Return PolishForums LIVE
  PolishForums Archive :
Archives - 2005-2009 / History  % width 140

Polish Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War


szkotja2007 27 | 1,499  
27 Jan 2008 /  #1
The Spanish Civil War lasted from 1936 to 1939. It is a part of Europes history which isn't discussed much. It is often seen as the working class fighting against fascism, but it is not as simple as that.

The fascists were backed by Italy, Germany, Portugal and a significant amount of British gentry.
The republicans were backed by Russia and international sympathisers who formed the International Brigades.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Civil_War

Within the Brigades there were a significant amount of Polish volunteers.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_Volunteers_in_the_Spanish_Civil_War

I would be interested on how Poland ( and others ) looks back on this episode in history.

P.S. Sorry for another thread about War and stuff. Hopefully this wont degenerate in to a testosterone filled "my dads bigger than your dad" debate.
BubbaWoo 33 | 3,510  
27 Jan 2008 /  #2
the spanish are a small bunch overall so its quite possible that your dad is bigger than theirs
Lukasz 49 | 1,746  
27 Jan 2008 /  #3
of course Poles were on Republic side fighting against Fasists.

polacy

and again in our history we were on bright side ;-)
OP szkotja2007 27 | 1,499  
27 Jan 2008 /  #4
A lot of the Polish were from the communist party and were former Red Army, so I thought there might be mixed feelings.
This is the flag they are holding in colour.



Lukasz 49 | 1,746  
27 Jan 2008 /  #5
A lot of the Polish were from the communist party and were former Red Army, so I thought there might be mixed feelings.

we were on opposite side than Germans = bright side ;-)

so I thought there might be mixed feelings.

but I agree feelings can be mixed
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163  
27 Jan 2008 /  #6
Within the Brigades there were a significant amount of Polish volunteers.

Only few thousand. Either communists or people, who fought for republican side, because Gerries supported the other one.

we were on bright side ;-)

According to socialistic version of history.
Lukasz 49 | 1,746  
27 Jan 2008 /  #7
According to socialistic version of history.

I think that some people with idealistic point of view joined Republicans and that we weren't on Fasist side form mine point of view is positive.

the other fact is that we got rid of true commies form Poland ;)
isthatu 3 | 1,164  
27 Jan 2008 /  #8
Interesting thread. The idealists tended towards the union based groups such as P.O.U.M( george orwells unit) and many left once the stalinist/communists tried subverting the republican cause. How were they treated on return to Poland?Did any survive the war?If so ,did they then sway towards the Communist/socialist idea of Poland or something else?
Lukasz 49 | 1,746  
27 Jan 2008 /  #9
What I want to add

I think this topic apeared because we have several discussions about commies/Russia/Stalin

In my opinion Poles are not Fasists.

Socialist ideas were very popular before WWII, J Pilsudski was socialist.

The whole problem with commies in Poland was that we had borded with commie state on east. Poles knew what does it mean true commie world.

Milons of Ukrianians dead form hunger, refugies ...

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor

The Ukrainian famine (1932-1933), or Holodomor (Ukrainian: Голодомор) (literally in Ukrainian, "death by hunger"), was one of the largest national catastrophes of Ukrainian nation modern history. Modern scholarly estimates of the direct loss of human life due to the famine range between 2.6 million and 3.5 million, while the numbers as high as up to 10 million are sometimes cited in the media

I think now some people don't understand why we didn't negotiated with soviets before WWII.

Polish people didn't want to have situation like in Russia but they hated Fasists as well.

Maybe in some parts of our country there were nationalists (Poznan where I live) but it was reaction on German nacionalists. they are nationalits and hate us so we will be nationalists and we will hate them.

Communism after WWII wasn't our sytem and we were forced to have this system but some people in our country have sentiment to this period of time. That is why in Poznan you will find pub with commie posters and music "Proletariat".

In Poland communism was much different than in other soviet countries.

Stalin said that imposing Communism on Roman Catholic Poland was as absurd as putting a saddle on a cow.

and every person form former Soviet block will agree that situation in Poland was much different. We had information form all over the world. Some of our citizens could go to work in USA.

maybe it becomed a little bit off topic but Polish hate for communism have much different origin than ideological. that is why all Poles when we talk about Yalta feel that they were sold for Stalin even some of them were socialists. Margin of Polish socialists wanted to have something to do with Soviet commies. Main ideology on left side of Polish political scene was solcial democracy.

