Polish People’s Republic… Or Not? A Historical Review

I am continuing to pick out and translate history-related materials that resonate with today’s events. This time, let’s take a closer look at Poland, especially after their forceful demand that Norway, presumably making itself rich on higher gas prices, should “coughs up some cash” for Ukraine, their military entering the conflict in Ukraine, their statement that Poland and Ukraine will not have any border soon, and Zelensky pushing through a law for the special status of Poles in Ukraine, which opens up for the absorption of former Ukraine (or what’s left of it) into Poland.

The article I am translating appeared on Ren.TV site on the 23nd of May 2022:

Crimes in the LPR can recreate the Polish People’s Republic
May 23, 2022, 09:48
Yuri Gorodnenko

The investigation of the Russian IC may have unexpected consequences for Warsaw.

Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przidac said that in the coming days Warsaw will consider reducing the level or completely severing diplomatic relations with Russia. This is how the Polish Foreign Ministry reacted to the decision of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation to launch an investigation into the crimes of Polish mercenaries on the territory of the Lugansk People’s Republic.

Indignation was also caused by the decision of the IC to investigate the attack on the Russian ambassador to Poland, Sergei Andreev. On May 9, the Russian diplomat laying wreaths at the graves of Soviet soldiers in Warsaw was attacked by a crowd of Poles and Ukrainians waiting for him. At the same time, the Polish law enforcement agencies demonstratively did nothing, making no attempts to protect the ambassador. According to Marcin Pzhidach, “the diplomat himself is to blame for this attack.” He allegedly provoked the attackers by his appearance.

At the same time, the Polish official was clearly let down by ignorance of his own law. Indeed, from the point of view of the Polish legislation, diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation have long been severed. Moreover, legally Poland considers itself in a state of war with Russia.

Such a situation arose when Poland proclaimed itself the Third Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Rzeczpospolita), and a norm appeared in the Polish Constitution, according to which the country is considered the successor of the Second Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Rzeczpospolita).

The Second Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (Rzeczpospolita) was established in 1918 with the support of the victorious countries in the First World War: the USA, England and France. It was originally formed as a racist state. According to the official doctrine, Poles were attributed “innate superiority” over Ukrainians, Belarusians, Russians, Jews, Germans, Lithuanians. In accordance with this, systematic discrimination was carried out against all national minorities. At the same time, Warsaw openly declared its intention to expand the “living space” to the east. The Polish government, encouraged by the United States, Britain and France, was looking for any reason to invade the USSR.

To this end, it carried out all kinds of provocations, very similar to the one carried out against Ambassador Andreev on May 9. They did not disdain even the murder of Soviet diplomatic representatives.

Photo: © Nette’s grave at the Vagankovsky cemetery, Wikipedia

In 1926, Soviet diplomatic courier Theodor Nette was killed on the Riga–Moscow train. The killers, the Gabrilovich brothers, were paid agents of the Second Department (military counter-intelligence) of the Polish General Staff.

In 1927, Soviet Ambassador to Poland Pyotr Voikov was killed in Warsaw.

In 1928, the head of the Soviet trade mission Alexei Lazarev was killed in Warsaw.

In 1933, Secretary of the Consulate General of the USSR Alexey Mailov was killed in Lvov, Poland.

The murderers either went unpunished or got off with symbolic punishments. No other state in the world has ever carried out such a large-scale terror against Soviet (Russian) diplomats.

The ideology of the Second Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was like a twin brother of the ideology of Nazi Germany. Therefore, until 1939, Warsaw and Berlin were allies and planned a joint campaign against the USSR. In September 1939, a situational conflict arose between them, which led to the German occupation of Poland. The Polish government did not practically resist and fled to London. But having lost its territory, it continued to look for a reason for war with the USSR. It also did not abandon plans for rapprochement with ideologically close Nazi Germany.

Photo: © wikipedia

After the invasion of the Wehrmacht into the territory of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, the Polish emigrant government signed a treaty of friendship and mutual assistance with the USSR. In accordance with it, the Soviet government subsidized the formation of several Polish divisions on its territory. These formations were called the “Anders’ Army”, after the name of the commander – General Vladislav Anders. It was assumed that the Polish units, upon completion of the formation, would go to the Soviet-German front to fight alongside the Red Army against the Wehrmacht.

However, at the decisive moment of the battle of Moscow, the Poles, instead of helping, began separate negotiations with Germany.

In November 1941, the former Prime Minister of the Second Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Leon Kozlovsky crossed the line of the Soviet-German Front. He appeared at the headquarters of the German army and offered his services. It was about a separate conspiracy with the London government and joint actions against the Red Army. At the time of crossing the front line, Kozlovsky was not a private person, but an employee of the Polish embassy in Moscow. He was accompanied by one of the staff officers of Anders’ Army.

This story had a sequel. In the summer of 1942, at the decisive moment of the Battle of Stalingrad, Anders’ Army refused to fight the Nazis and evacuated to the Middle East. In the autumn of 1942, the NKVD of the USSR arrested a number of employees of the Polish embassy in Moscow. Evidence was obtained of secret contacts between the London government and the Nazis. Diplomatic relations with the Poles were de facto suspended.

In April 1943, they were officially severed. This happened after the Polish emigrant government in London approved the participation of Poles in the war with the Red Army on the side of Nazi Germany. From that moment on, the London government was regarded as allied to the Third Reich. Legally, the USSR was at war with them.

Photo: © Polish Government in exile (November 1944), wikipedia

In 1945, the leaders of the USSR, the United States and the United Kingdom at the Yalta and Potsdam conferences recognized the Polish government in London as illegal. Formally, the Second Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which was at war with the USSR, ceased to exist. From that moment on, the Government of the Socialist Polish People’s Republic (PPR) was considered the only legitimate authority on the territory of Poland.

In 1989, the government changed in Poland. The new government decided to return to pre-war politics and refused to recognize the decisions of the Yalta and Potsdam Conferences. A transitional period was proclaimed until 1992, at the end of which Poland declared itself the legal successor not of the Polish People’s Republic, but of the Second Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It declared itself the Third Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

At the same time, the issue of ending the state of war in which the Second Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was with the USSR was not settled. The paradox is that Russia, as the successor of the USSR, has maintained diplomatic relations with Warsaw as the legal successor of the Polish People’s Republic.

Since then, the successor of the Second Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, according to its legislation, is formally at war with the successor of the USSR. Russia retains diplomatic relations with Poland as the legal successor of the Polish People’s Republic. And today Warsaw, willingly or unwittingly, is trying to eliminate this contradiction. The only question is what it will lead to. Won’t it turn out that the investigation of Polish crimes on the territory of one People’s Republic (Lugansk) will end with the restoration of another People’s Republic – the Polish one?

2 thoughts on “Polish People’s Republic… Or Not? A Historical Review

  1. Wow! Excellent piece, Stanislav! It’s amazing the amount of treachery that took place during and after the Second World War, including of course my own [US] country’s and the UK’s rapid betrayal of their wartime ally, the USSR.

    Those Polish loyalty reversals I’d never read about previously, and they’re quite astounding. Thanks for providing the translation.

  2. Pingback: A Historical Curiosity: Russian Subjects Are Joining NATO | Nemo's Realms

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