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On the one hand, attempts were undertaken to win round the rich nobility, especially the magnates; on the other, the poor, petty nobility was to be entirely removed from the privileged class. As Irena Rychlikowa has proved, the conception to eliminate the landless nobility was characteristic not only of the Russian mode of operation; it was also an old unfulfi lled daydream shared by the rich Polish noblemen. Let us, however, focus here on the Russian policies. Since the present chapter is primarily based upon archival material and records of the Committee for the Western Provinces, a centrally operating institution, the picture painted herein refl ects the knowledge the Tsarist bureaucracy of the time possessed at that level.

Th is sheds a diff erent light on I. Th e conclusion, stemming from the materials of the central Tsarist administration, proves to be quite unexpected. It seems that the administration was not fully knowledgeable of the magnates' doings related to their confreres -the petty bourgeoisie dwelling on their estates.

Th e eff orts of these magnates were refl ected in the Committee's materials. In the areas of Mstislavl, Vitebsk and Polotsk Voivodeships -later to be Vitebsk and Mohylev Provinces, incorporated into Russia as part of the First Partition of the Commonwealth -the local nobles were ordained, by means of the Tsar's ukase of 13 25 September , to provide their lineage certifi cates to the respective provincial towns.

Th e considerable diff erences between Poland, a country that evolved out of the nobility-based democratic tradition, and autocracy-based Russia, have been refl ected in the opinions of foreigners. Th ey penned numerous lampoons on Russia, of which the widest-read was the famed La Russie en by Marquis de Custine for Eng.

Custine's book has been broadly commented on in: J. All of this was nevertheless extremely diffi cult to implement. Th e Tsarist authorities found it hard to fi nd their bearings within the complex structure of the nobility, whilst its members were reluctant to assist them to this end. As well, political events, especially the war with France, stood in the way. One example of the Tsarist authorities' inconsistent conduct was the attempted standardisation of taxes paid by the nobility.

Under the ukases of 27 January 8 February and of 26 February 10 March , the local nobles of the two Lithuanian provinces Vilnius and Minsk were charged with an increased chimney roof tax, at 1. Based on the material of the Committee for the Western Provinces, determining the numerical force of the petty nobility was only advanced at the fi ft h "revision", ordained by the Senate's ukase of 20 January 1 February.

Th e number of persons who failed to appropriately document their nobility or illegally appropriated noble status was determined to be 33, Altogether, information was received regarding 95, people. It was nonetheless found that the revision had not extended to most of the poviats districts , and that no fi nal summary of the results had been made in some of them yet. According to the Ministry of Finance's data, provided by the fi scal chambers, the szlachta numbered , members, in total.

Th e total fi gure is important for comparison with the aforementioned 95, petty nobles. Clearly, the Committee for the Western Provinces' data was far from complete. A considerable number of people with no property or estate, and living on income from remunerated work, were apparently neglected. Th is poor discernment of the Tsarist authorities with respect to the nobility's actual numerical force calls into question the statement whereby a total of 60, people were deleted from this social class between and , although Daniel Beauvois has found that the number could have even been higher.

B e auvois, Polacy na Ukrainie According to the inspection, those illegally claiming the status of "noble" amounted to 33, Alexander I's successor consistently stood fi rm with regard to depriving the Poles of infl uence over rule in the western provinces. Nicholas perceived the Poles as completely worthless in terms of their usefulness to the Empire; moreover, he saw them as a serious menace due to their inclination for individualism and irredentism. Th e November Insurrection became an offi cial pretext for more radical action.

Once the uprising fell, the Tsar could openly square his accounts with the "nobles". On the strength of the Tsar's supreme ukase of 14 26 September , the Committee for the Western Provinces was established to see "that at the provinces annexed from Poland be put in order, in the same manner as the Russian provinces. Th us, the latter was devised as a design-proposing and advisory body. Th e rank of this institution was attested by its cast of members.

At various times, the ministers of foreign aff airs, war, and state properties, the head of the gendarmerie, the Minister-Secretary of State for the Kingdom of Poland, the Ober-prokurator of the Holy Synod and Governors-General of the Western Provinces collaborated with, or even served on, the Committee.

Solving the question of the Polish nobility became the number one problem raised at the Committee's fi rst meetings on 22 and 28 September 4 and 10 October. Kushelov-Bezborodko, and the fi rst members of the Committee: An evolution of the Tsarist policy with respect to the western provinces is particularly evident in the area of education and the school system. B eauvois, Szkolnictwo polskie na ziemiach litewsko-ruskich , Vol. Beauvois, Polacy na Ukrainie Together they formed the elite of the Russian aristocracy: representatives of the families that had given outstanding service to the Empire.

Most of them were conservative in their thought, but not all could be identifi ed with the so-called "black reaction". It had long been believed that those people were unworthy of being named "nobility" dvoryanstvo ; hence, a new social group was formed, described as "grazhdanye and odnodvortsy of the western provinces".

Th e poor petty nobility undermined the Empire's estate or class-based system by its very existence. Th e previous case of the Cossacks bore much similarity to the current situation. In fact, the term of odnodvorets pl. Actually, both terms: grazhdanin and odnodvorets possessed a certain tradition in the Russian legislative system.

However, the newly-formed social category of odnodvorets was rather loosely related to its prototype. Although descending from servient people -that is, Cossacks and boyars -the Russian odnodvortsy were most similar to state serfs, a stratum with a similar scope of obligations, which included paying the "soul tax", the cereal tax and land money rents.

Th e odnodvortsy appearing in the provinces of Orenburg and Stavropol, and in the Siberian provinces, were persons displaced from Russia. Th e background of odnodvortsy was servient people, as well as lower Cossack strata, rifl emen, reiters, dragoons, spearmen, cannoneers, etc. Being, in their majority, boyars' off spring possessing each a cottage manor -dvor , they were obligated to pay the chimney tax and to personally serve in the army.

Th e word odnodvorets, functioning in earlier, offi cially appearing in Peter I's ukases of The rule was simple: every nobleman who failed to identify himself based on documents confirming their noble status possessing land and peasants, alongside overall financial status, were in practice the decisive factors was obligated to choose for him and his family the stratum he "should like" to be assigned to.

As for towns, grazhdanye were the case, while odnodvortsy were appropriate in rural areas. According to the eighth revision of which was by no means complete, as the new category had been established a mere three years earlier , eight western provinces contained, , male odnodvortsy i. Th e following inspection of , showed the fi gure rise to , males ca.

Ever since, odnodvortsy became one of the few free peasant groups in Russia. In , they were made equal to the obligations of the treasury peasantry, which meant that they had to pay the 'soul' and cereal tax, and to serve in the army under general rules. Th e scarce privileges the odnodvortsy had once enjoyed, such as chimney tax and no corporal punishment applied to this group, were lost by them under Peter I.

As of , left -bank Ukraine was home to a total of , odnodvortsy. Petersburg , Vol. Th ese were usually artisans, owners of small workshops, for whom membership in guilds was compulsory. Th e situation of so-called "honorary" pochetnye grazhdanye was better: they were released from military service and not subject to corporal punishment.

Th ese honorary grazhdanye had rights similar to those aff orded to merchants of the fi rst two guilds. Th e category was formed of representatives of liberal professions residing in towns: teachers, painters, barristers. V, pp. XV, p. XVI, pp.

According to the tenth census, executed at the end of the s, the western provinces were home to , odnodvortsy and grazhdanye, according to offi cially published statistics. Yet, there is some value to this data -namely, it proves that either the central Tsarist administration had poor statistics at its disposal or it refrained from publishing the complete data.

According to Daniel Beauvois, whose calculation is no doubt the most precise, a total of , individuals dwelling in Volhynia, Podolia, and Kyiv region were reassigned to the rural categories of odnodvorets and treasury peasant between and What is known is that the operation continued aft er the January Insurrection i.

