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Old November 19th, 2012, 05:08 AM   #41

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By 1939, Ukrainians and (to a lesser extent) Belarussians had developed strong determination to form their own separate states, independent of both of Poland and of USSR. They had every right to do so and their wish should have been respected.
Antonina, Poles brutally repressed both Bielorusian but especially Ukrainian movements of independence. Poles did not acted to Bielorusians and Ukrainians any better than USSR.

Short overview: Wikipedia: Galicia and Volhynia under Polish rule

This animosity continued until after war when Bandera and remains of his army fought Poles and few of them managed to fight through Poland and Czechoslovakia to Western Germany.

Last edited by arras; November 19th, 2012 at 05:15 AM.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 05:49 AM   #42

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One could not, Grimald, unless "one" equals Soviet perspective.
...
Antonina, as you probably suspect it is not my aim to defend the Soviet perspective (also not the Nazi perspective, by the way...). Although I see the main reason for WWII in an expansionist, aggressive Germany, I am also aware that the Soviet Union at that time was not innocent and can be understood as complicit in starting the war. However, this does not appear to be the current consensus, which identifies Germany as the sole and only culprit in starting WWII.

That is why I try to understand the Soviet (and in part: Western) point of view and find reasons why the Soviet invasions and occupations in 1939/40 are viewed as less severe than the German ones. At least, there is already some evidence from the sequence of events themselves: The pact of assistance between Poland and France/ the UK was not general, but was specificly limited to a German attack. Thus, France and the UK did not have to declare war when Poland was attacked by the Soviet Union. Moreover, as mentioned by another poster, Poland herself obviously didn't declare war on the Soviet Union after the invasion and occupation.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 05:51 AM   #43

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Antonina, Poles brutally repressed both Bielorusian but especially Ukrainian movements of independence.
Yes, the government of the II Polish Republic did repress Belarusian and Ukrainian movements of independence - and it was absolutely wrong as I emphatically said more than once on the forum.

As to the brutality I would agree only partially and venture to argue. I've been reading a great deal about the issue recently (including reports of Polish-Lithuanian discussion panels published in six volumes... yes, I'm really very much into the topic, my folks originally hailing from Galicia.)

To give an example: 25 September 1921 a group of Ukrainian nationalists from Ukrajinśka Wijśkowa Orhanizacija (УВО) made an attempt to assasinate Józef Piłsudski, the Polish head of state. They were tried and sentenced to a few years in prison. The would-be assasin Fedak received a sentence of 6 years. Two members of the group - Dmytro Palijiw and Mychajło Matczak - eventually became MPs to the Polish Parliament.

Contemplate the fate of Ukrainian nationalists who'd have attempted to assasinate Josif Stalin.

Last edited by antonina; November 19th, 2012 at 06:31 AM.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 05:58 AM   #44

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OK, lets say repression was less severe (although there are also examples of much harsher treating of Ukrainians). But what than makes you think Ukrainian wish for independence (which you state was strong by 1939) would be respected?
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Old November 19th, 2012, 06:12 AM   #45

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Antonina, as you probably suspect it is not my aim to defend the Soviet perspective (also not the Nazi perspective, by the way...). Although I see the main reason for WWII in an expansionist, aggressive Germany, I am also aware that the Soviet Union at that time was not innocent and can be understood as complicit in starting the war. However, this does not appear to be the current consensus, which identifies Germany as the sole and only culprit in starting WWII.
The truth of the matter, Grimald, is that Western (European and American) historiography was shaped in the decades following WWII to the enforced absence and silence of nations cut off by the Iron Curtain.

These nations now demand a share in describing and interpreting European history according to their own experience. If their version of events does not quite tally with what Westerners have so far accepted as common knowledge, than perhaps Western common knowledge should be adjusted.

In the recent years, with access to Eastern European sources and archives, some very reputable Western historians have ventured to challenge ossified notions and and supplement swathes of information so-far lacking in historical discourse. See T.Snyder's "Bloodlands" or Norman Davies' "Vanished Kingdoms".

