German-Polish Border Dispute 1918-1922

Discussions on the events that took place between the World Wars, not covered in the other sections.
Durand
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German-Polish Border Dispute 1918-1922

Postby Durand » 02 Oct 2002 12:43

Hallo,

(I originally posted the following as a reply to a question on the "Obscure Wars" thread in the Non-WW2 section of the forum. This now obscure war was a major international episode of the early Weimar period. Since questions occasionally arise about it, I thought it might be useful to rescue this event from further obscurity in the middle of a thread and give it a topic of it's own on a forum to which it is more relavant.)

The German-Polish border dispute lasted from the end of 1918 to 1922. The areas affected were East and West Prussia, Posen, and Upper Silesia. These regions were wracked by political tension and sporadic fighting. The population in each area was ethnically mixed. Polish nationalists, sensing a power vacuum left by a weakened Germany army, organized quickly into local militias. Their goal was to control these territories before the Allied powers made final decisions regarding the disposition of these regions.

The strongest and most important of the Polish militias was Polish Military Organization or Polska Organizacja Wojskowa (POW). POW is estimated to have had 14,000 and 22,000 members, most armed, by the spring of 1919. The members were of all political persuasions whose only goal was to fight the Germans and force them from the disputed territories. The POW was in contact with Jozef Pilsudski in Warsaw. While the fight was carried mainly by POW in the earlier years, at the time of the Third Silesian Uprising beginning in May 1921 several Polish army battalions and armored trains were involved.

On the German side, the fight was carried mainly by local ethnic German militia groups and Freikorps units. What was left of the regular German army was involved in the defense of the Posen area in December 1918, but the German government ordered the army to withdraw to the area around Berlin in anticipation of a coup by the Spartacists. The German High Command authorized the raising of militias and FK units to fill the gap.

In February 1919, the FK units and militia went on the offensive and Chelmno was captured by Sturmabteilung Rossbach (led by Gerhard Rossbach). After several days, Allied authorities ordered the Berlin government to halt the offensives in the Posen area, West Prussia and Upper Silesia. The FK and militias stopped and returned to their departure points.

With the signing of the Versailles Treaty some of these areas settled down. Posen and the Danzig Corridor were given to Poland. Plebiscites were ordered to be held in East Prussia and Upper Silesia to determine their respective national allegiances. East Prussia voted in 1920 to remain German.

However, tensions continued and there were numerous acts of sabotage in Upper Silesia throughout the spring and summer of 1919. On August 16, 1919, POW launched a surprise offensive and gained control of Upper Silesia. On August 18, FK units, reinforced during the spring by more units, including Ehrhardt Brigade and von Löwenfeld's III. Marine Brigade, counterattacked and recaptured all of the positions taken by POW forces within 5 days.

In February 1920, an Allied Commission arrived in Upper Silesia to prepare for the plebiscite and Allied troops (French, Italian, and British) were stationed there to maintain order. The vote was held in March 1920 and the result was 60 percent in favor of remaining with Germany. The Allied Commission then had to decide where to fix the boundaries. The Allies stumbled and fumbled on this issue. With no decision in sight by the spring of 1921, POW began preparing for an insurrection.

POW went on the offensive on May 2, 1921. By May 5th, POW controlled most of Upper Silesia. The Allied troops, with the exception of an initial attempt by the Italians, did nothing to stop POW forces. The Berlin government did not order the Reichswehr to intervene, but rather called on the Allied Powers to stop POW and to honor the results of the plebiscite. In the meantime, FK units, which had been officially disbanded after the Kapp Putsch during the spring of 1920, independently reformed and without official or public government orders rushed to Upper Silesia to help the local militias. The FK units stabilized a line from the Polish border to the city of Oppeln and along the Oder river down through Cosel and Ratisbor. General Karl Höfer was in overall command of the FK formations. On May 21, 1919, a task force under the command of General Bernhard von Hülsen attacked the Annaberg hill on the east side of the Oder. It was a prominent point in the Oder Valley and was held by the Poles. It was also the site of a religious sanctuary of importance to the Silesian Germans. Von Hülsen's attack was successful. It was proclaimed as the first German victory since 1918. A Polish counterattack was repulsed the next day. On May 24, the Berlin government announced that it was forbidden to recruit volunteers for the fighting in Upper Silesia and threatened penalties for anyone caught trying to organize FK units. The Berlin government took this position in response to Allied threats to occupy the Ruhr if the FK units in Upper Silesia were not stopped. Despite the high politics, von Hülsen launched another attack in early June and again defeated the Poles. All along the front, the FK units slowly pushed the Poles back. Finally, in late July 1921. Allied troops became involved and separated the POW and FK forces. The Allied Commission again took control of the region.

This foregoing is only a rough outline of a complicated series of events. You may wish to consider reading the following titles:

Vanguard of Nazism by Robert G.L. Waite;
The German Freikorps, 1918-1923 by Carlos Jurado;
National Identity and Weimar Germany: Upper Silesia and the Eastern Border, 1918-1922 by T. Hunt Tooley.

There are also two German language websites you may wish to visit:

http://www.republikasilesia.com/silesia ... k/Text.htm

http://www.reitergenosten.de/hauptseite.htm

If you work your way through the second site, you will find a picture of the Annaberg memorial and some pictures of the FK recruiting posters.


Regards,

J.D.

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Border Dispute

Postby walterkaschner » 02 Oct 2002 22:46

Greetings Durand!

Thank you for an extremely enlightening post which I had previously missed and for the 2 German Web sites that I had not known of before. The Reiter gen Osten site I found particularly interesting, as I had not known (or had forgotten) that von Salomon had been in charge of regularly publishing a newspaper of the same name for so many years. The posters were fascinating, and I thought extremely well done, but as they each displayed the name of the website I wonder if they are not reproductions. Thanks again!

