Talk:History of Poland (1939–45)

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Treatment of Polish citizens by Polish collaborators[edit]

I think this is too detailed for a general history article; there are plenty of similar detailed topics that can't really be discussed in detail here (ex. Polish culture during World War II or massacres of Poles in Volhynia...). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 05:16, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

civil war[edit]

What part of what i edited was POV? I'm trying to clean the stuff up here, guys ;-) To give an example of why those sources were removed, Tarnopil, Lviv, and Stanislaviv are said there to be a combined 110-120,000 dead. Timothy Snyder, on the other hand, says the death toll in Galicia as a whole was limited to 25,000 (see: The Reconstruction of Nation, pg, 176). The former is obviously an extreme overstatement. --Львівське (talk) 01:47, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Selective sourcing[edit]

First of all, the removal of several scholarly monographs published in the last decade, in order to promote a single claim made 12 years ago, is not acceptable per Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. Our policy requires that: "the reporting of different views on a subject adequately reflects the relative levels of support for those views." Snyder, in his Reconstruction of Nations (PDF, page 176), quotes a single source in support of his statement. His book doesn't include data collected by historians who published in the following decade. His only source, used twice in chapter "The Embattled Ukrainian Borderland" (notes #54 and #76) is: Gregorz Hryciuk, “Straty ludności na Wolyniu w latach 1941–1944,” Polska—Ukraina: Trudne pytania, Vol. 5-6, Warsaw: Karta 1999-2000. Obviously, the available research collected by other specialists, some of them, under the auspices of Polish Institute of National Remembrance is more up to date, if not more accurate than that. Secondly, changing numbers supported by references already provided, and than removing these references, is considered by Wikipedia behavioral guidelines as a sign of Disruptive editing. — Caruk12 (talk) 19:27, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

just double checked and in ref 76 he cites Hryciuk, Kotarba, and Iliushyn; and the book was published in '03, so its 8 years ago (not 12), hardly outdated.--Львівське (talk) 20:29, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Regarding ref 76. Snyder mentions Kotarba only in the work by Hryciuk, dated 1999 (note #54) and 2000 (note #76); not from a new source. My dates are correct. Please see Snyder: Notes to Pages 174–181. [76] (quote): For estimates, Gregorz Hryciuk, “Straty ludności w Galicji Wschodniej w latach 1941–1944,” Polska—Ukraina: Trudne pytania, Vol. 6, Warsaw: Karta, 2000, 294; (and [54]: Vol. 5, Warsaw: Karta, 1999, 278.) see also Ryszard Kotarba, “Zbrodnie nacjonalistów ukrain´skich w województwie tarnopolskim,” ibid., 267. (ibid. means the same source) For recollections of the Galician cleansing see II/17, II/1758/j, II/2266/p, II/94/t, II/1286/2kw, II/1322/2kw, AWKW. See also Il’iushyn, OUN-UPA i ukrains’ke pytannia, 113. (Iliushyn's recolections are mentioned only in passing in this case). — Caruk12 (talk) 21:20, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
It's not just a single claim, Snyder is the authority on this topic, so it seemed logical to use, if anything, his number over anyone else's. I have a stack of other sources that would agree with these numbers. You only see the removed bloated figures from dubious Polish scholars. Heck, I even have a quote or two, if you'd like, by prominent impartial western scholars stating just that - that Polish numbers are artificially inflated. The use of these peripheral numbers would barely fly on the massacre article itself, likely they would be relegated to a sub-section on extreme estimates. Shouldn't this synopsis / sub-section mirror what the main article says, not go against it?--Львівське (talk) 20:02, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

The impression created here by User:Lvivske, is that his unilateral and unexplained changes have a broader support in literature. That's definitely not the case with Snyder. Please look at the following revision: "over 60,000" changed to "35,000 Polish civilians being murdered"... Timothy Snyder said on page 170: "All in all, the UPA killed forty to sixty thousand Polish civilians in Volhynia in 1943" (see note #54, the same single source: Hryciuk, per above). The number "35,000" therefore, has no backing in any of the references listed or even mentioned here.[1]Caruk12 (talk) 21:33, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Generally its 35+ for Volyn (35-60), 60+ for the entire war. The 35 base figure is supported by Katchanovski and is what we're currently using in the lede on the main article. Refs do need to be carried over to finish the fixing, yes, but its not like I'm making things up here.--Львівське (talk) 21:48, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

related to above[edit]

Ok in regard to this edit [2].

