A pro-German Intermarium is created after Germany wins WWI

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
13,833
SoCal
#1
What if, after a German and Central Powers WWI victory, Germany would have come to its senses and created a pro-German Intermarium consisting of Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, and the Baltic states?

Basically, the logic behind this would have been to keep Russia down at minimal cost to Germany. Also, let's say that the government structure of this Intermarium would have been similar to that of the U.S.--specifically with a House of Representatives based on population and a Senate with an equal number of seats for each of its members (as well as a Supreme Court and all that).

How would such an Intermarium have developed? Would it have been a success, or would ethnic tensions have eventually torn it apart? Also, how well would it have fared economically?

In addition to this, would Russia try allying with this Intermarium and pulling it out of the German orbit or would it be hostile to this Intermarium due to it controlling a bunch of territory which Russia has historically controlled?

Any thoughts on all of this?
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,386
Dispargum
#2
These peoples at that time had no experience with democracy. I doubt democracy would have lasted very long. Eventually a dictator or other strong man would have emerged. Why would imperial Germany establish a democracy anyway? Wilhelm II would likely have created a new kingdom and put one of his relatives on the throne. Or, if the Romanovs were overthrown in Russia, maybe Wilhelm would have put a Romanov on the throne of this new kingdom. That would ensure that this intermarium would remain hostile to the USSR or whatever post-war Russia is called.

A Romanov or other foreign king would find it difficult to establish any kind of bond or loyalty with these subjects.

It would have an overwhelmingly agricultural economy. Without industrialization, this intermarium would develop no real military power. No one would really want this intermarium to develop it own power anyway.

I don't think this intermarium would survive the 20th century. It would go the way of Czechoslavakia and Yugoslavia, both artificial countries with multiple ethnic groups.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
13,833
SoCal
#3
These peoples at that time had no experience with democracy. I doubt democracy would have lasted very long. Eventually a dictator or other strong man would have emerged. Why would imperial Germany establish a democracy anyway? Wilhelm II would likely have created a new kingdom and put one of his relatives on the throne. Or, if the Romanovs were overthrown in Russia, maybe Wilhelm would have put a Romanov on the throne of this new kingdom. That would ensure that this intermarium would remain hostile to the USSR or whatever post-war Russia is called.
1. Germany itself was going to become a British-style constitutional monarchy even if the Central Powers had won World War I. Indeed, a similar arrangement could have been made here.

2. Putting the Romanovs in charge of this Intermarium is a very bad idea since they could try to unify this Intermarium with Russia in the event that the Bolsheviks ever lose power in Russia.

A Romanov or other foreign king would find it difficult to establish any kind of bond or loyalty with these subjects.
Yes, and I explained above why it's a very bad idea to put a Romanov in charge of this Intermarium.

It would have an overwhelmingly agricultural economy. Without industrialization, this intermarium would develop no real military power. No one would really want this intermarium to develop it own power anyway.
Actually, it would be in Germany's interest for this Intermarium to develop its own military power since that will allow Germany not to spend as much on its own military. After all, there would be less of a need for German military protection if this Intermarium has its own large military.

Also, for this reason, it would be in Germany's interest to help this Intermarium industrialize and economically develop.

I don't think this intermarium would survive the 20th century. It would go the way of Czechoslavakia and Yugoslavia, both artificial countries with multiple ethnic groups.
Maybe, but then again, neither India, nor Nigeria, nor the European Union went the way of Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and the Soviet Union in our TL.
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,308
US
#4
I can't imagine Germany giving much say to the minorities within their nation. All one has to do is look at the German treatment of Poles right up to the start of the Great War. Read about the Kulturkampf. It was Bismarck's way or no way. Many simply migrated out of eastern Germany and that pleased the Germans just fine. More room for them. Before Lebensraum was the Ostsiedlung and then the H-K-T Society in the German eastern marches: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Eastern_Marches_Society
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
13,833
SoCal
#5
I can't imagine Germany giving much say to the minorities within their nation. All one has to do is look at the German treatment of Poles right up to the start of the Great War. Read about the Kulturkampf. It was Bismarck's way or no way. Many simply migrated out of eastern Germany and that pleased the Germans just fine. More room for them. Before Lebensraum was the Ostsiedlung and then the H-K-T Society in the German eastern marches: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Eastern_Marches_Society
Yes, I am well-aware of this. However, Imperial Germany's Polonophobic policies also appear to be very stupid; after all, why alienate a part of your population?
 
May 2015
1,001
The Netherlands
#6
What if, after a German and Central Powers WWI victory, Germany would have come to its senses and created a pro-German Intermarium consisting of Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, and the Baltic states?

Basically, the logic behind this would have been to keep Russia down at minimal cost to Germany. Also, let's say that the government structure of this Intermarium would have been similar to that of the U.S.--specifically with a House of Representatives based on population and a Senate with an equal number of seats for each of its members (as well as a Supreme Court and all that).

How would such an Intermarium have developed? Would it have been a success, or would ethnic tensions have eventually torn it apart? Also, how well would it have fared economically?