Regards, Kaschner

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Re: German-Polish Border Dispute 1918-1922

Postby Peter K » 25 May 2009 22:43

Plebiscites were ordered to be held in East Prussia and Upper Silesia to determine their respective national allegiances. East Prussia voted in 1920 to remain German.


The main reason why East Prussia voted for Germany was the fact that at the time when the plebiscite was carried out, the state of Poland was in an extremely dangerous and critical political and military situation. Bolshevik armies were quickly approaching Warsaw and it was generally thought that Poland stood no chance for repulsing the Bolshevik invasion and remaining days of Poland were already counted, it would fell very soon. Another factor which had got significant influence on the result of this plebiscite (carried out on 11.07.1920) was terror and persecutions of ethnic Poles - especially influential Polish political activists - organized and carried out by German authorities in East Prussia.

The history of Polish colonization of Prussia goes back to the times of 13th century. Ethnic Poles started to settle in Prussia when armies of the state of the Teutonic Order supported by dukes of Poland and various crusaders and mercenaries from all around Europe conquered and captured territories of pagan Prussian tribes. This ethnic Polish colonization of Prussia became even more intensive during the following centuries - 14th and 15th - and lasted as long as until the end of 17th century.

Social and regional composition of Polish colonists who settled in former pagan Prussian territories then held by the state of the Teutonic Order was varied. Major part of these colonists were peasants and not very well-off knighthood and nobility - usually owners of only a part of a village up to one entire village. There were also some townsmen, mainly members of the plebs social class, artisans and also minor merchants. Seldom patricians. They were coming to Prussia in order to search for better live conditions, new uninhabited lands or in order to make a fortune and also induced by Teutonic authorities. That's why they were mainly coming from the historical region of Mazovia - which at that time (13th - 15th centuries) was the most underdeveloped part of Poland - completely different than developed and reach provinces of Silesia, western part of Lesser Poland (so called Land of Cracow), Greater Poland and Cuiavia.

Since late 13th century until middle 14th century Mazovia was often considered as a separated and independent from Poland - but ruled by Polish dukes from Piast dynasty - state, although the process of gaining independence from Poland by Mazovia was not immediate, but long and gradual and strictly connected with the progressing phenomenon of feudal fragmentation in Poland (power and position in the state of the senioral duke / princeps was slowly becoming smaller and smaller, and some dukes were not recognizing the rule and superiority of senioral dukes from Cracow any more). Mazovia even became a faithful ally of the Teutonic Order during its wars against the Kingdom of Poland fought in 14th century, and also was temporarily subordinated to the Bohemian king as his vassal during that century.

As was written above, ethnic Poles who settled in Prussia in the Middle Ages mainly came from Mazovia. That's why they were called "Mazurzy" = "the Mazurs" or "the Mazurians" (because inhabitants of Mazovia are called Mazowszanie or Mazurzy) and the Polish name for this region (which was used for the first time in early 19th century) is "Mazury".

Ethnic Poles mainly settled in the southern part of Prussia. The northern border of the compact Polish colonization in this province was - more or less - along the line Morag - southern Warmia (German: Ermland) - Ketrzyn - Wegorzewo - Gołdapia (Goldap). Teutonic (later German) administration was calling these lands "die polnischen Ämter":

Map from the excellent book "Państwo Zakonu krzyżackiego w Prusach. Władza i Społeczeństwo" ("The state of the Teutonic Order in Prussia. The authorities and the society"), PWN, Warsaw, 2008 - page 207:

"Map 11. Directions of colonization of the state of the Teutonic Order in 13th and 14th centuries."

Black arrows - German colonization
White arrows - Polish colonization
Dark areas - property of bishops (mainly in Warmia = Ermland)

Image

The Mazurs - unlike native Prussians - did not undergo Germanization (vast majority of native Prussians were Germanized until the end of 17th century) and retained their Polish language and customs. But they did not retain Catholic religion - vast majority of all Mazurs were Lutherans in 19th century. Due to progressing German pressure and persecution of Poles in East Prussia in 19th century - especially during the times of Bismarck and his "Kulturkampf" - Mazurzy tried to defend and protect their distinguishing characteristic - at first as regional community, later also as part of the Polish nation. Since 1842 Polish newspapers were being published in East Prussia - like for example "Przyjaciel Ludu Łecki" or "Mazur". At the end of 19th century Polish political activists concentrated mainly around "Gazeta Ludowa" newspaper and Mazurska Partia Ludowa (MPL) political party. In 1910 Mazurski Bank Ludowy bank was founded. After the First World War Mazurski Komitet Plebiscytowy and Mazurski Związek Ludowy were managing the action of incorporating Mazury (so southern part of East Prussia) to the state of Poland.

In the interwar era many Polish organizations existed in Mazury. For example between 1923 and 1928 - Zjednoczenie Mazurskie (The Mazurian Federation) with head office in the town of Szczytno. Many Mazurian activists were members of the Związek Polaków w Prusach Wschodnich (Association of Poles in East Prussia) and together with members of this association joined the Związek Polaków w Niemczech (Association of Poles in Germany) in 1922.

Persecutions of Polish activists intensified in years 1928 - 1932 and after Hitler came to power. During the Second World War many Mazurians were imprisoned or murdered by the Nazis in prisons or concentration camps.

Mazury were captured by the Red Army in January and February of 1945 and incorporated by Joseph Stalin to the People's Republic of Poland. But new communist authorities were treating Mazurians almost as bad as Germans and Volksdeutche, and as the result of this policy many of them departed from Polish national identity and Polish customs, or decided to emigrate / escape to the United States of America.

