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Did Britain and The U.S.A. 'sell' Poland during WWII?

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posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 12:53 PM
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I am British. I live in Poland. I've been living here for five years now.

I consider myself open minded. I meet lots of people from all over the world and I usually get on quite well with them. I've noticed a pattern during my time with Polish people. Often at parties here, the conversations start off pleasantly and people are usually interested in trying out their English (and hearing me speak Polish), but usually the conversations veer towards one common topic.

Britain and the USA sold Poland to Stalin during WWII. This was during 'The Yalta Conference'. At least this is the opinion of the many Polish people who I speak with.

I wasn't aware of this, because during my history education in school, this area seems to have been skipped over. I suppose the people working at minitruth in Airstrip One took care of that.

I therefore looked into it, and they appear to be right. It seems that Britain did give away Poland to Stalin. Churchill claims that he trusted Stalin, and even said: "Poor Neville Chamberlain believed he could trust Hitler. He was wrong. But I don't think I'm wrong about Stalin."

In my opinion, to make a comment like that requires considering the possibility that you maybe wrong. A doubt. I am sure that Churchill had doubts about Stalin's intentions, especially since his opinion of Stalin had been quite clearly expressed before: 'Churchill's attitude towards the Soviet Union differed vastly from that of Roosevelt, with the former believing Stalin to be a "devil"-like tyrant leading a vile system.' (Miscamble 2007, p. 51).

After it was clear that Stalin was not going to stick with the plan, many members of the British Government resigned in protest at Churchill not enforcing the agreements previously made with Stalin and Roosevelt.

The British Ministry of Defense came up with 'Operation Unthinkable' which was a plan to: " impose upon Russia the will of the United States and the British Empire. Even though 'the will' of these two countries may be defined as no more than a square deal for Poland, that does not necessarily limit the military commitment".
Of course, this never came to be - it was impossible. To put it bluntly, after six years of war Britain was in no position to carry out any large military operation in Russia. The British Chiefs of Staff Committee declared it militarily unfeasible due to a three-to-one superiority of Soviet land forces in Europe and the Middle East, where the conflict was projected to take place.

Anyway - the rest is history. Poland was occupied by Russian forces and under the control of the Soviet Union for 50 years. This has left scars. People do not trust others so easily. Small-talk and niceties designed to break the ice when getting to know someone maybe considered 'fake'. People are abrupt. Adjectives are rare. Imperative verbs are frequent.

When discussing this with Polish people, I sometimes detect a sense of bitterness. A tension which has not dissipated. That I should be responsible for this. I have inherited the guilt somehow. Transposed from a leader dead long before I was born into me, via a mutual nationality. They would like an apology.




posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 01:02 PM
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Thank you for this informative post! I did not know this part of history. Even though I'm not surprised, it's interesting to learn about this.

As for the attitude of the Polish people, they are wrong in wanting an apology from the descendents of the people making the decision at the time, but their attitude is more than understandable.

Thanks for sharing the knowledge; S&F!



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 01:04 PM
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Originally posted by SecretSky
Anyway - the rest is history. Poland was occupied by Russian forces and under the control of the Soviet Union for 50 years. This has left scars. People do not trust others so easily. Small-talk and niceties designed to break the ice when getting to know someone maybe considered 'fake'. People are abrupt. Adjectives are rare. Imperative verbs are frequent.

When discussing this with Polish people, I sometimes detect a sense of bitterness. A tension which has not dissipated. That I should be responsible for this. I have inherited the guilt somehow. Transposed from a leader dead long before I was born into me, via a mutual nationality. They would like an apology.


Weill didn't you kind of answer your own question? The US and UK among other western allies were in no mood for an armed confrontation with the USSR after years of war. This is the exact reasons behind the now largely forgotten Cold War. What couldn't have been done with bombs and Bullets Polish solidarity leader Lech Walesa [and others] and the East's own archaic Communist economic mismanagement accomplished largely peacefully.

The alternative could have lead to a Global Nuclear conflagration, Drawing all of the NATO allies vs The Red Chinese, Soviets and Warsaw pact countries. Which Poland was a part of. It played out for the better in the long run IMHO.

