michael mills wrote:
It was also the Polish Government that conceived the idea of a forced emigration of Jews to Madagascar. The German Government merely borrowed the concept.
In September 1938, the Polish Ambassador in Berlin, Jozef Lipski, promised Hitler that if he, Hitler, succeeded in solving the Jewish problem in Poland, the Polish people would in gratitude erect a memorial to him in the most beautiful part of Warsaw! I note that, although Hitler fulfilled his side of the deal, the Poles have yet to fulfil theirs.
What is your source for this?
My source is the book "Diplomat in Berlin", by Jedrzejewicz.
The bbok is an edited collection of despatches by the Polish Ambassador in Berlin, Jozef Lipski, and also other papers by Lipski.
The quotation I used occurs in Document 99 in the book, printed on pages 408-412. The document is a report to Beck , the Polish Foreign Minister, dated 20 September 1938, and concerns a meeting on that day between Amabssador Lipski and Chancellor Hitler. The purpose of that meeting was primarily to discuss co-operation between Germany and Poland in the carve-up of Czechoslovakia, which was an issue at that time; Germany was to get the Sudetenland and Poland was to get Teschen.
On page 411 we find the following:
From other long deliberations of the Chancellor the following results were clear:
a) that he does not intend to go beyond the Sudetenland territory; naturally with armed forces he would go deeper, especially since, in my opinion, he would then be under pressure from the military elements who for strategic reasons push toward the subjugation of the whole of ethnographic Czechoslovakia to Germany;
b) that besides a certain line of German interests we [my comment: that is, the Poles] have a totally free hand;
c) that he sees great difficulties in reaching a Rumanian-Humgarian agreement (I think the chancellor is under Horthy's influence, as I reported to you verbally);
d) that the cost of the Sudetenland operation, including fortifications and armaments, adds up to the sum of 18 billion RM;
e) that upon the settlelment of the Sudetenland question he would present the problem of colonies;
d) that he has in mind an idea for settling the Jewish problem by way of emigration to the colonies in accordance with an understanding with Poland, Hungary, and possibly also Rumania (at which point I told him that if he finds such a solution we will erect him a beautiful monument in Warsaw).
So, PolAntek, my question remains. Where is the beautiful monument?
Jedrzejewicz provides the following exculpatory note to the above statement by Lipski:
Lest Lipski's words be misinterpreted, we give the following facts:
In 1937 there were about 3,350,000 Jews in Poland: most of them were concentrated in cities (Bialystok, 43 percent Jewish; Stanislawow, 41.4 percent; Warsaw, 30.1 percent) and small towns. The Jews living in rural areas made their living as agricultural brokers. However, as agricultural cooperatives developed in Poland, these middlemen were no longer needed and the Jews were deprived of this means of livelihood; they were left destitute and with no means of support. This had nothing to do with anti-Semitism; it was solely a natural economic development. The Jews in Poland, with their traditional clannishness, posed a serious problem in the overpopulated Polish state. The POlish government felt that a partian solution to this problem would be for them to emigrate, principally to Palestine.
The matter was considered so serious that Polish delegates to the League of Nations, in October, 1936, insisted that some immediate solution would have to be found, one possibility being the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine as a natural home for Jewish emigres. The Plish government further stressed that additional territories for emifres would have to be found to house the large number of Jews. Polish ambassadors discussed this matter with Paris, London and Washington.
It should be noted that during this same time the Polish government was giving financial aid to the Zionist organisation of Vladimir Zabotynski; also, with the approval of Minister Beck and marshal Smigly-Rydz, the Jewish Military Organisation (Irgun Tsevai Leumi) was training several hundreds of its instructors as secret military courses in Poland. (See Pobog-Malinowsli, II, 614-29).
So it appears that the Polish government saw the large number of Jews in Poland as a problem that needed to be solved by reducing that number, preferably by emigration.
No doubt at this point the supporters of Poland will jump in and say that this was the difference between Poland and Germany; that Poland merely wanted to expel its Jews, and did not want to kill them.
But the answer to that is that from 1933 to at least 1941, the preferred German solution for the "Jewish Problem" in Germany and the whole of Europe was likewise forced emigration to some colony outside Europe, eg Madagascar. Germany only resorted to mass killing of Jews when all other options became infeasible. It may well be that an independent Poland in the same position as Germany, with no possibility of getting rid of its Jews by expulsion, would likewise have resorted to a solution of deportation and extermination (as Romania did to a certain extent), although it would be safe to say that any extermination resorted to ny the Polish government would not be nearly as efficient and effective as that implemented by Germany.
Contemporary observers also thought the Poles quite capable of killing off their Jews if it came to the crunch.
In the essay "Lucien Wolf and the Making of Poland: Paris 1919", by Eugene C. Black, in the book "Polin", we find the following note 33, on page 292-3:
Sir Stuart Samuel had learned wisdom. At the Consistoire conference, he had not opposed the Jewish Nationalist, but by this point he had shifted 'to deprecate any Jewish political separatism in Poland'. Wolf's Peace Conference Diary, 11 April 1919. So had Headlam-Morley [my comment: a leading member of the British Delegation to the paris Peace Conference] who, in utter frustration, asked Wolf what Polish jewish Nationalist actually wanted. When Wolf told him that Jewish extremists were as mad as as Polish extremists and that there was nothing to choose between Dmowski and Ussishkin, Headlam-Morley said, 'Well, they will all be murdered'. Peace Conference Diary, 14 April 1919.
(For the information of readers, Lucien Wolf was a leader of British Jewry, and had gone to the Paris Peace Conference to help represent Jewish interests in Eastern Europe).
Now, when Headlam-Morley predicted that the Polish Jews would all be murdered, who did he think would do the murdering? The answer is obvious from the context; he thought it would be the Polish extrmeists, ie the national Democrats led by Roman Dmowski, who would kill the Polish Jews.
But note that Headlam-Morley did not attribute the future mass-murder solely to Polish extremism. He saw it as an outcome of a clash between mad Polish extremists and mad Jewish extremists, ie it would be just as much the fault of the Jewish extremists as of the Polish extremists. In that clash, the Jews would inevitably lose out as they were the weaker party.