'Why Germany Invaded Poland', by John Wear / 'peaceful Poland' debunked

All aspects including lead-in to hostilities and results.

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'Why Germany Invaded Poland', by John Wear / 'peaceful Poland' debunked

Postby Hannover » 1 year 8 months ago (Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:53 pm)

From John Wear & Inconvenient History we have more on the propaganda that 'Poland was attacked without cause'.
It's quite compelling, the author covers all the bases in exposing the false claims that Poland was innocent.
Have a look, comments invited.

- Hannover

from: Inconvenient History, A Quarterly Journal for Free Historical Inquiry
http://inconvenienthistory.com/
Published by: CODOH

source: Vol. 11 (2019), No. 1
http://inconvenienthistory.com/11/1/6391#_ednref40
Why Germany Invaded Poland
John Wear

Great Britain’s Blank Check to Poland

On March 21, 1939, while hosting French Prime Minister Édouard Daladier, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain discussed a joint front with France, Russia and Poland to act together against German aggression. France agreed at once, and the Russians agreed on the condition that both France and Poland sign first. However, Polish Foreign Minister Józef Beck vetoed the agreement on March 24, 1939.[1] Polish statesmen feared Russia more than they did Germany. Polish Marshal Edward Śmigły-Rydz told the French ambassador, “With the Germans we risk losing our liberty; with the Russians we lose our soul.”[2]

Another complication arose in European diplomacy when a movement among the residents of Memel in Lithuania sought to join Germany. The Allied victors in the Versailles Treaty had detached Memel from East Prussia and placed it in a separate League of Nations protectorate. Lithuania then proceeded to seize Memel from the League of Nations shortly after World War I. Memel was historically a German city which in the seven centuries of its history had never separated from its East Prussian homeland. Germany was so weak after World War I that it could not prevent the tiny new-born nation of Lithuania from seizing Memel.[3]

Germany’s occupation of Prague in March 1939 had generated uncontrollable excitement among the mostly German population of Memel. The population of Memel was clamoring to return to Germany and could no longer be restrained. The Lithuanian foreign minister traveled to Berlin on March 22, 1939, where he agreed to the immediate transfer of Memel to Germany. The annexation of Memel into Germany went through the next day. The question of Memel exploded of itself without any deliberate German plan of annexation.[4] Polish leaders agreed that the return of Memel to Germany from Lithuania would not constitute an issue of conflict between Germany and Poland.[5]

What did cause conflict between Germany and Poland was the so-called Free City of Danzig. Danzig was founded in the early 14th century and was historically the key port at the mouth of the great Vistula River. From the beginning Danzig was inhabited almost exclusively by Germans, with the Polish minority in 1922 constituting less than 3% of the city’s 365,000 inhabitants. The Treaty of Versailles converted Danzig from a German provincial capital into a League of Nations protectorate subject to numerous strictures established for the benefit of Poland. The great preponderance of the citizens of Danzig had never wanted to leave Germany, and they were eager to return to Germany in 1939. Their eagerness to join Germany was exacerbated by the fact that Germany’s economy was healthy while Poland’s economy was still mired in depression.[6]

Many of the German citizens of Danzig had consistently demonstrated their unwavering loyalty to National Socialism and its principles. They had even elected a National Socialist parliamentary majority before this result had been achieved in Germany. It was widely known that Poland was constantly seeking to increase her control over Danzig despite the wishes of Danzig’s German majority. Hitler was not opposed to Poland’s further economic aspirations at Danzig, but Hitler was resolved never to permit the establishment of a Polish political regime at Danzig. Such a renunciation of Danzig by Hitler would have been a repudiation of the loyalty of Danzig citizens to the Third Reich and their spirit of self-determination.[7]

Germany presented a proposal for a comprehensive settlement of the Danzig question with Poland on October 24, 1938. Hitler’s plan would allow Germany to annex Danzig and construct a superhighway and a railroad to East Prussia. In return Poland would be granted a permanent free port in Danzig and the right to build her own highway and railroad to the port. The entire Danzig area would also become a permanent free market for Polish goods on which no German customs duties would be levied. Germany would take the unprecedented step of recognizing and guaranteeing the existing German-Polish frontier, including the boundary in Upper Silesia established in 1922. This later provision was extremely important since the Versailles Treaty had given Poland much additional territory which Germany proposed to renounce. Hitler’s offer to guarantee Poland’s frontiers also carried with it a degree of military security that no other non-Communist nation could match.[8]

Germany’s proposed settlement with Poland was far less favorable to Germany than the Thirteenth Point of Wilson’s program at Versailles. The Versailles Treaty gave Poland large slices of territory in regions such as West Prussia and Western Posen which were overwhelmingly German. The richest industrial section of Upper Silesia was also later given to Poland despite the fact that Poland had lost the plebiscite there.[9] Germany was willing to renounce these territories in the interest of German-Polish cooperation. This concession of Hitler’s was more than adequate to compensate for the German annexation of Danzig and construction of a superhighway and a railroad in the Corridor. The Polish diplomats themselves believed that Germany’s proposal was a sincere and realistic basis for a permanent agreement.[10]

On March 26, 1939, the Polish Ambassador to Berlin, Joseph Lipski, formally rejected Germany’s settlement proposals. The Poles had waited over five months to reject Germany’s proposals, and they refused to countenance any change in existing conditions. Lipski stated to German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop that “it was his painful duty to draw attention to the fact that any further pursuance of these German plans, especially where the return of Danzig to the Reich was concerned, meant war with Poland.”[11]

Polish Foreign Minister Józef Beck accepted an offer from Great Britain on March 30, 1939, to give an unconditional guarantee of Poland’s independence. The British Empire agreed to go to war as an ally of Poland if the Poles decided that war was necessary. In words drafted by British Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax, Chamberlain spoke in the House of Commons on March 31, 1939:

"I now have to inform the House…that in the event of any action which clearly threatened Polish independence and which the Polish Government accordingly considered it vital to resist with their national forces, His Majesty’s Government would feel themselves bound at once to lend the Polish Government all support in their power. They have given the Polish Government an assurance to that effect."[12]

Great Britain for the first time in history had left the decision whether or not to fight a war outside of her own country to another nation. Britain’s guarantee to Poland was binding without commitments from the Polish side. The British public was astonished by this move. Despite its unprecedented nature, Halifax encountered little difficulty in persuading the British Conservative, Liberal and Labor parties to accept Great Britain’s unconditional guarantee to Poland.[13]

Numerous British historians and diplomats have criticized Britain’s unilateral guarantee of Poland. For example, British diplomat Roy Denman called the war guarantee to Poland “the most reckless undertaking ever given by a British government. It placed the decision on peace or war in Europe in the hands of a reckless, intransigent, swashbuckling military dictatorship.”[14] British historian Niall Ferguson states that the war guarantee to Poland tied Britain’s “destiny to that of a regime that was every bit as undemocratic and anti-Semitic as that of Germany.”[15] English military historian Liddell Hart stated that the Polish guarantee “placed Britain’s destiny in the hands of Poland’s rulers, men of very dubious and unstable judgment. Moreover, the guarantee was impossible to fulfill except with Russia’s help.…”[16]

American historian Richard M. Watt writes concerning Britain’s unilateral guarantee to Poland:
“This enormously broad guarantee virtually left to the Poles the decision whether or not Britain would go to war. For Britain to give such a blank check to a Central European nation, particularly to Poland—a nation that Britain had generally regarded as irresponsible and greedy—was mind-boggling.”[17]

When the Belgian Minister to Germany, Vicomte Jacques Davignon, received the text of the British guarantee to Poland, he exclaimed that “blank check” was the only possible description of the British pledge. Davignon was extremely alarmed in view of the proverbial recklessness of the Poles. German State Secretary Ernst von Weizsäcker attempted to reassure Davignon by claiming that the situation between Germany and Poland was not tragic. However, Davignon correctly feared that the British move would produce war in a very short time.[18]

Weizsäcker later exclaimed scornfully that “the British guarantee to Poland was like offering sugar to an untrained child before it had learned to listen to reason!”[19]

The Deterioration of German-Polish Relations

German-Polish relationships had become strained by the increasing harshness with which the Polish authorities handled the German minority. The Polish government in the 1930s began to confiscate the land of its German minority at bargain prices through public expropriation. The German government resented the fact that German landowners received only one-eighth of the value of their holdings from the Polish government. Since the Polish public was aware of the German situation and desired to exploit it, the German minority in Poland could not sell the land in advance of expropriation. Furthermore, Polish law forbade Germans from privately selling large areas of land.

German diplomats insisted that the November 1937 Minorities Pact with Poland for the equal treatment of German and Polish landowners be observed in 1939. Despite Polish assurances of fairness and equal treatment, German diplomats learned on February 15, 1939, that the latest expropriations of land in Poland were predominantly of German holdings. These expropriations virtually eliminated substantial German landholdings in Poland at a time when most of the larger Polish landholdings were still intact. It became evident that nothing could be done diplomatically to help the German minority in Poland.[20]

Poland threatened Germany with a partial mobilization of her forces on March 23, 1939. Hundreds of thousands of Polish Army reservists were mobilized, and Hitler was warned that Poland would fight to prevent the return of Danzig to Germany. The Poles were surprised to discover that Germany did not take this challenge seriously. Hitler, who deeply desired friendship with Poland, refrained from responding to the Polish threat of war. Germany did not threaten Poland and took no precautionary military measures in response to the Polish partial mobilization.[21]

Hitler regarded a German-Polish agreement as a highly welcome alternative to a German-Polish war. However, no further negotiations for a German-Polish agreement occurred after the British guarantee to Poland because Józef Beck refused to negotiate. Beck ignored repeated German suggestions for further negotiations because Beck knew that Halifax hoped to accomplish the complete destruction of Germany. Halifax had considered an Anglo-German war inevitable since 1936, and Britain’s anti-German policy was made public with a speech by Neville Chamberlain on March 17, 1939. Halifax discouraged German-Polish negotiations because he was counting on Poland to provide the pretext for a British pre-emptive war against Germany.[22]

The situation between Germany and Poland deteriorated rapidly during the six weeks from the Polish partial mobilization of March 23, 1939, to a speech delivered by Józef Beck on May 5, 1939. Beck’s primary purpose in delivering his speech before the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament, was to convince the Polish public and the world that he was able and willing to challenge Hitler. Beck knew that Halifax had succeeded in creating a warlike atmosphere in Great Britain, and that he could go as far as he wanted without displeasing the British. Beck took an uncompromising attitude in his speech that effectively closed the door to further negotiations with Germany.