No telling how many millions more above WWII numbers could or would have died had the issue been forced.
edit on 2-6-2011 by SLAYER69 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 01:07 PM
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I spend a lot of time in Poland and do hope to move there in the near future so that I can teach English and I would say ALL my time I have spent there, people love to test their English and test my Polish and I have not once come across anything like that. What part of Poland are you in? If you don't mind me asking. I spend my time at Katowice and the people are just amazing
One of the better people of this world in my opinion.

Anyway, even if this is true all I can say is, you do not judge a country of people for their leaders. Leaders? I mean, idiots because at the end of the day that's all they are. Also, I could understand them if they resented us for what they did IF the people agreed but with the looks of things, this was buried so not many people would actually find out.

anyway, that's just my opinion


do widzenia.



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 01:13 PM
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reply to post by ajmusicmedia
 


Thanks for the reply - yes, it's always good to learn some more history.



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 01:18 PM
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Originally posted by SLAYER69
Weill didn't you kind of answered your own question? The US and UK among other western allies were in no mood for an armed confrontation with the USSR after years of war. This is the exact reasons behind the now largely forgotten Cold War. What couldn't have been done with bombs and Bullets Polish solidarity leader Lech Walesa [and others] and the East's own archaic Communist economic mismanagement accomplished largely peacefully.

The alternative could have lead to a Global Nuclear conflagration, Drawing all of the NATO allies vs The Red Chinese, Soviets and Warsaw pact countries. Which Poland was a part of. It played out for the better in the long run IMHO.

No telling how many millions more above WWII numbers could or would have died had the issue been forced.
edit on 2-6-2011 by SLAYER69 because: (no reason given)


I agree with this. It's obvious it would have been impossible to launch any kind of campaign against the USSR. I also agree that nuclear confrontation would have been far more disastrous.

The larger point I was trying to make is the long-term affects such conflict has on people. There is a sense of betrayal here, and it hasn't gone away. It won't for a long time. People are still dealing with it.



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 01:39 PM
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reply to post by SecretSky
 


I am truly shocked at the lack of knowledge people have posted about recent history. It wasn't just Poland it was most of Europe that was simply handed to the Communist regime under the crazy blood thirsty killer named Stalin. How does anyone think that the USSR came about. It is an atrocity of life and liberty that I don't know can be paralled The countries that had been crushed by war then those people and their land were handed over to more blood bath. General Patten wanted to march into Russia and finish the job. He was shortly there after ran over by a jeep and killed.



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 01:44 PM
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Originally posted by David291
I spend a lot of time in Poland and do hope to move there in the near future so that I can teach English and I would say ALL my time I have spent there, people love to test their English and test my Polish and I have not once come across anything like that. What part of Poland are you in? If you don't mind me asking. I spend my time at Katowice and the people are just amazing
One of the better people of this world in my opinion.

Anyway, even if this is true all I can say is, you do not judge a country of people for their leaders. Leaders? I mean, idiots because at the end of the day that's all they are. Also, I could understand them if they resented us for what they did IF the people agreed but with the looks of things, this was buried so not many people would actually find out.

anyway, that's just my opinion


do widzenia.


Well, I hope you have a good time then - where are you from originally, if I may ask?
I did a TEFL course and got a job over here 2 weeks after finishing - I'd recommend it. It's certainly life-changing to come and live here. I'm near Warsaw now and no longer a full time English teacher.

Trust me - if you stay here long enough, the subject will come up. I didn't experience it for my first year of living here, or maybe even the second. But after a while, especially by learning Polish, I met enough people to start noticing that this subject runs deep in Polish culture. A feeling of betrayal. In younger polish people (who can usually speak English) this feeling isn't there so much. But in older generations (who usually can't speak English), it's still there...

Don't get me wrong - I agree with you, they are some of the nicest people I've ever met too.


Cześć i pozdrawiam! hehe



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 01:52 PM
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Originally posted by redrose123
reply to post by SecretSky
 


I am truly shocked at the lack of knowledge people have posted about recent history. It wasn't just Poland it was most of Europe that was simply handed to the Communist regime under the crazy blood thirsty killer named Stalin. How does anyone think that the USSR came about. It is an atrocity of life and liberty that I don't know can be paralled The countries that had been crushed by war then those people and their land were handed over to more blood bath. General Patten wanted to march into Russia and finish the job. He was shortly there after ran over by a jeep and killed.


