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'Poland: A Knight Among Nations' - Book about Poland by an American Author, dated 1907


madparasol 2 | 12
3 Jun 2010  #1
There seem to be many people who are currently interested in Poland, its history and its people. After some online digging I stumbled upon this gem.

Poland: A Knight Among Nations by Louis E. Van Norman (an American journalist)

What's very interesting about this book is that it was written (copyrighted 1907) before the Second Polish Republic (1918) and offers some insight on the lives of Poles in the partitioned areas occupied by Russia, Prussia and Austria.

I really love the unbiased description of the Polish (Slavic) character and spirit and I feel that its for the most part spot on.

enjoy!

archive.org/stream/polandknightamon00vannuoft#page/n0/mode/2up

p.s.
I'd like to hear some of your impressions on the book. I don't stop by here often but whenever i have free-time I stop by...(honestly, who can resist to check up on some of the crazy threads that tend to pop up here.)
TheOther 5 | 3,697
3 Jun 2010  #2
on the lives of Poles in the partitioned areas occupied by Russia, Prussia and Austria

The areas were annexed, not occupied...
plk123 8 | 4,150
3 Jun 2010  #3
you must not be Polish.. these areas were indeed occupied by PL's enemies.
skysoulmate 14 | 1,297
3 Jun 2010  #4
The areas were annexed, not occupied...

Huh??? Poland was partitioned and occupied.
Ozi Dan 26 | 569
3 Jun 2010  #5
you must not be Polish.. these areas were indeed occupied by PL's enemies.

Gday mate - hope you're doing well and on the mend? The Otter is actually a half Polish Aussie like me, though he seems dismayed by this fact. He's pulled this chestnut before and our exchange is copied below:

TheOther:
Sticking to my example above: if the whole world accepts that Poland's territory was annexed for many generations, then I cannot agree to a politically motivated standpoint telling me that the annexation was actually an occupation.

Me:

Don't both words apply? Unless of course we can describe the fact that a foreign power deposited agents and representatives in Poland without consent as something other than occupation?

Suffice to say he never came up with a response. I'm still waiting Otter...

He's a bit of a Neville Know-it-all who's fond of semantics for the sake of semantics and is quite critical of the Polish situation. Check him out making a goose of himself in this thread and the subsequent take downs from other posters: polishforums.com/history-poland-34/nazi-war-crimes-43354/

Poland: A Knight Among Nations by Louis E. Van Norman (an American journalist)

Thank you. I'll read it with interest as soon as I can.
TheOther 5 | 3,697
3 Jun 2010  #6
plk123, skysoulmate

There were only two or three countries that did not accept the annexation; the rest of the world simply kissed Poland goodbye and accepted the status quo. Just a simple historical fact, nothing more.
Ozi Dan 26 | 569
3 Jun 2010  #7
What about me? I feel miffed that you didn't include me in your response group!

There were only two or three countries that did not accept the annexation

and occupation...
Just correcting your mistake.
plk123 8 | 4,150
3 Jun 2010  #8
What about me?

he's just ignoring you as you put him on the spot?

and occupation...

that's exactly right.
Ozi Dan 26 | 569
3 Jun 2010  #9
Yeah, I should've figured. He did exactly the same thing in that Nazi War crimes thread, didn't you Otter (I know you're reading this chief;-))

that's exactly right.

Hi 5 buddy. That was an easy take down. His argument is like saying a punch in the face is really an aimed and delivered swing of the forearm with the clenched fist appendage striking the cranium, and not a punch at all. Go figure.
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
3 Jun 2010  #10
There were only two or three countries that did not accept the annexation; the rest of the world simply kissed Poland goodbye and accepted the status quo..

It does not matter really, there was no international law to justify annexation so the worlds acceptance or lack of thereof does not change the fact that de jure Poland was still polish territory and occupied by foreign powers who extended their rule in stark contrast to commonly perceived international law of the time and afterwards.

Any and all treaties between them and legal or informal acceptance wordliwide of the state of affairs does not change the fact that in this particular case annexation is a term desciribing an activity rather than a legal state of affairs.

Poland was invaded and then occupied, it was continously and illegaly occupied for 100+ years untill it reconstituted itself.

Also annexation always equals ocupation if the annexed state resists, in polish case there's the addition of complete lack of basis for territorial claims by partitioning states, illegality and immorality of the invasion and ocupation.

The fun bit is Germans even today have the audacity to claim that the province of Greater Poland and Poznań have anything to do with Germany because they invaded them in the 18th century.

Ps. Other are you just baiting or are you seriously that revisionist?
OP madparasol 2 | 12
3 Jun 2010  #11
ok...i get it, to be politically correct i respect the position of foreigners that Poland was partitioned by foreign powers, yes it was, in the eyes of the outside world. but the people of these lands remained, they were still Polish...so to an outsider it was a "partition" to a Pole it was an occupation. sorry if thats hard to understand.

anyways...
did you read any of the chapters in the book?
Ozi Dan 26 | 569
3 Jun 2010  #12
Good point, though I would suggest that whether or not resistance occurs, it is still an occupation.

Correct. I suspect though that Otter's response will be that the partition and subsequent occupation was in fact (but not in law mind you) ratified by the Polish Sejm under Russian guns (Silent Sejm??) but that's ok because it was ratified and extraneous circumstances matter not. Thankfully though some of us have moved on from arguing Star Chamber-esque justice arguments.
OP madparasol 2 | 12
3 Jun 2010  #13
Thank you. I'll read it with interest as soon as I can.

You're welcome. It's a pretty good read overall.
Sire Brenshar 1 | 61
3 Jun 2010  #14
This is a very good book, thanks very much Madparasol.
I started reading it an hour ago (I'm on page 58 now) and it's really got a hold on me, even if reading off the internet is rather uncomfortable.

