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Would you classify the Poland's Communist years as a "Soviet occupation" ?



spiritus 60 | 465    
31 Jan 2012  #1

Sorry but this question just popped into my head and I'd be interested to hear your views on this.


Zman    
31 Jan 2012  #2

In broad terms, yes.
Wroclaw 45 | 5,410    
31 Jan 2012  #3

i go along with this
gumishu 10 | 4,234    
31 Jan 2012  #4

In broad terms, yes.

Soviet occupation sensu lato ;) (there was a time of Soviet occupation sensu stricto, no worries)
delphiandomine 59 | 15,334    
31 Jan 2012  #5

Sorry but this question just popped into my head and I'd be interested to hear your views on this.

From 1945 until the mid 50's - yes, it pretty much was. After then - no. There were just too many people with a stake in the system staying the way it was for it to be an occupation. If you look at who was repressing who - it was Poles repressing Poles. Allowing them to claim "Soviet" occupation is just an easy way out.
JonnyM 12 | 2,634    
31 Jan 2012  #6

Would you classify the Communist years as a "Soviet occupation" ?

No, very far from it. During the Stalin terror, it was close in spirit if not in law. Since then, no.
southern 76 | 7,116    
31 Jan 2012  #7

There were only 100000 Soviet soldiers stationed in Poland so technically it was not an occupation they were active in military bases like American soldiers in Europe.However I am not sure about the general feeling how the average folks viewed the situation.
JonnyM 12 | 2,634    
31 Jan 2012  #8

y it was not an occupation

Exactly. Occupation has a very precise legal definition.
Harry 70 | 13,020    
31 Jan 2012  #9

they were active in military bases like American soldiers in Europe.

In the mid 1950s, there were some 80,000 British troops in West Germany. In June 1962 there were 277,342 American soldiers in West Germany. Does that mean that West Germany was occupied by the USA in 1962?

The 'Soviet occupation' claim is just an excuse used to justify the massive involvement of Polish people in the PZPR (three and a half million members at its peak).
gumishu 10 | 4,234    
31 Jan 2012  #10

There were only 100000 Soviet soldiers stationed in Poland so technically it was not an occupation they were active in military bases like American soldiers in Europe.However I am not sure about the general feeling how the average folks viewed the situation.

most of Polish populace were happy they were gone - that should tell you a thing or two
Zman    
31 Jan 2012  #11

The soviet occupation was definitely about soviets not allowing to hold democratic elections in PL. Without soviet power communists in Poland would have been ousted long before '89.

The soviet occupation was definitely about soviets not allowing to hold democratic elections in PL. Without soviet power communists in Poland would have been ousted long before '89.
Harry 70 | 13,020    
31 Jan 2012  #12

Without soviet power communists in Poland would have been ousted long before '89.

There were 35 member of the PZPR for every single Soviet soldier in Poland.
gumishu 10 | 4,234    
31 Jan 2012  #13

Zman:
Without soviet power communists in Poland would have been ousted long before '89.

There were 35 member of the PZPR for every single Soviet soldier in Poland.

so what? many of those people where there just to be able to have some career - opportunists don't make opressors - compare the membership in PZPR to the membership in SLD after the democratic turn
rybnik 18 | 1,469    
31 Jan 2012  #14

From 1945 until the mid 50's - yes, it pretty much was. After then - no. There were just too many people with a stake in the system staying the way it was for it to be an occupation. If you look at who was repressing who - it was Poles repressing Poles. Allowing them to claim "Soviet" occupation is just an easy way out.

I disagree. I lived about a mile from the Soviet Army base replete with MIG fighters. We saw those bastards everyday walking and riding the streets. To us it indeed was an occupation.

@ southern............There was no grey area in this regard. We felt as if we were occupied.
ShawnH 8 | 1,507    
31 Jan 2012  #15

PZPR

On paper, the party was organised on the basis of democratic centralism, which assumed a democratic appointment of authorities, making decisions, and managing its activity. Yet in fact, the key roles were played by the Central Committee, its Politburo and Secretariat, which were subject to the strict control of the authorities of the Soviet Union.

Wiki
Harry 70 | 13,020    
31 Jan 2012  #16

On paper, the party was organised on the basis of democratic centralism, which assumed a democratic appointment of authorities, making decisions, and managing its activity. Yet in fact, the key roles were played by the Central Committee, its Politburo and Secretariat, which were subject to the strict control of the authorities of the Soviet Union.

I think that you will find that the full quote is "Yet in fact, the key roles were played by the Central Committee, its Politburo and Secretariat, which were subject to the strict control of the authorities of the Soviet Union.[citation needed]" I wonder why you left that bit out.
ShawnH 8 | 1,507    
31 Jan 2012  #17

I wonder why you left that bit out.

