Answers to Quora Questions by Yair Davidiy (22 February, 2018, 7 Adar, 5778)
Why did Germany attack Poland in 1939? Was it only because of the territorial dispute over the Polish Corridor, and Danzig, or was there something more?
Two major motivations appear to have been present:
- Living Space,
- Kill Jews.
Living Space. My impression is that the Poles were prepared to do very much to accommodate Germany in many ways. They preferred Germany to Russia. The Germans on the other hand strove for self-containment. They wished to achieve autarchy whereby all vital needs would be within the scope of direct German control. The area allotted to them by the Best-Litovsk Treaty with Bolshevik Russia would have given them this. The Best-Litovsk Treaty was signed in March 1918 and Germany surrendered in the west in November of that same year. The Treaty had come too late to change the course of World War-1. It was nullified. The Germans wished to turn the clock back and start again using the pattern set by Brest-Litovsk as a new starting point. Poland was a stepping stone.
Kill Jews. Most of the Jews in Europe were to be found in Poland. The killing machinery had been set up and was working. The accompanying murder of Poles and attempts to destroy Poland as a nations were collateral details.