Well, as I pointed out - the UK did have a plan to go into Russia and 'finish the job' as you put it. But it was unfeasible - the soviet forces had a 3 to 1 advantage. It would have been suicide for the allied forces to try and stage a campaign against Russia. (as noted by the

I don't disagree that this is an atrocity - I think Churchill probably knew what he was doing, Roosevelt too. But I'm not sure they had much choice. As pointed out by another poster earlier in this thread, any attack probably would have escalated conflict and led to a nuclear war (a shooting war, not a cold war) resulting in many more deaths than WWII.

This is obviously just a theory, so you may disagree. If you do, I'd like to know why exactly.

Thanks for the response!



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 02:02 PM
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reply to post by SecretSky
 


Your Polish friends would like an apology ?

Britain declared war on Germany because of the Nazi invasion of Poland. The Brits were obliged to come to Poland's defence because of treaty obligations. Because they honoured that treaty, Britain suffered over 450,000 military & civilian deaths. Many Commonwealth/Empire nations joined the war too and they suffered horrendous casualties too.

Perhaps you might wish to pass that on to your ungrateful friends, most of whom never lived in pre-war Poland anyway, I'd venture ?

You might also wish to remind them that Jews were killed by the Poles even after the death camps were liberated and the Germans had been pushed back into Germany itself, the murders continued into the late 1940's. That anti-semitism runs right the way through until this very day.

Apology ? No chance whatever.



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 02:18 PM
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reply to post by SecretSky
 


I'm from the UK but I have Polish back ground
I'm currently studying a teaching diploma but I plan on taking a CELTA course



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 02:35 PM
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reply to post by SecretSky
 

Roosevelt and Churchill supported the Polish government-in-exile in London and the Soviets had set up a rival government in Lublin, Eastern Poland. The Allies could only agree to recognize the Lublin government on the condition that it included representatives of other Polish political parties and hold free elections. These were never held and communist governments were installed not only in Poland but Hungary,Czechoslovakia,Romania and Bulgaria. There was nothing the Allies could do to make Stalin fulfill his promises he made at Yalta. At the time it was thought that the Red Army would be needed to defeat Japan, and the Soviet military occupied Eastern Europe.

Warsaw September 4, 1944.
"About half of the population have been wounded or killed. Almost every soldier, if not killed, has received a wound of some sort. The population shelter in cellars, which often become collective graves.. In the large concentration camp on the city's outskirts there are tens of thousands of Polish people who are starving to death.. All Polish military prisoners who fall into German hands are murdered." John War, escaped POW with the Home Army.

October 2, 1944. With no ammunition or food, the Home Army was forced to surrender to the Germans who then deported Warsaw's population and destroyed the city.

January 1, 1945. After forcing the Germans out of Poland, the Soviets then proceeded to install their own regime.

This chain of events was quite embarrassing for the British as initially we had gone to war with Germany over their invasion of Poland in 1939.

hi op. i know a number of Polish who fought in the war (2 left!) and used Britain as a base of ops. it seems the older generation who studied the chessboard later on came to the conclusion that there was nothing the western Allies could do about the situation and hold no bad feeling towards us. the younger generations are more difficult to gauge imo. if i may, during a conversation, have you ever mentioned the German and Russian occupations and what if any were their reactions?

btw, October 16, 1946, Hans Frank, governor-general of Poland during German occupation was sentenced to death and hanged.

regards fakedirt



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 02:41 PM
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Secret Sky: check out the information on the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact :
en.wikipedia.org...

It's too much information to make a short version, but it's a very interesting read.
Maybe it helps.



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 02:49 PM
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reply to post by Niall197
 


What you say is true, I know about this myself, my family have some history in the British forces and were fighting for Britain during the war. (My one grandfather was an engineer for Bristol Beaufighter aircraft, and De Havilland Mosquitoes, my other grandfather fought at Dunkirk and was in charge of heavy artillery, my grandmothers worked at munition factories). I've heard some really gut-wrenching stories about things that happened (especially from my grandfather who marched through France). I know, and I'm sure that most Polish people know that the allied forces made heavy sacrifices.

