 2020 16:39

Hi wm,

According to what primary sources?

In 1939, at least, there seems to have been a clear difference between Army and SS attitudes towards the treatment of Poles and Jews, because General Blaskowitz, the German Army commander in occupied Poland, complained about SS atrocities directly to Hitler. It nearly cost him his career.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by AllenM » 12 May 2020 16:54

It is strange to see such fiction here. The German people were shocked over the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. They believed, with good reason, that the Bolsheviks were the enemy, but realized this agreement would secure their eastern border. Who supported the Spanish Civil War? Russia. Who did Russia attack in November 1939? What about the Russian attempt to conquer Poland in 1920? Poland was simply in the way of Russian ambitions in Western Europe.

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by Sid Guttridge » 12 May 2020 18:17

Hi AllenM,

What "fiction"? You'll have to be more specific.

Who supported the Spanish Civil War? Both, but German intervention preceded Soviet intervention and at least the Soviet intervention was in support of an elected government. Indeed, it was German (and Italian) intervention that turned a failing coup attempt into a three year civil war.

You ask, who did Russia attack in November 1939? It wouldn't, by any chance, be one of the countries Germany had handed over to the Soviet sphere of influence under the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact?

And, if I am not mistaken, in 1920 the Poles advanced East before the Bolsheviks advanced West.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by AllenM » 13 May 2020 20:31

Who were the Whites and who were the Reds? Russian aggression in the 20th Century focused on exporting the revolution into the rest of Europe. The Ukraine was also a problem for the expansionist Russians. Stalin got his revenge with the Holodomor in 1932-33.

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by wm » 13 May 2020 22:58

Sid Guttridge wrote:
12 May 2020 16:39
According to what primary sources?

In 1939, at least, there seems to have been a clear difference between Army and SS attitudes towards the treatment of Poles and Jews, because General Blaskowitz, the German Army commander in occupied Poland, complained about SS atrocities directly to Hitler. It nearly cost him his career.
I meant all soldiers, all uniformed forces. It was from reports Jews who were mistreated or were witnesses. They weren't especially adept in recognizing what formation was responsible.
But the Luftwaffe soldiers in Warsaw were well remembered for the hazing of Jews allocated to work for them.

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by Futurist » 14 May 2020 02:53

wm wrote:
13 May 2020 22:58
Sid Guttridge wrote:
12 May 2020 16:39
According to what primary sources?

In 1939, at least, there seems to have been a clear difference between Army and SS attitudes towards the treatment of Poles and Jews, because General Blaskowitz, the German Army commander in occupied Poland, complained about SS atrocities directly to Hitler. It nearly cost him his career.
I meant all soldiers, all uniformed forces. It was from reports Jews who were mistreated or were witnesses. They weren't especially adept in recognizing what formation was responsible.
But the Luftwaffe soldiers in Warsaw were well remembered for the hazing of Jews allocated to work for them.
Hazing = abusing?

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by NickA » 03 Apr 2022 15:29

wm wrote:
20 Jun 2018 22:02
Below the largest Polish daily IKC, with the speech. IKC was based in Kraków where the speech was delivered so they were the primary source. There is no "Poland wants war with Germany" or anything even remotely similar there.
That's very strange - because the Wikipedia implies there is something much like that.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Rydz-%C5%9Amig%C5%82y wrote:Image
Picture sub-titled: "Rydz-Śmigły declaring Hitler an
enemy of the state, Kraków, 6 August 1939"
Whether that's precisely the same as Rydz-Śmigły saying "Poland wants War" but translations often don't do justice to the sub-text being preached.

For instance, Milosevic is accused of fomenting war between Serbia and Kosovo, his famous "Blackbird Field" speech was reported as such by many/most observers.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gazimestan_speech wrote:The speech has since become famous for Milošević's reference to the possibility of "armed battles", in the future of Serbia's national development. Many commentators have described this as presaging the collapse of Yugoslavia and the bloodshed of the Yugoslav Wars. Milošević later claimed that he had been misrepresented.[1]
But there's nothing clearly like that in the speech (or in the transcript and translation that we have, which of course, may not be the same thing). Oh, wait a moment, the UN accepted transcript of the speech that the Wiki still thinks is here - https://www.un.org/icty/transe54/020214IT.htm - has been taken down. That is very bizarre - clearly, there is no accepted version of what Milosevic actually said!

