Poles before 1939

Discussions on the propaganda, architecture and culture in the Third Reich.
ManfredV
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Re: Poles before 1939

Postby ManfredV » 12 Jan 2018 19:10

Hitler's and Germany's official treatments of Poles had political reasons and was "tactically" .In early years of Hitler's rule Polish army was stronger than the German and Germany feared an attack. So did Weimar Republic before and of course in the early years after WW I Poland attacked f.e. Silesia and wanted more than was agreed in Versailles treaty. So Hitler even made a non-aggression pact with Poland. When a strong Wehrmacht was built, Germany made plans to attack Poland. (of course plans of attacking Poland und USSR war made by Reichswehr since 1920ies!).
Hitler hoped that Poland would agree to give Danzig back to Germany and mayby give back other regions that belonged to Prussia / Germany before 1914
(of course regions that belonged to Poland before it was divided among Prussia,Russia and Austria). Hitler thought that Poland would agree and there would be a treaty like Munich 1938. This failed and so he decided to attack.
But his attitude against Poles was bad from his political beginnings. In WWII Nazis showed their true face and mistreated Poles from beginning of war.

Lamarck
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Re: Poles before 1939

Postby Lamarck » 12 Jan 2018 21:34

wm wrote:No, they didn't. Mostly it was lower rank bureaucrats and nazis who created problems, and mandatory membership in some Nazi organizations was a nuisance.
Practically The Union of Poles in Germany (including its affiliate Association of National Minorities in Germany) and the Catholic Church were the only non-conformist, protected by international agreements, organizations in Nazi Germany.


Are you sure?

Diemut Majer, "Non-Germans" Under the Third Reich:

"In the period that followed, the Blood Protection Law underwent further expansion. Thus, the second implementing regulation to the Blood Protection Law broadened its prohibitions to cover those former Polish citizens who had acquired German citizenship—which affected primarily the so-called ethnic Germans—whereas the prohibition against race mixing did not apply to the great mass of Poles (persons with so-called protected status, or politically reliable foreigners). However, the Blood Protection Law was not aimed solely at Jews but also at other "undesirable" "non-Germans." Hence the call for racial purity, upon which the "inner unity" of a people was said to rest, targeted only superficially the neutralizing of the Jews; it actually took aim at "aliens" of all kinds. Thus the prohibition on marriage, as already noted in the introduction, applied not only to marriages contracted between Jews (including Jewish Mischlinge) and "persons of German blood" and between Jews and Mischlinge of the second degree but was also interpreted beyond the wording of the law as being a desideratum (de facto a requirement) for all marriages between "citizens of German or racially related blood" in cases in which "offspring that would endanger the preservation of the purity of German blood could expected to result." Such a threat was assumed to be latent in all liaisons between Germans and "inferior" "non-Germans," including Gypsies, blacks and their descendants, and later the peoples of Eastern Europe. In order to prove that this threat did not exist in liaisons between "partners of different races," it was necessary to obtain a "certificate of fitness for marriage" from the Public Health Office. Poles, too, although in principle deemed to be among the Aryans, were included in the prohibition on race mixing. There was a de facto prohibition against marriage of (stateless) Poles and Germans as well as marriages of Poles who had acquired Germans citizenship and all other "non-Germans." There was no law enunciating such a prohibition. However, it was put into practice all the same by the tried-and-true method of internal administrative guidelines, which dictated that registry officials simply should not record such marriages, in order (and this was of particular significance in the Annexed Eastern Territories) "to achieve a complete separation . . . [of the German citizens] from their Polish surroundings."

pp. 102-3

"As early as November 7, 1939, Reichsstatthalter Greiser had summarily stated in an order of the day that marriages between Poles and marriages between Jews were provisionally banned, that marriages between ethnic Germans must "comply with the Nuremberg Race Laws," and that "if it all possible," there should be no marriages between Germans and Poles."

p. 247

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wm
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Re: Poles before 1939

Postby wm » 14 Jan 2018 19:41

November 7, 1939 - during the occupation so not before 1939.

stateless Poles - I can't imagine who they were, weren't Polish citizens, weren't German citizens (otherwise they would be Polish Germans).

Poles who had acquired German citizenship - a tiny minority, the Poles who lived in the territory of pre-Great War Germany were given German citizenship automatically - so those who acquired it were mostly post-1918 immigrants.

I think he writes in "Non-Germans" later that all the certificates and secret prohibitions were implemented inconsistently, it was a huge mess.


ManfredV wrote:But his attitude against Poles was bad from his political beginnings. In WWII Nazis showed their true face and mistreated Poles from beginning of war.

The problem is his attitude was not that important.
From his point of view, from the point of view of the totalitarian Nazi state what was done in Poland had to be done.
The extermination of Polish elites, the enslavement and exploitation of the masses was the "correct" solution of the problem - again from the point of view of the totalitarian Nazi state.
Even if he had liked the Poles for some reasons, he would do the same.

