What do you think was the ideal course of action for Poland's leadership in 1939?

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
14,268
looking at the situation with cold eyes the least bad policy for Poland would have been to concede a corridor and the return of the independent city of Danzig to Germany
they had no military option , and that was that
the concessions were not going to cost them much , beside bruised pride , and could have gained them time to work out their options
That may have bought some time but not much... since it was already September and then poor season, my best guess is, having gotten Dantzig, the germans would have found some pretext or other and attacked in spring , probably May 1940.....
 
Apr 2017
1,737
U.S.A.
the date of a formal decision to proceed with the genocide of the European Jews is not in doubt

Hitler's Speech to the Reichstag, 30 January, 1939:



In late December , having declared war on the USA , Hitler had a private discussion with Himmler for two days ,
nobody was there , no aids , no secretary , nobody else which was highly unusual
after the end of the years recess , and after a few days delay for the various organisation to get their stuff ready
on the 20th of January 1942 there was this co-ordination conference of various administration
such as the Railways ,the Department of Justice, the Foreign Ministry, the Gestapo, the SS, the Race and Resettlement Office,
and the office in charge of distributing Jewish property.
Also at the meeting was a representative of the General Government, the Polish occupation administration, whose territory included more than 2 million Jews.
The head of Heydrich’s office for Jewish affairs, Adolf Eichmann, prepared the conference notes.

It's pretty clear that the word had been given ,
That's when Hitler began discussing it with others. We don't know for sure when he made the decision himself. When you decide to exterminate an entire race of people, you don't share this until your sure your surrounded by like minded people.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,547
SoCal
That's when Hitler began discussing it with others. We don't know for sure when he made the decision himself. When you decide to exterminate an entire race of people, you don't share this until your sure your surrounded by like minded people.
It's unlike that he made the decision before 1941 since I previously read (OK, on Wikipedia) that just 100,000 Jews or even less than that were murdered by the Nazis in the years before 1941. The Holocaust really ramped up in 1941 after the start of Operation Barbarossa. Had Hitler wanted to begin mass murder earlier, he could have certainly done so--especially after the Fall of France in mid-1940.

Himmler actually denounced the idea of mass murder in mid-1940 as "un-German and impossible":


"One rejects as un-German and impossible the Bolshevist method of physical extermination of a people."
  • The secret memorandum Reflections on the Treatment of Peoples of Alien Races in the East (25 May 1940)
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,547
SoCal
Do we know that for certain? Or is that when he started publicly saying it?
We do know that relatively few Jews were actually murdered by the Nazis before 1941. That, and the fact that the Nazis allowed Jewish emigration until October 1941.

What would that have accomplished? Hitler wanted war, he was just looking for an excuse. Having entire nations given to him by demand was just a bonus. Even if Poland gave him everything he wanted, they would just end up like Czechoslovakia. As long as hitler is in charge of Germany, Poland was on the chopping block.
Removing the Germans from Poland would have removed one potential casus belli for Hitler.
 
Apr 2017
1,737
U.S.A.
We do know that relatively few Jews were actually murdered by the Nazis before 1941. That, and the fact that the Nazis allowed Jewish emigration until October 1941.



Removing the Germans from Poland would have removed one potential casus belli for Hitler.
Your missing the point, Hitler may have decided on genocide years earlier but not said anything to anyone about it because he knew it would be seen as evil and unproductive. He waited and slowly built up hate in public opinion and convinced (or replaced) those closest to him of its importance. People with extreme ideas often don't start shouting them out as soon as they have them, they meticulously wait and set the stage for it.

Hitler didn't need a reason to invade Poland, he would just make one up if needed.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,644
Sydney
The decision to "eliminate useless mouths " was also motivated by the rationing situation , for the first time , the German bread ration was cut
the Nazis were very sensitive to the famine as a factor for the loss of WW1 ,
see Lizzie Collingham "the taste of War "
I strongly recommend the Book , it explain a lot of decisions by the belligerents

the killing of Jews had started in the Soviet Union during the summer of 1941 , as part of a rear area preventive measure against resistance
in a few weeks this was enlarged to all the Jewish population by an enlargement of the initial "target"
from Jewish men of military age to all Jews
but it wasn't organised centrally from Berlin and was concerned only with the Easter front

under increasingly harsh directives , it was implemented by the SS police battalions
with the assistance of local police or militias and the cooperation of the Wehrmacht
 
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