Polish territory?

Discussions on other historical eras.
User avatar
Windward
Financial supporter
Posts: 1810
Joined: 30 Jul 2003 14:41
Location: Pechinum

Post by Windward » 01 Aug 2003 15:11

Hey lukeo I found a good historical map website of Poland:

http://www.rootsweb.com/~polwgw/maps.html

Show my greatest respects to the brave Polish Heros in Warszawa 1944.

regards

Jasen

Feanor
In memoriam
Posts: 101
Joined: 31 Jul 2003 20:01
Location: USA

Post by Feanor » 04 Aug 2003 03:22

lukeo wrote
Message to all Germans - look, where Berlin is on this map:)

Quite right indeed. In fact, the name Berlin itself is of Slavic origin. German propagandists during the Nazi era claimed that the name comes from Bär, the German word for bear (a bear appears on Berlin's coat of arms). However, shouldn't the spelling then be Bärlin? The name comes instead from the Slavic word "berloga" (bear's den). So no wonder Hitler wanted to change the name to "Germania"--after all, it wouldn't do to have the capital of the Teutonic German Reich bear a Slavic Untermensch name :lol:

In re: the plebiscites in Masuria and Silesia. I think it has already been said that the Germans practised massive voter fraud during the Silesian elections (there were even special trains running from Berlin to Breslau on that day). The Masurain plebiscite on the other hand was held when the Red Army was at the gates of Warsaw--naturally, not many people wanted to join a country that looked about to fall apart. However, even after centuries of German rule there were still Poles in the "Regained Territories" (territories that passed to Poland in 1945). Out of a pre-war population of c.12.5M, over 1M were Poles.

michael mills,
I'm pretty sure that Royal Prussia was incorporated directly into Poland. It NEVER had the same status as Lithuania. The only other territory that even briefly had such status was the Ukraine. And if Copernicus was Prussian, I wonder why he spoke Polish, studied and taught at Krakow and defended Olsztyn/Allenstein from Teuton attack?

User avatar
Windward
Financial supporter
Posts: 1810
Joined: 30 Jul 2003 14:41
Location: Pechinum

Post by Windward » 04 Aug 2003 04:24

Feanor wrote:lukeo wrote
... So no wonder Hitler wanted to change the name to "Germania"--after all, it wouldn't do to have the capital of the Teutonic German Reich bear a Slavic Untermensch name :lol:


But "Germania" was a Latinate name, not so qualified for his "pure Aryan capital", if he was so particular about the origin. Isn't it? ;)

Maybe he should consider about "GROSSDEUTSCHEARYANISCHETAUSENDJAHRENREICHSKAPITALSTADT"...:D But even "kapital" is not a Teutonic word indeed...

michael mills
Member
Posts: 8841
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 12:42
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by michael mills » 04 Aug 2003 08:03

Feanor wrote:

I'm pretty sure that Royal Prussia was incorporated directly into Poland. It NEVER had the same status as Lithuania. The only other territory that even briefly had such status was the Ukraine. And if Copernicus was Prussian, I wonder why he spoke Polish, studied and taught at Krakow and defended Olsztyn/Allenstein from Teuton attack?


Well, Feanor, you are wrong. I suggest you read some neutral history books, ie not Polish chauvinist ones.

Here is a quote from the 1939 book "Poland: Key to Europe", by Dr Raymone Leslie Buell, an American economist and government advisor. The book is basically sympathetic to Poland and anti-German.

Page 41, concerning the second Treat of Thorn in 1446.

In this treaty the [Teutonic] Order restored Pomerania and Danzig to Poland; West Prussia became the equivalent of a third state within the Polish-Lithuanian Union; East Prussia, which continued to be occupied by the Knights, became a feudal fief of the Polish Crown. The second peace of Thorn deprived the Order of half its possessions on the lower Vistula and severed its connection with the Holy Roman Empire. Henceforth the Grand Master, having the title of Prince-Senator of the Kingdom of Poland, had to pay homage to the Polish king.


According to the footnotes, Buell got the above information from page 78 of the book by Stanislaw Zajaczkowski, Rise and Fall of the Teutonic Order in Prussia, Torun, Poland, Baltic Pocket Library, 1935).

So, here we have a Polish historian confirming that West Prussia (or Royal Prussia - Prusy Krolewskie) was separate from Poland proper, to which it was bound in a personal union through the Polish king.

As for Copernicus, he was certainly a Prussian, that is, an inhabitant of Royal Prussia. As for his native language, who knows for sure what it was; most probably he was bilingual. But it is certain that the burghers of Thorn, as of all the Prussian cities, were ethnically German, in terms of language and culture. In the 15th century the religious divide between Germans and Poles did not yet exist.

And as for Copernicus studying at the University of Krakow, that was an age when students travelled all over Europe to study at various universities. It was a pre-nationalistic age, when membership of an estate, eg the nobility, or the burgesses, was more important than ethnic affiliation. Moreover, in the 15th century the citizens of Krakow were ethnicall German for the most part.

