Nazi attitude to Poland and Poles

Discussions on all aspects of Poland during the Second Polish Republic and the Second World War. Hosted by Peter K
teg
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Nazi attitude to Poland and Poles

Post by teg » 04 Aug 2018 08:37

What were the reasons of Nazi hatred and atrocities against Poland and Poles? Poles always identified themselves with West, they never considered themselves Slavonic and mostly rejected communism. And, nevertheless, German occupation of Poland was much more cruel than of Tchechia and comparable with German atrocities in USSR.

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Steve
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Re: Nazi attitude to Poland and Poles

Post by Steve » 09 Aug 2018 17:48

Hitler does not seem to have had much to say about Poles and Poland prior to the break down in relations between the two countries starting from the end of 1938. At first he seems to have thought that Poland would eventually agree to what he wanted. If they had then the country would perhaps have ended up like Hungary or Rumania. Hitler behaved rationally though getting impatient until Poland obtained the UK guarantee and then everything changed. Poland was now to be destroyed never be a problem for Germany again.

The historian Ian Kershaw wrote “What was once Poland amounted in the primitive view of its new overlords to no more than a colonial territory in Eastern Europe, its resources to be plundered at will, its people regarded – with the help of modern race theories overlying old prejudices – as inferior human beings to be treated as thought fit”.

This flip flop thinking can also be seen with Yugoslavia which signed an agreement with Germany in 1941 and everything looked rosy. However, a coup took place the agreement was repudiated and again Hitler’s attitude to a country completely changes. When addressing officers about the coming attack on Yugoslavia he said “make all preparations to smash Yugoslavia militarily and in a state form”. The attack would be carried out “with merciless harshness”. The use of language is interesting. Rather than just say defeat the armed forces and occupy the country he expresses himself violently. He displayes the same reaction to Yugoslavia as he did towards Poland when he is thwarted.

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