Poland

From Metapedia
(Redirected from Poles)
Jump to: navigation, search
Anthem: Mazurek Dąbrowskiego(Dąbrowski's Mazurka)
Capital
and largest city
Warsaw
52°13′N 21°02′E / 52.217°N 21.033°E / 52.217; 21.033
Official languages Polish
Ethnic groups 96.7% Polish (due to the expulsions), 3.3% others
Demonym Poles
Government Parliamentary republic
Dukedom
 -  Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth elective monarchy July 1, 1569 - 1772/93 
 -  Polish Republic 1919 - 1939 
 -  Communist People's Republic of Poland 1945 
 -  Third Republic January 30, 1990 
 -  Water (%) 3.07
Population
 -  June 2010 estimate 38,192,000 (34th)
 -  December 2007 census 38,116,000 (34th)
 -  Density 120/km2 (83rd)
319.9/sq mi
Currency Złoty (PLN)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 -  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
1. ^b Although not official languages, Belarusian, Kashubian, Silesian, Lithuanian and German are used in 20 communal offices.

Poland (Polish: Polska; German: Polen), officially the Republic of Poland (Polish: Rzeczpospolita Polska), is a country in Eastern Europe, bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine and Belarus to the east; and the Baltic Sea, Lithuania and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian-occupied German territory, to the north. Including their occupied German provinces, the total area of the present day Polish state is 312,679 km² (120,728 sq mi), and it is the 5th largest country in Europe. Poland’s population in 2022 is 37.5 million people[1], concentrated mainly in urban areas. The Republic of Poland is made up of sixteen voivodeships (Polish: województwo) or counties, which includes the occupied territories. Poland is now also a member of NATO, OECD, the Visegrád Group alliance, and the European Union.

Despite half of Poland being illegally occupied German provinces, in 2022 Poland launched a claim for 1.2 billion Euros against today's Germany for World War II reparations, 77 years after the end of the war which many historians argue Poland was responsible for[2]. The German government have correctly dismissed this claim[3], the Potsdam Protocol stating very clearly that "The U.S.S.R. undertakes to settle the reparation claims of Poland from its own share of reparations."[4]

In the 21st century Poland, along with Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, has emerged supporting traditional family values and moral norms in opposing western Liberal degeneracy and immorality agendas as propagated via the European Union, which one politician stated is "worse than communism".[5] The Visegrád-4 have also publicly announced they will not accept the non-European fake refugees now flooding Europe.[6] For this opposition the EU is preparing a range of sanctions against all of these countries.[7]

History

See also: Slavs

The Polish people originated from the Slav tribes who migrated firstly from the Pripet region to the eastern Carpathians and then northwards to occupy, as their axis, the Vistula river basin. The Romans regarded the Vistula as the eastern frontier of the Germans.[8] The Teutons named the Slavs Vinithos or Venethas, rendered approximately by the Roman historian Tacitus as Venedi[9]; late Latin Venethae or Venedae, German Wenden. Shakhmatov has proved that the Slavs inherited this name from their former rulers, the Celtic Veneti, who had populated the district of the river Vistula.[10]

The term Polanie means the 'people of the plain' – the plain which slopes away gently to the northward of the Carpathians and the mountains of Bohemia - was applied to the tribes of Poles. The term Polska is not recorded prior to the tenth century, when one of their leaders, Duke Mieszko I, ruling in Posen (one of the more ancient Polish towns, like Gniezno, 30 miles to its east), considerably extended his authority over the other five tribes, and, having married a Christian (the Duke of Bohemia’s sister), was himself baptised in 967 and declared himself 'king'. His reign was the start of Poland’s history as a country notwithstanding that he acknowledged the feudal sovereignty or Imperial over-lordship of the Holy Roman Empire.[11][12][13] Poland as a state took time to become established. The power of its uncrowned provincial rulers was often disputed by the feudal landowners, who were building up big estates and who merely strengthened their own privileges by recognising a sovereign. The name Polonia first appears for Sclavinia under Mieszko's eldest son, Boleslaw I[14] 'the Brave' (r.992-1025) This king was expansionist and warred with the Bohemians and the Ruthenians, and conquered the Pomeranian tribes on the Baltic. In 999 he annexed Cracow, deposing its Duke. After beating back the Hungarians, he annexed Trans-Carpathian Slavonia (or Ruthenia) to his realm.[15] Polish territory underwent a gradual transformation through their invasion of neighbours and ducal marriages.

Beyond the river Oder the Poles' Teutonic neighbours, descendants of the German tribes which were once scattered all the way to the Vistula, were again spreading eastwards, regaining this territory, and also along the Baltic coast, and had forced the Slav tribes, particularly the Sorbs and the Wends, to vacate (or assimilate) any settlements they had made between the river Elbe and the Oder and, subsequently, much of the coastal region. The entire course of Polish history is interwoven with German-Polish rivalry, whereas Russia, Poland’s eventual neighbour to the east, presented no danger till much later. [16]

Christianity

In direct contact with the West, whence came the Franciscan and Dominican monks who gradually converted the Polish people to Christianity in the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries, Poland underwent a religious history and general development which paralleled those of Russia, or rather Kiev, under Byzantine influence.[17] Gniezno’s cathedral was founded (as a church) in the ninth or tenth centuries, and its bronze doors date from the twelfth century. It contains the tomb of St. Adalbert (d.977), the first (Bohemian) missionary of the Gospel to Poland and to Prussia, where the indigenous Prussians martyred him. During the visit of Otto III (r.996-1002), as Emperor and apostle, to the shrine of St. Adalbert at Gniezno, he established the first archbishopric, marking the coming of age of Poland as a Duchy under German influence. It has remained the seat of an Archbishop since the year 1000AD, and the first Kings of a so-called united Poland were crowned here up to 1230.[18] Posen also became the seat of a Bishop from the end of the tenth century.[19] Cracow too became an important Episcopal seat in the eleventh century, with a Gothic basilica being founded in 1223.[20]

Early towns

More than half the towns in mediaeval so-called Great Poland had developed from markets existing in the shadow of the forts which kept the roads and river-crossings secure. Posen, and Gniezno (considered the most ancient place in Poland[21]) had 5000 inhabitants each by the tenth century. This was the heartland of ethnic Poland which Poles today refer to as Great Poland. Polish towns made great strides in the thirteenth century. German colonisation made the towns grow faster, bringing with it the German system of municipal government known as the Magdeburg laws, which laws also facilitated growth. In Cracow, for instance, when the Tartars destroyed the town in 1241, it was rebuilt by German colonists in 1257.[22][23] Posen adopted German municipal law in 1253 with the immigration of Germans that year[24], and Cracow in 1257 following the rebuild. Warsaw, what became the main town of the Duchy of Mazovia, but which had been a mere village, was granted urban status in 1289.[25]

Early wars & expansion

Duke Boleslav 1st (992-1025) who had united the five main Polish tribes, was by no means inclined to continued feudal dependence; after the Emperor Otto's death he proceeded to conquer the borderlands between his own and the unofficial Saxon frontier; and in a series of campaigns he kept the Holy Roman Emperor Henry II (r.1014-1024) at bay. Boleslav had speedily decided to compete with Germany for the rule of the Western Slavs. Three wars with Henry left Boleslav in possession (1018) of Lusatia and more. His son Mieszko II was shorn of these conquests by Conrad II 'the Restorer' (1038-1058). Boleslav made peace with Henry in 1018, which allowed Boleslav the freedom to campaign further east against the Russian duchies. From then on Poland remained Roman Catholic and western-orientated in religion, eclectic in politics and culture, a duchy only rarely owing more than a perfunctory allegience to the German Emperor.[26] The violent Boleslaw II 'the Bold' (r.1058-79) broke his bonds with the Holy Roman Emperor, who was in dispute with Pope Gregory VII, and the latter crowned Boleslav as an independent king in 1076 (a title which had been renounced by his predecessor, Casimir (r.1034-58) 'the Restorer')[27]. 'King' Boleslav II squandered his energies in all-round aggression but he failed to annex the Wends to his west.[28] A civil war broke out, he was defeated and fled the country.