A Tsarist ukase was issued, dated 19 31 January , whereby everyone representing the western province's szlachta that failed to prove their noble descent, was included in the peasantry and bourgeoisie. Th e only data we have at present, the calculations made by Russian historian Nikolai K. Imertynski, say that the group consisted of , people across fi ve north-western provinces.

Given the population in these areas, which in the early s numbered around 11 million, the new category saw 4. Th e above-specifi ed data are rather diffi cult to verify, especially in the context of the Russian statistics which tended to be falsifi ed in a variety of ways, always in view of diminishing the strength of Polish people residing in the western provinces.

Th e Roman Catholic confessors dwelling in this territory amounted to 2,, Th is affected the quality of the ukase, which was unfi nished in its legal aspects. Th e western provinces were not subject to Russian legislation then yet which was the to be the case from , but instead, the Lithuanian Statute extended to it, along with Polish legislation covering certain domains. All the same, the central emphasis was put in the decree of 19 October on accepting the existing solutions and former legal categories in creating a new social group on a precedent basis.

Th e authors also endeavoured to keep up the appearances of law-and-order. Th e assumption was ludicrous, as the categories of grazhdanye and odnodvortsy had been included in Russian legislation since the early 18 th century, but did not appear in the Lithuanian Statute or in Polish legislation, whatsoever. What was the szlachta's situation the moment the ukase imposing their division appeared? First off , their situation was non-normalised in many respects.

Th e Th ird Lithuanian Statute, in force until , did not correspond with Russian legislation prevailing in the Empire. As a result, technically, the western province's nobles could not be expected to agree to meet these obligations and enjoy the privileges of the Russian dvoryanstvo.

Th e diff erences between the rights and obligations of the former Commonwealth's szlachta and the Russian dvoryanstvo were signifi cant. Th e situation of the latter group had heavily deteriorated since the reign of Peter I. Every nobleman was obligated to serve in the military on a lifelong basis beginning at the moment he turned fi ft een. Th e option of civil service was only off ered to a third of noble family members.

Catherine II's "primary charter" of ensured the nobility a number of rights, regardless of their ethnic or national identity, such as the right to command their landed estates and peasants, release from the obligation of doing public service and personal taxation, or the right to deed their estates to their children. Yet, the Russian dvoryanstvo still remained much more dependent upon the ruler's will than the Polish nobility.

Th e authorities expected that, similarly to the dvoryanstvo, the szlachta would serve in the Russian army expecting to get promoted to higher ranks, their sons willingly joining the cadet corps. Another option extended to a civil career path, featuring a gymnasium secondary school or a noble institute, then a tertiary school, followed by gaining subsequent ranks, moving up the levels of the centralistic Tsarist administration. In light of the law in force, and of the existing noble tradition, there was no means at hand to coerce a noble to do a particular type of service.

Th e privilege of public service, so enticing for Russian dvoryane, was not respected by the Commonwealth's nobility whose attitude to the Tsarist state, was adverse. What were the actual obligations and duties of the szlachta, then, and what was required or expected from the nobles? Th e answer is the stratifi cation and the numerical strength of the noble class in the western provinces had caused that the Tsarist authorities had been unable to control the situation since the outbreak of the November Insurrection.

Varying provisions were in force with respect to the various groups of nobility in particular provinces. As a matter of fact, the nobility, in their entirety, were released from the duty to provide recruits the "recruit obligation" -rekrutskaya povinnost' and from state-imposed taxes, except the land tax.

Land tax was collected in these areas according to the number of manors owned: local nobles paid 2 to 4. Th e nobles dwelling in the Belarusian provinces of Vitebsk and Mohylev were completely exempt from this tax.

Kyiv Province determined the tax amount by number of "souls" -i. For the years , the tax amounted to up to 1. Admittedly, it was only this particular Russian institution that proved capable of exploring this social estate. Th e class affi liation of grange nobles and the magnates, who received the privileges vested in the Russian dvoryanstvo, raised no doubt. Th e existing situation was summarised thus:"As regards the present-day situation of the nobility, pursuant to the deeds and testimonies collected up to the point control was seized upon rebellion in the Western Provinces, it shall ensue as follows Th e said Provinces comprise a very small number of treasury estates which would exclusively be settled by the nobility, and the latter reside, in their major part, at the estates together with the state serfs, only occupying their own allotments of land, for which they pay obrok [rent] under the name of rent; with respect to all these estates, there has been no particular ordinance issued as regards the nobility, and the nobility shall remain under the same terms and conditions as applicable thereto upon the country's annexation to Russia.

Th e nobility in the Provinces reinstated from Poland appear under various names, according to their ways of life: a lease-holding, ones that, as mentioned hereinabove, pay obrok for the land to the treasury or the land-owners; b local or residing, possessing their own allotments of land; c non-residing, holding no lease or possessing no property, serving at lordly houses in various positions; d the nobility that have so named themselves following the annexation of the Polish country to Russia; e called the 'bobyls' [i.

Th e ukase of 19 October , thoroughly altered the above-presented situation. Th e moment it was published, several complementary ordinances and pieces of secondary legislation rendering the precise rights and obligations of the "odnodvortsy and grazhdanye of the western provinces" were issued each year. Th e supplements extended to a number of areas: taxation, military service regulations, rules applicable to re-identifi cation with a diff erent social group or displacement.

Th e detailed decrees determined the rules of obtaining a passport for trips abroad, the rules and opportunities of attending schools, and education. Let us now determine what the petty nobility lost as a result of the degradation operation. As far as taxation is concerned, the previous land ed tax, whose character diff ered by province, was replaced by a general tax for supporting the army, while its existing name of "chimney tax" was retained.

Th e previous land tax, as mentioned, did not extend to everybody. It was not paid by those owning no land or holding none on lease save for Kyiv Province, where a poll tax was paid based on the number of peasants owned. Th e new chimney tax extended to everyone. In practice, it was designed for the funding of post horses, building post-stations, fuel provisions for the army, heating, lighting, construction and renovation of buildings, the construction and maintenance of bridges and crossings, as well as the lease of wagons requisitioned for transportation purposes.

Th e tax amount was determined at 3 roubles in silver per chimney regardless of the number of resident souls for those owning land of their own, 2 roubles per chimney for those leasing land and for other proprietors grazhdanye residing in towns , and 1 rouble in silver annually for solitary and unsettled rural or urban areas.

Essential to the new taxation was that most persons now subject to the new chimney tax had previously paid no taxes whatsoever, until From onwards, odnodvortsy were subject, in their entirety, to the jurisdiction of the newly-established Ministry of State Demesne. Since , the "wine customs duty" vinnaya poshlina was imposed on the odnodvortsy.

In , the obligation to pay the cereal tax was extended to those odnodvortsy who populated the treasury lands and dealt with grain cultivation and cereal growing. This tax was identical to that paid by state serfs and by the so-called volnye khlebopashtsy "free farmers". In practice, the taxes were implemented gradually in individual provinces, as the reclassifi cation progressed.

Th is went rather slowly, though, and was met with resistance, as the natural response from the nobles was to refrain from providing lists of their family members. One could free oneself from the aforementioned tax by joining the army voluntarily. Already in November , a separate ukase was issued to enable former petty nobles to get hired for the army in exchange for "burghers and peasants of all categories that fulfil this obligation in-kind, regardless of the province".

This ukase was renewed several times afterwards. However, offering this type of opportunity did not entirely suit the Tsarist authorities. From on, contracting such arrangements was banned between former nobles, and burgers, peasants and cart-drivers. In order to avoid such abuse, an ukase was issued in stating that only those former nobles could join the army who were not subject to conscription in a given year.

The fee was transferred via the Office for State Demesne, to the so-called odnodvorets communities from which the hired men came from, for coverage of expenditure and liabilities. On the other hand, the increased encumbrance of the hirer may have significantly restricted the need for such services. Th is was merely a model, the practice of which diverged in the real world. Th e basis for reckoning the herd of one thousand souls was that they be males aged eighteen to sixty. Odnodvortsy and grazhdanye did their military service under general rules, similarly to peasants or burghers.

