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11-08-2015, 19:07

The Polish Question

From Teheran onwards the late of Poland was interwoven with that of the Reich. Only another war could have prevented Stalin from reabsorbing Poland's eastern provinces, which were populated by Bielorussians and Ukrainans. No one wanted to gamble on a war between the Allies. The solution was to repav Poland with the territory from the west up to the Oder Neisse line. The Polish government in London and the Lublin Committee concurred on this one point. Stalin wanted this adjustment of the Western frontier to produce a permanent amalgamation of Poland with Germany. Only Churchill had qualms about 'stuffing the Polish goose'. However, there was an Eastern Neisse and a Western Neisse. At Yalta, a final choice between the two was postponed until a peace treaty had been drawn up. At Potsdam Soviet Russia confronted her allies with two accomplished facts: direct rule had been restored within the territories which in principle belonged to Poland; and the western frontiers of these territories coincided with the Eastern Neisse. Since the German population had largely withdrawn from the area and Polish settlers had begun to replace them, the question had been settled in practice if not bv law. The British and Americans had advocated joint rule in Poland by the London and Lublin governments, but Stalin regarded the London government as enemies of Russia and refused it status equal with Lublin. The Lublin Committee had already established itself in Poland and was making laws and administering them. The London rivals were interned. Stalin called a meeting of the Polish resistance leaders at Moscow and threw them into prison. The Americans and British had no choice but to give in. As the skeleton of the new Polish government was communist, it was clear that Poland would adjust her internal and foreign policies to accord with Soviet Russia. It was agreed that the Polish people should have the opportunitv of ratifying the arrangement in a free election, but when it came to the (act, Stalin vigorously opposed the presence of foreign observers in Poland during the elections. He argued that this would be an insult to the Poles. The elections were supervised by the Red Army.