Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

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gebhk
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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by gebhk » 20 May 2022 13:48

Hi Steve/WM

There cannot be much doubt that Minister Beck enjoyed a booze-fuelled evening/night, gassing with friends and colleagues or that he was happy to exceed the 21 units of alcohol/week recommended these days. However, that is a long way from claiming he was an alcoholic. There can also be little doubt that his second wife did not think alcohol was his friend in the pursuit of his career (on some occasions allegedly taking filled glasses out of his hand at formal receptions and suchlike). The uncharitable suggested that initially when Beck travelled to Geneva to attend to League of Nations business, he would take his wife but ensure she was bored senseless while she was there so that later, when he began go alone (for 'political' reasons, of course), she would not make too much fuss, leaving him to pursue his favourite relaxation uninhibited. I suspect therefore, that what she has to say about his drinking has to be taken with a generous pinch of salt.

I don't think one can make too much of the tuberculosis and alcohol thing. Alcohol consumption and road traffic mortality are also related, but that does not prove that everyone who dies in a car smash is likely to be an alcohoilic. While there is a something like a 3-fold increased risk of tuberculosis morbidity and mortality in those consuming 40+ units/week or or who are alcoholics (having an alcohol use disorder is, I believe, the politically correct term these days!) the causative link is proving elusive as it is virtually impossible to disentangle the physiological effects of alcohol intake from the social environment (ie heavy drinkers are more likely to do so in a social setting - and Beck clearly was one such - and, meet carriers of the disease and 'benefit' from passive smoking). While I don't know how heavy, Beck was also a smoker and I rather think that was a much more likely and independent factor for TB-related mortality than alcohol consumption.

Slawomir Koper's Życie prywatne pułkownika Józefa Becka in Wojsko i Technika Historia, Special Number 1/2017 has more insights into his private life for those who read Polish.

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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by wm » 20 May 2022 14:48

gebhk wrote:
20 May 2022 13:48
There cannot be much doubt that Minister Beck enjoyed a booze-fuelled evening/night, gassing with friends and colleagues or that he was happy to exceed the 21 units of alcohol/week recommended these days. However, that is a long way from claiming he was an alcoholic.
At that time everybody drank like a fish and chain-smoked like a burning refinery. So in the end it was the "never trust a man without vice" thing.
And his wife doesn't complain about his drinking in her book at all.
Last edited by wm on 20 May 2022 14:55, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by wm » 20 May 2022 14:49

In the thirties, Poland, France, and Britain were the only countries with sufficiently cohesive cultures to offer resistance in unfavorable circumstances.

In the western so-called progressive countries, defeatism and cowardliness were inherent (e.g., in Belgium, Denmark, and Sweden - not to mention the naive self-disarmament of Norway) and contributed enormously to Hitler's initial victories.

Hungary had its cultural and political cohesion famously destroyed by the Treaty of Trianon.
Backward Romania and Bulgaria didn't have much of it from the beginning.

Czechoslovakia, ineptly led, conquered so many lands, homogeneously populated by culturally advanced peoples (the Czechs were a minority in their own country) that it inherently didn't have much chance of survival.

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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by George L Gregory » 20 May 2022 14:54

:)
gebhk wrote:
20 May 2022 12:51
Comparing is the act of noting, measuring or estimating the similarities and/or differences between two or more things. So there is no reason why you can't compare apples and oranges. Both are fruit, one has an orange pitted skin, the other a green and smooth skin. :D. As for 'false equivalence, there was none in my comment either. For one thing I was not comparing Queen Elizabeth II to Chancellor Hitler but the bowing/curtseing of Minister Beck, President Obama and Prime Minister May to a head of state. My argument was in fact countering the fallacious equivalence that all bowing while shaking hands equates to servility.
The fallacy is when two polar opposite things are compared to be equal or similar things.

I know that you never made that claim, there seems to be only one weirdo in this thread who has a very odd obsession over people bowing.
For the simple reason that, on balance, it likely would have spared the country a great many lives and much destruction for no great benefit.
What benefits?

