Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by Peter K » 15 Sep 2008 12:10

Do you mean that there was indeed no massacre?
There were some atrocities and hostility between civilians of both sides - but calling it a massacre is a big exaggeration.

Most of civilian casualties were suffered due to "collateral damage"

Also after combats persons who were responsible for them were punished - this of course mean - executed.

It is possible that some innocent persons were also executed - accidentialy - for example - because they had no documents with them, so they couldn't prove their personality - so they were suspicious - and were arrested and later executed.

Also - as far as I know - persons who were wearing waterproof clothes were recognized as suspicious and if they were found, they were arrested – but I have no idea why such persons were recognized as suspicious.

Of course every German who had got weapon / Polish uniform of any kind - and was found - was also arrested.

But most of 600 arrested persons were later released, minority of them was executed or imprisoned.

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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by michael mills » 16 Sep 2008 02:47

I once again call upon Domen121 to address the version of events presented by me in my message on 14 September derived from an impeccably anti-Nazi source.

That version states that Polish troops retreating through Bromberg/Bydgoszcz panicked when they thought German forces were about to enter the city and attacked the German part of the civilian population at random. It also states that the commander of the Polish forces retreating through the city issued weapons to local Poles, and that after the withdrawal of the Polish military forces the armed Polish civilians went on a rampage against ethnic German civilians.

The panic of the retreating Polish soldiers also explains the Polish military casualties. Panicking Polish soldiers, fearing an imminent attack by German forces, started firing wildly and ended up killing each other.

If Domen121 fails to address this version of events, which I as I said comes from an anti-Nazi source, and to demonstrate what elements of it are not true, he will reveal himself as just the latest in a long line of purveyors of Polish chauvinist historiography on this forum.

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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by David Thompson » 16 Sep 2008 04:26

Michael -- You wrote:
If Domen121 fails to address this version of events, which I as I said comes from an anti-Nazi source, and to demonstrate what elements of it are not true, he will reveal himself as just the latest in a long line of purveyors of Polish chauvinist historiography on this forum.
Please avoid personal remarks in posting.

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Richard Hargreaves
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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by Richard Hargreaves » 16 Sep 2008 19:27

michael mills wrote:Polish troops retreating through Bromberg/Bydgoszcz panicked when they thought German forces were about to enter the city and attacked the German part of the civilian population at random. It also states that the commander of the Polish forces retreating through the city issued weapons to local Poles, and that after the withdrawal of the Polish military forces the armed Polish civilians went on a rampage against ethnic German civilians.

The panic of the retreating Polish soldiers also explains the Polish military casualties. Panicking Polish soldiers, fearing an imminent attack by German forces, started firing wildly and ended up killing each other.
That's the Bromberger Blutsonntag in a nutshell. In fact, it pretty much sums up the franc-tireur 'war' in Poland. Someone fired a shot, perhaps deliberately, perhaps accidentally, perhaps a soldier, perhaps an armed civilian. Chaos ensues, more shots are fired, some soldiers die, their comrades and/or the public exact retribution.

To be sure, there were franc-tireurs on both sides, but I haven't found evidence of a sustained campaign or grand plan on either side.

Each side was convinced that there were enemies in their midst that imagined enemies, became real enemies in chaotic situations such as war throws up. What you have in Poland is an almost carbon copy of France and Belgium in 1914. As one German Major remarked in 1914: "‘After a few hours every civilian was treated as an enemy. Whoever shot from a house was regarded as a franc-tireur, even if he was a Belgian soldier." I can't help thinking that an almost identical situation occurred in September 1939. Add years and years of anti-German and anti-Polish propaganda into the mix as well, and you have the recipe for some truly hideous acts... as happened on both sides.

