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Poland did reasonably well in land terms out of the postwar settlement


delphiandomine 88 | 18,116
24 Feb 2012 #31
Definitions aside when you mention "ethic cleansing "people understand it as 'killing people'.

Not really - the Highland Clearances are considered to be ethnic cleansing nowadays.

How it's achieved is largely irrelevant - the point is that a group of people are forcibly removed from their home area.

Operation Wisła was certainly ethnic cleansing, too.
TheOther 6 | 3,664
24 Feb 2012 #32
Poor guys from former Western colonies came in millions to take revenge on their colonists and use their wealth.

Not in Germany, where the Turks (for example) are poorly integrated. The latter were brought into the country in the early 1960's because they were needed as workers. Don't you think that Poland at some point of time will also go this way? Besides, second and third generation descendants of those Turks now have a German passport, even though they still feel Turkish and have no loyalty whatsoever to Germany. They can freely travel within the EU and settle where they want; including Poland.

The significant changes you are guaranteeing now are going to take place probably in 100 years` time.

You think that Poland will need another 100 years to become a strong economy and attract outsiders? Just look at all the Brits who moved to your country - immigration has already started.
Funky Samoan 2 | 181
25 Feb 2012 #33
!

Gdansk only become "German" after being ethically cleansed by Germans. Seriously Harry stop your lies, nobody wiped out (killed) German inhabitants ie it was not ethic cleansing !

Dear Ironside,

What exactly do you mean by that? Do you mean the massacre of 1308? Come on, Gdansk was a relatively small city at that time and the Teutonic Order was not Germany!

I don't want to make Danzig a purely German city because Poles always played a role in city life and Gdansk obviously belonged to the Polish/Lithuanian Comonwealth for centuries, but I think there is no doubt that from the 1400s to 1945 Gdansk/Danzig was a predominately German speaking city. It is also clear that Danzig would have never become a Polish city again if it wasn't it for the Nazis and World War II and all the terrible things that commited.

The old Polish-Lithuanian State wasn't a nation state the same way as the Holy Roman Empire (of the German nation) was a nation state. Therefore Gdansk was as Polish as Prague, Brno, Ljubljana and Maribor were German.

As far as I can see Gdansk/Danzig is a very good example that in pre-nationalistic times Germans could be good and loyal subordinates of the Polish state and king without giving up their Germanness.
Ironside 51 | 12,441
25 Feb 2012 #34
Gdansk/Danzig was a predominately German speaking city.

the Teutonic Order was not Germany

they were speaking German, right ?
Funky Samoan 2 | 181
25 Feb 2012 #35
The official language of the Teutonic Order was Latin. Since the majority of the Knights were of German origin probably they spoke Low German - a language much closer to modern Dutch than to High German - in colloquial matters. This fact does not make them necessarily German, at least not in the modern sense of the word, people from what is now Benelux, Eastern France, Czech Republic and Northern Italy participated there. The Teutonic Order was founded in Jerusalem at the time of the crusades and its main goal was the spread of catholicism in the first place. After they subjugated the Baltic Old Prussians - with approval of the Polish king by the way - they found taste in secular matters and built up their own monastic state, which annoyed the Polish King of course. Surely the arrival of the Teutonic Order was one of the main sources of Germanization in Old Prussia beginning with the 1200s, but I doubt it was the goal of the Teutonic Order to spread Germanness, it was just a side effect.
Ironside 51 | 12,441
25 Feb 2012 #36
The official language of the Teutonic Order was Latin.

The same is true for Poland at the time.
Funky Samoan 2 | 181
26 Feb 2012 #37
Ironside

Exactly! One should always put into account that in medieval times nations in the modern sense of the meaning did not exist. A nation was not very important for the individual because in the end almost everybody believed that they are direct decendants of Adam and Eve and that the end of the world is near. Therefore it was not a big deal for people to give up a language and change it in favor of a more prestigious one.

If you are judging events of the 1300s from a 21th century angle of view, your conclusions will defintely be distorted. There was no German "Drang nach Osten" masterplan. It was just the way a more developed and advanced culture was transferred from the West to the East. And of course the Germans did not invent this culture. They just handed over what they received from the Roman Empire a.k.a. early Italy and early France. And the Romans received this culture from the Greeks and the Greeks got it from cultures that existed in the "fertile crescent" between Euphrates and Tigris in modern day Iraq. Finally in the 1400s the Poles had their own "Drang nach Osten" phase and brought this culture to Eastern Slavic people.
Ironside 51 | 12,441
26 Feb 2012 #38
Exactly! One should always put into account that in medieval times nations in the modern sense of the meaning did not exist. A nation was not very important for the individual because in the end almost everybody believed that they are direct decendants of Adam and Eve and that the end of the world is near. Therefore it was not a big deal for people to give up a language and change it in favor of a more prestigious one.