Th ey were subject to the so-called "short period of service", which was fi fteen years from , as opposed to the long period i. Th e degraded nobility might have found these general rules extremely humiliating. In the military, the rank and fi le was subject to the compulsory shaved head and corporal punishment, especially caning. Grazhdanye and odnodvortsy were exempt from obligatory head shaving and, theoretically, corporal punishments did not apply to them.

One might guess what it was like in practice, with some former noblemen being dispatched to the lower ranks to a Cossack regiment or to Siberia: the rule might simply have been ignored. Similarly to townspeople and state serfs, odnodvortsy and grazhdanye were attached to their residential locations. Called "permanent residence" postoiannoe vodvorenie , they were theoretically allowed to move within a perimeter of thirty versts 32 km But in practice this required the consent of the community's elder obshchestvo.

To travel a longer distance, a passport was necessary, which was issued by neighbourhood offi cers affi liated to the county poviat treasury chambers kaznachestvos. As aptly pointed out by Daniel Beauvois, Count Kankrin, the main designer of the novel organisation of the communities, formed a social institution that was a slap in the nobles' face. A community obshchestvo patterned aft er the Russian 'mir' was to be composed of at least one hundred families 'chimneys' , managed by the starosta starshina assisted by a council formed of the tax collector, cereal reserve supervisor and secretary -elected every three years and approved by the province policy.

It was actually a peculiar instance of communal self-government or, power of commoners , under strict police surveillance. Petersburg did not completely quit this most effi cient measure to establish order in the country. At the same time, the ukase of 19 31 October put forth an ordinance to resettle noble families from Podolia Province to the Caucasus District; this issue is most completely covered in D.

Beauvois's book. As this author has noted, this action appeared non-implementable due to a lack of funds. March saw the announcement of separate rules for the voluntary displacement of odnodvortsy from western provinces to other provinces. Th ose individuals of the former nobility who, having no property, landed estate or occupation, move from one place to another or live anywhere in an idle manner, are assigned to the Cossacks on the Caucasian line under the rules of the existing provisions regarding the attribution to vagabond brodiag Cossacks; it is on this basis that they will be dispatched to their new settlement locations upon terms in accordance with those applied to vagabonds, making sure they were attached to Cossack units, so that it is not related to the aforesaid colonisation of the odnodvortsy; 3.

By no means shall accountability be imposed upon the State Treasury kazna for the debts of any displaced persons, with no ordinances being issued to settle any such debts whatsoever; instead, the regaining of such debts is left to the creditors, in accordance with binding legal principles, without the displacement being withheld; 4. For any expenditure that may prove urgent, 25, roubles is assigned to the Caucasus District authorities.

Any further ordinances regarding the present matter shall be the responsibility of the Ministry of the Interior. Apart from the Caucasus District, the lands assigned for the displaced persons included areas within Saratov and Orenburg Provinces. The displaced persons were offered some financial relief: a discount of five years for the chimney and land tax payment; when this period elapsed, they were to pay the chimney tax like in the western provinces and the land tax i.

The land tax remained unchanged for twenty years, and was meant to become the equivalent of the so-called "obrok" -the rent paid by state serfs. Also, pertinent to those displaced, was a three-year relief from performing the so-called "natural landed devoir", except those worked private privately i.

A five-year release from military service and recruit conscription was included as well, whilst conscription was to be reduced by half in the following three-year period i. Also, six years of exemption from the burden of providing military housing quarters voinskii postoi and paying the cereal tax, as well as a release from the obligation to pay or work off deficits in the landed devoirs and payment of the chimney tax.

Moreover, every family was to be issued an allowance of 50 roubles for travel, just prior to departure leaving. Another benefit, of 50 to roubles, was to be received following arrival, depending on whether it was possible to grant a permit for felling trees to obtain timber for housing construction purposes.

Th ese reliefs and allowances, apparently attractive and numerous, probably caused no signifi cant increase in the number of volunteers. Th e reason was that the encumbrances of the taxable strata podatnye soslovia , particularly the peasantry, were much 48 Pravila dla pereselenia B eauvois, op. Veshnyakov, op. Th e action of voluntary resettlement into the provinces of Saratov and Orenburg and to the Caucasus District was extended in to include Ekaterinoslav Province, where separate plots of land were prepared for the odnodvortsy in the regions allocated for displaced Lesser-Russian Ukrainian Cossacks.

Odnodvortsy, based on what is known, were also displaced to the provinces of Stavropol and Siberia. According to Russian data, as recently confi rmed by Daniel Beauvois, these resettlements and displacements never grew into a mass movement. Th e displacement from Podolia Province ended up a fi asco. Yet, in , out of the envisioned , a total of odnodvortsy males altogether, probably around males and females were relocated from the western provinces to Ekaterinoslav Province.

Following the subsequent ukase, Ekaterinoslav and Taurida provinces received odnodvortsy. In , out of odnodvortsy earmarked for displacement to Kherson Province, a total of were fi nally resettled as of males, females. For the poor nobles, getting educated was one of the few rescue options. However, they encountered a series of accumulating obstacles which appeared extremely hard to overcome. On the one hand, the incoherent Russian regulations on the accessibility of schools off ered certain opportunities; on the other, compulsory education fees seemed to eff ectively erase these opportunities.

Th is aff ected the most indigent, who could not aff ord to support their noble lineage with the appropriate bribe to the county or provincial authorities. Noble legitimation was a precondition for ensuring the possibility to attend a county school, gymnasium or university for nobles. Nicholas I's rescript of 19 31 August barred admission to universities, gymnasia and other equal-rank schools for the children of those remaining in serfdom.

Th e rescript's fi rst item provided "that in universities and in other higher scientifi c institutions, state-run or private, report- , pp. Education] and supervised by the same, as well as in gymnasia [ Th e rescript of 9 21 May has it that, alongside the nobility dvorianstvo and honorary grazhdanye, that is, representatives of liberal professions not liable to compulsory military service, burghers and peasants of liberal status might also be admitted to tertiary schools, providing that they have been released by their communities from compulsory military service and from other devoirs.

Th ese bodies also assumed the tax liabilities of the persons directed to a gymnasium, albeit these were most likely taken care of by their families. Th ese factors certainly hindered the potential to learn and study. In practice, the only way to overcome these barriers -regardless of the examination to be passed -was to have a sponsor ready to provide scholarship funding and capable of infl uencing the community so that it eventually consented to voluntarily release one of its members.

Such expense was far from trifl ing, as the annual fee for a gymnasium entrant, including the boarding fee, was roubles Affl uent nobles from the western provinces funded a number of such scholarships. According to recent fi ndings, the opportunity was taken advantage of by as many as 20, to 30, individuals between and Th ese activities might have then been carried out on two diff erent planes.

On the one hand, petty nobles on magnate estates were turned into peasants on "economic' premise", while on the other hand, scholarships were funded for such petty nobles, in the name of some age-old sense of class solidarity, or, possibly, for show.

Th e purpose behind all the gambits of the Tsarist authorities discussed herein was to converge the stratum of odnodvortsy and grazhdanye in the western provinces with other taxable strata podatnye soslovia across the Russian Empire, and for said stratum to have nothing in common with the privileged noble estate from that point on.

In order to conclusively resolve the petty nobility problem, the time had now come -the Tsarist authorities believed -to simply eliminate the aforesaid categories, created on the spot. And so, they did. Z asztowt,Under constraint Th e conclusion of this operation coincided with the date the Western Committee was dismissed. Operating between , this body followed up the activities of the Committee for the Western Provinces. Th e elimination of the "odnodvortsy and grazhdanye of the western provinces" as a legal category, through inclusion in peasant communities dominated by local Ukrainian, Belarusian, Lithuanian or Russian people, could have theoretically caused de-Polonisation, in the case of the displaced.

It is diffi cult to give an unambiguous answer to such a question, given the state of present-day research. One must bear in mind that most of the "neighbourhood nobles", particularly in historical Lithuania, have survived. Some Ukrainian villages remained completely inhabited by local nobles until the October Revolution; by the s and s, those who were not killed during the Ukrainian famine were deported to Siberia, or placed in kolkhozes set up at that time.

