Nazi treatment of ethnic Poles in Germany proper

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rob
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Nazi treatment of ethnic Poles in Germany proper

Post by rob » 12 Apr 2002 23:38

I believe that in Weimar Germany and into the third Reich, there were hundreds of thousands of ethnic Poles who were fully integrated German citizens, located predominately in, I believe, Silesia, East Prussia and the Ruhr (where many had moved during the Kaisers era for work). Did the Nazis have a policy towards them. I'm guessing that "Germanization" of them would be their policy.

michael mills
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Post by michael mills » 13 Apr 2002 06:05

Read the book "Diplomat in Berlin", by Jedrzejewicz. Some of the documents are official complaints by the Polish Government about German suppression of Polish-language schools and other institutions of the ethnic Polish minority in Silesia.

By the 1930s, the Poles who had emigrated to the Ruhr were fully integrated into the local Catholic German community. Ethnic Poles (ie speaking POlish) only existed in Silesia, and to a lesser extent in East Prussia.

However, I have never read of any persecution of German citizens of Polish ethnicity. None seems to have lost German citizenship as a result of being ethnically Polish.

One interesting point. There seems to have been a large number of Polish-speakers among the SS stationed in Eastern Europe, including at Auschwitz. They seem to have come from Silesia, and were probably members of the Polish ethnic minority there. Their ethnic origin does not seem to have precluded their being taken into the SS.

Dan
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Post by Dan » 13 Apr 2002 14:18

Michael, I spent some time on the internet trying to find out what the offical German policy was towards the Wends (or Sorbs) the Slavs that had been in Germany for centuries. On their websites they complain much about persecution during WW2 but offer no specifics.

Have you heard anything?

Dan

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Post by Davey Boy » 13 Apr 2002 14:47

I actually wrote to the Sorbs to ask them that question. They got back to me, in Polish, but didn't really offer any insight. They just gave me a bunch of book titles that they thought might be helpful. One of them was The Racial State, available at Amazon.com. I might get it, not sure yet.

Anyway, getting back to Rob's query, it seems that the Nazis were out to destroy Polish nationalism and culture more than anything else. Phyisically exterminating many Poles was part of this policy, but at the same time, those Poles who agreed to be Germanized were left alone. Well, sort of; the men had to join the Wehrmacht or the SS.

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Landser
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Polskis

Post by Landser » 13 Apr 2002 16:15

There was a slight difference in perception generally if you were a Reichsdeutscher or a Volksdeutscher
with a slavic sounding name.
There were many ethnic Slaves which in public lives became famous
and adored.Especially in sports, the most famous Fooballers at the time Szepan,Kuzzora,Willimowski and others etc.My favored was a forward named Balogh he still played after the war for a Karlsruhe club(Vfl Neckarau}

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Post by Davey Boy » 13 Apr 2002 16:50

Landser,

Slavs not Slaves you ignoramus. Slavs, or Slovianie rather, which means those who can speak (slovo=word), as opposed to the Germans, Niemcy, the dumb ones. :lol:

And Wilimowski was a Pole from Slask. He even played for Poland before he was recruited by the Krauts.

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Scanderbeg
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Post by Scanderbeg » 13 Apr 2002 20:54

General Anders wrote:Landser,

Slavs not Slaves you ignoramus. Slavs, or Slovianie rather, which means those who can speak (slovo=word), as opposed to the Germans, Niemcy, the dumb ones. :lol:
First of all i guess the Slavs were very happy when they learned how to speak so they decided to call themsleves "those who can speak". Now, don't tell me that this name was given to them by another nation because that nation would have to be a nation who coulnd't speak, in order for the Slavs to be different form them. How could they, that other nation, give names to the Slavs if they couldn't speak?

And another thing. By God, I can bet everything i have that you are the worst German hater in this forum. Get over it, please.

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mike262752
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Post by mike262752 » 13 Apr 2002 21:11

he puts the :lol: to try and cover up the fact that he is serious in his hatred of Germans

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Post by Nordwall » 13 Apr 2002 21:13

And another thing. By God, I can bet everything i have that you are the worst German hater in this forum. Get over it, please.
It must the expression of some kind of trauma originating in his subconscious mind, but I'm no doc so maybe professional help would be the best..


