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I think the article would be enhanced by a photo of Beck. Logologist 08:06, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Concerning the Minorities Treaty[edit]

This paragraph: "The main problem with it was that, while Poland and Czechoslovakia were forced to respect the rights of their respective German minorities, the Polish and Czechoslovak minorities in Germany and Soviet Union were not so protected." is my opinion somewhat flawed. I believe that we should explain the reasons why particular people took particular decisions in history, but we should not justify their actions. Explanation, not justification should be the aim here.

To begin, the Soviet Union did not attend the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, did not sign the Treaty of Versailles, indeed in 1919 did not maintain diplomatic relations with any of the major powers at Versailles peace conference, so to talk about the injustice of the Allies not imposing a Soviet Minorities Treaty is rather ahistorical. Second, there was no such ethnicity as Czechoslovak. Czechoslovak refers to the nationality; in the interwar period there were ethnic Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians, Ukrainians, Germans and Poles who traveled on Czechoslovak passports. I presume that was meant by the “Czechoslovak” minority in the Soviet Union are ethnic Czech and Slovak populations. To the best of my knowledge, the vast majority of the ethnic Czech and Slovak populations lived in Czechoslovakia, not the Soviet Union during the interwar period. Third, it true that Germany did not treat its Polish minority particularly well during the interwar period (to say nothing of the Soviet Union which regularly shot and deported members of its Polish minority as “Polish spies”), but to say that this justifies Beck’s rejection of the Minorities Treaty is to take a two wrongs make a right position. Forth, to claim that the Minorities Treaty forced Poland to respect the rights of the German minority is not quite right. The Minorities Treaty imposed that obligation; if any of the minorities felt that Poland was not living up to that obligation, they could complain to the League of Nations's Human Rights Committee. The Committee could hear the case and then rule in favor of the minority group making the complaint or the Polish government. However, the Human Rights Committee had no means of enforcing its rulings. Right up to 1934, various minority groups representing the Ukrainian, Byelorussian, German, Lithuanian, and Jewish minorities did go to Geneva to complain about what they claimed were violations of the Minorities Right. Often the Human Rights Committee did rule in their favor and just as often the Polish government ignored the rulings. As far as I see, it was in large part Beck’s annoyance with these rulings against Poland that motivated his decision to denounce the Minorities Treaty. Third, it is true that after 1926 when Germany joined the League, that the German government did back various ethnic German groups in Poland at the meetings of the Humans Right Committee and it is also true that during Gustav Stresemann's time as Foreign Minister, there was a ulterior motive to these cases; namely to persuade the world that Poland was persecuting its German minority as a way of creating international pressure to force Poland to return the Polish Corridor to Germany. But given that Colonel Beck during his time as Foreign Minister regularly made the status of Polish minorities in Lithuania and Czechoslovakia his business and again he had a ulterior motive at least in regards to Czechoslovakia; namely as way of getting international pressure on Prague to hand over the disputed Teschen/Cieszyn region to Poland. Thus to denounce the Germans for doing the same thing that Colonel Beck was doing seems taking a somewhat POV position. To be fair to Colonel Beck, I don’t think he saw anything as being particularly hypocritical in complaining about Germany championing the cause of the German minority in Poland while he at the same time championed the cause of Polish minorities in Lithuania and Czechoslovakia, but just because he took that view does not necessarily mean his POV should be justified in the article.A.S. Brown 05:40, 17 December 2005 (UTC)[reply]

  • There is a good image of Beck here, but I have no idea of its copyright status.
  • Was his name pronounced Bekk or Betsk? Adam 08:51, 15 March 2006 (UTC)[reply]
It is [bek], just as in English. I'll add an ogg file in a matter of minutes. Halibutt 12:08, 15 March 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Beck's status[edit]

