To what extent did the final settlement of borders in Eastern Europe following WWI differ from that outlined in the Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty?


The Brest-Litovsk peace treaty is usually regarded as a brutally unfair and aggressive peace treaty forced upon Russia by the Central Powers, during which she lost huge swathes of territory, population and industry.

However, seen in the context of the Partitions of Poland and the nationalist aspirations of former populations in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, there does seem to be more logic to it than what I learned at school in the UK, which was simply that it was a colonial takeover of western Russia. Not least in that ‘western Russia’ referred largely to territories that had formerly constituted the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, with populations that had only a limited sense of being ‘Russian’.

The eastern borders of the Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic States all look pretty much the same in 1925 as they did in the Brest-Litovsk peace treaty- albeit with a Ukraine integrated into the USSR.

Sure, the Germans had been looking to dominate the new Poland and the Baltic states, to the extent that Pilsudski, the future leader of interwar Poland, resigned from the Polish government, but its interesting that it was he who came back to dominate the country more so than competing Polish leaders from Paris or London. Pilsudski lead Austrian funded Polish units against the Russians, whilst not seeing himself on either side in WWI, he seems far more a creature of the old central powers than he does of the Entente.

Would it be fair to say that the peace settlement in Eastern Europe following WWI is far closer to that envisaged in Brest-Litovsk than is commonly given credit for? (albeit still quite different)

Is the Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian, Polish and Belorussian historiography of Brest-Litovsk different to that in the west?

Source: reddit post


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