By the way, what were the Poles doing all the time 800 - 1806 a.D. when Germany was the foothold of the Roman Empire? The Poles had a thousand years to rise to might, but at least they knew that they actually could speak - as their name, Slavs, implies.

Gen. Anders has provoked such a stupid response.



- John
Last edited by Nordwall on 13 Apr 2002 21:15, edited 1 time in total.

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 13 Apr 2002 21:14

Discuss the topic of the thread, instead of General Anders, thanks.

/Marcus

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Landser
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Popolskis

Post by Landser » 14 Apr 2002 03:19

To the slave or slovo General with the german name.
Your boy Willimowski liked the "Dumb Nemcies" so much that he decided to stay in Germany after the war and was associated with Werder Bremen for a long time,I faintly remember since it has been over 50 years.I yes he is the only big Pole ever to amount to anything.I still remember him saying that the great Fritz Walter was one of his Idols.
WHAT A POPOLSKI!

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Lausitzer Wenden (Sorbs)

Post by michael mills » 14 Apr 2002 05:05

Dan wrote:
Michael, I spent some time on the internet trying to find out what the offical German policy was towards the Wends (or Sorbs) the Slavs that had been in Germany for centuries. On their websites they complain much about persecution during WW2 but offer no specifics.

Have you heard anything?

Dan
Dan,
In all my reading I have never come across any references to persecution of the Wends or Sorbs of the Lausitz region (between Berlin and Leipzig) by any German Government, whether Nazi or otherwise. That does not mean that it did not exist at some time.

I would think that the attitude of the German Government to the Lausitzer Wends was one of "benign neglect", no persecution for speaking their language, but on the other hand no official recognition of or support for their language and culture. So far as I know, the Wends had no national consciousness, or any feeling of not being part of the German people; the only difference was they spoke, in addition to German, their own language (a bit like the small minority of Scots who speak Gaelic). In that respect, the Wends were unlike the Poles of Upper Silesia or the Posen Province, who of course felt themselves to be part of the Polish people and separate from the Germans.

During the DDR period, the Wends were treated officially as a national minority, and their language and culture received official support. However, that seems to have been purely a propaganda exercise that disappeared with the disappearance of its sponsors.

I know what you mean about about certain elements today who claim to be Sorbs and who claim a history of persecution of the Sorb minority by german governments. I once came across such a person here in Australia, a descendant of one of the many German families that settled in the colony of South Australia during the 19th Century. He now claims to be a Sorb, and also claims that the settlers who came here from Germany were actually ethnic Sorbs fleeing persecution.

On talking with this person, I realised that the persecutory events he was talking about did actually occur, and were historical events that I had read about previously. However, the conflicts involved were actually religious or class-based. Thus the German settlers who came to Australia were mainly from Saxony, and they were members of a Lutheran offshoot that was having trouble with the authorities. However, there is no evidence that they were all Sorbs, or being persecuted because of ethnic differences.

Another group that occupied an intermediate position between Germans and Slavs was the Kaschuben of Danzig and West Prussia, about whom Guenter Grass writes. They were originally the native Slavic people of the region, but by the 19th Century they had become heavily germanised, and were considered to be ethnically German. Nevertheless, they retained their own language in the home, and they also remained largely Catholic in religion, which made them stand out in Lutheran Prussia. Because of their Catholic identity, Polish nationalists claimed them as a component of the Polish people, and battles raged between Polish and German nationalists for the allegiance of the Kaschuben, something reflected in many of Grass's books.

When the Polish Corridor was annexed by Germany in October 1939, the new Reichsstatthalter of Reichsgau Danzig-Westpreussen, Albert Forster, fulfilled the mission assigned to him by Hitler of germanising the province by simply declaring all the former Polish citizens of it to be Volksdeutsche.

Many former Polish citizens sought to benefit from the advantages of German ethnicity by declaring themselves to be Volksdeutsche, even if their German descent was extremely tenuous nad they knew hardly any German. All they had to do was sign the Volksliste, and their tenure of their land and their position in society was secured. Of course, that had the downside of an obligation for military service in the german Armed Forces.

The position of those POlish citizens who claimed to be "Volksdeutsche" is mirrored in our own time by the large numbers of Russian mafiosi who claim to be Jewish on the basis of a distantly remembered "Jewish" grandmother, and as a result are able to emigrate to Israel or Germany.

