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Thread: How Poles Helped Germans ...

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    Default How Poles Helped Germans ...

    My comments on Gliczynski's book "How Poles Helped Germans ..." are at:

    http://pages.csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/glicz.html

    Please share this link with those who might be interested, especially your Polish friends.

    Ludwik

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    Default Re: How Poles Helped Germans ...

    Is there a book on how involved the Jewish NKVD members were in organising Katyn?

    Or opposing Allied assistance in the Warsaw Uprising?

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    Default Re: How Poles Helped Germans ...

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I don't understand Polish but I would like to read the book if/when it is published in English.

    The relationship between the occupying Germans being assisted by the people in the country to hurt Jews is interesting because it seems like some countries were more welcoming to Germans than others. I've heard Jews refer to Ukrainians, for example, as "worse than the Germans." From what I've heard (and I may be incorrect), it seems like the Ukrainians preferred German rule, over Soviet rule, while the Poles preferred their own rule. Maybe it is possible that the anti-Semitic behavior of the Poles was due to religious reasons while the anti-Semitic behavior of the Ukrainians was due to political reasons. After all, from what I've read, it seems like the Germans were MUCH harder on the Poles than on the Ukrainians.

    And J.A.W., I'm not going to defend the actions of the Jewish NKVD members at Katyn but that was not an attack on a religion...I'm sure that there were a number of Jewish Poles murdered there as well. Jewish partisan actions were also on a much smaller scale compared to the Anti-semitism of the Polish population.

    I'm not familiar enough with the Jewish resistance to Allied assitance during the Warsaw Uprising.

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    Default Re: How Poles Helped Germans ...

    I doubt that NKVD Jews were religious..
    [or if indeed - there were Jewish officers in the Polish forces at Katyn..]
    .. but if they were in any way favourably disposed to their
    co-ethnic brethren.. well that is another question..

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    Default Re: How Poles Helped Germans ...

    Poles generally did not help Germans, moreover there are accounts of attrocities against German nationals before outbreak of war. Poles should have been wiser - war costed them dearly.

    Baltic countries, Finland and Romania however were very much inclined to be German ally as they were directly threatened or absorbed in Communist SU. Idea that Germany conquered all of Europe against it's will is not entirely true. Parts of eastern Europe obviously welcomed them as liberators. Fact that Germans commited attrocities in Ukraine is another matter and testament to Hitler's stupid policies.

    Curiosity as to why anti-Semitisam sentiment was and is very strong in many countries deserves its own topic.
    Last edited by witman111; 06-07-2013 at 08:02 AM.

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    Default Re: How Poles Helped Germans ...

    Quote Originally Posted by witman111 View Post
    Curiosity as to why anti-Semitisam sentiment was and is very strong in many countries deserves its own topic.
    Jews were direct targets of nationalists' hatred because their presence as money-lenders, doctors, attorneys, entrepreneurs, and wealthy individuals made the nationalist ideologues uncomfortable; the nationalist ideologues were unwilling to accept the Jews' contributions to society because these people, in their eyes, were the symbols of decadent modernity, where commercialism and finance were the new status symbols, not land and title, as in the past. Now, for the first time in history, conducting business was a respectable pursuit, not excluded to the burghers and artisans in the emerging cities.

    What I described was especially true in Poland, where Jews were considered of a different nationality, not to be confused with ethnic Polish Roman Catholics. When I was a young boy, Jews could not sit in desks at the front of the classroom, they had to occupy "ghetto" desks near the back (some stood in protest). But typically, Jews lived in their own communities, where they attended Jewish schools and wore the traditional orthodox Jewish attire, which made them easy victims. Also, since Jews in these communities predominantly spoke Yiddish (some individuals were bilingual, speaking Yiddish at home and Polish in the streets), it is not difficult to see why the ethnic antagonism existed in the first place. In America, that antagonism is very faint because the country is a melting pot for all different nationalities; in Poland, where homogeneity is a rule, and nationalism sacred, it is easy to paint stereotypes of the Jews and foster ethnic tensions between the Roman Catholic Poles and Jews, especially since Jews are often associated with modernity, and pose a challenge to Roman Dmowski's "Poland for the Poles," since Jews greatly contributed to Polish society, in demographic statistics and business.
    Last edited by Kregs; 06-08-2013 at 10:44 PM.

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    Default Re: How Poles Helped Germans ...