I think it is good that Polish Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War were on republican side because they won in free elections. Because we are true democrats.

How were they treated on return to Poland?Did any survive the war?If so ,did they then sway towards the Communist/socialist idea of Poland or something else?

some still live and have special combatant pensions.
isthatu 3 | 1,164  
27 Jan 2008 /  #10
nice post lukasz,thanks.
Yes,agreed,there is a big difference between the noble ideas of socialism and the "communism" dumped on the world by stalin,again,as witnessed by Orwell.
OP szkotja2007 27 | 1,499  
27 Jan 2008 /  #11
Here is another link which gives events of the war bullet point style -
ellonacademy.org.uk/subjects/Departments/history/Inter_Advanced_Higher_pages/Appeasement%20notes/spanish.htm

The last point is particularly interesting, did the Spanish Civil War lead to the invasion of Poland ?

* Changed the balance of power in Europe. Before, Italy was allied to Britain and France through the Stresa Front. War brought Germany and Italy together with the Pact of Steel (May 1939)

* Hitler's confidence grew. Led him to believe that France and Britain were weak and would appease him at any cost....Sudetenland..... Poland.
* Stalin was dismayed by the behaviour of France and Britain. Concluded that they were unreliable partners who were probably conspiring against him. Led to the Nazi-Soviet Pact that sealed the fate of Poland.
isthatu 3 | 1,164  
27 Jan 2008 /  #12
did the Spanish Civil War lead to the invasion of Poland

ww2 started in 1936 in europe,there is no doubt of that Poland was just another front opened by the fascists.
OP szkotja2007 27 | 1,499  
27 Jan 2008 /  #13
I think this topic apeared

I started this topic for a couple of reasons -
*I am genuinly interested in the Spanish Civil War and want to learn more.
*All the topics about whether Britain supported Poland in WW2 ignored the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War.
*Raise awareness of the brave volunteers who fought against Fascism pre WW2.
*In Scotland the volunteers are looked on as heroes who went off to fight a just cause,
I was just wondering what the opinion was in Poland.

Maybe if Franco was defeated Hitler wouldn't have invaded Poland.
There was popular support in Scotland for the Republicans with some 600 volunteers for the brigades. British Government took a line of non intervention which favoured Franco ( many Brigadeers were arrested upon their return through England). Many of the British gentry actively supported fascist Franco and thought that Hitler was a decent chap.

commies/Russia/Stalin

I am not too interested in these topics at the moment.

Socialist ideas were very popular before WWII, J Pilsudski was socialist.

I think that history has shown Poland to be a socialist country.
isthatu 3 | 1,164  
27 Jan 2008 /  #14
Szkotja,check ut this website,I have a couple of mates in this group and there are some links aswell.
lacolumna.org.uk
Lukasz 49 | 1,746  
27 Jan 2008 /  #15
I think that history has shown Poland to be a socialist country.

I don't know what do you mean. I thought that history has shown Poland to be democratic country even more than UK or France defiantely more than Germany and Russia. Maybe USA has more democratic histry because just from the begining it was democratic country.
isthatu 3 | 1,164  
27 Jan 2008 /  #16
Socialist does not mean communist lukasz.....jeez, never heard of social democrats? the Labour party etc etc?
lesser 4 | 1,311  
28 Jan 2008 /  #17
The fascists were backed by Italy, Germany, Portugal and a significant amount of British gentry.

This is very dishonest to name those people in this way. Spanish fascists were just part of wider coalition which consisted from liberal monarchists, Carlists, authoritarians and parliamentary center-right. Franco himself was not a fascist. They have common goal to end lawless bloody Republican rule and stop spread of communism.

of course Poles were on Republic side fighting against Fasists.

and again in our history we were on bright side ;-)

Some Poles fought also on Franco side. I also would not call communist Poles to be on the right side. Recently published book "Hiszpania Franco" describe well the nature of political doctrine of Francism.

Maybe if Franco was defeated Hitler wouldn't have invaded Poland.

What it has to do with Poland?

I think that history has shown Poland to be a socialist country.