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henryk
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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by henryk » 16 Sep 2008 20:08

Roberto gives two sources for his quote, as repeated by Michael Mills:
The source of this information are passages from Wolfgang Benz' book Legenden, Lügen, Vorurteile, quoted under the following link:
http://www.h-ref.de/dk/krieg/polen/bromb/brmb.shtml
As these are in German I would appreciate being given the original sources for Benz's book.
A Google search on "Bromberg Massacre" produces little useful English material. The vast majority is revisionist.
Here is an examination of the alleged massacre (Red emphasis is mine).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloody_Sunday_(1939)
Bloody Sunday (1939)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bloody Sunday (German: Bromberger Blutsonntag; Polish: Krwawa Niedziela) is the term used to describe an incident that took place at the beginning of World War II. On September 3, 1939, two days after the beginning of the German invasion of Poland, highly controversial killings occurred in and around the town of Bydgoszcz (German: Bromberg), a Polish town with a sizable German minority, located in the Pomeranian Voivodeship. The number of casualties and other details of the incident are disputed among historians.
Bloody Sunday
Before and after armed conflict erupted on September 1, 1939, both sides reported a number of atrocities.[4] The Nazis claimed that the worst persecutions of ethnic Germans was that which occurred on September 3, in Bydgoszcz.[4] The modern German version is that Polish troops and civilians massacred German civilians due to confusion.[1]

The Polish version is that the Germany's fifth column forces were constantly engaging Polish troops behind the frontlines.[5][6] As a contingent of the Polish Army from Pomerania (Army Pomorze's 9th, 15th, and 27th Infantry Division)[6]) was withdrawing through Bydgoszcz it was attacked by Germans from within the city and reported to be engaging enemy elements who were sniping at Polish troops. In the ensuing fight both sides suffered some casualties; captured German nonuniformed armed insurgents were executed on spot, and in the confusion, some mob lynching was also reported.[7][8][9][6]

The debate in scholarship
It is hard to say how many Germans died exclusively during the Bloody Sunday. German author Peter Aurich gave a number of German civilian deaths in Bydgoszcz as 366 deaths.[10] Another German historian, Hugo Rasmus, estimates the number of ethnic German deaths in Bydgoszcz as "at least 415".[1] Two Polish historians - Włodzimierz Jastrzębski and Czesław Madajczyk against the Polish soldiers in the city, estimate ethnic German deaths respectively 103 (Jastrzębski), and about 300 (150 on September 3, the rest in the days after) victims (Madajczyk).[9] The Polish historians point out that since these losses occurred during actual combat, most of the civilian losses should be attributed to accidents common in urban combat conditions; further they argue that civilian losses might have occurred when the town was attacked by the German airforce (Luftwaffe).[1] The Nazi propaganda, which reinforced the Polish perception of German minority as hostile - and which during the invasion reported (without details) on German minority aiding the forces - has contributed to the misconceptions, as Poles were expecting the German minority to be actively hostile.[3]

An even bigger debate in the scholarship concerns the question whether - as the Polish historiography suggests - they were indeed any members of the German fifth column in the city who opened fire on the Polish troops (and if so, whether they were composed of members of Bydgoszcz German minority or not), or whether - as critics among the German historiography argue - Polish troops (or panicking civilians) overreacted in confusion and targeted innocent German civilians.

Nazi investigation in 1939 and 1940 concluded that the events were a result of panic and confusion among the Polish toops.[11] To a significant extent, those conclusions are repeated in post-war German historiography. According to Aurich, author of the most thorough German account (according to Harry Gordon[3]), after police forces retreated from Bydgoszcz, agitated Polish civilians charged many Germans with assaulting Polish soldiers and executed them and any Poles who stood up in their defense.[3] Rasmus attributes the situation to confusion and the disorganized state of the Polish forces in the city.[10] Along those lines another German historian Christian Raitz von Frentz wrote that "In Bydgoszcz, the event was probably caused by confusion among the rapidly retreating soldiers, a general breakdown in public order and panic among the Polish majority after two German air raids and the discovery of a small reconnaissance group of the German army on the previous day."[1] He quotes the Nazi German reports about the civilian victims and atrocities, later collaborated by a Red Cross commission that Nazis invited to the scene.[1] Frentz however also noted that eyewitness accounts of atrocities committed against the German population are also as unreliable as Polish accounts of the fifth columnists.[1] It is also pointed out that during the war no ethnic Germans are known to have spoken of participation in that event.[10] In the post-war collaboration trials, no ethnic German was charged with relation to the Bloody Sunday.[1][3] Another counterargument to the fifth column theory is one that Polish troops were being targeted by advanced units of German regular army (Wehrmacht), or that the shots were fired in the confusion of the mass withdrawal by other Polish soldiers.[10]

