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Molotov-Ribbentrop and the incredibly brutal occupation that followed. The Soviet occupation of 1939-41 was just as bad for ethnic Poles as the German one, adjusted for time and population. And then the the long postwar occupation. You also forgot reassurance; rather than mourning the loss of empire, you'd need them saying what a good thing it was - over, and over again.
by MarekNYC on Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 12:16:04 PM EST
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I'm no expert on this, as you are, and no doubt occupation of any sort is horrible, as it certainly must have been in Russia in the various occupations following the revolution, mostly (but not only) German.

But it seems to me that, when the civil war was raging, all the while the Germans had the Russians by the balls (and Lenin recognised this, see Luxemburg on the subject), a few of those Polish battalions who'd been fighting alongside the Tsar's Russian troops prior to the revolution, went over to the other side of the civil war.

Maybe this is just a legend, but I don't think it is. In any event, the people (well, person really) who ran the Soviet Union after things settled out of that civil war had a long memory in addition to being a homicidal paranoid maniac.

Long story short, unless the popular will of the people say otherwise, talking spit about history and assigning blame is the province of the various elite who have too much time on their hands, like me today...

 

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 12:28:56 PM EST
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Long story short, unless the popular will of the people say otherwise, talking spit about history and assigning blame is the province of the various elite who have too much time on their hands, like me today...

But that's what we're talking about. What could be done to reassure Polish public opinion. Now, it is true that the elites are even more Atlanticist than the population, in the sense that among the former only the extreme right is opposed (and in recent years even they have been somewhat muzzled by their alliance with the twins), still, there is a deep paranoia about Russia, and a resulting support for alliance with the US among the population as well. This really isn't that hard to understand. Two centuries of colonial rule, occasionally a very brutal one, leave their mark.

by MarekNYC on Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 12:40:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
redstar:

But it seems to me that, when the civil war was raging, all the while the Germans had the Russians by the balls (and Lenin recognised this, see Luxemburg on the subject), a few of those Polish battalions who'd been fighting alongside the Tsar's Russian troops prior to the revolution, went over to the other side of the civil war.

Maybe this is just a legend, but I don't think it is. In any event, the people (well, person really) who ran the Soviet Union after things settled out of that civil war had a long memory in addition to being a homicidal paranoid maniac.

Looks like it could be / should be at least truish. During world war one Germany set up a puppet state, Kingdom of Poland. When tsarist russia collapsed, the polish troops probably did not feel themselves obliged to serve a new russian government and might have either fought under a white general or joined (or attempted to join) the puppet state. It would at least fit the general pattern in that war zone at the time.

While checking around to see if there was a polish equivalent of the Czech Legion I found this sobering quote:

A total of 2 million Polish troops fought with the armies of the three occupying powers, and 450,000 died. Several hundred thousand Polish civilians were moved to labour camps in Germany. The scorched-earth retreat strategies of both sides left much of the war zone uninhabitable.


Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 04:34:11 PM EST
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