Probably because I was trying to take away your opportunity to revise that bit of history?

That and.....

There were 35 member of the PZPR for every single Soviet soldier in Poland.

....you forgot to mention the bit about the soldiers being the armed ones?
gumishu 10 | 4,234    
31 Jan 2012  #18

Harry:
There were 35 member of the PZPR for every single Soviet soldier in Poland.

....you forgot to mention the bit about the soldiers being the armed ones?

and PZPR members being the drunken ones ;)
ShawnH 8 | 1,507    
31 Jan 2012  #19

Yes, proof that the benevolent Soviet handlers provided well for their Polish comrades...
Ironside 42 | 7,816    
1 Feb 2012  #20

Undeniably it was a soviet occupation !

here were 35 member of the PZPR for every single Soviet soldier in Poland.

Are we suppose to take your word on that ? Where are your sources ?
PennBoy 77 | 2,442    
1 Feb 2012  #21

It sure as hell was an occupation. Free elections weren't held like Stalin promised, Soviet troops were stationed to enforce Moscow's will. Soviet KGB and secret military agents could freely spy on and arrest people without any permission from Polish authorities. That sounds like an occupation.
delphiandomine 59 | 15,334    
1 Feb 2012  #22

Soviet KGB and secret military agents could freely spy on and arrest people without any permission from Polish authorities.

Up to the mid 50's, yes - but afterwards?

The Soviets had the Poles to do their dirty work for them after that. Why get involved and inflame the locals when the locals will do the hard work for you?

That sounds like an occupation.

It wasn't, not in the strict meaning of the word. Occupation is when the authorities are totally under the control of another state - whereas the PRL wasn't. A great example is with the border disputes between the GDR and the PRL - if they were occupied, then these would have never existed.
PennBoy 77 | 2,442    
1 Feb 2012  #23

Up to the mid 50's, yes - but afterwards?

The Soviets had the Poles to do their dirty work for them after that. Why get involved and inflame the locals when the locals will do the hard work for you?

My father's friend a born Varsovian who's family came from there from before the war ever, told me how he was in the army in the early 70s and Soviet soldiers tapped into Polish telephone/communications lines and listed in on peoples conversations, which made him furious. His commander said 'they can do whatever they want, don't interfere there will be consequences'.

It wasn't, not in the strict meaning of the word. Occupation is when the authorities are totally under the control of another state

Polish communists wouldn't have stayed in power. Even Gomulka as a communist who wanted a bit more freedom was fully aware of this.
Meathead 5 | 475    
1 Feb 2012  #24

The 'Soviet occupation' claim is just an excuse used to justify the massive involvement of Polish people in the PZPR (three and a half million members at its peak).

Poland couldn't overthrow the Soviet occupation because the Polish people weren't united. Poland could have accepted the Marshall Plan but too many Poles were dedicated communists. Poles need to take responsibility for their condition and quit blaming the Russians.
JonnyM 12 | 2,634    
1 Feb 2012  #25

the Soviet occupation

The Soviet occupation was a short lived thing and existed only until the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was broken by Germany. To call the post-war republic a 'Soviet Occupation' is empty rhetoric; an occupation has a precise legal definition.

too many Poles were dedicated communists. Poles need to take responsibility for their condition and quit blaming the Russians.

Yes. There was support for the status quo, the leaders were Polish, the PRL was introduced after the trzy razy tak elections (falsified, especially in Malopolska but also showing some genuine support), and furthermore it denigrates the dedication of those people who worked to build the PRL as a state.
kondzior 7 | 892    
1 Feb 2012  #26

JohnyM, people who builded PRL communist state deserve to be denigrated, as Russian pupets, and traitors of Poland. That being said, there would never be communism in Poland, least for Russian involvment.
JonnyM 12 | 2,634    
1 Feb 2012  #27

Russian pupets, and traitors of Poland

Or hardworking people who worked with the system that existed and genuinely believed that system could lead to a better world.

It was not an occupation - or if it was, it was one with many millions of Quislings!
Ironside 42 | 7,816    
1 Feb 2012  #28

an occupation has a precise legal definition.

Call it colony then ..I thought your are talking about reality not about legal terms.
Harry 70 | 13,020    
1 Feb 2012  #29

A colony? With 35 times more Polish communists than Soviet ones?
JonnyM 12 | 2,634    
1 Feb 2012  #30

I thought your are talking about reality not about legal terms.

The reality is that 'occupation' has a very precise meaning, defined under international law.

A colony? With 35 times more Polish communists than Soviet ones?

Quite.




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