    Quote Originally Posted by flyerhell View Post
    The relationship between the occupying Germans being assisted by the people in the country to hurt Jews is interesting because it seems like some countries were more welcoming to Germans than others.
    The Polish arrogant authorities in Galicia unknowingly encouraged this welcoming, I believe. Also, Ukrainians see the Jews and Poles as parasitic people that profit from their nationalistic struggles and years of blood, sweat and toil in the fields.


    Quote Originally Posted by flyerhell View Post
    Maybe it is possible that the anti-Semitic behavior of the Poles was due to religious reasons while the anti-Semitic behavior of the Ukrainians was due to political reasons.
    For Poles living in urban Warsaw, anti-Semitic behavior was largely political (ethnic quotas and ghetto benches in the universities were popular mechanisms for keeping the professions "open" and "pure" for ethnic Poles), while for Poles eking out a meager existence in the countryside, anti-Semitic behavior was largely religious, as the Jews were held responsible for not accepting Jesus as the Savior and his subsequent murder; this view was accepted by rural Polish priests and expounded in church literature in the pews. As for Ukrainians, see above.


    Quote Originally Posted by flyerhell View Post
    I'm not going to defend the actions of the Jewish NKVD members at Katyn but that was not an attack on a religion.
    I imagine that the Jewish NKVD members carried out the murder on Stalin's orders. I don't think that the Katyn murder had anything to do with ethnicity but much to do with ideology, as most senior (and some junior) officer corps members descended from the landed aristocracy (the old, displaced Polish gentry, lauded by Polish authors in past centuries "as the protectors of the Polish nation"), and were the perfect bourgeoisie prototype, as expounded in Leninist ideology, although I am not entirely what role ideology played in Stalin's decision to murder these individuals. I don't think documentation exists, unfortunately.

    Quote Originally Posted by flyerhell View Post
    I'm not familiar enough with the Jewish resistance to Allied assitance during the Warsaw Uprising.
    I don't think that there was much Jewish resistance to Allied assistance, as the Germans were still arresting and deporting them to the ghetto or the concentration camp, and this terrifying thought, the thought that I'm next, must have been a compelling reason to avoid resistance. When I was a resistance member, I remember there were quite a few Jewish AK soldiers who desired a prosperous Poland and a defeated Germany, although some nationalist factions in our resistance wanted none of this ethnic mingling. My Halina, for example, was a Jewish nurse and saboteur for the AK, but my actions caused my nationalist comrades to look at me with scorn. Many Polish Jews joined the Communist underground, although ethnic Poles were well-represented in this area.
    Last edited by Kregs; 06-08-2013 at 11:48 PM.

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    Default Re: How Poles Helped Germans ...

    Quote Originally Posted by witman111 View Post
    Poles generally did not help Germans, moreover there are accounts of attrocities against German nationals before outbreak of war. Poles should have been wiser - war costed them dearly.

    Baltic countries, Finland and Romania however were very much inclined to be German ally as they were directly threatened or absorbed in Communist SU. Idea that Germany conquered all of Europe against it's will is not entirely true. Parts of eastern Europe obviously welcomed them as liberators. Fact that Germans commited attrocities in Ukraine is another matter and testament to Hitler's stupid policies.

    Curiosity as to why anti-Semitisam sentiment was and is very strong in many countries deserves its own topic.
    Many Polish did help the Germans and for many reasons not least of all survival. Many polish people also suffered the fate of suddenly being declared German and the males finding themselves eligible for service in the Wehrmacht.

    The occupied countries are very complicated to actually determine how much active collaboration, passive assistance or coerced help was given to the Axis forces as a percentage of the population.

    How could the Polish people have been wiser, at the time nationalism was rife in all countries and Germany was flexing its muscles and making demands. They refused German demands and looking at Hitlers record it would have made no difference if they had accepted they would still have been invaded and occupied. Both Stalin and Hitler wanted Poland out of the way or closely under their respective spheres of influence.
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

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    Default Re: How Poles Helped Germans ...

    Quote Originally Posted by witman111 View Post
    Poles should have been wiser - war costed them dearly.
    1. Nazis should not have invaded Poland.
    2. 'War' cost the Poles dearly only because of Nazi aggression.
    3. 'Poles should have been wiser' ranks with the most idiotic comments I have seen on WWII in general and the Nazi invasion of Poland in particular.