However, at the end of WWII, Britain didn't get occupied. Britain had freedom. Polish people were in store for another 50 years of Russian occupation and control, and I think the Polish people feel betrayed because of this. 50 years. That's seriously long. You are right that the generations of people I meet are fairly young, from around 20-40 years old. Some of them remember Poland under communist control. Some of them even like it - everybody had jobs. The young people tend to be more apathetic. But everytime this point comes up, there is definitely a sense that the allieds could have done more to help. I actually doubt they could have done more (previous posts explain why) - emotions are powerful things.

As for antisemitism here, you are also right. It still exists. I actually met someone a few days ago in a bar, who claimed that 'he knows immediately if someone is a Jew, because they are always apologetic, they are on a lower level'. He then claimed this was not antisemitism, but a fact as far as he was concerned.

Someone actually gave a Nazi salute to me in a bar when they heard me speaking English once. Then proceeded to try and speak/insult me in German. I realise the absurdity of that - but to be fair, it isn't common here. The guy who did this seemed drunk and quite poorly educated, for lack of a better word.



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 02:55 PM
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If British or American forces could reach Poland before Red Army but did not on purpose - that would be selling Poland. The way it happened is that Soviet forces were deep in Poland in time of Yalta meeting and the only way to hope to remove them was to declare war.
Even if Allied leaders considered this insane idea for WW3 right after (and even during) WW2, British public and US public would not allow it. What Allies tried to do is to draw future lines to block Stalin ambitions and it did succeed , for Austria for example.
As for Polish people who feel betrayed - would they rather WW3 with all the terrible losses they suffered in WW2 paling by comparison with what might have happened?
Logic is poor help on issues that people respond with emotions to, but i do not see how Allies could help Poland.



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 03:26 PM
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hi op. i know a number of Polish who fought in the war (2 left!) and used Britain as a base of ops. it seems the older generation who studied the chessboard later on came to the conclusion that there was nothing the western Allies could do about the situation and hold no bad feeling towards us. the younger generations are more difficult to gauge imo. if i may, during a conversation, have you ever mentioned the German and Russian occupations and what if any were their reactions? btw, October 16, 1946, Hans Frank, governor-general of Poland during German occupation was sentenced to death and hanged.


I'd read about the Polish Government in exile. I'd actually mentioned it a few times during these types of conversations, and was met with a 'yes, we know'.
It's cool you know two Polish people who took part in the war, they have my regards.
I've never spoken with any Polish people old enough to have fought in the war, I have brought up Russian occupation and German occupation before (actually - they make good English lessons, because they spark debate!).
The people seem very angry about it (rightly so), the response is generally 'I hate Russians', or 'I hate Germans'. The troubling thing is that these are sweeping statements, not focused on the war itself, but focused on nations of people, who are already mostly too young to have experienced the war. I've met the occasional person who actually likes Germans or Russians here too - but in general, most don't. (Bearing in mind, these are all opinions of other people - not me - I would never judge a person based on where they come from).

So the general response is quite angry - I wouldn't really expect different though really. The question itself is quite provocative, and invites pretty extreme responses.



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 03:34 PM
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Originally posted by ZeroKnowledge
If British or American forces could reach Poland before Red Army but did not on purpose - that would be selling Poland. The way it happened is that Soviet forces were deep in Poland in time of Yalta meeting and the only way to hope to remove them was to declare war.
Even if Allied leaders considered this insane idea for WW3 right after (and even during) WW2, British public and US public would not allow it. What Allies tried to do is to draw future lines to block Stalin ambitions and it did succeed , for Austria for example.
As for Polish people who feel betrayed - would they rather WW3 with all the terrible losses they suffered in WW2 paling by comparison with what might have happened?
Logic is poor help on issues that people respond with emotions to, but i do not see how Allies could help Poland.


You make very good points. I agree with what you're saying 100%. Thanks for adding the information about Austria, I didn't know about that previously. I actually mentioned to some Polish friends that Poland gained land because of WWII, which made them quite angry. (They got the former German province of East Prussia). They said that previously Poland had been bigger, when I asked what they meant, they said that Poland had command of Lithuania and Ukraine....hmmm...I have to read more.

Seriously, to all people reading this, I apologise. I am not very good at history, in school it was boring, and I filled my head with other interests. I am not ignorant of it, but I found it hard to retain the vast amounts of information taught. It's unfortunate, I know.