Daniel Beauvois has observed that Ukraine became a laboratory, while the local Poles played the part of guinea-pigs in yet-another attempt at absorbing a large population group by the Tsarist Empire. Th e Tsarist administration knew how to effi ciently make use of their 18 th century experience based on similar actions carried out with respect to the Don and Zaporozhe Cossacks. In turn, in the s, the Germans inhabiting Latvian and Estonian territory became the targeted minority.

Th e eff orts of the Western Committee focused, inter alia, on developing a folk school system for the Ukrainians and Belarusians, in an attempt at isolating them from Polish infl uence. Th e body's fi rst meeting was held on 25 September 7 October T he discussion on the size of the population of the petty nobility, as degraded class-wise to the peasantry and bourgeoisie, in the western provinces of the Russian Empire between and , was initiated in the late s by Daniel Beauvois as remarked in the preceding chapter.

Although mentions of the activity undertaken to decompose the nobility were made in a number of earlier-published memoirs and studies -Polish, Lithuanian, and Russian -the problem has not yet been analysed in any greater detail. One was the numerical force of the nobles reassigned as peasants.

Th e issue, of essential importance to Polish historians aft er all, it was essentially about a "loss of the Polish national substance" in the former Commonwealth's Eastern borderland turned out to be of no less importance to Ukrainian, Belarusian and Lithuanian historians. Th ese particular nations might have hypothetically "benefi ted" on the degradation of the Polish nobility, as the nobles turned peasants vanished among the peasant class so dominated by the Ruthenians, Belarusians and Lithuanians.

Th is phenomenon was substantially signifi cant, as it occurred during a period of accelerated maturing of the young nations of Central and Eastern Europe. Th e participation of petty nobles in the Lithuanian, Ukrainian and Belarusian national revival -a fact known earlier and confi rmed by new fi ndings -has deconstructed, at least partly, the idea whereby the young nations' background in this part of Europe was "peasant only".

Th e question that remained key for everyone was to determine the scale of degradation. Th is approach refl ects many historians' daydream of measuring the size of various past social phenomena they describe; similarly, as social sciences describe present-day realities. Let us recapitulate the fi ndings of discussions from the late s and early s.

Th e calculations proposed by D. Beauvois, based on then-contemporary source material i. General-Governor Dmitry Bibikov's reports from for the three south-western provinces: Volhynia, Podolya and Kyiv , a total of , people were eventually declassed odnodvortsy or grazhdanye. Based on statistics covering the entire Western Land Zapadnyi Krai and accepting the number of odnodvortsy and grazhdanye of the western provinces at ,, Rychlikowa remarked that for the three Ukrainian provinces, the males assigned within the said categories amounted to 94, Rychlikowa's and J.

Sikorska-Kulesza's calculations, the lower limit of the number of degraded nobles in the western provinces was about ,, or not much more. A similar conclusion with respect to the maximum number of degraded nobles, was developed by L.

Zasztowt, based on the statistics and the calculations of Russian pre-revolutionary historian Nikolai K. Imertynsky, who estimated the population of declassed nobles in the fi ve north-western provinces at ,; altogether, the Western Krai would thus have , individuals deprived of noble status. As well, historian encounter diff erences in the Russian statistics available, due to their diff erent provenance. Th ese statistics were draft ed by diff erent ministries and committees, usually in order to satisfy the immediate information needs of various governmental bodies.

Characteristic of the whole 19 th century was a trend -emphasised by numerous scholars -to understate the Polish population in the so-called "Western Land", the purpose of which was to prove that the Poles living on this territory were an "alien" ethnic group, and impaired, compared to the native, local "Russian" dwellers. An essential problem is also the rather long period during which the degradation took place -no less than thirty-seven years, beginning with Tsar Nicholas I's ukase of 19 October No.

Th e latter eliminated the odnodvortsy and grazhdanye of the western provinces and put them in with the existing rural strata mainly state serfs and chynoshviks and the taxed urban population. Th e Committee examined a number of complementary draft s to the Peasants Act, and collated and investigated the motions regarding the organisation of the peasant class.

It managed and archived the documentation, and surveyed legal acts and general ordinances regarding the rural strata, subject to various departments and offi ces. Cf 12 It was the Main Committee for the Organisation of the Rural Class that compiled the draft of the Tsar's ukase "On the organisation of life of odnodvortsy and grazhdanye of the western provinces", whereupon -as aforementioned -the declassed nobility was put in its respective categories of taxed rural and urban population, thus irreversibly losing the rights vested in the landowning gentry.

Th e key question to be answered before preparing the ukase's draft was the number of the population that would be aff ected by the ukase. In October , the Ministry of Interior's Landed Department proposed, as requested by the Committee, one of the most complete and exhaustive opinions regarding the ordinance under preparation. Th e analysis was regarded as extremely valuable, and the decision was made to publish it in the secret in-house Periodical of the Main Committee for the Organisation of the Rural Class, Issue No.

Like the ukase, the analysis was titled "On the organisation of life of odnodvortsy and grazhdanye of the western provinces". Petersburg hereinaft er, RGIA , f. Shilov, Gosudarstvennye deiateli Rossiiskoi Imperii , St. RGIA, f. By the supreme ukase of 19 October , "all persons of the former Polish nobility who have failed to evidence, in accordance with the determined order, their noble descent, have been divided, with respect to their residential locations into two categories: rural citizens have been renamed odnodvortsy and inhabitants of urban areas, grazhdanye.

Th e odnodvortsy have moreover been classed into: 1 settled -those possessing lands of their own or living off a rent or obrok on state-owned or private lands; and, 2 non-settled -those living in the houses of landowners or private individuals, [and] fulfi lling various services and positions. Subsequently, on 14 February , following the request of the special Committee for the Western Provinces ukase of the Governing Senate of 19 March , it was ordained, by supreme ordinance, that the odnodvortsy, including those living on state-owned, communal or their own lands, as well as those non-settled, be left under the possession of the Ministry of State Domain, whereas the odnodvortsy settled on private landed estates be assigned to the governance of the landed police and the surveillance of the province authorities.

Nonetheless, resultant from a report of the Minister of State Domain, this was resolved according to the Supreme Will on 5 April -that non-settled odnodvortsy, assigned under the revision [i. Finally, on 19 May , an ordinance was issued to subject all non-settled odnodvortsy living on landed estates to the landed police, where odnodvortsy settled on private lands have thitherto only been subordinated. Th us, from onwards, all odnodvortsy living on private lands -settled, as well as non-settled -were subject to the offi ce of the Ministry of Interior, and under the management of the landed police, and the surveillance of the provincial authorities.

Apart from this, the odnodvortsy subordinated to the offi ce of the Ministry of State Domain in the nine western provinces, amount to: on state lands ,, and on lands consisting of their own property , male souls. With a like number of females, the petty nobility population transferred to the new category equalled , -according to Russian data. Rychlikowa and J. Sikorska-Kulesza, who have estimated the degraded noble population in the western provinces at more than , Although the statistics of the Russian Ministry of Interior seem to be the closest to the actual scale of transformations that took place within the noble estate in 19 th century Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine, nevertheless, their relative value is worth emphasising.

In all probability, none of the Tsar's imperial offi ces had access to complete undisputed data as regards the fi nal outcome of the long-term actions to decompose and divide the nobility in the Empire's western provinces.

Th e data quoted by the Ministry of State Domain diff ered from that used by the Ministry of Interior, and was diff erent still from the reckonings of the Ministry of Finance. Th e diff erences between the amounts quoted by these institutions were, not infrequently, considerable -to the order of as much as , people.

Th e St. Petersburg-based College-of-Arms offi ce could not have had complete data at its disposal, as a number of poor "grey nobles" could not aff ord to bring a bill to recognise their noble status in the capital city. Th e report of the Interior Ministry's Landed Department also quotes data obtained from the Ministry of Finance, which magisterially found that the nine provinces of the Western Krai included: 35, odnodvorets chimneys or families renting land from the proprietors, along with chimneys and single inhabitants living on their own land -for the latter group, there was not more than 12, souls.