    Anyone who can demonstrate that an outbreak of wisdom in Poland would have avoided Hitler's move eastwards will be allowed to suck the crotch of my unwashed underpants, although disappointingly for you without me in them, as a suitably shitty reward for putting up a shitty argument.

    witman, You are about a micron away from confirming my view as a moderator that you are a pro-Nazi troll rather than just an ignorant ****wit and that this board would be better without your moronic comments, and that you're about to go the way of Poland. You should have been wiser.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: How Poles Helped Germans ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kregs View Post
    Jews were direct targets of nationalists' hatred because their presence as money-lenders, doctors, attorneys, entrepreneurs, and wealthy individuals made the nationalist ideologues uncomfortable; the nationalist ideologues were unwilling to accept the Jews' contributions to society because these people, in their eyes, were the symbols of decadent modernity, where commercialism and finance were the new status symbols, not land and title, as in the past. Now, for the first time in history, conducting business was a respectable pursuit, not excluded to the burghers and artisans in the emerging cities.
    This goes towards the perplexing issue of the prominence of Jews in various liberal, anti-government and revolutionary movements in Europe in the late 19th and 20th centuries, contrasted with the prominence of Jews as the enforcers and persecutors in revolutionary oppression during and following the Russian Revolution in which Jews played a major part before some of them became victims of those enforcers and persecutors.

    Part of the targeting of Jews in various circumstances was no more than the usual recognition by revolutionary communists that the threat to their sudden gaining of control came from those likely to lead a revolution against them, being in that period the better educated such as doctors, lawyers, teachers etc, amongst whom there were many Jews, who had been prominent in the initial revolution.

    But there was also the steady European undercurrent of antipathy towards Jews, which I don't understand and can't begin to explain beyond some sense of envy directed at Jews as the supposed rich and privileged.

    I wonder whether it was just the same sort of European folk memory which even now views the Romany as a bunch of marauding crooks (and not without some justification, as they reach even down here in Australia on their various thieving raids) and which saw Jews as the grasping usurers outside the main society and which justified Shylock being deprived of his wealth and forced to convert to Christianity?

    Whereas, person for person of any faith or heritage, Jews have been astonishing in their contributions to and achievements in fields from science to medicine to the arts. So why the enduring hostility to Jews?

    (I don't want this to get into the quite separate issues of hostility to Zionists and Israel, even if Zionism and Israel are understandable results of hostility to Jews through the ages.)
    ..
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    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: How Poles Helped Germans ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    This goes towards the perplexing issue of the prominence of Jews in various liberal, anti-government and revolutionary movements in Europe in the late 19th and 20th centuries, contrasted with the prominence of Jews as the enforcers and persecutors in revolutionary oppression during and following the Russian Revolution in which Jews played a major part before some of them became victims of those enforcers and persecutors.
    Forgive me for speaking so prematurely, Rising Sun. I forgot about this perplexing issue that is so important to antisemitism and fuels Anti-Semitics' fire so often, namely the Jew as the oppressor and the interloper in European society. I can only use examples from Poland's turbulent history, as I know it better. According to anti-Semitics in Poland, Jews protested against the formation of the Polish state, refused to honorably serve in the armed forces, and demanded ethnic segregation in Jewish ghettos, so as not to mingle with the Gentile Polish population. In Silesia, Jews were seen as oppressors because they "forced" the Poles to work in the mines and vote against the region's incorporation in the 1919 plebiscite. Such thinking is in line with the folklore of the Jewish interloper in history, although Jews elsewhere in Europe tended to identify with their country of residence than religion, indicating that assimilation breeds apathy (such was the case in Germany, where Jews overwhelmingly identified themselves as Germans, rather than Jews).

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    So why the enduring hostility to Jews?
    I'm afraid that I cannot do this question justice because of the answer's perplexity. I have a range of theories, such as envy, growing backlash against modern ethnic diversity, and fear, but I don't think any of my theories are conclusive and will yield a single answer. In America, neo-Nazis are similar to the Ku Klux Klan in their intense hatred of racial minorities and an emerging diverse society, but a lot of that anger stems from fear, I think. Fear of the future, fear of change, and fear of displacement are ruling the minds of young rebels, and Jews are the prime targets because of their visibility. Humans are self-interested, complex beings that explaining hostility is difficult, if not impossible. As my mother used to say to me, "Henik (diminutive of my name), Człowiek człowiekowi wilkiem (Man is wolf to Man)."
    Last edited by Kregs; 06-09-2013 at 07:57 PM.

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    Default Re: How Poles Helped Germans ...

