Did Pilsudski plan an alliance with Hitler against Stalin?

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ljadw
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Re: Did Pilsudski plan an alliance with Hitler against Stali

Post by ljadw » 20 Oct 2011 20:41

I must disagree :the Polish state was created because the existing order of 1914 disappeared at the end of WWI;the only situation that was favorable for Poland was the new one :Poland created at the expense of his 2 defeated neighbours.To upset this statu quo would result in a mortal danger for Poland:it would be at the mercy of Germany,or the SU .The statu quo was the best thing any Polish statesman could imagine .
Btw :any gain Poland could obtain at the expense of the SU would disturb the demographic situation in Poland,at the expense of Poland :before WWII,there already was a non Polish minority of some 33%:expansion to the east would mean that the non Poles could become a majority .

Led125
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Re: Did Pilsudski plan an alliance with Hitler against Stali

Post by Led125 » 20 Oct 2011 22:05

It is contrary to historical truth to posit a conflict between the policies of Pilsudski and Beck toward Germany.

Pilsudski regarded Beck as his disciple in foreign policy, and Beck regarded himself as the executor of Pilsudski's political legacy. Everything that Beck did was faithful to the political line laid down by Pilsudski before his death, which was one of detente with Germany after Hitler's ascent to power and abandonment of the previous anti-Polish policies of the Weimar republic.

When Beck responded favorably toward Hitler's hints at a thaw in German-Polish relations, he was carrying out Pilsudski's policy, not acting contrary to it.
As I never posited a distinction between the policies of the two statesmen, I am quite perplexed as to what these three paragraphs had to do with anything.
Pilsudski remained firmly anti-Sovit until his dying day. In fact, a couple of days before his death, he condemned the visit of Laval to Moscow for the purpose of concluding the French-soviet military alliance, telling his aide that the French cozying up to Moscow would come to no good. That was almost his last recorded statement before his death.
Not exactly true. Whilst it is true that Pilsudski was hardly enamoured with the USSR, he did not allow this to get in the way of his policies of balance. As I mentioned earlier, Pilsudski presided over very friendly relations with the USSR up until the end of 1933. It was the USSR, not Pilsudski, that was responsible for the later thaw. Regardless, Pilsudski rejected post-1933 demands for a military attack on the USSR.
That is his prerogative, but I see no good reason to reject Rauschning's claim.
Thing is Michael, there is no good reason to accept it. It was made many years after the event and there is no other indication that Pilsudski made such remarks. It isn't mentioned by any other Polish or German statesman or civil servant, and someone else who was in that meeting has denied that Pilsudski made such a statement.

The rest of your argument doesn't provide any additional evidence that the alleged remarks were made. It engages in some speculation as to why it might be, but that's hardly the same thing as evidence.
Rauschning had a personal motive for revealing what Pilsudski had intimated on 11 December 1933, a motive that was consistent with his compulsive hatred of Hitler. Essentially Rauschning was claiming that in 1933 there had been a chance for resolution of all the conflicts between Germany and Poland that could have avoided the German-Polish war that historically did break out in 1939, and possibly led to victory over the Soviet Union in alliance with Poland, thereby avoiding the disaster of 1945. However, that chance had been lost due to what Rauschning claimed (falsely) was Hitler's intransigently anti-Polish attitude.
If Rauschning had a motive for revealing a "truth" about the meeting, then he would have also had a motive for making it up. It's not as if Rauschning was beyond that. Alternatively he could have just misremembered (the meeting had taken place 18 years previously after all).

It is also interesting you point out that Rauschning claimed that Hitler had an anti-polish attitude. In fact, in 'Hitler Speaks' Rauschning gives a rather different picture of Hitler's attitude of the Poles (which I have quoted in another forum). This seems to discredit your (or Wojciechowski's) theory that Rauschning needed to hide this information for two decades, lest it show Hitler in a postive light.

michael mills
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Re: Did Pilsudski plan an alliance with Hitler against Stali

Post by michael mills » 21 Oct 2011 06:12

It is also interesting you point out that Rauschning claimed that Hitler had an anti-polish attitude. In fact, in 'Hitler Speaks' Rauschning gives a rather different picture of Hitler's attitude of the Poles (which I have quoted in another forum). This seems to discredit your (or Wojciechowski's) theory that Rauschning needed to hide this information for two decades, lest it show Hitler in a postive light.
I do not know what you mean here.

I have read "Hitler Speaks", so I know that Rauschning cliams that when he returned from Warsaw at the end of 1933 and reported to Hitler on his discussions with Pilsudski, Hitler revealed to him that the detente with Poland was merely a temporary measure to give Germany time to rearm, and that he intended to turn against Poland when the time was ripe. The detente with Poland was purely for show, not meant as a long-term relationship. Rauschning was certainly presenting Hitler as anti-Polish, and determined to overthrow Poland eventually. In his book, he contrasts his own claimed attitude of genuine friendship with Poland with what he claims is Hitler's deceptive opening to that country, designed merely to gain time for a future attack.

