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Frederick the Great governments from Poland's perspective


not_polish
10 Aug 2015 #1
Hi!

I am a great admirer of Old Fritz. He was an amazing patron of the arts and an enemy of papism and superstition.

It seems like he abolished serfdom in Poland and introduced a sort of mixing between Germans and Polish.

I think some Polish people may not like him because he wanted to Germanize Poland, but honestly, would a bit of Germanization really hurt?

I mean, who wouldn't want an autobahn in Poland?
jon357 67 | 16,836
10 Aug 2015 #2
He actually abolished serfdom to weaken the strength of the Polish upper-classes and was no friend of the country for a whole lot of reasons. And yes, his Germanisation did partly succeed.

An absolute tyrant in some ways (Carlyle, also no lover of the First Polish Republic, thought him the epitome of the Great Man theory), but yes, he did achieve a lot and paved the way for some very positive things in Poland.
Lyzko 29 | 7,258
10 Aug 2015 #3
Frederick the Great/Friedrich der Grosse is often credited with being a reformer of sorts, paving the way for von Stein, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau during the early to mid-19th century! German historians tend to look up to him immensely.
Funky Samoan 2 | 181
11 Aug 2015 #4
It seems like he abolished serfdom in Poland and introduced a sort of mixing between Germans and Polish.

Frederich the Great managed to transform a small and insignificant state into one of the five European great powers that would shape the face of the continent until 1918. Unquestionably he had a great strategic talent. He was able to see the weak spots at his neighbors and he was ruthless enough to use those against them, otherwise he wouldn't have been able to steal Silesia from the Austrians and to forge an alliance against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and in the aftermath shoot an old European big player out of the game and erase it from the map.

He was probably gay! As a young man, he wanted to desert from Prussia with his putative lover an Hans Hermann von Katte in order to escape his tyrannic father Friedrich Wilhelm I. - the so-called "Soldier King" - who only cared for military matters. They were caught and incarcerated at Küstrin (present day Kostrzyn nad Odrą) . Frederic II. then was forced to watch the public decapitation of his friend Katte. He was so shocked that he lost his mind and fainted. After that he was still incarcerated for weeks and treated like an ordinary prisoner. It took the Roman-German emperor Karl VI. in Vienna, who interfered in this matter and expressed his concern to the "soldier king" that this is not a way to treat a person of noble blood that once would inherit the Electoral throne of Brandenburg. After these traumatic incidents Frederic II. personality changed and he hardened.

He was a great admirer of literature, his friendship with Voltaire is well documented and he even wrote music. The "Hohenfriedberger Marsch" is a great piece of march music. But he also was an emotionally cold man, hated women, rarely had a good word for his servants and did not spare the lives of his soldiers that he wasted in many battles.

So is he a model for the 21. century? Surely not! He probably made Prussia great but he also made the Prussians small. When he died Prussia was a great barrack yard. It is sad that other states had an army but Prussia was an army that had a state. His influence on Poland was surely devastating for Poles and what is with Germany? A weaker Prussia would have been even better for the Germans because Prussia then may have been merged into Germany and not Germany into Prussia, as it was in 1871.
Lyzko 29 | 7,258
11 Aug 2015 #5
Precisely, Funky Samoan! You too know your German history. Friedrich der Grosse zu Hohenzollern established one of the major aristocratic dynasties within the German Empire, along with the Hohenstaufen and, in Bavaria, the Wittelsbach family.
OP not_polish
11 Aug 2015 #6
I don't see real evidence that he was gay. I think in the 21st century there are people that want to ascribe the gay label to everyone that had a friend of the same sex.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
11 Aug 2015 #7
I mean, who wouldn't want an autobahn in Poland?

The autobahns are falling to bits. Many of the older concrete ones have 80km/h limits imposed this summer, particularly in the south. Other ones are in a dreadful condition, and the network is under-maintained to the tune of around 1 billion Euro/yearly.

Meanwhile, Poland's autostrady are doing just fine this summer.

Seems to me that Germany would rather have Poland's autostrady.
OP not_polish
11 Aug 2015 #8
I don't think you really believe that.
Funky Samoan 2 | 181
11 Aug 2015 #9
I don't see real evidence that he was gay. I think in the 21st century there are people that want to ascribe the gay label to everyone that had a friend of the same sex.

Well at least he was never seen having women around him. And for King this always would have been a very easy thing. He paid visits to his wife once a year (!) and often he greated her with sentences like "The Queen has aged!".
OP not_polish
11 Aug 2015 #10
Yes, I gleaned this from wikipedia as well. He definitely was no Don Juan thats for sure.
That being said, just because he didn't care for vajeen would put him in the same category as Nichola Tesla, and no one said he was a homer.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
11 Aug 2015 #11
So, to bring it back on topic...

Can anyone provide an example of what should be brought from Germany to Poland as an example of "success".

Let's remember that the West German economic miracle was the result of American cash, so that cannot be used. What else do they do that Poland should adopt?
OP not_polish
11 Aug 2015 #12
soccer team?
Lyzko 29 | 7,258
11 Aug 2015 #13
Just remember, not__polish! There are lies, there are damn lies, and there are statistics:-)

Stats NEVER tell the whole story

Ahem, Lewandowski might just be one of the greatest soccer players of the modern era!

