What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Discussions on all aspects of Poland during the Second Polish Republic and the Second World War. Hosted by Peter K
Futurist
Member
Posts: 2546
Joined: 24 Dec 2015 00:02
Location: SoCal

Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by Futurist » 21 Jun 2020 21:35

wm wrote:
15 Jun 2020 20:50
The point was the Germans didn't have enough food for everybody, this is why they resorted to genocide early (by planning the starvation of tens of millions of Russians in 1940).
This is why from the beginning Polish and Jewish food rations vastly insufficient to survive more than a few months.
That there was no deadly famine (although severe malnutrition was massive) in Poland has nothing to do with anything.

The point is the German didn't have enough food for everybody and this is why they resorted to genocide early.
wm, what do you think would have happened had the Polish harvest in 1940 and 1941 been as good as it was in 1942?

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 5453
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by wm » 21 Jun 2020 21:54

It wouldn't change much, in 1940 and partially 1941 the German apparatus to extract food from Poland didn't work properly. The peasants would merely sell their food surplus to the urban people.

Futurist
Member
Posts: 2546
Joined: 24 Dec 2015 00:02
Location: SoCal

Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by Futurist » 21 Jun 2020 21:56

So, we would still see a Holocaust on as massive of a scale as in real life in this scenario? :(

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 7623
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 21 Jun 2020 23:04

Hi futurist,

Wm has answered that twice by saying that food shortages led to them resorting to genocide "EARLY". This implies he thinks genocide was in the offing anyway.

Cheers,

Sid.

Futurist
Member
Posts: 2546
Joined: 24 Dec 2015 00:02
Location: SoCal

Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by Futurist » 21 Jun 2020 23:09

Sid Guttridge wrote:
21 Jun 2020 23:04
Hi futurist,

Wm has answered that twice by saying that food shortages led to them resorting to genocide "EARLY". This implies he thinks genocide was in the offing anyway.

Cheers,

Sid.
Is this interpretation true, wm?

Anyway, why were Hungary and Romania able to keep their Jewish populations alive (in Hungary's case, until mid-1944) without enduring mass starvation? Were Hungary and Romania much more agricultural than Germany was?

BTW, was Germany a net food importer before 1939? If so, that's another reason for Germany NOT to start a new World War!

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 7623
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 22 Jun 2020 09:55

Hi Futurist,

Romania had no problem feeding itself and the fate of Roman9an Jews d3pend3d on other factors

It's Jews were divisible into three parts.

The Jews of pre-1916 Romania were the largest community in Europe to survive almost intact. This seems to have been because their status was long standing and Antonescu resented German interference in what he considered a Romanian internal affair.

By contrast, the Hungarians actively helped the Germans send the Jews of Northern Transilvania to their deaths in occupied Poland.

Most of the Jews of the territories gained off Russia after WWI were treated as aliens. They were either massacred or forcd into Transnistria, where most soon died of malign neglect by Romanian authorities in unsanitary, underserviced camps.

Thus the Romanian record is decidedly mixed.

Cheers,

Sid.

Futurist
Member
Posts: 2546
Joined: 24 Dec 2015 00:02
Location: SoCal

Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by Futurist » 22 Jun 2020 20:20

Yep, I'm well-aware of all of this information, Sid! FWIW, Hungary actually did mostly try to protect the Jews in Greater Hungary until the Nazi occupation of Hungary in 1944, but afterwards there were plenty of Hungarian collaborators who were willing to help the Nazis with the Holocaust in Hungary. :( IMHO, Miklos Horthy's biggest blunder was trying to make a separate peace; he should not have done that. Had he not done that, the Jews in Greater Hungary would have almost certainly survived the Holocaust almost completely intact.

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 7623
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 22 Jun 2020 22:14

Hi Futurist,

Horthy had no choice but to try for a separate peace. Germany was going down anyway, and there was no good reason for Hungary to go down blindly with it.

Northern Transilvania was part of Greater Hungary, yet its Jews were rounded up for the camps in Poland by the Hungarians while Horthy was still nominally in charge.

Given the actual outcome, Horthy would have been better advised to have jumped the Axis ship after March 1939. The boundary changes achieved then received a wide range of international recognition and might possibly have been retained if Hungary had remained neutral. That, I would suggest, was his biggest mistake.

Cheers,

Sid.