Beck made numerous false and hypocritical statements in his speech. One of the most astonishing claims in his speech was that there was nothing extraordinary about the British guarantee to Poland. He described it as a normal step in the pursuit of friendly relations with a neighboring country. This was in sharp contrast to British diplomat Sir Alexander Cadogan’s statement to Joseph Kennedy that Britain’s guarantee to Poland was without precedent in the entire history of British foreign policy.[23]

Beck ended his speech with a stirring climax that produced wild excitement in the Polish Sejm. Someone in the audience screamed loudly, “We do not need peace!” and pandemonium followed. Beck had made many Poles in the audience determined to fight Germany. This feeling resulted from their ignorance which made it impossible for them to criticize the numerous falsehoods and misstatements in Beck’s speech. Beck made the audience feel that Hitler had insulted the honor of Poland with what were actually quite reasonable peace proposals. Beck had effectively made Germany the deadly enemy of Poland.[24]

More than 1 million ethnic Germans resided in Poland at the time of Beck’s speech, and these Germans were the principal victims of the German-Polish crisis in the coming weeks. The Germans in Poland were subjected to increasing doses of violence from the dominant Poles. The British public was told repeatedly that the grievances of the German minority in Poland were largely imaginary. The average British citizen was completely unaware of the terror and fear of death that stalked these Germans in Poland. Ultimately, many thousands of Germans in Poland died in consequence of the crisis. They were among the first victims of British Foreign Secretary Halifax’s war policy against Germany.[25]

The immediate responsibility for security measures involving the German minority in Poland rested with Interior Department Ministerial Director Waclaw Zyborski. Zyborski consented to discuss the situation on June 23, 1939, with Walther Kohnert, one of the leaders of the German minority at Bromberg. Zyborski admitted to Kohnert that the Germans of Poland were in an unenviable situation, but he was not sympathetic to their plight. Zyborski ended their lengthy conversation by stating frankly that his policy required a severe treatment of the German minority in Poland. He made it clear that it was impossible for the Germans of Poland to alleviate their hard fate. The Germans in Poland were the helpless hostages of the Polish community and the Polish state.[26]

Other leaders of the German minority in Poland repeatedly appealed to the Polish government for help during this period. Sen. Hans Hasbach, the leader of the conservative German minority faction, and Dr. Rudolf Wiesner, the leader of the Young German Party, each made multiple appeals to Poland’s government to end the violence. In a futile appeal on July 6, 1939, to Premier Sławoj-Składkowski, head of Poland’s Department of Interior, Wiesner referred to the waves of public violence against the Germans at Tomaszów near Lódz, May 13-15th, at Konstantynów, May 21-22nd, and at Pabianice, June 22-23, 1939. The appeal of Wiesner produced no results. The leaders of the German political groups eventually recognized that they had no influence with Polish authorities despite their loyal attitudes toward Poland. It was “open season” on the Germans of Poland with the approval of the Polish government.[27]

Polish anti-German incidents also occurred against the German majority in the Free City of Danzig. On May 21, 1939, Zygmunt Morawski, a former Polish soldier, murdered a German at Kalthof on Danzig territory. The incident itself would not have been so unusual except for the fact that Polish officials acted as if Poland and not the League of Nations had sovereign power over Danzig. Polish officials refused to apologize for the incident, and they treated with contempt the effort of Danzig authorities to bring Morawski to trial. The Poles in Danzig considered themselves above the law.[28]

Tension steadily mounted at Danzig after the Morawski murder. The German citizens of Danzig were convinced that Poland would show them no mercy if Poland gained the upper hand. The Poles were furious when they learned that Danzig was defying Poland by organizing its own militia for home defense. The Poles blamed Hitler for this situation. The Polish government protested to German Ambassador Hans von Moltke on July 1, 1939, about the Danzig government’s military-defense measures. Józef Beck told French Ambassador Léon Noël on July 6, 1939, that the Polish government had decided that additional measures were necessary to meet the alleged threat from Danzig.[29]

On July 29, 1939, the Danzig government presented two protest notes to the Poles concerning illegal activities of Polish custom inspectors and frontier officials. The Polish government responded by terminating the export of duty-free herring and margarine from Danzig to Poland. Polish officials next announced in the early hours of August 5, 1939, that the frontiers of Danzig would be closed to the importation of all foreign food products unless the Danzig government promised by the end of the day never to interfere with the activities of Polish customs inspectors. This threat was formidable since Danzig produced only a relatively small portion of its own food. All Polish customs inspectors would also bear arms while performing their duty after August 5, 1939. The Polish ultimatum made it obvious that Poland intended to replace the League of Nations as the sovereign power at Danzig.[30]

Hitler concluded that Poland was seeking to provoke an immediate conflict with Germany. The Danzig government submitted to the Polish ultimatum in accordance with Hitler’s recommendation.[31]

Józef Beck explained to British Ambassador Kennard that the Polish government was prepared to take military measures against Danzig if it failed to accept Poland’s terms. The citizens of Danzig were convinced that Poland would have executed a full military occupation of Danzig had the Polish ultimatum been rejected. It was apparent to the German government that the British and French were either unable or unwilling to restrain the Polish government from arbitrary steps that could result in war.[32]

On August 7, 1939, the Polish censors permitted the newspaper Illustrowany Kuryer Codzienny in Kraków to feature an article of unprecedented candor. The article stated that Polish units were constantly crossing the German frontier to destroy German military installations and to carry captured German military materiel into Poland. The Polish government failed to prevent the newspaper, which had the largest circulation in Poland, from telling the world that Poland was instigating a series of violations of Germany’s frontier with Poland.[33]

Polish Ambassador Jerzy Potocki unsuccessfully attempted to persuade Józef Beck to seek an agreement with Germany. Potocki later succinctly explained the situation in Poland by stating “Poland prefers Danzig to peace.”[34]

President Roosevelt knew that Poland had caused the crisis which began at Danzig, and he was worried that the American public might learn the truth about the situation. This could be a decisive factor in discouraging Roosevelt’s plan for American military intervention in Europe. Roosevelt instructed U.S. Ambassador Biddle to urge the Poles to be more careful in making it appear that German moves were responsible for any inevitable explosion at Danzig. Biddle reported to Roosevelt on August 11, 1939, that Beck expressed no interest in engaging in a series of elaborate but empty maneuvers designed to deceive the American public. Beck stated that at the moment he was content to have full British support for his policy.[35]

Roosevelt also feared that American politicians might discover the facts about the hopeless dilemma which Poland’s provocative policy created for Germany. When American Democratic Party Campaign Manager and Post-Master General James Farley visited Berlin, Roosevelt instructed the American Embassy in Berlin to prevent unsupervised contact between Farley and the German leaders. The German Foreign Office concluded on August 10, 1939 that it was impossible to penetrate the wall of security around Farley. The Germans knew that President Roosevelt was determined to prevent them from freely communicating with visiting American leaders.[36]

Polish Atrocities Force War

On August 14, 1939, the Polish authorities in East Upper Silesia launched a campaign of mass arrests against the German minority. The Poles then proceeded to close and confiscate the remaining German businesses, clubs and welfare installations. The arrested Germans were forced to march toward the interior of Poland in prisoner columns. The various German groups in Poland were frantic by this time; they feared the Poles would attempt the total extermination of the German minority in the event of war. Thousands of Germans were seeking to escape arrest by crossing the border into Germany. Some of the worst recent Polish atrocities included the mutilation of several Germans. The Polish public was urged not to regard their German minority as helpless hostages who could be butchered with impunity.[37]

Rudolf Wiesner, who was the most prominent of the German minority leaders in Poland, spoke of a disaster “of inconceivable magnitude” since the early months of 1939. Wiesner claimed that the last Germans had been dismissed from their jobs without the benefit of unemployment relief, and that hunger and privation were stamped on the faces of the Germans in Poland. German welfare agencies, cooperatives and trade associations had been closed by Polish authorities. Exceptional martial-law conditions of the earlier frontier zone had been extended to include more than one-third of the territory of Poland. The mass arrests, deportations, mutilations and beatings of the last few weeks in Poland surpassed anything that had happened before. Wiesner insisted that the German minority leaders merely desired the restoration of peace, the banishment of the specter of war, and the right to live and work in peace. Wiesner was arrested by the Poles on August 16, 1939 on suspicion of conducting espionage for Germany in Poland.[38]

The German press devoted increasing space to detailed accounts of atrocities against the Germans in Poland. The Völkischer Beobachter reported that more than 80,000 German refugees from Poland had succeeded in reaching German territory by August 20, 1939. The German Foreign Office had received a huge file of specific reports of excesses against national and ethnic Germans in Poland. More than 1,500 documented reports had been received since March 1939, and more than 10 detailed reports were arriving in the German Foreign Office each day. The reports presented a staggering picture of brutality and human misery.[39]

W. L. White, an American journalist, later recalled that there was no doubt among well-informed people by this time that horrible atrocities were being inflicted every day on the Germans of Poland.[40]

Donald Day, a Chicago Tribune correspondent, reported on the atrocious treatment the Poles had meted out to the ethnic Germans in Poland:

"…I traveled up to the Polish corridor where the German authorities permitted me to interview the German refugees from many Polish cities and towns. The story was the same. Mass arrests and long marches along roads toward the interior of Poland. The railroads were crowded with troop movements. Those who fell by the wayside were shot. The Polish authorities seemed to have gone mad. I have been questioning people all my life and I think I know how to make deductions from the exaggerated stories told by people who have passed through harrowing personal experiences. But even with generous allowance, the situation was plenty bad. To me the war seemed only a question of hours."[41]

British Ambassador Nevile Henderson in Berlin was concentrating on obtaining recognition from Halifax of the cruel fate of the German minority in Poland. Henderson emphatically warned Halifax on August 24, 1939, that German complaints about the treatment of the German minority in Poland were fully supported by the facts. Henderson knew that the Germans were prepared to negotiate, and he stated to Halifax that war between Poland and Germany was inevitable unless negotiations were resumed between the two countries. Henderson pleaded with Halifax that it would be contrary to Polish interests to attempt a full military occupation of Danzig, and he added a scathingly effective denunciation of Polish policy. What Henderson failed to realize is that Halifax was pursuing war for its own sake as an instrument of policy. Halifax desired the complete destruction of Germany.[42]

On August 25, 1939, Ambassador Henderson reported to Halifax the latest Polish atrocity at Bielitz, Upper Silesia. Henderson never relied on official German statements concerning these incidents, but instead based his reports on information he received from neutral sources. The Poles continued to forcibly deport the Germans of that area, and compelled them to march into the interior of Poland. Eight Germans were murdered and many more were injured during one of these actions.

