Germans living in Eastern Europe pre-war

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Molobo
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Germans living in Eastern Europe pre-war

Post by Molobo » 16 Jul 2005 14:09

[Split from "Forgotten Mass Murder of Civilians."]



A couple of hundred years old history (partly peaceful co-existance, party warlike) of German people living all over in Eastern Europe vanished with this expulsion

Hmm I am unaware of any significant German population living in Eastern Europe prior to aggresive conquests of Teutonic Knights, massacre of polish population in Gdansk in 1308, Prussia's conquest of Poland in XVIII century and following persecution of Polish ethnic group(including laws forbiding usage of polish language, building homes and torture of polish children).I wouldn't call the German Drang nach Osten peacefull, nor would I-looking at history-call it co-existance.It was one ethnic group trying to conquer the other.And that attempt has been stoped in 1945.Perhaps Germans view it otherwise.But in polish eyes-the eyes that see Warsaw Uprising, the eyes that see Battle of Grunwald, the eyes that see Kulturkampf, the eyes that Drzymala's car, the eyes that see polish children being tortured for speaking their language-this is how it looks.The fact that many still see this attempts to destroy my country and nation as something positive disturbs me greatly.
Yes I am emotional, but this how i feel as a Pole.

As to the supposed "mass murder" -neither Polish nor Soviet government did make any actions to murder civilians, the death unlike German Reich genocide weren't planned, weren't the subject of any order nor direct actions.Famine, disease took a good share of polish, russian, jewish lives after the WW2 and resulting chaos, including banditry.

Serus
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Post by Serus » 16 Jul 2005 14:33

Molobo wrote:
A couple of hundred years old history (partly peaceful co-existance, party warlike) of German people living all over in Eastern Europe vanished with this expulsion

Hmm I am unaware of any significant German population living in Eastern Europe prior to aggresive conquests of Teutonic Knights, massacre of polish population in Gdansk in 1308, Prussia's conquest of Poland in XVIII century and following persecution of Polish ethnic group(including laws forbiding usage of polish language, building homes and torture of polish children).I wouldn't call the German Drang nach Osten peacefull, nor would I-looking at history-call it co-existance.It was one ethnic group trying to conquer the other.And that attempt has been stoped in 1945.Perhaps Germans view it otherwise.But in polish eyes-the eyes that see Warsaw Uprising, the eyes that see Battle of Grunwald, the eyes that see Kulturkampf, the eyes that Drzymala's car, the eyes that see polish children being tortured for speaking their language-this is how it looks.The fact that many still see this attempts to destroy my country and nation as something positive disturbs me greatly.
Yes I am emotional, but this how i feel as a Pole.

As to the supposed "mass murder" -neither Polish nor Soviet government did make any actions to murder civilians, the death unlike German Reich genocide weren't planned, weren't the subject of any order nor direct actions.Famine, disease took a good share of polish, russian, jewish lives after the WW2 and resulting chaos, including banditry.


Molobo you are wrong here - many German people were settled in central and eastern Europe peacfully during middle ages and later... how do you think there were so many German speaking people as far in Russia (Volga Germans), Saxons in Hungary, etc... Also in medieval ages and later Germans were settled in Poland and they co-existed peacfully very well - so not all German penetration of Europe east of Germany was agressive (at least prior to 19th century when modern nationalism was born).
Sorry for off topic - but i had to say it.
As for supposed Soviet mass murder of Germans - mr Thompson already posted a list of threads where this issue was discussed.

Dexx
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Post by Dexx » 16 Jul 2005 15:19

Molobo, your problem is and that of many other Poles that you look at history from a very nationalistic point of view. You cannot be objective when Poland-Germany is concerned. I believe that some Poles have conservated a kind of feeling of revenge. The point is that in the Middle Ages there did not exist a concept of nationalism what you want to make us to believe. But you and many other people look at it as if German settlers only wanted to go against Poland and use it as an argument like this: "look, Germany from the very beginning only wanted to destroy Poland". Many settlers went there not because of occupying Polish territory, but because there was enough space for a new living, fled from plagues, they were invited by rulers to stabilize their frontier zones ect.

