Do you think that Poland's claim to the Recovered Territories or the Zionists' claim to Palestine was more historically legitimate?

Which of these two territorial claims do you believe is more historically legitimate?

  • Poland's claim to the Recovered Territories

  • The Zionists' claim to Palestine


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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
24,534
SoCal
Do you think that Poland's claim to the Recovered Territories or the Zionists' claim to Palestine was historically more legitimate? For the record, the Recovered Territories are the territories that Poland acquired after the end of World War II:



These territories belonged to Poland back during the Middle Ages but not during the several centuries right before 1945:



In 1945, most of these territories (everything other than Upper Silesia and Masuria) were overwhelmingly German--and even the Poles in Masuria were largely Protestant and had mostly German souls and mostly German loyalties. Indeed, out of all of the people who lived in a lot of the Recovered Territories in 1950, only a small fraction of them already lived in these territories back in 1939:



So, yeah, the overwhelming majority of the Poles who lived in a lot of the Recovered Territories in 1950 were post-1945 migrants to these territories. Most of these territories might have been Polish-majority back during the Middle Ages, but certainly not in 1939 or probably even in 1500.

Meanwhile, the Zionists laid a claim on Palestine because that's where their ancestors had lived 2,000 years ago. However, the overwhelming majority of Zionists haven't actually lived in Palestine for centuries or even millennia. So, like with the Polish claim to the Recovered Territories, the Zionists' claim to Palestine was based on historical grounds rather than on the wishes of the current inhabitants of these territories. Also, just like with the Polish claim to the Recovered Territories, the Zionists' claim to Palestine and the resulting warfare involved mass expulsions of Palestinian Arabs--though the Zionists were less thorough in their ethnic cleansing than the Poles were in theirs.

Anyway, which of these two claims do you believe was more historically legitimate? Personally, I am currently leaning in favor of Poland's claim to the Recovered Territories because they involved a time gap of something like 700 or 800 years rather than 2,000 years, but I nevertheless want to hear everyone else's thoughts on this question of mine. :)
 
Jan 2019
215
Finland
I think both claims to 'elder' lands is irrevelant. They both have a claim to the lands they now have presence in in their respective states by virtue of having their states there. It's tautological for sure, but I don't know how else to put it. Maybe in terms of nationalism: the nation-state is the people, not lines on a map.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
24,534
SoCal
I think both claims to 'elder' lands is irrevelant. They both have a claim to the lands they now have presence in in their respective states by virtue of having their states there. It's tautological for sure, but I don't know how else to put it. Maybe in terms of nationalism: the nation-state is the people, not lines on a map.
OK, but what about before 1945? Which side do you think then had the more legitimate claim?
 
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Theodoric

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
3,045
Yötebory Sveriya
Poland’s lands make geographical sense. The main issue with Israel is that the people already living there were already descended from the Israelis of ancient time and simply had a brand change. It would be like if suddenly a bunch of US Puritans decided to invade England and found a Puritan state because England was once the home of the Puritans. It’s one of the weirdest justifications for a nation state, and one of the weirdest places to put one - but in the end they’re really just a colony of the US to have nukes constantly threatening the lives of the people’s in the region. Most of the Jewish people there are victims too, victims of misguided belief systems that makes for a convenient justification for this colony.

I’m not saying the Israeli people of today need to go. But those that cling to this weird idolatry of the state, entitled culture and genetic groups that they now consider superior under Israeli state laws is clearly fascist in nature. That needs to end peacefully or it’s destined to end violently.
 
Apr 2017
1,785
U.S.A.
Poland only "ruled" Silesia (before 1945) from 996 -1325 (during much of the later it was autonomous and contested). Excluding Upper Silesia, it had a large German majority before 1945. Many Silesians did not strongly identify as "Polish," even to this day.

East Prussia was only ruled from 1466-1657 (and autonomous during this period). It did not have a significant Polish population before 1945.

Pomerelia (west Prussia) was ruled by the Poles from 940ish-1060 (a part of which they were independent) and 1116-1309 (during most of which it was semi-independent) and again 1466-1772.

Pomerania (excluding the eastern part that became known as Pomerelia) was ruled by Poland 1000-1025 and 1122-1138. After that it was mostly German ruled and populated until 1945. The original Pomeranians (excluding the eastern Pomerelia area) also did not strongly identify as Polish and fiercely resisted their rule.

So the only area Poland had a strong claim to before 1945 was Pomerelia.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
24,534
SoCal
Nobody believes that Poland got the 'recovered territories' due to a historical claim. It got them so that Stalin could keep the spoils of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
The historical claim probably helped legitimate this annexation in the eyes of the Polish people, though. One could say that since Hitler's wars of expansion were the ultimate expression of the Ostsiedlung (indeed, Hitler used the Ostsiedlung as an inspiration for his territorial expansion), it made sense that once Hitler lost the war, the Ostsiedlung should be reversed to the greatest extent possible. So, after 1945, the territorial situation in Eastern Europe began looking much more like it was back in the year 1000.

Poland only "ruled" Silesia (before 1945) from 996 -1325 (during much of the later it was autonomous and contested). Excluding Upper Silesia, it had a large German majority before 1945. Many Silesians did not strongly identify as "Polish," even to this day.

East Prussia was only ruled from 1466-1657 (and autonomous during this period). It did not have a significant Polish population before 1945.
East Prussia actually did have a significant Polish population in its southern part:



Red = German; Blue = Polish; Green = Lithuanian on this map.

It's worth noting, though, that the Poles in southern East Prussia (Masuria) were actually mostly Protestant and overwhelmingly voted to remain part of Germany in 1920:



The second map here is the relevant one. 98% of Masurians voted for Germany in 1920.

Pomerelia (west Prussia) was ruled by the Poles from 940ish-1060 (a part of which they were independent) and 1116-1309 (during most of which it was semi-independent) and again 1466-1772.

Pomerania (excluding the eastern part that became known as Pomerelia) was ruled by Poland 1000-1025 and 1122-1138. After that it was mostly German ruled and populated until 1945. The original Pomeranians (excluding the eastern Pomerelia area) also did not strongly identify as Polish and fiercely resisted their rule.
What did they identify as in the Middle Ages?

So the only area Poland had a strong claim to before 1945 was Pomerelia.
What about western Upper Silesia and Masuria?

Also, FTR, I never said that Poland's claim to these territories were strong, now did I? BTW, what are your thoughts on the Zionists' claim to Palestine?