Polish historians, such as Madajczyk, Jastrzębski, Karol Marian Pospieszalski, Ryszard Wojan and others claim that the killings were triggered when the ethnic Germans, dressed up as civilians, opened fire on the Polish troops, and Poles retaliated, killing many and executing captured ones afterwards.[9][10][12] Polish historians like Pospieszalski and Janusz Kutta, point out to a Nazi top secret false flag Operation Himmler (which took place on August 31-September 1) and was designed to create an illusion of Polish aggression against Germany.[13][14] Thus there is argument that actions like the Gleiwitz incident and events in Bydgoszcz were all part of a larger Nazi plan to discredit the Poles.[15] Polish historians such as Pospieszalski and Wojan also argued that the German fifth column agents (or their higher ups) might have been deliberately aiming to produce a situation likely to result in German civilian casualties to fuel Nazi propaganda.[16][17][5] This argument has been criticized, for example Harry Gordon questioned whether the Germans were willing to sacrifice their minority for propaganda gained.[3] In 2004 the Polish historian Tomasz Chinciński in a publication of Institute of National Remembrance summarized Polish research related to the Bloody Sunday, conforming that the majority of Polish historians support the fifth column theory.[18] He has further published a work detailing the new evidence of German diversionary activity in September of 1939 in Poland.[19] There are numerous Polish eyewitness accounts for action of German fifth column, which included members of local minority.[3] Pospieszalski for example cited multiple witnesses for at least 46 cases of German civilians opening fire on Polish troops.[3] There are numerous Polish Army reports[6] and German documents confirming the saboteur actions of armed German Poles in other cities.[6] According to German historians, any members of the fifth column, if present in the city, were infiltrators from Germany, not natives of Bydgoszcz.[1] Eyewitness accounts have been however criticized, among others by Richard Blanke.[1] Chinciński in a recent work in 2004 discussed previously unpublished reports of Polish Army Pomorze, which reported "a large scale diversion" in Bydgoszcz on September 3 and numerous smaller incidents in surrounding area around that time.[6]

A number of Polish and German historians discussed the problem 4 September 2006 in German Historical Institute in Warsaw.[20] Notably, Jastrzębski have argued that Polish historians should treat German sources as more reliable.[20] Chinciński discussed newly discovered documents of the German military intelligence (Abwehr) that show that there were indeed plans for a fifth column and diversion activities in Bydgdoscz; he also discussed the bias of communist era Polish historiography which minimized the cases of Polish mob lynching of ethnic Germans, which did occur in Bydgoszcz.[20] German historian, Hans-Erich Volkmann, noted the problems with German historiography, outlining some of the unreliability inherent in early post war studies, which were still significantly affected by the Nazi-era, and that the Bydgoszcz events were and still are a politically charged issue.[20] Overall, German and Polish historians continue to argue with one another over the validity of their claims, but a more consensus version is emerging.[20]

German reprisals (see original)
References see original)

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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by michael mills » 17 Sep 2008 03:38

The problem with reports on the events in Bydgozcz/Bromberg made by Polish army officers, and with claims by Polish witnesses, is that they are suspect of having been falsified in order to justify the killings of some scores of ethnic German inhabitants of the city which did occur.

Even if Polish witnesses did not deliberately falsify their claims, what they thought they saw is highly likely to have been influenced by the general hysteria which reigned in the city on that day, engendered by fears of an imminent German attack.

It would appear that some Polish historians, for reasons of national pride, have relied uncritically on the reports by Polish officers and civilian witnesses, without subjecting them to the proper analysis. In order to be taken seriously as impartial historians, they need to examine the possibility of falsification by Polish officers and civilians for the purpose of covering up crimes committed by them.

