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History of Poland before, during and after World War II


MrSlap  
25 Nov 2008 /  #1
Some readers may find the book parsimonious in the use of socalled nice words about Poland and the Poles. I must confess to a deliberate attempt to compensate for the traditional way of discussing the problem, especially by sympathetic foreigners. The remarkable thing about evaluations of the Poles is that while many foreigners have lavished on them praise for real or imaginary virtues, their own political and spiritual leaders have had very harsh things to say, even if mostly for "internal consumption" only. It was, after all, Jozef Pilsudski who repeatedly called the Poles "a nation of idiots." Was he less concerned over Poland than the peddlers of sentimental phrases? It seems to me that the essentially tragic quality of the Polish problem requires a different approach from that fit for mere melodrama.

The above is from the preface to a book called White Eagle On a Red Field by Samuel Sharp which was published back in 1953 (you can download it for free). For this book, Sharp read "much of the underground press published in Poland during World War II, as well as materials relating to the history of the tragic Warsaw Uprising of 1944, not fully available in English" which is what made me read it even though it's an old book.

Anyway, I've also read some of the sympathetic studies Sharp mentions elsewhere in the preface, but I was wondering if any Polskis could recommend me some books on the second half of twentieth-century Poland, and some more recent studies of Polish politics etc. of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. Recommendations of Polish historians would be great!

Whilst every history book has its author's points to prove (and therefore its own bias), I really am not looking for the idiotic, one-sided ravings of petty-minded nationalists. Cool, calm studies by non-partisan Polish historians are what I'm after, as far as "cool and calm" are possible when discussing your own country's history.

Oh, the recommended books can be written in Polish. I'm learning Polish at the moment, so one day I will be able to read them.
celinski 31 | 1,258  
25 Nov 2008 /  #2
It looks interesting. I will plan to read it after Thanksgiving. Thanks for the link. My grandfather fought under Jozef P. and he loved what he stood for.
OP MrSlap  
25 Nov 2008 /  #3
Ha, Thanksgiving! The American celebration of genocide.
Bzibzioh  
25 Nov 2008 /  #4
I really am not looking for the idiotic, one-sided ravings of petty-minded nationalists

Thanksgiving! The American celebration of genocide.

oh, yeah, that's so well balanced.
OP MrSlap  
25 Nov 2008 /  #5
You what?
Filios1 8 | 1,336  
25 Nov 2008 /  #6
Polskis

Thats rather ignorant of you...
Trying to be funny, or have you always called Poles "Polskis?"
Bzibzioh  
25 Nov 2008 /  #7
Looking for non-idiotic one-sided ravings and than going to dismiss Thanksgiving as genocide. Funny. And btw: Polskis? Really? As a Pole I could recommend sth but as 'Polskis' I don't think so.
King Sobieski 2 | 716  
25 Nov 2008 /  #8
Thanksgiving! The American celebration of genocide.

genocide is a tad harsh...but doing over the natives shouldnt exactly be a celebration.
Wahldo  
25 Nov 2008 /  #9
MrSlap

change your name to MrCrap
OP MrSlap  
26 Nov 2008 /  #10
Oh, I see I raised a few hackles here, the excrement is out in force.

Thats rather ignorant of you...
Trying to be funny, or have you always called Poles "Polskis?"

Relax. I deliberately didn't use the word 'Polaks' because I know that it's a derogatory term, and I like Polskis so why would I want to insult them? It's neither an attempt to be funny, nor an attempt to be insulting. It's simply an attempt to be silly by taking the Polish adjective for 'Polish' and treating it as a noun, and then pluralising that 'noun' as you would in English. Very silly, but hardly insulting. As I said, lighten up.

Looking for non-idiotic one-sided ravings and than going to dismiss Thanksgiving as genocide. Funny. And btw: Polskis? Really? As a Pole I could recommend sth but as 'Polskis' I don't think so.

You're saying that genocide of the Native Americans never took place? Or that Thanksgiving isn't a celebration? I don't suppose you're also the kind of person who denies the Holocaust and that our planet is round? Thanksgiving is a celebration of genocide, that's no exaggeration, just ask if you want a more detailed explanation. Or you could just Google, rather than have me spoon-feed you...

As regard 'Polksis', see above.

genocide is a tad harsh...but doing over the natives shouldnt exactly be a celebration.

Congratulations, you are seemingly the only person on this thread who has functioning brain cells. But I must insist that my description of the terrible fate meted out to the Native Americans is not an exaggeration. Genocide it was, pure and simple. If you want some evidence, just ask.

change your name to MrCrap

Thanks for your helpful suggestions regarding Polish history, Wahldo. Indeed, thank you one and all.

Well, this thread at least served the purpose of demonstrating what I felt sure to be true. Namely, that while all the Poles I've met personally and worked with have had a sense of humour; had actually read some history of other countries other than Poland; weren't the most cretinous variety of nationalist; and weren't, generally, just total cretins, every country has its dross.

What the hell makes you people think I dislike Poles? The fact that I have Polish friends? the fact that I'm learning the language? the fact that I'm looking for a Polish pen pal? the fact that I like to visit the country? the fact that I'm on these forums and interested in Polish history? Or did we just mindlessly zoom in on the words, "Jozef Pilsudski... repeatedly called the Poles "a nation of idiots."" I feel I know what Pilsudski was getting at.

I'm just glad that 99% of Poles are like King Sobieski, rather than the rest of you.
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
26 Nov 2008 /  #11
This thread is going in the wrong direction :(

Cool, calm studies by non-partisan Polish historians are what I'm after, as far as "cool and calm" are possible when discussing your own country's history.

Anyway, I don't like history, but Norman Davies is known for his several books on Poland's history (he's a Brit, so you can find his books in English and also translated to Polish).

The most comprehensive book seems to be the
God's Playground. A History of Poland. (1981)
(Vol. 1: The Origins to 1795, Vol. 2: 1795 to the Present.)
celinski 31 | 1,258  
26 Nov 2008 /  #12
What the hell makes you people think I dislike Poles?

Must be your careful choice of words. I suggest you go do something nice for someone without them knowing.
Bzibzioh  
26 Nov 2008 /  #13
MrSlap:What the hell makes you people think I dislike Poles?

Must be your careful choice of words.

Yes, this dude has funny way of making a new friends. And the outstanding sense of humour should be mentioned as well.
Filios1 8 | 1,336  
26 Nov 2008 /  #14
didn't use the word 'Polaks' because I know that it's a derogatory term, and I like Polskis so why would I want to insult them?

So why not use Poles? You tart.
Mati POLAND - | 1  
7 Mar 2009 /  #15
Thread attached on merging:
Why the individual country wanted wipe Poland? (moŇľna po polsku)

I want to talk about polish history, experience and sufferings..
Sokrates 8 | 3,346  
7 Mar 2009 /  #16
Trying to be funny, or have you always called Poles "Polskis?"

Calm down i dont think he realised its derogatory.

MrSlap

Try Norman Davies.

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