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political world

The Polish Question, Jewish Beneficiaries of Polish Losses, Encyclopedic Detail on the Polish anti-Prussian Economic Moves, etc

jan peczkis|Friday, September 30, 2011

The author is not sympathetic to Poles. He repeatedly regards them (and cites those who agree with him), as too emotional and quarrelsome a people to acquire or keep a state.

Butler alludes to the Litvaks, and the tsarist Russian policies designed to exacerbate Jewish-gentile conflicts, as follows: "The problem of the Jew in countries like Russia and Poland cannot be stated in terms of Western Europe. It is conditioned, not primarily by religious feeling, but by economic conditions...The official Russian policy in recent years of concentrating the Jews in the Western provinces led to a large influx of Russian Jews into Poland (general called `Lithuanian Jews' [Litvaks] though they do not for the most part come from Lithuania), who compete with the original Polish Jews, and have markedly lowered the standard of living...They held, and hold, four-fifths of the trade of the country in their hands, and control a large proportion--how large is not easy from the available statistics to determine--of the capital invested in Polish industry." (pp. 124-125).


The author continues about the Jews and their self-imposed apartheid (my term): "With the exception of a very small number of wealthy individuals, who would like Judaism to be treated as it is treated in Western Europe, as an affair, not of nationality, but of religion, the Jews in Poland speak a different language, wear a different dress, eat different food, are educated in different schools, and organized in different political Parties, from their Christian neighbors. Movements like Zionism, which in West European eyes seem to have a purely visionary appeal, assume an intensely practical significance in the politics of Eastern Europe." (p. 125).

As for Jewish political radicalism, Butler comments: "Social Democracy made its first appearance after the close of the [19th] century, and was confined almost exclusively to the towns, where it was colored and dominated by the White Russian and Jewish revolutionaries." (p. 60).

Holocaust-uniqueness advocates would have us believe that genocide of Jews was special because of the long-held so-called Jewish Question. This is, at best, a NON SEQUITUR, if only because "Jewish Question" was open-ended (e. g., p. 125), and history cannot run backward. Moreover, Jews were not the only ones seen as some kind of challenge or problem requiring some sort of solution. Butler used the term Polish Question many times (see Index, p. 172, left side) and various German authors not only wrote of a JUDENFRAGE, but also of a POLENFRAGE (e. g., p. 85).

Nowadays, much is said about how Polish owners of post-Jewish properties are the beneficiaries of the German-made Holocaust. However, benefitting from the foreign-induced losses of the other was/is a two-way street in Polish-Jewish relations. Jews often were the beneficiaries of the heavy-handed Prussian policies that expropriated land from Polish owners. Butler comments: "Between 1886 and 1890, the Settlement Commission acquired 133,824 acres of land, 90 per cent of which came from Polish landlords, and settled 650 German families. The purchase money, or such part of it as the vendors could save from the Jews, filtered through to Paris, Nice, and Monte Carlo in the usual way." (p. 91).

This book provides extensive detail about how the Prussian Poles developed themselves into an economic force that thwarted the Prussianization attempts of the likes of Bismarck and von Buelow. (pp. 83-102). The Prussian Polish peasant national consciousness was said to awaken about 1873, when the Germans tried to force the German language on the Poles. (p. 87). That year, there were 7 Peasant Unions in Poznania. In 1875, there were 58; in 1876, 74; in 1877, 105, and in 1880, 130. (p. 87).

Butler comments: "They [the Poles] have organized the economic life, first of the peasant, then of the tradesman, and, lastly, of the artisan, with an enterprise and a patience incredible to anyone who has studied the Polish character only in Galicia and the Kingdom. They have learned from the Prussian oppressor the virtue of discipline...They have evolved a State within a State..." (p. 84).

The Polish co-operative banks, like the earlier German ones on which they were modeled, existed in order to organize credit. The German ones, in turn, had been modeled by the English co-operative banks, whose goal had been to eliminate competition while relying on joint-stock banks for organization of credit. (p. 89).

The Polish co-operatives always included German members in order that the Prussian government would not bear down too hard out of fear of harming these Germans. (p. 96). By about 1900, the Polish co-operative movement had grown so powerful that the Prussian authorities could not destroy it without causing an economic crisis. (p. 97).

The end result of the Polish co-operative movement was a fine example of what nowadays is called POLAK POTRAFI (The Pole can do it.) It also was a veritable role-reversal of the disciplined German and the emotional, quarrelsome Pole: "The German co-operative societies have neither the cohesion nor the discipline of the Polish societies...The German Peasants' Association and the German Landlords' Association fight openly, while the Pole mocks." (p. 100).

In time, the Prussian model was adopted, on a smaller scale, in Russian-ruled Poland. It ran into the same "growing pains" that its Prussian counterpart had encountered some twenty years earlier. (pp. 104-405).
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