Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Monday, 25 June 2007

The Black Heart of Europe

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the Polish prime minister, tossed a spanner quixotically into the works this week, by complaining about the proposed new voting arrangements, that would extend Germany’s influence at the expense of Poland’s. He noted that Poland would have a much bigger population, had it not been for the millions of Poles exterminated by Germans in the Second World War. "If Poland had not had to live through the years of 1939-45, Poland would be today looking at the demographics of a country of 66 million."

I like this man. He creates trouble for people I dislike. He is among the few European politicians willing to mention the two things you never mention in the company of European politicians: the War, and Europe’s Christian heritage. Neither ever happened in the official view of the “new Europe,” and mentioning them is in the poorest possible taste.

- David Warren (Read the whole thing here)

10 comments:

Dark Blue Tory said...

With all due respect, I find this to be a bitter pill to swallow. He can play that card all he wants, but there's an important piece of history missing there.

September 17, 1939 - Kutno and Brest-Litovsk are captured by German troops. The Red Army invades Poland from the East with a million troops on the pretext of "protecting Poland's Byelorussian and Ukrainian population." The Polish government seeks asylum in Romania, where it is interned. The Polish Air Force scores its last kills during the battle for Poland, by shooting down a German Dornier bomber and a Soviet fighter.

September 18, 1939 - The Wehrmacht and Red Army stage a joint parade in Brest Litovsk.

September 19, 1939 - The conclusion of the battle of the Vistula bend, with the Wehrmacht taking 170,000 prisoners. Germans suppress a Czech rebellion. Lavrenti Beria, chief of the Soviet NKVD, sets up a Directorate for Prisoners of War and establishes camps for the 240,000 Polish POWs in Soviet custody; about 37,000 will be used as forced-labour.

September 22, 1939 - Germany and Russia agree on partition of Poland. 217,000 Polish troops who are fighting against the Red Army surrender at Lvov. The NKVD begins rounding up thousands of Polish officers and deporting them to Russia where they will be executed a year later in the forest of Katyn near Smolensk. A Polish regiment repels attacks by forty Soviet tanks and infantry units at the Battle of Kodziowce. Soviet losses amount to hundreds killed and twenty tanks destroyed.

October 22, 1939 - "Elections" are held in Soviet-occupied Poland now called "Western Byelorussia" and "Western Ukraine." The USSR confiscates all property including bank accounts, and replaces Polish currency with the ruble. Poles are fired from their jobs and thrown into jail as the NKVD compiles lists for deportation. Factories, hospitals, schools, are dismantled and shipped to the USSR. Polish education and language is phased out; libraries are closed and books burned. Churches are destroyed and priests arrested. Even the wearing of crosses is forbidden. Owning a typewriter is now a crime.

October 31, 1939 - Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov boasts: "One swift blow to Poland, first by the German Army and then by the Red Army, and nothing was left of this ugly offspring of the Versailles Treaty!". He also accuses the British of aggression.

(Source)

I am in no way defending the Nazis, but let's also understand that the Soviets played their part in the destruction and slaughter of millions of Polish people, up to and including the fall of the Soviet Union. In fact, Stalin was allowed to switch sides and the killing in Poland continued.

Just an important factor left out of the original complaint. But it's a nice card to pull.

Younghusband said...

Make no mistake, Kaczynski despises the Soviets as much as his German neighbours. But Poland didn't complain when they made a deal with the Nazis to steal Teschen from the Czechs; in fact, it was the first country to have broken the Treaty of Versailles by invading Russia in 1920. They helped themselves to Danzig and other German land when that country lost 13% of its national territory. He conveniently forgets too the vast numbers of Jews the Poles were only to happy to see wiped out, where now one visits Auschwitz to see a huge cross as the death camp becomes another honeypot for the Polish tourist industry. Of the people Poland lost, most were annexed to Russia while half of Poland incorporated German land.
Just to make absolutely clear: I am not shedding any tears for Germany, just to point out that Poland has not been the innocent party but has, from its creation post Great war, been as opportunistic as its neighbours.

Younghusband said...

Sorry; for 'Soviets' read 'Russians'. Hard to tell nowadays...

Beaverbrook said...

Anyone who thinks the Poles were not victimised on a massive scale before, during and after the Second World War needs his head examined. Nobody paid a greater price for the crimes of Soviet-Germanic totalitarianism. All the tears I have, I shed for Poland.

Anonymous said...

I like all the new Eastern European leaders. They're more genuinely Anglo-American than Britain and Canada, these days.

Get his from the Czech President, Vaclav Klaus last week:

"The biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity at the beginning of the 21st century is not communism or its various softer variants. Communism was replaced by the threat of ambitious environmentalism.

This ideology wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central, now global, planning of the whole world."

He has also called environmentalism a "religion based on political ambitions rather than science," and accuses environmentalists of using, "sophisticated methods of media manipulation to spread fear and panic."

Now wouldn't it be nice if some of our own leaders in the Anglosphere, even the robust John Howard and Michael Downer, who know all this stuff as surely as we do, had the bottle to say so in public in the full knowledge of all the brickbats and "Think of the Children!" rhetoric of the eco-bolshevists and the millions whom they have conned?

Fat chance, though.


Cato

El Jefe Maximo said...

I like the eastern European leaders, and I like Poland -- and Jaroslaw Kaczynski. No American, Briton or Canadian should ever forget the Polish soldiers of Monte Cassino or Arnhem.

That said, and recognizing that Beaverbrook is right to call the Poles "victimized", it should be remembered that Poland would not exist at all (at least in the form we know it), but for a great tragedy: the First World War -- which was truly the biggest mistake our civilization ever made.

Mark said...

You're correct about WWI, painfully so.

Dark Blue Tory said...

That's all well and good, but before we hand the whole blame over to the Germans, let's remember that the Soviets had over 50 years to kill millions of Poles. Both countries systematically murdered Poles, but the Soviets have more blood on their hands as far as I'm concerned.

El Jefe Maximo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
El Jefe Maximo said...

I don't know whose body count is higher, but the Russians, both Tsarist and Communist, at least since 1807, were always the most relentless of the enemies of Polish independence and national identity. The Nazis did give them a good run for that odious distinction between 1939 and 45.