The War Guilt Question of World War II

All aspects including lead-in to hostilities and results.

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Re: The War Guilt Question of World War II

Postby Otium » 2 months 2 weeks ago (Sun Sep 19, 2021 4:33 am)

Foreign Minister Beck expressed satisfaction with the eventual independence obtained by Slovakia and announced his recognition of this country under national law already on 15 March 1939. Therefore, when adopting her measures against Germany on 26 March 1939, Poland did not even refer to Germany’s actions with regard to Prague; to do so would have meant a realistic assessment of German power, which did not exist in Poland right up to the outbreak of war. The Polish leadership, on the contrary, was citing time and time again Hitler’s desire for peace, Hitler’s perception of the Bolshevik danger and Hitler’s military weakness as so many reasons why their provocations bore no risk whatsoever.

Udo Walendy, Who Started World War II? (Castle Hill Publishers, 2014), Pp. 191.

From the document cited by Walendy regarding Becks satisfaction with the destruction of Czechoslovakia:

Regarding the Slovak question, Beck expressed satisfaction with the independence obtained. On receipt of last night's notification, he had immediately announced his recognition and had appointed a Charge d'Affaires who was already on his way to Bratislava. Foreign press reports, attributing to Poland specific designs on Slovakia were false, and a sharp dementi [denial] had been ordered. In contrast to the Carpatho-Ukrainian frontier no troops were concentrated on the Slovak frontier.

In conclusion M. Beck said he was grateful for the detailed information given, and expressed the hope that a settlement of he Carpatho-Ukrainian question would also have a favourable effect on German-Polish relations.

March 16, 1939. DGFP, D, Vol. VI, Doc. 4, p. 6.

Clearly as Walendy points out, the Poles weren't particularly threatened by Hitler's annexation of Czechia nor the Slovak declaration of independence, but in reality regarded it as a good thing.

A note on this page reads:

In telegram No. 32 of Mar. 16 Moltke reported: "The Hungarian Minister told me that after his conversations with Beck he had the impresson that the Polish Government would be tactful enough to leave the conquest of the Carpatho-Ukraine to Hungary alone."

Ibid., note 4.
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: The War Guilt Question of World War II

Postby Otium » 1 month 2 weeks ago (Mon Oct 18, 2021 7:19 am)

"Poland wants war with Germany and Germany will not be able to avoid it, even if it wants to."

This is one of the most widely quoted quotes that can be found attributed to an alleged statement by Marshal Edward Rydz-Śmigły, who was the Commander-in-Chief of the Polish armed forces. Naturally any quote from him would be of much importance as far as the question of Poland's share of the war guilt goes. This quote however, has been dismissed just as quickly by detractors of the idea of shared guilt for WW2, as it has been adopted by well intentioned but misguided people who seek a more nuanced, less anti-German perspective on the war guilt question. I myself have dismissed this quote as fake in the past without doing my usual due diligence. Now I'm seeking to correct this error, and provide a source(s) for this quote.

Looking online this quote is never accompanied by a source, which is why people simply dismiss it. I've never seen an English book use this quote, but I was able to find it used quite frequently in German literature.

Cutting to the chase, I've been able to locate and check what is, right now, the origin of the quote according to my research. I still have some publications to check and when I do will post an update if this turns out to not be the case.

Of general interest is also the statement made by Mr. Ernst Wagner, now of Lüneburg, formerly of Rothebude Kr. Goldap/Ostpr. He shared it with the author of this publication and emphasized that he was ready to swear to it before a German or international court at any time. They read as follows: Mr. Lutz Mauve, whose father owned a large forest estate near Kielce in Poland, was a Polish citizen and as such a Polish ensign sergeant, i.e. officer candidate, in 1939. In June or July of 1939, a meeting of Polish officers, reserve officers and officer candidates attended by him took place in the area between Krakow and Katowice. There the Polish Marshal Rydz-Śmigły delivered an address in the following spirit:

"Poland wants war with Germany and Germany will not be able to avoid it even if she wanted to." („Polen will den Krieg mit Deutschland und Deutschland wird ihn nicht vermeiden können, selbst wenn es das wollte.“)

Mr. Lutz Mauve belonged to the circle of acquaintances of Mr. E. Wagner, was a guest of the latter and reported the incident to him. Lutz Mauve was later killed in action in the Second World War.

Bolko Frhr. v. Richthofen, Kriegsschuld 1939-1941: Der Schuldanteil der anderen (Kiel: Arndt-Verlag, 1981), Pp. 52.

This raises questions of course. If any such address could be verified to have taken place at this date that would be helpful. If any of the men named could be identified, and any records checked that would be of help also. Obviously the author Herr Richthofen, if he's alive, would be useful too.