Should these fi gures be factual, then the number of odnodvortsy can be estimated at , -if the average family consisted of fi ve members; , -if the average family was six members, or , -if it consisted of seven. When the decomposition of the nobility in the western provinces peaked in the late s, the tenth revision census was being carried out in Russia, which defi ned the number of grazhdanye and odnodvortsy at ,, for both sexes.

XLII: , No. Insurrection and the displacements in its aft ermath. Moreover, it does not seem very plausible that the Tsarist administration might have deliberately overstated rather than understated the census's results in this particular case. In light of the discussion summarised in this essay and the source-based fi ndings, it is a legitimate guess that both fi gures quoted above off er us a good idea as to the scale of the phenomenon.

In the late s, there were more than , nobles who were degraded, or declassed; the number was reduced to less than , by Th ese calculations confi rm the earlier and, likewise, the most recent fi ndings regarding the diminishing Catholic population -Poles included -in Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine in the latter half of the 19 th century, with a signifi cant parallel increase in the Russian Empire. Beauvois has remarked, Russian statistics do not extend to the activities carried out by the Marshals of Nobility in to -the period when the offi cial ordinances of the Russian chynovniks with respect to the petty nobility were still at an early stage.

On the other hand, overstating the population of nobles in the western provinces, Ukraine included, had already taken place earlier -at least since V: , No. Th is was part of a general Russian policy against Poles in the Western region. Th e problem was revived thanks to the French historian Daniel Beauvois, who calculated the number of individuals expelled from the ranks of the nobility in Ukraine.

In his book on the Polish gentry in Ukraine, published in 2 and which subsequently became a part of his Ukrainian trilogy, Beauvois reopened the discussion. In Polish historiography, it led to a number of studies. All of those expelled were transferred into the semi-peasant categories created in the Western provinces by the Tsarist authorities. A link between the implementation of the 'honorary citizen' category in the Western provinces and the general policy against Poles in that region is also highlighted and discussed in contemporary Russian historiography.

Th e 'honorary citizen' category is fi rst mentioned in the Tsarist Ukase No. On the basis of this decree, all individuals who could not prove their noble roots were transferred into newly-created peasant categories: the odnodvortsy and grazhdane of the Western provinces.

In the ukase it was stated that:Th e grazhdane category shall include persons who practice the various so-called "scholarly professions", such as physicians, teachers, artists and composers, as well as those who have obtained offi cial certifi cates for the title of lawyer or barrister, to differentiate them from those who work as craft smen or are in domestic service, as well as to distinguish them from those who represent any lower professions: to such persons the title of "honorary citizen" shall henceforth be granted.

In fact, two diff erent ukases were promulgated the so-called "Manifesto" and executive regulations , in April Th ese were preceded by two extra-decrees, dated 1 and 21 December , respectively. Th e ukase of 1 December specifi ed that with respect to artists, the new category should include only painters, lithographers, engravers, dye-sinkers in stone and metal, as well as architects and sculptors who held a valid Academy certifi cate.

For enrolment, registration and a document confi rming offi cial proof of the title of hereditary honorary citizen were required. For this, a sum of roubles was levied. Th e charge for the title of personal honorary citizen was reduced to roubles. However, for all persons who were involved in manufacturing and commerce, the charge amounted to roubles, whereas scholars and artists had to pay a charge of only roubles for the title and 50 roubles for offi cial proof roubles, altogether.

For various reasons, it ensured the right to act in much the same way as the gentry. Release from the payment of the tax obligation per soul; 2. Release from the obligation of military service rekrutskaya povinnost' ; 3. Release from corporal punishment telesnoe nakazaniye in case of committing an off ence. In this respect, they acquired exactly the same rights as those granted to wealthy merchants included in the fi rst two guilds. It should also be recalled that admission to the fi rst guild whose privileges were granted to towns by Catherine II in was restricted to mer-6 D.

R askin, op. For membership in the second guild, a capital sum of between and 10, roubles was required. On the one hand, these were persons who already held senior municipal posts, as well as those who worked as scholars and artists, including architects, painters, sculptors and composers.

On the other hand, however, this category also included people owning more than 50, roubles -bankers holding capital of over , roubles, merchants involved in wholesale trade and ship owners. Honorary citizens were included, together with the gentry and clergy, as classes "released from taxes". Th ey had the right to own gardens and estates outside of town, and customarily used carriages drawn by two or even four horses. Th ey were also permitted to establish and run factories and manufacturing plants, as well as own sea and river-going vessels.

Th e creation of the "considerable citizens" category is, in the opinion of D. Raskin, connected to the moment that the development of the class system in Russia was completed in At that time, the necessity to create a separate social stratum was recognised. Th at stratum was the class which had embraced the educated milieu; hitherto not brought into the system based on the table of ranks.

First and foremost, it concerned representatives of learned professions and the wealthiest circles of burghers -mostly people involved in commerce, who might be defi ned as a sort of middle class. Bazylow, Historia Rosji, Vol. I, Warsaw , p and possessed an offi cial title for it , as well as those who, as a consequence, occupied subsequent positions: assessors of the sovestnyi sud -i.

Th is new category also included scholars with university or academy certifi cates; artists of the "three arts" architecture, painting and sculpture -until the end of the 18 th century, neither the Academy of Sciences, nor the Academy of Fine Arts, was included in the table of ranks , and people having appropriate fi nances at their disposal. In January , merchants were deprived of the title. Soon aft er, the same decision was applied to scholars and artists on the grounds that they were covered by the regular state service system and enjoyed the possibility of rising to the rank of personal or hereditary nobility.

Th us, the category practically ceased to exist. When a family could not prove the proper fi nancial resources or possession of adequate capital, they were immediately attached to a category suitable to burghers or countrymen. However, at the moment they shift ed to this category, they were once more made available for military service, had to pay direct taxation per capita and could be corporally punished.

Th e committee suggested the division of the non-gentry into three new categories: "rank citizen" chinovnichye grazhdane , "considerable imenityie citizen" and "honorary pochetnyie citizen". A year later, some of these ideas were further developed by Count Kankrin, the Minister of Finance. Th e whole matter was accelerated and fi nally completed due to the November Uprising of , which opened the eyes of the Tsarist authorities to the necessity of revising social law and order in the Western provinces.

Th is concerned, in the fi rst instance, all Polish lesser gentry with revolutionary sentiments, but had to also be expanded to include educated people of non-noble origin. From the point of view of Tsarist policy in the region, the main issue was whether this new category should be designed exclusively for Poles, as it was with the odnodvortsy and ghrazhdanie of the Western provinces.

It seems reasonable to assume that 15 Ibidem, p. Yanovskii, op. B azy low, op. II, p. Th is new category created incredibly brighter prospects for the regulation of social practice and the modifi cation of social structures, which had already started a process of transformation from below, vital in the search for new solutions and an improvement on the existing regulations, functioning since Under the rule of Nicholas I, Russia began modernising.

Old divisions were not adequate to deal with the needs of the fast-changing reality. Th ey were mostly of burgher origin, although one could also fi nd children of peasant background among them. Th e cities of the Empire were fi lled with foreigners. Th anks to education, or thanks to the profession they practiced, a large number of these foreigners were qualifi ed to enter the ranks of the elite.

Very oft en they were people brought to Russia to fi ll vacant university chairs, or eminent and distinguished artists, physicians, engineers and lawyers. It was against the rules of civilization and enlightenment to ignore this simple truth, and socially degrade such persons. However, the reality was somewhat diff erent -for example, an eminent professor of medicine with perfect knowledge of several languages, graduated abroad or in Russia, who decided about the life or death of upper-rank offi cials, could -according to the rules -be sentenced to be fl ogged, or forced to enlist in the army with the rank of private.