Pilsudski was not democratically elected, National Democrats were.

Socialist does not mean communist lukasz.....

This is the first step to hell.
OP szkotja2007 27 | 1,499  
28 Jan 2008 /  #18
This is very dishonest to name those people in this way. ..........................have common goal to end lawless bloody Republican rule and stop spread of communism.

Similarly the Republicans were not all Communists but they were democratically elected.

Some Poles fought also on Franco side.

Any sources ? Links ? The internets a big place and I couldn't find any ;-)

What it has to do with Poland?

The Spanish Civil War gave Hitler a boost and lead him to believe that Britain and France were weak. He also rehearsed tactics he later employed in Poland eg Blitzkreig, see Condor legion etc

This is the first step to hell.

I would interpret Socialism widely, an awareness of social issues and common goodwill.
isthatu 3 | 1,164  
28 Jan 2008 /  #19
I would interpret Socialism widely, an awareness of social issues and common goodwill.

You and me might,old fash boy lesser wouldnt would you? Your still waiting for your fuher to come n save you arnt you les baby....

They have common goal

Nope,they had commen goal to overthrow a democraticaly elected government and propagate the lawless rule of the right wing catholic nutters that had held spain back for the last century.....
espana 17 | 910  
28 Jan 2008 /  #20
viva francisco franco!!!!!!
red = shi*





lesser 4 | 1,311  
28 Jan 2008 /  #21
Similarly the Republicans were not all Communists but they were democratically elected.

So was NSDAP but there was no such Franco among German generals to stop them. Same fact of winning democratic election don't justify crimes that Republicans committed against political opponents and Catholic clergy. About 300 political murders, including leader of right-wing parliamentary opposition Jose Calvo Sotelo. Add 146 bomb attacks, countless beatings, profanation of about 400 churches. Franco and his partners could not tolerate this s*it anymore. Government is supposed to provide order of law and not bloody anarchy.

Any sources ? Links ? The internets a big place and I couldn't find any ;-)

Author of this book that I recommended claims that some Poles fought for Franco but their history was never investigated. You could find similar short statements in Polish internet from other people.

According to Polish wiki those Poles whom fought on Republican side slaughtered civilians and priests. However they considered themselves to be rather communists than Poles.

The Spanish Civil War gave Hitler a boost and lead him to believe that Britain and France were weak. He also rehearsed tactics he later employed in Poland eg Blitzkreig, see Condor legion etc

Hitler saw attitudes of France and the UK when they sold out Czechoslovakia in Munich.

I would interpret Socialism widely, an awareness of social issues and common goodwill.

I would say lack of awareness how these social problems could be resolved. Good intentions are not enough.

the lawless rule of the right wing catholic nutters that had held spain back for the last century.....

Actually when Franco realized that socialism don't work he allowed people from Opus Dei to liberalize economy. Thus Spain became one of the richest countries in Europe with the highest economic grow. So Catholics did save this country from communist terror and made successful reforms.
OP szkotja2007 27 | 1,499  
28 Jan 2008 /  #22
So was NSDAP but there was no such Franco among German generals to stop them

If Franco was German he would have been in the NSDAP along with all his fascist chums.

In the Spanish Civil War ( SCW) atrocities were committed by both sides but more so by the Nationalists and Franco aided by Nazi Germany. Before, during and after the war, Franco was responsible for a disproportionate amount of executions.

some Poles fought for Franco

Overwhelming majority fought for the Republicans.

Thus Spain became one of the richest countries in Europe with the highest economic grow.

When did this happen ? After Franco died.

check ut this website

Thanks, in return, have a look at this - forum.axishistory.com/index.php

There is a thread on re-enacment somewhere.
espana 17 | 910  
28 Jan 2008 /  #23
The government agents of the Second Spanish Republic bought 20 units (Czechoslovakia), which were shipped to Gdyna in Poland for boarding, but were blocked by the Polish authorities in late 1936 as a result of the treaty of non-intervention.

20 bought, none delivered for the poles!!!!!
this is in what poland and polish help



Sadek 4 | 136  
28 Jan 2008 /  #24
and Volunteers were losting Polisj citizenship for help for republic ...
El Gato 4 | 351  
28 Jan 2008 /  #25
I would be interested on how Poland ( and others ) looks back on this episode in history.