The titular Dukedom of Cracow, which had only been Polish since 1000 AD, and southern 'Poland' were ceded to Bohemia, and Poland once more became a feudatory of the German Empire under the new Duke, Ladislaus I (r.1079-1102). His successor, Duke Boleslaw III 'the Wrymouth' (r.1102-38) (who also died a feudatory of the German Emperor), had restored Polish fortunes to some extent and conquered Pomerania (held of the Holy Roman Emperor Lothar III who reigned 1133-1137), giving Poland a (temporary) seaboard. But having endured terrific internal strife, decreed in his Will that the 'kingdom' would be better divided into four hereditary Dukedoms for each of his four sons. A kind of family federation. One became Duke of Great Poland, another of the remnant of Silesia, another Cracow, another, half-heathen Mazovia[29]. The rising local magnates, dowered with estates, preferred these provincial Dukes. But the division of loyalties among them brought on a long period of dynastic struggle, intrigue, and national weakness. Poland soon lost conquered lands such as Pomerelia, whose originally independent Dukes are buried in the Cistercian Abbey Church at Oliva, outside Danzig. Also, by this time the now fully Germanized Silesia[30], had been divided into sixteen miniscule Dukedoms and was finally annexed by Bohemia.[31] More Civil Wars followed which encouraged foreign intervention. Boleslav IV (1146-73) submitted (1157) for the last time as a vassal of the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick Barbarossa. The remaining Wends, West Slav tribes largely settled between the Vistula and Elbe rivers and Pomerania, petitioned the Emperor for formal inclusion in the Empire, and Poland's conquest of these provinces was soon lost to the by now largely Germanised inhabitants,[32] The minor Piast Dukes in Silesia became wholly Germanized and invited in substantial numbers of German colonists. However, in 1241 the Tartar invasion took place and the then Regent, Henry II of Silesia 'The Pious', was defeated and slain in the battle of Liegnitz on April 9th. Whilst they did not return, the devastation inflicted on Poland generally left weakness and depopulation.[33]

Teutonic Order

See Teutonic Knights

Pomerelia had remained under a provincial Duke and the Poles sought again to replace him by conquest, giving them an outlet to the sea west of the pagan Prussian tribes. The Duke of Masovia also engaged in continual sporadic warfare with the Prussians, but was unable to achieve anything at all. Although the Danes had conquered Estonia, the Germans now entered upon the scene. In 1201 Albert von Buxtehude (d.1229), under the patronage of Pope Innocent III, led a crusade from Lubeck to found Riga, in Kurland, of which he became Bishop. In 1204 he founded the Knights of the Sword to maintain his conquests and to extend them at the expense of the pagans and the "schismatic" Russians.[34] In 1228, Conrad, Duke of Mazovia, came to an agreement with Herman von Salza, the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, giving the latter the province of Chelmno (Kulm) on condition that the Order would destroy once and for all the marauding Prussians. For the next 50 years the Order carried out their task, supported by Papal Bulls. The Order also eventually absorbed the failing neighbouring Livonian Order of the Knights of the Sword. When the Margrave of Brandenburg invaded the Duchy of Pomerelia and Danzig, the Order drove them out, infuriating the Poles. The Order had now become a territorial power, with a direct land connexion to Germany, and German mass migration took place under their encouragement. Their crusades against the pagan Lithuanians continued.[35]

Poland in 1370 at the death of Casimir 'the Great', showing his annexations of his neighbours' territories. Silesia and Sweidnitz were not part of Poland, and the territories south-east of the Duchy of Cracow were invaded and conquered.

The Lithuanian native princes had been extinguished in 1324 in battle with the Golden Horde, leading to a civil war and a succession war between Lithuania and Poland. The latter’s King Casimir III who had united most of Poland again, was an expansionist who now invaded the Halitsch Principality of Galicia. But he tried to exclude his distant and often vanquished kin of the Piast dynasty from the succession, and this led to further turmoil upon his death.[36] The personal union of Poland and Lithuania by the marriage of the Hungarian Princess Jadwiga (d.1398), heiress to the throne of Poland, and the Lithuanian Duke Jagiello (who became baptised a Christian as Wladislav II [1386-1434] of Poland), was a bold and brilliant move by these two nations. Although the Teutonic Order had purchased the Newmark, a province of Brandenburg, in 1402, it was already afflicted by internal local dissent. In addition there were constant skirmishes with the Poles & Lithuanians. Spurred on by the Bohemian Luxemburgs, Wenceslas and Sigismund, who warned the Knights that the Poles were planning war, the Order’s Grand Master declared war in 1409. Jagiello, and his cousin, the ruling Lithuanian warrior-Duke Vytautas, gathered all their strength, with, in addition, huge numbers of Czech and other mercenaries, schismatics, and even pagan Tartars. The encounter of the two great armies, the Polish-Lithuanian twice the size of the Order's, took place on July 15, 1410 at Tannenberg in Prussia. At first it appeared things were going in favour of the Order, being highly trained in warfare, but the tide gradually turned in favour of the larger force and ended in the Order's disastrous rout. The Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen was among the slain. The victors drew nearer together.[37][38] According to the imposed[39] Peace of Thorn in 1411 following the Order's defeat, the Order had to cede Samogita to Lithuania, and pay penal financial indemnities to the victors. To do this the monastic state were obliged to impose high taxes on their cities and towns to raise the funds. In the 1420s, Grand Master Paul von Rusdorf brought stability to the Order and its relations, but fighting with Poland resumed in 1431 during another simultaneous Lithuanian Civil War (1431–1435).

A further thirteen years' war was subsequently fought from about 1450 by the two powers using ferocious mercenaries on both sides with customary devastation. Gradually the Order was unable to sustain, financially and materially, such a long war, and after the Battle of Pluck in 1462 the Knights' began their retreat. By a second imposed[40] Peace of Thorn in 1466 the Order's State was forced to pay homage to the King of Poland as feudal overlord (much like Scotland did to England before Robert the Bruce), and Poland annexed Pomerelia. Danzig was permitted to retain her autonomy as a free Hanseatic city, as was the Prince-Bishopric of Elbing, but like the Order, to pay homage to the Polish Crown. In 1457 the Grand Master was expelled from his castle at Marienberg by Bohemian mercenaries and forced to settle with his retinue in the castle at Konigsberg.[41]

None of the territories conquered by Poland (such as Galicia) or annexed by them during this 200 year period were ethnically Polish.

Wars

In 1569 Poland forced Lithuania into a Commonwealth, at the latter's ultimate cost, and continued to be an expansionist power involved in almost continuous warfare at the expense of all her neighbours.