I still don't feel comfortable claiming the quote is completely authentic, but now there's a claim and a source to help support its validity. The sentiment of the quote also doesn't seem to be at all out of character for Rydz-Śmigły, who on July 20th, 1939 declared that in March the first Polish mobilization against Germany was not intended as a demonstration, it was seriously intended for war, and that he would not give up Danzig (Walendy, Who Started World War II? p. 187). He reiterated this in Krakow on August 6, when he stated that Danzig was Poland's "lung", also stating that Poland would "oppose" (with force) "every attempt at transgressing upon her interests, directly or indirectly." (Walendy, p. 210)

On April 3rd 1939, upon the Polish Prime Minister Beck's arrival in England, the British encouraged Poland to hold on to Danzig and not make any concessions to the Germans whatsoever:

How little the British cared about Danzig and the allegedly endangered Polish independence is also shown by the following brief prepared for Colonel Beck's visit of April 3 [1939]. The brief states:

"Danzig is an artificial structure, the maintenance of which is a bad casus belli. But it is unlikely that the Germans would accept less than a total solution of the Danzig question except for a substantial quid pro quo which could hardly be less than a guarantee of Poland's neutrality."

But such a deal would be a bad bargain for England.

"It would shake Polish morale, increase their vulnerability to German penetration and so defeat the policy of forming a bloc against German expansion. It should not therefore be to our interest to suggest that the Poles abandon their rights in Danzig on the ground that they are not defensible."

So there we have it clearly stated: in the own British interest, the matter of Danzig must not be solved and peace preserved. The British guarantee to Poland, however, had reinforced the Polish in their stubbornness and made them completely obdurate where any solution to the Danzig question was concerned.

Max Klüver, Es war nicht Hitlers Krieg: Neues aus dem britischen Staatsarchiv (Essen: Heitz & Höffkes, 1993), Pp. 162-163.

That this is the case is reinforced by the British themselves who visited Warsaw around this same time and reported on the Polish attitude, which was eager for a war with Germany:

After the guarantee of 31 March, Strang, head of the Central European Department, and Jebb, a staff member of the same department, undertook a visit to Warsaw to reconnoitre the Polish attitude. Jebb's report indicates that the war intentions of the Poles were to drive the Germans out of the areas to be conquered as far as the Oder River. Jebb also states that without the British guarantee, the Poles "would seriously revise their present attitude toward Germany"

Helmut Schröcke, Der Jahrhundertkrieg 1939-1945: Vorgeschichte, Kriegsschuld, Folgen (Stegen am Ammersee: Druffel & Vowinckel-Verlag, 2005), Pp. 142.

That the British encouraged this reckless attitude can only be understood by the fact that in January both the Poles and the British had been explicitly promised by Roosevelts administration military aid from the United States if no concessions were made to Germany. I've quoted from this document already in this thread. We can also assume that Hitler himself was privy to these assurances and acted in Germany's interests accordingly:

The Research Office was already constantly monitoring all lines between Warsaw and London, where the Prime Minister had overzealously issued a guarantee to Poland in the event of a German attack on Poland. The Research Office recorded numerous explosive conversations between the Polish Foreign Minister, Colonel Josef Beck, and Count Edward Raczynski, his ambassador in London. For Hitler's assessment of whether the British and French would keep their promises, it was repeatedly these intercepted messages that "proved extremely useful," said a Research Office official.

David Irving, Das Reich hört mit: Görings “Forschungsamt” Der geheimste Nachrichtendienst des Dritten Reiches (Kiel: Arndt-Verlag, 1989), Pp. 55.

Rydz-Śmigły's alleged quote is not alone. There are others who stated very similar things in-regards to an inevitable war with Germany on the British side.

For one was Winston Churchill, the darling of the anti-appeasers who was nothing more than a war-monger that represented the British war party. These men were opposed to peace and a just settlement. This is what they're known for, and why they're beloved for being promoters of war. Ironic. The Germans at this time weren't eager for war, and were keeping their options open:

Churchill said at this time [around May 1939] to his friend B. Baruch, "War is coming very soon now. We will get into it and so will they (the U.S.). You (Baruch) will take care of matters over there, but I will be careful over here."

Quite in contrast to this was the Reich government, which was set on negotiations with Poland. As early as the beginning of June, Göring explained to Henderson Hitler's view that Danzig and the corridor were not urgent matters. This German view was known in the British cabinet meetings of 19 July and 26 July.

Schröcke, op cit., p. 143.

Goebbels in his diary confirms that in July Hitler was not overly concerned with Poland at that time, and that he had "no definite plans":

Reich Chancellery at noon. The Führer has work to do. I discuss the foreign policy situation with the A.A.: at the moment England should probably act. But who knows what the situation will be in an emergency. The Führer has not yet made any definite plans. He is only intensifying the crisis of nerves. The Poles are not so important at the moment.