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That is why I try to understand the Soviet (and in part: Western) point of view and find reasons why the Soviet invasions and occupations in 1939/40 are viewed as less severe than the German ones.
The reason why Soviet invasions/occupations are viewed as less severe are as mentioned above (the muzzling of victims of these invasions/occupations for half of the 20th century) But there's also another - Western academic circles have always been particularly susceptible to communist propaganda and inherently sentimental about USSR. Therefore, accounts of victims of the Red terror were treated with incredulity and dimissed in a way unimaginable in the case of Jewish victims of Black terror.

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Moreover, as mentioned by another poster, Poland herself obviously didn't declare war on the Soviet Union after the invasion and occupation.
That was a major mistake of the government of the II Polish Republic.

Last edited by antonina; November 19th, 2012 at 06:28 AM.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 06:27 AM   #46

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OK, lets say repression was less severe (although there are also examples of much harsher treating of Ukrainians). But what than makes you think Ukrainian wish for independence (which you state was strong by 1939) would be respected?
Very likely it wouldn't, but this is not the point of this thread. The OP concerns the question (though why it should be a question at all I fail to understand): did USSR start WWII together with Germany by invading Poland in September 1939?

This is what we are talking about.

And whatever the errors of the II Polish Republic versus its national minorities, the Soviet attack of 17 September 1939 was nothing but invasion of a sovereign state and grabbing of territory to which Soviet Russia had no claim whatsoever.

The hastily cooked up Stalinist propaganda version of "liberating Belarusian and Ukrainian brethren" was as blatantly riudiculous as the Allies were cynical in pretending to buy it. What the Soviet authorities did was annex and forcibly incorporate Ukrainians, Belarusians and Lithuanians into USSR, destroying not only Polish, but also Lithuanian, Ukrainian and Belarusian aspirations for national independence. Between September 1939 and June 1941 NKVD executed and deported hundreds of thousands of not only Poles, but also Ukrainians, Belarusians, Lithuanians.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 06:41 AM   #47

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Nothing would have happened. Allied "help" to Finland was not so much aimed against USSR as it was aimed at Swedish ore supplies to Germany. Brits largely wanted to intervene in Finland without triggering direct hostilities against Soviets. War in Finland was more of an useful pretext for establishing presence in Scandinavia and either to drag Germans to war there or cut their iron ore supplies.

In any case, there was no way Allies could intervene in Finland because both Norway and Sweden refused to even give Allies permission to transfer their troops through their territory. Germans made it clear to both Norwegians and Swedes that any Allied soldier on their territory would equal German invasion of both Norway and Sweden.
You clearly haven't read the given link. It's was more about Middle East and destroying Baku oil fields than about Sweden ore.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 06:53 AM   #48

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You clearly haven't read the given link. It's was more about Middle East and destroying Baku oil fields than about Sweden ore.
It was not. Attacking Baku was French idea of some kind of attack from the back to which British were not interested. Soldiers which should have been embarked on French and British ships were to sail to Scandinavia, not Middle East. Attack on Baku was newer part of Anglo-French joint action.

French on their own did nothing to attack Baku either. In fact whole idea was to make Turkey attack Russia. Turkey was disinterested and after experiences of WWI maintained neutrality.

All in all, possibility of attack on Baku was even less realistic than Allied action in Scandinavia.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 06:56 AM   #49

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Very likely it wouldn't, but this is not the point of this thread. The OP concerns the question (though why it should be a question at all I fail to understand): did USSR start WWII together with Germany by invading Poland in September 1939?

This is what we are talking about.
Well it was you who claimed that Poland would gave independence to Ukrainians and Bielorusians. I just wanted to know, why do you think so.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 07:03 AM   #50

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Attack on Baku was newer part of Anglo-French joint action.
More looks like the very reading about Operation Pike was never your intention. Sorry arras. You're definitely talking about something else. Perhaps sort of conspiracy to which I'm not familiar.
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