The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth armies had advanced into Latvia and were attempting to secure it and 'Polanize' it (as they had also done in Galicia). However, in 1621 the Swedes took Riga and advanced into Kurland. The unwanted Roman Catholic forces were now being driven out. In 1623 the King of Poland authorised a Scot, Robert Stewart, to raise a force of 7,000 men as in the same year the Swedish King declared that he would drive the Poles out of the parts of Prussia that they had also occupied. The Poles now turned to the Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor for support (although Poland was not in that empire, so this was a purely religious call for help). A truce advantageous to the Swedes was signed on September 16, 1629 at Altmark. By May 1635 Poland, now at war with Russia, said it was prepared to acknowledge Swedish possession of all Kurland and Livonia (a mere formality given these provinces were not Polish). However, the Swedes were oppressive occupiers who imposed heavy taxes.

By December 1654 the Swedes were again planning to attack both Poland and Russia, and troop reinforcements were sent to Kurland and Livonia. The following year Poland was invaded from two directions and capitulated. Sweden, however, now proposed to take for itself Pomerelia (called by Poland 'Royal Prussia') rather than restore it to Prussia. This brought the Swedes into potential conflict with Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg (the 'Great Elector') and Duke of Prussia, thus the monarch of Brandenburg-Prussia. But the latter could not compete militarily and signed an agreement in January 1656 whereby the feudal overlordship of Prussia, which the Polish Crown had imposed after the defeat of the Teutonic Knights in 1466, would now be assumed by the Swedish Crown. However the tide turned. The Poles fought back, mostly by guerrilla warfare. Frederick William was now obliged to support the Swedes, and the Brandenburg-Prussian-Swedish troops defeated a new Polish army outside Warsaw. At this point Tsar Alexei of Russia invaded Kurland-Livonia, laying siege to Riga in August 1656, taking Dorpat in October. Imperial (HRE) and Polish forces now invaded Kurland. Sweden's victorious tide was turning, and Frederick Wilhelm now changed horses again and achieved the promise of full sovereignty over all Prussia at the Treaty of Wehlau if he allied with King Jan Kazimierz of Poland who was also at war with Russia. At the Peace Treaty of Oliva (outside Danzig) in May 1660 the Polish King abandoned his claims to Kurland and Livonia, and acknowledged the full sovereignty of the Elector of Brandenburg over Prussia. The war between Poland and Russia was finally brought to an end in 1667 with further territorial cessions which brought about the abdication of the Polish King.[42]

The Partitions

About the middle of the seventeenth century Poland slipped into "the desperate and well-nigh irremediable decadence which continued unchecked for a hundred years, bringing the country to the verge of ruin...The nation lived in an anarchy thinly concealed under the forms of an elaborate republican constitution"[43][44] The elected monarch had been emasculated and from the 1570s "the State had become, in fact, as well as in name, a Republic."[45] The wars against the Swedes, Turks, and Muscovites dealt the Polish economy its final blow. "By the 18th century the once busy and thriving towns presented a perfect picture of desolation, business confined to the operations of Jewish money-lenders and petty traders. Poland was destitute."[46]

Throughout the Great Northern War, which wasted northern and central Europe for twenty years (1700-1720), all the belligerents treated Poland as if she had no political existence, lived off the country and systematically plundered it. The Polish Diet was the humble servant of the conqueror of the moment, and the leading magnates chose their own sides without the slightest regard for the interests of the country. The Lithuanians, for the most part, supported Sweden's Charles XII, while the Poles divided their allegiance between Augustus II, Elector of Saxony[47] and the Polish Stanislaus Leszczynski, whom Charles placed upon the Polish throne in 1704 and kept him there till 1709. At the end of the war Poland was ruined materially as well as politically. Augustus now proposed the three Great Powers should divide Poland between them. However, he died on 1 February 1733[48], with nothing further done.[49]

Leszczynski sought to regain the throne of Poland with a French army corps and 4,000,000 livres from Versailles, and on 26th August 1733 he was promptly elected King for a second time. However the Lithuanians dissented and solicited the intervention of Russia in favour of the Elector of Saxony, Augustus III, son of the late Elector and King, and in October a Russian army appeared at Warsaw. Leszczynski and his partisans were then besieged in the autonomous Hanseatic city-port of Danzig but eventually the Danzigers surrendered, with much damage being done to their beloved city. Leszczynski spent the rest of his life in Lotheringia (Lorraine). Augustus III of Saxony was now declared King (until his death in 1763). Poland, with its absentee monarch, now fell into decades of political anarchy, strife, and financial insolvency. Constitutional government had practically ceased.

On 7 September 1764 the Polish Diet elected, via colossal bribery and Russian threats, a new King, Stanislaus Poniatowski, who had been a lover of Catherine The Great of Russia, who was behind his appointment. She had foreseen that he would be a compliant tool in her interest, ready to obey her behests.[50] However the Polish Diet began oppressing all those in the country who were not Roman Catholics under new legislation passed in 1756. Russia and Prussia now protested and the Law was repealed in 1767. Minority members of the Diet met in a confederation at Bar agitating for the Law to be reinstated and for the recent treaty with Russia to be repudiated. They took up arms to enforce these demands. They solicited help from the Turks who thereupon declared war on Russia. This afforded an excuse for Russia and Prussia to send troops into Poland. In 1770 there was an outbreak of the Black Plague in Poland and the adjoining powers cordoned off the country. For many years past the partition of Poland had been in the air.[51] The Courts at Berlin and Vienna decided that the best mode of preserving the equilibrium of Europe was for all three powers to re-adjust their territories at the expense of a prostrate Poland. King Frederick II of Prussia (Frederick the Great - German: Friedrich der Große) in February 1769 sent Count Rochus Friedrich Lynar (1708-1783) to St. Petersburg to sound out the Empress Catherine The Great as to the expediency of a partition, and in August Joseph II of Austria, Holy Roman Emperor, solicited a meeting with Frederick and they met twice during that summer. In 1770 Austria revived an ancient claim of the Crown of Hungary and occupied the county of Zips, which was pledged to Hungary as security for a loan to Poland in 1442, which was never repaid. This act decided the other confederates. The first Treaty of Partition was signed at St. Petersburg between Russia and Prussia on the 6/17 February 1772; the second treaty which admitted Austria was signed 5/16 August the same year. The Polish Sejm reluctantly gave their consent on 18 August 1773. Russia obtained the originally Lithuanian palatinates of Vitebsk, Polotsk Mscislaw: 1586 square miles with a population of 550,000. Austria got Galicia (which Poland had invaded in 1340) minus Cracow: 1710 square miles, population 806,000. Prussia received the return of the maritime palatinates minus the autonomous city of Danzig, the palatinate of Kulm minus Thorn, what was called Great Poland as far as the Nitza, and the palatinates of of Marienberg and Ermland, some 629 square miles with a population of 370,000. With the exception of the province of Posen, all these Prussian territories had been previously forcibly taken by Poland from the Teutonic Order in 1466. Poland therefore lost about one-fifth of her population and one-fourth of her aggrandized territory in this, the First Partition.[52]

Russia continued to strengthen; and Frederick The Great died on 17th August 1786. The longstanding accord between Prussia and Russia came to an end. The following year the latter found herself at war with both Sweden and the Ottoman Empire. The Polish Diet raised Poland's army to 65,000 men, rejected an alliance with Russia, and established communications with the Western powers. Poland now endeavored to strengthen her position by an advantageous alliance with Prussia. King Frederick Wilhelm II stipulated, at first, that Poland should relinquish her nominal sovereignty over Danzig ("that little republic" - Frederick's Memoirs), and give up the town of Thorn, which had been founded by the Teutonic Knights. The English Prime Minister Pitt endeavored to persuade Poland that the protection of Prussia was worth the sacrifice. An alliance was then concluded between Poland, Prussia and Austria, on 20 March 1791, which engaged the two powers to guarantee each others possessions and render mutual assistance in case either were attacked. However, political anarchy continued in Poland and a revolution broke out on 3rd May 1791. The result was a radical French Revolutionary style equalitarian new Constitution for Poland, which became a hereditary constitutional monarchy with very limited powers, with Ministers and duennial parliaments.

