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Czech and Polish character in World War two


Frantisek 1 | 20
29 Aug 2012  #1
are generally known as a cowardly nation [I did say generally].

I do not get offence, of course, because all may have there different opinion and we must respect this. But most Czechs would feel offence by this words. Czechs prefer to speak about wisdom, not cowardly acts.

Facts which I try present as neutral.

Czechs did not fight in 1938 because they were encirled by enemies: Germany, Poland, Hungary. Inside there was home oppostion from Sudeten Germans and Slovaks. Friends were far. West countries England and France abandoned Ceskoslovensko and allowed Hitler do which he wanted. Nobody protested.

It is not cowardly to surrender, it is wise. Czechs did not fight and survived war in good condition.

Czeskoslovensko losses:

Czechoslovakia
population:15,300,000(See Footnote)
soldiers dead 25,000
civilians 300,000
total 325,000
percent of population 2.12

Czech cities were not destroyed, industry also survived.

Opposite, Poland chose fight. Poles opposition to Hitler as first country, but the result was horrible. Millions died, country was destroyed, Warsaw vanished from earth.

Poland (within 1939 borders)
34,849,000
240,000
5,380,000
percent of losses (16.1 to 16.7)

I do not want to say I reject Polish choise. I admire Polish romantic behaviour which shows that Pole can die but he must be a free person. It is best seen in Warsaw Uprising, outstanding fact of incredible bravery and heroism.

Only I want present Czech point of view. Bohemia is small country among bigger nations and Czechs feel they must care of every life.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
29 Aug 2012  #2
Only I want present Czech point of view. Bohemia is small country among bigger nations and Czechs feel they must care of every life.

Being half Czech, I can see both sides of the argument, so to speak. But if I were to make political decisions on a large scale, I would lean towards the Czech attitude. Of course you understand, Frantisek, that nobody else on PF will agree with us?
Harry
29 Aug 2012  #3
West countries England and France abandoned Ceskoslovensko and allowed Hitler do which he wanted.

France abandoned Czechoslovakia; the UK has never agreed to do anything.

However, with that said, the British really should have never signed the Munich agreement. Instead they should have supported Czechoslovakia and encouraged France to keep to her treaty obligations. If they had done that and France had kept her promises, the USSR would almost certainly have come to the aid of Czechoslvakia.
Funky Samoan 2 | 181
29 Aug 2012  #4
Poland did not necessarily chose to fight, but German troops attacked Poland on September 1st 1939, from the North (East Prussia), the West (Germany proper) and the South (Slovakia) so Poles did not have an alternative but to try to defend themselves.

When Nazi Germany absorbed the "Rest-Tschechei" in March 1939 Czechoslovak President Hácha was in Berlin a couple of days before the German invasion and tried to negotiate with Hitler. So he really had a chance to decide whether to go for war a not. Since he knew other European countries would not support the Czech state it was wise not to resist the Nazi invasion because it would have been futile.

This is a privilege the Poles did not have. But as far as I know the Poles they would have never accepted the destruction of their country without a war anyway.

Regarding the losses of Czechoslovak population you forgot to substract the more than 3 million German speaking Bohemians and Moravians that were driven out of their country or killed after May 1945. Since the Munich agreement was declared null and void they were proper Czechoslovak citizens and should be treated as such.
Palivec - | 380
29 Aug 2012  #5
Czechs are not cowardly at all. Compared to most other countries they suffered very little, and as compensation ~5 mio Czechs received the entire property of ~3,2 mio Germans. Which means a nice chata in the mountains for almost every family.
Funky Samoan 2 | 181
29 Aug 2012  #6
May father's family is from Weiden/Oberpfalz in Eastern Bavaria, only 30 kilometers from the Bohemian/Czech border. We just were there last weekend and took the opportunity to make a one day trip to Mariánské Lázně (Marienbad) and some neighbouring villages. It is striking how deserted many villages in the Czech borderland still appear. Many houses looked like they were empty since 1945.
Harry
29 Aug 2012  #7
Poland did not necessarily chose to fight, but German troops attacked Poland on September 1st 1939, from the North (East Prussia), the West (Germany proper) and the South (Slovakia) so Poles did not have an alternative but to try to defend themselves.

Would that be the same Poland whose military leader said in August 1939 "Poland wants war with Germany and Germany will not be able to avoid it even if she wants to."?

The same Poland whose senior officials were boasting before the war that Polish cavalry would be riding the streets of Berlin within a week of the war starting?