Goebbels diary entry, July 5, 1939. Elke Fröhlich (ed.), Die Tagebücher von Joseph Goebbels, Teil I: Band 7 (München: K.G. Saur Verlag, 1998), Pp. 33.

This fact flies in the face of the disingenuous narrative weaved by historians like Ian Kershaw who claimed that Hitler had already decided on war with Poland and was "bent on destroying" her. This entry, like many others, didn't find its way into the so-called 'objective' histories.

Along with Churchill was Sir Robert Vansittart, an anti-appeaser, anti-German British diplomat who was quite open about his desire for a war with Germany and made remarks similar to that of Rydz-Śmigły:

When Chamberlain flew to Berchtesgaden to visit Hitler in 1938, he deliberately refrained from being accompanied by Robert Vansittart because the latter would have sabotaged a peaceful settlement of the Sudeten crisis out of his conviction that war with Germany was inevitable and would have to be brought about at the appropriate opportunity. As early as 1935, Vansittart had told the German embassy attaché& Fritz Hesse: "But my dear Mr. Hesse, you will not be able to prevent the war between Germany and England. You see, Herr Hitler wants to make Germany the first power in Europe... You see, we will not be able to allow that..."

Hans Meiser, Gescheiterte FriedensInitiativen 1939-1945 (Tübingen: Grabert Verlag, 2004), Pp. 10, note 2.

These comments by all sides of the Allied coalition against Germany show just a bit of the war-like intentions of the supposed "peaceful" victors of WW2.
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: The War Guilt Question of World War II

Postby Otium » 4 days 9 hours ago (Wed Dec 01, 2021 7:10 pm)

In a post in another thread I very briefly outlined how the Poles had been the ones to first initiate discussion about the status of Danzig and questions relating to the Polish corridor with Germany in September 1938, not the other way around as is often assumed.

The Poles and the Germans very early on had discussions where some basic ideas were put forth. The Germans proposed that which they maintained until war broke out; the return of Danzig to the Reich and some sort of motorway through the corridor. Later the Germans would request the corridor itself be subject to an international plebiscite in which the loser would nonetheless have a "corridor in the corridor" to use at his own leisure. Still an incredibly impartial and reasonable request.

The Poles weren't interested in any of it and rejected these generous German proposals every single time they came up.

At the end of March (the 31st) the Polish foreign minister Josef Beck managed to make a deal with the British Government that ensured Poland would have military protection against the Germans. He had found a way to avoid negotiations with Germany entirely which is what he wanted. There were no negotiations until the outbreak of war except for when the Germans attempted to initiate them, but it was all in vain as the Poles later bragged.

When, as stated, the Germans tried to initiate talks with the Poles, they were governed by political motives. Hitler called the bluff's of both Poland and Great Britain, who when it came down to it, reneged on their assurances to submit to immediate negotiations. Hitler already knew that this would be the case, and he went through all the trouble of trying to negotiate in order to deprive his enemies of absolving themselves of guilt for the war that they were bringing upon themselves. Hitler called his negotiations an "alibi", but not because they were insincere as some historians claim; but in order to show the world and especially the German people that he had "done everything to maintain peace." In offering a generous settlement to the Poles he showed how bent on war they truly were because they had no interest in a settlement. Hitler knew that a war with Poland would have to be fought due to the Polish obstinacy, and the Poles did too because they admitted it:

Warsaw's statesmen believed that by means of the promised military support of France and Great Britain and, above all, the "bindingly promised" overthrow in Germany, the Polish army could begin the march to Berlin. Because Colonel Beck, under Chamberlain's massive pressure, was blinded to the real situation in Germany, he refused to negotiate with Berlin until the very end and allowed the war to break out, firmly convinced that Poland would not really have to fight by eliminating Hitler and would be able to seize German territories without a fight.

There are revealing documents, which come from the captured German files microfilmed in the USA. One such document deals with the Polish situation in September 1939 shortly after the outbreak of the war. It reports on a conversation held by the Polish President Ignacy Mościcki and Marshal Edward Rydz-Śmigły (Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Armed Forces), it states:

"After the defeat of Poland in September 1939, Marshal Rydz-Smigly told Romanian dignitaries that already two days after the beginning of the war, the Polish High Command had lost communication with the individually operating armies through the action of the German air force.... England, however, had officially informed the Polish government that 1500 English planes were on their way to Poland. None, however, had arrived . . . Furthermore, the Western powers had been assured that the French had broken through the Siegfried Line at two points and had penetrated deep into German territory.... Rydz-Smigly agitatedly declared that reliance had been placed on the official communications and promises of help from the British. President Moscicki's remark that Poland had finally wanted to accept Germany's conditions but had been prevented from doing so by England was particularly bitter. Because his ministers had counted on English help, they had finally let it come to war."