Furthermore, I am rather puzzled about this "teuton" attack on Allenstein? Who were these Teutons? A tribe of ancient times - I hardly think they were still around in the 15th century. (By the way, I only use the name Allenstein for all periods prior to 1945 - Olsztyn is simply a later Polish corruption of the name).

If you are referring to Copernicus fighting against the Teutonic Knights, that is not conclusive. All the Prussian towns, which were ethnically German, had turned against the overlordship of the Knights; it was not an ethnic struggle but a class one, a conflict between towns and their feudal overlords, a very common one in the early modern period, regardless of the ethnicities involved.

I suggest you read the book "God's Playground" by Norman Davies; it has some very sensible things to say on the question of whether Copernicus was ethnically German or Polish, a distinction that was not really meaningful in the 15th century.

As for the post-WW1 plebiscites in East Prussia and Upper Silesia, Polish chauvinists have always claimed that there was fraud involved. But that is just a Polish chauvinist winge because they did not win. The plebiscites were held under the aegis of the League of Nations, with control exercised by French occupation troops, who were obviously not partial to Germany.

The pro-Polish book by Buell has a footnote on page 76:

Miss Wambaugh agrees with the Polish charge that the plebiscites were imperfectly organisedm but declares that they roughly reflected the wishes of the inhabitants. Sarah Wambaugh: Plebiscites since the World War (Washington: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1933), Vol. I, p. 141.


On page 77, Buell writes the following about the plebiscite in Upper Silesia:


Moved by these arguments, the [Paris Peace] Conference amended the [Versailles] treaty so as to authorise a plebiscite under an inter-Allied commission. The peace treaty provided that the votes in each commune should be counted separately, implying that the boundary should separate Polish from German villages wherever possible, and that Upper Silesia should be divided. When the plebiscite was held, on March 20, 1921, 707,605 voted for Germany and 479,359 for Poland. While 59.6 per cent of the votes were for Germany, only 54 per cent of the communes had a German majority. Following a long period of tension marked by a Polish insurrection led by Korfanty, the League Council finally drew a boundary line on October 12, 1921 that gave to Germany about 75 per cent of the area and 57 per cent of the inhabitants. The area given Poland, however, contained 76 per cent of the coal mines, 90 per cent of the coal reserves, 97 per cent of the iron ore, all of the thirteen ironworks, five of the eight zinc factories, almost half the steelworks, and the power and nitrite works erected at Chorzow during the World War for munition purposes. Altogether, the line was about as fair, from the point of view of self-determination, as could possibly be drawn. In order to safeguard the economic unity of Upper Silesia, Germany and Poland signed an elaborate convention on May 15, 1922, providing for virtual free trade between Polish and German Upper SIlesia for fifteen years and for the mutual protection of minorities within these areas.


Feanor, are you seriously suggesting that the inter-Allied Commission that ran the plebiscite allowed fraud in favour of Germany? Ridiculous Polish chauvinist nonsense!

And note how the Polish chauvinists reacted when the result of the voting failed to give them all of Upper Silesia. With terrorist violence, aimed at driving out the German population.

As for trains running from Berlin to Breslau, the plebscite was held only in Upper Silesia. Breslau is in Lower Silesia. Next time, Feanor, look at a map before activating the keyboard.

Feanor, you say that the 12.5 million population of the German territories annexed by Poland in 1945 included an ethnic Polish minority of 0ne million. So what? That is still very much a minority, less than 10 per cent; the presence of such a small minority hardly makes those territories Polish.

Furthermore, that minority population was left in place; it was not expelled. By contrast, some one million ethnic Germans fled from Posen Province and West Prussia, the German territories annexed by Poland after the First World War, escaping the terrorist violence of the Polish chauvinist gangs in the winter of 1918-19.

Finally, everybody knows that Germany east of the Elbe was inhabited by Slavic tribes in the early medieval period, and that Berlin was a Slavic settlement called Berolina. So what? At an even earlier period, most of Poland was inhabited by Germanic tribes, such as the Goths, Vandals and Gepids. The ethnic structure of a territory one thousand years ago is hardly relevant to the history of the 19th and 29th centuries, except in the imaginations of chauvinists, both German and Polish.

Feanor
In memoriam
Posts: 101
Joined: 31 Jul 2003 20:01
Location: USA

Post by Feanor » 05 Aug 2003 01:06

michael,
You know, it's a bit funny, but almost every time you use the word "Polish" you also attach "chauvinist". Has it ever occured to you that not every Pole is a rabidly flag-waving, German-hating, uber-patriot? And I would hardly say that Poles who claim that the territory east of the Oder and Lusatian Neisse are chauvinists, merely concerned about Poland's historical rights. And what about Germans who claim those territories? Wouldn't they be as chauvinist? Or even more, since the territories in question aren't German any more?
As to the Royal Prussia issue, I'll try to look up Zajaczkowski's book.
Oh, and strange that you're so particular about Olsztyn/Allenstein, yet have no problems with "Breslau" (a German corruption of Polish Wroclaw, which is itself a corruption of Czech Vratislav) or "Posen" (German corruption of Polish Poznan) or other German names in what is now Poland. Perhaps you're partial in this matter?