You were the one talking about "German" language being spoken in Gdansk. If there is more than "language" in determining (if needed) where Gdansk should belong, I'm not the one to contest that.
Funky Samoan 2 | 181
26 Feb 2012 #39
Dear Ironside,

Gdansk finally belongs to Poland since 1945, period! The German Danzig ceased to exist because all its inhabitants left for Germany or were killed during or shortly after the war.

You will hardly find two people in Europe that are historically so intertwined as Germany and Poland. Therefore Danzig "belongs" to the historical German cultural sphere, as well as Gdansk belongs to the Polish one. This rather links thank separate our two nations

I just had the impression that you wanted to keep the history of Gdansk/Danzig for the Polish nation alone and in my point of view this is not true.
Ironside 51 | 12,441
27 Feb 2012 #40
I just had the impression that you wanted to keep the history of Gdansk/Danzig for the Polish nation alone and in my point of view this is not true.

Oh to be sure Poland indeed appreciated German cultural input and Polish -German culture and contribution. All that ended however during partitions and terminated during WWII when Germans used the language ,culture and blood to kill, invade, destroy and divide people.

So you may as well forgive my suspicion.
I can well agree that Gdansk and all King's Prussia for the matter have been steeped in local Germans culture but at the same time belonged to the Crown and there is no doubt to its political affiliation.
Harry
27 Feb 2012 #41
during WWII when Germans used the language ,culture and blood to kill, invade, destroy and divide people.

And after WWII when Poles ethnically cleansed Germans from German land, including places which were so German that there weren't even Polish names for them, meaning that Polish names had to be made up in the years after the war.
Ironside 51 | 12,441
27 Feb 2012 #42
And your point is ? or you are back to your usual tolling mode ?
And to be precise it wasn't Poles but three allied powers !
JonnyM 11 | 2,611
27 Feb 2012 #43
The German Danzig ceased to exist because all its inhabitants left for Germany or were killed during or shortly after the war.

There are still quite a few people of German descent in Gdansk, especially around Wrzeszcz, as well as Poles from the area who have some German heritage.
Harry
27 Feb 2012 #44
And to be precise it wasn't Poles but three allied powers !

Really? Could you perhaps go into detail about the role played by the British and Americans in the ethnic cleansing of the 'recovered' territories? Most historians view the Państwowy Urząd Repatriacyjny and the Komisja Ustalania Nazw Miejscowości as having been run by Poles, so I'm sure that they would love to hear about your sources which say that those and the concentration camps at Glaz, Milecin, Gronowo, Sikawa, Jaworzno, Potulice, £ambinowice, Zgoda, etc were all actually run by the three allied powers.
thebadmonkey 2 | 71
27 Feb 2012 #45
To be fair the Soviets played a massive part in the 'cleansing' although of course some Poles used the situation to their own benefit. As indeed has happened in every land since monkeys started beating each other with sticks.

My wife's grandfather, when prodded, reluctantly told stories of the time in the immediate aftermath of 'liberation'. Anyone suspected of being German or of German ancestry was shot by the Russians. This was a guy who has suffered seizures up until his death last year after a severe beating from an SS officer by the way - and yet even he looked upon these acts with disgust. He gave one example of a German family who had been living in their area long before the war. Even during the war they treated the locals as they always did i.e. treated others they expected to be treated themselves (much to the disdain of other Germans who were settled there).

The entire family tried to flee in advance of the Soviet army were caught, identified by a local Polish guy - the entire family were summarily executed, men, women and children.

It's a microcosm of any vicious conflict, and is no more indicative of Polish behaviour than that of any people or nation who have been liberated. The excesses were certainlu aided and abetted by Stalin's Russia but he was hardly any gentler with his own countrymen (and Russians)
Funky Samoan 2 | 181
27 Feb 2012 #46
Oh to be sure Poland indeed appreciated German cultural input and Polish -German culture and contribution. All that ended however during partitions and terminated during WWII when Germans used the language ,culture and blood to kill, invade, destroy and divide people.
So you may as well forgive my suspicion.

If we lived in 1946 or 1951 I would deeply understand your suspicion. Now, in the year 2012, almost 70 years and three generations after WWII I find it a little bit odd.

Of course I cannot force you to trust or like the Germans, but I would appreciate if you acknowledged that Germans and Poles, during the more 1.000 years of neighborship, were on good terms with one another.

In those posts of yours I read I had the impression that you try to create a dichotomy between "nasty genocidal Germans" (in the form of the Teutonic Order, Frederick the Great, Bismarck and Hitler) that always and ever tried to subdue or destroy the Polish culture and the good Poles on the other side, that only tried to live a peaceful life. This is a little bit too black and white.

My wife's grandfather, when prodded, reluctantly told stories of the time in the immediate aftermath of 'liberation'. Anyone suspected of being German or of German ancestry was shot by the Russians.