Led125
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Re: Did Pilsudski plan an alliance with Hitler against Stali

Post by Led125 » 21 Oct 2011 18:15

Rauschning writes this of his meeting:

"He walked up and down in silent thought. I seized this opportunity of outlining for him my own views of a possible great German policy in the east. My idea was that the frontiers should not be tampered with, but that an identity of interests should be created across them by a tightening of the economic and political relations among the central and south-eastern European states, leading gradually along peaceful lines to a sort of federation. I felt there was every reason to hope for the assistance of Great Britain in such a peaceful expansion of Germany. The conditions for such a policy existed not only in Poland, but above all in Germany, for the very reason that she was known as a nationalist state. Germany would have a great future, I urged, if, instead of a rigorous revisionist policy, she were to carry out a policy of peaceful alliances. Certainly I had received from my conversation with Marshal Pilsudski the impression of a very real desire on the part of Poland for a permanent understanding with the Reich.
Hitler had allowed me to talk on. Whether or not he was really listening, I do not know. But at this point he broke in.

"Naturally," he remarked, "I should prefer an eastern policy of agreement with Poland rather than one directed against her."
Again he fell silent, then resumed:

"At any rate I shall give the Poles a chance. They have men who seem to me to be realists, and they have as little use for democracy as we have. But of course they will have to be generous in their views. Then I shall be so as well."


Hitler asked me whether Poland would be prepared to yield certain districts to Germany in return for others. I replied that it would not be wise to open negotiations with such demands, though it might be possible to discuss them later. Hitler did not reply to this.
"The struggle against Versailles," he said, "is the means, but not the end of my policy. I am not in the least interested in the former frontiers of the Reich. The recreation of pre-war Germany is not a task worthy of our revolution."
"Do you plan to attack Russia with the assistance of Poland?" I asked him.
"Perhaps," he returned.
"I rather thought your previous remarks implied that," I said.
"Soviet Russia, however, is a difficult problem. I doubt if I shall be able to start anything there."
I replied that perhaps Poland might be induced to surrender western territory against compensation in the east, which should be of considerable value to Poland. However, she would not be content with White Russian districts alone. She would want a coastline on the Baltic as well as districts that would give her an outlet to the Black Sea.
"I think the gentlemen will have to give up their pretensions to Ukrainian territory," Hitler interrupted me.
I replied that perhaps these considerations were a little premature, as it was necessary to find out first whether any co-operation was possible at all, and if so, how far it could be carried. I did not doubt that Poland and Germany had a powerful common interest in pushing back Soviet Russia from Europe, but I was afraid Poland had little understanding of the German-Ukrainian policy. On my very first visit to Warsaw, I had been asked to use my influence to see that Rosenberg's plans for a Ukraine under the German government were dropped. If Poland were to relinquish certain interests in the west, then I could not but believe she would lay claim to the Ukraine herself, as well as Lithuania, and perhaps even Latvia. For Polish politicians to dream of a Greater Polish Empire extending from the Baltic to the Black Sea, and from Riga to Kiev, was surely something more than mere patriotic romancing. These were realistic hopes based on geopolitical considerations.
"I have little use for a military might and a new Polish great power on my frontiers," Hitler broke in abruptly. "A war with Russia would not be in my interest."
In that case, I replied, Poland would hardly be likely to surrender any of her western territory.
"Then I shall force her. I have it in my power to force her to neutrality. It would be a simple matter for me to partition Poland."
I asked Hitler what he meant.
"All our agreements with Poland have a purely temporary significance. I have no intention of maintaining a serious friendship with Poland. I do not need to share my power with anyone."
He paced the room in silence for some minutes.
"I could at any time come to an agreement with Soviet Russia," he said at last, as he paused and faced me. "I could partition Poland when and how I pleased. But I don't want to. It would cost too much. If I can avoid it, I will not do it. I need Poland only so long as I am still menaced by the West."

Hitler did not say that he "intended to turn against Poland when the time was ripe", but that he preferred an Eastern policy with Poland rather than against her, and Rauschning commented that Poland had an interest in forcing back Russia with Germany. I still do not understand why, given this, Rauschning would have had a motive in 1951 for revealing the extent of Polish hostility to Russia that he didn't have in 1939.

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Re: Did Pilsudski plan an alliance with Hitler against Stali

Post by Dachhase » 08 Dec 2011 06:28

This is not my area of expertise, but I am intrigued by claims that it was Polish Military Intelligence which set up the German secret service operation that convinced Stalin that many of his top generals were spies. The result was that the top leadership of the Red Army was almost wiped out. Which did make things a little easier for the Wehrmacht in 1941.
Google: "Magdeburg Sting". There are about six or seven sites. It relates to 1938, by which time Pilsudski was dead, but his spirit was not.
The claim is plausible. I am not totally convinced that it is true; I have to think it over and do some checking.