Not everyone was happy with the new Constitution and another uprising broke out, and Russia declared war in its support. Frederick Wilhelm of Prussia declined to be involved as he had not been consulted about the new Constitution. The rebels with Russian assistance defeated the Polish army and won the day. The reformers fled abroad. The new Constitution of 3rd May was abolished. The Russian army now poured into the eastern part of the so-called Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Prussians, alarmed that Russia would occupy the whole country, occupied Great Poland and surrounding counties. The second Treaty of Partition was signed on 23rd September 1793 by which Russia obtained all the eastern provinces (virtually all Lithuanian) extending from Livonia to Moldavia, a quarter of a million square miles. Prussia got Dobrzyn, Kujavia and the greater part of the former Great Poland, with Thorn and Danzig (the latter being surrendered by the Polish King with whom it was in personal union). Poland was now reduced to one-third of her 1771 dimensions, with a population of about three and a half million.[53]

Aristocrats-in-exile now gathered in Leipzig to plan a 'national rising', with the Polish hero Kosciuszko approaching the French Jacobins in Paris for assistance, in January 1794. He suggested a league of republics against a league of sovereigns! The Committee of Public Safety in Paris declared it could not support an insurrection engineered by aristocrats. A military revolt by the remnants of the Polish army was now gathering at Cracow and Kosciuszko went there. The army mutiny now became yet another revolution. The Polish and Russian armies fought it out throughout April with the Polish army at one point 'liberating' both Warsaw, and Vilnius - the capital of Lithuania. Kosciuszko was appointed Dictator, with a Supreme Council. However the Polish army had, in its successful moments, also rashly invaded those parts of Poland ceded to Prussia, which had been poorly garrisoned. Prussia now joined with Russia, with the Poles suffering their first serious reverse on June 5th. The inveterate lawlessness of the Poles now asserted itself, and violent and ceaseless dissensions, both in the Supreme Council and in the army, neutered the political situation. Anarchy returned. On October 10th and 29th the Polish army met with final staggering defeats. It had all been for nothing. On the 24th October 1795 Prussia acceded to the Austro-Russian Third Partition of 3rd January, and the distribution of the conquered provinces was finally regulated on the 10th October 1796. Austria received those parts of Galicia she did not previously get, including Cracow, as well as parts of southern Mazovia. Prussia took Podlachia and the rest of the old Duchy of Mazovia, with Warsaw; and Russia all the rest. Poland had ceased to exist as a sovereign country. With this a great many Poles emigrated.[54]

Poland had been in conflict with the Russian Empire, Prussia and the Austrian Empire, who, after over a century of near continuous warfare and anarchic turmoil, finally partitioned the country thrice between 1772 and 1795 wiping it off the political map of Europe. Napoleon later created a short-lived Grand Duchy of Warsaw as a sop to Polish support for him (against everyone else in Europe), but upon his demise in 1816 a Kingdom of Poland was established by Russia, Prussia and Austria within the borders of the Russian Empire by the Congress of Vienna. This became commonly known as 'Congress Poland'. It has been argued by many that in fact this 'kingdom' (which became one of the Tsar's titles) represented the closest ethnic borders to what constituted native Polish lands (see ethnographical map below).

In 1858 the population of 'Congress Poland' (the core Russian Kingdom of Poland) was estimated at 4,800,000 comprising 3,560,000 Poles, 240,000 Germans, 220,000 Russians, 185,000 Lithuanians and Letts, 500 others, 2,075 travellers/merchants, and 595,000 Jews.

The Great War

In August 1914 the Tsar recognised the expediency of considering the question of the reconstitution of [Congress] Poland, and the Grand Duke Nicholas, by the Tsar's orders, issued a manifesto foreshadowing the grant of a large measure of autonomy. The war delayed matters and in July 1916 Sazanoff, the Russian Foreign Minister, resurrected the proposal. According to the scheme submitted by him the future Polish Government was to consist of a Viceroy, a council of Ministers, and two chambers, with full administrative powers in all matter save the army. diplomacy, customs, strategic railways and common finance, which were to remain under the control of the Imperial Government.[55]

Versailles Treaty and thereafter

Map showing ethnically Polish people in 1900. Congress Poland is outlined with a red border. It will be seen that Congress Poland contained the ethnic Polish heartland, apart from the province of Posen and the Polish settlers in the German provinces.
German language-speaking areas after the official national census of 1910.

For centuries Poland, having invaded adjoining provinces and countries (see also: Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth), and held them for often short periods, had no permanent ethnic borders. Writing in 1915 Lord Eversley pointed out that in 1770 two-thirds of the people in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth were not ethnic Poles.[56] Apart from "Polish chauvinist imperialist fantasies"[57] as to what actually constituted Poland, the natural Polish borders were a much disputed issue.[58]

Polish nationalists had been formulating absurd claims in the latter part of the 19th century and in 1892 the Polish Archbishop of Posen and Gnesen felt obliged to say:

Any attempt to identify Silesia with Poland’s pre-1772 status is entirely unjustified and fallacious. It implies no more nor less than an attempt at new booty…. ~ Roman Catholic Archbishop of Posen and Gnesen , Florian Stablewski, in the Kurjer Poznanski, 9 October 1892.

In 1919, two fanatical Polish nationalists, Roman Dmowski and Ignace Paderewski, both born and brought up in the Russian Kingdom of Poland, were invited to put their case to the Paris Peace Conference, following a "vigorous and well-organised campaign in the United States, England and France in favour of a Greater Poland". Dmowski spoke for a staggering five hours stating what he saw as Poland's claims, including a reversion to the frontiers of 1772 regardless of populations & ethnicities and without "plebsicite circuses". (Clearly democracy was not at the top of his list.) The Polish delegation called for all the territories in the old Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth to be formally part of the new resurrected Poland, without any consultation whatsoever with the Ruthenians or the Lithuanians. Indeed, the Poles had the audacity to state to the western plutocratic liberal Allies that the Lithuanians were a "primitive people" and only still existed because of Polish assistance and practical help!; and, outrageously, that Poland had "never imposed upon any nation our language or religion"![59] Their request regarding Lithuania was refused. Despite living and working some years in exile in Lemberg in Austrian Galicia, Dmowski referred to the Germans as "the enemies of Poland and of humanity". He was supported by France's M. Clemenceau who wanted "to smash Germany to defenceless atoms".[60] President Woodrow Wilson stated that "the only real interest of France in Poland is in weakening Germany by giving Poland territory to which she has no right".[61] He added that it would be a mistake to extend the new Polish State over territory patently German. Nevertheless, "more than any other member of the Peace Conference President Wilson was the creator of the New Poland"[62] in the subsequent botched Treaty of Versailles and the Treaty of Trianon, opposed vigorously by Germany, whose delegates stated regarding Danzig that the proposals stood "in direct opposition to all assurances given in the declarations of President Wilson" and would lead "to violent opposition and a continuous state of war in the East." The imposed settlement at Versailles was regarded in Germany as "an outrage".[63] Poland was resurrected as an independent country, described by Molotov as "the monstrous bastard of Versailles"[64], but awarded German provinces such as West Prussia - what became known as the Polish Corridor; - and Galicia (Red Ruthenia) (in a League of Nations 25 year mandate) without a plebiscite, and other German provinces where many, often a majority, ethnic Germans lived[65]. Tomáš G Masaryk, writing in the London Saturday Review in October 1930 said:

As for the Polish Corridor, it may be definitely said that Germany will never tolerate a condition of things by which East Prussia is separated from the German Reich.