I think a some weight could be given to Alan Taylor's ascerbic opinion of Beck. On the strength of the present article it is impossible to reach any other conclusion than that Beck was an unpleasant airhead. Taylor goes further and suggests; "Between two flicks of the ash off his cigarette... the illusory great Poland signed her death warrant." Beck's insane project for MittellEurope, and his refusal to support Czechoslovakia because of Tesin went a long way towards setting the stage for WW2. Maybe his refusal, not to compromise, but even to negotiate over Danzig (Gdansk) actually fired the first shot? At any rate, the guy's commitment was to realpolitik, as the previous entrant points out, not idealism. He just played it unbelievably badly. Regards, DylanThomas 11:57, 6 November 2006 (UTC).[reply]

Beck wasn't liked by western diplomats, because he wanted to pursue his own independent policy. I you

would knew POlish, I would recommend you few books on the topic. During the interwar period, most western politicians expected Poland to be obedient client of western Powers and they were enraged by any sign of independence in thinking. Also remember, that Poland offered Czechoslovakia military alliancein 1933, which was refused by Czechs, and it offered French a chance of preventive war against Hitler, which was refused by French.

Also it's false that he refused to negotiate over Danzig. He was perfectly willing to negotiate - he wasn't ready to listen to ultimatums dictated by Germany. Taylor is so pro-German that's even not funny. Szopen (talk) 09:25, 11 February 2008 (UTC)[reply]

 The Franco-Polish Alliance of 1938? I am sorry but Britain was the only player in the Real World. A load
of biplanes against ME109s is not a preventative war- it is preventative suicide. The 

Czechs refused an alliance that meant the loss of their Ruhr for exactly that reason; and negotiation, by simple definition, involves talking. Beck was too obstinate or stupid or both to talk. Taylor was not pro German, he was possibly the only one on the Labour side to consistently support Churchill; He just happened to think the Poles were led by idiots. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DylanThomas (talkcontribs) 17:41, 10 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]

"Beck played a decisive role in triggering WWII?"[edit]

"Beck played a decisive role in the evolution of the rapidly deteriorating political situation in Europe during the months preceding the start of the Second World War, through his refusal of Germany's proposal concerning the Free City of Danzig…"

This is an appalling statement! It reflects and repeats exactly the views of Neville Chamberlain and the British establishment that it would be better if Poland had allowed itself being served on a plate to Germany ("peace in our time"). How ignorant about historical realities one must be to profess that Germany would have been satisfied with moderate concessions from the Polish side? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:35, August 27, 2007 (UTC)

Read Joachim Fest's 'Hitler' and you'll understand. -- Ishikawa Minoru (talk) 21:01, 14 February 2008 (UTC)[reply]

How is Beck's surname pronounced?[edit]

In English or German, it is a common surname pronounced "Bekk". But is this a Slavic "c" (pronounced "ts"), yielding a pronounciation "Betsk"? Hcunn (talk) 02:37, 4 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

  • Exact Polish pronounciation is as in English or German.

Andros64 (talk) 12:59, 23 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Argument that mutual hatred between Beck and Beneš ended chance of alliance[edit]

It is claimed that ‘mutual hatred between Beck and Beneš ended chance’ of an alliance but I have put reference disagreeing with this. The reference I found disagrees with the existing comment. Added counter argument and unless someone reference the original claim, I will remove. Please comment if you disagree within the next month. Jniech (talk) 14:48, 29 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Lack of inline citations[edit]

I have over the last week hopefully improved the article including many inline citations. I still have some doubts about parts but I have put citation required where necessary. Therefore I suggest we removed this tag. If any editor disagrees then please indicate any major area of concern and I will try to action. Jniech (talk) 14:49, 29 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Re: "See also": It is disconcerting to see a cock-and-bull story such as William Stevenson's about "Cynthia" (Amy Elizabeth Thorpe) and her supposed theft of Enigma secrets through an amorous aide of Polish Foreign Minister Józef Beck (in Stevenson's A Man Called Intrepid, 1976) once more being offered to the public as bona-fide history, over a quarter-century after historian Richard Woytak demonstrated its falsehood—and that of other fabrications presented by F.W. Winterbotham, Anthony Cave Brown and F.H. Hinsley—in his introduction to Marian Rejewski's "Remarks on Appendix 1 to British Intelligence in the Second World War by F.H. Hinsley," published in Cryptologia, vol. 6, no. 1 (January 1982).