    Quote Originally Posted by witman111 View Post
    Poles should have been wiser - war costed them dearly.
    I am saddened by your comment, witman. Poland did not deserve its fate, as described in this forum. Hitler desired complete annihilation of the Versailles Treaty and would not stop at diplomacy to obtain the power he coveted. He is the living embodiment of the erroneous, crash principal that "the ends justifies the means," and, therefore, plunged Germany into the abyss of guilt and shame long after the war ended. As a Pole who lost his family to the Germans, I doubt that wisdom and caution would have prevented Hitler's invasion, as his rigid mindset prevented any form of conciliation or compromise to his enemies, no matter the calamity his country would have avoided if had he thought and acted otherwise.

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    Default Re: How Poles Helped Germans ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kregs View Post
    ... although Jews elsewhere in Europe tended to identify with their country of residence than religion, indicating that assimilation breeds apathy (such was the case in Germany, where Jews overwhelmingly identified themselves as Germans, rather than Jews).
    That was certainly the case in Germany, and in the German forces, in WWI where many German Jews served and were killed in action. http://www.germanjewishsoldiers.com/epilogue.php

    Indeed, Hitler was recommended for his Iron Cross 1st class, normally awarded only to officers, by his Jewish company commander, Hugo Gutmann, who was stripped of his German citizenship, persecuted as a Jew and forced to escape from Germany by the anti-Semitic laws introduced by Hitler and his regime.

    I doubt that assimilation breeds apathy. It is more likely the case that some of the dominant group in many communities harbour undisclosed resentment towards various minorities or can be encouraged to adopt those resentments which, under certain circumstances, can give rise to pogroms and concentration camps and death camps and, in an entirely different context with entirely different religions, the oppression and butchery of Muslims (and others) which took place in former Yugoslavia in the 1990s despite decades of peace previously (although the violent religious history during WWII wasn't that long ago). And countless other examples across all cultures and in modern times well after the Nazis had been defeated, such as Rwanda and Kampuchea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kregs View Post
    I'm afraid that I cannot do this question justice because of the answer's perplexity. I have a range of theories, such as envy, growing backlash against modern ethnic diversity, and fear, but I don't think any of my theories are conclusive and will yield a single answer. In America, neo-Nazis are similar to the Ku Klux Klan in their intense hatred of racial minorities and an emerging diverse society, but a lot of that anger stems from fear, I think. Fear of the future, fear of change, and fear of displacement are ruling the minds of young rebels, and Jews are the prime targets because of their visibility. Humans are self-interested, complex beings that explaining hostility is difficult, if not impossible. As my mother used to say to me, "Henik (diminutive of my name), Człowiek człowiekowi wilkiem (Man is wolf to Man)."
    I think it may be a lot more complicated than that, as shown by the bizarre emergence of neo-Nazis in Israel which suggests the the lack of assimilation might contribute to such thoughts and actions in that case as it is almost exclusively Russian immigrants who have failed to assimilate who have been involved in that movement and its crimes. Or perhaps it is quite simple in being essentially that all societies have in them a proportion of people who like violence for its own sake and find it even more attractive when bound up with some notion which unites them in directing their violence against an always morally or racially or spiritually inferior enemy, whether it be football hooligans brawling nowadays in Europe or Muslims nowadays murdering politicians in Holland or soldiers in England or the Ku Klux Klan against negroes or the Nazis (and plenty of sympathisers in other European countries) against Jews. Once organisations exist to give vent to these sociopaths and anti-social people, they will flock to them and reinforce each other in their beliefs and actions.
    ..
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    Default Re: How Poles Helped Germans ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    That was certainly the case in Germany, and in the German forces, in WWI where many German Jews served and were killed in action. http://www.germanjewishsoldiers.com/epilogue.php
    It interesting when one studies Eastern and Western Europe during the interwar years, as I have. In the most industrious, wealthiest countries in Western Europe, such as Germany, France, Britain, and Holland (maybe), Jews identified with the majority ethnicity in census forms and religion second. In poorer, agrarian countries such as Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Lithuania, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Ukraine (West bank), identified themselves as Jews first and their nationality second in census forms. I have a couple of theories, such as the majority ethnicity in Eastern Europe viewing Jews as a separate race, and in Western Europe less so. Unfortunately, most of those Jews aren't around to explain this peculiar circumstance, although historians might have a crack at it one of these days.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    It is more likely the case that some of the dominant group in many communities harbour undisclosed resentment towards various minorities or can be encouraged to adopt those resentments which, under certain circumstances, can give rise to pogroms and concentration camps and death camps and, in an entirely different context with entirely different religions, the oppression and butchery of Muslims (and others) which took place in former Yugoslavia in the 1990s despite decades of peace previously (although the violent religious history during WWII wasn't that long ago). And countless other examples across all cultures and in modern times well after the Nazis had been defeated, such as Rwanda and Kampuchea.
    I apologize, Rising Sun. "Apathy" is not the appropriate word choice here," you are correct. Historical hatred does encourage resentment and violence towards the minority ethnicity. I agree and I apologize that I did not see this earlier, as I should have, considering the Uzbek minority in Kyrgyzstan, and the ethnic rivalries in the Balkans. Too much blood has flown, and under certain circumstances, peace is difficult to obtain because leaders cannot properly stem the tide of ill will or counter the population's perceptions of what happened in the past and what is happening in the present.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    I think it may be a lot more complicated than that, as shown by the bizarre emergence of neo-Nazis in Israel which suggests the the lack of assimilation might contribute to such thoughts and actions in that case as it is almost exclusively Russian immigrants who have failed to assimilate who have been involved in that movement and its crimes.
    That is indeed unique and bizarre. I thought Russians were considered the "inferior" race and non-Aryan, although there are reports that Russians "helped" the Nazis when they invaded, even though the native population quickly became disillusioned. I don't know if one can consider that initial welcome and help an embrace of Nazi ideology over Communism or just survival. Maybe my history is suspect, as I believe it is. I know very little of what occurred in Nazi-occupied Russia, other than the brutal occupation was cut short and the people desolate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Or perhaps it is quite simple in being essentially that all societies have in them a proportion of people who like violence for its own sake and find it even more attractive when bound up with some notion which unites them in directing their violence against an always morally or racially or spiritually inferior enemy, whether it be football hooligans brawling nowadays in Europe or Muslims nowadays murdering politicians in Holland or soldiers in England or the Ku Klux Klan against negroes or the Nazis (and plenty of sympathisers in other European countries) against Jews. Once organisations exist to give vent to these sociopaths and anti-social people, they will flock to them and reinforce each other in their beliefs and actions.
    I thought of that as well. Maybe I was too hasty to state that National Socialism has limited appeal in modern Europe and America. When Frederich von Hayek published his book, The Road to Serfdom in 1944, he felt that National Socialism would run its course, as it is a reaction against civilization and increased economic prosperity. Hayek stressed the "socialism" in National Socialism and denied its status as a right-wing movement, saying that National Socialism was not a reaction against socialism but an outcome of this ideology. I assumed, as Hayek did, that National Socialism hasn't the appeal it once had, now that Communism is receding. I imagine I have much to learn.
    Last edited by Kregs; 06-11-2013 at 04:30 PM.

