Dear Eve, You wrote: The 6 million figure representing Jewish deaths you quoted is also the exact same total of Polish citizen deaths of World War II, which isMessage 1 of 17 , Feb 6, 2012View Source
You wrote: The 6 million figure representing Jewish deaths you quoted is also the exact same total of Polish citizen deaths of World War II, which is roughly equal for both groups, Poles and Jews. This 6 or almost 6 (very high 5.-something)
million figure of Polish citizen deaths is unknown to the world.
One might also question if this number and it is the number I grew up with, is accurate. Ok, approximately 2.7 to 2.9 Million Polish Jews died/were killed (although I have seen lower estimates) but where does the remaining 3 million come from? The figure is wildly inaccurate and comes from an initial estimate produced in 1947... close to the event. Only today are Polish historians trying to get an accurate number of the actual numbers. Why? Because it matters and because someone should. Even going by traditional estimates how many ethnic Poles did the Germans Kill? 2 Million? 2.5 million? 3 million? How many ethnic Poles did the Soviets Kill? 1 million? 1.5 million? How many Polish ethnic Ukrainians died in the war? How many Polish ethnic Byelorussians died? How many died in the Polish-Ukrainian fighting? Polish gypsies? Polish Lithuanians? Polish Germans? They were all Polish citizens. 3 million for the all of these people? The figure must surely have been higher so where does our original 6 million go? The point I am making is that the numbers I grew up with, and the numbers that those older than I have always believed are not necessarily accurate which is why I cannot agree with your statement:
major revisions of any number done recently, so many years after the war, is totally ridiculous.
What we think we know should be open to scrutiny otherwise we have to accept the information of others as an article of faith and I'm not prepared to do that.
A few days ago Wladek Orlowski suggested [his post 48229] that we should look at the number of Poles deported based on the number of ethnic Poles who lived in the Kresy in 1939. His actual phrase was "Polish Catholics" I think it's a great idea but how many Poles were living there? Who knows?! The oft quoted figure is 5.5 million. You can probably see where I am going with this! The figure is based on the 1931 Polish census with some amendments for projected trends in population. Historians from the ethnic minorities dispute this figure by as much as one million. If these historians are to be believed the figure for ethnic Poles in the Kresy would be about the 4 to 4.5 million mark. I'm not saying I agree with this view, but it would be wrong to dismiss it out of hand just because it wounds our national pride. It is worthy of consideration if only to prove it wrong. There were questions raised before 1939 among Polish statisticians and, more damming, the man who was actually responsible for the census, Edward Szturm de Sztrem, actually admitted after the war that the Polish government had cooked the books. To save people the trouble of writing yes, the national minorities would say that wouldn't they and yes, de Sztrem was writing from communist Poland so his words are suspect. However, even without that, there are enough questions that can be raised with the census to make the generally accepted conclusions questionable. I'll give you a couple of examples:
In Tarnopol Province there were 871,971 followers of the Greco-Catholic Faith. The question in the census did not ask what is your nationality? It asked what is your mother language? The logical conclusion, albeit flawed, is that anyone whose mother language was Polish must be an ethnic Pole. There were 397,248 Ukrainians and 316,936 "Ruthenians" listed as Greco_Catholics. The remaining 150,000+ were listed as Poles. In Stanislawow the disparity beween Greco_Catholics and Polish speakers was 67,097. So how many ethnic Poles were Greco-Catholics?
Another example. In the City of Lwow there were 143,466 Yiddish speakers and 14,139 Hebrew speakers. I'm assuming they were, according to their passports, "Jews". However, there were 242,810 practicing members of the Jewish faith in the city. The other 84,518 are in the "Polski" column. What was their ethnicity? What did it say in their passports?
If you just go by Roman Catholicism alone then polonized Ukrainians, Ruthenians and Byelorussians lose their national identity and bulk up the Polish figure. What's my point? Figures have been and continue to serve various agenda and should not be accepted at face value, whenever they were formulated.