Gates of Warsaw

During the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth vast tracts of territory in Lithuania, and their former provinces annexed by Poland, were taken over by Polish landowners and they continued in possession right down to the Russian Revolution of 1917, after which they fled and took refuge in the new Poland. "They not unnaturally put strong pressure on the Polish Government to reconquer their lands for them."[66] Meanwhile the victorious plutocratic Western Allies proposed that the eastern frontier of Poland should be drawn as to include only those territories where the Polish population was in a majority. The Poles replied that this was insulting. Polish patriots called for action, as they wanted to see a Greater Poland (including territories not historically ethnically Polish, ever), and it was in such a mood that Marshal Pilsudski, the head of the new Polish State and the Commander-in-Chief of the (French-armed) army, set out in the spring of 1920 to conquer east Ukraine for Poland. The Soviet army, disorganised by the civil war, made a feeble resistance; and Polish troops quickly reached Kiev. By June, however, the Soviet forces had reorganised and were able to launch a massive counter-offensive, which not only drove the Poles fast out of the Ukraine, but brought Soviet troops within a few miles of Warsaw, where the Soviet offensive, like the Polish offensive before it, became exhausted. The Polish army again now went on another offensive by marching due east into White Russia where they were again halted by the Soviets. Both sides were totally exhausted and had outstripped their supply lines, and an armistice was concluded upon a line 150 miles east of the ethnographical frontier proposed by the Allies. In 1921 the Treaty of Riga confirmed the armistice line as the border between Poland and Soviet Russia. A victory of sorts for Poland despite the tract of land being sparsely populated and of poor quality.[67] Since that time, the Poles have turned around their rash attempt at conquest into a great propaganda offensive in the West saying that the Soviets were invading Poland and only their great defence at the "Gates of Warsaw" saved a communist invasion of western Europe. For those ignorant of the true facts this is a nice story.

"The Poles, haughty, headstrong, and inordinately proud, deeply resented the patronising attitude of the French whose assertions that the military mission under their General Weygand saved Warsaw from capture by the Bolsheviks in 1920 were hotly denied by the Poles."[68]

Encouraged by their success, Poland now invaded Lithuania under General Zeligowski, in October 1920, and annexed the province and city of Vilna,[69][70] in a flagrant violation of armistice terms.[71] Pilsudski admitted later that this operation had been carried out with his knowledge and approval. Protests from the League of Nations failed to dislodge the Poles and Poland was left in possession[72][73] until 1939 when Lithuania was able to recover it.

The French Government supported Poland's expansionst ambitions and thus found itself once again in violent disagreement with the British, who did not. In February 1921 a Franco-Polish alliance was signed which included a secret military convention. The French sent [further] large quantities of military equipment to Poland, despite the alliance not being universally popular in France. Many suggested that a belligerent country such as Poland which was on singularly bad terms with both Russia and Germany might well prove to be a tiresome liability.[74] Nevertheless, the French loan of 400 million francs for the purchase of war material from France (only) took place under stringent mortgage conditions against Poland's natural resources.[75] Writing in his book The Shape of Things to Come (1933), H. G. Wells stated on the restoration of the new Poland that "instead of a fine, spirited and generous people there appeared a narrowly patriotic government which developed into an aggressive, vindictive and pitiless dictatorship."[76] Francesco Nitti had already prophisised trouble:

This new Poland, which with its imperialist obsessions is preparing for itself and its newly risen people a terrible destiny - unless it amends its errors in time - fulfils two absurd conditions: that of separating Germany and Russia, and that of being the military agent of France against Germany.[77]

German revanchism

The objective of German Foreign Policy between the wars was the revision of the Versailles Treaty and territorial revanchism was a consistent characteristic of the all their Governments. Germany thereafter sought to use Article 19 of the League of Nations' Covenant (which was incorporated in the Versailles Treaty), which said:

The Assembly may from time to time advise the reconsideration by Members of the League of Treaties which have become inapplicable, and the consideration of international conditions which might endanger the peace of the world.[78]

The 1920 Social Democratic Party of Germany Congress affirmed "We shall never accept the diktat of force as permanent legal order. We shall never relinquish the principle of self-determination and we shall strive for the unification of all Germans."[79] In 1925 the German Government rejected Georgy Chicherin, the Soviet Foreign Commissar's proposal for a joint concerted action "to push Poland back to her ethno-graphic boundaries."

Meanwhile throughout the inter-war period Poland organised two insurrections in and against Upper Silesia both involving officers and soldiers from General Haller's army, in and out of uniform, resulting in Allied troops being sent to the region.[80][81] Poland argued that there was a large ethnic Polish population. The Germans correctly argued that the overwhelming majority of these had emigrated from Russian Congress Poland into Upper Silesia to work in the great German industries there where wages which were far greater than those in Russia.[82] Poland went on to annex important parts of the province demonstrating the impotence of the Allies and the League of Nations. Throughout all the occupied German territories Poland oppressed the ethnic German population, many whose families had lived and worked in them for centuries. This became a major grievance for all German governments as there was a continuous flow of dispossessed refugees from the old provinces.[83][84]

Minorities

Like the Czechs, the Poles came down hard on all non-ethnic-Polish minorities in the country, Germans, Ruthenians and Jews. From 1920 until 1933 Frederick Augustus Voigt was the Manchester Guardian's correspondent in Germany, and although based in Berlin, Voigt travelled widely and also ventured further afield in central and eastern Europe, taking a particular interest in the political conditions within Poland. His particular interest was in exposing to the world their political repression and state terror and he caused a sensation with his reports on Polish attacks on the Ruthenians in Galicia.

The political repression against the German minorities, most of whom had, before 1919, lived in provinces which were in Germany, is well-recorded. In July 1934 Poland declared to the Assembly of the League of Nations that she no longer recognised the right of the League to concern itself with minority questions in Poland - a virtual denunciation of the Versailles Minorities Treaty.[85]

Alliances

Meanwhile Poland was building alliances. A crucial event, however, was the Arbitration Treaty signed at Locarno between the former WW1 Allies and Germany. This Arbitration Treaty was between Germany and Poland. The fundamental flaw was not only would Britain and Italy not guarantee to come to the aid of the victim by reason of a violation of the arbitration clauses, but it also meant that there was no undertaking by Germany to accept the frontiers as imposed in 1919/1922, so that any violation of those frontiers would not automatically place Germany in the wrong. Further, although Germany undertook not to resort to force from the start but to accept arbitration, the Germans made it clear at the time that this did not mean that under certain conditions force would not be eventually employed. As a result of this, France signed new alliance treaties with Poland and Czechoslovakia on the same day as the Locarno treaties but nothing to do with them. How France could assist these countries, militarily, remains the question as after signing the initial Treaty of Mutual Guarantee they could not cross German borders.