Hitler was faced with a terrible dilemma. If Hitler did nothing, the Germans of Poland and Danzig would be abandoned to the cruelty and violence of a hostile Poland. If Hitler took effective action against the Poles, the British and French might declare war against Germany. Henderson feared that the Bielitz atrocity would be the final straw to prompt Hitler to invade Poland. Henderson, who strongly desired peace with Germany, deplored the failure of the British government to exercise restraint over the Polish authorities.[43]

On August 23, 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union entered into the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement. This non-aggression pact contained a secret protocol which recognized a Russian sphere of influence in Eastern Europe. German recognition of this Soviet sphere of influence would not apply in the event of a diplomatic settlement of the German-Polish dispute. Hitler had hoped to recover the diplomatic initiative through the Molotov-Ribbentrop nonaggression pact. However, Chamberlain warned Hitler in a letter dated August 23, 1939, that Great Britain would support Poland with military force regardless of the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement. Józef Beck also continued to refuse to negotiate a peaceful settlement with Germany.[44]

Germany made a new offer to Poland on August 29, 1939, for a last diplomatic campaign to settle the German-Polish dispute. The terms of a new German plan for a settlement, the so-called Marienwerder proposals, were less important than the offer to negotiate as such. The terms of the Marienwerder proposals were intended as nothing more than a tentative German plan for a possible settlement. The German government emphasized that these terms were formulated to offer a basis for unimpeded negotiations between equals rather than constituting a series of demands which Poland would be required to accept. There was nothing to prevent the Poles from offering an entirely new set of proposals of their own.

The Germans, in offering to negotiate with Poland, were indicating that they favored a diplomatic settlement over war with Poland. The willingness of the Poles to negotiate would not in any way have implied a Polish retreat or their readiness to recognize the German annexation of Danzig. The Poles could have justified their acceptance to negotiate with the announcement that Germany, and not Poland, had found it necessary to request new negotiations. In refusing to negotiate, the Poles were announcing that they favored war. The refusal of British Foreign Secretary Halifax to encourage the Poles to negotiate indicated that he also favored war.[45]

French Prime Minister Daladier and British Prime Minister Chamberlain were both privately critical of the Polish government. Daladier in private denounced the “criminal folly” of the Poles. Chamberlain admitted to Ambassador Joseph Kennedy that it was the Poles, and not the Germans, who were unreasonable. Kennedy reported to President Roosevelt, “frankly he [Chamberlain] is more worried about getting the Poles to be reasonable than the Germans.” However, neither Daladier nor Chamberlain made any effort to influence the Poles to negotiate with the Germans.[46]

On August 29, 1939, the Polish government decided upon the general mobilization of its army. The Polish military plans stipulated that general mobilization would be ordered only in the event of Poland’s decision for war. Henderson informed Halifax of some of the verified Polish violations prior to the war. The Poles blew up the Dirschau (Tczew) bridge across the Vistula River even though the eastern approach to the bridge was in German territory (East Prussia). The Poles also occupied a number of Danzig installations and engaged in fighting with the citizens of Danzig on the same day. Henderson reported that Hitler was not insisting on the total military defeat of Poland. Hitler was prepared to terminate hostilities if the Poles indicated that they were willing to negotiate a satisfactory settlement.[47]

Germany decided to invade Poland on September 1, 1939. All of the British leaders claimed that the entire responsibility for starting the war was Hitler’s. Prime Minister Chamberlain broadcast that evening on British radio that “the responsibility for this terrible catastrophe (war in Poland) lies on the shoulders of one man, the German Chancellor.” Chamberlain claimed that Hitler had ordered Poland to come to Berlin with the unconditional obligation of accepting without discussion the exact German terms. Chamberlain denied that Germany had invited the Poles to engage in normal negotiations. Chamberlain’s statements were unvarnished lies, but the Polish case was so weak that it was impossible to defend it with the truth.

Halifax also delivered a cleverly hypocritical speech to the House of Lords on the evening of September 1, 1939. Halifax claimed that the best proof of the British will to peace was to have Chamberlain, the great appeasement leader, carry Great Britain into war. Halifax concealed the fact that he had taken over the direction of British foreign policy from Chamberlain in October 1938, and that Great Britain would probably not be moving into war had this not happened. He assured his audience that Hitler, before the bar of history, would have to assume full responsibility for starting the war. Halifax insisted that the English conscience was clear, and that, in looking back, he did not wish to change a thing as far as British policy was concerned.[48]

On September 2, 1939, Italy and Germany agreed to hold a mediation conference among themselves and Great Britain, France and Poland. Halifax attempted to destroy the conference plan by insisting that Germany withdraw her forces from Poland and Danzig before Great Britain and France would consider attending the mediation conference. French Foreign Minister Bonnet knew that no nation would accept such treatment, and that the attitude of Halifax was unreasonable and unrealistic.

Ultimately, the mediation effort collapsed, and both Great Britain and France declared war against Germany on September 3, 1939. When Hitler read the British declaration of war against Germany, he paused and asked of no one in particular: “What now?”[49] Germany was now in an unnecessary war with three European nations.

Similar to the other British leaders, Nevile Henderson, the British ambassador to Germany, later claimed that the entire responsibility for starting the war was Hitler’s. Henderson wrote in his memoirs in 1940: “If Hitler wanted peace he knew how to insure it; if he wanted war, he knew equally well what would bring it about. The choice lay with him, and in the end the entire responsibility for war was his.”[50] Henderson forgot in this passage that he had repeatedly warned Halifax that the Polish atrocities against the German minority in Poland were extreme. Hitler invaded Poland in order to end these atrocities.

Polish Atrocities Continue against German Minority

The Germans in Poland continued to experience an atmosphere of terror in the early part of September 1939. Throughout the country the Germans had been told, “If war comes to Poland you will all be hanged.” This prophecy was later fulfilled in many cases.

The famous Bloody Sunday in Toruń on September 3, 1939, was accompanied by similar massacres elsewhere in Poland. These massacres brought a tragic end to the long suffering of many ethnic Germans. This catastrophe had been anticipated by the Germans before the outbreak of war, as reflected by the flight, or attempted escape, of large numbers of Germans from Poland. The feelings of these Germans were revealed by the desperate slogan, “Away from this hell, and back to the Reich!”[51]

Dr. Alfred-Maurice de Zayas writes concerning the ethnic Germans in Poland:

"The first victims of the war were Volksdeutsche, ethnic German civilians resident in and citizens of Poland. Using lists prepared years earlier, in part by lower administrative offices, Poland immediately deported 15,000 Germans to Eastern Poland. Fear and rage at the quick German victories led to hysteria. German “spies” were seen everywhere, suspected of forming a fifth column. More than 5,000 German civilians were murdered in the first days of the war. They were hostages and scapegoats at the same time. Gruesome scenes were played out in Bromberg on September 3, as well as in several other places throughout the province of Posen, in Pommerellen, wherever German minorities resided."[52]

Polish atrocities against ethnic Germans have been documented in the book Polish Acts of Atrocity against the German Minority in Poland. Most of the outside world dismissed this book as nothing more than propaganda used to justify Hitler’s invasion of Poland. However, skeptics failed to notice that forensic pathologists from the International Red Cross and medical and legal observers from the United States verified the findings of these investigations of Polish war crimes. These investigations were also conducted by German police and civil administrations, and not the National Socialist Party or the German military. Moreover, both anti-German and other university-trained researchers have acknowledged that the charges in the book are based entirely on factual evidence.[53]

The book Polish Acts of Atrocity against the German Minority in Poland stated:

"When the first edition of this collection of documents went to press on November 17, 1939, 5,437 cases of murder committed by soldiers of the Polish army and by Polish civilians against men, women and children of the German minority had been definitely ascertained. It was known that the total when fully ascertained would be very much higher. Between that date and February 1, 1940, the number of identified victims mounted to 12,857. At the present stage investigations disclose that in addition to these 12,857, more than 45,000 persons are still missing. Since there is no trace of them, they must also be considered victims of the Polish terror. Even the figure 58,000 is not final. There can be no doubt that the inquiries now being carried out will result in the disclosure of additional thousands dead and missing."[54]

Medical examinations of the dead showed that Germans of all ages, from four months to 82 years of age, were murdered. The report concluded:

" It was shown that the murders were committed with the greatest brutality and that in many cases they were purely sadistic acts—that gouging of eyes was established and that other forms of mutilation, as supported by the depositions of witnesses, may be considered as true."

"The method by which the individual murders were committed in many cases reveals studied physical and mental torture; in this connection several cases of killing extended over many hours and of slow death due to neglect had to be mentioned."

"By far the most important finding seems to be the proof that murder by such chance weapons as clubs or knives was the exception, and that as a rule modern, highly-effective army rifles and pistols were available to the murderers. It must be emphasized further that it was possible to show, down to the minutest detail, that there could have been no possibility of execution [under military law]."[55]

The Polish atrocities were not acts of personal revenge, professional jealously or class hatred; instead, they were a concerted political action. They were organized mass murders caused by a psychosis of political animosity. The hate-inspired urge to destroy everything German was driven by the Polish press, radio, school and government propaganda. Britain’s blank check of support had encouraged Poland to conduct inhuman atrocities against its German minority.[56]

The book Polish Acts of Atrocity against the German Minority in Poland explained why the Polish government encouraged such atrocities:

"The guarantee of assistance given Poland by the British Government was the agent which lent impetus to Britain’s policy of encirclement. It was designed to exploit the problem of Danzig and the Corridor to begin a war, desired and long-prepared by England, for the annihilation of Greater Germany. In Warsaw moderation was no longer considered necessary, and the opinion held was that matters could be safely brought to a head. England was backing this diabolical game, having guaranteed the “integrity” of the Polish state. The British assurance of assistance meant that Poland was to be the battering ram of Germany’s enemies. Henceforth Poland neglected no form of provocation of Germany and, in its blindness, dreamt of “victorious battle at Berlin’s gates.” Had it not been for the encouragement of the English war clique, which was stiffening Poland’s attitude toward the Reich and whose promises led Warsaw to feel safe, the Polish Government would hardly have let matters develop to the point where Polish soldiers and civilians would eventually interpret the slogan to extirpate all German influence as an incitement to the murder and bestial mutilation of human beings."[57]

ENDNOTES

[1] Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, p. 207.

