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HILAIRE BELLOC AND POLAND


 

DEAR SIR,—Homage to Hilaire Belloc would be incomplete that omitted mention of his friendship to Poland. With that “Catholic conscience of history” which impregnates all his writings, Belloc, long before the first World War, sensed the tragic consequences for Europe of Poland’s absence from the comity of free nations. He was in Poland only twice—in 1912, when gathering material for his book on The Campaign of 1812, and again in the ‘thirties. Of this latter journey he recorded his impressions in Return to the Baltic, published in 1938. His knowledge of history and his acquaintance with ethnic and cultural realities, which in Central and Eastern Europe before 1914 were af the uttermost variance with the political map, no doubt reinforced his Polish sympathies and convictions.”Catholic Poland,” he wrote in The Campaign of 1812, “by all her inheritance and traditions leans on Western Europe” ) it was one of the “most highly differentiated nations in Europe ; this nation, however, was partitioned ; it was a crime, he said (writing in 1912), “from which so much of our own near future is to develop.” To a map of Poland accompanying this book, with frontiers between Germany, Russia and Austria cutting across the Polish national entity, Belloc added a line marking an “approximate limit of Polish language and culture” in the West. With prophetic insight he drew almost the ,Polish-German frontier which Roman Dmowski, the great Polish statesman who headed the Polish Delegation, demanded in 1919 at the Peace Conference of Paris. Although the experts of the Peace Conference, including Sir William (later Lord) Tyrrell, accepted the bulk of the Polish demands, the passionate and ill-advised intervention of Lloyd George considerably changed the proposed frontiers to the detriment of Poland. In his Return to the Baltic Belloc recalls this incident and comments : “That solution was advised by the experts who understood their business ; it was turned down by ignorant politicians . . . who had for the Poles an antipathy almost as strange as their lack Of European knowledge was profound and wide.”

If Belloc was asking justice for Poland it was also because, as he stated in The Two Maps of Europe, published in 1915, a rearranged map of Europe would be in accordance with the ideals and interests of the Allies. “It is essential to Prussia,” he said, “that no really independent Poland should re-arise, even mutilated. . . . It is a matter of life and death to the Allies to prevent the re-establishment of Prussian power, with its ideal of domination over others.” In his pamphlet, The Catholic and the War (1940), he repeated his warning almost word for word, and added : “Unfortunately, the English did not understand the situation.”

In many of his writings Belloc stresses the historic services Poland rendered to Europe. “Poland is a bastion,” he says in Return to the Baltic, “. . . It saved us in the Battle of Warsaw as it saved us more than two hundred years earlier in the Battle of Vienna. . . . When Pilsudski won his famous battle he . . . saved everything east of the Rhine. . . . It looks as though the Germans may not have been saved for a much better fate. It looks as though another barbarism, almost as bad as the modern barbarism of Moscow, were to take place of the German culture.”

When in 1935 a Warsaw journal, Pologne Litteraire, published a special number devoted to Marshal Jozef Pilsudski, Belloc contributed an article in which he wrote : “Until he, Pilsudski, gathered power into his hands, the conception of Poland in the English mind was indeterminate in outline and faint in substance. The few years during which he ruled gave body to that vague impression, and firmness to that outline ; he made Poland real for the educated classes in England—even the politicians.” But, in order “not to exaggerate this effect,” Belloc underlined that Poland “still remained remote from the English mind,” and he analysed the .converging factors of this inability to grasp the significance of Poland. First, “the English public schools, in which the governing classes of a nation essentially aristocratic are trained, pay very little attention to history outside their own country.” A second cause of this lack of appreciation was “the attitude of the English mind towards nations of Catholic culture.” There were also the factors of time and language.

Five years later, when Poland again lay partitioned between Germany and Russia, certain voices were heard in this country recommending a negotiated peace with Germany. One was that of Lloyd George. Another was that of Lord Beaverbrook who, on March 31st, 1940, in an article in the Sunday Express, stated that he had “no interest in rescuing Poland and Czechoslovakia from the gutter, dusting them and setting them upon pedestals again with guns in their hands to be knocked down once more.” The present writer was then editor of Free Europe. He asked Hilaire Belloc to state a more realistic and more Christian British point of view. A magnificent article was received and published on April 19th. Its conclusion was : “If England abandons Poland she abandons her own power and place in the future. The test is Poland.”

The British, as it is obvious from obituary articles devoted to Hilaire Belloc, differ in their opinions as to the wisdom of his politics. The Poles consider that the main trend of his diagnosis of Europe is correct and his prescriptions are wise. Poles will always gratefully remember this English writer and thinker for his constant love for their country and deep understanding of the genius of their nation.

Yours faithfully,

Shepperton, Middlesex. K. M. SMOGORZEWSKI.

 

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http://archive.thetablet.co.uk/article/1st-august-1953/18/hilaire-belloc-and-poland

 

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Polska  dziewoja z szabla i tarcza orla

 

ScreenHunter_421 Aug. 31 21.03

2 comments on “HILAIRE BELLOC AND POLAND

  1. tri vium
    December 7, 2015

    This is an interesting article and underlines the Wests seeming incapacity to understand Poland. On the one hand wanting its absorption into the crazies either side and on the other hand needing it as a strong independent state. { A Country In The Moon / Michael Moran }.
    I do enjoy reading German articles @ the border with Poland. They have a complete lack of historical facts, don’t care, and tend to go into wonderful, childish fancies. They claim those parts to be German because, their people lived there.
    That 70% +/- were Slavs, mostly Polish, is not important. Wunderbar !
    Dmowski Line was the better choice in the West. Foolish in the East where it encompassed Minsk. Asking for trouble from Russians and Jews and Stalin. Very wise choice to avoid this.
    Now, Poland will be leaned on . Let us hope Poland learns from its History. Poland does NOT need the West. Never had but succumbs to it because it wants to belong.
    Poland DOES NOT NEED the West.
    West Whites are gutless/cowardly/confused/weak in the head cretins!
    Intermarium = Jewmerica and Euro are pushing for it, now. Poland is the only strong economy in the area and will be forced to pay for the other bankrupt madhouses. This will relieve Jewmerica from any responsibility and so Poland will be ruined.
    Pilsudski Intermarium is too Polish for the West interlopers. They are planning to include Romania/Bulgaria and Greece. Designed to fail.
    Also Austria. Another name for Austria is Germany. Destruction guaranteed.
    Also Estonia, which is weak minded Finland.
    Also Latvia, which is out of this world insane Sweden.
    [[a woman raped in Sweden would not complain because, she felt sorry for the black reptile ! ]
    Poland does NOT need the West! Learn from your history.

    HKW, is this your own work? =
    “Therefore with all my heart I will support the house I was born in, which is my country.”

    This is an exceptionally POWERFUL meme.

    Here is the best overall synopsis that I’ve heard, so far, of the Troubles in White Europe;h
    http://www.redicecreations.com/radio3fourteen/2015/R314-151202.php

    • HKW
      December 8, 2015

      Thanks for the comment.
      I wholeheartedly agree with you: Poland does NOT need the West.
      But Poland has to co-operate and do business for the interest of her nation.

      I spend a lot of time on the research and include links to all the articles I post on the blog, which I do not claim the credits to.
      Most are the works of others, which grabbed my attention and approval.

      I believe in spreading the truth and wake people up.
      English is my second language.

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