It is incredible: you are hearing facts and opinions on Poland from 103 years back, even when we didn't have our own country, and about what if Poland was to regain independence!

All PF members who are intrested should really get around to reading it, I think a must have for those studying Polish history.

Thanks a lot again, this is a golden find!
Ozi Dan 26 | 569
3 Jun 2010  #15
You're welcome. It's a pretty good read overall.

I can also recommend a literary work by either Rousseau or Voltaire (cant remember which one). From memory, it was commissioned by King Poniatowski as a critique and instruction on how Poland could get out of the mess it found itself in in the late C18. It should be available online and I'll have a look.
OP madparasol 2 | 12
3 Jun 2010  #16
Thanks a lot again, this is a golden find!

You're welcome.
Ozi Dan 26 | 569
3 Jun 2010  #17
Here it is:

constitution.org/jjr/poland.htm

Rousseau, 1772, Considerations on the Govt of Poland etc...
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
3 Jun 2010  #18
Correct. I suspect though that Otter's response will be that the partition and subsequent occupation was in fact (but not in law mind you) ratified by the Polish Sejm under Russian guns (Silent Sejm??)

It was not, Dumb Sejm did not ratify anything, the members of the Sejm were not allowed to speak in favor or against, there was no vote nor anything of the sort.

As for Other i imagine he's an "Axis Forums" poster, its a place full of closet nazi revisionists, it wont be the first time he ignores arguments that dont fit into his revisionist logic either.
plk123 8 | 4,150
3 Jun 2010  #20
ozi dan.. that looks interesting too.. shall try to read both.

also, thanks for asking mate, i am doing ok, i guess.. things are getting better everyday... at least it's not winter here anymore. :) i was going to PM you but it seems we lost more PM privileges. can't tell if we're down back to ten or what but that's not enough for me so i guess i am back to not using them again.
Chicago Pollock 7 | 504
3 Jun 2010  #21
did you read any of the chapters in the book?

Yes, According to the book Poland was partitioned, annexed, occupied, whatever, due to the fact that it did not have a Middle Class. It was a divided society between the nobles and the peasants. It's probably still true today, thus the Polish Diaspora.
OP madparasol 2 | 12
3 Jun 2010  #22
Wow! I mean...wow! you most certainly are a "pollack" polak...
so you think that it is still true today that there is no middle class in Poland? I must have missed something...there's still a divide between the nobles and the peasants? how embarrassing.

you may want to re-read the book. take it for what its worth, an American perspective on Poland and its people in the early 20th century.
plk123 8 | 4,150
3 Jun 2010  #23
It was a divided society between the nobles and the peasants. It's probably still true today, thus the Polish Diaspora.

is the migration out still as large as before?
Ozi Dan 26 | 569
3 Jun 2010  #24
It was not, Dumb Sejm did not ratify anything, the members of the Sejm were not allowed to speak in favor or against, there was no vote nor anything of the sort.

Ah, my mistake then. Wasn't there some sort of pro-foreign law passed by a sejm under the guns of the Russians or am I mistaken?

i am doing ok, i guess.. things are getting better everyday

I'm glad to hear that mate. Are you up on your feet yet? It'll probably take some time. I was paralysed for a while when I got hit by a car and couldn't walk for a few months. You'll get there buddy.

Yes, According to the book Poland was partitioned, annexed, occupied, whatever, due to the fact that it did not have a Middle Class.

That's an interesting take. How would the middle class have prevented the partitions then?
TheOther 5 | 3,697
3 Jun 2010  #25
there was no international law to justify annexation so the worlds acceptance or lack of thereof

Exactly. There was no international law and the powers of that time didn't give a hoot whether the annexed country agreed or resisted (to) its annexation or not. Just look at maps of the era. Where is Poland? Not there. Why? Because it was annexed and not occupied. That's the international consensus, whether you like it or not.

Madparasol got it right when he said that "to an outsider it was a partition (=annexation), to a Pole it was an occupation." Let's leave it at that.
Mr Grunwald 19 | 1,542
3 Jun 2010  #26
That's an interesting take. How would the middle class have prevented the partitions then?

It wouldn't have prevented it in any case I guess, since it was too small (Polish one) the middle class in that times Poland (during partitioning) was mostly Jewish

Madparasol got it right when he said that "to an outsider it was a partition (=annexation)

Ofc it was annexed, I can't remember any puppet regimes
Still that annexed land had to be controlled with a nearby army right? :)
To put it easy, it didn't go smoothly

And to a lot of you SU I want to read it ^^
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
3 Jun 2010  #27
There was no international law

Yes there was, just because you're an uneducated neonazi revisionist cretin and dont know history doesnt mean i have to oblige with your stupidity, there were multiple treaties broken by all partitioning countries.

Russia broke the "eternal friendship" treaty, Prussia broke "the good neighbourhood" treaty and Austria broke its 50 years peace treaty so the invasion and occupation of Poland was illegal even in the light of the invading countries own laws so fock you:)))

That's the international consensus, whether you like it or not.

No thats what neonazi twats like you attempt to sell as history and ignore responces that point out actual history was a bit different then your nazi history 1-0-1 :)))

Also captain troglodity, partition is a process that follows invasion, the end result is annexation and what follows is occupation.

Thats international law for you, XVI century no less, now die of cancer :-)
TheOther 5 | 3,697
3 Jun 2010  #28
Bad hair day again, Sokrates? :)
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
3 Jun 2010  #29
Not really i'm just tired of closet nazi revisionism on your part:)
TheOther 5 | 3,697
3 Jun 2010  #30
Well, not my fault that you got indoctrinated by your commie history teacher... ;)


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