[2] DeConde, Alexander, A History of American Foreign Policy, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1971, p. 576.

[3] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, Cal.: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 25, 312.

[4] Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, p. 209.

[5] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, Cal: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 50.

[6] Ibid., pp. 49-60.

[7] Ibid., pp. 328-329.

[8] Ibid., pp. 145-146.

[9] Ibid., p. 21.

[10] Ibid., pp. 21, 256-257.

[11] Ibid., p. 323.

[12] Barnett, Correlli, The Collapse of British Power, New York: William Morrow, 1972, p. 560; see also Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, p. 211.

[13] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, Cal.: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 333, 340.

[14] Denman, Roy, Missed Chances: Britain and Europe in the Twentieth Century, London: Indigo, 1997, p. 121.

[15] Ferguson, Niall, The War of the World: Twentieth Century Conflict and the Descent of the West, New York: Penguin Press, 2006, p. 377.

[16] Hart, B. H. Liddell, History of the Second World War, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1970, p. 11.

[17] Watt, Richard M., Bitter Glory: Poland and Its Fate 1918 to 1939, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979, p. 379.

[18] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, Cal: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 342.

[19] Ibid., p. 391.

[20] Ibid., pp. 260-262.

[21] Ibid., pp. 311-312.

[22] Ibid., pp. 355, 357.

[23] Ibid., pp. 381, 383.

[24] Ibid., pp. 384, 387.

[25] Ibid., p. 387.

[26] Ibid., pp. 388-389.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Ibid., pp. 392-393.

[29] Ibid., pp. 405-406.

[30] Ibid., p. 412.

[31] Ibid. p. 413.

[32] Ibid., pp. 413-415.

[33] Ibid. p. 419. In a footnote, the author notes that a report of the same matters appeared in the New York Times for August 8, 1939.

[34] Ibid., p. 419.

[35] Ibid., p. 414.

[36] Ibid., p. 417.

[37] Ibid., pp. 452-453.

[38] Ibid., p. 463.

[39] Ibid., p. 479.

[40] Ibid., p. 554.

[41] Day, Donald, Onward Christian Soldiers, Newport Beach, Cal.: The Noontide Press, 2002, p. 56.

[42] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, Cal.: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, pp. 500-501, 550.

[43] Ibid., p. 509

[44] Ibid., pp. 470, 483, 538.

[45] Ibid., pp. 513-514.

[46] Ibid., pp. 441, 549.

[47] Ibid., pp. 537, 577.

[48] Ibid., pp. 578-579.

[49] Ibid., pp. 586, 593, 598.

[50] Henderson, Nevile, Failure of a Mission, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1940, p. 227.

[51] Hoggan, David L., The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, Costa Mesa, Cal.: Institute for Historical Review, 1989, p. 390.

[52] De Zayas, Alfred-Maurice, A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 27.

[53] Roland, Marc, “Poland’s Censored Holocaust,” The Barnes Review in Review: 2008-2010, pp. 132-133.

[54] Shadewalt, Hans, Polish Acts of Atrocity against the German Minority in Poland, Berlin and New York: German Library of Information, 2nd edition, 1940, p. 19.

[55] Ibid., pp. 257-258.

[56] Ibid., pp. 88-89.

[57] Ibid., pp. 75-76.
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Re: 'Why Germany Invaded Poland', by John Wear / 'peaceful Poland' debunked

Postby Lamprecht » 1 year 8 months ago (Sat Mar 02, 2019 6:29 pm)

Yes, I read this article. It's very good, and I mentioned it in this thread:

Ultimate reason why Hitler invaded Poland
viewtopic.php?t=7716

Also good link, which is cited in the article:

Polish Atrocities Against the German Minority in Poland
Edited and published by order of the Foreign Office, Volk und Reich Verlag Berlin, 2nd. revised ed., 1940, 311 pp.
http://www.jrbooksonline.com/polish_atrocities.htm

also cited quite often in the article is:
David Hoggan's "The Forced War"
http://www.jrbooksonline.com/PDF_Books/ ... %20War.pdf

For the record, the map of land given to Poland due to the Versailles treaty:
versailles.jpg

versailles-2.jpg


Quite often in debates, people argue "Hitler started WWII [in Europe] by invading Poland" -- although, this is not true. Obviously, Britain and France started the war in their declaration against Germany. They will argue "But they declared war because Hitler invaded Poland!" Ok, but at the same time, Hitler invaded Poland because of anti-German atrocities. The argument "Hitler, not Britain or France, started WWII because of the German-Polish territorial dispute" is fallacious anyway, it is the causal reductionism / complex cause / fallacy of the single cause / causal oversimplification / reduction fallacy (yes there are many names for the same fallacy)

More info here: https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/too ... ductionism

Of course, the entire problem can be traced back to the Versailles treaty itself, which was totally absurd and, even to this day in "Mainstream" history, it is seen as a shining example of a terrible mistake in diplomatic relations.

Canadian Historian Margaret MacMillan: "Many in the English-speaking world came to agree with the Germans that the Treaty of Versailles, and the reparations in particular, were unjust, and that Lloyd George had capitulated to the vengeful French."

Sun Yat-sen, Former President of the Republic of China: "When the war was in progress, England and France agreed wholeheartedly with the Fourteen Points. As soon as the war was won, England, France, and Italy tried to frustrate Wilson's program because it was in conflict with their imperialist policies. As a consequence, the Peace Treaty was one of the most unequal treaties ever negotiated in history."

French General Ferdinand Foch:
"This is not peace. It is an armistice for 20 years"
(ominously, 20 years and 65 days after that statement, the Second World War started)

Historian Norman Lowe:
"In conclusion it has to be said that this collection of peace treaties was not a conspicuous success. It had the unfortunate effect of dividing Europe into the states which wanted to revise the settlement (Germany being the main one), and those which wanted to preserve it. On the whole, the latter turned out to be lukewarm in support... and it became increasingly difficult to apply the terms fully. But it is easy to criticise after the event. Gilbert White, an American delegate at the Conference, put it perfectly when he remarked that given the problems involved, 'it is not surprising that they made a bad peace; what is surprising is that they managed to make peace at all'."

British Diplomat Harold Nicolson:
"The historian, with every justification, will come to the conclusion that we were very stupid men... We arrived determined that a Peace of justice and wisdom should be negotiated; we left the conference conscious that the treaties imposed upon our enemies were neither just nor wise."

Francesco Nitti, Prime Minister of Italy (1919-20):
"It will remain forever a terrible precedent in modern history that against all pledges, all precedents and all traditions, the representatives of Germany were never even heard; nothing was left to them but to sign a treaty at a moment when famine and exhaustion and threat of revolution made it impossible not to sign it..."

French historian Jacques Bainville, 1920:
"It can be said, that the peace treaty of Versailles organized the eternal war."
"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance -- that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
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Re: 'Why Germany Invaded Poland', by John Wear / 'peaceful Poland' debunked

Postby HMSendeavour » 1 year 7 months ago (Sun Apr 28, 2019 2:32 am)

Some other sources on the lead up to war, documents, and information on the Polish treatment of German minorities.

Firstly, we have a large book printed in New York 1940 from the German Foreign Office called 'Documents on the Events leading to the outbreak of the War http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/policy/pre-war/1933-00-00a.pdf. it contains 482 documents, their subject and page number within the book where they're reproduced and translated. Discussions between ambassadors, war responsibility of the British, the situation of the minorities, treatment and negotiations, pleads by Hitler, Polish atrocities, Pictures of Polish propaganda regarding their delusions of an invasion of Germany, you name it. I would consider this a very valuable resource. Our opponents however would most likely see it as German propaganda or some such bollocks. Primarily because as noted on the final page the volume is limited, to specific sections of the population. Unfortunately too as stated in the PDF they had to it cut short the pictorial evidence section in which another volume is devoted to it. I cannot find this volume online (maybe someone else can with more luck) although there are reprinted editions out there with 704 pages which i'd assume have the missing 100+ pages of pictorial supplements this pdf lacks.

Enlightening pictures from the book.

polish crazies.JPG
polish nutters.JPG


The second source is 'Orphans of Versaille' by Richard Blanke. This has to do specifically with the German minority and conflict in Poland after Versaille up to the Second World War. And to be honest, I'm shocked at how little attention is paid to this work. A revealing excerpt from the book.

9780813156330.jpg


The overall death toll from this outbreak of communal hysteria continues to be a subject of debate. Many victims, buried in unmarked graves, were never found and remain classified as "missing". A Central Office for the Graves of Murdered Ethnic Germans was set up under Kurt Lück and Karl Berger and charged with compiling a comprehensive list of victims. Their files, deposited today in the Koblenz archives, contain 5,437 names and were the basis for several German propaganda books detailing Polish atrocities. Hitler soon seized upon exaggerated estimates of the number of dead (13,000) and missing (45,000); he combined them and then made everyone adhere to the total of 58,000. The Lück-Berger file was found in Poznań in 1945 and used by Pospieszalski to discredit the 58,000 figure. He reckoned that even 5,437 was an exaggerated count, since it included some who were missing only temporarily as well as about a thousand Polish German soldiers, who were listed whether their deaths were due to poles or to the Wehrmacht. Pospieszalski argues that most of these, and many of the civilian casualties as well were due to the war itself still others listed in the file were not ethnic Germans to begin with. He concludes that "only" about 2,000 members of the German minority in western Poland died as a direct result of popular violence during the first weeks of the war. Peter Aurich, however, studying the same evidence a decade later, found that the deaths of at least 3,841 German civilians as a result of popular violence could be attested to by more than one witness: 2,063 who were killed in or near where they lived, 1,576 who did not survive the treks eastward, and 202 who died later of injuries. Adding these figures to the number of solders killed by their Polish comrades, Aurich contends that between 4,000 and 5,000 members of the German minority in western Poland (or about 2% of it's total number) died as a result of population violence in September 1939. Orphans of Versaille, pp. 235-236


Continuing to perhaps the most important section.