Feanor, are you seriously suggesting that the inter-Allied Commission that ran the plebiscite allowed fraud in favour of Germany? Ridiculous Polish chauvinist nonsense!

Well, the French were pro-Polish (wanted a weak Germany), the Brits were pro-German (wanted Germany to have a strong economy so that it could pay reparations).
And note how the Polish chauvinists reacted when the result of the voting failed to give them all of Upper Silesia. With terrorist violence, aimed at driving out the German population.

Another interpretation is that the population was outraged at the massive voter fraud.
As for trains running from Berlin to Breslau, the plebscite was held only in Upper Silesia. Breslau is in Lower Silesia. Next time, Feanor, look at a map before activating the keyboard.

Breslau was the rail hub--they changed trains there :wink:
Feanor, you say that the 12.5 million population of the German territories annexed by Poland in 1945 included an ethnic Polish minority of 0ne million. So what? That is still very much a minority, less than 10 per cent; the presence of such a small minority hardly makes those territories Polish.

Oh, so what that there were Poles there? I'm sure the Germans thought so too. The fact that there were still a million Poles, after centuries of German colonisation, oppression, assimilation shows that these territories HAD to be originally Polish.
Furthermore, that minority population was left in place; it was not expelled.

That was what was left of them. Perhaps you have never heard of the "rugi prusskie" (Prussian evictions) or Drzymala's wagon, or the Hakata organization, or the schools at Wrzesnia. Believe you me, the Germans certainly did try to stamp out all that was Polish in those territories, and other Polish territories they occupied. They FAILED.
By contrast, some one million ethnic Germans fled from Posen Province and West Prussia, the German territories annexed by Poland after the First World War, escaping the terrorist violence of the Polish chauvinist gangs in the winter of 1918-19.

See, because they were mostly colonists who settled there only 1-2 generations prior to the event. So when the goin' got tough, they got goin'--after all, they didn't have the graves of the ancestors there, so why stay. But there were certainly more than enough left to cause trouble in '39.
So michael, you really shouldn't just dismiss any Polish source as chauvinist, and realize that what the Germans say isn't the truth, the whole truth and nothin' but the truth. Also, do realize that most books written in Anglo-America use more German sources than Polish sources--quite naturally, since Germany is closer geographically and linguistically, and Poland was for a long time inaccessible either because it was "somewhere out east" or behind the Iron Curtain. Oh, and yes, I do admit, there are of course Polish chauvinists, just like there are in all countries, but the fact is (and you seem to be mostly missing this) not all Poles are.

User avatar
Benoit Douville
Financial supporter
Posts: 3184
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 01:13
Location: Montréal

Post by Benoit Douville » 05 Aug 2003 01:23

Welcome back to the board Feanor. So it is true that the name of the city of Berlin is from Slavic origin! Your last post made a lot of sense too.

Regards

michael mills
Member
Posts: 8841
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 12:42
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by michael mills » 05 Aug 2003 07:18

Feanor wrote:

Oh, so what that there were Poles there? I'm sure the Germans thought so too. The fact that there were still a million Poles, after centuries of German colonisation, oppression, assimilation shows that these territories HAD to be originally Polish.


This is an example of what I call Polish chauvinism. Feanor seems to be proposing that because there was a Polish minority in the German territories east of the Oder-Neisse line (ie Silesia, Pomerania, East Prussia), then those territories rightfully belonged to Poland, and their annexation by Poland after 1945 was simply a "return".

Obviously, for Feanor, the self-determination of the overwhelming German majority in those territories, all 11.5 million of them, counts for nothing. That is what I call chauvinism.

Everybody knows that the German territories east of the Oder-Neisse were inhabited by Slavic peoples in the early middle ages. But in the course of the centuries they became thoroughly Germanised, and the people living in those territories clearly wanted to remain part of Germany.

Some of those territories were at one time part of the lands of the Polish Crown, but ceased to be so many centuries ago. I note that Feanor totally ignores that part of my post that addressed the issue if the inadmissibility of determining the present status of territories on the basis of who lived there one thousand years ago, rather than according to the wishes of the people who live there now and have lived there for several centuries.

Feanor also ignores the extent to which the Polish minority living in the German eastern territories (I am excluding here West Prussia and Posen Province) was a result of Polish immigration, particularly during the 19th century. Such immigration was particularly marked in Upper Silesia, where there was a large growth in population due to the industrialisation of the territory. Of course, there was a long established Polish minority, the so-called "Wasserpolen", just as there was a long established German minority in the Polish kingdom. And there was also German migration to Lodz, for example, when the textile industry was established there.

