German Leader Suggests Poland Partially Responsible for Nazi Invasion

A top party leader and associate of German Chancellor Angela Merkel is under fire this week for arguing that Poland may have been as responsible as Hitler for the outbreak of World War II. Erika Steinbach said Poland had mobilized its troops months before the Nazis invaded in September 1939.

Steinbach, 67, announced that she would leave the leadership of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Party

Steinbach is the daughter of a German army officer who served in Nazi-occupied Poland and at a meeting of the Christian Democratic (CDU) party pointed out that Poland mobilized its troops in March 1939 — six months before any attack by Hitler.

Of course, the Poles stayed within their borders as opposed to the Germans who invaded the country and ultimately killed over 6 million Poles — over 15 percent of its population.

Then of course there is the rest of Europe that was invaded . . . but that might have been due to the threat of mobilization.

Source: BBC

59 thoughts on “German Leader Suggests Poland Partially Responsible for Nazi Invasion”

  1. and i guess just as important as what the framers thought when they wrote the constitution, what did the people who ratified it think they were signing.
    i guess that’s why i’m not a strict constructionist.

  2. pete,

    I have just started Rakove’s “Original Meanings” and the point you mentioned in your last post has been mentioned as part of contextual, or ratification process, writings. I am not far enough into the book yet to know if he develops that point further, nor whether he accepts or rejects it.

    (I am, of course, referring to the 13 colonies and ratification, not to poland’s lebensraum)

  3. As I recall, France was waiting to follow Britain’s lead on recognition of the Confederacy. Britain didn’t recognize the Confederacy for a number of reasons. Slavery was vastly unpopular in England, thanks in part to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and they had other sources of cotton in Egypt and India. The incompetence and arrogance of the South’s diplomats had something to do with it too; they basically phrased their overtures as a threat that if the UK didn’t recognize them, they would strangle the British economy with a cotton embargo (the Union blockade wasn’t very effective until about halfway through the war). Palmerston was naturally unwilling to be seen as caving in to Southern coercion.

  4. i’m not sure all of the original 13 states would have ratified the constitution if they didn’t believe their state legislatures could vote themselves back out.
    of course there is no way of knowing now and it’s not like this hasn’t been argued at least once before.

    and poland had it coming, walking around with her lebensraum hanging out like that.

  5. Basic Schematic:

    Confederacy=Treason. No other viable way to see it.

    Whereas NAZI Germany= unprovoked aggression.

  6. Vince Treacy,

    Poor ID … charged out of the trenches, like Bell, and was annihilated with facts. That’s what happens to posters who fail to acknowledge the wit of their betters!

    But back to the lesson … did not the French give serious consideration to officially supporting the Confederacy because of cotton and plans for Mexico but Union victories and Lincoln’s diplomats dissuaded them from that course?

  7. VT,

    You too are correct. It is my understanding that the South actually invaded the North….in war preparations….

  8. There is some more detail about the story here:,,5989586,00.html.

    Steinbach specifically said that “Everybody knows it was our country that started World War II.”

    It is wrong to suggest that Steinbach must be pro-Nazi because she represents ethnic Germans who were expelled from Russia, Poland and Czechoslovakia after the war. That would be like saying that anyone who sympathizes with ethnic Japanese forced out of their homes and imprisoned by the U.S. government must be a supporter of Tojo’s militarists.

    Steinbach apparently was defending statements by two of her party members, Arnold Toelg and Hartmut Saenger. Toelg’s statement seems suspicious, saying that the German invasion was a “second step” in the events leading up to World War II, after Polish mobilization; that might be an attempt to blame the war on Poland. I can’t tell if Steinbach was defending this whole thesis, or merely admitting that Poland had in fact mobilized forces in March 1939. Hartmut Saenger apparently said that other powers beside Germany were also hungry for war; that seems unobjectionable, given Italy’s wars against Ethiopia and Albania, Japan’s war against China, and Russia’s war against Finland. Of course, all those powers were German allies at some point, and their aggression doesn’t reduce Germany’s fault at all.

  9. Illiterate Degenerate said: “By the way, Jefferson Davis, was a West Point Graduate and was capable of winning the war. He was countermanded by his own Generals that found it difficult to fire upon their Friends and Comrades.”

