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Encyclopedia > Territorial changes of Poland after World War II
This article is part
of the series:
Territorial changes of Poland
in 20th century
Poland
History of Poland
Lines
Curzon line
Oder-Neisse line
Areas
Kresy Wschodnie
Kresy Zachodnie
Recovered Territories
Historical Eastern Germany
Zaolzie
See also
History of Poland

Territorial changes of Poland after World War II have been very extensive. Image File history File links Polska_map_blank. ... The history of Poland from 1945 to 1989 spans the period of Soviet Communist dominance over the Peoples Republic of Poland in the decades following World War II. These years, while featuring many improvements in the standards of living in Poland, were marred by political instability, social unrest, and... The Curzon Line was a demarcation line proposed in 1919 by the British Foreign Secretary, Lord Curzon of Kedleston, as a possible armistice line between Poland, to the west, and Soviet Russia to the east, during the Polish-Soviet War of 1919–20. ... The Oder-Neisse line (German: Oder-Neiße-Grenze; Polish: Granica na Odrze i Nysie Łużyckiej) is the border between Germany and Poland. ... The name Kresy (Polish for borderlands, or more correctly Kresy Wschodnie, Eastern Borderlands) is used by Poles, mostly in historical context, to refer to the eastern part of Poland before the II World War. ... Kresy Zachodnie - (Polish: Western Borderlines) - term used used by Poles, mostly in historical context, to refer to the western part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, that after Partitions of Poland were anexed by Prussia. ... Note: although the term recovered territories has a clear meaning in Poland and Polish historiography, it is not a widely accepted term or concept in Germany or in English-speaking nations. ... Historic Eastern Germany or Ex-German Eastern Territories are terms which can be used to describe collectively those provinces or regions east of the Oder–Neisse line which were under the administration of a unified German state from 1871 until 1945 and were recognised as part of Germany by the... Zaolzie (Czech Záolší (Zaolží), Slezsko zaolšanské, Polish Zaolzie, Śląsk zaolziański meaning Trans-Olza river) was the area disputed between Poland and Czechoslovakia West of Cieszyn with approximately 906 km² and 258,000 inhabitants. ... In the first centuries of its emergence in the 10th century, the Polish nation was led by a series of strong rulers who converted the Poles to Christendom, created a strong Central European state, and integrated Poland into European culture. ...


In Western Europe the start of the Second World War is usually dated from the German invasion of Poland, 1 September 1939. Both Britain and France had given guarantees to protect Poland from attack. A common understanding of Western Europe in modern times Western Europe was largely defined by the Cold War, with the Iron Curtain separating it from Eastern Europe (Warsaw Pact countries). ... Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km into the air. ... September 1 is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years). ... 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ...


In 1945, Poland's borders were redrawn, following the decision taken at the Teheran Conference of 1943 at the insistence of the Soviet Union. The eastern territories which the Soviet Union had occupied in 1939 (minus the Bialystok region) were permanently annexed, and most of their Polish inhabitants expelled: today these territories are part of Belarus, Ukraine and Lithuania. In compensation, Poland was given former German territory (the so-called Regained Territories): the southern two thirds of East Prussia and all of Pomerania, Brandenburg and Silesia, up to the Oder-Neisse line. These territories were repopulated with Poles expelled from the eastern regions. Polish resistance fighters were incarcerated or deported to Siberia by Stalin in line with decisions forced upon Churchill and Roosevelt. 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1945 calendar). ... From left to right, Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill The Tehran Conference was the meeting of Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill between November 28 and December 1, 1943 that took place in Tehran, Iran. ... 1943 (MCMXLIII) is a common year starting on Friday. ... 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... Białystok (pronounce: [bȋa:wistɔk]) (Belarusian: Беласток, Lithuanian: Balstogė) is the largest city (pop. ... Note: although the term recovered territories has a clear meaning in Poland and Polish historiography, it is not a widely accepted term or concept in English speaking nations. ... East Prussia (German: Ostpreu en; Polish: Prusy Wschodnie; Russian: Восточная Пруссия — Vostochnaya Prussiya) was a province of Kingdom of Prussia, situated on the territory of former Ducal Prussia. ... Historic Western Pomerania (outlined in yellow) on the background of modern country borders. ... Surrounding but excluding the national capital Berlin, Brandenburg is one of Germanys sixteen Bundesländer (federal states). ... Prussian Silesia, 1871, outlined in yellow; Silesia at the close of the Seven Years War in 1763, outlined in cyan (areas now in Czech Republic were Austrian-ruled at that time) Silesia (-Latin, Polish: ÅšlÄ…sk, German: Schlesien, Czech: Slezsko) is a historical region in central Europe. ... The Oder-Neisse line (German: Oder-Neiße-Grenze; Polish: Granica na Odrze i Nysie Łużyckiej) is the border between Germany and Poland. ...