Among all major cities of Nazi Germany, Danzig had the most rapes of women. Literally every woman between 8 and 80 was raped several times by Red Army soldiers. Many of them died in the process.

After four years of war and a 3.500 km footwalk from Stalingrad and Moscow to the German border, the Russians took a terrible revenche in the cities of former Eastern Germany. Even cities that surrendered before the Red Army arrived were plundered and then burned down to the core.
Ironside 51 | 12,441
27 Feb 2012 #47
Of course I cannot force you to trust or like the Germans,

I don't trust German state, Germans are not different that other people , some bad some good.

in the form of the Teutonic Order, Frederick the Great, Bismarck and Hitler)

No doubt that they were nasty and some of them were even genocidal.

This is a little bit too black and white.

How is that ?
Harry
27 Feb 2012 #48
How is that ?

Because Poles are as likely to be complete arrseholes as people of every race are. Sadly this fact is often overlooked by Polonia and (much less often) by Poles.
Ironside 51 | 12,441
27 Feb 2012 #49
If you are talking about individuals I absolutely agree with you but as a nation (an independent nation )we are much, much better than other states/nations.

One can argue that is due to the fact that Poland hasn't been a power for a long time, nevertheless even when we were a power we were much better than others,

Not perfect mind you but better and that is a fact some people are unable to swallow.
Harry
27 Feb 2012 #50
as a nation (an independent nation )we are much, much better than other states/nations.
One can argue that is due to the fact that Poland hasn't been a power for a long time, nevertheless even when we were a power we were much better than others,

Really? Does that explain why interbellum Poland sold its Ukrainian allies to the USSR, despite its treaty obligations to the contrary and repeatedly broke treaties with Czechoslovakia and Lithuania?
JonnyM 11 | 2,611
27 Feb 2012 #51
we are much, much better than other states/nations.

That does rather sound like supremacism.
Ironside 51 | 12,441
27 Feb 2012 #52
I mean moral superiority.
JonnyM 11 | 2,611
27 Feb 2012 #53
I think it would be difficult to justify saying that Poland as a whole is is/was/has been any more or less morally superior to anywhere else with the obvious extreme exceptions.
Harry
27 Feb 2012 #54
I mean moral superiority.

So Poles are morally ubermenschen?

Pity that history very clearly shows the exact opposite.
Funky Samoan 2 | 181
27 Feb 2012 #55
I don't trust German state, Germans are not different that other people , some bad some good.

A certain amount of suspiciousness and vigilance should always have its place, as long as it does not cloud your judgement when there is an opportunity to take. Now is the time that the German Polish relations finally overcome the antagonism, because in the end you will hardly find to people in Europe that have intermingeled so much. I know what I'm talking about because my nephews family name is Polensky, my cousin's Polonski, my brother is related by marriage to Skodnicki's and my brother in Berlin is married to a Ortzikowski. In my circle of friends there is a Sitarski, a Sabrowski and a Nowak.

If you are talking about individuals I absolutely agree with you but as a nation (an independent nation )we are much, much better than other states/nations.

You said it yourself. During the imperialistic times, I mean the time from 1850 until 1918, Poland did not exist as an independent nation and the Poles were forced to live as minorities in "foreign" states. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, that was one of the major European Powers until the partitions, was as selfish and aggressiv as any other European state was. Surely it was not more peaceful as the Holy Roman Empire, the progenitor state of modern Germany, that existed from 867 to 1806.

The Second Polish Republic was a state that was aggressive towards all its ethnic minorities, not being able to bridge the antipodes of the nationalistic idea of creating a state reserved for the Polish nation alone and the claim to recreate the boundaries of the old multiethnic Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Poland did also participate in the Destruction of the Czechoslovak state by annexing the Olsa territory. Of course this all does not justify all the terrible things that happened during the "4th Polish particition", but it certainly does not make Poland a better country.
Ironside 51 | 12,441
27 Feb 2012 #56
Pity that history very clearly shows the exact opposite.

And that is only your opinion.

So Poles are morally ubermenschen?

yeah!

I think it would be difficult to justify saying that Poland as a whole is is/was/has been any more or less morally superior to anywhere else with the obvious extreme exceptions

Not that difficult !
JonnyM 11 | 2,611
27 Feb 2012 #57
Not that difficult !

And?
Ironside 51 | 12,441
27 Feb 2012 #58
that would be long and totally off-topic !
Harry
28 Feb 2012 #59
And that is only your opinion.

Sadly it is a historical fact: just look at the way Poles behaved during the interbellum period, they broke more treaties than they kept!
Ironside 51 | 12,441
28 Feb 2012 #60
Post a thread about that or even better post thread "Harry's take on Polish History". Sadly your digression is off-topic in the thread.


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