Analyses by modern German historians are more likely to be accurate, since those historians are well aware of the need to avoid providing any justification for German misdeeds during the invasion of Poland. Today there is no official German chauvinism, whereas Polish chauvinism exists right to the very top of the Polish Government.

As for claims of German plans to send teams of saboteurs into places like Bydgoszcz to create diversions, it would need to be proved that those plans were actually implemented, and did not just remain suggestions on paper.

As for the claims of ethnic Germans in Bydgoszcz possessing Polish army uniforms, that is easily explained. As Polish citizens, those ethnic Germans were subject to conscription, and some may have been reservists. Ethnic Germans conscripted into the Polish forces and equipped with uniforms immediately came under suspicion of treason once the German invasion began.

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henryk
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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by henryk » 17 Sep 2008 19:34

Michael Mills said:
The problem with reports on the events in Bydgozcz/Bromberg made by Polish army officers, and with claims by Polish witnesses, is that they are suspect of having been falsified
what they thought they saw is highly likely to have been influenced by the general hysteria which reigned in the city on that day, engendered by fears of an imminent German attack.

It would appear that some Polish historians, for reasons of national pride, have relied uncritically on the reports by Polish officers and civilian witnesses, without subjecting them to the proper analysis.
Analyses by modern German historians are more likely to be accurate, since those historians are well aware of the need to avoid providing any justification for German misdeeds during the invasion of Poland. Today there is no official German chauvinism, whereas Polish chauvinism exists right to the very top of the Polish Government.
As for claims of German plans to send teams of saboteurs into places like Bydgoszcz to create diversions, it would need to be proved that those plans were actually implemented, and did not just remain suggestions on paper.
Why should the testimony of German residents (probably mostly pro-Nazi) be given more credence than that of the Polish residents. German carried out a mis-information campaign before and after the war to justify the war. Which German testimony is mis-information and which honest?
From the the last paragraph of my message:
Chinciński discussed ion activities in Bydgdnewly discovered documents of the German military intelligence (Abwehr) that show that there were indeed plans for a fifth column and diversoscz; he also discussed the bias of communist era Polish historiography which minimized the cases of Polish mob lynching of ethnic Germans, which did occur in Bydgoszcz.[20]
So German documents confirm the fifth column.
German historian, Hans-Erich Volkmann, noted the problems with German historiography, outlining some of the unreliability inherent in early post war studies, which were still significantly affected by the Nazi-era, and that the Bydgoszcz events were and still are a politically charged issue.[20]
So a German historian disputes German historiography.
Today there is no official German chauvinism,
http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~sarmatia/407/272krzyst.html (Emphasis in red is mine)
Recent German Claims Against Poland
Krzysztof Rak and Mariusz Muszyński (Sarmatian Review)
In 2006, the Prussian Trust, an organization representing German postwar expellees from Central and Eastern Europe, submitted a claim against Poland to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, alleging that Poland committed crimes during the forced evacuation of Germans to Germany in 1945. [1]
..................................
Several arguments have been used by such political circles to justify their stance. The first is that such demands have been raised by marginal German groups and therefore should not be taken seriously. However, the so-called Vertriebene and their descendants constitute a well-disciplined electorate consisting of several million people. Before each election the political forces in Germany compete for this electorate. It was the fear of losing it that in 1990 made Chancellor Helmut Kohl resist the signing of the treaty with Poland that confirmed the present borders. It is because of this electorate that the chancellors and presidents of Germany grace with their presence the congresses of the “expellees,” not to speak of the fact that in the coalition agreement between CDU and SPD the government promised not to forget them. [3] J. K. Fromme, head of the expellees’ caucus in the CDU/CSU fraction of the Bundestag, has stated that the burden of guilt for the outcome of the Second World War is shared by Adolf Hitler and Poland, and that the Potsdam agreements [confirming the present borders of Poland] were merely “the minutes of certain negotiations” rather than an international agreement on which the present order of Europe rests.[4] Ms. Erika Steinbach, head of the Prussian Trust and a Bundestag member, has compared the deportations of Germans to the Holocaust, and ridiculed the Warsaw Uprising.[5] Do these people represent the margins of German society? We doubt it. Has any Parliament member in Poland compared the massacre of Poles in Volhynia during the Second World War to the genocide of Jews engineered by the Germans? Has any member of the Polish Parliament ever made claims against the Ukrainians because Poles lost their properties in Ukraine? Has anyone in Poland ever compared the Ukrainian misdeeds against Poles to the crimes of Hitler or Stalin? Of course not. Why don’t we ask our western neighbor to react to the trashing of standards of political decency by some of their compatriots?