That was what was left of them. Perhaps you have never heard of the "rugi prusskie" (Prussian evictions) or Drzymala's wagon, or the Hakata organization, or the schools at Wrzesnia. Believe you me, the Germans certainly did try to stamp out all that was Polish in those territories, and other Polish territories they occupied. They FAILED.


I am well aware of all of the above. I read a good book on the issue by William W Hagen, "Germans, Poles, and Jews : the nationality conflict in the Prussian east, 1772-1914".

But Feanor is attempting a little sleight of hand here. All my comments concerned the German territories east of the Oder-Neisse that were annexed by Poland in 1945, ie Silesia, Pomerania, East Prussia, territories that had been ethnically German for many centuries. They did not address the territories lost to Germany in 1919, ie Posen Province and West Prussia.

The examples given by Feanor all refer to the germanisation activities carried out by the Prussian Government in the Posen Province, a territory annexed by Prussia at the Second Partition of Poland in 1793, restored to the Grand-Duchy of Warsaw in 1806, and regained by Prussia in 1815. I have no problem regarding that territory as essentially Polish in ethnic and historical terms, and its return to an independent Poland as reasonable and in accord with the principle of self-determination.

The activities listed by Feanor are irrelevant to the situation in Silesia, Pomerania and East Prussia. Surely Feanor cannot be suggesting that the overwhelming German complexion of those territories was due to germanisation efforts during the 19th century. If he is, then he most certainly a Polish chauvinist.

See, because they were mostly colonists who settled there only 1-2 generations prior to the event. So when the goin' got tough, they got goin'--after all, they didn't have the graves of the ancestors there, so why stay. But there were certainly more than enough left to cause trouble in '39.


That is a gross distortion of historical fact. Certainly during the 19th century there had been German colonisation in Posen Province in particular, fostered by the Prussian Government. But there had been a German minority there for several centuries. In West Prussia, there was a much more solid German presence, that had been rooted in the region ever since the 13th century; about 50% of the population there was ethnically German in the 19th century.

Furthermore, from the 1880s onward, there was a net movement of Germans out the territory east of the Oder, westward into the rapidly developing German heartland. This was the so-called "Ostflucht". And not only Germans migrated westward; many hundreds of thousands of ethnic Poles from Posen Province migrated to the Ruhr to take advantage of employment opportunities (sure beats grubbing for potatoes in a muddly field), resulting in the millions of Germans of today who have Polish surnames.


Another interpretation is that the population was outraged at the massive voter fraud.


That is quite obviously a Polish chauvinist apologetic. Terrorist violence against the German population by Polish armed gangs is written off as mere outrage on the part of the Polish part of the population against claimed voter fraud!

I am still waiting for Feanor to produce any hard evidence that there was any sort of fraud at all in the Silesian plebiscite. I have quoted from impeccable and unbiassed sources, eg the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, hardly a German revanchist outfit, which concluded that the vote was fair and reflected the wishes of the two population groups. I note that Feanor cites no sources whatever, he simply reiterates a Polish chauvinist position.

Oh, and strange that you're so particular about Olsztyn/Allenstein, yet have no problems with "Breslau" (a German corruption of Polish Wroclaw, which is itself a corruption of Czech Vratislav) or "Posen" (German corruption of Polish Poznan) or other German names in what is now Poland. Perhaps you're partial in this matter?



My understanding is that original Slavic name of the settlement was Bratislava, and that the German name "Breslau" is a germanised form of that name. I do not know whether the modern Polish name Wroclaw is derived directly from Bratislava or from the German name.

But I note that Feanor had no objection to writing "Breslau". My practice is to use whatever name was current at the time, used by the inhabitants of a place. Hence, if I were writing about the Poland of today, I would use Wroclaw; but for any reference prior to 1945, Breslau is the term I would use.

And Feanor ignores the point about Allenstein. That locality had never been Polish, or even Slavic. It was originally inhabited by Borussi, a Baltic people. Allenstein was founded by German colonists, who gave the place that name. "Olsztyn" is quite clearly a corruption of Allenstein, since there had been no original Polish settlement with that name.

Most Polish place names in the area of the former East Prussia are corruptions of the German names. Thus, all Polish names ending in "-bark" and "-bork" are corruptions of German "-berg" and "-burg" respectively. Any Polish name ending in "-sztyn" is a corruption of German "-stein".

User avatar
Windward
Financial supporter
Posts: 1810
Joined: 30 Jul 2003 14:41
Location: Pechinum

Post by Windward » 05 Aug 2003 07:37

This is an example of what I call Polish chauvinism. Feanor seems to be proposing that because there was a Polish minority in the German territories east of the Oder-Neisse line (ie Silesia, Pomerania, East Prussia), then those territories rightfully belonged to Poland, and their annexation by Poland after 1945 was simply a "return".


But Michael you can't deny these historical realities. Without the Partitions of Poland, the places you mentioned would still be Polish territory. Or at least some Austrians could claim their sovereign over the former Hapusburg territory Silesia. Right?