So he really had a chance to decide whether to go for war a not. ... This is a privilege the Poles did not have.

Yes they did! The Polish government had the choice of whether to fight or to negotiate: they choose to fight.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
29 Aug 2012  #8
Many houses looked like they were empty since 1945.

Not many people like to live in haunted houses.
Funky Samoan 2 | 181
29 Aug 2012  #9
When I was in Poland in 2010 we were driving through some villages in Western Pomerania. I notized that practically every house was rearranged. A former window was made a door while the original door was bricked up. The original external wall was amended and stuff like that.

I guess this is what a person has to do in order to acquire a new home emotionally, when you were transplanted there against your will.

Yes they did! The Polish government had the choice of whether to fight or to negotiate: they choose to fight.

The German battleship Schleswig-Holstein started to fire at Westerplatte and German airforce assaulted the city Wieluń in the middle of the night without a formal decleration of war. What is there to negiotiate in such a case?

The same Poland whose senior officials were boasting before the war that Polish cavalry would be riding the streets of Berlin within a week of the war starting?

This was just whistling in the dark. Don't you think?
Harry
29 Aug 2012  #10
I see that you know nothing of the events in Danzig in August 1939. Or the German desire for an extraterritorial link to East Prussia. Or about the Polish navy doing a runner before the war started.
Funky Samoan 2 | 181
29 Aug 2012  #11
No Harry, you are wrong! I read a lot about that. Problem is after the devour of Czechoslovakia Hitler was determined to destroy Poland. Since he knew the Poles were too proud and too stubborn to give up Danzig he ignited some propaganda smoke grenades for the international media in the form of "We only want free access to East Prussia and self-determination for the inhabitants of Danzig", because he hoped somehow this would give reason to lay the blame for the beginning of WW2 on the doorsteps of Poland.

It's not that the Poles did everything right before WW2, but this does not change the fact that Hitler wanted to go to war to Poland. There are plenty of documents that prove that Hitler was determined to go to war with Poland in 1939. Do you speak any German? I could send you some links in German language.

Or you should read again the discussion from February and March we all had this year regarding Gdansk/Danzig: Poland did reasonably well in land terms out of the postwar settlement
ShawnH 8 | 1,498
29 Aug 2012  #12
The same Poland whose senior officials were boasting before the war that Polish cavalry would be riding the streets of Berlin within a week of the war starting?

Of course, he must have been counting on the support of the British when he made the claim....

Ducks....
Harry
29 Aug 2012  #13
he knew the Poles were too proud and too stubborn to give up Danzig

Er, Danzig in 1939 was not actually Polish....

Personally I'd say that the difference between the Czech and Polish attitude in the period leading up to WWII and during it was that the Czechs were realistic.
Funky Samoan 2 | 181
29 Aug 2012  #14
Er, Danzig in 1939 was not actually Polish....

This is correct. But Poland had the right to represent the Free City of Danzig in foreign affairs, additionally Poland's army had the right to build facilities on the Westerplatte and there was a Polish post office within Danzig's city limits.
Ironside 48 | 9,695
29 Aug 2012  #15
Czechs did not fight in 1938 because they were encirled by enemies: Germany, Poland, Hungary

Well, they choose to be enemy of Poland.

It is not cowardly to surrender, it is wise.

No is not for some, for Poles to surrender without a fight is cowardly. Difference of culture and perceptions.

Opposite, Poland chose fight.

It only prove that geography is a *****, Poland's territory would be a battlefield regardless of Polish decisions.
Harry
29 Aug 2012  #16
Well, they choose to be enemy of Poland.

Can you go into details about that Czech decision?

No is not for some, for Poles to surrender without a fight is cowardly.

So the Polish navy wasn't run by Poles?
Ironside 48 | 9,695
29 Aug 2012  #17
Can you go into details about that Czech decision?

I already did, if you are interested look for it.

So the Polish navy wasn't run by Poles

Go F Y!
Not that I know what you are talking about but I know you!
goofy_the_dog
29 Aug 2012  #18
I completely agree with Ironside. Poland was a free country (unlike today ;) ), why should the Polish Goverment agree to anything that Hitler wanted? Why should a 22 million country agree to hand over Gdansk or Danzig to the enemy? Harry you are wrong and you know it! Poland did not had any choice. You were mentioning that the Polish Navy did "about the Polish navy doing a runner before the war started."

Well, you know, because Poland was a free country then they could do anything they wanted inside their territorial waters!