Serus
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Post by Serus » 16 Jul 2005 15:57

Dexx wrote:Molobo, your problem is and that of many other Poles that you look at history from a very nationalistic point of view. You cannot be objective when Poland-Germany is concerned. I believe that some Poles have conservated a kind of feeling of revenge. The point is that in the Middle Ages there did not exist a concept of nationalism what you want to make us to believe. But you and many other people look at it as if German settlers only wanted to go against Poland and use it as an argument like this: "look, Germany from the very beginning only wanted to destroy Poland". Many settlers went there not because of occupying Polish territory, but because there was enough space for a new living, fled from plagues, they were invited by rulers to stabilize their frontier zones ect.


Generally i agree - but i want to make some corrections, its not the "problem of many Poles" more than of any other nation, if you read these forums you can find many Germans/Russians or people of almost every other nation that are unable to look at history in wider perspective - without strong nationalistic bias.
The concept of nationalities existed in Middle Ages - it was just very different than the 19th century born nationalism,

Molobo
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Post by Molobo » 16 Jul 2005 16:35

The point is that in the Middle Ages there did not exist a concept of nationalism what you want to make us to believe

That is a constant error repeated time and time again. Ethnic conflicts were a reality in Middle Ages in Central and Eastern Europe.For example people from conquered city were ordered to pray in specific language and if they weren't able to do so, they were executed.
So while modern nation state didn't exist, the concept of nationality and ethnic identity existed and in many cases was matter of life and death.
Many settlers went there not because of occupying Polish territory, but because there was enough space for a new living, fled from plagues, they were invited by rulers to stabilize their frontier zones ect.

Indeed Teutonic Knights were invited in such a way to Poland, and it resulted in centuries of war with them.While such incidents accured, only be taking them out of historical context can such a statement about peacefull co-existance by made, when looking at a larger picture and timeline the nature of the contact was conflict.

Dexx
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Post by Dexx » 16 Jul 2005 17:02

Molobo wrote:
The point is that in the Middle Ages there did not exist a concept of nationalism what you want to make us to believe

That is a constant error repeated time and time again. Ethnic conflicts were a reality in Middle Ages in Central and Eastern Europe.For example people from conquered city were ordered to pray in specific language and if they weren't able to do so, they were executed.
So while modern nation state didn't exist, the concept of nationality and ethnic identity existed and in many cases was matter of life and death.


I don't deny the fact that distinct communities even back then existed. People had different concepts of living (language, customs ect) and lived in distinct communities. But the concept of a national state and the closely connected concept of nationalism did not exist. With the time of Enlightenment people more and more emphasized their own identity and put it above everything else. Nationalism was born. This nationalism first led to consolidation of the community and then to domination of other distict ethnicities (colonialism, militarism).

But before this time no one can speak about nationalism in the sense we know it today. The emphasis laid on the reign of a king (absolutism) who got the land by marriage, heritage, conquest or contracts. As long as the governed people were loyal to the ruler nothing changed in their daily life (except religion). You really cannot speak about a deliberate policy to eradicate a distinct enthnicity. Therefore, it is wrong to trace back thousand years of history and to judge it from todays point of view. Otherwise I claim that the Romans wanted to extinguish the Germanic culture by invading this region. Or we can go back to the Goths who came from Scandinavia and first settled in the polish / baltic region. It is pointless to see everything through a nationalistic focus.

Molobo
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Post by Molobo » 16 Jul 2005 17:15

The emphasis laid on the reign of a king (absolutism) who got the land by marriage, heritage, conquest or contracts. As long as the governed people were loyal to the ruler nothing changed in their daily life (except religion).

Well Dexx this statement is rather in denial of much of history in Central and Eastern Europe where ethnic conflicts can be traced to hundreds if not thousand of years in the past.Your position is influenced by western european centric view of history.And of course this statement ignores that not everywhere there was abolutist rule of kings, or the fact that in some cases kings were elected to serve the people that elected him and the state.