It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the Polish state was bent on the elimination of most of the German minority in Western Poland---by forced assimilation where possible, but mainly by coerced emigration. Moreover, this goal was well on the way to being achieved in 1939; the Pozanian wojewode reportedly assured his supporters that within three years there would no longer be any Germans in Poland. A study of the minority's actual political, cultural, and economic situation merely reinforces the pessimistic assessments of contemporaries cited above. The fact that Hitler took up the minority's case several months before he launched World War II was perhaps the overriding consideration at the time, but it does not make the fact of the minority's plight less compelling. Of course, any country faced with such an adversary might be justified in relegating consideration for a difficult minority to a back burner; even today, some will respond to this account of the minority's travails with a "So What?" in view of the larger issues at stake in 1939. The point, however, is that only a small proportion of the innumerable measures directed at the German minority in Poland, essentially those dating from after April 1939, can be attributed directly to Poland's anticipation of war with Germany. The bulk of the policies and attitudes that determined the living conditions of the minority in interwar Poland antedated 1939 (and 1933 too) and were unconnected to any immediate external threat. It hardly needs to be added that they did nothing to make Poland more secure when the mortal threat materialized. The fact is that Polish nationalism, motivated by the irrational but powerful compulsion to creation a nationally homogeneous society in it's western provinces, created a situation well before 1939 which was bad even by the unenlightened standards of interwar Eastern Europe. Moreover, it is hard to see how this situation would have been different had there never been a Hitler. The "plight" of the German minority in Poland, in other words, was real; it was not merely alleged or fabricated in the interest of Nazi propaganda. ----Apart from the macro political situation in 1939, however, the evidence above makes clear that Germans in Poland had ample justification for their complaints; their prospects for even medium-term survival were bleak; and no German government more principled than Hitler's would have been able to ignore their plight over the long run. Though it was not politic to make these points at the time, there is no reason why they cannot be accepted half a century later.[ Orphans of Versaille. pp. 236-237


And finally, more to do with the German minority and how the 58,000 figure came into being can be gleaned from Fritz Hess's 1954 book 'Hitler and the English'. Hesse was a German diplomat stationed in London, he reported to Hitler and Ribbentrop on the current state of the English, he also recognized some very inconvenient truths which were published in this book. Confirming that Hitler definitely wanted peace with Britain and a free hand in the east. I have a copy of the book, it seems to be relatively hard to find and I actually only became aware of it because of John Toland who cites what I will quote in a moment within his biography of Hitler. Although his use of the quotation is rather condensed, once read fully it truly puts into perspective Hitler's views on the issue of the German minority and his keen attitude to deal with it ASAP.

81n1iKzhpPL.jpg


The Polish General Staff, in accordance with a decision by the Polish council of ministers, gave orders that the threatened western provinces be cleared of the Germans. The commanders of the local garrisons were ordered to carry out the evacuation. Local fighting and mass-evacuations were the result. in the course of which some 4,850 Germans (men, women and children) were reported killed. This figure appeared in the German official publication of documents relating to Poland, only it was altered by order of Ribbentrop for reasons of propaganda. A nought was added, so that the figure 4,850 became 48,500 which, in the official publication was rounded off to appear as 50,000. The bloodshed in Poland did not remain a secret. It became known through distorted and exaggerated reports which were submitted to Hitler. A.I. Berndt was the liaison between the German News Agency and Hitler. He told me, with his usual boastfulness, how Hitler reacted. "I myself," said Berndt, "gave the Führer the little shove that landed him in the war. I got the news that the Poles had killed 30,000 Germans. As I thought 30,000 were too few, I added a nought and laid a report before the Führer which made him suppose the Poles had killed 300,000. When Hitler read it, he roared like a bull and told me I was an infamous liar. I replied that the figures might be exaggerated but that there was certainly some truth in them. Hitler was speechless and then began roaring afresh: 'They'll pay for this! Now no one will stop me from teaching these fellows a lesson they'll never forget! I will not have my Germans butchered like cattle.'" According to Berndt's account, Hitler went to the telephone and, in his presence, gave Keitel the second order for the invasion of Poland. This account is confirmed by others. Hitler's roaring was overheard by Erich Kordt, the head of Ribbentrop's bureau and is described by him in his book Wahn und Wirklichkeit. Ribbentrop, Hewel, and other witnesses reported that Hitler suddenly changed round, threw up all negotiation, and without consulting ant of his advisers gave orders for the invasion. The bloodshed in Poland threw him into a state of hysterical excitement. To Ribbentrop he said: "it is my right and my duty to defend all Germans. I will not allow anyone to touch one single hair on one single German's head." Hewel told me Hitler explained his volte face by saying that the English too, would understand that he could not abandon his fellow countrymen. Hitler's second decision to order the invasion of Poland was taken at 12.40 p.m. on the 1st September. The assertion so often made, amongst others, by the prosecution at Nuremberg, that Hitler fixed the 1st of September as the date of the invasion at his conference with his generals on the 22nd August at Berchtesgaden is erroneous. Fritz Hesse, Hitler and the English, pp. 82-83


And there you have it. Some more useful sources on these topics. I'd like to know what others think, and if they can find anything else that would prove useful in balancing the picture of the outbreak of the Second World War.
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Re: 'Why Germany Invaded Poland', by John Wear / 'peaceful Poland' debunked

Postby Lamprecht » 1 year 3 months ago (Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:09 pm)

Lively discussion going on at Unz: http://www.unz.com/article/why-germany-invaded-poland

A commenter posted the following quotes from Udo Walendy's book:
Truth for Germany
PDF: http://web.archive.org/web/201908270001 ... NDYeng.pdf
TXT: https://archive.is/qmBwe

US president Woodrow Wilson on 7 April 1919
"France’s only real interest in Poland was to weaken Germany by giving the Poles areas to which they had no claim."
-F. Grimm, Frankreich und der Korridor, p. 37, and W. Recke, Die polnische Frage als Problem der europiiischen Politik, p. 344, and B. de Colonna, Poland from the Inside, p. 90, and R.S. Baker, Woodrow Wilson and World-Settlement, vol. II, p. 60



U.S. Secretary of State, Robert Lansing, 8 May 1919:
"Do examine the treaty and you will find that whole populations, against their will, were delivered into the power of those who hated them, while their economic resources were snatched away and handed over to others.
The result of such directives has to be hatred and bitterness, if not despair. It may take years until these oppressed nations are able to shake off the yoke, but as sure as night follows day, the time will come when they will try to break free. We have a peace-treaty, but it will not bring lasting peace, as it was founded on the quicksand of selfishness."

- E. Hughes, Winston Churchill — British Bulldog - His Career in War and Peace, pp. 140-141


Charles Tansill, Influential US Professor of diplomatic history, on the issue of Danzig and the Corridor:
"…In dealing with Danzig, they granted it to Poland because of economic considerations. They conveniently overlooked the fact that, from the viewpoint of population, Danzig was 97 per cent German. …
To the Germans this large measure of Polish control over the city of Danzig was profoundly irritating, and at times the actions of the Polish authorities in connection with foreign relations and the establishment of export duties seemed unnecessarily provocative.
From the viewpoint of economics, Polish control over Danzig had the most serious implications. …26 […] In 1938 and 1939 Hitler tried in vain to secure from the Polish government the right to construct a railroad and motor road across the Corridor. Relying upon British support, the Polish Foreign Office, in the spring of 1939, rejected any thought of granting these concessions. This action so deeply angered Hitler that he began to sound out the Soviet government with reference to a treaty that would mean the fourth partition of Poland. Polish diplomats had not learned the simple lesson that concessions may prevent a catastrophe."

- Charles Callan Tansill. Back Door to War: The Roosevelt Foreign Policy 1933-1941
http://www.unz.com/book/charles_callan_ ... or-to-war/
"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance -- that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
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Re: 'Why Germany Invaded Poland', by John Wear / 'peaceful Poland' debunked

Postby Lamprecht » 1 year 3 months ago (Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:41 pm)

Check out:

News clippings on the Polish-German Situation before Sept 1939
viewtopic.php?t=7525&start=30#p93464

The whole thread "Polish Atrocities against Germans before 1. September 1939" is full of good info

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Re: 'Why Germany Invaded Poland', by John Wear / 'peaceful Poland' debunked

Postby Mortimer » 1 year 3 months ago (Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:03 pm)

The role of Roosevelt in trying to incite conflict between Poland and Germany should definitely not be ignored. FDR had instructed his ambassadors to thwart at all costs any chance of a peaceful solution to the dispute between the two nations. Needless to say it was none of his business.
https://wearswar.wordpress.com/2018/03/ ... gated-ww2/
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Re: 'Why Germany Invaded Poland', by John Wear / 'peaceful Poland' debunked

Postby Lamprecht » 1 year 2 months ago (Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:45 am)

THE FRENCH AND BRITISH BETRAYAL OF POLAND IN 1939
https://archive.is/QteS


Gerald Shepherd, British representative in Danzig:
It is a well-established legal priciple that men must be presumed to intend the consequences of their actions and therefore cannot evade responsibility for them. By encouraging the Poles to reject German terms for a settlement of Danzig, the British increased the likelihood that Hitler would resort to force in order to break the deadlock. They allied themselves, in the word of the Roumanian Foreign Minister, Gafencu, "not to peace, but to continental war"
Simon Newman (1976) 'March 1939: The British Guarantee to Poland'. pg 173 https://books.google.com/books?id=z08KA ... tlement%22



Polish Ambassador at Washington, Count Jerzy Potocki:
Individual Jewish intellectuals such as Bernard Baruch, Lehman, Governor of New York State, Felix Frankfurter, the newly appointed Supreme Court Judge, Morgenthau, the Financial Secretary, and other well-known personal friends of Roosevelt have taken a prominent part in this campaign of hatred. All of them want the President to become the protagonist of human liberty, religious freedom and the right of free speech...

This particular group of people, who are all in highly placed American official positions and who are desirous of being representatives of 'true Americanism', and as 'Champions of Democracy', are, in point of fact, linked with international Jewry by ties incapable of being torn asunder.