Indeed, the same punishment could also be applied to a noble if he had been involved in anti-government activity, but only aft er he had been formally stripped of his title. It seems clear that the legislators' intention was, essentially, the regulation of the social structure in the Western parts of the Empire.

However, the rules not only concerned Poles, but all the ethnic groups settled in the region. Th e most serious problem, apart from the Poles, was caused by the Jewish population. In accordance with Paragraph 15 of the April Ukase of , registration in the honorary citizen category was allowed only for those individuals of Jewish origin who lived in the territories embraced by the Pale of Settlement cherta osedlosti.

As well, it encompassed -with certain limitations -the provinces of Kyiv but not Kyiv itself , Cherson but not Nikolayev , Taurida excluding Sebastopol , Mohilev and Vitebsk only in towns , Chernikhov and Poltava excluding state villages, from which the Jewish population was promptly expelled -this was the case in the village of Anatevka in Fiddler on the Roof.

In the Baltic Kurland and Lifl and Livonia provinces, the right to 19 Concerning the main idea of "offi cial nationality", which emerged at that time, see: N. According to Paragraph 15 of the abovementioned April Manifesto of , Jews acquired the privilege to apply for honorary citizenship, but the possibility of acquiring it was very restricted.

Th ey might obtain it as a reward for extraordinary merit in the service of the Russian state, or for exceptional achievement in the sciences and arts, commerce or manufacturing manufakturnaya promyshlennost'. Meritorious service to the state was the most eff ective route to honorary citizenship underlined in Ukase No. However, such merits had to be extraordinary, and were examined with extreme prudence and care s kraineyu razborchivostyu.

Th is concerned, fi rst of all, the children of persons who held personal nobility; the children of the clergy of certain confessions mostly this applied to the children of Orthodox priests, but only if they had completed their education in an academy or seminary, supported by documentary evidence.

Th is also applied to the children of Lutheran and Reformed Church clergy and pastors. Personal honorary citizenship could be obtained by the children of Orthodox clergy, even if they had not completed their education, as well as by the children of Muslim clergy, particularly in the Transcaucasus.

On the basis of the decree from 12 March , personal honorary citizenship could also be granted to the children of lower social strata, provided they had been adopted by gentry or other honorary citizens. Th us, in other words the privilege to petition for personal honorary citizenship belonged to individuals who had acquired proper educational status.

Th is also concerned those who had completed university even without a title and the alumni of commercial or equivalent schools. Th ose individuals who had obtained the lowest ranks fourteenth rank to ninth rank -from Collegiate Registrar to Titular Counsellor , as well as those in the land forces who performed adequately and reached the rank of Captain or Navy Lieutenant , were guaranteed the title of personal honorary citizenship aft er retirement.

Th e title of personal honorary citizenship could be granted to individuals of all strata in recognition of meritorious service to the state over a period of no less than ten years. Application could be made for hereditary honorary citizenship aft er no less than ten years state service, provided that the applicant already held the title of personal citizenship Ukase of 3 February Th is category was open to those with the appropriate educational status, but also especially to those that belonged to the multi-ethnic mosaic of the Empire's population.

During his service, Piasecki wrote several political articles. Very much like his European authoritarian contemporaries, Piasecki proclaimed the armed forces a model institution for all aspects of public life and declared that the young nationalists fully shared with the military an emphasis on hierarchy, discipline, and patriotism and would not hesitate to obey professional soldiers.

Clearly, some in the military sympathized with his political reflections. The leader was also the chief exponent of the idea of National Radical Poland, which he received through personal revelation. He led the organization in compliance with the Catholic ethos and National Radical ideology. During its three-year existence, the section claimed to men, and constituted the most fanatical element of the National Radical Movement.

Meanwhile, the impact of the Great Depression had brought about substantial social unrest, anti-Semitic riots, labor protests, and a mass peasant strike. After the general elections, which were boycotted by the main opposition parties and were marked by low voter turnout, the regime dissolved the Nonpartisan Bloc for Cooperation with the Government.

In the summer of , the government endorsed the slogan of economic struggle against the Jews, lending its support to a boycott of Jewish enterprises. Calls for numerus nullus were followed by the implementation of the so-called bench ghetto, a forcible segregation of Jewish students from Christians in lecture halls.

Having established contact with activists of the youth branch of the National Party, Piasecki began preparations to launch an occupation strike at Warsaw University. Both groups decided to make dealing with the Jewish problem the main agenda of the strike. They also demanded tuition-free enrollment of proletarian students.

The strike was to begin in late November By , several institutions of higher learning in Poland had adopted the bench ghetto, often with the blessing of the Ministry of Religion and Public Education. In December , Piasecki presented the most complete elaboration of his economic policies to date.

Piasecki argued that in the future Poland, employers who did not participate in the process of production would lose their property rights. As long as there was unemployment, no one should be allowed to earn more than the actual cost of living. The purge of Jews from industry and trade would facilitate the migration of ethnic Poles from the overpopulated countryside to urban centers, while expropriated Jewish capital would boost investment. State acquisition of banks would render the annihilation of the capitalist economy complete.

All political parties and secret organizations would be liquidated. The army, after its merger with OPN political structures, would play a pivotal role as an institution for forging national unity through compulsory military service. The Jews would be banned from all Polish institutions, expropriated, and subsequently expelled from Poland.

In the modernization of the eastern borderlands, Slavic minorities were expected to fully assimilate. In fact, the only thing that distinguishes the National Radical Movement from the Popular Front is the Jewish question. But was denouncing Nazism in Germany equivalent to condemning totalitarianism in Poland?

Fundamentally, the National Radicals paled in comparison to the nominally proclerical Endecja, which made no attempt to influence matters of religious doctrine. But the RNR did get a sympathetic reception from some of the most authoritarian elements of Sanacja. The OZN Venture The Camp of National Unity was similar to efforts by other authoritarian, monarchist, and military-based regimes to create government parties or mass organizations in eastern Europe and the Mediterranean.

The conservative, yet pragmatic, government politicians of Greece, Romania, Yugoslavia, and the Baltics all advocated organic nationalism, subscribed to fascist ideology to a greater or lesser degree, and embraced corporatism and paramilitarism; but they also competed with domestic fascists and other nationalist radicals.

His intention was to build a movement beyond Sanacja, which would consolidate power in his hands. Koc was an ailing man who lacked both personal charisma and tactical skills. His nationalist and authoritarian views made him extremely unpopular among the Left and Sanacja moderates. Nor could he count on the support of Endeks, who rejected any compromise with the regime.

The program of the OZN advocated national unity above party and class divisions and praised the army as a uniting force, while paying nominal respect to the Church. Koc also declared that state regulation of the economy would increase through closer supervision of private enterprises. The OZN did not intend to liquidate opposition parties that refused to cooperate. Instead, it tried to win over the masses, ignoring opposition leaders. At the same time, he must have been aware that most of his supporters opposed any deal with Sanacja.

Attacks on Jews also helped attract new recruits. In Poland, Jews, communists, and even members of non-Catholic religious groups constituted equally vulnerable targets. Again, the example of Mussolini, who allied himself with political elites in order to dominate them in the future, was highly seductive. Yet his personal reputation overshadowed the strength of his organization or rather the lack thereof.

Koc thought that Piasecki commanded the nationalist youth, and Piasecki thought that Koc and Rydz constituted the entire ruling camp. The Jewish problem was to be solved through emigration. The term derived from Yiddish usage and referred to the alleged Jewish character of popular fronts.

At a meeting of the Union of Polish Legionnaires, Rydz tried to pacify the unrest by dismissing rumors of a military coup that had permeated liberal circles. By these accounts, the coup was to have taken place on the night of October 25 and in the early hours of October Who would dominate this partnership? For Mackiewicz, the October crisis had demonstrated that the old political guard was still able to block the young nationalists.

On November 28, between one and three thousand of his followers, dressed in sand-colored shirts, flocked to a mass rally at the circus building in downtown Warsaw. Piasecki came to the podium dressed in a long black coat. The audience raised a forest of hands in the fascist salute.