....................................
Few people in Poland or elsewhere know that in Germany there exists a vast literature justifying German property claims in territories that had been granted to Poland through international agreements after the Second World War (the same agreements deprived Poland of eastern territories from which hundreds of thousands of Poles were expelled without any restitution of property whatsoever). In present-day Germany there is hardly a single international law specialist that does not have in his curriculum vitae at least one article dedicated to the postwar fate of the expellees. The conclusions of such articles are generally anti-Polish. The vocabulary used in German public life-the key concepts of “expulsion” (Vertreibung) and “dispossession” (Enteignung)-contain legally detrimental connotations. Poles and others have also forgotten that one of the most respected authorities in international law, Professor Alfred Verdross, introduced (in collaboration with Professor Bruno Simma, now a judge in the International Tribunal in the Hague) into international law the institution of territorial supervision. This annulled the finality of Polish rights regarding post-German territories given to Poland after the Second World War[7] while at the same time cutting off eastern territories from the Polish state, thus initiating the painful and costly (to Poles) relocation of the Polish population from present-day Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine to western territories, from which Germans were relocated to Germany.
The third argument minimizing the claims of the Prussian Trust has to do with the allegedly radically changed nature of German patriotism. The argument claims that the German national consciousness has been radically changed, and therefore a danger of Germans engaging in any form of aggression against their eastern neighbor is thus simply moot. It is true that Germany went though a period of soul-searching after the Second World War, especially regarding the Jews and the Holocaust. However, such a soul-searching has never taken place regarding the Catholic Poles. It also appears that not only ordinary Germans but also German historians harbor an idealized picture of their actions in Poland in 1939-45, and the catastrophic destruction of Polish lives and property in the second world war. What is more, for a quarter-century now the historical debate in Germany (Historikerstret) has involved a number of serious historians who have posited that the crimes Germans committed in the Second World War were not exceptional, given that the twentieth century was a century of genocides such as that of the Armenians, the Ukrainians, and so on. If so, then the German nation is no more responsible for the history of that century than any other nation.
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,214 ... te]Despite strong criticism from Poland, German Chancellor Angela Merkel supports the creation of a permanent institution in Berlin to commemorate the world’s deportees, including millions of German expellees after 1945.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed support Monday for a permanent center documenting the plight of Germans forced from their homes after World War II and other victims of expulsions, adding she hoped for help from European neighbors. [/quote]
Germans are also chauvinists!

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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by michael mills » 18 Sep 2008 04:17

I do not see anything in the material posted by Henryk that indicates the existence today of official German chauvinism.

The commemoration of the world's deportees, including German expellees, can hardly be called an example of chauvinism. It does not exalt one nation over another. Apparently Poland is protesting the creation of a institution in Berlin to commemorate the world's deportees; but Germany would never protest the creation in Poland of an institution to commemorate the victims of German oppression in Poland, whetherJewish or Polish. That illustrates exactly the point I was making; chauvinism is dead in the germany of today, whereas it is alive and flourishing in Poland.

Some of Henryk's material is taken from a publication called the "Sarmatian Review". I have never heard of this publication, nad have no way of knowing how trustworthy it is. It is possible that what it says about the Prussian Trust is not a neutral view, but is biassed. How can we tell?

I should point out that the Polish chauvinism of today is not only directed against Germans. There appears to be quite a lot of hatred of Ukrainians, and we have all seen it displayed in this forum from time to time.