Futurist
Member
Posts: 2546
Joined: 24 Dec 2015 00:02
Location: SoCal

Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by Futurist » 22 Jun 2020 23:01

Sid Guttridge wrote:
22 Jun 2020 22:14
Hi Futurist,

Horthy had no choice but to try for a separate peace. Germany was going down anyway, and there was no good reason for Hungary to go down blindly with it.
The good reason would be to prevent Hungary's Jewish population from being slaughtered en masse, of course.
Northern Transilvania was part of Greater Hungary, yet its Jews were rounded up for the camps in Poland by the Hungarians while Horthy was still nominally in charge.
Horthy's room for maneuver was much more limited after March 1944, to my knowledge. The Germans occupied Hungary in March 1944, which they would likely NOT have done had Horthy remained a loyal German ally up to the very end.
Given the actual outcome, Horthy would have been better advised to have jumped the Axis ship after March 1939. The boundary changes achieved then received a wide range of international recognition and might possibly have been retained if Hungary had remained neutral. That, I would suggest, was his biggest mistake.

Cheers,

Sid.
Hungary actually did remain neutral in World War II until 1941. Had France not fallen in 1940, it would have likely permanently remained neutral. Once France fell, though, Hungary saw the opportunity for some additional territorial expansion in Yugoslavia and took it. Also, I'm unsure that Nazi Germany would have actually allowed Hungary to remain neutral in an Axis-Soviet war due to the fact that Hungary was in the way between Nazi Germany and its ally Romania. That, and maybe Nazi Germany could have reversed the Second Vienna Award had Hungary refused to obey Nazi German demands.

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 7623
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 23 Jun 2020 06:43

Hi Futurist,

So, your proposition is that it was better for Hungary's Jews if the country remained allied to Germany too the end than if it escaped into Allied ranks? A bit too counter intuitive for me!

It is highly unlikely that the Germans would have allowed the Hungarians to conduct the defence of their country on their own, because they simply weren't up to it. The Wehrmacht was going in anyway. Planning for this began in 1943.

Cheers,

Sid.

Futurist
Member
Posts: 2546
Joined: 24 Dec 2015 00:02
Location: SoCal

Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by Futurist » 23 Jun 2020 07:14

Sid Guttridge wrote:
23 Jun 2020 06:43
Hi Futurist,

So, your proposition is that it was better for Hungary's Jews if the country remained allied to Germany too the end than if it escaped into Allied ranks? A bit too counter intuitive for me!
Yes, exactly! (BTW, it's "to the end", not "too the end".) It's ironic, but being nice to the Nazis would have likely resulted in Hungary's Jewish population continuing to exist in its largely intact pre-1944 state until the end of World War II. Plus, Hungary was a military pipsqueak, so it's not like it was vital for the Allied war effort to have Hungary change sides.

This, on the other hand, was an unacceptable Nazi blackmail offer since it could have actually made a sizable impact on the Eastern Front:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joel_Brand
In April 1944 Brand was approached by SS-Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann, head of the German Reich Security Head Office department IV B4 (Jewish affairs), who had arrived in Budapest to organize the deportations. Eichmann proposed that Brand broker a deal between the SS and the United States or Britain, in which the Nazis would exchange one million Jews for 10,000 trucks for the Eastern front and large quantities of tea and other goods. It was the most ambitious of a series of proposals between the SS and Jewish leaders. Eichmann called it "Blut gegen Waren" ("blood for goods").[4]
It is highly unlikely that the Germans would have allowed the Hungarians to conduct the defence of their country on their own, because they simply weren't up to it. The Wehrmacht was going in anyway. Planning for this began in 1943.

Cheers,

Sid.
Sure, the Germans might have very well moved into Hungary in order to prevent Hungary from falling to the Soviet Union, but if Horthy wouldn't have had a previous record of trying to make a separate peace, then it's possible that the Germans might have been more inclined to respect Horthy's authority and thus to refrain from murdering Hungary's Jews en masse. The Germans did, after all, refrain from touching Denmark's Jews between 1940 and 1943 due to Denmark's good behavior--though admittedly Denmark had something like 100 times less Jews than Greater Hungary had.

Futurist
Member
Posts: 2546
Joined: 24 Dec 2015 00:02
Location: SoCal

Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by Futurist » 23 Jun 2020 07:24

BTW, the Jews in the Romanian Old Kingdom territories likewise survived the Holocaust largely intact because Hitler had a good relationship with Antonescu--who AFAIK never actually tried to make a separate peace like Horthy did. Romanian King Michael did, of course, make a separate peace after he and his political allies overthrew Antonescu in late August 1944, but this happened so fast and so suddenly that Germany simply didn't have the necessary time to effectively react to this. That, and Romania--unlike Hungary--actually bordered the Soviet Union.