MARQ
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Re: Did Pilsudski plan an alliance with Hitler against Stali

Post by MARQ » 10 Dec 2011 01:14

Some pictures from the time of cooperation. More to come.

Joseph Goebbels and Josef Pilsudski, Hans von Moltke and Josef Beck, Warsaw 1934
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Funeral of Marshal Pilsudski. Hermann Göring just behind the widow. Krakow 1935
French diplomatic protocol was used to allow German (Allemagne) delegation be at honorable place.
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Adolf Hitler at funeral mass, Berlin 1935
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Hermann Göring and President Moscicki at one of regular huntings.
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Hermann Göring in Warsaw Castle looking at Jan Matejko painting "King Bathory at Pskov"
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Large military maneuvers in Volhynia Septemeber 1938, just after Munich Pact and Soviet maneuvers at Polish border.
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Joachim von Ribbentrop, Warsaw 25.1.1939
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Heinrich Himmler Warsaw February 1939
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Piotr Mikołajski
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Re: Did Pilsudski plan an alliance with Hitler against Stali

Post by Piotr Mikołajski » 11 Dec 2011 08:41

MARQ wrote:Some pictures from the time of cooperation. More to come.
It would be nice to write about the source of photos.
Best regards,
Piotr Mikołajski

MARQ
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Re: Did Pilsudski plan an alliance with Hitler against Stali

Post by MARQ » 11 Dec 2011 22:46

The source of pictures is RobertMichulec, "Ku wrzesniowi 1939", 2008. They probably come from Centralne Archiwum Wojskowe.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Did Pilsudski plan an alliance with Hitler against Stali

Post by Sid Guttridge » 12 Dec 2011 17:24

Hi led125,

From memory, wasn't Rauschning's book published in English in 1941, in New York, not 1951? There are thus propagandistic suspicions about it.

As I understand it, while Rauschning did meet Hitler on several occasions, but he was never his confidante and may never have been alone with him.

I would be very interested to know what Rauschning reported before the outbreak of war regarding what Hitler had said with regard to Poland. Do you have anything on that?

One cannot completely ignore Rauschning, but I would be wary about accepting him verbatim.

ljadw
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Re: Did Pilsudski plan an alliance with Hitler against Stali

Post by ljadw » 12 Dec 2011 18:33

IMHO,the reliability of Rauschning is nihil.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Did Pilsudski plan an alliance with Hitler against Stali

Post by Sid Guttridge » 13 Dec 2011 19:24

Hi ljadw,

The fact that you dismiss Rauschning so completely tells us rather more about you than it does about him.

Nobody seems to doubt that Rauschning did meet Hitler on at least a few occasions. He therefore cannot be dismissed 100%.

As I said before, "One cannot completely ignore Rauschning, but I would be wary about accepting him verbatim."

Boby
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Re: Did Pilsudski plan an alliance with Hitler against Stali

Post by Boby » 23 Dec 2011 13:56


ljadw
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Re: Did Pilsudski plan an alliance with Hitler against Stali

Post by ljadw » 23 Dec 2011 19:13

Sid Guttridge wrote:Hi ljadw,

The fact that you dismiss Rauschning so completely tells us rather more about you than it does about him.

Nobody seems to doubt that Rauschning did meet Hitler on at least a few occasions. He therefore cannot be dismissed 100%.

As I said before, "One cannot completely ignore Rauschning, but I would be wary about accepting him verbatim."
The Swiss historian Wolfgang Haenel called Rauschning a liar,who claimed to have met Hitler more than hundred times,while it only was 4 times .
Sir Ian Kershaw:"I have on no single occasion cited Hermann Rauschning's "Hitler speaks",a work now regarded to have so little authenticity that it is best to disregard it altogether (Hitler,Volume 1,1998,p XV)
Rauschning is the typical exemple of the political emigré,who is inventing a lot of stories ang giving himself the importance,he never had,to make a living.
The fact the he met Hitler 4 times,is no prove that what he is telling,is the truth,but the fact that he lied about the numbers of his meetings with Hitler,is proving that he is a liar .

ljadw
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Re: Did Pilsudski plan an alliance with Hitler against Stali

Post by ljadw » 23 Dec 2011 19:20

Boby wrote:See also the opinion of Greiser:
http://library2.lawschool.cornell.edu/d ... CIX_25.pdf

:roll:
The same Greiser claimed (of course) of having been in disagreement with the persecution of the Jews .Maybe,he claimed also to have saved the live of a lot of Jews . :P

steverodgers801
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Re: Did Pilsudski plan an alliance with Hitler against Stali

Post by steverodgers801 » 24 Dec 2011 01:53

For the first few years of its existence Nazi Germany had to have the cooperation of Poland until its army was ready. Just as he was willing to cooperate with Stalin to gain a goal. Hitler would be willing to be friendly with the Poles. There is no doubt what Hitlers ultimate intent toward Poland was.

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