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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by ToKu » 18 Sep 2008 08:07

Probably that is why we are trying to get Ukraine into EU and NATO ASAP and against the will of major European players.

To moderator: I believe that question of polish chauvinism is completly off topic and some post (including this one) should be delated.

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RG
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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by RG » 18 Sep 2008 09:38

ToKu wrote:Probably that is why we are trying to get Ukraine into EU and NATO ASAP and against the will of major European players.

To moderator: I believe that question of polish chauvinism is completly off topic and some post (including this one) should be delated.
Sorry Toku, I dissagree with you. Posts of our dear Michael should be kept as a proof of his great care towards Poland’s poor neighbours, especially Germans as well Ukrainians who are so helpless that they need support from down under to defend themselves against polish chauvinism.
I beg moderator to keep Michael’s post, they describe perfectly an attitude of that member towards Poles.

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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by David Thompson » 18 Sep 2008 11:12

Let's get back on topic -- the massacre of German civilians at Bromberg in 1939. We have open threads on many of the other massacres involving Poles, Germans, Ukrainians and Jews during and after WWII, so there's no need to discuss them here.

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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by henryk » 18 Sep 2008 19:59

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarmatian_Review
Sarmatian Review is an English language peer reviewed academic journal on the Slavistics (culture, history, and society of Central and Eastern Europe) published by Polish Institute of Houston at Rice University three times a year in January, April, and September. Since 1992 an abbreviated web edition appears six to ten weeks after the print edition and is available freely from their website. It was founded in 1981. Its ISSN number is 10595872.

It deals with a variety of subjects: country-related articles (Poland, Russia and Ukraine being most prominent), the post-Soviet period, the American and European ethnic issues and matters related mass media, higher education, literature, government, religion and politics. It contains articles, review and sometimes literature samples (poetry).

The name of the publications comes from Sarmatia, a semi-legendary name for the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, a multi-cultural state that spanned most of Eastern Europe from 16th to 18th centuries.

The goal of this publication, as stated at [1] is: "The Sarmatian Review was conceived by a group of American Polish scholars who observed a dearth of scholarly journals that would allow the Polish-American points of view to be heard. Polish-Americans, and other Americans of Central European ancestry, will be able to speak for themselves in a scholarly publication that reflects Central European and Polish-American identity."
http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~sarmatia/408/2 ... eview.html
Editor: Ewa Thompson (Rice University).

Associate Editors: Tamara Trojanowska (University of Toronto), Bogdan Czaykowski (1932-2007).

Editorial Advisory Committee: George Gasyna (University of Illinois-Urbana), Janusz A. Ihnatowicz (University of Saint Thomas-Houston), Bozena Karwowska (University of British Columbia), Joseph A.Kotarba (University of Houston), Alex Kurczaba (University of Illinois-Chicago), Marcus D. Leuchter (Holocaust Museum Houston),Witold J. Lukaszewski (Sam Houston State University), Theresa Kurk McGinley (North Harris College-Houston), Michael J. Mikoś (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Jan Rybicki (Kraków Pedagogical University), Dariusz Skórczewski (Catholic University of Lublin), Piotr Wilczek (University of Silesia).

Copy Editor: Cyndy Brown

Web Pages: Matthew Hernandez (Rice University).

Web Address: <http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~sarmatia>.

Sarmatian Council: James Burns (Houston), Iga J. Henderson (Houston), Marek Kimmel (Rice University), Leonard M. Krazynski (First Honorary Polish Consul in Houston), James R. Thompson (Rice University).
http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~sarmatia/
Online reading of published material.

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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by michael mills » 19 Sep 2008 00:07

Let's get back on topic -- the massacre of German civilians at Bromberg in 1939
There is a relationship between the topic of this thread and the issue of German chauvinism versus Polish chauvinism.

There appear to be two rival versions of what happened at bromberg in 1939. On the one hand, there is the version endorsed by modern mainstream German historians, such as Wolfgang Benz, which states that there was a massacre of some scores of innocent ethnic German civilian citizens of Bromberg perpetrated by Polish soldiers and civilians who had been put into a state of panic by the German invasion. This was the version posted by former forum member Roberto.

