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19th-century Polish exiles in Siberia (painting)

Anti-Polonism (alternatively spelled antipolonism; also, Polonophobia) is a term denoting an irrational or malicious hostility toward Poles as a nation or as a cultural community.


  • The Soviet defeat by Poland in 1920 left a deep enmity. This was to help lead, first, to the persecution of the Polish minority in the Soviet Union in the 1930s, notably with the murderous ‘Polish Operation’ of 1937–8, then to Soviet alliance with Nazi Germany in partitioning Poland out of existence in 1939, and to a marked hostility toward Polish nationalism as the Germans were driven back in 1944. In the case of Poland, the Soviet animus against the post-World War One settlement found particular focus.
  • Koreans were only the first ethnic group to come under suspicion. Balkars, Chechens, Crimean Tatars, Germans, Greeks, Ingushi, Meskhetians, Kalmyks, Karachai, Poles and Ukrainians - all these different nationalities were subjected to persecution by Stalin at various times. The rationales for this policy subtly mixed the languages of class and race. Baltic Germans were 'kulak colonizers to the marrow of their bones'. Poles were informed: 'You are being de-kulakized not because you are a kulak, but because you are a Pole.' One internal OGPU report contained the telling phrase Raz Poliak, znachit kulak: 'If it's a Pole, then it must be a kulak.' As early as March 1930 thousands of Polish families were being deported eastwards from Byelorussia and the Ukraine, partly because of their resistance to collectivization and partly because the authorities feared they planned to emigrate westwards. There was a fresh wave of deportations in 1935, which removed more than eight thousand Polish families from the border regions of Kiev and Vinnitsya to eastern Ukraine. Two years later, an investigation into what was alleged to be 'the most powerful and probably the most important diversionist-espionage networks of Polish intelligence in the USSR' led to the arrest of no fewer than 140,000 people, nearly all of them Poles.
    • Niall Ferguson, The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West (2006), pp. 215-216
  • We must remember that anti-Semitism is a disease, just like racism and anti-Polonism. Good people should never be silent on such matters. We must speak out loud: we do not accept this!
    • Michael Schudrich (Chief Rabbi of Poland), [1]
  • Poland’s existence is intolerable and incompatible with the essential conditions of Germany’s life. Poland must go and will go — as a result of her own internal weaknesses and of action by Russia — with our aid. For Russia, Poland is even less tolerable than it is for us; Russia will never put up with Poland's existence. With Poland, one of the strongest pillars of the Versailles System will fall. To attain this goal must be one of the firmest aiming points of German politics, because it is attainable. Attainable only by means of, or with the help of, Russia. [...] The restoration of the border between Germany and Russia is the precondition for regaining strength of both sides. Germany and Russia within the borders of 1914 should be the basis for an agreement between us [...].
  • During and after the 1830-1831 insurrection many Russian writers voluntarily participated in anti-Polish propaganda. Gogol wrote Taras Bulba, an anti-Polish novel of high literary merit, to say nothing about lesser writers.
    • Prof. Vilho Harle, The enemy with a thousand faces: the tradition of the other in western political thought and history. 1989, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000
  • During the preceding eighty years the Germans had sacrificed to the Reich all their liberties; they demanded as a reward the enslavement of others. No German recognized the Czechs or Poles as equals. Therefore, every German desired the achievement which only total war could give. By no other means could the Reich be held together. It had been made by conquest and for conquest; if it ever gave up its career of conquest, it would dissolve.
  • Maintain the purity of German blood! That applies to both men and women! Just as it is considered the greatest disgrace to become involved with a Jew, any German engaging in intimate relations with a Polish male or female is guilty of sinful behavior. Despise the bestial urges of this race! Be racially conscious and protect your children. Otherwise you will forfeit your greatest asset: your honor!
    • Anti-Polish decree quoted in: Ulrich Herbert (1997). Hitler's Foreign Workers: Enforced Foreign Labor in Germany Under the Third Reich. Cambridge University Press. pp. 76–77. ISBN 978-0-521-47000-1.
  • We should make a large action of the liquidation of the Polish element. As the German armies withdraw, we should take advantage of this convenient moment for liquidating the entire male population in the age from 16 up to 60 years. We cannot lose this fight, and it is necessary at all costs to weaken Polish forces. Villages and settlements lying next to the massive forests, should disappear from the face of the earth.
    • Tadeusz Piotrowski, Poland's holocaust. Published by McFarland. Page 247
  • Villages were torched. Roman Catholic priests were axed or crucified. Churches were burned with all their parishioners. Isolated farms were attacked by gangs carrying pitchforks and kitchen knives. Throats were cut. Pregnant women were bayoneted. Children were cut in two. Men were ambushed in the field and led away. The perpetrators could not determine the province's future. But at least they could determine that it would be a future without Poles.
    • Norman Davies, Europe at War 1939–1945: No Simple Victory Publisher: Pan Books
  • Liquidate all Polish traces. Destroy all walls in the Catholic Church and other Polish prayer houses. Destroy orchards and trees in the courtyards so that there will be no trace that someone lived there... Pay attention to the fact that when something remains that is Polish, then the Poles will have pretensions to our land".
    • Mark Mazower, Hitler's Empire, pages 506–507. Penguin Books 2008.

See also

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