Never heard of this before. Probably because I live in the States. Not too complain, but it's not the greatest education in the world =/
espana 17 | 910  
28 Jan 2008 /  #26
this thread is silly ,if the shortest book ever written is "Polish war heros"
lesser 4 | 1,311  
29 Jan 2008 /  #27
If Franco was German he would have been in the NSDAP along with all his fascist chums.

Nonsense. During the WWII Franco did not handle even a single Jew to Hitler, what is more after diplomatic intervention he freed 400 Jews from German concentration camp, granted citizenship to 350.000 Jews expelled from Spain in middle ages. Jewish institute Yad Vashem awarded him a special title of "gentile among the nations".

Beside of that Franco was from respected family and he would not spend time in company of bandits from social bottom like Hitler. Your theory is ridiculous.

In the Spanish Civil War ( SCW) atrocities were committed by both sides but more so by the Nationalists and Franco aided by Nazi Germany. Before, during and after the war, Franco was responsible for a disproportionate amount of executions.

Germans helped him before WWII (so were Brits), so your association is misleading. From the Spanish point of view this was good deal, less Spanish blood and money were sacrificed. What could you say about western countries allied with Soviet butchers when they knew very well the nature of their regime?

After the war Franco needed to punish all those communist criminals, otherwise they would organize their terrorist band once again. He did a great job.

Overwhelming majority fought for the Republicans.

Yes. However they were Soviet financed fanatical communist bandits that committed various crimes on civilians. Nothing to be proud from Polish perspective. Just look at this comical flag "CCCP Polonia" posted above. We in Poland should be glad to Franco and his soldiers that they were killing them. The same people after WWII chased AK members.

When did this happen ? After Franco died.

They did the reform in 1957.

1961-64 GDP grow 8,7% per year
1960-75 7,2% average GDP grow per year, only Japan had higher grow in the world
1969 - Spain is 12-th economic power in the world. Salaries grow, 7,9% per year.

1960 - 1% of Spanish citizens owned TV, 4% owned car, 4% owned refrigerator.
1970 - 62% of Spanish citizens owned TV, 24% owned car, 63% owned refrigerator.

These statistics says everything...
OP szkotja2007 27 | 1,499  
29 Jan 2008 /  #28
Franco did not handle even a single Jew to Hitler

Discussing Jews, Franco is quoted in a conversation with one of his NaSDAP chums.
jcpa.org/phas/phas-perednik-f03.htm

In his conversation with Nazi Ambassador Dieckhof, Franco declared on 3 December 1943, "Thanks to God and the clear appreciation of the danger by our Catholic kings, we have for centuries been relieved of that nauseating burden."

The Nazis aren't just about the Holocaust. Without NaSDAP support, Franco would not have been able to start the war and see it through.

he would not spend time in company of bandits from social bottom like Hitler

They met in 1940 to discuss invading Gibraltar.

all those communist criminals

Some were commies, some were Marxist, there were Jewish Brigades, Anarchists, anti-fascists etc

He did a great job.

Franco's 'white terror' claimed 200,000 lives.

We in Poland should be glad to Franco and his soldiers that they were killing them

Most were miners that were working in France and had nothing to do with the Polish commies, after the S.C.War they fought against the fascist Axis, so aiding Poland which had been invaded by the fascists supported by Francos troops.

The 101st company Spanische-Freiwilligen Kompanie der SS 101, was attached to 28th SS Volunteer Grenadier Division Wallonien and fought in Pomorskie.
Granted there were SS volunteers from lots of countries - as many as 45 000 Spanish fascists served in Hitlers Army ( rotationally - but enough for a division ).

These statistics says everything...

Not quite, it doesn't mention the preceding famines in Spain or the failed Franco policies of self reliance.
Not to mention the invention of the package holiday :-)
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163  
29 Jan 2008 /  #29
Socialist ideas were very popular before WWII, J Pilsudski was socialist.

Piłsudski was a socialist the way Kaczyński twins are.
southern 75 | 7,096  
29 Jan 2008 /  #30
Only Soviet Union provided military aid(planes,tanks and artillery) agaist Franco but it was accused that it was not enough.

Archives - 2005-2009 / History / Polish Volunteers in the Spanish Civil WarArchived