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Old November 16th, 2012, 09:10 PM   #11

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True, and the Munich treaty of 1938 played a huge role, too. It demonstrated exactly what Hitler hoped to see. A crime.
But the question that was asked in this thread related to Russia/USSR, and Russia/USSR meant one person, Stalin. And Stalin was a megalomaniac who, very persistently, was restoring the USSR's pre-revolutionary borders. Hitler was an ideal ally for Stalin.
Molotov-Ribbentrop pact guaranteed the non-involvement of the Soviet Union. Even if Stalin had some far-sighted plans regarding Hitler, as some historians claim, the negotiations could have been prolonged and prolonged. But I do not believe in Stalin's foresight. Paradoxically, this paranoic who did not trust anyone believed Hitler. If there is a term, "politically enamored", this is how he was feeling. The war started just within a week after the pact. The Soviet Union sent ore, petroleum, food to Germany. Neither France, nor GB, only the Soviet Union. Germany would not have been able to wage a war without these materials. It just did not have the resources. (Although it happened before the pact), Stalin purged and killed all the Soviet military elite who could have been so helpful, especially during the first days after Hitler's invasion of Russia (this is Stalin's crime against his own people, but I put it in the same roster). Stalin admired Hitler and his politics of "Germany for the Germans", he really loved such approach...
I hope that the French and British history-lovers on their forum would comment on the role of their own countries and leaders...
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Old November 16th, 2012, 09:19 PM   #12
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Tomar, I Agree with all except one point.
Poland did not take part in Munich Dictate and was not in alliance with Germany in Czechoslovakian affairs. It was independent opportunistic action of Poland to recover territory lost to Czechoslovakia in 1919 due to Poland-Czechoslovakian conflict. It was certainly not a friendly act but it was done independently of Munich dictate. Poland position from the very beginning was that Polish minority should have the same right as other minorities in Czechoslovakia (including German minority) and Poland will demand the same solution to this question.
After Munich dictate was signed by Czechoslovakia, I repeat after the act, Poland issue demand for 0.5% of Czechoslovakian territory with Polish minority (30 September next day after Munich dictate was signed), this demand was accepted by Czechoslovakia and Polish Army moved across the border (2 October ) to occupy the small strip (I repeat about 0.5 %) of Czechoslovakia. As Germany also claim part of this area, there was a armed stand between German Army and Polish army in Bogumil which almost changed into shooting contest but it was not in Germany interest to start shooting war with Poland at that time and they withdraw their force from this region. They returned in September 1939.
Since then, Soviet historiography for propaganda reason portrayed this event as an example of Polish close cooperation with Germany.
It was in diplomatic interest of Germany to spread similar disinformation. Soon there was no free Poland to try to correct this disinformation.
I would be glad if somebody can provide any document confirming existence of any agreement between Poland and Germany regarding this tragedy.
Today in Poland there is almost unanimous opinion that annexation Of Tesin Silesia was one of the biggest errors of Polish Second Republic as it provided huge propaganda tools for Soviet Union and Germany at that time. Official Polish Government apologized Czech people many times for this unfriendly act in so difficult time for Czechoslovakia.
Below is a map of Czechoslovakia and territories annexed by Germany (marked 1), Hungary (marked 2 and 3) and Poland (marked 4). Nobody is talking now about Hungary role in this tragedy but Poland which took only small scrap of border territory is at the front of criticism thanks to Soviet and German propaganda of 1938-1939.
Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by Edward; November 16th, 2012 at 09:31 PM.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 09:21 PM   #13

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Originally Posted by Grimald View Post
The plain facts are that the Soviet Union invaded and occupied the Eastern part of Poland (September 1939), led a bloody war of aggression against Finland (November 1939 - March 1940), and invaded and occupied the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania (June 1940). These wars and occupations were accompanied by large-scale massacres, e.g. the Katyn massacre (April/ May 1940).