Regards

Image

Image

Image

Image

michael mills
Member
Posts: 8841
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 12:42
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by michael mills » 05 Aug 2003 08:57

Windward wrote:



But Michael you can't deny these historical realities. Without the Partitions of Poland, the places you mentioned would still be Polish territory. Or at least some Austrians could claim their sovereign over the former Hapusburg territory Silesia. Right?



No, wrong. You obviously did not read what I wrote.

The territories held by Prussia, and then the German Reich, from 1815 to 1919 as a result of the Partitions of Poland were West Prussia and Posen Province. I specifically exempted them from my comments.

I was talking about Silesia, Pomerania and East Prussia, territories that had been German for centuries. That is the historical reality, and I am not denying it; it is Feanor who denies it.

Feanor implies that the annexation of Silesia, East Prussia and Pomerania in 1945 represented a "return" of Polish territory since some of those places had been subject to the Polish Crown many centuries previously. I consider such claims based on a political situation in the dim distant past rather than the self-determination of the population in the present to be chauvinism.

If we took Feanor's argument to its logical conclusion, then the Czech Republic should be part of Germany, since its component provinces, Bohemia and Moravia, had been lands of the German state from the 10th century until 1806 (the Holy Roman Empire) and again from 1815 to 1867 (the German Confederation). That is, Bohemia and Moravia had belonged to Germany for a far longer period than Silesia had ever belonged to Poland, and those provinces had ceased to belong to Germany much more recently (1867) than Silesia had ceased to belong to Poland (1339). Of course, such a suggestion would be contrary to the self-determination of the people.

User avatar
Windward
Financial supporter
Posts: 1810
Joined: 30 Jul 2003 14:41
Location: Pechinum

Post by Windward » 05 Aug 2003 09:56

Sorry I misunderstood your words. But Silesia once been Polish territory too, as territory of Hapusburg, territory of Bohemia, or terrotory of Prussia, which I agreed with you. So Polish people could say it's a "return" of Polish territory of Silesia to some extent (let's only discuss Silesia, despite Pomerania and East Prussia). Do you think so?

User avatar
Windward
Financial supporter
Posts: 1810
Joined: 30 Jul 2003 14:41
Location: Pechinum

Post by Windward » 05 Aug 2003 10:14

I hope this thread is only a historical and learned discussion, let's calm down. :)
Last edited by Windward on 07 Aug 2003 18:13, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Marcus
Member
Posts: 33963
Joined: 08 Mar 2002 22:35
Location: Europe

Post by Marcus » 05 Aug 2003 15:42

Please don't use the attachment function to add non-related images.

/Marcus

Feanor
In memoriam
Posts: 101
Joined: 31 Jul 2003 20:01
Location: USA

Post by Feanor » 05 Aug 2003 22:29

michael,
First, I'll address your little "theory" about which claims to territory are valid and which are not, then I'll come back to the issue to Royal Prussia from your previous posts.
This is an example of what I call Polish chauvinism. Feanor seems to be proposing that because there was a Polish minority in the German territories east of the Oder-Neisse line (ie Silesia, Pomerania, East Prussia), then those territories rightfully belonged to Poland, and their annexation by Poland after 1945 was simply a "return".

No, you misunderstood me--the fact that there was a Polish population in the territories in question is further PROOF that said territories had in fact once been a part of Poland (not just the Polish crown--Poland became a kingdom only in 1025, but ALL of said territories had been added to Poland before that, hence they were all part of the Duchy of Poland, which had no subdivisions). It is on this FACT that Poland's right to these territories comes. And just so that everyone is clear by what I mean by "right", this doesn't mean that justice demands that the territory be Polish and nobody else's (no, I guess the Germans also had a "right" to those territories because they had been a part of Germany for so long), but just to illustrate that the decisions taken at Yalta and Potsdam weren't some "unnatural" and "unfair" and "arbitrary" choices, but had their basis in history.
Obviously, for Feanor, the self-determination of the overwhelming German majority in those territories, all 11.5 million of them, counts for nothing. That is what I call chauvinism.

First of all, this is pre-war popluation. By the time Polish administration had been established, there were only 3M Germans left--the rest had fled (vast majority) or been killed (minority). Of course, booting the remaining 3M Germans wasn't by any means a nice thing to do.
Oh, and michael, if it's self-determination at the present moment that you care about so much, then Silesia, Pomerania and Masuria are undisputably Polish--after all, the population there now is 95%+ Polish.
Everybody knows that the German territories east of the Oder-Neisse were inhabited by Slavic peoples in the early middle ages. But in the course of the centuries they became thoroughly Germanised, and the people living in those territories clearly wanted to remain part of Germany.

Unfortunately, not everyone does know. Lots of people in the West still think that these territories only became Polish after Yalta. And also, if it's all OK by you that these territories got Germanised and people who moved in wanted to be part of Germany, than you should be perfectly fine with the fact that after WWII the areas because thoroughly (re)polonized and the people there want to be part of Poland
Some of those territories were at one time part of the lands of the Polish Crown, but ceased to be so many centuries ago. I note that Feanor totally ignores that part of my post that addressed the issue if the inadmissibility of determining the present status of territories on the basis of who lived there one thousand years ago, rather than according to the wishes of the people who live there now and have lived there for several centuries.