  • I think that the events described are generally referred to as "Volhynia massacre" or "Wolyn massacre" or something like that, rather than "Polish-Ukrainian civil war" or "conflict". The "civil war" definitely, and "conflict" probably appear to be original research.
Timothy Snyder refers to it strictly as "the Polish-Ukrainian civil war", in exactly those terms (and also at times a 'the Polish-Ukrainian conflict(s)'). Marples referts to it as the "Polish Ukrainian conflict" and Piotrowski rejects the concept of "‘fratricidal Polish-Ukrainian conflict” or an “undeclared Polish-Ukrainian War”. Rudling refers to “the conflicts that occurred between Ukrainians and Poles during the war". Referring to the entirety of events as simply the "Volhynia massacre" is a biased Polish representation of events that took place in Volhynia, Galicia, Lublin, Rzeszów, Podalia, and into other border areas of Poland itself. It only works if you narrow yourself to only the region of Volyn - and ignores the many thousands of Ukrainians that were massacred; and also ignores the massacres of Ukrainians that began by Poles as early as 1942. Its a multi dimensional, multisided conflict that spanned several years. I've yet to find an English source that refers to the entirety of the conflict in just the terms of it being a "volhynian massacre" or anything like that.--Львівське (talk) 17:20, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Ok, I'm fine with "Polish-Ukrainian conflict" in this particular article.Volunteer Marek (talk) 17:51, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  • The edit removed a whole bunch of sourced text along with sources. It may be the case that some of these sources were not reliable, but in that case let's bring that up here on the talk page first.
  • "resulted in over 60,000 Polish civilians, being brutally murdered" was changed to "resulted in over 35,000 Polish civilians being murdered". I agree that the word "brutally" is a bit POV here and probably should be removed. Likewise most likely "over 60,000" is picking an upper bound. But then again picking 35,000 is taking a lower bound. Per the discussion we had here [3], and the tables we made the upper bound would in fact be 60k (in Volhynia alone) - this is pretty much in all the sources. 35,000 is Katchanovski's lower bound and AFAIK the only place that number appears. So how about using "up to 60,000" (rather than "over") for this part.
  • The numbers for the other areas affected by the violence as they were given prior to Lvivske's edit were in fact probably exaggerated and based on a somewhat sketchy source (Siekierka). Again, based on other sources as found in the table we made [4], the deaths in other areas were probably somewhere between 10k and 25k. So I'm fine with removing the Siekierka numbers but I do think we should replace them with legitimate numbers from reliable sources. Also as a result the statement that "total Polish civilian losses are estimated to exceed 60,000" applies only to Volhynia - total losses for all areas affected by conflict were probably from 80k to 100k.
The total figure really depends on how you interpret the numbers and add up the sources. Volhynia goes as low as 35 and Galicia 10, and Lublin 5, so the total low end IN UKRAINE is 50, so saying the losses exceed 60 isn't an inaccurate statement. The biggest problem is that the Volhynia numbers span from 35 to 3x as high, which makes up this conflict wide margin.--Львівське (talk) 17:32, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that's sort of true since some of the sources are not clear exactly about which area they're talking about. However, we do have sources (Snyder, Motyka, etc.) which are specific on the question. I guess we could go with "between 35 and 60 thousand for Volhynia alone" rather than "as high as 60 thousand in Volhynia alone" thought my only concern is that the 35 number comes from only one source and all other sources give higher estimates (Snyder says "more than 40k", "as high as 60k" etc.) Likewise I'd go with Motyka here for areas other than Volhynia, unless there's a sources which directly contradict him.Volunteer Marek (talk) 17:57, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
I think Katch' is using the 34,647 figure of accounted for deaths as the baseline, and that its more grounded to use the lower bound. Snyder says 50 (40 by July). I think it's important to stay in the realistic realm of 35-50 and not allow it to arbitrarily creep into the 100s of thousands. What does Motyka say for the other areas? Btw; I'm making a new article on this topic (the entire conflict, not just volhynia), should I start a stub or should we just talk here? I guess what's in this section can be used as a bit of foundation for what goes in the fully expanded article.--Львівське (talk) 19:26, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  • The text that was added, starting with "In addition to also killing as many Ukrainians ..." and ending with "...sides lost their lives over the course of this conflict." is unsourced and problematic in some parts. Specifically:
    • what does "also killing as many Ukrainians" mean? "As many" as what?
    • "the war led to ethnic cleansing and retaliatory killings in kind by Poles" - Operation Vistula was an act of ethnic cleansing for sure but then that should be mentioned specifically. "Retaliatory killings" in Volhynia were not ethnic cleansing. Also numbers matter for comparison. The best source for this I know of is Motyka who puts the "retaliatory killings" in Volhynia at 2 to 3 thousand. He puts total Ukrainian deaths (including Galicia etc.) at 10k to 20k.
    • "Poles not in the AK also took up arms by collaborating with Nazi Germany in policing roles" - This is unclear and missing some context.
    • The rest of the added text is fine I think though it could use citations. Also it might be worth mentioning that the Germans were playing up and egging on both sides.08:54, 4 April 2011 (UTC) (VM)