After escape / expulsion of Germans and emigration of many Mazurians to the USA, Mazury and especially other parts of former East Prussia were mainly populated by Polish repatriates expulsed from pre-war Polish territories in Eastern Poland - especially from the Wileńszczyzna region with the city of Wilno (today part of Lithuania).

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Re: German-Polish Border Dispute 1918-1922

Postby michael mills » 08 Aug 2009 13:24

The Mazurs - unlike native Prussians - did not undergo Germanization (vast majority of native Prussians were Germanized until the end of 17th century) and retained their Polish language and customs. But they did not retain Catholic religion - vast majority of all Mazurs were Lutherans in 19th century. Due to progressing German pressure and persecution of Poles in East Prussia in 19th century - especially during the times of Bismarck and his "Kulturkampf" - Mazurzy tried to defend and protect their distinguishing characteristic - at first as regional community, later also as part of the Polish nation. Since 1842 Polish newspapers were being published in East Prussia - like for example "Przyjaciel Ludu Łecki" or "Mazur". At the end of 19th century Polish political activists concentrated mainly around "Gazeta Ludowa" newspaper and Mazurska Partia Ludowa (MPL) political party. In 1910 Mazurski Bank Ludowy bank was founded. After the First World War Mazurski Komitet Plebiscytowy and Mazurski Związek Ludowy were managing the action of incorporating Mazury (so southern part of East Prussia) to the state of Poland.

In the interwar era many Polish organizations existed in Mazury. For example between 1923 and 1928 - Zjednoczenie Mazurskie (The Mazurian Federation) with head office in the town of Szczytno. Many Mazurian activists were members of the Związek Polaków w Prusach Wschodnich (Association of Poles in East Prussia) and together with members of this association joined the Związek Polaków w Niemczech (Association of Poles in Germany) in 1922.

Persecutions of Polish activists intensified in years 1928 - 1932 and after Hitler came to power. During the Second World War many Mazurians were imprisoned or murdered by the Nazis in prisons or concentration camps.


This is Polish chauvinist rubbish. Bismarck's Kulturkampf was directed against the Catholic Church. Since the Masurians were Lutherans, they were not affected by it.

Masurians were always regarded as full citizens of Germany, and were not persecuted or discriminated against in any way because of their ethnicity. That is why after the First World War the vast majority of the Masurians voted to remain part of Germany.

As for the period after Hitler came to power, Masurians were not persecuteo ne tthicg roundsb. Only opponents of the National Socialist regime were persecuted, regardless of whether they were ethnic German or ethnic Masurian.

Mazury were captured by the Red Army in January and February of 1945 and incorporated by Joseph Stalin to the People's Republic of Poland. But new communist authorities were treating Mazurians almost as bad as Germans and Volksdeutche, and as the result of this policy many of them departed from Polish national identity and Polish customs, or decided to emigrate / escape to the United States of America.



More Polish chauvinist rubbish. Domen is obviously afraid to admit that in 1946, the majority of the Masurians elected to be deported to the west of the Oder-Neisse Line, even though the official Polish policy was to let them stay in East Prussia, since they were considered "Autochthoni". They did not go to the United States, they went to Germany; as they were German citizens, they were banned from going anywhere other than one of the Zones of Occupation of Germany.

And it is sheer nonsense to say that the Masurians living in East Prussia had been mistreated by Germans and Volksdeutsche.

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Re: German-Polish Border Dispute 1918-1922

Postby Jan-Hendrik » 15 Aug 2009 06:43

Don't be afraid, our Domen lives in this WOrld of polish chauvinist dreams, he is a true believer of this "historiofiction" :D

But luckily his kind is becoming extinct as even in Poland more and more people rather use their own brain instead of repraising the old Fairy Tales again and again...

By the way, building a connection that Masowien and Masuren are simply the same is really funny, a good laughter for a sunday morning :D

Jan-Hendrik

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Re: German-Polish Border Dispute 1918-1922

Postby Artur Szulc » 15 Aug 2009 07:17

Thanks for your last post, Jan-Hendrik!

It is indeed unique in its brilliance, substance and information.

Well written, man!

Best regards,

Chili

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Re: German-Polish Border Dispute 1918-1922

Postby Jan-Hendrik » 15 Aug 2009 07:38

Thank you :D

Or do you want to tell us that you belong to those "believers", too? :wink:

Jan-Hendrik

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Re: German-Polish Border Dispute 1918-1922

Postby Artur Szulc » 15 Aug 2009 08:21

Jan-Hendrik,

I belive that Domen is no more a beliver then you or me.
We have all our own belives and convictions.

Is it right to ridicule people for it? Polish chauvinist? Fairy tales? Come on...

I do not know if you, Jan-Hendrik, are some kind of authority here on AHF, perhaps you are, but then use this authority to prove Domen wrong with sourced arguments and not personal remarks. If you have researched the area of Masurien or Masuren, then please share your findings with us. If not, then, perhaps do not write anything at all.

And no, I am not one of those belivers too, what the he... that means. In my last book, me and my co-author, does not belive in neither Polish nor German fairy tales.

Cheers

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Re: German-Polish Border Dispute 1918-1922

Postby Marcus Wendel » 15 Aug 2009 09:30

A post from Jan-Hendrik containing nothing but personal remarks was removed.

/Marcus

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Re: German-Polish Border Dispute 1918-1922

Postby Peter K » 17 Aug 2009 21:52

I am already used to such or similar replies by Michael or Jan. And I don't bear them any grudge for that any more.

I hope that one day they will understand how funny their accusations and personal remarks were.