Ohh, by the way, I really do not like you sarcasm. :)
Harry
29 Aug 2012  #19
why should the Polish Goverment agree to anything that Hitler wanted?

Why should Lithuania or Czechoslovakia agree to give Poland what she demanded? Oh yes, because Poland threatened to attack them otherwise.

Why should a 22 million country agree to hand over Gdansk or Danzig to the enemy?

Danzig was not Poland's to hand over anyway.

Well, you know, because Poland was a free country then they could do anything they wanted inside their territorial waters!

Which explains why they set sail for British ports before the fighting even started.
Palivec - | 380
29 Aug 2012  #20
It is striking how deserted many villages in the Czech borderland still appear. Many houses looked like they were empty since 1945.

It depends on the region. In the Lusatian Mountains (the other side of Zittau), in the Jizera mountains and Krkonosze (Giant Mountains) many houses are quite cute and not too big, and the mountains are pretty nice too, so most houses were turned into weekend homes. I know villages with 16 permanent residents during week and 400 on weekends.
Funky Samoan 2 | 181
29 Aug 2012  #21
Well, they choose to be enemy of Poland.

What do you mean by that, Iron?
sobieski 107 | 2,129
29 Aug 2012  #22
The Czechs did not have a Jedwabne or a Kielce pogrom. I think that is quite a compliment.
Ironside 48 | 9,695
29 Aug 2012  #23
What do you mean by that, Iron?

I mean that in 1919 they attacked Poland while she was fighting Bolsheviks and then incorporated patch of land which should belong to Poland,
Also in 30' their government didn't respond to overtures by Poland's government which proposed build military defensive pact - they believed to be safe.

The Czechs did not have a Jedwabne or a Kielce pogrom. I think that is quite a compliment.

The Czechs have no Jewish minority of any number and second of all there were no Jedwabne or Kielce pogroms you twit!
Harry
29 Aug 2012  #24
I mean that in 1919 they attacked Poland while she was fighting Bolsheviks and then incorporated patch of land which should belong to Poland,

a) They invaded only after Poland broke the provisional agreement on the disputed territory and refused to cease such breach.
b) You are lying about Poland fighting the USSR at that time: the Polish-Soviet war started after the Polish-Czech war finished.

Also in 30' their government didn't respond to overtures by Poland's government which proposed build military defensive pact - they believed to be safe.

By that logic Poland chose to be an enemy of both Germany and the USSR.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
29 Aug 2012  #25
I know villages with 16 permanent residents during week and 400 on weekends.

Disastrous. Explains why they were empty when I was there not so long ago :(

The Czechs have no Jewish minority of any number and second of all there were no Jedwabne or Kielce pogroms you twit!

There certainly was, unless you choose to disagree with Polish history. You can also add the shameful Lwów one to that.

As for the Czech Jewish minority - they had well over 350,000 according to the last Czech census. Quite numerous...

By that logic Poland chose to be an enemy of both Germany and the USSR.

If we use such logic, then Poland deserved it.
Ironside 48 | 9,695
29 Aug 2012  #26
the Polish-Czech war fi

What war? there were no such war! You are lying again Harry.

hey invaded only after Poland broke t

Yes keep excusing all Polish enemies, you are good at that.

By that logic Poland chose to be an enemy of both Germany and the USSR

Indeed, would you have her choose Communism or Nazism?
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
29 Aug 2012  #27
What war? there were no such war! You are lying again Harry.

No war?

Why is it called "Wojna polsko-czechosłowacka" by Polish sources, then?

What are all those monuments for in Cieszyn?
Ironside 48 | 9,695
29 Aug 2012  #28
hy is it called "Wojna polsko-czechosłowacka" by Polish sources, then?

How good is your Polish delph? Polish-Czechoslovakian war is not Polish-Czech war - right?
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
29 Aug 2012  #29
Except it was/is quite acceptable in English to use "Czech" as short for "Czechoslovakian" in those times. It's one of the reasons that the so-called hyphen war happened after the Velvet Revolution.

No-one would say "those pesky Czechoslovaks invaded Poland in 1920" - you'd just say "those pesky Czechs".
OP Frantisek 1 | 20
29 Aug 2012  #30
France abandoned Czechoslovakia; the UK has never agreed to do anything. However, with that said, the British really should have never signed the Munich agreement.

Excuse me sir but it is against history. Britain government in 1938 was friendly to Germany and Hitler. Chamberlain was sick man who believed Hitler.


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