There is more dodgy business - the Wikipedia article above doesn't even mention the "Field of Blackbirds", only "Kosovo Field". I detect that a serious hatchet job has been done on the "official version" of the history of Kosovo/Serbia and the part that Milosevic played.

Milosevic of course died of something in custody - at which stage he'd not been proven to have had any part in the genocide/s - and judges in the Karadich case had exonerated him from involvement in specific incidents. But nobody will state the obvious and "fair" conclusion, which is that he was innocent. The Serbian version, by which their democratically elected leader was stitched up and effectively murdered may match the known facts of the case better than we're prepared to admit. Either in the popular press or in the "history" we write.

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by wm » 03 Apr 2022 15:51

The source absolutely doesn't support "declaring Hitler an enemy of the state", it's clearly another case of Wikipedia vandalism.
And the source - "Światowid" was Polish "Life Magazine" anyway - i.e., lots of naked legs little news.

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by NickA » 03 Apr 2022 18:23

Sid Guttridge wrote:
12 May 2020 18:17
Who supported the Spanish Civil War? Both, but German intervention preceded Soviet intervention and at least the Soviet intervention was in support of an elected government. Indeed, it was German (and Italian) intervention that turned a failing coup attempt into a three year civil war. You ask, who did Russia attack in November 1939? It wouldn't, by any chance, be one of the countries Germany had handed over to the Soviet sphere of influence under the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact?
All fair points I'd have thought. Though the Wikipedia seeks to downplay Hitler's real friendship with Franco:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Civil_War wrote:Hitler's policy for Spain was shrewd and pragmatic. His instructions were clear: "...A hundred per cent victory for Franco was not desirable from a German point of view; rather were we interested in a continuance of the war and in the keeping up of the tension in the Mediterranean."[175] Hitler wanted to help Franco just enough to gain his gratitude and to prevent the side supported by the Soviet Union from winning, but not large enough to give the Caudillo a quick victory.[176]
and
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_involvement_in_the_Spanish_Civil_War wrote: ... commenced with the outbreak of war in July 1936, with Adolf Hitler immediately sending in powerful air and armored units to assist General Francisco Franco ... the intervention also posed the risk of escalating into a world war for which Hitler was not ready. He therefore limited his aid ... Nazi support for General Franco was motivated by several factors, including as a distraction from Hitler's central European strategy, and the creation of a Spanish state friendly to Germany to threaten France ... an opportunity to train men and test equipment and tactics.
Its always seemed strange to me that Germany suddenly became "the enemy" to the British and Americans round about 1936, straight after the highly successful Berlin Olympics (no demonstrations or remonstrations with Hitler for cancelling the citizenship of Jews by the 1935 Nuremberg Laws, nor the persecution of Jews generally). Perhaps you can explain?

But my reason for responding to you is this phrase:
Sid Guttridge wrote:
12 May 2020 18:17
And, if I am not mistaken, in 1920 the Poles advanced East before the Bolsheviks advanced West. Cheers, Sid.
I don't understand that. In 1917/18 the area that had been Poland (120 years earlier) was handed over to Germany under Brest-Litovsk. Did the Polish of the newly invented (1919) Poland attack Russia?

I'm most interested in how a new Poland was created in 1919, with much of its pre-1772 existence handed to the Soviets (Belarus) in the East and a new (likely German speaking area) adopted in the West. 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.

I'm hearing that the Soviets had already (pre-1919) displaced many of the Polish-speaking from what had been the Tsarist Russian Empire and was now the USSR (Poland itself having been disappeared over 100 years earlier) - and this practise continued post-1919. So Polish-speaking refugees arrived in an area that had been Germany with entirely predictable results, destitute Germans arriving in Germany as a severe economic drain and national humiliation.

Is that your understanding?

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by NickA » 03 Apr 2022 18:28

wm wrote:
03 Apr 2022 15:51
The source absolutely doesn't support "declaring Hitler an enemy of the state", it's clearly another case of Wikipedia vandalism. And the source - "Światowid" was Polish "Life Magazine" anyway - i.e., lots of naked legs little news.
Please can you quote using the button in the top RH corner? Otherwise I'm not going to be alerted to your posts.

Wikipedia is simply terrible for nationalist vandalising. But its a bit unlikely that German nationalists (seeking to justify WW2) are doing this and winning edit wars against Polish nationalists. Jimbo Wales's hand-picked administrators and the Arbitration Committee would come down on them like a ton of bricks.

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