Btw - what is interesting is that they never or very rarely provide sources for their counterarguments (if personal remarks can be called counterarguments). So they tell me that I'm wrong, but don't allow me to learn something new.

Of course both of you are are right that "Przyjaciel Ludu Lecki", "Zjednoczenie Mazurskie", "Mazurski Bank Handlowy", "Mazurski Komitet Plebiscytowy" and other organizations + people who created them are just "Domen's fairy tales".

I invented all of them just to post them here - this is part of the "Conspiracy Theory of History" (my work too). :lol:

Anyway - Michael and Jan should understand that they posts would have exactly the same "power of message" and "impact" on their partners in discussion EVEN without (wow! - revelation about which they probably didn't know) placing - "More Polish chauvinist rubbish", etc. - at the beginning of each line and each sentence of their posts. :D

Is it so hard to type "As far as I know - you are wrong / You are wong" instead of "More Polish chauvinist rubbish"?

What if I change my citizenship or declare different nationality (don't worry I have a few different nationalities among my ancestors)? Then you will be in hard situation, not able to write about "Polish chauvinist"!? Then you will be deprived of your "most powerful counterargument" in discussions with me? :)

By the way, building a connection that Masowien and Masuren are simply the same is really funny


Certainly it was me who built and discovered this connection. :roll:

By the way - if you don't agree with the "theory" that Mazurzy came to Prussia from Mazowsze (so they were Mazovians), then maybe you should simply write a "counter-publication" for this publication consisting of 560 pages:

This is mentioned in my above post "The state of the Teutonic Order in Prussia. The authorities and the society".

"Państwo zakonu krzyżackiego w Prusach. Władza i społeczeństwo" written by Marian Biskup, Roman Czaja, W. Dlugolecki, M. Dygo, S. Jozwiak, A. Radziminski & J. Tandecki, PWN, Warsaw 2008, ISBN 978-83-01-15526-1:

Image

I bet that researching sources + writing such publication will take you "only" around 5 - 6 years of your live.

But then you will have satisfaction - if you convince me, I will admit that you were right. :)

/ Peter

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Re: German-Polish Border Dispute 1918-1922

Postby michael mills » 18 Aug 2009 02:51

Domen,

Certainly the Masurians of East Prussia were a people of Slavic origin, who had been brought into the territories conquered by the Teutonic Knights as settlers, in the same way as German-speaking settlers from the western part of germany and the present Netherlands were brought in. They came from Mazovia, a land that at that time was not part of the Polish state, but later was absorbed by it.

It was natural to bring in settlers from Mazovia, since the conquest of the Old Prussians, a Baltic not a Slavic people, had been commissioned by Duke Conrad of Mazovia. However, it is historically questionable to claim that the Masurian peasants settled in the lands now ruled by the Teutonic Order of the Knights of the Cross were a part of a Polish nation, since at that time a Polish nation did not exist; there was certainly a Polish kingdom, but Mazovia was not part of it.

That fact is reflected in nomenclature; the name "Polska" was traditionally applied to what is now Western Poland (Wielkopolska) centred on Poznan, and to current Southern Poland (Malopolska) centred on Krakow, but current North-eastern Poland, centred on Warsaw, was traditionally called "Mazowsze", indicating a separate entity from "Polska".

Thus, the Slavic Masurians who settled in East Prussia were not Poles in any real sense. Of course, the people of Mazowia became part of the Polish nation after that territory became an integral part of a united Polish state, a process that lasted several centuries. But that process of absorption into the Polish people did not occur to the Masurians of East Prussia, since they were not under the rule of the Polish State, and in fact never were until 1945.

Instead, the Masurians, while retaining their Slavic language, closely related to standard Polish, became an integral part of the East Prussian people, which was German in culture, and also in language for the majority. Thus, when in the 16th Century the last Grandmaster of the Teutonic Order of Knights converted to Lutheranism and secularised his lands and turned them into the Duchy of Prussia, the Masurians also converted to Lutheranism along with the rest of the population of East Prussia. The religious adherence of the Masurians created a barrier between them and the Catholic population of Poland.

When the Duchy of Prussia united with the Electorate of Brandenburg under a Hohenzollern ruler, forming a state that became the Kingdom of Prussia at the beginning of the 18th Century, the Masurians remained loyal subjects of the Prussian King, and finally, in 1871, of the German Emperor. The Masurians never showed any desire to become part of the Kingdom of Poland, which in the 18th Century was intolerantly Catholic and sometimes persecuted Protestants, eg the executions at Bromberg in the 1730s.

It may be a small number of East Prussian Masurians adopted a Polish identity during the 19th Century, when modern Polish nationalism was created, but the great majority did not, since Polish nationalism was based on a fanatical adherence to Roman Catholicism, which of course was anathema to the Lutheran Masurians.

Domen, you have to accept the fact that German citizens of Slavic ethnicity, whether that ethnicity was specifically Polish or not, were not subject to persecution in Germany in the 1930s provided they remained loyal to the State. Individual persons of Slavic ethnicity who were not loyal, and proposed the excision from Germany of territories with a part-Slavic population, such as the Masurian areas of East Prussia, or of the Oppeln district of Upper Silesia, or of the Lausitz, were of course repressed, but that was because of their political activism, not because of their ethnicity. There were many members of the Waffen-SS who were Polish speakers, for example, particularly from Silesia.

Domen, you have to accept that in 1945 a large proportion of the Masurians of East Prussia chose to retain their german citizenship and be transferred to rump germany, rather than become citizens of Poland. Those Masurians went to Germany, they did not go to the United States; that is your fantasy. Those Masurians who chose to stay and become Polish citizens did so because they wanted to keep their homes and land, not because they felt a string sense of Polish identiy. There were even Polish-speaking ethnic Germans who pretended to be "autochthoni", Masurians or Silesian "Water-poles", in order to be allowed to keep their homes and not be deported.