Final point. No, Poles in the Soviet Union prior to 1939 are not generally included in the figure for casualties of the Polish Second Republic in the WW2. I also do not include them. Perhaps they should have been, but to date they are not. They are counted among the Soviet war dead. That's how it is, and it does make counting difficult. Shifting borders and population transfers make this a statistical nightmare.
That's it for now. If anyone has the figures for post-war repatriation I would very much like to see them. Failing that, I shall report back on this subject when I have collected some more details.
Best regards, Mark Ostrowski
PS, With regards to the Soviet death toll for those interested, It is discussed in great detail, and at length, here by some kindred spirits:
I noticed that in the census figures -- that the categorization was by Mother Tongue, not by ethnicity. Surely there were Jews (as you have just shown) andMessage 1 of 17 , Feb 6, 2012View SourceI noticed that in the census figures -- that the categorization was by
Mother Tongue, not by ethnicity. Surely there were Jews (as you have
just shown) and Ukrainians who held positions of importance in the
larger community and for whom Polish was the language of daily life, but
who at the core of their being regarded themselves as Jewish or
Ukrainian. (The same would be true of Germans and Belorussians, but
their numbers in Lwow would have been small.)
Beyond the 242,810, very likely there were some secularized Jews (I
think of university professors) for whom Polish was the mother tongue
and who did not practice their religion, so would be shown in neither of
those categories (Yiddish/Hebrew speakers, practicing Jews).
I long ago concluded that when we began to speak of one hundred of
anything, it was very difficult to be precise. With one thousand I
suspect it is almost impossible. We are speaking here of hundreds of
thousands, and ultimately of millions.
But don't stop on that account! -- Dan Ford, New Hampshire USA
On 2/6/2012 6:11 AM, Mark and Oyun wrote:
> In the City of Lwow there were 143,466 Yiddish speakers and 14,139
> Hebrew speakers. I'm assuming they were, according to their passports,
> "Jews". However, there were 242,810 practicing members of the Jewish
> faith in the cit
Dear Dan, I take the point that... Beyond the 242,810, very likely there were some secularized Jews (I think of university professors) for whom Polish was theMessage 1 of 17 , Feb 6, 2012View Source
I take the point that...
Beyond the 242,810, very likely there were some secularized Jews (I think of university professors) for whom Polish was the mother tongue and who did not practice their religion, so would be shown in neither of those categories (Yiddish/Hebrew speakers, practicing Jews).
But if they were not in the Jewish (linguistic or faith) group, were they in the Polish group? There is nowhere else to put them. There is no nationality/ethnicity category; mother tongue or faith is all you get. Even though they probably had "Jew" stamped in their passports, when it comes to the statistics of population they were Poles... which is why there is the controversy over the census. This is a small example; the whole Orthodox/Grecocatholic numbers only magnify the questions. Across the 8 Kresy provinces and two Urban districts there were 477,835 Grecocatholics who put Polish as their mother language and 349,636 Orthodox who put Polish. This gives 827,474 whose actual ethnicity is in doubt.
For the record there were, according to the 1931 census: 4,853,310 Roman/Armenian [they are counted together about 5,000 members] Catholics in the same area. Given the usually calculated 8.5% population rise in Poland in the 1930s, this would give about 5,271,000 Polish speaking (mother tongue) Roman/Armenian Catholics in the Kresy. However, as I said previously... the fact that they spoke Polish did not make them "ethnic" Poles. To get to the 5.5 Million figure we have to assume that ALL of the above were ethnic Poles and then add some. In the Province of Wilno for example there were only 65,217 Lithuanian speaking Catholics. Were all 559,268 Polish speaking Catholics ethnically Polish? In the city of Wilno there were 1,557 Lithuanian speaking Catholics and 123,571 Polish speaking. Again, same question... were they all ethnic Poles? I don't have an answer to these questions by the way. I have no idea, but these population figures are just another one of those numbers that are liberally bandied about without too many questions being asked.
Best regards, Mark Ostrowski