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*Witez II


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#21 Bloodstone

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 09:04 AM

Many people in recent years have said they would buy a book if I chose to do one, the problem is finding the time to do it and being sure that it would be worth the time spent!



I for one hope that you do find time to develop a manuscript...

I also loved the *WITEZ II story... my program is well founded with him in the majority of my dam lines via a pretty little grey mare named SAN-EVON 90284 (SARNAYN x VALDAARA).

Thanks for the wonderful information!

Linda
Where Exotic is Common

#22 elsbetha

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 01:29 AM

I agree with you Janek - the Russians didnīt eat the polish horses they took to Tersk!

In the beginning of the Witez 11 story his name is described as being a hero because he survived World War 11. Survived? Survived for who? Certainly not for his breeder and rightful ownwer Janow Podlaski. When Patton shipped Witwz 11 off to the USA never to return again he was lost forever to Poland, for Poland Witez 11 didnīt survive World War 11. There is nothing glorious or heroic about it, it was theft pure and simple. Whether it was the Russians who removed horses to Tersk or the Americans who removed them to the USA the outcome for the poles was the same - they were robbed of their horses. I donīt think any attempt was ever made to return Witez 11 to his owners.
Any published material which glorifies and smoothes over this dirty chapter in the history of the polish arabian horse is not telling the whole truth.

#23 Janek

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 02:17 AM

In 1946 UNRRA delivered to Poland from US a big herd of sick, unbreedable horses to pay off Witez II and other pure arabians. :ffs_money1_myspace:

"The horse, who is too precious and too beautiful to be ridden, is neither precious nor beautiful. It's simply called an impaired horse by merciful Allah."

old Bedouin proverb


#24 tiki-bird

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 08:42 AM

I donīt think any attempt was ever made to return Witez 11 to his owners.
Any published material which glorifies and smoothes over this dirty chapter in the history of the polish arabian horse is not telling the whole truth.


Many hundreds of horses, requisitioned by Germany, were returned to their country of origin. In fact, the U.S. Remount helped facilitate their return to non-hostile countries. Remount Chief Fred Hamilton wrote after the war:
"In 1945 representatives of the Soviet dominated Polish Government were traveling about the British zone in Germany, gathering horses of Alleged Polish origin for return to Poland. These same Polish representatives had not been permitted to enter the American zone. I, for one, felt that a shipment of horses to Poland was a shipment to Russia and, right or wrong, I selected a few of the Polish Arabians at Monsbach for shipment to the U.S. If a mistake was made, it was my mistake, and I stand by it."

He went on to make a reference to some in American who, long after the horses' importation, became very vocal about returning the horses. He's alluding to the many Congressional hearings that did take place on the subject of returning horses to Poland, as well as Hungary. Ultimately, the hearings found that 200-some horses were legal war booty confiscated from the enemy. Further, the hearings noted that Russia and Hungary still at the time relied on military horses, and that returning the horses, considered the best in the world, equated with strengthening those armies.

On a personal level, my horses all descend from *Lotnik, the other stallion among the Polish Prizes-of-War group. Of course, I am glad *Lotnik was brought to the U.S. Unfortunately, *Lotnik, unlike *Witez, was gravely under-used here. And I have pondered how he might have been put to better use if returned to Poland. However, *Lotnik was bred by a private stud, and "returning" him for use in a Polish state stud raises other philosophical issues, all a moot point.

At any rate, I don't consider any of this information a "dirty" chapter in the history of Polish Arabians. It's just history. Nations at war took spoils from each other. That's how Arabian horses originally came to Poland in the first place.

Preserving the bloodline of *Lotnik, WWII Prize of War

 

Author of Tennessee's Arabian Horse Racing Heritage
 


#25 elsbetha

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 01:42 PM

Witez 11 and the other polish arabs were not "war booty". Poland was not at war with the USA. if I remember rightly Pattons mission was to finish the war and liberate Poland from the German occuppation. It certainly was not Pattons mission to confiscate horses belonging to a nonconflict nation, but he saw his opportunity and made the most of it. knowing full well that Poland was not in a position to protest.
Even if Lotnik was not owned by Janow he could have been returned to his rightful ownwers, the stud from where he was confiscated.