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    Default Re: How Poles Helped Germans ...

    Every time I start to feel empathy for the Poles, I'm reminded of just how lethally anti-semitic they were. Many, I fear, approved of the Germans' deadly treatment of the Jews. Of course Germany should not have attacked Poland! The Germans thought they could grab some more territory like a thief in the night - after all, they had snookered the English and French so easily before - they were used to getting their way and doubted the weak and Plutocratic English and French would do anything more than bleat feeble objections,

    The whole "Polish atrocity" thing was a complete hoax from beginning to end. The "attack" on the German radio station in Gliewicz (sp?) was bogus and staged and the Germans who were "returning fire" just happened to have an invasion army ready to go right behind them, engines idling over. Yeah. Right. Sure.

    The Russians were equally guilty in this mess and were also very nasty aggressors - they didn't even bother with the transparent fig leaf the Germans used - and greedy bastards in their own right. Murder of the Polish officer class at Katyn by the Russians (who denied it for 60 or so years) was a shameful pre-emptive extermination of that group of Poles most likely to resist the Russians in their subjugation of Poland. The whole Polish mess is emblematic of the spaghetti-like strands of interwoven Central European rivalries and hatreds - ethnic and religious - that had been piling up for centuries. Hitler and Stalin took shameless advantage and lit a fuse that took 6 years and uncounted lives and treasure to burn out.

    Hitler's famous intuition (gambler's roll of the dice) failed him when even Neville Chamberlain had to cry foul and declare war on Germany. He really didn't think they'd do it, but a promise or a treaty were only suggestions to him.

    But let's be very clear: the Germans and Russians were completely responsible.
    Last edited by royal744; 07-31-2013 at 11:23 PM.

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