Today there are in Poland many persons who were formerly German citizens, or are decendants of German citizens, who are once again claiming German ethnicity, in order to be able to go and live in rich Germany rather than staty in relatively poor Poland.

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Re: German-Polish Border Dispute 1918-1922

Postby bil » 18 Aug 2009 03:46

While I will not voice an opinion here [I try not to opine without the use of facts],I do think that the argument would go further if actual facts,or at least referances, that support each position were given.That way maybe I and others would be able to better understand.I for one would like to see that more than mockery and personality clashes.It makes for interesting reading,but no education! :cry: ---bil

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Re: German-Polish Border Dispute 1918-1922

Postby Peter K » 18 Aug 2009 13:26

However, it is historically questionable to claim that the Masurian peasants settled in the lands now ruled by the Teutonic Order of the Knights of the Cross were a part of a Polish nation, since at that time a Polish nation did not exist;


The process of forming the Polish nation started in 10th century and ended in 13th century together with the final end of the process of forming feudal society classes in Poland (knighthood, townsmen, peasants, clergymen), which started in the first half of 11th century. So in 13th century we can already speak about the existence of Polish nation.

The process of forming feudal society in Poland was started by Kazimierz I Odnowiciel (the Restorer), who granted land to his Druzhina after the "Pagan Reaction" in Poland was defeated, creating the knighthood social class in Poland:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casimir_I_the_Restorer

That fact is reflected in nomenclature; the name "Polska" was traditionally applied to what is now Western Poland (Wielkopolska) centred on Poznan, and to current Southern Poland (Malopolska) centred on Krakow, but current North-eastern Poland, centred on Warsaw, was traditionally called "Mazowsze".


Name "Mazowsze" historically (in old Polish) meant "swampy lands" from the old Polish word "maz" (= "swamp").

Even today Polish word "umazac sie" means "to get dirty" (despite the fact that "maz" was replaced by "bagno").

Name "Wielkopolska" appeared for the first time in 1257, before that time it was not in use.

"wielko" meant "big" in Polish - and this was the biggest province of Poland, so that's the origin of this name.

"Malopolska" was not in use before 15th century - lands which are nowadays called Malopolska consisted of Ziemia Krakowska (Land of Cracow), Sandomierszczyzna (or "Land of Sandomir") and Lubelszczyzna (or "Land of Lublin").

was traditionally called "Mazowsze", indicating a separate entity from "Polska".

They came from Mazovia, a land that at that time was not part of the Polish state, but later was absorbed by it.


Mazowsze was ethnically exactly the same as all other provinces of Polska. Mazowsze was part of the Kingdom of Poland since 10th century. Politically it was an integral part of the Polish state since 10th century until the second half of 13th century, when Mazowsze became a separate political (but not ethnic) being due to the progressing process of feudal fragmentation of Poland (exactly the same process took place in many other European states). Plock - the main city of Mazowsze in early Medieval (Warsaw was a very insignificant settlement back then) was even the capital city of Poland between 1079 and 1138, during the rules of Wladyslaw Herman and his son Boleslaw I Krzywousty. To get more information about Poland and Mazovia in 13th century I recommend reading my small article I once "commited":

Domen123 wrote:Political history of Poland during the 13th century:

13th century was one of the most difficult times in Polish history. The century beginned with a bloody period of internal combats for inheritance of died - or poisoned, circumstances of his death aren't fully clear - on 5th of May 1194 princeps and commonly acknowledged supreme ruler of Poland, Casimir Sprawiedliwy. Only after the death of Sprawiedliwy order of excercising power in Poland established by the testimony of Boleslav Krzywousty - although there had been some spins before - entered the first period of deep crisis. After the death of Casimir his juvenile son - Leszek Bialy - was chosen for the ruler of Poland. Uncle of Leszek, Mieszko Stary, didn't like this fact. Mieszko, who once had been forced to obey the princeps yet by Casimir Sprawiedliwy, decided to seize power once again. Rules of juvenile Leszek - de facto his mother, princess Helen - didn't take fancy of supporters of senioral duke's strong rules over the country, such as power exercised by Casimir until his death. On 13th of September 1195 the bloody, fratricidal battle of Mozgawa took place. Forces of Leszek, commanded by Cracow's voivode Mikolaj Gryfita and supported by reinforcements of Casimir's protege, duke of Halych Roman - faced the army of Mieszko and his followers. The battle - in spite of being inconclusive - shattered Mieszko's hopes for becoming the ruler, which doesn't mean, however, that it ended the civil war. In 1198 mother of Leszek concluded an agreement with Mieszko, on the strength of which he was to take over regency power in Cracow on behalf of juvenile Leszek. But in 1199, when Leszek reached a grown-up age, Mieszko didn't even consider giving back power. Simultaneously Leszek was involved in helping his faithful ally - Roman - in Halych-Wolhynia, so he couldn't counteract against impudence of his uncle. In Anno Domini 1200 the agreement was prolonged in return for some territorial concessions made by Meszko to Leszek and his mother. Fortunately for Leszek, in 1202 Mieszko Stary, at the age of 81, died. Soon after that Leszek, despite animosity of some part of magnatery, managed to capture Krakow - partially by force and partially thanks to support of influential bishop Pelka. It didn't bring internal conflicts to an end, however - some part of dukes, led by Wladyslaw Laskonogi, duke of Greater Poland, didn't recognize the position of Leszek as the senioral duke. Laskonogi even managed to sway the most faithful of Leszek's allies - Roman, duke of Halych-Wolhynia. But Roman was defeated and lost his live in the battle of Zawichost in 1205. Dispute between Leszek and Wladyslaw lasted until 1218, when old and still childless Wladyslaw entered into an alliance with Leszek and concluded an agreement for survival with him, which in fact meant acknowledging Leszek's supreme authority. In 1218 Leszek, having papal support, started to address himself "Dux Polonie". His supreme rule over the whole country was finally accepted - during the convention in Dankowo - by all other dukes. Crisis of power in Poland was averted. Also in 1218 Leszek established his own governor - Swietopelk - in Pomerelia. In years 1222 - 1223 Leszek organized and led Polish crusades against pagan Prussians - without any major successes. In 1225 - induced by fiasco of Leszek's forces in Prussia - Henryk Brodaty, duke of Silesia, dared to rebel against him. Soon his forces were encircled by Leszek's army near the river Dlubnia and Henryk once again acknowledged domination of Leszek. It still wanted an agreement of two dukes - Wladyslaw Odonic and his uncle, Wladyslaw Laskonogi - to achieve a full harmony in the country. Leszek decided to settle their argument, that's why he called all the Polish dukes together to Gasawa in 1227. Unfortunately - during this meeting Leszek was brutally murdered by followers of Odonic and governor of Pomerelia, Swietopelk, who had started to conspire against Leszek jointly with Odonic. They also tried to murder Henryk, but he managed to escape.