1930s

After the National Socialist Party came to government in Germany in January 1933 it proposed firstly border revisions (as proposed since 1919 by previous governments). These fell on deaf ears. Hitler now proposed to Poland an extra-territorial motorway and trunk railway linking Germany with East Prussia and the Free City of Danzig. This, and the question of the Free City returning to the Reich[86] itself, was flatly refused by Poland[87], notwithstanding Poland did not have sovereignty over Danzig but only oppressive and contested 'rights', and was ultimately one of the principal causes of the outbreak of war between them and Germany, leading to World War II.

Even before Versailles, President Theodore Roosevelt stated prophetically: "The nation has as a matter of course a right to abrogate a treaty in a solemn and official manner for what she regards as a sufficient cause, just exactly as she has a right to declare war or exercise another power for a sufficient cause."[88]

Following the Munich Agreement Poland decided it would now pounce upon Czechoslovakia. On 30 September 1938 the Polish Ambassador delivered a "Note" to the Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs in Prague "couched in offensive terms and demanding immediate surrender to Poland of Teschen and Freistadt."[89]

World War II

In an exceptionally provocative speech, Marshal Edward Śmigły-Rydz declares Hitler an enemy of the State, at Kraków, 6th August 1939.
Postage stamp of the General Government (Poland).

In September 1939, after 20 years of considerable provocation by Poland against every single neighbour it had[90][91][92][93][94][95][96][97], two thirds of the country was invaded by Germany and the eastern third by the Soviet Union. Its military, despite being equipped with modern weaponry by, mainly, France[98], was completely defeated and its government fled abroad. Great Britain, who had, in March, given a "blank cheque" guarantee of support to Poland in the event that she was attacked or invaded now declared war on Germany, therefore widening a local conflict, effectively starting World War II. Britain failed, however, to declare war on the Soviet Union. Poland was quickly and decisively defeated by Germany with the Soviet Union entering the eastern third of the country.

Potsdam

After World War II all of Poland was occupied by the Soviet Union emerging as a communist puppet state within the Eastern Bloc under the control and tutelage of the Soviet Union. At the Potsdam Conference the plutocratic Western Allies were presented with Stalin's fait accompli that he had illegally and without any consultation with the other Allies transferred the "administration" of the German provinces in the official Soviet Zone of Occupation, west to the rivers Oder and the Western Neisse, to its puppet communist government of Poland.[99][100] This included (with the exception of the Kaliningrad enclave) Pomerania, most of East Prussia, and Danzig, which had never in history been constituent sovereign parts of Poland (although periodically invaded by them). The German population who had their homes and farms there for up to 800 years and who had not fled, were ruthlessly expelled and/or murdered, their entire properties stolen and occupied.[101][102][103][104][105] President Truman and the British delegations protested at these actions. Byrnes wrote "we specifically refrained from promising to support at the German [Potsdam] Peace Conference any particular line as the western frontier of Poland." The Berlin Protocol declared: "The three heads of government reaffirm their opinion that the final delimitation of the western frontier of Poland should await the [final] peace settlement." Byrnes continues: "In the light of this history, it is difficult to credit with good faith any person who asserts that Poland's western boundary was fixed by the conferences, or that there was a promise that it would be established at some particular place." In the east of Poland 180,000 square kilometers of territory was annexed by the Soviet Union.[106]

Lithuania became also a Soviet Republic, and the eastern and south-eastern provinces (i.e:Galicia & Ruthenia), which Poland had variously occupied by conquest & mandate previously, were annexed by the Soviet Union.

Independence from Soviets

In 1990-91 communist rule was overthrown (or rather dissolved) and Poland became what is informally known as the Third Polish Republic. The pre-war constitution was however not restored, and much of the present new constitution is quasi-communist and hard-line socialist in content. An example being that the great estates and all the land and property stolen from its owners by the communist state has not been restored to the rightful owners, nor has compensation been paid. It is difficult to see how this is permitted in the EU.

Jewish Question

Published in 2018.
Jews in Poland in 1931.

Poland had first confirmed Jewish liberties by charter in 1265, and from that point in time Poland witnessed the growth of Europe's most important Jewish refuge.[107] It eventually grew to a vast Jewish population, estimated in the first half of the 20th century as 9-10% of its population.[108][109] This resulted in the inevitable social unrest. During and after The Great War there were significant violent pogroms against Jews across Poland.[110] Nitti, former Prime Minister of Italy, said in 1922 that Poland was unable to assimilate its Jews[111] - and the government "encouraged" emigration. Between 1919 and 1935, Jewish emigration from Poland to Palestine totaled 107,958, with 27,843 (45% of the total number of immigrants) in 1935 alone. "This was due to political pressure in Poland".[112] In 1935 and 1936 a further 23,291 arrived in Palestine and in 1939 and 1940 a quarter of Jewish immigrants into Palestine in each year held Polish citizenship; this continued over the next three years with 16.6%, 18.1% and 23.9%.[113]

In 1931 Poland was reckoned to have 500 ghettos. A speaker at the World Jewish Congress in the summer of 1932 declared that the suicide rate in the ghettos had increased 25 per cent in the last three years, and that about 90 per cent of the ghetto's inhabitants had tuberculosis. Jewish journalist Saloman Spitzer (1859-1941), who had a special interest in the squalid Warsaw ghetto, which had open sewage canals in the streets, stated "there are about 3,500,000 Jew in Poland. 3,000,000 of them are paupers and 490,000 are destitute. The rest can barely make a living". He said emigration was therefore economically impossible for them. "The gates of the USA are closed, and Palestine's are only half open. They could not build ships fast enough to take away all the Jews if they had the money and knew where to go!" he said, adding that Jews were looking forward to the new Poland, but that was all now forgotten. "Poland to the Poles" was the motto and Jews were excluded and oppressed. Since 1920 Jews had been excluded as judges, from the police and postal services and, as far as possible from the civil service; many Jews had been bank directors in former years, they were now out. Anti-semitic posters in the streets said "We must not allow the Jew to deprive the Polish worker of his bread", "Don't patronize the Jew!", "Buy only from Polish shops!" and "Poland awake! Why do you take your money to the Jew, the enemy of your race and religion?" German businesses in those provinces which now found themselves in Poland had been nationalised. The Germans had employed Poles and Jews without discrimination. Now the Jews have been dismissed. Jewish firms with long traditions and excellent standing were refused banking facilities, while new Polish firms were given credit facilities.[114]

On October 20, 1936 Poland's Foreign Minister, Joseph Beck, told the British Ambassador in Warsaw, Sir Howard Kennard, that he was concerned about the "Jewish problem" and that the Polish peasants in particular "were becoming more restive in regard to the Jewish monopoly of business." M.Beck "hoped that Jewish emigration to Palestine might be resumed on a 'larger scale' at some future date, [but] he felt that this was not sufficient for Jewish requirements and that some other outlets must be found for them."[115]

In 1937 renewed anti-semitic action broke out in Poland. Jews were banned from the National Totalitarian (Polish: Sanation) Party, banned from the medical profession, and their lawyers restricted. A serious pogrom occurred in Brest-Litovsk in May, and the Obóz Zjednoczenia Narodowego (O.Z.O.N. - Camp of National Union) Party proclaimed an "anti-Jewish month" in September - rigorously observed by the right-wing parties and groupings.[116] With the co-operation of the French, the Polish government commissioned a task force in 1937 to examine the feasibility of deporting Polish Jews to Madagascar. The head of the commission was Mieczysław Lepecki. However the commission decided the numbers the island could accommodate were insufficient for their proposed resettlement plans.[117][118]