See, this is what is called selective manipulation of facts. You don't recognize modern Poland's claims to said territories because the Kingdon/Duchy of Poland wasn't the same thing as Poland today. True enough. However, it WAS the closest thing to Poland today that existed in the middle ages. Similarly, the Holy Roman Empire and its constituent fiefdoms, duchies, marches, kingdoms, principalities, etc are not equivalent to the Fed. Rep. of Germany today--yet you seem to have ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM with maintaining that Germany has a claim on those territories because they used to belong to those entities. This is called a DOUBLE STANDARD, or to use your terms, "German chauvinism". In a similar vein, Germany today is not the equivalent of the Kingdom of Prussia, nor the Kaiserreich, nor the Third Reich. So indeed, it looks like Germany defined in a way that you define Poland has absolutely no claim to said territories. Oh and if we are to determine the territories' status
according to the wishes of the people who live there now
then it's Polish, hands down.
Feanor also ignores the extent to which the Polish minority living in the German eastern territories (I am excluding here West Prussia and Posen Province) was a result of Polish immigration, particularly during the 19th century

So you have a problem with Polish immigration to the territory, but no problem with German immigration to the territory. Once again, the DOUBLE STANDARD.
The territories held by Prussia, and then the German Reich, from 1815 to 1919 as a result of the Partitions of Poland were West Prussia and Posen Province. I specifically exempted them from my comments.

Well, actually part of Silesia which had been Polish up to 1795 was taken by Prussia in the third partition (see map provided by Windward). It was later part of Upper Silesia.
Feanor implies that the annexation of Silesia, East Prussia and Pomerania in 1945 represented a "return" of Polish territory since some of those places had been subject to the Polish Crown many centuries previously. I consider such claims based on a political situation in the dim distant past rather than the self-determination of the population in the present to be chauvinism.

OK, see it all depends on what your definition of "dim distant past" is. For me, 50 years ago IS the "dim, distant past" (WAAAAAY before I was born). So the same problems that you associate with Poland's rights to the "Regained Terrs." applies to German ownership of same terrs. However, I most certainly do NOT disagree the self-determination in the present--let's hold a plebiscite in these territories now, shall we, and we'll see who wins. So either way, michael, you lose.
If we took Feanor's argument to its logical conclusion, then the Czech Republic should be part of Germany, since its component provinces, Bohemia and Moravia, had been lands of the German state from the 10th century until 1806 (the Holy Roman Empire) and again from 1815 to 1867 (the German Confederation)

See, once again we have the DOUBLE STANDARD of not treating the "Polish Crown" (as you like to refer to it) as equivalent ot Poland, yet treating the HRE and its components as equivalent to Germany. Don't you see a little bit of a problem there? Oh, and if taken to the logical concluion, the Czech Rep. would be independent, since the Czech Kindom WAS independent prior to being included in the HRE, not to mention ownership by the Habsburgs.

Feanor
In memoriam
Posts: 101
Joined: 31 Jul 2003 20:01
Location: USA

Post by Feanor » 05 Aug 2003 23:14

OK, now onto the issue of Royal Prussia,
In previous posts michael mills had claimed that according to the 2nd Treaty of Torun/Thorn (btw. the city was founded before the Order took over, so the Polish name is most definitely valid) in 1466, Pomorze Gdanskie/Pomerelia/"the Corridor"/Royal Prussia/whatever else you want to call it did NOT become a part of Poland but instead a "third state" in the Polish-Lithuanian union, bound to Poland only through a common king. I looked and I looked and I looked in all the books a could find, Polish chauvinist ones, English ones, even German chauvinist ones :lol: but NOWHERE could I find it said that the Treaty of T. established something like this. Of course, michael will probably be quick to remind me that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and will also point out the "non-chauvinist" (incidentally, how do you determine is something is "Polish chauvinist" or not--is it not chauvinist if they agree with you?) sources which claim that this was indeed one of the stipulations of said Treaty. But really, why should we argue about what some guys said the Treaty said, when we can look at the Treaty itself. A copy of the original is in the Polish archives and even available via the web.
Here is a page where one can find a picture of the original treaty in Latin and a commentary in Polish:
http://www.polska.pl/archiwa/sredniowie ... tm?id=6052
Since the Treaty itself is quite lengthy and in legalese, let me quote the relevant part of the commentary for those who don't have the time to explore this issue further:
W myśl postanowień traktatu: Zakon ustępował Polsce ziemie chełmińską, michałowską i Pomorze Gdańskie oraz rezygnował z północno-zachodniej części Prus z Malborkiem i Elblągiem ..... dzieło drugiego pokoju toruńskiego okazało się najtrwalsze w odniesieniu do prawnej akceptacji przynależności do Polski Pomorza Gdańskiego, ziemi chełmińskiej i Powiśla, które w sposób nienaruszony złączone zostały z Koroną na przeciąg przeszło trzech stuleci. (Janusz Grabowski)