Gulo
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Re: Poles before 1939

Postby Gulo » 15 Jan 2018 16:21

Lamarck wrote:How did the Nazis view the Poles prior to 1939?

I can't seem to find any pre-WW2 Nazi propaganda against the Poles.


For a long time Hitler thought that the Poles will want to attack the USSR together with the Germans. So Hitler tried to be calm towards Poland.
Gdańsk was about to return to Germany soon, that was the contract (few people remember that today), so the matter of Gdańsk was not really important at all. Highway (exactly the bridge) to East Prussia was initially accepted by the Polish government. But when Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia (not only sites with German population) no one in Europe trusted Hitler anymore. The Poles have a defense pact with France and England. Hitler understood that he would not attack the USSR together with the Poles. Then he shouted and promised revenge on the Poles.

ManfredV
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Re: Poles before 1939

Postby ManfredV » 16 Jan 2018 11:15

Officially in public and diplomacy Hitler claimed to get Danzig, a "bridge" to East Prussia and revising Versailles Treaty.
But in fact he hated Poles and other slavs. His aim was "Lebensraum im Osten" and so he stated in "Mein Kampf". So the Nazis and Wehrmacht prepared for this. In a secret speach to Wehrmacht commanders some days before war started, he said that war is not for Danzig but for winning "Lebensraum im Osten". Many germans disliked or hated Poles and also wanted back borders of 1914. "Lebensraum im Osten" was not Hitler's exclusive idea, many germans (not only Nazis) supported this.
German controlled administration, reorganisation of former german provinces, mistreatment, supression and even massacres in Poland started immediatly when war began. Wehrmacht, SS and other Nazi organizations were preapared and knew what they had to do.
Of course there was an earlier period of being kindly to Poland an trying of win them as ally against USSR, but this was only tactically. Hitler always had his and german benefit in mind and fouled temporary confederates.

Gulo
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Re: Poles before 1939

Postby Gulo » 16 Jan 2018 17:04

Obviously, all this is true, but the first debater asked why he can not find anti-Polish posters from before 1939? Probably the answer is: because Hitler declared, that he wants agreements with the Poles. That's why he did not paint such posters. Really, of course, he wanted to murder Poles, other nations and colonize all of Europe with tall Germanic blondes.

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Re: Poles before 1939

Postby Lamarck » 16 Jan 2018 18:00

wm wrote:November 7, 1939 - during the occupation so not before 1939.


Although it was mentioned in 1939, it made reference to the Nuremberg Laws which were passed in 1935. Thus, in 1935 the Germans must have had a problem with sexual relations and marriages between Germans and Poles. Unless of course, between 1935 and 1939 there was a change in the Nuremberg Laws which was different from what was originally passed in 1935. This is supported by the further note of "Such a threat was assumed to be latent in all liaisons between Germans and "inferior" "non-Germans," including Gypsies, blacks and their descendants, and later the peoples of Eastern Europe." (Majer, pp. 102-3) There must have been at least some sort of problem for the Nazis otherwise Greiser would not have mentioned it at all.

Poles who had acquired German citizenship - a tiny minority, the Poles who lived in the territory of pre-Great War Germany were given German citizenship automatically - so those who acquired it were mostly post-1918 immigrants.


Not according to the German nationality law of 1913.

Robert Gellately in his book Backing Hitler: Consent and Coercion in Nazi Germany, 2002, p. 161 wrote:

"Anti-Polish sentiments were reflected in the German citizenship law of 1913, which was drawn up in such a way as to keep German citizenship from the Poles and the Jews coming from the east. The law was based on lineage or blood, so that no matter how long someone lived in Germany, their citizenship claims could be denied. That law was still on the books in the Nazi era, and remained unchanged until recently."

Similarly, Richard J. Evans in his book The Coming of the Third Reich: How the Nazis Destroyed Democracy and Seized Power in Germany. 2004, on p. 151 wrote:

"There were perhaps 80,000 'Eastern Jews' in Germany before the First World War, and their arrival, along with that of a much large number of immigrant workers from Poland and elsewhere, had led the Reich government to introduce a virtually unique kind of citizenship law in 1913, allowing only those who could show German ancestry to claim German nationality."

Quite clearly the Nazis had a problem with ethnic Poles and other non-Germans acquiring German citizenship.

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Re: Poles before 1939

Postby Lamarck » 16 Jan 2018 18:05

Gulo wrote:Really, of course, he wanted to murder Poles, other nations and colonize all of Europe with tall Germanic blondes.


