As a matter of fact, in that sense also Great Poland (Wielkopolska), the region when Poland originated, was also taken from German Reich and given to Poland. In WWII this region became Warthengau. Germans expulsed thousands of Poles from that area.
...when land was "taken" from the German Reich and "given" to Poland. That stretch of land then became known as "Polish Corridor".
Either the land was taken and given or it wasn't. The apostrophes are in general a bad idea, since they only come up when you are disagreeing with someone's theory. We're not doing so here, we're simply stating what actually happened.
Well, it would also be good to include the taker and giver - obviously it wasn't conquest, because it was in a war settlement. Actually, 'assigned' is also a useful word in these contexts, given that we're talking about a treaty that was negotiated and signed by both parties. --MichaelTinkler
- I thought the Poles were also a specific slavic people?? Also, despite the fact that I am one of the more serious American Germanophiles I know, I am having a very hard time with the constant implication (in this series of Poland or Communists vs. Germany articles, that is) that the re-assignment of disputed territories to Poland was somehow unfair to Germany. Yes, Versailles screwed Germany -- it was deliberately punitive, and I do believe it helped to foment the resentment that allowed Hitler's rise to power -- but it's not like the German Empire wasn't trying to take over most of western Europe! And few people would argue that Germany was an innocent bystander in WWII -- remember, that's the war where the Allies and Communists won -- those territories would probably not have been assigned to the Eastern bloc without a war...JHK
- As a consequence the population of Poland became one of the most ethnically homogeneous in the world.
Even with very conservative CIA estimates there is about one milion non-Polish people in Poland. With recent more liberal estimates it might be more like 2-3 milions. This sentence is highly exaggerated. --Taw
One of the great ironies of WWII is that it was started by the British and French supposedly to defend the territorial integrity of Poland, but at the war's end the eastern part of Poland was incorporated into the Soviet Union (which had seized it, in collaboration with the Nazis, in 1939). - HWR
- If I read you right, you are saying the British and French started WWII. I thought Germany started WWII. -- a hapless amateur
- Well, it were Soviets who started WWII. (Germans had also something to do with it, but much less than Soviets). --Taw
Britain and France declared war on Germany in response to the Nazi invasion of Poland. Had they not done so, a general war in Europe would not have begun at that time. So, in that sense, the European war was started by Britain and France. -HWR
Ah, depending on the meaning of "start" we could say that WWII was started either by
- (A) the German invasion of Poland, or
- (B) the British and French declaration of war in response to A.
I'll never be a diplomat. --Ed Poor
My point was not to begin an endless (and ultimately pointless, essentially semantic) discussion of who "started" WWII. Rather, I was making the point that while the western Allies entered the war (thus making it a multilateral conflict) in supposed defense of Polish territorial integrity, they collaborated in the violation of Polish territorial integrity by the Soviets at the war's end. But as to the question of who "started" the war, the alternatives you mention are not exhaustive. The German invasion was, after all, in response to Poland's refusal to accept Germany's territorial demands. And those German demands were in response to the loss of German territory imposed by the Allies after WWI. And WWI... etc., etc., ad infinitum. But the real question is not how far back one can trace causative factors, but rather at what point the multilateral conflict in Europe was actually initiated. Hitler did not invade Poland with the intention of initiating a general war, although he was willing to accept that consequence if the western Allies forced it upon him. The Allies need not have declared war to defend Poland, it was their choice to do so, and had they not so chosen, a general war would not have ensued. So I believe it is indeed correct to say that the Allies started WWII in Europe. That is not to say they were not justified in doing so, of course. Most people would agree that they were. - HWR
- Thanks for your answer. That pretty much settles it for me. --Ed Poor
To MichaelTinkler I just came across this statement of yours,above ( see copy):
"Well, it would also be good to include the taker and giver - obviously it wasn't conquest, because it was in a war settlement. Actually, 'assigned' is also a useful word in these contexts, given that we're talking about a treaty that was negotiated and signed by both parties. --MichaelTinkler "
In answer to this ,I have to tell you , that it is not correct. It was never negotiated. The government of Germany Deutsche Reichg) was not allowed to be present or negotiate anything. When confronted : "Here, sign this" , the government officials resigned. It was then said, we'll just continue bombing until you sign. Someone, anyone eventually signed. This was after Germany had Russia sign the Treaty of Brest-Litowsk and Austria and Germany had already agreed on Poland having a kingdom again, seperate from Russia. H. Jonat
- "Sign this or we'll invade you" constitutes negotiations. The Germans didn't want to go on fighting. The Allies said "fine, we'll stop attacking you, but only if you agree to these demands". Eventually, the Germans agreed, and freely signed. (The threat of invasion did not constitute duress because it was justified -- Germany had invaded and occupied part of the territory of the Allies, the Allies were entitled to invade and occupy Germany in response.) -- SJK
- Sorry to point this out (again), but I'm pretty sure that the reason representatives of the German Empire were not invited to negotiate at Versailles may have had something to do with Germany having started a war that cost most of the participant countries (some of whom were actively defending themselves and others against German aggression) close to a generation of their young men. Unfortunately for Germany, Germany lost the war. Losers don't normally get places at the negotiation tables. Winners are oftern punitive in their negotiations. Had this been a war at the height of Rome's power, the Kaiser would have been brought to Rome in chains, many of his people enslaved or turned tributaries under Roman rule. Germany's "agreeing on Poland having a kingdom again," by your own standards, was never within Germany's right to grant.
Germany told Russian to stay out,but was attacked in the east in East -Prussia ,then beat the Russians and said we accept Wilson's proposals. But instead they got attacked heavily in the west. And if you want to be specific, it was not Germany that declared the war, but Austria, because the legal government of Austria (Crownprince and wife) were assassinated. H Jonat