Historical fiction such as this should not be presented as fact in an encyclopedia. Unless verification can be provided for other of the vague, unsubstantiated assertions that are made in the "Amy Elizabeth Thorpe" article and in Stevenson's discredited book, on which that article is largely based, the "Amy Elizabeth Thorpe" article should be deleted in its entirety. Nihil novi (talk) 20:04, 29 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Beck as a German agent[edit]

I believe it's highly dubious to include the statement "By 1938, what has now just been recently disclosed, Beck had received 300,000 marks by Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe Hermann Wilhelm Göring, as confessed by that of Alfred Gerstenberg, who was then General-Lieutenant of the Luftwaffe. This was seen as an act of recruitment by the Nazis, in which Beck had agreed upon, given the increasing friendly relations from then-on between Poland and Germany" in the article.

This information was provided by Alfred Gerstenberg while in Soviet captivity, in the custody of the NKVD, and it's worth pointing out that the sum mentioned was at that time the equivalent of about 20-25 years of income for Beck, see for example salary statistics in Maly Rocznik Statystyczne 1939. Giving someone a cheque for such a sum seems like a very odd practice, as Beck would likely have drawn attention to himself if he tried to cash it. It's also clear that Beck did not participate in the hunting trip mentioned by Gerstenberg, see reports in Polish newspapers such as Czas or Dziennik Poznanski (available online). If you look at Irina Bezborodova's work about German generals in Soviet captivity you'll find other examples of similar testimonies and doubts about how they were obtained. There has been a thorough discussion about this issue on the Swedish web site "Skalman".

Someone knowledgable in Polish should take a look at the Polish Wikipedia article and the section about similar claims made earlier. (talk) 20:02, 18 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]

B-class review[edit]

This article is currently at start/C class, but could be improved to B-class if it had more (inline) citations. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk to me 23:42, 22 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Why do I have to put up with nonsense?[edit]

These edits: [1]

Removed a statement which has been tagged as unsourced since 2008 (!)

Removed a paragraph which was obviously some random user making stuff up (also unsourced).

Removed a bunch of unsourced off-topic stuff from the article.

Removed some POV weirdness, most likely also added by random IP addresses.

Then Miacek/Estlandia, who was recently involved in edit wars at other article (including violations of 3RR) shows up and just does a blanket revert. This seems like an obvious attempt to provoke an edit war. It's hard for me to come to a conclusion except that Miacek/Estlandia has decided to provoke edit wars with me until he gets me sanctioned (it seems like he's ok with taking some hits himself). This, after months of following around my edits to articles which he has never edited and doing the same. I'm sick of this crap. Either provide a sensible rationale for your reverts or don't revert. And stop it with the stalking.Volunteer Marek 01:59, 11 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Ditto. For example this statement: "Beck played a decisive role in early 1939 staunchly refusing Hitler's demands to subordinate Poland and turn it into a German puppet-state by giving away strategic territories in Pomerania to Germany and by joining the Anti-Comintern Pact directed against the Soviet Union. " Reads like some opinionated history professor just pasted it from her or his blog. This is an encyclopedia: state an objective event [citation], then various analyses and historical interpretations of the event [citation, citation, citation]. If this was my field of study I would help to do so myself. (talk) 18:30, 1 May 2015 (UTC)[reply]

His idea to send the Jews to Madagascar[edit]

Beck was notorious in his idea to send the Jews to Madagascar. That is not in the article. Could anyone add it?-- (talk) 23:22, 2 May 2015 (UTC)[reply]

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