It is interesting for me to note that despite all these well-known and easily verifiable facts, most people still are not convinced that it was both Germany and the Soviet Union that started WWII in Europe. To consider the aggression of the Soviet Union not more than a help for Germany is an understatement (albeit the Soviet Union admittedly started the war two weeks later). The explanation for this still widespread interpretation is probably the fact that the Soviet Union later on was an important ally for the UK and the US ("my enemy's enemy is my friend").
Grimald - let us be fair. Without the USSR, Hitler would not have dared to start the war, and without Germany, the USSR would have not dared to start its own war. I think the reason that the Soviet Union is not blamed for the WWII is because, honestly, it alone won the war with Hitler and the loss in manpower was way higher than any other country's, including Germany (although I can not blame Hitler alone for it, the Soviet Union had lousy generals in that war. And a dense megalomaniac as its head). If you ask people of Latvia, Lithuania or Estonia, who started the war, they will tell you, the Soviet Union. But since the Soviet Union did not start the war with France or GB, did not wage the war at the main European military scene, in the eyes of the most historians, and for most Europeans, it is much less culpable. In my personal view, the Soviet Union aggressively invaded its own areas of interest, but the the World War II as such was started by the Germany.

Last edited by arkteia; November 16th, 2012 at 10:15 PM.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 09:30 PM   #14
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At the end, we cannot forget about huge contribution of People of Soviet Union to final victory over Nazi Germany. This is unquestionable achievement of all nations of Soviet Union.
Secondly, as they could not bring freedom to East Europe because they did not have it for themselves, the Soviet occupation (sorry for this word) of Eastern Europe was much more palatable that German occupation.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 09:33 PM   #15

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Agree with all except one point.
Poland did not take part in Munich Dictate and was not in alliance with Germany in Czechoslovakian affairs. It was independent opportunistic action of Poland to recover territory lost to Czechoslovakia in 1919 due to Poland-Czechoslovakian conflict. It was certainly not a friendly act but it was done independently of Munich dictate. Poland position from the very beginning was that Polish minority should have the same right as other minorities in Czechoslovakia (including German minority) and Poland will demand the same solution to this question.
After Munich dictate was signed by Czechoslovakia, I repeat after the act, Poland issue demand for 0.5% of Czechoslovakian territory with Polish minority (30 September next day after Munich dictate was signed), this demand was accepted by Czechoslovakia and Polish Army moved across the border (2 October ) to occupy the small strip (I repeat about 0.5 %) of Czechoslovakia. As Germany also claim part of this area, there was a armed stand between German Army and Polish army in Bogumil which almost changed into shooting contest but it was not in Germany interest to start shooting war with Poland at that time and they withdraw their force from this region. They returned in September 1939.
Since then, Soviet historiography for propaganda reason portrayed this event as an example of Polish close cooperation with Germany.
It was in diplomatic interest of Germany to spread similar disinformation. Soon there was no free Poland to try to correct this disinformation.
I would be glad if somebody can provide any document confirming existence of any agreement between Poland and Germany regarding this tragedy.
Today in Poland there is almost unanimous opinion that annexation Of Tesin Silesia was one of the biggest errors of Polish Second Republic as it provided huge propaganda tools for Soviet Union and Germany at that time. Official Polish Government apologized Czech people many times for this unfriendly act in so difficult time for Czechoslovakia.
Below is a map of Czechoslovakia and territories annexed by Germany (marked 1), Hungary (marked 2 and 3) and Poland (marked 4). Nobody is talking now about Hungary role in this tragedy but Poland which took only small scrap of border territory is at the front of criticism thanks to Soviet and German propaganda of 1938-1939.
Click the image to open in full size.
Edward, I did not even mention Poland. The countries I hold culpable, IMO, are the ones who signed the treaty, the GB, France, Germany and Italy. The politics of GB and France was also a crime, JMO. I did not even comment on Poland, because, (sorry), Poland was not a major player in that game. Neither was Italy, whose main importance was due to unusual affection that Hitler felt towards Mussolini.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 09:43 PM   #16
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Edward, I did not even mention Poland. The countries I hold culpable, IMO, are the ones who signed the treaty, the GB, France, Germany and Italy. The politics of GB and France was also a crime, JMO. I did not even comment on Poland, because, (sorry), Poland was not a major player in that game. Neither was Italy, whose main importance was due to unusual affection that Hitler felt towards Mussolini.
Arkteia, thispost was answer to Tomar post. sorry,arkteia, I editel the heading now.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 10:16 PM   #17