Annelies von Ribbentrop, Die Kriegsschuld des Widerstandes: Aus britischen Geheimdokumenten 1938/39 (Leoni: Druffel-Verlag, 1975), Pp. 383.

I wanted to confirm the contents of this document so I wrote to the National Archives in Britain and they confirmed to me that the contents quoted by Annelies von Ribbentrop was correct, stating that: "We checked the aforementioned document, which contains the title “Telegraphische Nachrichten aus Berlin, 25.9.39,” and determined that it does appear to contain the information you cited in your inquiry." I was able to obtain a copy of the document from them:

Source: RG 242, NA Microfilm T-120, roll 1496, frame 626334

Transcription and translation:


Telegraphische Nachrichten aus Berlin, 25.9.39

Bei Durchreise durch Bukowina haben Staatspräsident Moscicki und Marschall Ryds Smigli rumänischen Würdenträgern gegenüber kein Hehl daraus gemacht, was sie über die Ursachen des Zusammenbruchs denken. Ryds Smigli erklärte, dass schon zwei Tage nach Kriegsbeginn das polnische Armeeoberkommando durch die Wirkung der deutschen Flugwaffe die Verbindung mit einzelnen operierenden Armeen verloren habe. Nachschub, Etappenlinien, kurzum alle Verbindungen seien in Verwirrung gebracht worden. England habe aber polnischer Regierung offiziell mitgeteilt, dass 1500 englische Flugzeuge unterwegs nach Polen seien. Keines aber sei angekommen. Ferner sei von den Westmächten versichert worden, dass Siegfriedlinie an zwei Stellen durchbrochen und die Franzosen tief in deutsches Gebiet eingedrungen seien. Mit tiefer Bitterkei [sic!] erklärte Ryds Smigli, man habe sich auf die offiziellen Mitteilungen und Hilfszusagen der Engländer verlassen. Besonders bitter war die Bemerkung Moscickis, dass Polen schliesslich die Bedungen Deutschlands habe annehmen wollen, von England aber daran verhindert wurde. Weil seine Minister auf die englische Hilfe gerechnet hätten, hätten sie es schliesslich zum Krieg kommen lassen. Im übrigen haben beide bestätigt, dass von deutscher Seite weder Gasbomben verwendet, noch vergiftete Bonbons und ähnliches abgeworfen wurden.


Telegraphic News from Berlin, 25.9.39

While passing through Bukovina, President Moscicki and Marshal Ryds Smigli made no secret to Romanian dignitaries what they thought about the causes of the collapse. Ryds Smigli explained that already two days after the beginning of the war, the Polish Army High Command had lost contact with individual operating armies due to the effect of the German air force. Supplies, staging lines, in short, all communications had been thrown into confusion. However, England had officially informed the Polish government that 1500 English aircraft were on their way to Poland. But none had arrived. Furthermore, the Western powers had been assured that the Siegfried Line had been broken at two points and that the French had penetrated deep into German territory. With deep bitterness [sic!], Ryds Smigli explained that one had relied on the official communications and promises of help from the English. Moscicki's remark that Poland had finally wanted to accept Germany's conditions but had been prevented from doing so by England was particularly bitter. Because his ministers had counted on English help, they had finally allowed the war to come about. Incidentally, both confirmed that neither gas bombs nor poisoned Bonbons and the like were used by the Germans.

This document was seized from the German Foreign Office and received by the U.S. State Department.

The significance of the admissions in this document are obvious.

Two of the most important Polish officials reveal that Poland deliberately started the war because of their belief in British military support which never came. That's the first admission, the second is that it indeed shows the British Guarantee was used by the Poles as an excuse to avoid negotiations with the Germans, that it did in-fact stiffen their backs. Although this has been obvious to critics since the guarantee was issued (Hitler himself observed this fact repeatedly, and rightfully criticised the Polish obstinacy which resulted in obstructing a peaceful settlement), but some people who have defended it continue to make up unconvincing arguments about "deterrence". When in truth, the guarantee didn't deter the Germans, if anything, it spurred them on because they knew no concessions would be forthcoming from Poland, and they were clearly right about that. It's not as if the Poles hid the fact that they weren't eager to concede anything, quite the opposite. Furthermore, prior to the British guarantee Germany had no aggressive intentions whatsoever towards Poland, as both the Poles and the British admitted. Yet the guarantee was nonetheless issued on the basis of alleged German "aggression" that the Polish Foreign Minister admitted in London was non-existent at the time. Still he justified his decision to mobilise against Germany, prepare war plans, threaten war on multiple occasions, and seek military alliances (in violation of the Kellogg pact and German-Polish Treaty) merely in anticipation of German threats. These measures constituted a blatant provocation and act of aggression. From then on Germany was merely responding to this Polish aggression which set the course for war. Everything that subsequently resulted was due to these Polish actions.
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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