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 03:36 PM
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Britain and the USA sold Poland to Stalin during WWII.


I am Pole.
We lost almost 50 years of progress because of that.
More, something in that country was definitely, irreversibly broken in russian occupation process.
It pays off today, when it's becoming clearly visible.
We were not involwed in Marshall plan.
Now we are being sold to EU.
I've read social research about children in european countries yesterday, and imagine, that almost 2 millions of them is living in poverty here, in 2011, in Poland...
Our politicians' only way to exist is to receive and execute GERMAN and French guidelines(i am asking: DID WWII ended already?). We had good, very "ecological" agriculture, UNTIL we joined EU, now we are told what to do, again.
We are living in country, where almost 15% of people is not able to find a job, young people, mainly.
Most of people cannot feel like EU member while earning 300 EUROS per month here.

Now to the point:
I personally think, that Churchill and Roosevelt had no choice - they could not risk extended war.
OF course, fina situation was because of EARLIER errors in their politics - they strongly understimated Stalin - main problem was opinion, that he is like western politician, and it was mistake.
Stalin was not RUSSIAN, he REALLY hated russians - what's interesting they seem to not understand this even today. But he was able to make them strong. He was clearly aware, that west(GB and US) used him and russians to help with GB's situation in pragmatic way. They got weapons, money and grew very strong.
Churchill was aware of it earlier, than Roosevelt, or maybe that second one did not care at all, but it was too late do do anything.
Btw, did you know, when Germans militarisation was prohibited after WWI, most of arms and tech used at first stage of WWII was assembled in Russia?
I found this funny..
Anyway - while some of my countrymen still may say that we were sold after WWII, some are aware about
niuances of that time.
They just could do nothing.
But they did wrong choices at the same time.
And again - did you know?
My capital was second of most destroyed cities in WWII besides Manila.
Many people in Poland remember one thing: we were not invited to celebrations of end of war in GB, while many pilots from division 303 were defending sky over GB. Nobody cared about this.
Another thing: Warsaw Uprising - nobody helped us while Stalin was waiting as resistance is wiped out by Germans(i recommend Lao Che's - Powstanie Warszawskie music album here..).


Sorry for engrish, i was forced to learn russian in school in early 80's...

p.s. For curious i'd recommend reading about gen. Sikorsky's death. This is dark, unexplained side of history related to GB and Poland.
edit on 2-6-2011 by potential_problem because: (no reason given)

edit on 2-6-2011 by potential_problem because: (no reason given)

edit on 2-6-2011 by potential_problem because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 04:01 PM
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Pollacks weren't the saints before WW2 either. They had german lands after WW1, captured Vilnius from Lithuania (under their control from 1922 to 1939 just before WW2) and had other major ambitions. The tensions were very high between Poland and Germany at the moment. Propaganda was at the very high level from both sides. The clash were inevitable.

As to official WW2 history - I am into this subject and the more I am into it the more I believe official history is rigged. Lies, lies and more lies.
Churchill actually absolutely destroyed British Empire. But oh well - he was in some tough guys' pockets grabbing their money. All he wanted in his life was money and fame. He got it. All he had to do is work for his masters. And so he destroyed The Great British Empire. But it's a long discussion. So whatever.

As to the question if Churchill sold Poland. Of course he sold. He sold all Eastern Europe. Not only Poland. He would have sold his mother for a bottle of alcohol, luxury and opportunity to make naked meetings. Look at other eastern Europe countries - they were totally destroyed by Stalin and communists. I doubt they will ever recover fully.

And if not Germany slapping bolsheviks hard all Europe would be communists now.



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 04:13 PM
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reply to post by potential_problem
 


First of all thanks! Dziekuje za odpowiedz!

Second of all - your English is good. Dobrze piszesz po angielsku!

I'm glad that you see the two different sides to this story.

Also - you are right, this is an important point: the Polish military forces were not allowed to join in the celebratory parade held by the British after the war. That is really low. I'm definitely not proud of Britain in that regard. I know about the Polish RAF squadron of course - I once read that 200,000 Polish soldiers were part of the British forces during WWII. So, it's a shock that they weren't included in the celebrations after the war.

Do you feel betrayed by the allied forces?

It's a rather direct question, but I'm interested to hear how you feel. Pozdrawiam.



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