You really cannot speak about a deliberate policy to eradicate a distinct enthnicity

Again-such policies were part of life in Middle Ages.The original Prussian tribes were after all murdered and exterminated by Teutonic Knights.People of different ethnic background from the ruler were often exterminated or punished while those who had the same ethnicity spared.
See the example of Chech and German townspeople of Cracow who rebelled against Wladyslaw Lokietek in 1311.The king later ordered to check those who were polish by ordering townspeople to speak words such as :koło, młyn, soczewica, miele to determine their ethnic origin.
Last edited by Molobo on 16 Sep 2005 18:14, edited 1 time in total.

Dexx
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Post by Dexx » 17 Jul 2005 11:33

Well, Molobo, I tried to make my points clear. It seems to me that you don't want to take my points into account and that you focus on a nationalistic interpretation of history. It is pointless to go on arguing and restating the same over and over again, because it leads to nothing. I have my opinion and you certainly have yours.

Serus
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Post by Serus » 17 Jul 2005 15:58

Molobo wrote:
The emphasis laid on the reign of a king (absolutism) who got the land by marriage, heritage, conquest or contracts. As long as the governed people were loyal to the ruler nothing changed in their daily life (except religion).

Well Dexx this statement is rather in denial of much of history in Central and Eastern Europe where ethnic conflicts can be traced to hundreds if not thousand of years in the past.Your position is influenced by western european centric view of history.And of course this statement ignores that not everywhere there was abolutist rule of kings, or the fact that in some cases kings were elected to serve the people that elected him and the state.

You really cannot speak about a deliberate policy to eradicate a distinct enthnicity

Again-such policies were part of life in Middle Ages.The original Prussian tribes were after all murdered and exterminated by Teutonic Knights.People of different ethnic background from the ruler were often exterminated or punished while does who had the same ethnicity spared.
See the example of Chech and German townspeople of Cracow who rebelled against Wladyslaw Lokietek in 1311.The king later ordered to check those who were polish by ordering townspeople to speak words such as :koło, młyn, soczewica, miele to determine their ethnic origin.



Molobo - not all Prussians were "murdered" - some accepted the rule and later assimilated. But the main point is that they were "exterminated" by Teutonic knights not because they were Prussians per se but because they opposed Teutonic rule - they regularly fighted and rebelled against it. Gdansk/Danizg was a German speaking city in 15th century but still it rebelled against Teutonic Knights (a knightly order of German origin after all) and fought against them under Polish kings (of Lithuanian origins btw :p). I can give more and more exemples. Im not sure what modern historigraphy has to say about famous Łokietek killing of Kraków citizens speaking German - but he made it AFTER the city rebelled against him - and he never pursued a policy of ethinc cleansing (its just absurd idea in the context) in other cities with German-speaking populations under his rule.
The fact is that thousands of Germans lived peacfully under Polish rule - and other non Germanic rulers of central and eastern Europe - they came there without use of force often used as colonist to populate new lands... the Baltic region is not a good exemple of this tough...
In general i think Dexx is right here. Of curse we shouldnt go with this argument ad absurdum - concept of nationality existed in middle ages and played a role too, Dexx is running in danger of completly ignore it thus making major mistakes in his interpretations of history as well. The concept of nationality was well established then, just wasnt the only important factor of people identity as it became in 19th century.

Dexx --> i think your way of discussing is a bit arrogant - Molobo gave some counter-arguments (he pointed a case of ethnic-driven policy of Łokietek towards Kraków for exemple) to you but you just decided to ignore them. This is not the way to make your points clear as you may think. Edit: I would like to see an interperatition of 100 years war and its outcomes ignoring all aspects of national identity... :)

Dexx
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Post by Dexx » 17 Jul 2005 17:08

Serus wrote:Dexx --> i think your way of discussing is a bit arrogant


Sorry that wasn't my intention. But I get tired of "internet discussions" after a while. It is always like this:

Person A: 1 Thesis
-> arguments A, B and C

Person B: 2 Antithesis
-> counter arguments D, E and F

and in the essence this continues over 2-3 pages only using other words to describe the same. It is ok for people who like this kind of exchanging theses but you gain nothing with this, if two sides have strong "convictions". I have made my points clear and that's it. :)