For international Jewry -- so intimately concerned with the interests of its own race -- President Roosevelt's 'ideal' role as a champion of human rights was indeed a godsend. In this way Jewry was able not only to establish a dangerous centre in the New World for the dissemination of hatred and enmity, but it also succeeded in dividing the world into two warlike camps. The whole problem is being tackled in a most mysterious manner. Roosevelt has been given the power to enable him to enliven American foreign policy and at the same time to create huge reserves in armaments for a future war which the Jews are deliberately heading for.
Polish Ambassador at Washington, Count Jerzy Potocki, in a report to the Polish Foreign Office, dated January 12, 1939; Quoted in J. F. C. Fuller, A Military History of the Western World, vol. 3, pp. 372-374. https://archive.is/6VH91



The Advertiser, 12 August 1939:
Herr Foerster cited the opinions of Britons and Frenchmen including Mr Lloyd George and Mr Churchill to the effect that 'the Polish corridor was a mistake', hissed when he read out inflammatory statements by Polish newspapers, including the statement in 'Czas' that Poland would blow Danzig to bits if it united with Germany and the recent threat by Marshal Smigly-Rydz that Danzig would be the first stage in a crusade against Germany.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/41083410 or http://web.archive.org/web/201909020643 ... e/41083410



The West Australian, 7 August, 1939:
General Sosnkowski, second-in-command of the Polish army, declared: — 'Pilsudski's legionnaires were particularly favoured by history because it seems that they will participate in a second international war in which Poland will be one of the most important and most exposed actors in the drama'.
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/46414370 or http://web.archive.org/web/201909020638 ... e/46414370
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Re: 'Why Germany Invaded Poland', by John Wear / 'peaceful Poland' debunked

Postby HMSendeavour » 1 year 2 months ago (Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:12 pm)

I came across a book recently, recommended by a Pole on the origins of the war in 1939. A seemingly revisionist book using neglected Polish documents.

Book RecommendationPoland Wanted War with Germany.PNG


The title of the book is "Ku wrześniowi 1939" (Towards September 1939) By Robert Michulec, 858 pages.

As you can tell, his English skills are subpar, but the tone of his recommendation seems very positive for the revisionist cause, and this book a hefty valuable edition to it.

A flawed translation of the books description reads:

We are at the threshold of the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War Any moment will slide into an avalanche of reflections on 1939, how revealing in their schematisms, developed many years ago. What can you say about the new September, since every aspect of it has long been forged in bronze or marble? By worshiping the victims and heroes, we don't even need to know that we don't know something. If we knew that we still do not know why the war broke out, we could ask ourselves a very simple question: why did the Germans invade peaceful Poland? However, one should be aware that asking even one such question would cause an avalanche of many others: Why did the Polish Army mobilize as early as March 1939, so three months before Germany and almost six months before the outbreak of war? Why did Rydz-Śmigły want war with the Third Reich since October 1938? ... Exactly - why? ...

--

Stoimy u progu 70-tej rocznicy wybuchu II wś. Lada moment zsunie się na ans lawina rozważań o 1939 r., jakże odkrywczych w swych schematyzmie, wypracowanym wiele lat temu. Bo cóż niby można powiedzieć o Wrześniu nowego, skoro każdy jego aspekt został już dawno wykuty w brązie lub marmurze? Oddając cześć ofiarom i bohaterom, nawet nie musimy wiedzieć, że czegoś nie wiemy. Gdybyśmy wiedzieli, że wciąż nie wiemy dlaczego doszło do wybuchu wojny, moglibyśmy sobie zadać bardzo proste pytanie: po co Niemcy najechali pokojową Polskę? Trzeba mieć jednak świadomość, że postawienie choćby jednego takiego pytania spowodowałoby lawinę wielu innych: Dlaczego Wojsko Polskie rozpoczęło mobilizacje już w marcu 1939 r., a więc na trzy miesiące przed Niemcami i prawie sześć miesięcy przed wybuchem wojny? Dlaczego Rydz-Śmigły chciał wojny z III Rzeszą już od października 1938 r.?... No właśnie - dlaczego?...


I think this book would be very useful, especially considering it's unique attributes, the fact it comes from a Pole, uses Polish documents and seemingly investigates from such a perspective to provide revisionist support. I've been trying to find a copy, but I'm unable to find one that ships to where I live. If anyone would be fortunate enough to find and buy a copy, post a review or somehow make the entire book accessible into English (fat chance) it could definitely add to our understanding and arguments on 1939. That's my opinion anyway.

Book 1.jpg

book 2.jpg
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Re: 'Why Germany Invaded Poland', by John Wear / 'peaceful Poland' debunked

Postby marekfreethought » 6 months 3 days ago (Tue May 26, 2020 5:46 pm)

This book looks interesting - I'll read it , thank you for posting information about it. Definitely, the speeches, the mobilisation and generally the mood in pre-war Poland was very much in support of war against Germany. I believe Poland is the cultprit here, without very hostile politics directed against Germany this tragedy could have never happened.

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Re: 'Why Germany Invaded Poland', by John Wear / 'peaceful Poland' debunked

Postby HMSendeavour » 6 months 2 days ago (Wed May 27, 2020 7:03 am)

marekfreethought wrote:This book looks interesting - I'll read it , thank you for posting information about it. Definitely, the speeches, the mobilisation and generally the mood in pre-war Poland was very much in support of war against Germany. I believe Poland is the cultprit here, without very hostile politics directed against Germany this tragedy could have never happened.


I see you're Polish! Very nice to see a receptive Pole around here who is interested in the truth.

If you do buy and read this book, I myself and others here would very very much appreciate a review of the major points it presents. Anything interesting that can be brought to the forum regarding this neglected book would do much good. Cheers!
Now what does it mean for the independent expert witness Van Pelt? In his eyes he had two possibilities. Either to confirm the Holocaust story, or to go insane. - Germar Rudolf, 13th IHR Conference

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Re: 'Why Germany Invaded Poland', by John Wear / 'peaceful Poland' debunked

Postby marekfreethought » 6 months 2 days ago (Wed May 27, 2020 10:56 am)

Thank you! I'll share my thoughts on the book when I have read it. So far I have read the comments on various websites selling the book and I have mixed feelings. On the one hand the author presents the valid view that polish government should have cooperated with Germany and criticises marshal Rydz-Śmigly who has been heavily criticised in Poland for his unreasonable behaviour and then cowardly escape, but at the same time it doesn't present the whole picture, for example, the open acts of violence occuring years before the war. Also, apparently, there is no mention of the originally German areas that were illigally added to the Polish state after WWI. So I think it is a mixture of good and bad, but of course I have to read it first to present an informed view of the book.

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Re: 'Why Germany Invaded Poland', by John Wear / 'peaceful Poland' debunked

Postby Hektor » 1 month 3 weeks ago (Thu Oct 01, 2020 8:51 am)

Mortimer wrote:The role of Roosevelt in trying to incite conflict between Poland and Germany should definitely not be ignored. FDR had instructed his ambassadors to thwart at all costs any chance of a peaceful solution to the dispute between the two nations. Needless to say it was none of his business.
https://wearswar.wordpress.com/2018/03/ ... gated-ww2/


While that needs to be added into the equation, the conflict and dispute over several questions was already at hand there. From 1933-1935 there was actually some hope that the issues could have been resolved peacefully. That changed after the death of Pilsudski.

Hanover:
From John Wear & Inconvenient History we have more on the propaganda that 'Poland was attacked without cause'.
It's quite compelling, the author covers all the bases in exposing the false claims that Poland was innocent.
Have a look, comments invited.

This is rarely asserted, but it is definitely the impression that has been created over time.

I think main-stream historiography in Germany illustrates this nicely. They talk about "Ueberfall auf Poland", which translates to "Raid on Poland".... '
They don't deny the existence of valid grievances of Germany towards their neighbouring country. They simply ignore them. And their ignorance is passive as well as active. It's passive in the sense that they do not mention them at all. But if they do, they ignore them actively. That technique works in the way that grievances (e.g. Danzig and the corridor) are mentioned, but it is downplayed in its relevance. The German mistreatment is mentioned, but it's description will be harmless. Contrasting can also pay a role. Something like "Yeah, there where some German victims, but that fades away in the light of the Holocaust".... Of course this is barely said in clear terms, but then the whole theatre is based on innuendo, coded languages, euphemism, loaded terminology etc.
What counts is the impression being created in the public mind. And there your consensus works as: "An evil Adolf Hitler hungering for world conquest raids a peaceful, innocent Poland for no reason at all, later he will gas six million Jews there". it goes further then as: "Those plans of global domination and racial extermination were only being thwarted by the selfless, concerted effort of the worlds beacons of humanity: The democracies together with the peaceloving Soviet Union". There are of course a lot of other spins in that kind of hagiography. Most of it transported via the cultural industry, which mainly was done via movies for the last 70 years.

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Re: 'Why Germany Invaded Poland', by John Wear / 'peaceful Poland' debunked

Postby HMSendeavour » 2 weeks 6 days ago (Sun Nov 08, 2020 3:56 am)

I wrote in the thread on Hitler's peace offers See my post: https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=12662#p97358 that Hitler went to war with Poland under the impression that the British and French would not go ahead with the war and that if they did so, peace could be made after the fall of Poland. This is to say that Hitler was not expecting, nor had be planned some kind of large European conflict.

As we will see, Hitler's goal was to take back Danzig, fight it out with Poland and avoid any kind of large conflict. Hitler of course was morally right to do this. Danzig had been stolen from Germany unwillingly, and so one cannot complain that what was stolen was taken back by its rightful owner.

Adolf Hitler on the 19th September 1939, in his speech at Danzig, said:

I have no war aims against England and France. I have tried to maintain peace with these countries and to establish friendly relations between the British and. the German nations. I have also told France that I have no further aspira­tions in the West. I have especially striven, after the settlement of the Saar transfer, to prevent any conflict or any propaganda which could provoke hostility. You also already know my offer to Great Britain.

Poland will never arise again in the form laid down by the Versailles Treaty. Not only Germany, but also Russia guarantees this. If Great Britain now con­tinues the war, she reveals her real aims, that she wants war against the German Government. And I have the honour to stand here as ^ representative of this regime. It is for me the greatest honour to be regarded in that way.

See pages 5-6: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/UK/CAB66_1_39hitleratdanzig091939.pdf Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20200615082524/https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/UK/CAB66_1_39hitleratdanzig091939.pdf


Hitler believed that the West would not come to the aid of Poland, and thus was not expecting a war. The British War Cabinet's response to this Hitler speech of September 19th also confirms this view, although they're delighted to point out that Hitler was mistaken:

Finally, Herr Hitler's account of the circumstances attending the outbreak of war is a travesty of the facts. He was determined on war, and hoped to the last that Great Britain would not fulfil her treaty obligations to Poland.