In addition to this, would Russia try allying with this Intermarium and pulling it out of the German orbit or would it be hostile to this Intermarium due to it controlling a bunch of territory which Russia has historically controlled?

Any thoughts on all of this?
Something I'm pretty sure you'll be interested to read about is this:

"At the beginning of the war, some German planners thought that cultivating the good will of the region’s Jews should be an important strategic goal. To this end, largely at the suggestion of German Zionist leader Max Bodenheimer, the German Foreign Ministry enlisted the aid of German Jewish leaders in spreading anti-Russian propaganda in the areas of heaviest Jewish settlement. Immediately following the German–Austrian proclamation of 17 August 1914, Bodenheimer and other German Zionists organized a Committee for Liberating the Russian Jews, whose goal was to promote the establishment of a multinational buffer state under German protection in the borderlands between Germany and Russia, in which the Jews, as one of the state’s constituent national-ities, would take advantage of the linguistic affinity between German and Yiddish to foster German influence in the region."

Source: YIVO | World War I

I'm reluctant to see it as a viable option, given the sheer size of the area and the nationalism of the Poles. More realistically, Germany could have created a NATO-like block of separate countries by encouraging nationalism and anti-Russian sentiments in the borderlands of the Russian empire.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
13,833
SoCal
#7
Something I'm pretty sure you'll be interested to read about is this:

"At the beginning of the war, some German planners thought that cultivating the good will of the region’s Jews should be an important strategic goal. To this end, largely at the suggestion of German Zionist leader Max Bodenheimer, the German Foreign Ministry enlisted the aid of German Jewish leaders in spreading anti-Russian propaganda in the areas of heaviest Jewish settlement. Immediately following the German–Austrian proclamation of 17 August 1914, Bodenheimer and other German Zionists organized a Committee for Liberating the Russian Jews, whose goal was to promote the establishment of a multinational buffer state under German protection in the borderlands between Germany and Russia, in which the Jews, as one of the state’s constituent national-ities, would take advantage of the linguistic affinity between German and Yiddish to foster German influence in the region."

Source: YIVO | World War I

I'm reluctant to see it as a viable option, given the sheer size of the area and the nationalism of the Poles. More realistically, Germany could have created a NATO-like block of separate countries by encouraging nationalism and anti-Russian sentiments in the borderlands of the Russian empire.
The U.S., Canada, Australia, and Russia (within its current borders) are extremely large countries and yet are perfectly viable, though.

Also, as for the Poles, wouldn't they be glad that they are free from Russian rule and that they (along with the Ukrainians) are one of the largest ethnic groups in this union?

As for the other ethnic groups in such a union, the large size of the Ukrainian population should be enough to protect them from Polish chauvinism. Plus, the government structure of such a union can be set up in a way similar to the U.S. government structure (for instance, an equal number of seats in the Senate for every state).

In addition to this, wouldn't it make sense to at least integrate and unify the militaries of Germany's various Eastern European puppet states? After all, I don't think that it would be a very good idea for the German military to remain extremely large and constantly on alert because its Eastern European puppet states are so weak!
 
May 2015
1,001
The Netherlands
#8
The US, Canada and Australia are different in the sense that they have one overarching ethnicity or nationality. Russia is a multi-national state, but it is completely dominated by the Slavic Russians.

As the Germans discovered in the Russian border lands, there were a lot of mixed areas. It would have been difficult to create a viable state that would not have succumbed to Balkanization. Polish nationalists loved to see a revival of the old Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth during or after World War One, but there was little support for it in Lithuania. The Poles were too powerful and would have called all shots. Also, there would have been immense ethnic rivalry between the Polish and Ukrainians in mixed areas. Only the White-Russians, which barely possessed a national conciousness, could have been won over with relative ease.
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,308
US
#9
Yes, I am well-aware of this. However, Imperial Germany's Polonophobic policies also appear to be very stupid; after all, why alienate a part of your population?
Bismarck and his allies saw them as a threat to German unity. They were expected to be germanized for the good of the empire. As I previously posted, many emigrated out in the late 19th century with the Prussian/German blessing. Their freights were even arranged, at times, by the government.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
13,833
SoCal
#10
The US, Canada and Australia are different in the sense that they have one overarching ethnicity or nationality. Russia is a multi-national state, but it is completely dominated by the Slavic Russians.
OK, but what about India or Nigeria?

As the Germans discovered in the Russian border lands, there were a lot of mixed areas. It would have been difficult to create a viable state that would not have succumbed to Balkanization. Polish nationalists loved to see a revival of the old Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth during or after World War One, but there was little support for it in Lithuania. The Poles were too powerful and would have called all shots.
Actually, Polish and Ukrainian numbers were probably about equal during this time. Thus, it wouldn't have been a Polish-dominated union.

Also, there would have been immense ethnic rivalry between the Polish and Ukrainians in mixed areas.
What about doing a population exchange as the lesser evil, though?

Only the White-Russians, which barely possessed a national conciousness, could have been won over with relative ease.
OK.

Anyway, what about an integrated, unified military for Germany's Eastern European puppet states but otherwise keeping them separate and independent?