31. July 2004 · Comments Off on Chutzpah · Categories: European Disunion

I was reading this article in the Guardian and did a double-take when I read this paragraph:

Increasing German pressure on the Poles for an admission of the wrongs done to Germans at the end of the war and for some form of material compensation are causing intense resentment and mistrust in Poland, where 6 million people died during the war and whose invasion by Hitler in 1939 triggered the outbreak of the conflict.


You’re shitting me, right? The Germans, who put Hitler in power. The Germans, who kept Hitler in power. The Germans, who loved Hitler. The Germans, who did nothing as Jews, gypsies and other “undesirables” were led away to the camps to be slaughtered and worked to death. The Germans, who were Hitler’s willing executioners, want compensation for discomfort suffered at the end of a war they started? A war that resulted in over 20 million dead? If they want to start talking compensation, then they need to take a number and stand behind about 500 million people who have a greater claim.

If that wasn’t bad enough, there’s this:

Some 12 million Germans were kicked out of central Europe, many of them killed, at the war’s end, when Europe’s borders were redrawn by the allies. Poland, in particular, was literally lifted from east to west and transplanted on to territory that for centuries had been peopled by Germans.

The rightwing Prussian Trust organisation, which represents the families of expropriated and resettled Germans, has been launching private lawsuits in Poland for the return of lost property, believing that Poland’s accession to the EU in May will make it easier for Germans to reclaim their former homes.

That is a box you really don’t want to open, especially when it comes to the Poles. For starters, let’s begin with the “Hey, You Don’t Exist Anymore!” partition, whereby Prussia, Russia, and Austria simply declared Poland to be theirs. Sorry, you don’t exist anymore. My ancestor who came over on the boat wasn’t listed as Polish, but as Prussian. He left because education was limited to the Germanic elite, he was prohibited from speaking both Polish and his tribal tongue of Kascubian, and because you guys were assholes.

If you really want to get into it, little Prussian Trust, the land that your squatter ancestors occupied for a time used to be called Pomerania. Before that, it was populated by several Slavic tribes, among them the Kascubians, from whom I am descended. My name was there long before the pagan Tuetons made you “Prussians”. And you know what –and I mean this from the bottom of my heart– I’m glad your country doesn’t exist anymore.

And to the Guardian: Poland was not “literally lifted from east to west and transplanted”. Its traditional eastern territories were carved-up to create Ukraine and Belarus. The Poles who were displaced from those territories settled onto Western lands generously donated by the Germans after their killing spree.

While Mr Schröder and his foreign minister, Joschka Fischer, have sought to distance themselves from any German claims on Poland, the lobby for the resettled Germans, led by the Christian Democrat MP Erika Steinbach, is pressing for compensation, and for a new museum in Berlin dedicated to Germany’s own “victims of ethnic cleansing.”

I’m sure that these people are merely oddballs whose absurd cause is given the slightest legitimacy because they occupy a seat in the legislature, but still, the question does require asking: Germany, do you need your pee-pee spanked again?

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