Any Pole could have read Mein Kampf and knew what Hitler thought of the Poles and the Slavs in general. Why would any Pole as a Slav want to believe anything a radical German nationalist and anti-Slav had to say?

Considering what had happened to the Czechs, is it any wonder why the Poles were reluctant to negotiate with Hitler?

The Nazis used to waffle on all the time about self-determination, what about the self-determination of the countries and peoples they invaded and ruled? One rule for the Nazis and one rule for everyone else.
We are not talking about 'willingly' here or the citizens of course, but I personally have no problem understanding why the citizens of an independent country may succumb, even willingly, to a foreign power and it happens with some frequency throughout history. By and large, it is because they believe they will have a better quality of life under the government of that foreign power. The anschluss is a fine example - while we may argue how universal the willingness was, there is litle doubt that at least a significant portion of the citizens of Austria were more than willing for that to happen.
Austria is not a good example. Austria wasn’t invaded. The Austrians by and large considering themselves to be Germans and wanted to be part of Germany, especially by the late 1930s.
However, what we are talking about here, is the government of a country taking decisions that it deems in the best interest of the people it governs. It has to weigh up (and without the benefit if hindsight, like we do!) the likely costs and benefits of fighting vs succumbing and decide accordingly. And the fact is that those neighbouring countries that opposed the Axis suffered proportional casualties at least an order greater than those who succumbed, with little if any comparative benefit.
The greater good and benefit is that the Nazis never won the war. Isn’t that enough? Should all of Germany’s neighbouring countries just have accepted Nazi rule?
But they didn't fight to the end, did they? They did not, aside from a small minority, fight the Soviet takeover 1944-45.
They never gave up fighting against the Germans. Did the Poles ever officially surrender? No.

By 1944-45 the Poles had very little left to fight with and had suffered horrendous casualties.
But you can't apply 'my logic' to this conflict because it is not over yet. We do not know what the outcome is going to be even in the short run, let alone the long one, so we have no way of evaluating the real costs/benefits.
We know what Putin wants. We know that the Ukrainians are suffering terrible casualties.

Thus, we do know enough now for you to make up your mind. By your logic the Ukrainians should just give in to avoid further casualties.

Unlike you, by and large the majority of citizens of a country care about their motherland/fatherland and will fight for it, respect and value their nationality, nation, culture, etc. Most people will NOT give up their sovereignty to a stronger country just for the sake of it or to avoid possible casualties.
Last edited by George L Gregory on 20 May 2022 22:05, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by gebhk » 20 May 2022 17:34

What benefits?
My point precisely. After the war Poland ended up in exactly the same boat as Chechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria etc Even in the less tangible sphere of international respect and goodwill, it is my experience that Chechoslovakia and even Hungary get a great deal more of it than Poland. So I am hard pushed to say what benefits Poland has reaped from fighting ther Germans rather than meekly submitting like Chechoslovakia or even siding with the Germans like Hungary.
The greater good and benefit is that the Nazis never won the war.
Which would have happened whether Poland fought them or not.
By 1944-45 the Poles had very little left to fight with and had suffered horrendous casualties.
Relatively speaking, the Poles had little to fight with in 1939 also. The real difference is that by 1944, they had a more realistic view of the situation.
Unlike you, by and large the majority of citizens of a country care about their motherland/fatherland and will fight for it,
With respect, please spare us the pompous ad hominems - no one knows what an individual will do when a gun is pointed at their head and the heads of their family. I would point out that even in a relatively nationalistically motivated country like Poland, once the Germans had overrun it and the choice to fight or not became an individual one, the vast majority chose to keep their head down and try to keep themselves and their family safe. That is true of all countries thus overrun. But, again, we are not talking about what individual citizenes would or would not do, we are talking about governments who should, we hope, make rational choices rather than emotional knee-jerks. Furthermore the imputation that someone who is not willing to take their country into war without regard for the consequences does not care about their motherland is unworthy. The opposite is often true. Wise leaders who cvare about their country do not take it into a war that cannot be won, and do so regardless of popular sentiment - much as what happened in Czechoslovakia.