Ibid., p. 8


The War Cabinet is indeed correct, Hitler did hope that Britain wouldn't fulfil her blank cheque to Poland. How they can in the same sentence declare that Hitler was "determined on war" while only a moment later confirming Hitler's expectations that a war would not come about due to British impotence is quite contradictory to me.

The British War Cabinet again in their response to Hitler's speech in Danzig invent a bald faced lie:

In the present speech, Herr Hitler asks further on, with reference to his proposals for a settlement: " I do not know in what state of mind the Polish Government could have been to reject such proposals."

The answer is that the Polish Government had before their eyes the shameful betrayal of the solemn assurances given by the German Government at Munich. They know that these demands were only the preliminary to further exactions. If Herr Hitler had wished to inspire confidence in his word, he should have been less reckless with his earlier promises. " Germany has no further territorial ambitions in Europe " was an undertaking which had been broken too flagrantly and too often.

See pages 7: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/UK/CAB66_1_39hitleratdanzig091939.pdf Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20200615082524/https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/UK/CAB66_1_39hitleratdanzig091939.pdf


The lie that Hitler violated the Munich agreement, or any promises made at Munich has been shredded in detail already. See: Hitler's 26 September 1938 claim Sudetenland "last territorial demand in Europe" a lie? // "Appeasement" https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=13155

The claim of the War Cabinet is that the Poles were hesitant to agree to any German terms regarding Danzig because of what occurred on March 14-15 1939, when the Germans occupied Bohemia and Moravia (the Czech remnant known as Czechia). This could very well be true, but it's unlikely. The Poles had been denying any German offers over Danzig since October 1938, and early January 1939 well before the Germans occupied Czechia:

24 October 1938

Joachim von Ribbentrop invites Józef Lipski, Polish ambassador to Berlin, to lunch at Grand Hotel, Berchtesgaden. Proposes deal over Danzig and Polish corridor, offers Poland Ruthenia (part of former Czechoslovakia also claimed by Hungary) as reward.

5 January 1939

Polish foreign minister Józef Beck has tea with Hitler at Berchtesgaden. Hitler repeats and elaborates on Ribbentrop’s offer. Beck does not accept it.

25 January 1939

Ribbentrop arrives in Warsaw for fifth anniversary of Polish–German pact. Urges Józef Beck to strengthen alliance, join the Anti-Comintern Pact. Beck shows interest in Ukraine, but rejects proposal, including offer of what remains of Slovakia. Also backs down from earlier interest in a deal over Danzig.

Peter Hitchens, The Phoney Victory: The World War II Illusion (I.B. Tauris, 2018), Pp. xiv-xv


The Poles themselves wished to see Czecho-Slovakia disintegrate, and in fact worked on bringing out just this very thing independently of Germany:

The Polish government was the first to say openly that the dissolution of Czecho-Slovakia was inevitable.179 In stark contrast to Hitler, Colonel Beck, Poland’s Foreign Minister, who liked to call Czecho-Slovakia a “temporary arrangement” and “a caricature of a state,” set to work after the Munich conference toward achieving the further disintegration of this state, a common Polish-Hungarian frontier and the acquisition of Slovakian areas of territory and of Czech industrial areas by resorting to “extremely strong … pressure,” “if necessary, by force.”

Udo Walendy, Who Started World War II? (Castle Hill Publishers, 2014), Pp. 129


It isn't surprising that a war resulted between Germany and Poland, the Poles in violation of the 1935 peace agreement had already threatened war with Germany in March of 1939, having mobilised on the 23rd, and Lipski personally having told Ribbentrop that any attempted German offers over Danzig would be met with a Polish determination on war:

In the spring of 1939 Poland had already issued the call-up for the troops, and by the summer of 1939 she had mobilised so many military units that later on, “at the general mobilisation, the only units affected were those where the individuals could not be reached by public notices.” This partial mobilisation was initiated by the Polish Foreign Minister Beck on 23 March 1939 for no reason whatsoever and was thereafter steadily expanded; straight away it brought 334,000 additional soldiers into the ranks and gradually doubled the strength of the standing Polish army. In the course of this mobilisation and the simultaneously distributed plan of operation, the Polish army was deployed all along the German border, where it remained until the outbreak of the war.

[...]

To the Polish partial mobilisation of 23 March 1939 was added decisive pressure in the fact that Foreign Minister Beck – and on his instigation on 26 March his Ambassador in Berlin, Lipski – rebuffed the German proposal for negotiations of October 1938 with a threat of war.

Udo Walendy, Who Started World War II? (Castle Hill Publishers, 2014), Pp. 184


This flies in the face of any "fear" the Poles could've possibly had about an agreement with Germany. The Poles expressed themselves willing in the first instance to resort to war, rather than attempt to negotiate peacefully. On March 26th, 1939, Lipski made himself quite clear:

I received M. Lipski, the Polish Ambassador, at 12.30 p.m. to-day.

Ambassador Lipski handed me- the Polish Government's Memorandum attached hereto, which I read in his presence.

Having taken note of its contents I replied to Ambassador Lipski that, in my personal opinion, the Polish attitude could not be considered a suitable basis for a solution of the German-Polish question. The only possible solution of the pro­blem was the re-union of Danzig with the Reich and the construction of an extra-territorial motor-road and railway connection between the Reich and East Prussia. M. Lipski replied that it was his painful duty to draw attention to the fact that any further prosecution of these German plans, especially as far as the return of Danzig to the Reich was concerned, meant war with Poland.

V. Ribbentrop, memo, 26 March 1939 cited in: Documents on the Events Preceding the Outbreak of the War (Berlin, 1939, New York, 1940), Pp. 214-215


And on the 20th July 1939 Marshal Rydz-Śmigły the Commander-in-Chief of the Polish army, in light of the Polish mobilisation, confirmed this attitude:

“Danzig is essential to Poland. Whoever controls Danzig controls our economic life…

An occupation of Danzig by Germany would remind us of the partitions of Poland. For this reason I ordered a mobilisation four months ago when the German Chancellor renewed his demands concerning Danzig and Pomorze [i.e. the Corridor]. Please believe me when I say that this mobilisation was no mere demonstration. We were ready for war then in case of necessity... even should she [Poland] have to fight alone and without allies.”

Udo Walendy, Who Started World War II? (Castle Hill Publishers, 2014), Pp. 187


Having pointed out the Polish attitude, and made clear that war with Poland was most likely going to be the outcome of the problem that had arisen between Germany and Poland. We must now see what it was Hitler tried to do, when he was confronted by this conflict. He knew he had to fight, although he tried to avoid it. But neither Poland nor the West would budge, he had no time to wait so his enemies in Britain could get stronger. It was best to attack Poland at a favourable opportunity and ensure this conflict put an end to any possible conflict with the west in the process.

To do this, Germany had tried her best to ensure that the conflict with Poland would be localized:

The political leaders consider it their task in this case to isolate Poland if possible, that is to say, to limit the war to Poland only.' The Wehrmacht had to be ready to carry out 'Case White' at any time after 1 September 1939.

Ian Kershaw, HITLER 1936-1945: Nemesis (W.W. Norton & Company, 2000), Pp. 179


The 'Pact of Steel' was also intended to fulfil this same purpose:

Throughout the spring and summer frenzied diplomatic efforts were made to try to isolate Poland and deter the western powers from becoming involved in what was intended as a localized conflict. On the day before Hitler's address to his military leaders, Italy and Germany had signed the so-called 'Pact of Steel', meant to warn Britain and France off backing Poland.

Ian Kershaw, HITLER 1936-1945: Nemesis (W.W. Norton & Company, 2000), Pp. 193


Lieutenant Colonel Nikolaus von Vormann in letters to his wife confirms Hitler's attempt to isolate Poland and keep the west out of the conflict in late August and in September 1939:

Vormann.jpg
Nikolaus von Vormann


August 28th:

[. . .] Hitler in a brilliant mood, hopes confidently to bring England to the point where we are alone with Poland. Great guesswork, what Henderson - departure London 16.50 - brings. Nothing has leaked so far.

August 31:

[. . . ] When you get the letter, there will be war. Personally, the thought barely enters my head. 0.30 Hitler had made up his mind. At 5 o'clock I went deeply to the hotel after notifying the high command. - Hitler firmly believes that France and England will only pretend to be at war.

September 1:

Of course, everything is not yet clear. The big question: will England really stand by Poland is completely open. [. . . ] Now, 18 o'clock, the Parliament [convenes s. Bild ] and the English and French ambassadors have just registered one after the other.

September 3:

At 9 o'clock the Englishman appeared with the ultimatum until 11 o'clock, and at 11 o'clock the Frenchman with the ultimatum until 17 o'clock. [...] I do not make a bad job of it and do not see things in black, but I look very seriously into the future. We did not want that. Until this morning, the belief prevailed that we could somehow gain time and postpone the decision. Hitler still believes today that the Western powers will only hint at the war, so to speak. That's why I had to give 15.50 to the army to order them not to start the hostilities from our side. [...] I cannot share this belief. This is a misjudgment of the English and French psyche. - Since I know today what war is, I face the events differently than I did in 1914 -

See: http://www.fpp.co.uk/Hitler/Vormann/letters_1939.html Archive: https://archive.vn/qpPmj


These entries, over multiple days confirm that Hitler operated under a very important assumption that the war which was now occurring, and today is known as the beginning of the "Second World War" was only intended to be a minor war, barring the entry of any other powers. As a seemingly last resort, Vormann relates that Hitler et al. wanted to induce the Russians to invade Poland much faster, as to force the British to declare war on them or otherwise admit their Guarantee to Poland was null and void. This would mean they couldn't act on it without exposing themselves as purely anti-German. If you recall, Hitler said as much in the speech I quoted earlier: "If Great Britain now con­tinues the war, she reveals her real aims, that she wants war against the German Government." Indeed this was the British position. Poland didn't matter at all, this can be readily observed by the fact that after the Second World War Britain did not fulfil her pledge to save Poland and preserve her independence. However, the British can be seen as having fulfilled her pledge to destroy Germany, by going to war with her in 1939 as the addendum to the Polish guarantee promised. This made no difference to the state of the Poles and can thus hardly be considered a valiant achievement.