On the other hand, there is the version endorsed by modern mainstream Polish historians, according to which there was no massacre of innocent ethnic Germans, or at least the number of such innocent persons killed was very small, and that the persons killed were ethnic Germans who, acting as agents of Germany, had fired on Polish troops passing through Bromberg, or else were agents smuggled in from Germany, or perhaps both, and that they were either killed during fighting with Polish troops or else legally executed after capture.

The essential issue is which of these two rival versions of the events in Bromberg is more likely to be true, and that goes to the credibility of the persons endorsing each version. My contention is that German chauvinism is non-existent among mainstream German historians of today, who unanimously take the view that during the Second World War their country, Germany, was the perpetrator, and the countries invaded by it, such as Poland, were the victims. Accordingly, if those historians conclude that there was a case where ethnic Germans were the vicitms and Poles the perpetrators, we can be confident that that conclusion is not based on a German chauvinistic or apologetic outlook, but rather a conclusion that the historians have been compelled to come to after a dispassionate examination of all the evidence.

By contrast, Polish chauvinism is alive and well, and receives official endorsement from the highest levels of the Polish Government. It even seems to afflict Polish-American academics. That chauvinistic attitude is expressed, for example, in the Polish opposition to a German proposal to set up an institute commemorating all European deportees, including those Germans who became victims of expulsion; as I have previously written, it is inconceivable that Germany would oppose Poland's setting up an institute to commemorate Polish victims of expulsion at German hands.

Accordingly, I think we can safely conclude that the Polish version of the events is essentially apologetic and motivated by Polish chauvinism, and hence can be discarded in favour of the version endorsed by mainstream German historians like Wolfgang Benz.

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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by David Thompson » 19 Sep 2008 00:32

Michael -- You wrote:
There is a relationship between the topic of this thread and the issue of German chauvinism versus Polish chauvinism.
Whether that's true or not, let's stick to the subject of 1939 Bromberg in this thread.

There's never a shortage of chauvinism in this world, and I don't think discussing and comparing the various chauvinistic impulses in one or another country will add a jot to the information which our readers hope the posters will provide here. Furthermore, a motive to falsify (which we have here on both sides) doesn't establish an act of falsification. If there's evidence of actual falsification in this particular event, let's see it. If there's not, let's discuss the facts and avoid digressions.

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Re: Der Bromberger Blutsonntag

Post by michael mills » 19 Sep 2008 13:42

Well, what the facts?

There are two incompatible sets of claims presented here. One set of claims, made by the German historian Wolfgang Benz, is that panicky Polish soldiers killed ethnic German civilians at random in Bromberg, and after the troops left the killing was continued by Polish civilians who had been armed by the departed Polish soldiers.

The other set, presented by a number of posters on this forum with Polish connections, is that the persons killed in Bromberg were German saboteurs who had attacked Polish soldiers in the town and were killed in the fighting or executed after capture.

I have stated the reasons why I believe Benz, namely that an obviously anti-Nazi modern German historian would have no reason to try to exculpate any Germans of 1939 who had committed crimes against Poland, and hence must have reached his conclusions on the basis of empirical evidence.

I have also stated my reasons for not believing the Polish claims, namely that they have all the hallmarks of a cover-up designed to exculpate Polish soldiers and civilians of 1939 for crimes committed against ethnic Germans in Bromberg, and that the reason why modern Polish historians are still endorsing those claims is national pride, an unwillingness to accept that Poles were not exclusively victims and the Germans perpetrators but that sometimes, as at Bromberg, the roles were reversed.

I think it is up to those who promote the Polish claims on this forum to give the reasons why they reject the interpretation of events made by an anti-Nazi, non-chauvinist German historian, who we can be confident has not uncritically accepted claims tainted by Nazi propaganda.

So far, the promoters of the Polish claims have simply gone on presenting those claims, and have failed to come to grips with the interpretation made by Benz. I think it is incumbent on them to show why Benz is wrong.

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