The Image of The Germans in Polish Literature

The Image of The Germans in Polish Literature

WHEN I WAS ASKED ABOUT A YEAR AND A HALF AGO whether or not I would consider giving a talk on the subject of Poland — in view of the considerable interest in Poland on the part of the German people and the extent of German assistance programmes to that country — I began to research the “Polish problem” in greater detail than had hitherto been the case. It was not difficult for me to write recollections from my own experience, extending as far back as my earliest childhood and school days, while simultaneously discussing the findings of literature and history. At the request of the listeners, a printed text of my first talk was prepared, followed, some time later, by a further revised and expanded second edition, which has now been superceded by a third.

My first talk was followed by many others. Many questions were raised and innumerable letters received, expressing gratitude for my work of enlightenment, with the request that I publish other information, unknown in Germany, which might contribute to a more accurate appraisal of the Polish national character. I wish to comply with that request on the part of interested readers by writing a second part on falsifications of Polish history.

The enormous quantity of available materials made selection difficult; I had only intended to write a brochure enabling the German reader to see and understand the development of the Polish nation from its earliest Germanic racial origins to its chauvinistic hatred of everything German. In so doing, I made plentiful use of documentation prepared by scientific researchers and historians of an earlier era, as well as of materials dating from more recent research.

At this point, I should like to thank all those who have written to me enclosing clippings, etc. from the various news media, or who have alerted me to certain matters, thus helping me to clarify the topic of a falsified historical past in relation to falsifications of the present day.