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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by George L Gregory » 20 May 2022 22:20

gebhk wrote:
20 May 2022 17:34
My point precisely. After the war Poland ended up in exactly the same boat as Chechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria etc Even in the less tangible sphere of international respect and goodwill, it is my experience that Chechoslovakia and even Hungary get a great deal more of it than Poland. So I am hard pushed to say what benefits Poland has reaped from fighting ther Germans rather than meekly submitting like Chechoslovakia or even siding with the Germans like Hungary.
So I shall ask you again, what benefits?

Do you think Polish people and especially the Polish diplomats and leaders learnt anything from Czechoslovakia?

Do you think in August 1939 anyone could seriously take Hitler’s word? You have got to be kidding me!
Which would have happened whether Poland fought them or not.
Poland was the first country that said no to Nazi tyranny.
Relatively speaking, the Poles had little to fight with in 1939 also. The real difference is that by 1944, they had a more realistic view of the situation.
Well the Poles were no match for the Germans, but in those four years millions of Poles had been murdered by the Nazis.

Are you arguing that the stronger has the right to dominate the weaker by any means possible? What am I missing here? I mean, that is basically what the Nazis advocated and adhered to rigidly.

The people who belonged to the Polish Underground State are a perfect example of what courageous, strong and patriotic people do to try and defend their country. Nazi or Soviet it did not matter, but what did matter to those individuals and collectively was defending their country.
With respect, please spare us the pompous ad hominems - no one knows what an individual will do when a gun is pointed at their head and the heads of their family. I would point out that even in a relatively nationalistically motivated country like Poland, once the Germans had overrun it and the choice to fight or not became an individual one, the vast majority chose to keep their head down and try to keep themselves and their family safe. That is true of all countries thus overrun. But, again, we are not talking about what individual citizenes would or would not do, we are talking about governments who should, we hope, make rational choices rather than emotional knee-jerks. Furthermore the imputation that someone who is not willing to take their country into war without regard for the consequences does not care about their motherland is unworthy. The opposite is often true. Wise leaders who cvare about their country do not take it into a war that cannot be won, and do so regardless of popular sentiment - much as what happened in Czechoslovakia.
It was a matter of life and death. In some situations the Nazis treated the Poles worse than the Jews. An example is that Polish workers who had sexual relations with Germans were given the death penalty and hanged publicly whilst Jews who had sexual relations with Germans were sent to concentration camps and in some cases special courts were made to allow the death penalty to be carried out. Which is quite odd considering according to Nazis the Poles were Aryans and Jews were non-Aryans. Then again, logic and reason weren’t exactly key points of Nazi ideology.

Millions of innocent Poles were murdered. What was a helpless and hopeless average Joe Bloggs Pole supposed to do against a bunch of Nazi thugs? The Nazis rules by terror.

There are examples throughout the Nazi era of many Germans conspiring together to get rid of Hitler, but his power was so great that it just simply wasn’t possible. There were laws that were passed in 1933 and 1934 that made it a criminal offence to even so much as question the Nazi leaders, the Nazi Party, the Nazi regime, etc.

Look at how the Soviets invaded and conquered territories. It was done the same way. Mass murdered, fear, terror, etc.

The way the Nazis worked was that it was their way or the highway. Ditto for the Soviets.

You haven’t named any potential benefits the majority of Poles would have benefited from if the Polish government in 1939 had given into Hitler’s demands. We know that he wasn’t interested in just Danzig (another one of his never-ending lies), so where would it have ended? It was precisely because of Hitler’s aggression that diplomats from various countries changed their opinions of him in the summer of 1939.

You talk about hindsight. I have always wondered, how many British people know that Britain declared war on Germany because of German aggression towards Poland and to defend Poland’s sovereignty but after WW2 the Britain quite happily handed Poland over to the Soviets and thus gave away Poland's sovereignty?