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 7623
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 23 Jun 2020 10:18

Hi Futurist,

Being accommodating with the Nazis wouldn't do Denmark's Jews much good in the long run.They were moved to Sweden just head of Nazi action against them.

There is also the question of what Horthy's own attitude was towards his country's Jews. One thing we can be pretty sure of - he would have put Hungarian majority interests ahead of Jewish minority interests if the two were conflicting. The Jews of Northern Transilvania were sent to their doom while he was still head of state. What did he do to oppose that?

The only thing that saved any Jews in Axis Europe at all was probably the speed of Allied victory, not the compliance or otherwise of German client states.

A lot of Jews died under Antonescu in Transnistria, so he was not inherently well disposed towards them. This largely stopped once the tide of war turned. His reason for not handing the Jews of the Regat over to Germany seems to have been that he regarded it as interference in Romanian internal affairs.

Yes, Anonescu was negotiating peace with the Allies. He just dithered over accepting the terms. That was why he was removed by the King.

Cheers,

Sid.

Futurist
Member
Posts: 2546
Joined: 24 Dec 2015 00:02
Location: SoCal

Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by Futurist » 24 Jun 2020 21:06

Sid Guttridge wrote:
23 Jun 2020 10:18
Hi Futurist,

Being accommodating with the Nazis wouldn't do Denmark's Jews much good in the long run.They were moved to Sweden just head of Nazi action against them.
Yes, though it's worth noting that even the ones who were deported were sent to Thereseinstadt as opposed to outright being murdered--though several dozen of them did die in Thereseinstadt from disease and/or old age, I believe.
There is also the question of what Horthy's own attitude was towards his country's Jews. One thing we can be pretty sure of - he would have put Hungarian majority interests ahead of Jewish minority interests if the two were conflicting.
Very possibly, unfortunately. :(
The Jews of Northern Transilvania were sent to their doom while he was still head of state. What did he do to oppose that?
Horthy's power after March 1944 was significantly less than it was before March 1944, though? He might have been the nominal head of state, but he served at the whim of the Germans--similar to Mussolini in the Salo Republic.
The only thing that saved any Jews in Axis Europe at all was probably the speed of Allied victory, not the compliance or otherwise of German client states.
But if Hungary really wanted to, it could have sent its Jews en masse to Nazi death camps in 1942-1943. Horthy, however, didn't actually do this. Had it done so, there'd have been almost no survivors among them as opposed to around 200,000 or so survivors among them.
A lot of Jews died under Antonescu in Transnistria, so he was not inherently well disposed towards them. This largely stopped once the tide of war turned.
Yes, Antonescu was certainly a vile piece of crap and it would have been FAR preferable had he not caused any Jewish deaths at all. Indeed, he caused the deaths of between 280,000 and 380,000 Jews--though also ironically having the largest surviving Jewish community in pro-Nazi Europe by the end of World War II, an honor that could have otherwise belonged to Hungary had it not been for the German occupation of Hungary in 1944-1945.
His reason for not handing the Jews of the Regat over to Germany seems to have been that he regarded it as interference in Romanian internal affairs.
That, and he might have already been trying to save his skin in the event of an Allied victory in World War II. Didn't work, of course, but at least the 290,000 or so Jews in the Regat got their lives saved by this.
Yes, Anonescu was negotiating peace with the Allies. He just dithered over accepting the terms. That was why he was removed by the King.

Cheers,

Sid.
Yes, that makes sense.

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 7623
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 25 Jun 2020 00:50

Hi Futurist,

I wouldn't describe Antonescu as "a vile piece of crap". In Romania that distinction was held by the Iron Guard.

Antonescu was a courageous Romanian patriot whose main redeeming feature was relative incorruptibility in a very corrupt country. Under him, a significanr part of the Jewish population was displaced and died due to malign neglect. While hardly a ringing endorsement of him, this was significantly less draconian than the Nazis' proactive attempt to wipe out all Jews everywhere.

I think you will find your 280,000 - 380,000 Romanian Jewish deaths includes about 125,000 from Northern Transylvania, who were actually handed over to the Germans by Hungary. There is also some doubt as to how many ex-Soviet Jews were killed due to some evacuations carried out by the USSR. However, it is clear that the number of Jewish deaths at the hands of the Romanians was in the hundreds of thousands.

Cheers,

Sid.

Return to “Poland 1919-1945”