He spoke slowly and methodically. In doing so, we shall not destroy individuality, but we will redirect the moral and ideological course of the nation. And I say: We will call a surgeon! Evil, stupidity, materialism, failures of the system, and exploitation must be removed by a single cut. After weeks of internal intrigue, Rydz resolved to end cooperation with the National Radicals and forced Koc to resign.

These regimes, however, still feared the masses and would not support the formation of fascist paramilitaries. By , the OZN openly advocated both economic struggle against the Jews and cleansing Polish culture of Jewish influences.

The government also took steps to reduce the Jewish population by encouraging emigration to Palestine and revising citizenship laws. Did Piasecki contribute to the radicalization of Sanacja? More likely, the Polish regime simply was turning nastier, like others in authoritarian eastern Europe.

But it also feared radical sociopolitical experiments and tried to reduce political violence to a minimum. Unlike the fascists, the Polish authoritarians displayed a lack of will and readiness to expunge political opponents, be they nationalists, peasants, or socialists.

Some were former socialists. Piasecki tried to restore his flagging authority by quelling dissent in the ranks of the organization, uniting other radical nationalist groups with his own, and courting opposition parties. He failed at all three tasks. His press showered special praise on Codreanu, leader of the Romanian Iron Guard. On the other hand, women in National Radical Poland were to enjoy the same rights to education, employment, payment, and political participation as men—through their membership in the OPN, of course.

Some of these articles read like fairy tales. The country grew so prosperous that Polish farmers traveled to Denmark to lecture on the achievements of Polish agriculture. Poland underwent a vast industrialization, as the Labor Front built roads and modern railways, drained marshes, and dug canals. Modern housing and green neighborhoods changed the urban landscape. Synagogues were converted into museums where citizens could study the Jewish menace of the past.

Poland was a leading European power with no minorities left: the Ukrainians and Belorussians had assimilated, the Jews had emigrated, and the Germans had been subjected to population transfers. Piasecki failed to capitalize on the Munich crisis and on the subsequent Polish claims to Zaolzie, part of former Austrian Silesia lost to Czechoslovakia in When he ordered the formation of the Zaolzie Volunteer Corps, however, only two hundred men responded to his call. Piasecki saw his movement moving toward rapid collapse.

In the highly contested municipal elections of December and March , the National Radicals did not win a single seat. As his reports became openly pro-Nazi, he lost his job in October In case of a major international conflict, however, Poland would switch sides, ally itself with Britain and France, and stab Germany in back.

But Piasecki categorically opposed any collaboration with the Nazis. Piasecki reported Brochwicz to Polish counterintelligence and arranged for his arrest in early June. Tried by a military court, he was found guilty of espionage and sentenced to death. The capture of the fortress by German troops saved his life, however, and Piasecki and Brochwicz would meet again in occupied Warsaw in December In July , Piasecki closed down Falanga and soon afterward announced that the organization had suspended its activities because of the prospect of war.

This seems indeed to have been the case. Whether Polonized or holding to their ethnoreligious identity, Jews came to be seen as separate from the rest of society. A new Christian middle class considered them an obstacle to national economic advancement. The prominence of others in the arts and entertainment disturbed self-styled guardians and advocates of national culture. In fact, one could argue that those who assimilated were regarded with greater suspicion than orthodox, Yiddish-speaking Jews: they were said to contaminate the body of the nation.

Yes, there was. Is there a Jewish occupation now? Yes, there is. In this sense, the Nazis committed a heresy, since no ideology should worship a man. In May , Falanga claimed to have unmasked the shameful cooperation of Polish aristocrats and Jewish bankers. In comparison to his associates, Piasecki can be viewed as almost a moderate anti-Semite. Yet, I cannot rule out that Grabski was telling truth. But the reputation of being a virulent anti-Semite that Piasecki acquired in the s had two results.

On the one hand, it made him extremely unpopular among the liberal intelligentsia. At a time when the fate of nations depended on military superiority, he had the ambition to build a political army whose strength relied on ideology rather than on numbers of soldiers and the power of weapons. During the war, he took over leadership of a small right-wing resistance group, the Confederation of the Nation Konfederacja Narodu, KN. Piasecki based his strategy on the belief that the war, especially after the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, constituted a clash of ideologies.

His program for Polish national renewal, by contrast, would combine elements of Christianity, nationalism, and radical modernity. While pursuing his ideological dreams, Piasecki faced the very real challenges of underground struggle in the resistance movement, which operated in a context of terror and brutality experienced in few other Germanoccupied countries. As commander of a resistance group, he was responsible for the lives of hundreds of men and women serving under him, a duty that he undertook with mixed results.

Divided into numerous factions, the underground forces fought the occupiers and, occasionally, one another. Like underground groups elsewhere in Europe, the Polish resistance shared two broad goals: the liberation of their country and the implementation of socioeconomic and political changes after the war. There could be no return to the prewar order. It remained only to determine what would replace it. By the end of the conflict, these differences proved to be secondary.

The fate of postwar Europe was determined not by indigenous resistance movements—which were unable either to liberate their countries or to change the course of the war—but by the Great Powers. Defeat, September —May On September 1, , Piasecki, like hundreds of thousands of his countrymen, joined the struggle against the Nazi invaders.

It was a war that the Poles could win. Outnumbered and poorly armed, the Poles fought gallantly, yet without much success. The Polish lines of defense were easily pierced, broken, and overrun by massive German blows. The massive Soviet attack on September 17 hastened the destruction of the Polish army, and the Polish government fled to Romania, where it was interned. Warsaw fell on September 27, and the last Polish units capitulated in early October. The German victory was quick and achieved with relatively few casualties: 10, killed and 40, wounded.

On the Polish side, 67, were killed, , wounded, and , taken prisoner. In addition, 2, Polish soldiers were killed in chaotic resistance against the Soviets, who took another , prisoners. The city surrendered to the Soviets on September Initially, he set off toward the Romanian border, but then decided to return to Warsaw. He reached the conquered capital in early October. On September 28, , a new German-Soviet treaty partitioned the country between the two powers. The September catastrophe also constituted a major revolution in Polish politics: it delegitimized the Sanacja regime, which was widely held responsible for the swift collapse of the armed forces.

The delegacy started its operations only in April , however. Meanwhile, the government in exile had not yet secured the loyalty of Polish society, especially the nationalist far Right. Other participants included the notorious anti-Semite Rev. This episode of Polish wartime history has not been fully researched and analyzed, partly because detailed evidence is lacking and partly because it challenges the myth of Poland as the only European nation without quislings.

Hitler rejected any collaborationist arrangements in Poland, mostly on the basis of his racial and historical contempt for Slavic peoples, his perception of the Poles as an obstacle to establishing Lebensraum, and his wish to completely eradicate Polish nationalism. In return, they could expect only rule by terror and deprivation. The fall of France in June only consolidated this conviction within the Nazi hierarchy.

As mentioned earlier, Piasecki returned to Warsaw in October , where he tried to revive the National Radical Movement. According to Sznarbachowski, Piasecki sought contact with the Wehrmacht to create Polish paramilitary units. What this explanation lacks, however, is an appreciation of the fluidity of the political situation in late At that point, little was known in Warsaw about Nazi designs for Poland.

He soon found another influential protector, however. The Frassatis had belonged to the Italian establishment for many years. Gestapo boss Joseph Meisinger claimed, however, that the fate of the prisoner was unknown to him. She quickly drove to the jail, met the warden, and obtained permission to see Piasecki.

He looked physically exhausted but otherwise seemed calm. Frassati assured him that she would do everything in her power to secure his release. One of the guests was Meisinger. The meeting took place in February The couple spent two hours together, undisturbed by prison guards— an unusual treat in occupied Warsaw. In January , he even urged Hitler to take a more realistic approach toward Poland, perhaps restoring a rump Polish state.

Momentarily safe, Piasecki did not expect the Italians to protect him forever. He started using the name Sablewski, which remained his pseudonym for the rest of the war. Anticipating another arrest, Piasecki went underground. On May 24, , the German regional court sentenced him to death in absentia for crimes against the German state.