By your reasoning, why is Volodymyr Zelenskyy continuing the war with Russia when he knows fine well that Ukraine cannot defeat Russia? Does that mean he’s not wise? Does that mean he is not making a rational choice?

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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by Steve » 20 May 2022 22:36

wm “so low-level meetings and talks were intense.” I don’t think talks between chauffeurs etc count.

wm “That's fake history. Poland "intervened" (i.e., demanded what the Czechs and the Munich Pact promised earlier) after the Czechs had surrendered.”

The Cz army started mobilising on the 23rd and to my knowledge had not evacuated the Sudetenland fortifications when the Cz army leadership met on the 28th. The Polish note was handed in on the 30th. Would the Cz army have fought without the Polish demands? I don't know.

wm “Beck did better than that. He accepted war when Poland was at peak political power - i.e. when willing Britain arrived with France in tow.”

Signing the agreement with Britain was meant to avoid war. On April 8 1939 Beck on his back from London to Warsaw met Lipski on the train. Lipsk was convinced that war was now inevitable, in other words the Anglo Polish agreement would bring about a war. Beck disagreed he thought that Hitler would accept Warsaw’s position on Danzig. Source is Jozef Lipski.

gebhk, I have no idea as to whether Beck was an alcoholic or not but he certainly seems to have been a heavy drinker. I take it then that you do not believe what Beck’s Chef de Cabinet said about him. What does his wife say about his drinking?

On March 24 1939 Beck had a meeting with his senior officials saying that Germany was marching all over Europe with 9 divisions, that Poland would not be overcome with such strength, Hitler and his associates knew this, and that the Poles held all the trump cards. Presumably the British proposal of March 21st has caused him to view the world through rose tinted spectacles. Taken from Jan Karski’s book The Great Powers and Poland and his source was Jozef Lipski.

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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by wm » 20 May 2022 23:29

Steve wrote:
20 May 2022 22:36
wm “so low-level meetings and talks were intense.” I don’t think talks between chauffeurs etc count.
It wasn't between chauffeurs.

Steve wrote:
20 May 2022 22:36
The Cz army started mobilising on the 23rd and to my knowledge had not evacuated the Sudetenland fortifications when the Cz army leadership met on the 28th. The Polish note was handed in on the 30th. Would the Cz army have fought without the Polish demands? I don't know.
Polish and Hungarian demands were conditioned on acceptance of German demands so they were irrelevant in this case.
The decision to surrender was made by Beneš himself and accepted by the government. Beneš never mentioned Poland as a reason for his decision - even in the slightest degree.

Steve wrote:
20 May 2022 22:36
Signing the agreement with Britain was meant to avoid war. On April 8 1939 Beck on his back from London to Warsaw met Lipski on the train. Lipsk was convinced that war was now inevitable, in other words the Anglo Polish agreement would bring about a war. Beck disagreed he thought that Hitler would accept Warsaw’s position on Danzig. Source is Jozef Lipski.
To create a credible deterrent one must be ready to accept the possibility of war.
Beck or the British didn't bring about the war, that's victim-blaming - only Hitler himself.


Steve wrote:
20 May 2022 22:36
On March 24 1939 Beck had a meeting with his senior officials saying that Germany was marching all over Europe with 9 divisions, that Poland would not be overcome with such strength, Hitler and his associates knew this, and that the Poles held all the trump cards. Presumably the British proposal of March 21st has caused him to view the world through rose tinted spectacles. Taken from Jan Karski’s book The Great Powers and Poland and his source was Jozef Lipski.
Yes, he said that but we don't know what he meant, nor if his words were accurately recorded.