An interesting vignette, which I read in the book "Britain and the Jews of Europe" by Bernard Wasserstein. Among the German soldiers who surrendered in Tunisia in May 1943 were many Volksdeutsche from Poland, who had signed the Volksliste and been conscripted into the Wehrmacht. They escaped imprisonment by resuming their Polish identity, and were allowed to join the Polish Army being formed under General Anders (the real one that is, not the person who ponces around on this forum under that name).

Some of these former Wehrmacht men turned Polish were sent with the Polish Army units to Scotland for training. There, in the training camps, they encountered a number of Polish Jews who were likewise members of the Anders Army, having been in exile in the Soviet Union, and permitted to join the Army when it was formed after the German invasion. The former Wehrmacht men, having learned the correct attitude to Jews from their German trainers, were understandably upset at finding themselves compelled to serve in the same units as members of that nationality, and took appropriate action. The issue was hushed up at the time; the concept of members of the Polish Army fighting and killing each other on British soil was not one considered fit for public consumption.

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Birgitte Heuschkel
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Post by Birgitte Heuschkel » 14 Apr 2002 05:14

If the Wends no longer retained a cultural identity as such at this time, this would merely be the end of a long road begun back in 12-something or other when King Valdemar and Bishop Absalon of Denmark went on a happy little local crusade to wipe out their pagan idols -- and culture, and whatever else they came along. The Wends were pirates, and as such posed a threat to Danish coastal towns -- the king managed to remove this threat for which he should be commended, as well as just about anything that moved in Wend territory, for which he should be as despised as any other 'ethnical exterminator'.

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Post by Davey Boy » 14 Apr 2002 05:39

Scanderbeg88 wrote:
General Anders wrote:Landser,

Slavs not Slaves you ignoramus. Slavs, or Slovianie rather, which means those who can speak (slovo=word), as opposed to the Germans, Niemcy, the dumb ones. :lol:
First of all i guess the Slavs were very happy when they learned how to speak so they decided to call themsleves "those who can speak". Now, don't tell me that this name was given to them by another nation because that nation would have to be a nation who coulnd't speak, in order for the Slavs to be different form them. How could they, that other nation, give names to the Slavs if they couldn't speak?

And another thing. By God, I can bet everything i have that you are the worst German hater in this forum. Get over it, please.

So now you're teaching me about my own heritage? Very interesting. No one gave us that name, we gave itto ourselves. If you look in any decent encyclopaedia you will see that Slavs means "those who can speak" or "those who we can understand", and Niemcy or Niemtsy means "those who can't speak properly" or "the dumb ones". Also, look at Slavic first names like Radoslav or Boleslav, which basically mean Rado the Slav and Bole the Slav. Capisce, my confused Albanian friend?
Last edited by Davey Boy on 14 Apr 2002 06:15, edited 2 times in total.

Davey Boy
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Post by Davey Boy » 14 Apr 2002 05:47

Nordwall wrote:By the way, what were the Poles doing all the time 800 - 1806 a.D. when Germany was the foothold of the Roman Empire? The Poles had a thousand years to rise to might, but at least they knew that they actually could speak - as their name, Slavs, implies.
Nordwall my friend, how are you? First of all, can you please do some reading, because that was a very silly comment indeed. But if I may, I will answer that question.

Throughout much of that time, Poland was a great country, which then turned into the very powerful Polish and Lithuanian Commonwealth. Germany, on the other hand, wasn't even a nation, it was a bunch of little kingdoms ruled by chieftains. So that was your Roman Empire. A name, and nothing else. Here's a quote by an Arab from around 990AD from a book called The North. The chapter on Slavs was written by a German, so as you see, it's not just Slavic propaganda:

"The realm of Mieszko is the most extensive of the Slavic lands. It produces an abundance of food, meat, honey, and fish. He keeps 3000 knights, divided into detachments, and these are such warriors that ten thousand others could not equal a hundred of them. He provides all that they require.... the Slavs are violent, and inclined to aggression. If not for the disharmony amongst them ... no people could match their strength."
Last edited by Davey Boy on 14 Apr 2002 05:55, edited 1 time in total.

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