POLAND, GERMANY AND THE GENESIS OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR (Polska, Niemcy i geneza II wojny swiatowej)
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The detente in relations with Germany which started in 1934 was a great achievement of Poland's foreign policy. In a situation when Paris and London adopted a conciliatory attitude toward Berlin, concern for a favorable atmosphere in Warsaw-Berlin relations appeared to be from the Polish perspective a raison d'état. Also a temporary cooperation with the Reich (e.g. when both countries opposed the Eastern Pact project) could be in the interest of Poland. However, during the Sudeten crisis of 1938 this cooperation took a dangerous turn for Poland and there was a threat of her being isolated by Western powers, a risk that had been overlooked by the Polish authorities. At the time of friendlier relations with Poland, Germany formulated offers of a closer cooperation and alliance aimed against the Soviet Union. Those propositions included also a weakening of Poland's alliance with France and were accompanied by demands for consent to incorporate Gdansk into Germany and to create an exterritorial road connection across Polish Pomerania. At this point there could be no doubt that the German offer would lead to a degradation of Poland to the status of a satellite state. In this situation, Poland's refusal and efforts to improve the strained ties with Western powers (which resulted in the establishment of an alliance with Britain and a revitalization of that with France) had all the characteristics of a rational decision.
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