The bizarre theories propagated by the Nazis made exceptions for Slavic people whom were blonde and were capable of Germanization. Not everyone in the Third Reich was of pure Germanic ancestry. Some of the more well known Nazis had clear Slavic ancestry. During the war, Himmler went to great lengths to somehow capture all of the potential Poles, Ukrainians, Russians and other Slavs whom were deemed to be racially acceptable. Even when the Nazis banned sexual relations between Germans and Poles, an exception was made when the Pole involved was considered to be racially valuable. Also, thousands of Polish children were kidnapped by the Nazis based on their racial traits.

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wm
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Re: Poles before 1939

Postby wm » 17 Jan 2018 21:52

Lamarck wrote:Although it was mentioned in 1939, it made reference to the Nuremberg Laws which were passed in 1935. Thus, in 1935 the Germans must have had a problem with sexual relations and marriages between Germans and Poles.

It theory, but rather not in practice.

Lamarck wrote:Anti-Polish sentiments were reflected in the German citizenship law of 1913, which was drawn up in such a way as to keep German citizenship from the Poles and the Jews coming from the east. The law was based on lineage or blood, so that no matter how long someone lived in Germany, their citizenship claims could be denied. That law was still on the books in the Nazi era, and remained unchanged until recently."

Well, generally nothing wrong with it, otherwise Poles would have overrun their beautiful country. At that time millions of Poles lived there already (enjoying full citizenship rights) and many of them were very hostile to Germany.
Only five years later the Poles in Germany would start a few large uprisings against the Germans, so it wasn't simply paranoia - the Germans were going to get it.

Lamarck wrote:Quite clearly the Nazis had a problem with ethnic Poles and other non-Germans acquiring German citizenship.

They had, but generally all around the world it was hard to acquire citizenship. The thinking was that citizenship was a privilege not a right.
Last edited by wm on 17 Jan 2018 21:55, edited 1 time in total.

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wm
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Re: Poles before 1939

Postby wm » 17 Jan 2018 21:54

Gulo wrote:Really, of course, he wanted to murder Poles, other nations and colonize all of Europe with tall Germanic blondes.

They didn't have enough hair bleach to do that.

Gulo
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Re: Poles before 1939

Postby Gulo » 18 Jan 2018 01:19

wm wrote: Only five years later the Poles in Germany would start a few large uprisings against the Germans


You can also say the same way: "The Poles made an uprisings in Russia" or "The Greeks made an uprising in Turkey". It was not like the Poles came to Hamburg and decided to join him to Poland.

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wm
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Re: Poles before 1939

Postby wm » 18 Jan 2018 03:03

I meant the Greater Poland uprising of 1918–1919 and the Silesian Uprisings.

Gulo
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Re: Poles before 1939

Postby Gulo » 18 Jan 2018 15:52

I understand you, but I do not know if that's why the Germans did not want to give citizenship to the Poles in the Reich. It was unlikely that the Poles would rise up in another part of Germany (They did not multiply like rabbits in Australia). Of course, the case of Silesia and Poznań was the cause of hatred for Poles.

ManfredV
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Re: Poles before 1939

Postby ManfredV » 18 Jan 2018 18:41

There was no german citizenship before 1913, only those of german federate states (Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony etc.). All these citizenships based on ancestry and naturalisation.
Remember: There was no Polish state at this time, Poland was divided among Russia, Germany (Prussia) and Austria. In it's eastern provinces Germany had a mixed german and polish population, in some areas Poles had majority. Look at map of Germany 1914.
I'm a little bit confused about this discussion: I thought that most of these ethnic Poles / native polish speakers who (and their ancestors) lived inside Empire had prussian / german citizenship. Were they really excluded by 1913 law? Hard to believe.
But of course neither Empire nor Weimar republic nor Nazi Germany wanted to naturalise many of those Poles and Eastern Jews which immigrated from Russian Empire or later Poland etc. Why should they?
Ethnic Poles moving from eastern provinces to Ruhr area during Empire got no problems. Many of them stayed an where assimilated quickly.
But when Poland was re-established as an independent state 1918/19 fightings started in those mixed populated areas f.e. Posen, Westpreußen (both with polish majority) and also Upper Silesia (where Poland grabbed for areas with german majority). That caused hatred on both sides.

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Re: Poles before 1939

Postby Lamarck » 18 Jan 2018 18:57

Well, generally nothing wrong with it, otherwise Poles would have overrun their beautiful country. At that time millions of Poles lived there already (enjoying full citizenship rights) and many of them were very hostile to Germany.
Only five years later the Poles in Germany would start a few large uprisings against the Germans, so it wasn't simply paranoia - the Germans were going to get it.


I think it's important to note two points of the Nazi 25-Point Programme:

"4. Only a member of the race can be a citizen. A member of the race can only be one who is of German blood, without consideration of creed. Consequently, no Jew can be a member of the race.

Any further immigration of non-citizens is to be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans, who have immigrated to Germany since 2 August 1914, be forced immediately to leave the Reich."

The Nazis wanted to restrict German citizenship for only people that they considered to be Germans.


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