Serus
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Post by Serus » 17 Jul 2005 18:15

Dexx wrote:
Serus wrote:Dexx --> i think your way of discussing is a bit arrogant


Sorry that wasn't my intention. But I get tired of "internet discussions" after a while. It is always like this:

Person A: 1 Thesis
-> arguments A, B and C

Person B: 2 Antithesis
-> counter arguments D, E and F

and in the essence this continues over 2-3 pages only using other words to describe the same. It is ok for people who like this kind of exchanging theses but you gain nothing with this, if two sides have strong "convictions". I have made my points clear and that's it. :)


But if you see my post - i answered to Molobo arguments about Prussians and Kraków (i admit it maybe a very poor answer - readers and Molobo himself will judge) - ... so it is possible.
The point is not to change the mind of your "opponent" (at least not the main point) - but to allow the readers to judge the arguments and make their own opinions.

michael mills
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Post by michael mills » 18 Jul 2005 02:11

Once again Molobo falsifies history by repeating the myth of a "Teutonic" massacre of the "Polish" population of Danzig in 1308, as if that were a case of dacially-based extermination, even though the historical truth has been pointed out to him before.

The historical truth is as follows.

The Duke of Pomerelia (a Slav) rebelled against the King of Poland (a Slav), and claimed the crown for himself.

n order to gain the support of the Margrave of Brandenburg (a German), he promised to transfer to him the overlordship of Danzig (with a predominantly German population), which was part of his possessions.

The Margrave of Brandenburg arrived with his army and besieged Danzig. The city burghers opened the gates and allowed the Brandenburg army to enter. Only the citadel, which belonged to the King of Poland, held out, under the command of the King's Castellan, Bogusza (a Slav).

The King of Poland was not strong enough to reconquer Danzig, so he asked the Grandmaster of the Teutonic Order of Knights of the Cross to use his army to take the city.

The Grandmaster agreed on condition that the King of Poland meet all the Order's costs of the campaign, and allow them to hold Danzig in pledge until he had repaid those costs in full. The King of POland accepted those conditions.

The Army of the Order then attacked Danzig and captured it, relieving the citadel. A large number of the citizens of Danzig were then executed for treason against the King of Poland.

Although the execution of the Danzig citizens was carried out by soldiers of the Order, it had been ordered by Bogusza as the King's representative. It was by no means a massacre of Slavs by Germans. Indeed, most of the executed citizens were of German ethnicity.

The Grandmaster then pulled a swifty on the King of Poland. He presented a bill for costs so high that the hapless King could not possibly repay it. Thus, in accordance with the agreement, the Order retained Danzig as one of its possessions.

The story is one of a conflict between different rulers (the King of Poland, the Duke of Pomerelia, the Margrave of Brandenburg, the Grandmaster of the Teutonic Order) over the possession of territory, In that respect it was a typical conflict of the Middle Ages, like the Hundred Years' War between the Kings of England and France.

It was in no sense an ethnic conflict, since Germans and Slavs were found on both sides.

szopen
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Post by szopen » 18 Jul 2005 09:23

Micheal Mills, while you are right that most of murdered were German citizens (Slavic part of city was mostly intact), it is untrue that it was ordered by Bogusza (especially that there were Polish knights amongst the victims, IIRC)

Molobo
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Post by Molobo » 18 Jul 2005 17:04

It was in no sense an ethnic conflict, since Germans and Slavs were found on both sides.

I would be cautious in using the term "Slav" since it isn't any identity we can describe, and has no meaning when talking about those conflicts.
But the point remains that ethnic identity was an issue in Middle Ages as example of Cracow shows.

Once again Molobo falsifies history

Spoken from Mills. :lol:

szopen
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Post by szopen » 21 Jul 2005 13:45

Not to say about those nasty Czechs who wrote in one chronicle that as world lasted, German language was always enemy of Czech and POlish and all other Slavic languages (I can find you exact quote if you want). Chronicle from first half of XV century. And Polish election slogans in XVI and XVII century (deep to our throats we do not want German).

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