#26 tiki-bird

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 03:48 PM

Witez 11 and the other polish arabs were not "war booty". Poland was not at war with the USA. if I remember rightly Pattons mission was to finish the war and liberate Poland from the German occuppation. It certainly was not Pattons mission to confiscate horses belonging to a nonconflict nation, but he saw his opportunity and made the most of it. knowing full well that Poland was not in a position to protest.
Even if Lotnik was not owned by Janow he could have been returned to his rightful ownwers, the stud from where he was confiscated.


Patton very often, if inaccurately, receives the credit/blame for rescuing/stealing the horses. He really had very little to do with it. All he did was give the orders to clear the roads for the mission to move the horses out of Monsbach, in order that they would not fall into Russian hands. Patton did sit in attendance at a performance of the Austrian Lipizzaners that were returned, courtesy of the U.S. Army.

Poland, and other European nations, did protest for the horses' return, hence the U.S. Congressional hearings, which, as stated previously, found the horses were legal prizes of war. It seems the objection was to the romanticizing of the story through the *Witez II book "And Miles to Go." I would be inclined to agree the book portrays a fairytale version of the events, but I am hardly glossing over history, presenting the facts as reported by first-hand participants. Actually, Chief Hamilton stated that the horses that were chosen for importation to the U.S. were bred by the German Army, in fact, enemy of the U.S. So, yes, in some cases, this statement was erroneous. But again, he felt the U.S. should not be returning horses that would become property of a Soviet satellite.

To that point: I agree, in theory, that *Lotnik could have been returned to his "rightful owner," vs. being shipped to the U.S. However, I doubt the Soviets would have allowed it.

And lest it be fogotten while debating the fate of these Polish Arabians, along with the hundreds of horses liberated by the U.S. Army from the Germans, there were also hundreds of POWs at Monsbach. But no one ever mentions them.

Preserving the bloodline of *Lotnik, WWII Prize of War

 

Author of Tennessee's Arabian Horse Racing Heritage
 


#27 Nicole&Reannon

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 10:35 PM

all such interesting stuff! My stallion has two lines to Witez II, one through Riftez and one through El Tio, and his two brothers Witraz and Wielki Szlem as well as a sister, Ofirka.

#28 elsbetha

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 02:12 AM

It should also be noted that when Patton confiscated the polish arabians to the USA Russia was not USAīs enemy, on the contrary Russia was USAīs ally at that time. The arguement that Patton rescued the horses from falling into Russian hands doesnīt hold.
For me the arguement that one cannot return stolen horses to the rightful owner because there is a chance that they will fall into the hands of people with a politcal view other than my own only signifies moral collapse, but I know it was a common view at this time.
The polish arabians stolen by the Russians were taken before the end of the war, when the war was over no further removal of horses to Tersk took place, the polish breeding programme has always been distinctly polish and the Tersk programme distinctly russian. Then there is another interesting question - who made the best use of the stolen horses, the Tersk state stud or the private breeders in the USA.
I certainly agree that the fate of the horses is second to the fate of the people involved but on this forum we only discuss horses.

#29 tiki-bird

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 07:13 AM

Elsbetha,
It seems you and I are comparing apples and oranges. I was attempting to share some historical information on what did happen, while you are attempting to debate why it should not have happened. I thought you were objecting to the glossy fairytale version of the *Witez II story and asking for a more complete history. That is what I was trying to provide. Sorry if I misunderstood that was what you were seeking.

Yes, it would be interesting to compare how Russia & the U.S. used the Polish Arabians. I think *Witez II was one of the more fortunate of the U.S. group. Via the Hurlbutts, the stallion was used to great success, leaving a mark that endures today as a top performance line. Others of the group were not as fortunate and in fact were met with resentment from domestic breeders. It's a shame more breeders did not take advantage of such excellent horses.
Andra

Preserving the bloodline of *Lotnik, WWII Prize of War

 

Author of Tennessee's Arabian Horse Racing Heritage
 


#30 Janek

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 01:29 PM

I would love to learn more about Witez II and Lotnik progenitors.

"The horse, who is too precious and too beautiful to be ridden, is neither precious nor beautiful. It's simply called an impaired horse by merciful Allah."

old Bedouin proverb