My translation:
The stipulations of the treatise: the Order ceded to Poland the territories of Chelm, Michalow and Gdansk Pomerania and gave up the north-western part of Prussia with Malbork and Elblag ... the deed of the Second Peace of Torun proved to be longest lasting in relation to the legal acceptance of of Gdansk Pomorze's Chelm territory's and the Vistula lands' belonging to Poland; they were inviolably united with the Crown for over three centuries (j. Grabowski

Here it is important to note that by "the Crown" the author means the Kingdom of Poland, as opposed to Lithuania. Indeed, perhaps it was this misunderstanding of what was meant in Polish by "Korona" that lead you to this error, michael.
But let's get on to what the Treaty itself says--the Polish translation of the Latin can be found by following the link on the previous page:
http://www.polska.pl/info/archiwa/pokoj ... /tekst.htm
Here are the relevant parts:
[III.] Również dla usunięcia wszelkich uprzykrzeń, nienawiści, niezgód i wszelkiej wrogości, która wzrastała często w latach ubiegłych aż do ciężkich rozterek wojny między najjaśniejszym Kazimierzem królem wspomnianym [oraz] poprzednikami jego, królami polskimi, i królestwem z jednej strony a nami i poprzednikami naszymi, w. Mistrzami i Zakonem naszym z drugiej strony z powodu ziem: pomorskiej, chełmińskiej i michałowskiej – oraz aby nastąpił pokój trwały, stały i wieczysty nie w uściech tylko, ale z serca [płynący], prawdziwie, ale nie pozornie, szczerze, ale nie fałszywie, między wspomnianym najjaśniejszym panem Kazimierzem królem i Królestwem Polskim, książętami, biskupem, kościołem i kapitułą warmińską, stronnikami i pomocnikami [naszymi] oraz nami, panem Ludwikiem mistrzem, komturami i wspomnianym Zakonem:

Translation: III. Also to set aside all quarrels, hatred disagreements and enmity which often in past years led even to the heavy trials of warfare between his Highness Kazimierz the aforementioned king and his predecessors, the kings of Poland, and the Kingdom on the one side and us and our predecessors, g. Masters and our Order on the other, over the territories of Pomorze, Chelm and Michalow--and so that a lasting piece shall ensue, lasting for centuries not only with an embrace, but flowing from the heart, truly, not seemingly, sincerely, not falsely, between his aforementioned Highness King Kazimierz and the Kingdom of Poland, princes, the bishop, the church and chapter of Warmia, our allies and helpers and us, Master Ludwig, the knehts and the aforementioned Order:

ziemia chełmińska ze swymi grodami, miastami i miasteczkami oraz twierdzami, mianowicie Toruniem Starym i Nowym, Bierzgłowem, Starogardem, Chełmnem, Unisławem, Lipienkiem, Kowalewem, Rogoźnem, Pokrzywnem, Radzynem, Grudziądzem, Golubiem, Papowem, Brodnicą, Lidzbarkiem, Bratianem, Nowem Miastem, Lasinem, ze wszystkimi przynależnościami, również z należącymi do sądu i chorągwi chełmińskiej, oraz cała ziemia michałowska bez wyjątku, również cała ziemia pomorska w starożytnych swych granicach i ze wszystkimi grodami, miastami, miasteczkami, twierdzami w niej leżącymi, mianowicie Gdańskiem, Puckiem, Lęborkiem, Helem, Kościerzyną, Grabinami, Tczewem, Gniewem, Starogardem, Nowem, Świeckiem, Osiekiem, Jasieńcem, Kiszewami, Człuchowem, Chojnicami, Frydlądem (Debrznem), Hamersztynem (Czarnym), Bytowem, Tucholą, Sobowidzem, Skarszewami, Białymborem oraz z Mirzeją, rzekami, wodami, morzem i rybołówstwmi, które są w ogonie morza, czyli Zalewie, wsiami, portami, ostrowami i wszelkimi przynależnościami oraz powszechną własnością zwierzchnią bezpośrednią i użytkową, wyłączną i mieszaną będą należały i przynależały do wspomnianego najjaśniejszego Kazimierza króla i Królestwa Polskiego. Winne [one] będą należeć i przynależeć bez względu na jakikolwiek [poprzednie] darowizny, wyrzeczenia się , cesje, przywłaszczenia przez królów, książąt, panów, szlachtę, miasta i poddanych Królestwa Polskiego dokonane z jakiejkolwiek przyczyny i powodu z ziem wspomnianych, z praw, własności, władztwa i tytułu do nich, [bez względu] też na zachodzącą jakąkolwiek oraz ilekroćkolwiek fizycznie złożoną przysięgę na korzyść mistrza i Zakonu wspomnianego, utwierdzone mocą Stolicy Apostolskiej, cesarskiej lub jakiejkolwiek innej, które przez niniejszą zgodę i przymierze uznajemy za niebyłe, uchylamy, znosimy, przekreślamy, uznajemy za wygasłe i umarzamy oraz chcemy, by były po wieczne czasy derogowane oraz je derogujemy.

