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gbrecht wrote:There definitely were documented Polish atrocities against Germans, especially those living in former German territory occupied by Poland due to the Versailles Treaty. You can find pictures online very easily on the subject. I believe there was problems before and after but the counter to this argument is generally that the atrocities took place after Germany had conquered Poland and was not part of the reason for the invasion.
Well that was countered in detail by Udo Walendy in 'Truth for Germany' and could also be blown out of the water by pointing out it wasn't only ethnic Germans who suffered atrocities by the Poles but the Ukrainians did as well (see for example the 'Manchester Guardian' of December 12th 1931, which mentions the atrocities against Ukrainians by the Poles). Also if one is to assert the reason for the invasion was not the atrocities (but rather a pre-planned conspiracy of aggression for which thesis as far as I am aware there is very little often shoddy evidence), which started before said invasion and were specifically referred to by Hitler in his speeches (I'd guess the Goebbels et al also mentioned them a lot) as an outrage and later the reason for going to war in the first place (after all it was basically the same reason that Hitler entered Austria [its people wanted Anschluss while the part of its elite in power didn't] and Czechoslovakia [to prevent the forcible repression and deprivation of the Sudeten Germans who wanted to join with Germany (the Slovaks were also being treated the same way but I doubt that was part of the German motivation)] etc).
While it is true there was a policy of Lebensraum: I think the state of the Wehrmacht in 1939 puts pay to any assertion of planned aggression as its build up was no where near what it needed to be to launch such a major campaign (and the Polish campaign was a major campaign with the potential, although it was thought unlikely at the time, to drag in outside powers [hence with increasing Polish aggression towards Germany and the German minority as well as the actions of England and France it became practically necessary to sign an agreement with the USSR in order to avoid the very thing the Wehrmacht had long been afraid: a major war on two fronts]). Hell Guderian himself (or possibly Manstein), I forget where, pointed out that the Wehrmacht's vaunted panzer divisions were in reality equipped with long outdated, salvaged and/or training tanks/equipment (i.e. Czech 38(t)'s, Panzer I & II's etc [while the plan was to upgrade them to Panzer III & IV's [short-barrelled infantry support vehicle at this time]) and that this fact was well known to the Wehrmacht and Hitler. In essence Hitler's invasion of Poland can only be seen as a reaction to the repression, forced polonisation and general atrocities against ethnic Germans by the Polish government and the Poles themselves as Hitler did not have the Wehrmacht ready for a potential European war (which was a possibility) and in essence he was forced to commit the Wehrmacht before his general (and most likely he) thought it was ready to do so.
An opposing case basically asserts that Hitler should have abandoned all his principles and just stood there whining like a lame duck. I do find it quite bizarre that modern historians should criticise Hitler for bucking the trend and doing something that everyone wants politicians to do: be honest and have a backbone. However then that raises the question of do modern historians really want honesty and a backbone, which is an entirely different (a-historical) question.
Jazz wrote:Does anyone know if this book's been translated to English? Fredrick Töben said that it's the real reason Hitler sent in soldiers.
Do you have the name of the author or authors for that book?
I don't know if you are after sources on this, but you could try Hans Schadewaldt's, 1940, 'Polish Acts of Atrocity against the German Minority in Poland', 2nd Edition, German Library of Information: New York (JR has another copy and has put it up at the following address: http://jrbooksonline.com/polish_atrocities.htm) or you could try and hunt down the English translation of Dwinger's, 1940, 'Death in Poland' which is floating around in an English translation (of which I have a copy).
To my knowlegde this book is only available in German. There are many important books which never get translated
into English. It's easy to see why. About the causes for WWII stands out the excellent new book(2003) by German historian
Walter Post, "Die Ursachen des Zweiten Weltkrieges". There are many others. Regarding the relatioship of Russians and
Jews, famed Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn has written 2 massive books in Russian. They were translated into French and German
but not into English. One can find a lot of good stuff in German, except for the ridiculous holohoax, which is a forbidden
topic in the "freest' Germany ever...
