"Poland wanted war with Germany"

Discussions on all aspects of Poland during the Second Polish Republic and the Second World War. Hosted by Peter K
Michael Kenny
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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by Michael Kenny » 21 Feb 2016 07:51

M.Riemann wrote:
Is not a fake, just a mistake, see below:
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... sosnkowski
It (the original "Poland wants war with Germany and Germany will not be able to avoid it even if she wants to.") is a fake because apart from not being from 'The Daily Mail' none of those words appear in the article in The Kalgoorie Miner

The Kalgoorie Miner Monday August 7 1939.

Poland's Determination
Army Leader's Speech.

Warsaw Aug 6.
''We did not begin the Danzig affair. We will not avoid our obligations, but will adjust our actions in Danzig to those of the opposing side'' declared the Inspector-General of of the Army, Marshal Smigly-Ridz, addressing 100,000 people at Cracow , on the 25th anniversary of the march to the front of the Polish Legion. ''We have no aggressive intentions, but shall resist all, with-out exception, who attempt, directIy or indirectly, to infringe the rights and dignity of our State.'' Poland intends to repel violence with all her forces
''To-day, when the words 'war' and peace' are on everyone's lips, we declare that we love peace as much as anyone, but it cannot be a peace which means to take from one people and give to another. Danzig, the lung of our economic organisation, has been united with Poland for centuries, and we have made our point of view very clear.''
Marshal Smigly-Ridz concluded : 'It is my duty to say with deep emotion that we have friends among nations who understand the essential meaning of things and have formulated their attitude towards us''. (Cheers).
The speech was punctuated with cries of ''We will never yield Danzig. ''
General Sosnkowski, second in command of the Polish army, declared -''Pilsudski's legionnaires were particularly favoured by history because it seems that they will participate in a second international war in which Poland will be one of the most important and most exposed actors in the drama. It seems that after 20 years the main act in the stabilisation of Polish independence is beginning.''


It should be pointed out that The Kalgoorie Miner is a very small circulation local newspaper in Western Australia

tyci
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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by tyci » 20 Jun 2018 18:05

I am curious how far we can backtrace this August 6th attribution. The quote wasn't present in the original 24 April 2001 archive of polish_atrocities.htm on JRbooksOnline: https://web.archive.org/web/20010424170 ... cities.htm

Do we know who first created the August 6 > 7 mistake? Could it be intentional misdirection?

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by wm » 20 Jun 2018 22:02

Below the largest Polish daily IKC, with the speech. IKC was based in Kraków where the speech was delivered so they were the primary source.
There is no "Poland wants war with Germany" or anything even remotely similar there.
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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by wm » 13 Aug 2018 23:45

As seen in Poland, in March 1939:
14 March.
Letter from the Chef de cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Ambassador in Tokyo with an assessment of Poland's position on the international stage

Dear Mr. Ambassador,
I am availing myself of a moment of quiet at the Ministry in order to write a few words to you. We are presently in the midst of the Slovak crisis. At this very moment information has arrived about the Slovak parliament's proclamation of independence. This operation unfortunately took place under very strong German influence. Since the Czechoslovak crisis of October of last year, Berlin seems to think it can do anything. One gets the impression at times that their veritable plan is to break Eastern Europe up into the greatest possible number of little states under the Reich's protectorate, as if some sort of great Roman Empire and its allies. Of course, Eastern Europe, with the exception of Poland, has shown very little resistance towards Germany so far. [...]

England is showing its teeth, but in actuality it will still try to come to an understanding with Germany.
We are being wooed from all sides. In this game, which may end with a new Munich, everyone wants to be able to make reference to the fact the Poland supports him in order to strengthen his position. This creates a seemingly advantageous situation for us, but one that is in effect very difficult. Any inclination in one direction or another compromises us in the eyes of the other side and produces no real advantages, as one should expect that in case of an understanding between England, France and Germany, the great powers of this world will not take our interests to heart. [...]

It is, of course, in our interest to continue our German policy for as long as possible, even in case of a conflict in the West that is beginning to take shape, in order not to be at the front line. Polish-German relations are developing well - we have some difficulties with settling the Danzig matter given the withdrawal of the League of Nations from there, but even this could prove possible to resolve.
ISBN 978-83-89607-72-0. Polish Documents on Foreign Policy. 24 October 1938 – 30 September 1939

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 23 Sep 2018 18:58

This has been a interesting thread. I'd studied only fragments of Polish foreign policy, and this larger fragment has been useful. The section below has brought a question to me:
michael mills wrote:
03 Jul 2011 06:51
....
The essential factor that allowed the emergence in Poland of a sentiment in favour of a military confrontation with Germany was the agreements on military cooperation with Britain and France reached in April 1939.

Prior to those agreements, Poland was too weak to contemplate war with Germany. Although ever since the end of the First World War there had been influential elements within Poland who wanted to seize Danzig and all German territory east of the Oder-Neisse Line, they did not push strongly for such action, since they knew that Poland by itself was too weak, and that it would not have any external support for such action.

...

