Recommended reading on Poland 1919-1945

Discussions on all aspects of Poland during the Second Polish Republic and the Second World War. Hosted by Peter K
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Re: Recommended reading on Poland 1919-1945

Post by Hama » 21 Dec 2017 15:05

For those who can read Polish and are interested in Polish intelligence operations during the interwar and WW2 era I can recommend 'Między Warszawą a Tokio: Polsko-japońska współpraca wywiadowcza 1904-1944' by Hiroaki Kuromiya and Andrzej Pepłoński. It discusses Polish-Japanese intelligence relations during that time and the cooperation of their agents in WW2. It's a fascinating subject that doesn't have a lot of other detailed literature written on it, and gives an interesting look in to another aspect of Polish diplomatic and secret services history during that period.

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Re: Recommended reading on Poland 1919-1945

Post by gebhk » 01 May 2018 13:01

Thanks Hama. The relations between Poland and Japan (who like the Hungarians, despite being on different sides, seemed to retain a warm feeling towards Poland) remains a curiously off-beat aspect of the Second World War.

Since the 'secret war' has been raised, we should probably mention Stirling T, Nalecz D, Dubicki T. Intelligence co-operation between Poland and Great Britain during World War II. Vol 1: The report of the Anglo-Polish Historical Committee. Middlesex: Valentine Mitchell; 2005.

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Re: Recommended reading on Poland 1919-1945

Post by HenryD » 12 May 2019 23:08

Poles in the Wehrmacht. Would anyone know if this book is available anywhere or in anyother format than Polish. I would love to be able to read it. My google searches find that its no longer in wide circulation.
If anyone would know of any alternative reading of a similar nature that would be helpful.
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Re: Recommended reading on Poland 1919-1945

Post by henryk » 13 May 2019 21:43 ... -wehrmacht
Poles in Nazi German Wehrmacht

=Post by Bonobo on Jul 17, 2011 at 4:13pm

The knowledge about Poles in German Wehrmacht has been slowly surfacing over recent years. The peak of the discussion was in 2005, during presidential elections, when PiS, the nationalist party, accused a liberal candidate of having a Wehrmacht grandfather.
The truth is that most Poles who served in Wehrmacht were forced to do it. When circumstances allowed, they deserted and joined the Polish Armed Forces in the West during Italy 1943 or France 1944 campaigns.

Facts: (from this Polish article,po ... material_3)

-Nearly half Polish pre-war territory was directly annexed into Nazi Germany in 1939. Poles who lived there faced two options- become German citizens or remain Poles, with all horrible consequences.
-from 295.000 to 500.000 Poles served in Nazi Wehrmacht.
-the first wave of deportations and repressions against Poles in German occupied Poland took place in 1939-40. The Volskliste was introduced in 1941. Many Poles signed it, fearing the fate of those who had been repressed before.
- All Polish diaries by Wehrmacht soldiers mention the feeling of alienation and estrangement.
- However, when in combat conditions, Poles were good soldiers. Brotherhood of arms caused it. Also, German soldiers liked Poles.
- It happened many times that Poles shot at other Poles in hostile armies.
- Wearing a Wehrmacht uniform didn`t provoke contempt from other Poles. They understood the whole complexity of the matter. After the war, except for individual cases, the service in German army didn`t entail communist repressions.
-90.000 ex-Wehrmacht soldiers joined the Polish Forces in the West after desertion or capture.
-Poor knowledge of the German language was the cause of directing Poles mostly to infantry units.

There were also thousands of Polish pre-war citizens who served in German forces during the war. Most of them were people who accepted so-called Volksliste ("German People's List"). In several areas, mainly Upper Silesia, Zaolzie, Pomerania, and Masuria, Poles were forced to sign these documents. Rejection of Volksliste often led to deportation to a concentration camp. Many people were compelled by force and many took Volksliste fearing the consequences. Some of those who took Volksliste were later drafted into the German forces. It was significant that the Polish government-in-exile knew about it, and Prime Minister general W³adys³aw Sikorski approved. [6]

It is not known what Hitler thought about Poles as soldiers, but one fact is certain - he distrusted them. His opinion of Polish soldiers was based on the notions of Erich Ludendorff, who reminded Hitler that during World War I the majority of Poles did not want to fight for Germany. On March 30 1943, SS Headquarters refused to create Polish units, citing the following reasons:
thousands of Poles fled both the German and Austrian armies in 1917–1918;
racial and biological differences;
propaganda reasons - the creation of Polish units would mean that Poles and Germans should be officially treated as equal;
the unsupportive stance of the SD; and
the fact that the Poles themselves were not willing to fight for Germany.

A typical story:
During WWII anyone signing volksliste could be conscripted into german army, especially after Stalingrad. If peoples adopting volksliste in Poland were poles or in fact germans is another story. I knew a man who was married to a german lady. He fought in the polish army. He became a POW in september 1939. Just to get out of the camp, with his wife help he signed in 1940 the volksliste. His story did not end there. After a few months he was taken to the german army. Lucky, he didn't go to the east front but was sent to Afrika Korps. At the first opportunity he changed the camp and fought the germans in Africa, Monte Cassino, ... He is both polish and german army veteran. His sons story is also very complicated and interesting.

Peoples living in Silesia were generally considered as germans and taken to the german army. Some of them fought to the end (1945), some of them were looking for an opportunity of changing their army. A lot of them took their chance in Italy. They were commonly called "the kesselrings". Some of this men, while hating germans remained in Wehrmant. They were a very valuable source of information. This is how the allies got before D-day complete plans of the atlantic wall.
(ed: see source for Photos. Original source for photos ... -4_600.jpg,1052/
In next posts, I will tell you about Polish volunteers in the German army. (Ed: did not find them)

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