In early October 1938 the Polish government announced that all Polish passports would become invalid at the end of the month unless they received a special stamp before then, obtainable only in Poland. This measure was meant to rid Poland effectively for all time of all Polish Jews living in foreign countries, most of whom were in Germany. Many of the approximately 70,000 Polish Jews living in Germany at the time had arrived after the First World War. Of course, the German government now feared that it would have to permanently accept these 70,000 Jews. The German government tried to negotiate this issue with the Poles, but they flatly refused. On 28 October, just two days before the deadline, German police rounded up between 15,000 and 17,000 Polish Jews, mostly adult males, from across the Reich and transported them to the German-Polish border. The deportees traveled in regular German passenger trains with more than adequate space. Contrary to some claims, they were not crammed into cattle cars. The deportees were well provided with food and medical care. Red Cross personnel and medical doctors accompanied them on the trains. The Polish border officials were surprised when the first trainloads arrived at the border, and they let the Jews back into Poland. At about the same time, the Polish government was deporting German Jews back to Germany. The next day, 29 October, the Polish and German governments suddenly agreed to stop the deportations of their respective Jewish populations to each other's countries. The deportations were completely halted that night.[119]

Following World War Two, further pogroms took place. On 11th August 1945 Poles in Kraków engaged in a pogrom against Jews in the city, killing one and wounding five. On 4th July, 1946 a pogrom took place in Kielce and 42 Jews died. Many more fled.

Relevant maps

Greater Germany showing rough locations of the German tribes.  
Roman map of Greater Germany with its border on the river Vistula.  
Germany showing the slow incursions of the Slavs to the west.  
Poland about 1386.  
Poland's land gains after the Versailles Treaty June 1919.  
Hitler's proposals for transit across the Corridor 1938-9.  
Map of the General Government (Poland) Sept 1939- early 1945. Note the inclusion of Galicia.  
Poland after WWII, showing the occupied German provinces.  
Poland after WWII with the occupied German provinces.  

