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Were the Poles the Greatest Profiteers of the World War 2?

Discussion in 'Post War 1945-1955' started by Tamino, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. green slime

    green slime Member

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    As I see it, there were three nations that tried to profiteer from WW2; Germany, Japan, and the USSR. Ultimately none of them did. Germany suffered occupation and complete social collapse, Japan got occupied and pasted in radioactivity, and the Soviet Union ended up with huge areas devasted, a significant portion of dead people, and the war cemented the corrupt systemic power structures focusing on heavy industry and military power, issues Russia still struggles with. The British lost an empire, and was indebted up to the rafters. While the US and Australia could be said to have profited, they in no way were profiteering. Profiteering is well beyond reasonable recompense (profit).
     
  2. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    The British Empire was doomed by WW2 and Britain is now running the risk of becoming a US puppet. IMO Bretton Woods sealed the fate of Britain as a major power and it would never have happened without WW2,
    Germany and possibly Japan as well, would likely be even more powerful today without the war. Germany would have a larger territory and Japan would probably not have Korea to worry about as a competitor, Japan might also get a bit more democratic on it's own if the war faction lost power but the process would hit a wall against the divine emperor, they would never question that by themselves.

    Hitler's economy was brittle, but probably less so than Tooze's "accountant's approach" would have us believe, so a collapse can probably be avoided and there was nothing wrong with the industrial capacity, the possible fly in the ointment could be the personal empire building by people like Goering and Himmler that could lead to open conflict with disastrous results, we are talking "armed to the teeth rival corporations" here.

    The USA emerged as a superpower, a large population base, cemented by the war, and an undamaged industrial base enriched by war spending that removed the last traces of the crisis made them by far the strongest nation in the West.

    The USSR was devastated by the occupation, no way I would say a country that suffered millions of deaths a "winner" but could count on a huge army, an ideology that appealed to the ex colonies, or at least enough to the leaders of the local revolutionaries to be their choice, and a big power void,

    Amongst the European nations all the ones that fell into the Soviet orbit didn't do too well, the Rumanians didn't profit from the increase of oil prices as other producers did, centralized planning was inefficient and not likely to give satellites a priority, there was also a considerable Russian population pressure towards the border areas sponsored by the Soviet leadership. that lead to the current friction points in areas such as Ukraine, Byelorussia, Moldavia and the Baltics. But it was not totally consistent as the move of Crimea to Ukraine shows.

    The other European countries lost their empires, partly because WW2 had destroyed the myth of white superiority, France in the sixties was the dominant EU force, but could not keep up with German economic powerhouse.
     
  3. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    How did WW2 dispel white supremacy? Started by "whites" won by "whites"...or am I missing something?
     
  4. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    I would put the USA above the USSR in "tried to profit", profiteer is too strong a word for either, both were attacked as they were gearing up to enter the war, so I don't see much difference there, and the USA, never being directly threatened, dedicated a lot more attention to post war resuls a lot earlier and more comprehensively than the USSR that was fighting fo it's survival.
     
  5. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    You are forgetting the Japanese, they did not ultimately win but certainly proved the whites were not "naturally superior", and the thousands on non white Commonwealth soldiers that often gave their white German opponents a bloody nose. A case could also be made for Hitler's "supermen" failing to overcome the multi-ethnic Red Army.
     
  6. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Hmm...I see your point, but the Japanese were hardly seen as superior by anybody outside of Japan...had old tech, physically smaller...the Japanese did little in my opinion to dispel this notion...
    If anything, rather than show 'superiority' the 'whites' of the time showed the 'Caucasian' to be warlike and violent...I think history tends to back this up...
     
  7. green slime

    green slime Member

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    The Japanese literally killed of the final vestiges of the idea that the white man was inherently superior. Prior to the Japanese defeat of Russia in the 1905 war, Europeans had not been defeated by non-Europeans in a war for centuries. So when Japan wasn't just winning the initial battles, but took impregnable SIngapore(!!!), sunk British ships, and shot British planes out of the sky, it doesn't matter that they were ultimately defeated 4 years later. What mattered was that they actually gave the Imperial powers a significantly bloody nose, and retained their independence even post war. Together, this crumbled the idea of the invincible armies of the Europeans. Political indendence could be wrangled from them.
     