Poland's old and new borders, 1945

The fact, that Western leaders tried to force Polish leaders to accept the conditions of Stalin is a matter of continuing resentment for some Poles even today. Some view it as a "betrayal" of Poland by the Western allies (which can be seen as part of a larger "betrayal" to allow it to fall entirely into the Soviet sphere of influence anyway). Moreover, it was used by ruling communists to underline anti-Western sentiments. It was easy to argue, that Poland wasn't too important to the West, since its leaders sacrificed Polish borders, legal government and free elections. On this background even Stalin was made to look better, since he had strong interests in Poland. Image File history File links Map of Poland in 1945, drawn by User: Adam Carr. ... Image File history File links Map of Poland in 1945, drawn by User: Adam Carr. ... Western betrayal is a popular term in several Central European nations (including Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and other Eastern European states) which refers to the foreign policy of several Western countries during the period from the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 through World War II and to the...


Defenders of the actions taken by the Western allies maintain that realpolitik made it impossible to do anything else, and that they were in no shape to start a war with the Soviet Union over the subjugation of Poland and other Eastern European countries immediately after the end of World War II. Bliss Lane claimed that some actions of Secretary of State were a result of ignorance rather than realpolitik. Realpolitik (German: real (realistic, practical or actual) and Politik (politics)) is a term to describe or prescribe politics based on strictly practical rather than idealistic notions, and practiced without any sentimental illusions. ...


The latest discussion indicates that the real problem was that Western politicians had promised Stalin that they would settle the issue of borders with the Poles, but failed to do so. The Polish Prime Minister, expecting a serious debate on the borders, faced Stalin, who expected this problem to be already solved — in his favour. The result was the failure of the Warsaw Uprising, and 200 000 civilian victims. Combatants Poland Germany Commanders Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski, Antoni ChruÅ›ciel, Tadeusz PeÅ‚czyÅ„ski Erich von dem Bach, Rainer Stahel, Heinz Reinefarth, [Bronislav Kaminski] Strength 50,000 troops 25,000 troops Casualties 18,000 killed, 12,000 wounded, 15,000 taken prisoner 250,000 civilians killed 10,000 killed...


See also

The Curzon Line was a demarcation line proposed in 1919 by the British Foreign Secretary, Lord Curzon of Kedleston, as a possible armistice line between Poland, to the west, and Soviet Russia to the east, during the Polish-Soviet War of 1919–20. ... Historic Eastern Germany or Ex-German Eastern Territories are terms which can be used to describe collectively those provinces or regions east of the Oder–Neisse line which were under the administration of a unified German state from 1871 until 1945 and were recognised as part of Germany by the... The name Kresy (Polish for borderlands, or more correctly Kresy Wschodnie, Eastern Borderlands) is used by Poles, mostly in historical context, to refer to the eastern part of Poland before the II World War. ... The Oder-Neisse line (German: Oder-Neiße-Grenze; Polish: Granica na Odrze i Nysie Łużyckiej) is the border between Germany and Poland. ... Note: although the term recovered territories has a clear meaning in Poland and Polish historiography, it is not a widely accepted term or concept in Germany or in English-speaking nations. ...

References


 
 

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