See also

References

  1. https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/poland-population/
  2. See: [1]
  3. https://www.euronews.com/2023/01/03/germany-snubs-polands-claim-for-world-war-2-reparations
  4. Balfour, Michael, Four-Power Control in Germany and Austria 1945-1946, Oxford University Press, U.K., 1956, p.87.
  5. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-53039864
  6. https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/hungary-slovakia-czech-republic-poland-united-against-migrant-quotas/
  7. https://rmx.news/european-union/eu-gears-up-for-sanctions-against-hungary-poland/
  8. Bury, Professor J. B., The Cambridge Medieval History, edited by H.M.Gwatkin, M.A., and J.P.Whitney, B.D., vol.ii, Cambridge University Press UK, 1913, chapter xiv "The Expansion of the Slavs", pps: 425-6.
  9. Portal, Professor Roger, The Slavs, Paris 1965, London, 1969, p.21.
  10. Bury, et al, 1913, p.425-6 and notes.
  11. Portal, Roger, The Slavs, France 1965, London UK, 1969, p.70. ISBN 0-297-76313-X
  12. Gurney, Gene, Kingdoms of Europe, New York, 1982, p.506-7. ISBN 0-517-543958
  13. Previté-Orton, C.W., The Shorter Cambridge Medieval History, Cambridge University Press, U.K., 1952, vol.2, p.743.
  14. Fuhrmann, Horst, Germany in the High Middle Ages c1050-1200, Cambridge University Press, 1986, p.22, ISBN 0-521-26638-6
  15. Gurney, 1982, p.507.
  16. Portal, 1969, p.70-1.
  17. Portal, 1969, p.70-1.
  18. Baedeker, Karl, Northern Germany, 14th revised edition, Leipzig & London, 1904, p.182.
  19. Baedeker, 1904, p.180.
  20. Baedeker, Karl, Austria-Hungary, 10th revised edition, Leipzig & London, 1905, p.277.
  21. Baedeker, 1904, p.182
  22. Baedeker, 1905, p.277.
  23. Martel, René, The Eastern Frontiers of Germany, London, 1930, p.43: The Polish Delegation from Warsaw who arrived in Paris in March 1919, specifically stated that Cracow "at one time had a German majority" population.
  24. Baedeker, 1904, p.180.
  25. Portal, 1969, p.73-5.
  26. Brooke, Christopher, Europe in the Central Middle Ages 962-1154, 2nd edition, London, 1987, pps:58-9 and 69.
  27. Gurney, 1982, p.507-8.
  28. The Shorter Cambridge Medieval; History by C. W. Previte-Orton, vol.ii, Cambridge University Press, 1952, p.743-4.
  29. Previté-Orton, 1952, p.744.
  30. Davies, Norman, Heart of Europe, Clarendon Press, Oxford UK, 1984, p.286.
  31. Gurney, 1982, p.508-9.
  32. Davies, 1984, p.286.
  33. Previté-Orton, 1952, p.745.
  34. The Northern Crusades - The Baltic and the Catholic Frontier 1100-1525 by Eric Christiansen, London, 1980, p.94-6.
  35. Previté-Orton, 1952, pps:745-7.
  36. Previté-Orton, 1952, p.924-5.
  37. Previté-Orton, 1952, p.1014-5.
  38. Turnbull, Stephen, Tannenberg 1410, Osprey Publishing Ltd., U.K., 2003, ISBN 978-1-84176-561-7
  39. "It has come to be felt that there is a moral taint about treaties signed under duress"...[making them] morally discredited." Carr, Professor Edward Hallett, The Twenty Years' Crisis 1919 - 1939 Macmillan, London, 1939, "The Sanctity of Treaties", p.241-1.
  40. "It has come to be felt that there is a moral taint about treaties signed under duress"...[making them] morally discredited." Carr, 1939, "The Sanctity of Treaties", p.241-1.
  41. McDonogh, 1994, p.22.
  42. Kirby, David, Northern Europe in the Early Modern Period - The Baltic World 1492-1772, London, 1990, pps: 118-9, 122-3, 147, 169-191. ISBN 0-582-00410-1
  43. The Second Partition of Poland by Dr. Robert Howard Lord, PhD., Harvard University Press, USA & Oxford University Press, London, 1915, p.8-9.
  44. The Partitions of Poland by Lord Eversley, London,1915, p.18-19.
  45. Lord, 1915, p.10.
  46. Lord, 1915, p.14-15.
  47. Most commonly known as Augustus the Strong, he was Elector of Saxony from 1694, as well as King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania in the years 1697–1706 and from 1709 until his death in 1733. He belonged to the Albertine line of the House of Wettin.
  48. Augustus's body was buried in the Royal Wawel Cathedral in Kraków, but his heart rests in the Dresden Cathedral. His only legitimate son, Augustus III of Poland, became king in 1733.
  49. History of Austria-Hungary and Poland by H. Wickham Steed, Prof. Walter Alison Phillips, and David Hannay (and used in the 11th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica), London, 1914, p.129.
  50. Eversley, 1915, pps:35-39.
  51. Eversley, 1915, pps:38-45.
  52. Steed et al, 1914, p.130-131.
  53. Steed et al, 1914, p.133-134.
  54. Steed et al, 1914, p.134-135.
  55. Buchanan, G.C.B., G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O., Sir George, My Mission to Russia Cassell & Co., London, et al, vol.ii, 1923, p.14-15.
  56. Eversley, 1915, p.15.
  57. Powell, E.Alexander, Embattled Borders, London, 1928, p.287.
  58. Woodward, Professor E.L. & Butler, Rohan, editors, Documents on British Foreign Policy 1919-1939, First series, vol.iii, 1919, HMSO London, 1949, pps:348-355, for the claims of Poland put before the western Allies in 1919 and the comments made upon them by the Allied representatives, notably Lloyd George.
  59. Woodward, Professor E.L., and Butler, Rohan, Documents on British Foreign Policy 1919-1939, First Series, vol.iii, 1919, HMSO, London, 1949, p.352.
  60. The Polish Corridor and the Consequences by Sir Robert Donald, G.B.E., LL.D., London, 1929, pps.11-17
  61. Woodrow Wilson and World Settlement by Raymond S. Baker, New York, 1922, pps: 2 and 60.
  62. Donald, 1929, p.17.
  63. Kimmich, 1968, pps:21 & 33.
  64. Kitchen, 1988, p.102.
  65. Powell, 1928 pps:266-291.
  66. Carr, 1945, p.34.
  67. Carr, 1945, p.34-5.
  68. Powell, E. Alexander, Embattled Borders, John Long Ltd., London, 1928, p.287-8.
  69. Nitti, 1922, p.181.
  70. Powell, 1928, p.266-7.
  71. Kitchen, Professor Martin, Europe between the Wars, Longman & Co., London & New York, 1988, p.51, ISBN: 0-582-01741-6
  72. Carr, 1945, p.36.
  73. Kitchen, 1988, p.51.
  74. Kitchen, 1988, p.51.
  75. Powell, 1928, p.288.
  76. Cited by Colonna, 1939, p.76.
  77. The Decadence of Europe by Francesco S. Nitti, former Prime Minister of Italy, London, 1922, cited in Dawson, 1933, p.93.
  78. Danger Spots of Europe by Bernard Newman, London, 1938, p.20.
  79. Kimmich, 1968, Preface, and p.34.
  80. Silesia Revisited by Lt.Col. Graham Seton Hutchison, D.S.O., M.C., F.R.G.S., member of the Upper Silesia Plebiscite Commission 1920-21, London, 1929.
  81. The British in Germany 1918-1930 by David G. Williamson, New York & Oxford, 1991, ISBN: 0-85496-584-X
  82. The Formation of a Modern Labour Force: Upper Silesia 1865-1914 by Lawrence Schofer, University of California Press, & London, 1975, ISBN: 0-520-02651-9
  83. Blanke, Professor Richard, Orphans of Versailles: The Germans in Western Poland 1918-1939, University Press of Kentucky, 1993, ISBN: 0-8131-1803-4
  84. The German Minority in Interwar Poland by Professor Winson Chu, Cambridge University Press, 2012, ISBN: 978-1-107-00830-4
  85. Carr, Professor Edward Hallett, International Relations since the Peace Treaties MacMillan, London, 1937, revised 1940, 1941 and 1945, p.203.
  86. Mason, John Brown, The Danzig Dilemma, Stanford University Press & Oxford (UK) University Press, 1946.
  87. The French Yellow Book (1938-39) English-language edition, London, 1940, p.52, telegram 43, dated 4 Feb 1939.
  88. Pringle, H. F., Theodore Roosevelt, p.309, cited in Carr, Professor Edward Hallett, The Twenty Years' Crisis 1919 - 1939, Macmillan, London, 1939, "The Sanctity of Treaties", p.234.
  89. Woodward, Prof.E.L., Butler, Rohan, Lambert, Margaret, editors, Documents on British Foreign Policy 1919-1939, Third Series, vol.iii, HMSO, London, 1950, p.54: British Ambassador at Prague telegram to Viscount Halifax in London.
  90. Powell, 1928, p.288-9.
  91. Donald, 1929
  92. German White Book - Documents concerning the last phase of the German-Polish Crisis, German Library of Information, New York, 1939.
  93. The Origins of the Second World War by Prof. A.J.P. Taylor, London, 1962.
  94. The Free City:Danzig and German Foreign Policy by Prof. Christoph M. Kimmich, Yale University Press, 1968.
  95. Germany and the League of Nations by Prof. Christoph M. Kimmich, University of Chicago Press,1976.
  96. The Origins of Modern Germany by Prof. G. Barraclough, Oxford, 1949.
  97. Walendy, Udo, Truth for Germany - The Guilt Question of the Second World War, Germany 1965 & 1981; English language translation 2008, USA & UK, ISBN 978-0-906879-82-5
  98. Powell, 1928, p.288, refers to France's loan to Poland of 400 million francs for the purchase of war material in France.
  99. Speaking Frankly by James F. Byrnes, New York & London, 1947, p.79-81. Byrnes, a Judge and former State Governor, served as a close adviser to President Truman and became US Secretary of State in July 1945. In that capacity, Byrnes attended the Potsdam Conference and the Paris Conference.
  100. Meeting at Potsdam by Charles L. Mee, New York, 1975.
  101. Schnieder, Professor Theodor, et al, The Expulsion of the German Population from the Territories East of the Oder-Neisse-Line, FDR Ministry for Expellees, Refugees and War Victims, Bonn, West Germany, 1954.
  102. Krokow, Count Christian von, Hour of the Women, Germany 1988, USA 1991, London 1992, ISBN 0-571-14320-2
  103. Orderly and Humane by Professor R. J. Douglas, Yale University Press, 2012, ISBN 9-780300-198201
  104. A Terrible Revenge by Professor Alfred Maurice de Zayas, Palgrave-Macmillan, New York, 1993/4, reprint 2006, ISBN 978-1-4039-7308-5
  105. Weeds Like Us by Gunter Nitsch, Author House, Bloomington, IN., USA, ISBN 978-3-4389-3312-2
  106. Byrnes, 1947, p.80-1.
  107. Davies, 1984, p.287.
  108. Powell, 1928, p.270-1.
  109. Encyclopaedia Britannica Book of the Year 1938, London, p.505, where 9% of the population are given as speaking Hebrew.
  110. Anti-Jewish Violence in Poland, 1914-1920 by Professor William W. Hagen, Cambridge University Press, U.K., 2018, ISBN: 978-0-521-73818-7
  111. Nitti, 1922, p.182
  112. Royal Institute of International Affairs Study Group, The Colonial Problem, Oxford University Press, UK, 1937, p.357.
  113. Great Britain and Palestine 1915-1945, Royal Institute of International Affairs, Information Papers [Book] No.20, London, 1946. p.66.
  114. The Cauldron Boils by Emil Lengyel, New York, 1932, chapter viii, "In the Ghetto".
  115. Medlicott, Professor W.N., Dakin, Professor Douglas, Bennett, Gillian, Documents on British Foreign Policy 1919-1939, Second Series, vol.xvii, HMSO London, p.440-1.
  116. Encyclopaedia Britannica Book of the Year 1938, London, p.505.
  117. Browning, Christopher R., The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939 – March 1942, University of Nebraska Press, 2004, p.82. ISBN 0-8032-1327-1
  118. Nicosia, Francis R. Zionism and Anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany, Cambridge University Press, 2008, p.280. ISBN 978-0-521-88392-4.
  119. https://codoh.com/library/document/crystal-night-1938-the-great-anti-german-spectacle/en/

External links

  • Poland from the Inside by Bertram de Colonna, Heath Cranton Limited, London 1939 (The book in HTML)
  • Death in Poland: The Fate of the Ethnic Germans by Edwin Erich Dwinger, (The book in HTML, Cover text)
  • Polish Atrocities Against The German Minority in Poland, published by the German Foreign Office, Berlin, 1940 (Auswärtiges Amt) (PDF-File)

External links