white washing[edit]

The Polish collaboration does not really get mentioned in this article, which seems to reflect the Polish narrative, that ignores Polish responsibilty and postulates the myth that only Germans or only Russians were responsible for all crimes under fascism/communism. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:07, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Strange, I can see "Rare instances of collaboration with the occupiers" subparagraph. This article is about the period 1939-1945, so the comment about crimes under communism misinforms.Xx236 (talk) 13:48, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

Poles also beat the Enigma cypher.[edit]

I have removed the above statement from the Collaboration paragraph. Xx236 (talk) 12:49, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Just out of interest, why? Someone will ask. Britmax (talk) 13:00, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Enigma research took place in Poland before the war and this article is about the war.
  • It wasn't a form of collaboration with the Nazis.Xx236 (talk) 12:40, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
I have added "Poles beat the Enigma cypher and transferred the results to France and United Kingdom." to the former article History of Poland (1918–39).Xx236 (talk) 12:48, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Soviets promoted prayers to Stalin?[edit]

> Children were told that they should pray to paintings of Stalin instead of the cross, and were rewarded with sweets and candy for this.[11]

This strikes me as an obvious propaganda rumour; indeed, it appears in almost the same form in the notorious so-bad-it's-good Christian anticommunist exploitation movie If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? with Fidel Castro instead of Stalin.(YouTube) It sounds plausible and terrifying to pious Catholics but it makes no sense in terms of Communist doctrine or practice. I don't have access to the book source given (or read Polish in any case) but the UK [Catholic Herald archive]( has the story sourced to an Italian newspaper. The complete lack of journalistic details, combined with the use of quoted dialogue that could not possibly have been actually transcribed from the event, if anything engenders less confidence than before.

And before anyone starts, yes I'm aware that this story is found in many books published long after the events and there are even living people today who remember this incident happening to them in particular. (Including with obviously fantastical details like "a hole opened up in the ceiling and candy poured out.") Neither of these facts are at all dispositive; I think we need a credible source close to the events in place and time if this info is to remain. (talk) 15:58, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