These were not issues that Hitler as the German leader could put off any longer, and he had made that clear to Poland, as well as to Britain and France. Britain acted as if they were encouraging the Poles to negotiate, when they were actually doing nothing or telling the Poles not to. Hitler finally set some deadlines, and at that point had to act. As Karl Radl said, he behaved in a principled manner all the way through. Britain and Poland are responsible for the all-European war, and then Britain and the US are responsible for the World War.
The scans I posted I found on this website here:
You will need to scroll down a lot before the pics show up.
I know the entire book is viewable somewhere at the jrbooksonline site, but didnt find it in the hurry right now, you can explore the site on your own, and for sure come across many works of interest ; )
The results of the investigation can be summarised as follows: Wilhelm Sieg was bound in a manner so fiendish that even those with long experience in dealing with crime have seldom met with a similar case. The bonds prevented the victim from moving his hands, which were strapped together in an unnaturally high position, back. The victim had no option other than to remain in this contorted position, since any movement of his arms or hands would have caused the bonds to strangle him. The cruelty of the way in which the leather strap was fastened, was almost exceeded by the cunning with which the knot at the throat had been tied, allowing the free end of the rein to be used as a halter. Judging by the state of the corpse, the rein must have been used in such a way that, by pulls and jerkings, the perpetrator could increase
the torment of his victim still further. As the tracks showing where Sieg had been dragged along lead out of the wood in the direction of the country road between Bromberg and Seebruch, that is to say, from the middle of the patch of wood to the road, we must of necessity conclude that Sieg fell a victim to the tortures to which he was subjected, since he was no longer physically capable of walking any further in his bonds. The victim, bound in such an unnatural way, and having fallen to the ground, must therefore have been dragged by the perpetrator through the wood. In consequence, the condition of the fractured hyoid bone, as established by the medico-legal authorities, can be explained naturally. On the other hand there is no necessity for any further inquiry into the degree of the atrocities carried out by the perpetrators, with a view to discovering whether Sieg received the injury to the skull while being dragged through the wood or, as must be supposed, actually at the place where the corpse was found. This deed (for which--as in so many cases--members of the Polish military forces must be held responsible) represents a murder carried out in the basest and most brutal fashion.
The book is full of fotos and eyewitness accounts as reported to the german authorities.
The book is viewable here:
Most of the pic above are from chapter VII. "Illustrated reports by medico-legal experts"
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4659985.stmIsrael has refused to extradite a Polish-born Jew accused of war crimes against Germans in World War II.
Solomon Morel, an 86-year-old Holocaust survivor, is said to be responsible for the deaths of up to 1,500 prisoners.
Mr Morel commanded a Russian-run camp where Germans were held after the Soviets occupied Poland in 1945.
Mr Morel moved to Israel in 1994 when inquiries began in Poland. A previous extradition call was refused in 1998.
Israel's Justice Ministry told the BBC that Poland's extradition request had been turned down, but gave no further details.
Polish prosecutors say Israel refused the request, saying there was "no basis whatsoever" to extradite Mr Morel, the Associated Press reports.
Israel has no extradition treaty with Poland.
A prosecutor at Poland's Institute for National Remembrance - which investigates war-era crimes - criticised the decision, alluding to Israel's support of the prosecution of elderly people accused of genocide against Jews during the war.
There should be one measure for judging war criminals, irrespective whether they are German, Israeli or any other nationality
Polish Institute for National Remembrance
"There should be one measure for judging war criminals, irrespective whether they are German, Israeli or any other nationality," Ewa Koj told the Associated Press news agency.
Mr Morel had survived incarceration in Auschwitz concentration camp earlier in the war, and lost many members of his family in the Holocaust.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organisation, regularly pressures foreign governments to prosecute those accused of Holocaust-era crimes.
Last year the organisation launched a "last chance" campaign to bring former Nazis and other Holocaust-era criminals to justice.
Mr Morel's case was brought to light in the 1990s when a US Jewish journalist, John Sack, published a book detailing alleged "revenge killings" by Jews placed in charge of prison camps at the end of the war.
Poland attempted to extradite Mr Morel in 1998, but Israel refused the request on technical grounds.
Poland's post-war communist government imprisoned some 100,000 Germans in 1945, and at least 15,000 are estimated to have died in captivity.
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