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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by wm » 21 May 2022 09:54

Just before 2 A.M. on 21 September 1938, the French legation called the castle and demanded an audience with the president for 2 A.M. The British minister would come along as well. [...]
Newton and de Lacroix arrived fifteen minutes late (the British legation had a hard time decoding Newton's instructions from Lord Halifax), but they wore top hats. Darkness provided an appropriate background for their arrival. From a distance, they could be mistaken for seconds who were to officiate a duel between gentlemen. But the president was more likely to see them as executioner's helpers who had come to make preliminary arrangements in his cell before he would be taken out at dawn.
As soon as they entered, Benes noticed that they seemed unspeakably sad, almost fearful, studiously avoiding his eyes.
Newton was more decisive than de Lacroix, and he delivered his message first. London and Paris refused to accept Prague's rejection of the Anglo-French proposal and threatened that Hitler's attack was imminent. Benes now had one more chance, Newton stressed, to save his country from disaster.

De Lacroix had begun weeping even before he delivered his lines. Crying, he stumbled over the first sentences, but he gradually rediscovered his courage and his voice finally acquired a steely undertone. When he read the crucial sentence, that France would break its legal obligations to Czechoslovakia and would not go to war against the Third Reich, it sounded merciless. Ignoring Newton, Benes asked for a written statement from de Lacroix, which he was unwilling to provide. [...]
Benes inquired: Is this "une sorte d'ultimatum"? Newton and de Lacroix confirmed it by repeating they had nothing else to add. [...]

Because the two envoys were unable to say anything in addition to reading the texts they had already communicated, it was only Benes who spoke. Neither Great Britain nor France knew what they were doing, he said, and their policy would have grave consequences for Czechoslovakia, Central Europe, and Europe in general. The consequences would be dreadful, he repeated.
De Lacroix began to weep again, and the meeting was over.
Czechoslovakia between Stalin and Hitler: The Diplomacy of Edvard Beneš by Igor Lukes

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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by wm » 21 May 2022 09:58

Now the government had to meet to make a decision. It was 4:20 A.M.M Benes went to discuss the ultimatum with the ministers in a different part of the Castle. They had to face a hideous dilemma. [...]
The government pondered the ultimatum to 1 P.M. and again from 3:30 to 5 P.M. Several ministers broke down and wept. When Newton returned to the British legation, he predicted that Benes would cave in. But the president continued to have doubts.

At noon on 21 September 1938, Newton and de Lacroix came back to demand an answer to the ultimatum they had left in Benes's hands some eight hours ago.
They repeated that unless an official acceptance was forthcoming immediately, neither London nor Paris would have any responsibility for the consequences.
...
Minister Stefan Osusky cabled from Paris that neither Paris nor London sought to find an honorable solution to the crisis because their intention was to gain time for themselves by feeding Hitler chunks of Czechoslovak territory. "Judge the situation calmly and objectively," Osusky urged the Prague government, 'without regard to what you hear from Great Britain and France."

This did not change the direction of the tide, and on 21 September 1938, just before Krofta officially informed Newton and de Lacroix that "under pressure of urgent insistence" the Prague government "sadly accepts the French and British proposals."
Czechoslovakia between Stalin and Hitler: The Diplomacy of Edvard Beneš by Igor Lukes

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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by DavidFrankenberg » 21 May 2022 14:55

So far, i found that, excepted Beck, only Horthy bowed to Hitler (the day before Hitler invaded Hungary in 1944). Horthy was Hitler's ally.
horthy.png
source https://i1.wp.com/hungarianspectrum.org ... horthy.jpg

So far, i found that Hitler bowed (a bit) to only one man : Marshall Hindenburg, President of the Reich, during the Postdam day.
hindenburg.png
source wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potsdam_Day
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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by wm » 21 May 2022 18:44

From "The Times" (January 26, 1939)
The Times January 26 1939.png
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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by wm » 21 May 2022 18:46

January 26 1939.png
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Re: Pilsudski's preventive war against Hitler in 1934 : fake or not ?

Post by wm » 21 May 2022 21:44

From "The Times" (April 11, 1933)
The theory is that speculations like this gave Piłsudski the idea to pressure Germany into abandoning hostility and revisionism by embracing them (i.e., the speculations) and creating a credible war scare.
The Times 04-11.png
The Times 04-11n.png
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