Today though the destruction of a nation if the representative or ideology of that nation isn't aligned with you is totally fine. The perception of WW2 today is that of a war against Hitler. The fight for Poland is a secondary justification used against anyone who isn't totally convinced of Hitler's wickedness in foreign policy. But usually the issue of Poland goes unmentioned and falls to the wayside.

Vormann writes:

September 15th:

Hitler is back at the front with a large company. I'm on duty and as a result I'm on the phone on the train. There is little to be done. The operations are going according to plan like clockwork. - Our efforts are now headed with might to induce Russia to participate. Not because we cannot finish on our own, but to ensure that England and France then, on the basis of their alliance pact, must also declare war on Russia. The consequences that will necessarily result from this cannot be foreseen. Therefore England will probably not do it and then again the official reason why it declared war on us no longer applies. - We'll have to wait and see what happens to this mess.

Ibid.


The belief was that Britain was purely acting to save Poland. Hitler assumed that once they realised this could not be done, then their cause for making war, and continuing with the war would no longer exist and thus there need be no war at all. This makes sense, and is certainly how it should've gone. Instead the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact did not have the effect Hitler wished it would have, to act as a deterrent to British (and perhaps Polish) aggression. Still, we can appreciate the logic here. Britain would surely wish to avoid a war with Russia and Germany, thus the bid for war over the German city of Danzig under the thumb of the Poles suddenly becomes a lot less appetising.

Heydrich was also of this belief. Irving tells us:

There was no acceptable explanation for Stalin’s inactivity. While Hitler could easily finish off Poland alone, he was particularly eager for Russia’s strategic involvement because then Britain and France would have to think twice about implementing their guarantee. As Reinhard Heydrich explained to his department heads : “Then Britain would be obliged to declare war on Russia too.”(2) Above all Hitler wanted to get the Polish campaign over before the U.S. Congress reassembled on the twenty-first.

(2) Britain was not in fact obliged to declare war on Russia when she invaded Poland on September 17, 1939, as by a secret clause in her August treaty with Poland she had providently specified that the only “European Power” to which the treaty referred was Germany. [from the HTML version]

David Irving, Hitler's War 1939-1942 (Papermac, 1983), Pp. 9


In hindsight, Irving is wrong to say that there was no acceptable explanation for Stalin to hold off invading Poland. Thanks to Viktor Suvorov, we know full well what his reasons were:

The USSR-Germany agreement is traditionally called the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. This moniker misleads and does not truly reflect the essence of what happened. The pact that was signed in Moscow was a plot between Hitler and Stalin to conduct an aggressive war in Europe together. Therefore, that agreement in effect was a Stalin-Hitler pact. Furthermore, in international practice it is much more common to use not the names of the statesmen that concluded the agreement, but the place where the documents were signed: the Munich Agreements, the Warsaw Pact, the Baghdad Pact, and the Geneva Agreement. Therefore, in accordance with common diplomatic practice, the more precise name of the pact would be the 1939 Moscow Agreement on the Start of World War II. Both parties received approximately equivalent shares—part of Poland went to Hitler, the other part went to Stalin. However, just eight days after signing the Moscow pact, Stalin violated it. Hitler started a war of aggression against Poland with hope that his ally Stalin would do the same. But Stalin cheated Hitler. On September 1 and in the subsequent two weeks the Soviet troops stood next to the Polish borders without conducting warfare and crossing the borders. The explanation of the Soviet government to the German counterpart was: the time has not come yet for action by the Red Army. As a result, the entire fault for the beginning of the war fell upon Germany, upon Hitler and his entourage. They entered world history as the chief and only cause of World War II. Poland was divided not in the Imperial Chancellery, but in the Kremlin. Hitler was not present, Stalin was. But Hitler is at fault for the starting of the war, while Stalin is not. Stalin entered history as an innocent victim and the liberator of Europe.

[...]

In September 1939, the German government repeatedly reminded the government of the USSR about their obligation and demanded the Red Army’s invasion of Poland according to the agreement. The Soviet government would refuse—not right away, but with a two- to three-day delay. For example, in response to the German demarche of September 3, the head of the Soviet government and its foreign minister, Vyacheslav Molotov, responded on September 5: “We agree with you that concrete action has to be taken at an appropriate time. However, we consider that such [a] time has not come yet. It is possible that we are mistaken, but it appears to us that excessive haste could cause us harm and facilitate unification among our enemies.”

The German government kept repeating its demands and kept getting refused. Red Army units started military action in Poland only after two and a half weeks—September 17. Stalin’s troops committed similar, or maybe even worse, atrocities in Poland, but Great Britain and France did not declare war on the Soviet Union.

Viktor Suvorov, The Chief Culprit: Stalin's Grand Design to Start World War II (Naval Institute Press, 2013), Pp. 111, 112


If the Soviet Union had also embarked on the Invasion of Poland on September 1st, the British and French would not have been able to, or at least would have been extremely hesitant to declare a war on Germany and lay all the guilt at her feet. Even if the West did declare war under these circumstances, there's no way they could've gotten away with singling out Germany.

I suppose you could say that Hitler miscalculated in regards to the British and French in 1939, Ian Kershaw for example, admits that Hitler miscalculated in his attack on Poland in 1939. Pointing out that Hitler expected to deal with the Poles by themselves and avoid a conflict with anyone else, but this isn't what happened:

On Poland, there was no divergence between Hitler and his Chief of the General Staff. Both wanted to smash Poland at breakneck speed, preferably in an isolated campaign but, if necessary, even with western intervention (though both thought this more improbable than probable).

[...]

The contours for the summer crisis of 1939 had been drawn. It would end not with the desired limited conflict to destroy Poland, but with the major European powers locked in another continental war. This was in the first instance a consequence of Hitler's miscalculation that spring. But, as Haider's address to the generals indicated, it had not been Hitler's miscalculation alone.

Ian Kershaw, HITLER 1936-1945: Nemesis (W.W. Norton & Company, 2000), Pp. 180


Although I would actually say that Hitler didn't really miscalculate, more than he did put trust in the image of the British as true to their word. He would obviously be a lot less misled by their motives as the war went on. Hitler simply made the logical assumption that peace was preferable to war, that at times wars must be fought when there is no conventionally peaceful solution. If the playing field changes enough, it opens up possibilities that can lead to peace rather than war. This understanding is what guided Hitler in 1939, as well as of course his commitment to Germany and her interests. Even what is deemed to be "aggressive" is nothing more than Hitler looking to achieve a logical conclusion to the problems facing his country. As R.H.S. Stolfi points out, Hitler's actions were motivated by this attempt to get whatever wars needed to be fought done quickly so as to assure a swift peace:

As Hitler's successes mounted, he made decisions with ever-greater impact on the world. His decisions in the great military campaigns of 1939-1941 escalated from those affecting Bavaria to those influencing Germany, Europe, and the world. His bold decision to move German troops back into the German Rhineland in March 1936, with its attendant risk of war with France and Britain, closely parallels in its essential qualities of risk, breadth, and consequences the even greater decision to invade Poland in 1939. Hitler did not intend in either case to draw Germany into a war with France and Britain. He won the first gamble, but lost the latter and found himself in a war with two major European powers on 3 September 1939. In control of Germany and its armed forces, and on the offensive from 1939 to 1941, Hitler made his most important decisions concerning Germany and Europe. Within the strategic calculus of a Europe-wide war after 3 September, he made grand political decisions, and, as self-appointed commander of the German armed forces since February 1938, he made self-imposed military decisions that would determine the outcome of the war. Because of Hitler's accumulated power by 1939, these decisions would determine the survival of Germany and the future of every state in Europe.

Faced with the 1939 British guarantees to Poland and the French alliance with that state, Hitler nevertheless ordered the invasion of Poland to begin on the morning of 1 September 1939. He made this political decision when and where to go to war based on his political masterstroke of several days earlier, the Russo-German nonaggression pact. That pact isolated Poland and made it difficult for any rational statesman in the west to fight a war to safeguard the territorial integrity of Poland. Faced with the British and French ultimatums of 2 September 1939 to halt military operations against Poland, Hitler decided to continue the battle of Poland. The British and French governments declared war on Germany on the afternoon of 3 September 1939. The decision by Hitler to invade Poland and expand the invasion into an Europe-wide war, with time and place largely choices of the Western Allies, might have been Hitler's final great action had it not been for the astounding military successes of the Germans in 1939 and 1940 and the continuation of the German offensive into 1941.

Instead of leading to the defeat of Germany, Hitler's decision to continue the invasion of Poland led to the defeat of the armed forces of Poland, Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Holland, Belgium, and France and the physical occupation of those states by early July 1940.

R.H.S. Stolfi, Hitler's Panzers East: World War II Reinterpreted (University of Oklahoma Press, Paperback 1993), Pp. 5-6


Hitler never looked back. So when he widened the war it was due to expedience (this is presuming Stalin had no designs on Europe, which of course he did) and belief that Germany would come out victorious and save as many lives, and preserve as much of the peace as possible. Germany indeed managed to wrap up many of these conflicts rather quickly.

Hitler's offers to Poland remained the same from 1938-1939. The reincorporation of Danzig into the Reich, a road through the Corridor and a neutral mediator to assess a fair plebiscite in the region. This was the least the Germans could offer; it cannot be argued to have been unreasonable. Yet the Poles refused at every turn. The British, if they thought it was an acceptable offer, never managed to put pressure on the Poles to negotiate with Germany. Whether they ever did so is doubtful - although some people have claimed the British guarantee was intended to do just that. How this makes sense is lost on me, since it clearly acted as more of a shield for them. Even if it were true, it matters little considering the attitudes we have read about from the likes of Rydz-Śmigły who didn't care whether the British fought on their side or not.

The question remains, what was Hitler supposed to do in this instance? What choice did he have but to capitulate before he could take any kind of risk? Hitler's enemies would suggest as we know, that he should have been more patient. I can only laugh at this, because we all know that such an action would've only benefitted Hitler's enemies. This to Hitler would be unacceptable.

Hitler's actions in this whole affair was in the interests of peace. He went to war with Poland not because he wished to start a war, but because he thought that he could avoid one.
Now what does it mean for the independent expert witness Van Pelt? In his eyes he had two possibilities. Either to confirm the Holocaust story, or to go insane. - Germar Rudolf, 13th IHR Conference


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