After the death of Leszek everyone agreed that it was his son - Boleslaw - who should come into power in the country. However, Boleslaw was still a child, that's why he couldn't exercise power by himself. And so arguments for who should adopt Boleslaw and thereby seize factual power in the state started. Two dukes demanded taking care of Leszek's son. Wladyslaw Laskonogi - who had concluded an agreement for survival with Leszek before - and Leszek's brother, Konrad Mazowiecki - duke of Mazovia. Another civil war started. Wladyslaw Laskonogi was supported by Silesian duke, Henryk Brodaty. It was him whom Wladyslaw entrusted with regency in Cracow, when he was pursuing combats against already weakening followers of Odonic in Greater Poland. Konrad Mazowiecki struck towards Cracow in the Summer of 1228, but he suffered a painful defeat in the battle of Skala. Yet during the following year Konrad took revenge, capturing part of Laskonogi's lands. Laskonogi died in 1231, before his death passing on power in all of his lands to Henryk Brodaty. At the same time Brodaty was exercising protective power over juvenile Leszek's son Boleslaw, who was for the moment residing in Sandomir. The war of lonely Brodaty against Konrad was still in progress. In 1232 Henryk managed to regain most of lands conquered by Konrad in 1229. Hostility lasted still, however - even though the fact that Henryk managed to subordinate almost the whole Poland to himself, with exception of Pomerelia ruled by Swietopelk and lands controlled by Konrad. In 1238 Henryk Brodaty died, and his son - Henryk Pobozny - came into power in Poland. Pobozny during his short rules managed to finally appease any remaining internal conflicts in Poland and yet in 1239 he even entered into an alliance with Konrad Mazowiacki. But all of those efforts laid in ruins after the Mongols invaded Poland in 1241, killing Henryk and crushing his army during the famous battle of Legnica on 9th of April 1241.

After the death of prince Henryk Pobozny senioral duke's position in Poland completely collapsed. Konrad Mazowiecki once again tried to gain power and managed to capture Cracow. As early as in 1243 Boleslaw V - Leszek's son - recaptured the city, but he didn't manage to restore such an importance and such a position of the senioral duke in Poland like Kazimierz Sprawiedliwy, Leszek Bialy during the final years of his rules, or even Henryk Pobozny had. Bolesław was not only conflicted with Konrad Mazowiecki, but also with the duke of Opole. Ties of some provinces of Poland with the others loosened considerably after 1241. Pomerelia came away already in 1227, when Swietopelk rebelled, murdered his superior in Gasawa and declared himself as an independent duke, thereby disconnecting Pomerelia from the rest of Poland. Silesian dukes were still formally subordinated to the rule of senioral duke in Cracow, but his influence there was in fact delusive considering the deepening fragmentation of Silesia and the increasing number of duchies. Not to mention that Boleslaw was conflicted with one of these dukes - duke of Opole. At the same time, however, Boleslaw V had got several allies - the best and the strongest of them was Przemysl I, duke of Greater Poland. Political fragmentation had undermined country's defense capabilities. In 1259 Mongols together with Ruthenians once again invaded Poland - this time only Lesser Poland fell victim to their attack - Lublin, Sandomir and Cracow were captured and plundered. Boleslaw took refuge in the duchy of his ally, duke of Sieradz - Leszek Czarny - and returned to Lesser Poland one year later, in 1260. In the period 1265 - 1265 Boleslaw V was at war with Ruthenians supported by Lithuanians, who were carrying out invasions of his lands. It ended with Boleslaw's victory in the battle of Wrota in 1266. In 1273 and in 1278 once again Lithuanian invasions of Lubelszczyzna took place - they were finally defeated during the battle of Lukow in 1278, which terminated their attacks. After the death of Boleslaw in 1279, Leszek Czarny became the ruler of Lesser Poland. His rule was filled up with victorious but dearly payed border wars with Halych-Wolhynia supported by Mongols, Lithuanians and Yotvingians. These invaders were consecutively defeated in the series of battles near Gozlice, Lopienniki, at the river Narew and near Rowiny. In years 1287 - 1288 Mongols once again organized a huge invasion of Poland, but this time they didn't manage to capture any significant city or castle. Leszek filled castles and cities with strong garrisons and avoided an open-field confrontation. Finally Mongols had to retreat. Leszek Czarny died on 30th of September 1288, leaving no descendants. Once again bloody struggles for the throne of Cracow were unleashed, this time by dukes of Mazovia and Cuiavia on one side and dukes of Silesia led by Henryk IV Prawy on the opposite side. Silesian dukes suffered a devastating military defeat during the battle of Siewierz on 26th of February 1289. Then the duke of Cuiavia, Wladyslaw Lokietek, hammered Henryk's forces two more times, near Skala and near Swiecice. But despite all those lost battles, it was ruler of the duchy of Wroclaw - Henryk - who turned out to be the victor of that war. Yet in 1289 Henryk captured Cracow, but he didn't manage to chase out Lokietek from Sandomir. Being so close to achieving the goal of his life, Henryk IV Probus died in 1290, still being childless.