  8. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    IMO all they did was tell us they weren't stupid like we thought...there were many reasons for these defeats, it would take open battles, man on man to dispel any notions...they may well have inspired people's however, a young Ho Che Min comes to mind...now it was his people who were the first to make 'us' look amateur...IMO.
     
  9. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Nope, that was SIngapore. You don't sit on your laurels and believe your own hype about something being impregnable, especially after two years of getting pasted by the Germans, only to discover Japanese in your rose garden, without looking like complete and utter gimps.
     
  10. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    True...
     
  11. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The treaty of Versailles was definitely a mistake I just don't see it qualifying as a "crime against humanity" or even a "crime" except in a very loose definition of the term. A terrible mistake yes, poorly written or intentionally written so as to negate the principles it espoused, perhaps. Certainly looking back on it how it was expected to produce stability is a huge question or course the same question can be applied to the break up of the Ottoman Empire and the post colonial states elsewhere in the world. Personally though I don't like to push the expansion of definitions in general and when dealing with important concepts like "crimes against humanity" doing so dilutes and obscures the nature and import of them.
     
  12. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    That's the Eurocentric version. Parts of it anyway were started by Japan and the Allies while led by "whites" included pretty significant populations of non "whites" as well.
     
  13. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    In 1945 that would have been at least an arguably sound position. By the 1950's not so much. Certainly the USSR suffered massive damage during the war but in the decades that followed they were one of the two most powerful countries in the world and WWII arguably propelled them to that state. Another way to look at it is that the US had wealth to spare and they used it to help win the war. Stalin seemed to think that he has population to spare and he used it.
     
  14. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    The problem of Versailles peace was that it created oppressive states where minorities turned into second class citizens by law and by the practices of new countries. It may seem an absurd, but pre-Versailles empires were treating minorities much better because empires weren’t national countries. Once division of citizens according to their ethnicity began, it was the beginning of the end of large number of peoples who have remained in harsh custody of brutal ruling majority.

    Life of minorities in the inter-war Poland turned into a nightmare: more than a million of Germans have been forced to emigrate, German minority was exposed to harsh ethnic discrimination, Poland has introduced anti-Jewish laws similar to these implemented by the Nazis. Jews have been persecuted in the worst possible manner. Other ethnic minorities shared the same fate. They have been imprisoned in the Fatherland which was Fatherland just for Poles.

    It is indeed sickening that pogroms against the Jews have continued in Poland long after the victory – that dragged into 1946 and perhaps longer in a hidden way. Many Jews have died in Poland after the of the death camps have been deliberated and closed – from the Polish hand. Versailles has started that and Potsdam has culminated that into an extreme.

    I would refrain from commenting the fate of Germans on Polish soil after the fall of the Reich. It was much more than sickening. Instead, I will cite J. R. Rummel, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Hawaii:

    Over a million Ethnic Germans and Reich Germans in or from the new post-war Polish territories likely died, 1945-1948. They were killed directly, or died from starvation, disease, exposure, in concentration camps, or during or because of their deportation to Germany. Since these deaths were outright murder, or because conditions were forced on these people that would likely result in their deaths, this was democide. How many died will never be known, and it is even doubtful that we can come within several hundred thousand of the true total. As I often point out, the most thoroughly studied figures for the Holocaust, and with scholarly access to the relevant official archives, the best estimates of Jewish deaths still differ by as much as 41 percent.38. This is to say that such democide surely took place, but experts and scholars can legitimately disagree as to the number.

    The more critical question is whether the Polish governments, 1945-1948, were responsible for the democide. The answer is yes, on several grounds. One is that there was a functioning and internationally recognized Polish government administering new Poland, and although the Red Army had an overwhelming presence, the government was not fully communist, and could and did in many ways operate independently of Soviet wishes. Second is that even were the Polish government under full Soviet control, the Polish government still, according to international law, could not be excused from responsibility for the orders it carried out. Finally, with the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, trails have been held and former communist officials convicted and punished for their crimes against humanity and human rights while in office. If anything established the point, this does: Polish post-war authorities were responsible for the German ethnic cleansing and resulting democide. And thus this massive democide can be attributed to the Polish government of the time.
     
