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103

Poland wasn't actually "spared", it was merely less affected than the rest of Europe. That graphic is incorrect (or rather, incomplete), since a substantial number of both Poland and Milan's population did in fact die of the plague. Their death rates were only "low" in comparison to the rest of Europe - if it happened today, it would be horrifying to us. ...


56

You may want to read this answer while listening to a poetic song by Andrzej Sikorowski and Grzegorz Turnau, called "Nie przenoście nam stolicy do Krakowa", what means "Please don't move the capital back to Kraków", written in the 90's, after the end of communist era in Eastern Europe, when some politics started to express such ideas. Digressions I've ...


45

Personally, I suspect this is mostly an American (USA) stereotype, which chiefly originates from a couple of factors. We had a couple of large waves of East European immigration in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, which brought large numbers of Poles who knew little or no English. As human beings, we tend to perceive those who have trouble ...


43

The political reasons of both France and Britain are well explained in other answers, so I just stick to the legal matter. France was not legally obliged by any pact to attack Soviet Union or to send troops to Poland to help. The 1921 Franco-Polish treaty specified the extent of help, which amounted to keeping the communication lines free between France and ...


33

Yes they did. The Treaty of Good Neighbourship and Friendly Cooperation qualifies as a "peace treaty"; see preamble and article 1 of the Polish text of the treaty. The treaty was signed in 1991 and went into force on 16 January 1992. It did not say specifically "we have had a war until today, but since tomorrow we are at peace", but it would hardly make ...


30

That Poland avoided internal wars of religion can indeed be attributed to the religious tolerance of the state at this time, a tolerance that stretches back a long time. And this has to do with it's position, where many of its neighbouring countries were not Catholic. To the east the Kievan Rus adopted Orthodoxy, and further north the areas now known as ...


29

As of 24 October 1938 the demands were annexation of Free City of Danzig by Germany and extraterritorial roadway+railway from East Prussia to mainland Germany through the Polish Corridor (so a "corridor across a corridor") [Eagle Unbowed p. 42]. Danzig was a strategic port, well connected to Poland's industrialized regions (central and western Poland). In ...


29

This would appear to be the badge of the No. 300 Polish Bomber Squadron which fought alongside the Royal Air Force and operated from airfields in the United Kingdom. Above: Badge with colour. Source: Wikipedia. Below, badge (no colouring) on memorial plaque. Source: Aircrew Remembered The CCC is 300 in Roman numerals and the badge combines the ...


25

Did Hitler really intend a limited war against Poland? The invasion of Poland was likely not intended to start a major war. Of course we can never be sure of what anybody thinks, but not only did Hitler claim not to want a major war, wanting a major war is in itself a quite strange thing to do. Most likely Hitler wanted to just annex half of Poland ...


25

There are three types of plague, Pneumonic, Bubonic, and Septicemic all of which are caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. People infected by fleas get the bubonic form of the plague. However, if the bacteria reaches the lungs, it becomes pneumonic plague which is more virulent spreading via person to person by coughing then no rats are needed since the ...


25

These are Polish Army Uniforms, starting around 1919. Unfortunately the main wiki pages show no Uniforms of the times. To my knowledge, these types of zig-zag collars (Polish only, but translates well to English) were in use sometime after 1918 until 1939 and are also unique to the Polish Army. Other photo collections, without dates show the simularity of ...


24

The pre WWII border between Poland and Germany was defined in the Treaty of Versailles, more specifically Part II, Article 27, point 7: From the point defined above to a point to be fixed on the ground about 2 kilometres east of Lorzendorf: the frontier as it will be fixed in accordance with Article 88 of the present Treaty; thence in a northerly ...


20

Derogatory racial (for lack of a better word) stereotypes tell much about the people who spread them. For instance, in my field - software development, you are not likely to come across "Polish jokes", because some of the best developers in top tech firms are Polish and Polish universities regularly outperform US teams in international programming contests. ...


19

The answer is apparently: this border isn't defined anywhere. As you correctly noted, the result of the Potsdam Conference was the Oder-Neiße-line as Poland's western border, without any exception for Stettin. The sources that I looked at agree that the Soviet Union violated that agreement and gave the area around Stettin to Poland in July 1945. It is ...


19

The earliest air drops of aid to Poland were made in February 1941 using Whitley bombers. To the best of my knowledge, none of these drops involved parachuting agents into Poland. By 1943, Halifax bombers attached to 138 Squadron were being used by the Special Operations Executive to drop agents and supplies into Poland. There is an excellent PhD ...