    This is very illiterate history. Davis, the West Pointer an Secretary of War, fancied himself as a military genius, but tossed his own secretaries of war aside, and micromanaged much of the war to disaster. Many think he lost the war single-handedly in 1864. He replaced the defensive minded Johnston, whom he hated personally, because would have dug in around Atlanta. Had that happened, Sherman would never have gained Atlanta before the election. Lincoln would have lost to the appeaser, McClellan, who would have sued for peace and restored all freed men to slavery.

    Many think Davis himself was to blame. He put in the replacement, the romantic, aggressive John Bell Hood who stormed out of the trenches like a true cavalier gentleman to challenge the northern guttersnipe aggressors in the open fields, like a true hero.

    Bell got most of his troops slaughtered.

    I.D. says they “found it difficult to fire upon their Friends and Comrades.”

    I guess I.D. never looked at the casualty tolls at Fredericksburg, Antietam, Gettysburg, Wilderness and Cold Harbor. Those “gentlemen” got over their difficulty in firing upon friends and comrades very rapidly.

    It looks as if I.D. never got that memo.

    Then illiterate writes: “Most people assumed that after the first battle at Gettysburg that the issue would be settled. It was not and the Northern Aggression was threatening Southern Commerce. The British were bank rolling a portion of the Southern Defense with weaponry and ships. Learn your history son and then come back and speak with some wit about you.”

    The “first battle at Gettysburg”? Huh? Maybe illiterate means the first battle at Manassas Bull Run? Hey, many thought that it was over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor. There is no arguing with illiteracy.

    “Northern Aggression”? Ha! The rebellious traitors bombarded a United States fort that had been peacefully and humanely resupplied with food and water, but no with weapons or ammunition.

    How was that “northern” aggression? Maybe it was the same as Pearl Harbor, because that was American aggression against the peaceful imperial Japanese militaristic empire, which just wanted to be left in peace as it swallowed the entire Pacific region into the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, without any nosy interference as it engaged in the Rape of Nanking and other atrocities? [irony]

    How about calling it the War of Southern Treason?

    ow about the War to Preserve Human Slavery?

    How about the War to Expand Slavery to the Territories and all of the United States?

    How about the War to Destroy the United States of America?

    The slavers lost the war.


    I.D. has supped on too much neo-confederate nonsense, and probably believes a lot of it by now, against all reason and fact.

    By the way, the British were neutral throughout the war, and never gave the so-called confederacy any significant military or financial support, precisely because Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation made it clear that the south was fighting for slavery, and the United States was fighting to free the slaves.

  10. HenMan,

    “Now, don’t ever make me defend the rotten bastard again!”

    Good show. Stalin is truly a hard to defend rotten bastard.

  11. AY: “What really gets me is the USSR never declared war with Japan until about thirty days before the war officially ended. The reason , oh to gather the spoils of the War….MONEY….”. AY- You force me to defend Stalin, a difficult thing to do. At the Yalta Conference in Feb.,1945, Stalin agreed, at FDR’s urging, to declare war on Japan 3 months after Germany surrendered. You will recall that Stalin was up to his moustache in Nazi’s in Feb.,1945. The Germans surrendered May 8,1945. Stalin declared war on Japan on Aug.8,1945 and invaded Manchuria, as promised. The A-bombs were dropped on Hiroshima Aug.6, and Nagasaki Aug.9. Granted this was a convenient time for Stalin to declare war, but this was one of the few times he kept his word on anything. Now, don’t ever make me defend the rotten bastard again!

  12. the hard way that is

    Pardon my sloppy writing as I am still nursing an injury from the Ringworld meteor defense system.

  13. Nessus,

    Nothing personal, but I’ve learned the hard to treat the words of a Pierson’s Puppeteer with the utmost skepticism. But then again, the Kzin have a hard time understanding a species whose primary survival adaptation is to run away.

  14. ID, (fits, don’t you think?)

    I thought “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda … in the end, faileda” was very clever and you failed to acknowledge my wit … I like AY much better than you …. he never fails me!

  15. I’ll take it when I own it….not today…how the hell do I have time to play 19 games (at the same time) of WF and screw around here….give me a break…

  16. It’s good to know that we’re not the only country capable of putting dimwits like Sarah Palin and Jan Brewer in high public office.

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