  15. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    What happens in the fifties is not much relevant, other factors than WW2 had stepped in by then, the biggest one being the rebound from Fascism to the other extreme in big segnments on the European population. The USSR benefitted from the post WW2 power void. With 20/20 hinsight a lot of that "power void" was artificially created by the gross overestimation of Soviet military capabilities by the Westen military, in order to get more funding, that made piliticians unwilling to stand up to the Soviets.

    Comparing the USA and USSR WW2 one finds one got into the war because Hitler wanted to uterly destroy it and probably reduce it's population to sefdom if not outright exterminate it, the other over a colonial dispute about who should have influence over China. One could argue the war would never have started the way it did without the Ribbentrop Molotov pact, but the pact gave the Soviets some additional 200 Km of strategic depth that were possibly critical in 1941, So why are we condemning that while onsidering the post WW1 Polish advance to Kiev "necessary to reduce the threat of the red army" ? The 1919-20 Red Army was anything but a steamroller and had to deal with multiple crisys from Murmansk to Vladivostock, its threat was more from the ideology it carried than from its fighting power, but Polish nationalism proofed it against ideology so the likelyhood of a Soviet victory at Warsaw was pretty slim.
     
  16. green slime

    green slime Member

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    The History of these empires, Austria, Germany and Russia all say otherwise.

    The Polish culture and language were repressed in both the German and Russian empires, as has been repeatedly pointed out.

    Already during the reign of Catherine II in the 18th century, Jewish people were restricted to the Pale of Settlement within Russia, the territory where they could live or immigrate to. This coincided exactly with the seizure of Polish-Lithuanian lands...primarily the second and third partitioning. Alexander III escalated anti-Jewish, and anti-minority policies.

    After 1870 the Poles in Germany were under an increasing pressure of Germanisation, and the Kulturkampf attacked their Catholic Church. Most Catholic bishops were imprisoned or exiled. The teaching language which had previously been Polish in the predominantly Polish-speaking areas in Prussia was replaced by German as teaching language, even in religious education where Polish priests were replaced by German teachers. The policy of forced cultural Germanisation alienated large parts of the Polish-speaking population against the German authorities and produced nationalistic sentiments on both sides.

    The Austro-Hungarian Empire was the mildest of the three (allowing the language and culture, and with semi-autonomous regions), but even there, there were distinct differences in privilege, based on ethnicity.

    Your consistent denial of these facts is fascinating.
     
  17. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    @green slime
    That is entirely of-topic. If you want to discuss that, please feel free to open a topic about Chaterine II or a conflict among Kulturkampf and Polish Caholic Church.

    Subject of this theme is whether the Poles were the Greatest Profiteers of the World War 2? Please.
     
  18. green slime

    green slime Member

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    No. You made the claim the Empires were "better" than the nation-states in dealing with minorities. I showed you they were the progenitors of the later laws & policies. You insist on claiming the Poles were profiteering, which is utter tripe. The ethnic maps of 1918, were a direct result of German/Prussian and Russian anti-minority policies of the previous century, the very kind of policies you want to blackwash the Poles for. Apparently, according to your measure, it's ok for Germany and Russia to oppress Poles for 150 years, but the sheer injustice of Poles ruling over Germans is too much to bear.... It was the Soviets that primarily set the border (see previous quotes by Stalin and Churchill), and Soviets driving the expelling of ethnicities across Eastern Europe, a policy they had prior to Barbarossa, and which they continued with post WW2.
     
  19. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    Yet, you avoid conversation about how Poland acquired quite a sumptuous chunk of German lands - despite that such a gift was against the spirit of Atlantic Charter? What was the purpose of such a generous present?
     
  20. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I disagree WW2 had a profound impact on the 50's and even by the late 40's the Soviets were arguably a super power.

    I'm not completely sure where you are going with your second paragraph. I'm not sure I've seen anyone here state that the Polish advance on Kiev was "necessary to reduce the threat of the red army" but in the chaos of the Russian revolution I can certainly see how it may have seemed that way at the time. The Soviet annexation of parts of Poland in 39 was like the German conquest of the rest of Poland a clear and unacceptable act of aggression and should be condemned as such. How this relates to the topic at hand though isn't clear to me.
     

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