In his testimony Henryk IV Prawy transferred control over Lesser Poland to Przemysl II, duke of Greater Poland. Simultaneously in mid and late 80s Przemysl concluded two agreements for survival and a trilateral alliance against every enemy with Pomerelian duke Msciwoj II and Pomeranian duke Boguslaw IV. At the same time Bohemian king, Waclaw II, entered the rivalry for Polish crown. Soon after declaring his candidature, Waclaw was widely supported by Lesser Poland elites and also by inhabitants of towns and cities. Waclaw, benefitting from support of inhabitants of Cracow and the presence of Przemysl in Greater Poland, quickly entered Cracow with his forces. Przemysl decided to give away Lesser Poland without combat. He resolved to realize his coronation plans in Greater Poland. In the meantime Przemysl considerably strengthened his position among other dukes - he entered into an alliance with Henryk III Glogowski, ruler of the majority of Silesia and in 1294 - after the death of Msciwoj II - according to the agreement for survival he became the ruler of Pomerelia. Przemysl found himself strong enough to become the factual restaurateur of the old, united Kingdom of Poland. On Sunday of 26th of June 1295 - after 219 years since the previous coronation of Polish ruler - coronation of Przemysl II of Greater Poland for the king of Poland and his wife - Malgorzata - for the queen of Poland took place in the cathedral in Gniezno. Ceremony was conducted, with papal consent, by archbishop Jakub Swinka. However Bohemians - whose king was also the ruler of Lesser Poland - acknowledged Przemysl II in their chronicles as just "the king of the town of Kalisz". Although coronation of Przemysl didn't have any major political importance, it had got huge ideological and propaganda undertone. Finally Przemysl managed to implement what so many Piast dukes of feudally fragmented Poland didn't manage to achieve - resurrect the kingdom and its emblem.

Symbol of the Kingdom of Poland - since the times of Przemysl II:

Image

But the possibility of enjoying his royal crown for a long time wasn't given to Przemysl. Neighbours of Poland didn't like the growth of its might. On 8th of February 1296 assasins hired by the German Margraviate of Brandeburg kidnapped and then murdered the king of Poland. The result of this move was exactly opposite to the expected - it caused indignation among other Polish dukes and provided a pretext for many of them to compete for the heritage of Przemysl II and for his crown. Duke Wladyslaw Lokietek seized power in former Przemysl's lands - Greater Poland and Pomerelia. Also Waclaw managed to find a pretext to enter the competition for the title of Polish king, especially that he was the ruler of the most important province and the capital city of the whole state - Cracow. Furthermore, in years 1289 - 1292 Waclaw subordinated part of Silesia and the whole Land of Sandomir to his rule - duke Wladyslaw Lokietek was forced to recognize his supreme power. In 1297 Waclaw crowned himself for the king of Bohemia, which strengthened his position not only in Bohemia but also - or even especially - in Poland, as a candidate for the crown of the Kingdom of Poland. In 1299 he demanded the lands inherited by Wladyslaw Lokietek from the deceased Przemysl. Lokietek however didn't intend to give away these lands to his superior, that's why Waclaw banished the insubordinate duke from the country by force. In Anno Domini 1300 Waclaw got engaged with the juvenile daughter of the deceased king - Elizabeth Ryksa - and was crowned for the king of Poland by archbishop Jakub Swinka in the cathedral in Gniezno. He was then the ruler of all Polish lands, except major part of Silesia and the whole Mazovia. But yet in 1301, after the death of duke Bolko I, Waclaw assumed regency power over the whole Silesia except the Duchy of Glogow ruled by Henryk III Glogowski, attitude of whom towards Waclaw was quite friendly at the beginning. Two years later - in 1303, when Elizabeth Ryksa reached a grown-up age, he married her and she was crowned for the queen of Poland and Bohemia. This is how the period of feudal fragmentation in Poland ended, Waclaw II managed to reunite the whole country under his rule during just 10 years, but it wouldn't be possible without all of those deeds done by Przemysl II.

Kingdom of Poland and its neighbours at the beginning of 14th century - Anno Domini 1301:

Population density and number of inhabitants of towns and cities can be seen as well as major rivers, major primeval forests and major swamps. Red point means over 30 people per 1 square km - area around the town of Wislica:

Provinces of the Kingdom of Poland in 1301:

1 - Greater Poland
7 - Pomerelia
2 - Land of Lublin
2a - Land of Sandomir
K - Land of Cracow
6 - Silesia (without the duchy of Glogow)

Image


The religious adherence of the Masurians created a barrier between them and the Catholic population of Poland.