Let's back to the topic - Poland and Frederick the Great governments (further off-topic post will end up in the random thread)
Dougpol1 32 | 2,708
11 Aug 2015 #14
Can anyone provide an example of what should be brought from Germany to Poland as an example of "success".

Wot - you want the full list?!

Just for starters - town planning laws, where the German countryside doesn't get raped by indiscriminate building to suit Herr Johanns' personal wishes to build his villa where uncle Adolf farmed the land.

Of course, the Polish horse has long since bolted on that one, so I'll come up with number two presently.

PS. I loved your dissertation on the Swedes NotPolish. A nasty yellow community, for ever scarred, for TWICE declaring they would much rather stay out of any World Wars, if that was alright with the rest of us. As Basil Fawlty said when referring to Manuel setting fire to the kitchen of Fawlty Towers, "Should've let them burn..."
Dougpol1 32 | 2,708
11 Aug 2015 #15
What else do they do that Poland should adopt?

As I pointed out above:

Order. Like Fred the Great imposed. But of course Poland would prefer to have anarchy....unless they are criticising others of course about pathetic things such as "Your dog should be on a lead"? And what happened to the polite address of "Pan..."?

Would the Germans stand for being talked down to improperly by a stranger? I think not! :)
Marsupial - | 886
11 Aug 2015 #16
Frederick the loser whos territory is poland like it should be. Reminds me of other extinct things chosen by evolution for extermination.
brunensis
11 Aug 2015 #17
"Let's remember that the West German economic miracle was the result of American cash, so that cannot be used. What else do they do that Poland should adopt?"

Then why didn't the other recipients of American cash do as well ?
Ziemowit 13 | 4,259
24 Jul 2018 #18
An interesting article touching the subject of Frederick the Great from Poland's perspective was published several days ago in the "Berliner Zeitung". The article discusses links between the climate and political conflicts in the world over the ages and among them it lists the one of Frederick the Great against Poland:

Collet and his colleagues stated, among other things, that the First Polish Partition must also be viewed in the context of a dramatic hunger crisis. Between 1770 and 1772 all over Europe was devastated by crop failures. It was a time when the so-called Little Ice Age, a global cooling from the 13th to the 18th century, once again showed its hard side. Frederick the Great took advantage of the crisis by squeezing large quantities of grain from weakened Poland with the help of his troops. With these additional food for his army in the hindquarters he appeared in the conflict over Poland far more confident than his competitors. Thus he was able to force the long-planned annexation of West Prussia and at the same time to stage himself as a caring "bread king" by passing the confiscated grain partially to his subjects.

berliner-zeitung.de/wissen/kriege--krisen--revolutionen-schreibt-das-klima-geschichte--30970510
Tacitus 2 | 1,180
24 Jul 2018 #19
Frederick the Great remains very controversial among historians, because he is ultimately a man of many contradictions. Listing them all here would take too long, but I believe that he is of interest to Poles because he offers a glimpse into possible paths Poland could have taken if circumstances might have been different. Imagine for example, if someone as capable as him had been elected as Polish king in the early 1700 when there were still chances for the Commonwealth to reform itself. Or indeed, if a military genius like him had been available to Poland when it struggled against the partitions. Or for that matter, if he had been king of Saxony instead of August the Strong. No doubt Poland would have come out of the Nordish War in far better shape than it actually did.
Lyzko 29 | 7,258
24 Jul 2018 #20
He also forged strong links with France, something which influenced not only German policy of the time and into the future, but of course, the German language as well.
Tacitus 2 | 1,180
24 Jul 2018 #21
Well, strong intellectual links in any way. He did fight France in his most important war after all
Lyzko 29 | 7,258
24 Jul 2018 #22
Granted.
Ruprecht
28 Jul 2018 #23
Frederick the Great

Friedrich der Große and his idiot friend Voltaire; who congratualted him on carving up Poland, were one of the primary sources of the anti-Polish propaganda that would last down to the present. After the Great War, the Germans claimed that awarding Schlesien to Poland was like giving a monkey a pocket watch. Then there was the wave of "Polack jokes" in the US in the 1970s and more recently Germany's "Polenwitze"which still resurface from time to time. The current harassment of Poland by the EC and Western media also reflects that look-down-on-Poles proclivity.
Lyzko 29 | 7,258
28 Jul 2018 #24
Ruprecht,

It's frankly not quite fair to dismiss someone of Voltaire's stature as an idiot, even if we both might well have severe differences of opinion concerning his philosophy.

True, he was also an anti-Semite, yet this sadly too was only in keeping with the reigning prejudice of his age, lest we impute more enlightened "modern" views on those

of Voltaire's time. It's ethnocentric.

I will grant you this much that Poland has often suffered at the hands of her frequently more powerful neighbors such as Germany and Russia.

The French perspective is though unusual in that they admire Frederic Chopin as a great Frenchman (alongside Mme. Curie, who Polish, was married to a

successful Frenchman), whereas to the Poles, Chopin is thoroughly Polish because he was born in Poland:-)


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