17

Before asking this question, you could consult Wikipedia, which says: From the start, the Luftwaffe attacked civilian targets and columns of refugees along the roads to wreak havoc, disrupt communications, and target Polish morale. Apart from the victims of battles, the German forces (both SS and the regular Wehrmacht) murdered several thousand Polish ...


16

If Germany decided to invade Poland to get back East Prussia that it lost to Poland after WWII - would it be a war of independence? One needs a lot of fantasy to call the Polish–Soviet War (this seems to be the official name of the conflict) a war of independence. In 1919 Poland was already independent - it gained its independence with the Treaty of ...


16

Borders Post-war Polish borders were agreed upon in Teheran (1943) and finalized in Yalta (1945) by the "Big 3". The land was taken from Germany on the grounds of Germany having started the war, to weaken it so that it would never be able to do that again. Population The Poles did not do the ethnic cleansing of those lands singlehandedly - at first the ...


16

Mussolini learnt about the German intentions first as did most other countries, by diplomatic reports from his ambassador in Berlin and similar sources; alarmed, in early August 1939, Mussolini sent Galeazzo Ciano for a meeting with Ribbentrop, who told him Germany intended to invade the whole of Poland, not just Danzig. Mussolini was clearly against it, ...


15

"It is chivalry that has no equal in the world; without seeing it with your own eyes, its vigor and splendor is impossible to imagine." (Cosimo Brunetti, 1676) The answer is both "yes", as it's completely different kind of hussars that the one mentioned in the question about effectiveness of Cossack cavalry, and "no", as there were around 20,000 horses in ...


15

You're right to say that Germany's loss of territory to Poland in 1945 was "harsh" judged by the principle that borders should be delineated according to ethnic and/or historical claims. No one then or since has tried to argue that the areas in question had been anything other than ethnically German for centuries However Germany in 1945 was not any normal ...


15

Post-World War II Poland was "designed" by the British foreign office, presented by Churchill, and ratified by Roosevelt and Stalin at the Tehran Conference in 1943, as noted in another answer. After World War I, Britain had planned on the so-called Curzon line for the eastern boundary of Poland (based on the ethnic divisions) but the country crossed that ...


15

Question: What factors contributed to related Jewish migration and life-choices in Poland, and ultimately this ranking of Poland back then? These factors could be geographic, legislative (Statute of Kalisz, Warsaw Confederation?) or other. The history of jewish people in Poland goes back a millennium. There is debate about why Jews began settling in Poland....


15

Hitler's racial policy was based not on anything to do with biology, but rather on who he wanted to be friends with in foreign policy. Semaphore♦ 9 hours ago ...he didn't actually have policies. He had things he wanted, and tried to get them using whatever arguments/rationalization he thought would help at the time. People trying to compile his words ...


14

On August 25, two days after the Nazi-Soviet Pact, the Agreement of Mutual Assistance between the United Kingdom and Poland was signed. The agreement contained promises of mutual military assistance between the nations in the event either was attacked by some "European country". The United Kingdom, sensing a dangerous trend of German expansionism, sought to ...


13

No, there was no state of war between Germany and Poland. State of war can end either with a peace treaty or with a surrender. In this case there was a surrender of Germany. Furthermore. German state ceased to exist in mid-1945. If was completely demolished and as such, its foreign relations as well. After a while two new states were instituted by the ...


13

This does not appear to be true. There's no mention of it in Weinberg's A World at Arms, which is about the best one-volume history of WWII. The German multi-volume history Germany and the Second World War covers this period in volume 2, Germany's Initial Conquests in Europe, pages 118-126. Warlimont's memoirs, Inside Hitler's Headquarters 1939-45, have ...


12

The main problem was, that Poland and USSR were not in the state of war. The Polish government believed that Soviets will stop the aggression and forbid Polish troops to fight against Russians. It was because of a non-aggression pact since the peace treaty of Riga in 1921. The Poland did not want to break this treaty. Every assistance requested by Polish ...


12

The Polish-Bolshevik war (as it is known in Poland, I believe rest of the world use term Polish-Soviet war) is not known as the war for independence. After all, Poland re-gained independence on November 11, 1918 - when I World War ended (which was later confirmed by the Treaty of Versailles). In this light, things like Greater Poland Uprising, Silesian ...


12

Columbus' origins are a bit of a mystery. He himself claimed to have been born in Genoa, but this may have been a ruse according to some. http://www.christopher-columbus.eu/birth-1492.htm lists the most notable claims, Poland is not among those. What all the possible locations have in common is that they're in southern Europe, a quick look at the map shows ...


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