The territory of Chelm with its , castles, towns, cities, and fortresses, namely, Torun Old and New ...(list of cities) with all the belongings also belonging also to the court and banner of Chelm, and all the territory of Michalow without exception also the territory of Pomorze in its ancient boundaries with all the castles, cities, towns and forts therein, namely Gdansk, (list of towns) with the Spit, rivers, waters, sea and fisheries, which are in the tail of the sea (Zalewia) villages, ports, islands and all possessions and common property in its direct, usable, exclusive and mixed forms will belong and be the belongings of the aforementioned Highness King Kazimierz and the Kindgom of Poland They will belong without regard of any previous gifts, cessions, giving up by kings, princes, masters, nobility, cities and subjects of the Kingdom of Poland made for whatever reason on the aforementioned territories of rights, property, rule and title to them with no regard for previous physical oaths [by them] in favor of the Master and Order, ratified by the power of the Vatican, the Emperor or whomever else, which by this treaty we proclaim null and void, cross out, consider expired, and annull it
A bit later in pt III we have
Dla wspomnianego najjaśniejszego pana króla i królów i Królestwa Polskiego pozostaną [odtąd i nadal] na zawsze grody, miasta, miasteczka wspomniane mocą niniejszej zgody i przymierza; należeć i przynależeć będą do prawa, własności, źrebia i tytułu Królestwa Polskiego oraz powinny należeć i przynależeć [doń] na zawsze i wieczyście.

To the aforementioned Highness the king and [future] kings and the Kingdom of Poland will belong forever the castles, cities, towns and fortresses above mentioned in Treaty; they will belong to the right, property, and title of the Kingdom of Poland and should belong to it forever

Well, I hope this settles this matter once and for all. Oh, but I forgot, this is a Polish chauvinist documents, located in the Polish chauvinist archives, and on a Polish, chauvinist site, so michael will probably ignore it like everything else.

michael mills
Member
Posts: 8841
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 12:42
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by michael mills » 06 Aug 2003 07:37

I would challenge Windward to find any passage where I have asserted a German claim in the present to the territories east of the Oder-Neisse line, or suggested that they be returned to Germany.

I do not bewail the territorial changes wrought by the exercise of naked power, or shed tears over the populations that were displaced or destroyed thereby, whatever their ethnicity.

What I do object to is mealy-mouthed hypocrites refusing to admit that those actions were an exercise of naked power, and try to dress them up in dishonets phrases like "return of territory", "historic rights" etc.

Windward claims that the annexation by Poland of the German territories east of the Oder-Neisse line was actually a "return" of territory that was really Polish, but had been stolen and occupied illegally by Germans for seceral centuries. He does that on the basis that way back in the 10th century those territories formed part of an entity that he calls the Duchy of Poland (of course, East Prussia had never belonged to that entity, or been inhabited by Slavs). Fine, but why not take as a reference point the situation one thousand years previously, when the western half of the present territory of Poland was inhabited by Germanic tribes?

If we were to use Windward's criterion, that if a territory once belonged to the forerunner of a present state, then the seizure of that territory by the modern state merely constitutes a "return", then Germany would be justified in seizing the Netherlands, Belgium, the eastern half of France. northern Italy, Austria, Czechia and Slovenia, all of which belonged to the German state (The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation) in the early medieval period.

What if we were to take an impossibly moralisitc view and say that Silesia, Pomerania and East Prussia should belong to the present descendants of the Slavic and Baltic tribes who lived in those areas in the 10th century, which Windward has taken as his reference point?

To the surprise of Windward, we would find those descendants among the Germans who fled from or were driven out of those territories in 1945 (and also among the million or so Germans who emigrated from them earlier during the "Ostflucht"). You see, the germanisation of those territories, while it involved the settlement of people brought in from the west, mainly was a result of a change in the ethnic identity of the native people, their adoption of German language and culture. Sometimes it was only the lower orders who underwent ethnic change, but sometimes the ruling Slavic dynasties became germanised.

Thus we have a situation where the descendants of people who had been living in the territories east of the Oder-Neisse since time immemorial were driven out and replaced by Ukrainian tribesmen from the Carpathians who had never had any historical connection with those territories. Hardly a "return", was it.

I have no problem with the territories east of the Oder-Neisse remaining Polish. I would think that the descendants of the German former inhabitants are quite happy living the good life in one of the component parts of the European heartland, and have no desire to return to the "Wild East". But I would really like Windward and all the other Polish chauvinists to affirm that the seizure of those territories by Poland was an exercise of naked power politics, equivalent to the previous German seizure of the Wartheland and Bialystok.

Return to “Other eras”