After the death of PIlsudski in May 1935, the anti-German elements began to re-emerge, with the permission of Smigly-Rydz, who wanted their support in his struggle for power within Sanacja.

It was the agreements on military cooperation reached with Britain and France in April 1939, and the strategic plan agreed between the Polish and French general staffs in May, under which the French Army would invade Germany 14 days after Poland had sent its own forces into action against Germany, that created the prospect of a successful coalition war against Germany, which in turn encouraged the anti-German forces in Poland to begin making propaganda in favour of a war to seize the German eastern territories. There was also a wide-spread belief in Poland that the German officer corps was so afraid of war with Britain and France that it would overthrow Hitler as soon as war broke out, causing a collapse of the German armed forces and allowing the Polish cavalry to ride into Berlin within a week.
My question concerns September-November 1938 & the Czech Crisis. Had Germany and France stumbled into war over this in the autumn of 1938, what would the attitude of the Polish government then been, and what would the sentiment of various Polish citizen groups or political parties have been?

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by Tucobenedito » 24 Sep 2018 00:23

I remember reading a PDF of a dissertation that I found on AHF somewhere last year about internal Polish conflict between Beck and Rydz Smigley. Beck being pro compromise with Germany and Rydz Smigley ( since getting guarantees from Britain) was keen for conflict, that was if I remember correctly the long and short of it. There was, it seems, cliques in many countries who wanted war.
Rich

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 24 Sep 2018 07:47

Difficult for me to guess which group would have prevailed in 1938.

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by Sid Guttridge » 24 Sep 2018 08:08

Hi Tucobeneito,

What is the evidence that Smigly-Ridz "was keen for conflict" rather than merely resigned to the risk of it?

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by Sid Guttridge » 24 Sep 2018 08:12

Hi Carl,

Interesting, because Poland had unresolved border resentments with both Germany and Poland. However, as it had much more to gain from Germany, my bet is it would have leaned the Anglo-French way.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by wm » 24 Sep 2018 13:49

Beck and Śmigły-Rydz disliked each other, maybe even hated.
Post-Piłsudski a few men partitioned power among themselves. Beck got diplomacy, Śmigły-Rydz got the Army but wanted more.
Because of the "partition" Beck generally was left alone and he single-handedly directed Polish foreign policy. Of course, from time to time he consulted with others but frequently it was "my way or the highway."
That was somewhat offsetted by the fact he was the best foreign minister Poland has ever had.

As to the stumbling, Poland was forbidden by the German-Polish Non-Aggression Pact to "stumble" into war with Germany. So Poland would do nothing.
It would be different if Germany was declared an aggressor by the League of Nations, the Pact contained an escape clause for such an eventuality (of which the Nazis weren't aware it seems.)
But still, Poland would demand a long-term, ironclad alliance be signed first, and a Versalite-like (or better) endgame properly defined. Such a war would be devasting for Poland and simply couldn't be fought for "free".

The Poles themselves disliked the Czechs, they thought they were cowards who wouldn't fight. But heroic Czech resistance would change that because they disliked the Germans more.

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by Tucobenedito » 24 Sep 2018 13:56

Sid, If ye can find the dissertation I talked about you will find the answer to that question. I cannot remember the exact contents of the dissertation but after reading the well referenced material my view was, Rydz Smigly kinda pro conflict and Beck not so much, If it helps ye find it I think it was written by a Canadian student at a Canadian university, University of Manitoba came into my head but I may be wrong. I hope ye can find it because I would be interested to hear your opinion.
I will have a trawl myself to look for it, if I find it I will let ye know.
Rich
I found it. It's on Dissertations/Thesis/Academic works on line index. It's on Page 4 of the thread and is post 58 by Boby.
I was wrong about it being Canadian though.
Rich

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by Sid Guttridge » 24 Sep 2018 16:57

Hi wm,

There was an escape clause for both parties, but, if I remember correctly, it could not be implemented before some time in 1944. Poland never applied to revoke the agreement and Germany ignored it in September 1939.

Cheers,

Sid.

P.S. Yup, I've just checked. The 1934 Non-Aggression Pact was to last a minimum of 10 years and only thereafter could either party withdraw with six months notice.

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by wm » 24 Sep 2018 18:47

Not quite, this is the clause:
The two Governments base their action on the fact that the maintenance and guarantee of a lasting peace between their countries is an essential pre-condition for the general peace of Europe.

They have therefore decided to base their mutual relations on the principles laid down in the Pact of Paris of the 17th August, 1928, and propose to define more exactly the application of these principles in so far as the relations between Germany and Poland are concerned.
The Pact of Paris forbade wars of aggression and said that the parties failing to abide by it should be denied the benefits furnished by the treaty - so it follows the treaties based on it.

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by Sid Guttridge » 24 Sep 2018 19:05

Hi wm,

I am not sure that contradicts what I posted about the 1934 non-aggression pact's get out clause - 10 years minimum plus six months notification of withdrawal by either party.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: "Poland wanted war with Germany"

Post by wm » 24 Sep 2018 19:34

I had no intention to contradicts that, I only say the "Paris" clause was the one which allowed to terminate the pact immediately.

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