Europa Europa allegedly shows a candy rain, the movie is based on Solomon Perel's book. Both Holland and Perel aren't probably Roman Catholics and they don't study RC propaganda. Pray may be a naive way of describing Soviet practices. Please remember that Soviet pictures replaced orthodox icons in many families. I don't have unfortunately the quoted book by Trela. Allegedly candies were distributed during Communist meetings in post-war Poland.Xx236 (talk) 07:18, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
Here comes an eyewitness account by Adam Macedoński, unfortunately 2007. [5].Xx236 (talk) 08:00, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
It seems to me as a way of training (like animals, Classical conditioning), at the same time anti-Soviet behavior was punished.Xx236 (talk) 08:08, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

This article needs a rewrite[edit]

The middle sections seem like a fork of Occupation of Poland (1939–45)/War crimes in occupied Poland during World War II. I proposed merging them, see talk of the occupation article. As part of the cleanup of those topics, I'd suggest rewriting this article into a chronological overview of Poland in 1939-1945 rather than topical; this would make it fit closer with others article in the History of Poland series. Ping User:Orczar. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 05:56, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

I've been working on improving a couple of People's Poland's articles lately, but if the greater need is here, I could interrupt these and work on a chronological WWII article. Orczar (talk) 16:48, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
@Orczar: Regarding the need, I'd say check out article's popularity stats either by using the views tool in the history tab, or the Wikipedia:WikiProject Poland/Popular pages. I see you've been working on 1968_Polish_political_crisis; the article on History of Poland (1939-45) is twice as popular among the readers: compare to --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 03:45, 22 May 2014 (UTC)

The lead - the Gleiwitz incident, a provocation staged by the Gestapo[edit]

German Wikipedia says "SS", not "Gestapo". Xx236 (talk) 06:47, 22 May 2014 (UTC)

And reliable sources say...? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 06:57, 23 May 2014 (UTC)
SS and Gestapo is probably a secure statement. But the lead shouldn't contain a controversial and unsourced statement.Xx236 (talk) 07:16, 23 May 2014 (UTC)
I just changed it to uncontroversial Germans.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 13:01, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

Collaboration with the occupiers[edit]

A long section written basically to argue that there was little collaboration. Then why the long section. The discussion of this more peripheral issue belongs to the Occupation of Poland (1939–45) article. Orczar (talk) 15:35, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

I agree with this general point, but then why are you trying to expand it? Also, in regard to this [6] you just can't say this in Wikipedia voice. You have one source. Ok. ANd it's published in Gazeta Wyborcza which is generally perceived as partisan on the issue. There are other sources. Like the one I've used recently on the HCMB article. Which don't see it as "collaboration". Some of them are actually pretty explicit that this wasn't collaboration. What was the Brigade suppose to do? Surrender to the Soviets and go willingly to death? Fight the Soviets and... go willingly to death (and still get accused of "collaboration")? Or get the hell out of dodge before the Soviets got there? Even if that did require a temporary cease-fire with the German.
I'm not a fan of the NSZ. But you're trying to make this a black-and-white issue where in fact this is exactly the kind of issue which is anything but black-and-white.Volunteer Marek (talk) 23:52, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
The brigade got out on time by whatever means they could, they were lucky, saved themselves. What Rafał Wnuk wrote in a larger context is I'm sure generally correct and it took courage on his part because stuff like that doesn't help a historian's career now. Right-wing nationalistic views are officially promoted so you don't get many Polish sources that say otherwise. In the past the ultra-nationalistic right was judged more harshly by their contemporary mainstream Polish compatriots, and Rafał Wnuk brings this perspective. Then of course the historical Polish World War II issues are anything but black-and white, including the story of this brigade. Orczar (talk) 04:25, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Here's an online commentary about the Wnuk controversy:,zaklamuja-brygade.html If you have time, see also the Polish television documentary featuring actual real survivors at I wonder what you think about this new material, Poeticbent talk 06:55, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

The film is interesting because it shows the human aspect of the events (interviews with the participants). Orczar (talk) 03:59, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

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Thread started by banned editor User:HarveyCarter for his usual trolling purposes. Please ignore this kind of posts. Nick-D (talk) 09:19, 17 October 2016 (UTC) Removed. Poeticbent talk 13:40, 17 October 2016 (UTC)