General Józef Haller (touching the flag) and his Blue Army.

The Lost Opportunity for Russian-Polish Friendship

FROM 1918 until 1933, when Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of the German Reich, Poland could have no foreign policy, in the sense that a policy implies the possibility of choice between alternative courses. At best, Poland could have hoped for a choice only as between aligning her policy with that of one of her two great neighbors, but even this was precluded by the fact that Russia and Germany joined in a policy of collaboration. The Rapallo Treaty signed at the beginning of 1922 by vanquished Germany and revolutionary Russia was an expression of the strong dislike of both states for the political and territorial settlement which resulted from the war. Neither was reconciled to the partial restoration to Poland of the territories they had held since the end of the eighteenth century. Revision of the Polish eastern and western frontiers was therefore one of the aims of their political, economic and military collaboration.

Poland knew that the Rapallo policy spelled eventual disaster for her, but there was nothing she could do about it. Her alliance with France, which for years made Poland a French satellite, was only a pis-aller. Neither France nor any other western Power had a direct, vital interest in eastern Europe. The relations of the west toward Poland, or with any other nation of that region, could not be more than the reflection of the policy of the west toward Germany and Russia. Nothing that Poles could do in their relations with any western Power could have a decisive bearing on the policy of that Power toward Poland. This fundamental truth never was sufficiently understood by the Poles, who often indulged in vain dreams of creating a direct link with one or another western Power, driven to despair by their unhappy geographical situation and unable to resign themselves to the obvious fact that no western Power had a vital interest in the region of the Baltic Sea. Perhaps this primary truth about the relations of Poland and the west will

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