First of all - although considerable part of Masurians converted to Lutheranism, many of them remained Catholic. Apart from Masurians there was also another group of settlers (in fact it was the same group, later some differences appeared) called Warmiacy - and almost 100% of them remained Catholics. But even converting to Lutheranism of considerable part of Masurians certainly did not create any barriers. Read about the Warsaw Confederation of 1573:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warsaw_Confederation

And about the Union of Brzesc:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_of_Brest

During the Renaissance era Poland-Lithuania (and simultaneously also lands subordinated to it - including Ducal Prussia) was the only country in Europe where there was full religious tolerance. Moreover, considerable part of Poles were not Catholics. Many Polish nobles converted to Calvinism, Arianism or Lutheranism; townsmen to Lutheranism or Arianism, some to Calvinism (especially rich townsmen). Many peasants converted to Arianism, some to Lutheranism.

Writing about Arianism I refer to this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_Brethren

-------------------------------------

Today there are in Poland many persons who were formerly German citizens, or are decendants of German citizens, who are once again claiming German ethnicity, in order to be able to go and live in rich Germany rather than staty in relatively poor Poland.


For the first time in my live I hear about this "revelation."

By the way - everyone can emigrate to "rich" Germany (which has got more economic problems that Poland nowadays) if only they want, they don't have to be ethnic Germans. We all live in European Union, my friend - not in isolated and conservative Australia which doesn't allow almost anyone to settle on its territory.

We have got the Schengen Sphere, Michael. You probably forgot about it. :roll:

were not subject to persecution in Germany in the 1930s provided they remained loyal to the State.


Loyal to the state in Germany (III Reich) in 1930s was equal to being Nazi or Nazi follower.

So it seems that all of them who were not Nazi or Nazi followers / supporters were the subject of persecution.

When the Duchy of Prussia united with the Electorate of Brandenburg under a Hohenzollern ruler, forming a state that became the Kingdom of Prussia at the beginning of the 18th Century, the Masurians remained loyal subjects of the Prussian King, and finally, in 1871, of the German Emperor.


And ethnic German inhabitants of Gdansk were extremely loyal to Poland between 15th and 18th centuries.

/ Peter

Peter K
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Re: German-Polish Border Dispute 1918-1922

Postby Peter K » 03 Feb 2014 19:18

Germany won the Silesian plebiscite in 1921 by a small margin - and to a large extent thanks to votes of local Poles.

A relatively large part of Upper Silesian Poles voted for Germany rather than for Poland in that 1921 plebiscite.

This is showed by the data I post below:

http://s14.postimg.org/nrkdssrch/1921_Plebiscyt_B.png

1921 Plebiscyt B.png

http://s3.postimg.org/dy5lxvtxv/Plebiscite_1921_B.png

Plebiscite 1921 B.png

And % of "Polish votes" (votes for Polish lists) in 1919 municipal elections (data published by Karol Firich):

Oppeln Stadt - 7%
Gleiwitz Stadt - 24%
Kattowitz Stadt - 19%
Ratibor Stadt - 9,5%
Beuthen Stadt - 31,5%
Konigshutte - 41%
Leobschutz - no Polish list
Neustadt in OS - 28%
Ratibor - 62%
Kreuzburg* - 48%
Hindenburg - 75,5%
Kattowitz - 73%
Tarnowitz - 78%
Oppeln - 61%
Tost-Gleiwitz - 72%
Beuthen - 76%
Cosel - 46%
Gross Strehlitz - 70%
Lublinitz - 67%
Rybnik - 79%
Rosenberg - 56%
Pless - 85%
Namslau* - counted together with Kreuzburg

In some counties Polish lists got much bigger % of votes in 1919 elections, than was the % of votes for Poland there in 1921.

========================================================

Among reasons why a relatively large percentage of Polish-speaking Upper Silesians voted for Germany were economic reasons, which told them: "stay in Germany - here you can earn more money than in Bolshevik-devastated Poland". The fact that so many Upper Silesians voted for Poland was still largely a "merit" of Bismarck and his persecutions of Polish language and of Catholicism.

In counties where majority of local Poles were Protestants, majority of votes during the 1921 plebiscite were for Germany. That's because Protestantism was not as persecuted by Bismarck as Catholicism, so hostility towards Germany did not grow there.
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There are words which carry the presage of defeat. Defence is such a word. What is the result of an even victorious defence? The next attempt of imposing it to that weaker, defender. The attacker, despite temporary setback, feels the master of situation.

Peter K
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 3278
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Location: Poland

Re: German-Polish Border Dispute 1918-1922

Postby Peter K » 04 Feb 2014 20:47

By comparison here are the results of the plebiscite in East Prussia in 1920, in the middle of the Polish-Soviet war:

http://postimg.org/image/ie5zvsrz3/

Plebiscite OP 1920.png

According to some sources, in total 13 municipalities voted mostly for Poland (3 in Kreis Osterode, 1 in Kreis Neidenburg, 3 in Kreis Allenstein, 1 in Kreis Roessel, 5 in Kreise Stuhm and Marienwerder). But most of them were enclaves surrounded by territories which voted for Germany. So only several border villages were given to Poland as the result of the plebiscite:

Villages given to Poland and percent of votes for Poland in 1920 in those villages:

Polish name / German name - % of votes for Poland in the plebiscite

Małe Pólko / Kleinfelde - 44%
Kramowo / Kramershof - 50%
Bursztych / Aussendeich - 79%
Janowo / Johannisdorf - 48%
Nowe Lignowy / Neu Liebenau - 58%
Lubstynek / Klein Lobenstein - 65% (93 votes for Poland, 51 for Germany)
Napromek / Gut Nappern - 51% (45 votes for Poland, 43 for Germany)
Groszki / Groschken - 93% (69 votes for Poland, 5 for Germany)
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There are words which carry the presage of defeat. Defence is such a word. What is the result of an even victorious defence? The next attempt of imposing it to that weaker, defender. The attacker, despite temporary setback, feels the master of situation.


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