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Edward,
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Old November 16th, 2012, 11:32 PM   #18
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Tomar, I Agree with all except one point.
Poland did not take part in Munich Dictate and was not in alliance with Germany in Czechoslovakian affairs. It was independent opportunistic action of Poland to recover territory lost to Czechoslovakia in 1919 due to Poland-Czechoslovakian conflict. It was certainly not a friendly act but it was done independently of Munich dictate.
After Munich dictate was signed by Czechoslovakia, I repeat after the act, Poland issue demand for 0.5% of Czechoslovakian territory with Polish minority (30 September next day after Munich dictate was signed), this demand was accepted by Czechoslovakia and Polish Army moved across the border (2 October ) to occupy the small strip (I repeat about 0.5 %) of Czechoslovakia. As Germany also claim part of this area, there was a armed stand between German Army and Polish army in Bogumil which almost changed into shooting contest but it was not in Germany interest to start shooting war with Poland at that time and they withdraw their force from this region. They returned in September 1939.
Since then, Soviet historiography for propaganda reason portrayed this event as an example of Polish close cooperation with Germany.
Edward, I am not saying that Poland (which btw was the biggest victim of WW2) was responsible for WW2 or behaved worse than the others.

What I am saying is that ALL european countries behaved very badly. All were opportunistic and pushing their own selfish agenda, hoping that the big bad wolf (Germany) would eat someone else and they would benefit.

Though a what if interesting scenario would be if Poland and Czech stood together in 1938 even with some timid backing from France and UK, probably Germany would have had to back down

Last edited by tomar; November 16th, 2012 at 11:47 PM.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 11:42 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by arkteia View Post
But the question that was asked in this thread related to Russia/USSR, and Russia/USSR meant one person, Stalin. And Stalin was a megalomaniac who, very persistently, was restoring the USSR's pre-revolutionary borders. Hitler was an ideal ally for Stalin.
Molotov-Ribbentrop pact guaranteed the non-involvement of the Soviet Union.
Too easy to blame it all on one person. Uncle Joe was no nice guy but really it was probably a shared decision of the soviet leadership. And likely had YOU (or anyone else) been in charge at the time (without the benefit of hind sight) you would have done something similar.

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Even if Stalin had some far-sighted plans regarding Hitler, as some historians claim, the negotiations could have been prolonged and prolonged. But I do not believe in Stalin's foresight. Paradoxically, this paranoic who did not trust anyone believed Hitler. If there is a term, "politically enamored", this is how he was feeling.
I dont belive in any of that foresight either.

However I dont think Mr Djougatshvili believed Mr Hitler. He seized the opportunity and hoped that Germany would be too busy fighting France and the UK to bother the USSR

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The Soviet Union sent ore, petroleum, food to Germany. Neither France, nor GB, only the Soviet Union. Germany would not have been able to wage a war without these materials. It just did not have the resources.
Actually it was more of an exchange and the USSR was getting machine tools and weapons in exchange. It was supposed to even get a cruiser -which it did not in the end- which had Stalin exstatic (its a double whammy," one more for us and one less for them"). But Germany could have done without these resources.... For example the Oil sent was less than 5% of German production + imports (mainly from Rumania)
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Old November 17th, 2012, 12:52 AM   #20
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Edward, I am not saying that Poland (which btw was the biggest victim of WW2) was responsible for WW2 or behaved worse than the others.

What I am saying is that ALL european countries behaved very badly. All were opportunistic and pushing their own selfish agenda, hoping that the big bad wolf (Germany) would eat someone else and they would benefit.

Though a what if interesting scenario would be if Poland and Czech stood together in 1938 even with some timid backing from France and UK, probably Germany would have had to back down
I have to agree with you on this one.
We have been taking with Arras from this forum about Polish-Czechoslovakian alliance. It was possible by due to personal animosity of Eduard Benes (Czechoslovakia) and Jozef Beck (Poland) it was practically very difficult.
Poland made same attempt to improve relation in 1935 but to not avail. After 1935 there was no real attempt from both sides.
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