These developments coincided with important decisions in his personal life. The war had dispersed most of his comrades. Some were dead. Others had either escaped abroad or joined rival underground organizations. Fortunately for Piasecki, the persistence of political divisions after the defeat of had produced a tendency for disparate parties and groups to establish their own private armies. These clandestine organizations differed in their relationships to the government in exile, as well as in their programs, membership, and scale of operations.

He placed the organization under the command of the Polish government in November But Sikorski, the new prime minister and commander in chief, considered the group too pro-Sanacja. The aim of the ZWZ was to build a secret army and launch a national uprising on the arrival of the Allied armies. The extreme Right acknowledged the government in exile but did not recognize the authority of the delegacy.

Allied with the British and the Americans, the bloc would defeat the Nazis and set up a federation with a common government, military, foreign policy, and free trade. Pushed westward to the old Piast borders, Germany would become a marginal power, while the Soviet Union would cease to exist. Piasecki was not alone in advocating some form of central European integration along nationalist and authoritarian lines. Poland would bridge Catholic with Orthodox, Roman with Byzantine, and Western with Eastern, thus reconciling the nations of east central Europe.

Real power belongs to those of us who are in the country. But the agreement did not solve the problem of border changes, leaving the issue open to future negotiations. The treaty drew harsh criticism from numerous Polish politicians, resulting in a government crisis. In a secret instruction to his closest associates in April , he acknowledged that the confederation would have to recognize the London government. The majority of confederates came from the ranks of the young, rightwing urban intelligentsia, and their training reflected the priority of ideology.

They ran the communication network, provided medical care, and tended to arrested members. It organized literary contests, experimental theater, and a music studio. After the defeat of Germany, the conquest of new territories, particularly in the east, would begin. The ethnic composition of the population in the annexed lands posed no problems, as German residents would face deportation.

But this Polonization, or ethnic cleansing, would need the approval of the Allies—something the London Poles never doubted they would get—as part of the peace settlement. The Cadre Strike Battalions would cross the Bug, attack both the Germans and Soviet partisans, prevent the spread of communism, and establish a bridgehead for further advances in the east. The confederation started building its network in Podlasie in February and March Recruitment did not proceed smoothly.

In July , the Polish police caught a confederation team during the attempted robbery of a Polish industrialist who was untainted by collaboration, an incident that drew sharp responses from the AK command. But Piasecki did not abandon his men, who in the meantime had been handed over to the Gestapo. On the night of July 26, , a small detachment posing as Gestapo agents freed the prisoners. Not only did Piasecki rehabilitate the reputation of his organization, but he also won the lifelong gratitude and loyalty of his men.

Upon their return, they tried to dissuade Piasecki from launching the operation, pointing to the presence of strong Soviet partisan units in the area. The columns of young men carrying backpacks easily caught the attention of both passengers and railroad guards, but they reached the rendezvous point on October Of the two hundred men gathered under the command of Ignacy Telechun, only 30 percent were armed, mostly with pistols. While waiting for the shipment to arrive, the partisans spread out in the forest and nearby meadows.

It is not clear how the Germans discovered them. Shortly afterward, they attacked the main Polish forces, killing or wounding some twenty partisans and taking thirty prisoners. The Germans hunted down many of the unarmed partisans, and Telechun dissolved the unit after two weeks. The survivors reached Warsaw at the end of October, complaining bitterly about the disastrous organization of the action and the amateurism of their commanders.

Despite this colossal failure, Piasecki did not abandon his plans. Meanwhile, Piasecki had to cope with another challenge. Nowa Polska declared that the Soviet problem should be solved not by negotiations and compromises but only by armed struggle. This time, he would be dealing with different men.

Five days later, on July 4, Sikorski died in a plane crash at Gibraltar. The three men were also sharply divided in their political visions. He still believed that Polish-Soviet cooperation was possible. Sosnkowski was a pessimistic realist and an ardent anticommunist, opposed to any agreement with the Soviet Union.

The government in exile believed that liberation by the Soviet Union would most likely result in territorial losses and vassal status for Poland. In this context, the question of the Polish response to the oncoming Soviet advance became particularly urgent. By January , Rowecki already had advised Sikorski that the timing of an uprising should correspond not with the disintegration of the Wehrmacht but with the Soviet advance into the eastern borderlands.

He also faced the question of how the AK should act in the east before the Soviet advance. In , the Soviets had boosted their partisan network in the eastern borderlands and regularly attacked AK units. Piasecki received the rank of lieutenant. Its ethnic makeup included Poles, Belorussians, Jews mostly exterminated by , and Lithuanians.

Following the German attack on the Soviet Union, the province became part of the Reichskommissariat Ostland. The Germans held only the urban areas, while the countryside remained under the control of partisans. By the fall of , strong Soviet guerrilla detachments controlled the territory south of the Niemen River, while the AK prevailed on the northern bank. Initially, these Warsaw intelligentsia youths and peasant lads from the Podlasie region did not get along with the locals.

They did not speak the kresy dialect, which contained many Belorussian words and phrases. He took a temporary leave to Warsaw, where he stayed for several weeks. While in the capital, Piasecki wrote an article about the prospects of Polish-Soviet relations. He had no doubt that the Soviets would enter Polish territory not as allies but as an invading army. Soviet victories in the east had forced Piasecki to abandon his dreams of a Slavic empire and to limit his territorial demands to the preservation of prewar frontiers.

This, however, was not the core issue. Piasecki echoed the provisions of the so-called Tempest Plan, which anticipated attacks on the retreating Germans, tactical cooperation with the Red Army, and the disclosure of underground Polish governing institutions in the liberated territories.

There is no doubt that after the merger with the AK, Piasecki moderated his program and rhetoric. He also emphasized the need for a strong welfare state, land reform, the nationalization of banks and public services, and a central economic plan regulating both public and private sectors. While small industry would remain private, the ownership of large industry would pass to shareholders recruited from the labor force.

The war constituted a revolution not only in terms of its brutalizing effect on society but also in the development of postwar socioeconomic designs. In unoccupied England, invaded France, occupied Poland, and divided Italy alike, resisters perceived victory over fascism as a chance for social change.

Societies and economies were to move to the Left. Even Piasecki recognized this trend. Piasecki returned to his unit in February At the time of the trial, there were other AK leaders who had negotiated one or another form of armistice with the Germans in order to defend themselves against Soviet partisans. What was taking place in the kresy resembled the pattern of resistance struggles in Yugoslavia or Greece, where anti-Nazi resistance fragmented into rival factions and ethnic groups, often engaging in various deals with occupying forces.

The Soviet military presence was weaker, and the Polish underground stronger. At the same time, the province was the scene of bitter ethnic conflict between Poles and Lithuanians. Under the Nazi occupation, Lithuanian collaborators were allowed to set up the quasi-governmental Taryba, or Lithuanian State Council. Both the quislings and the underground Lithuanian Liberation Committee Vyriausias Lietuvos Islaisvinimo Komitetas treated the province as an integral part of the Lithuanian state.

The attack on Wilno was supposed to take place on July 7 at p. He used his free time for reading and political deliberation, often dictating his reflections from bed. The assault from outside would be accompanied by an uprising in the city. This meant that the Soviets were expected at the outskirts of the city within a day or two. AK units stormed Wilno shortly after midnight on July 6, Fighting shoulder to shoulder, the Poles and Soviets destroyed the last pockets of German resistance within a week.

On July 15, , he sent an enthusiastic cable to Warsaw reporting on talks with General Ivan Chernyakhovsky, the commander of the Third Belorussian Front. Upon their arrival, the Polish commanders were apprehended and arrested. Within days, most AK soldiers had fallen into Soviet hands. Instead of attending the meeting with the Soviets, he sent a deputy who managed to escape and alert his commander. On July 22, , his group was captured by the Soviets in the vicinity of Grodno. Because German forces had sealed the capital, Piasecki could not join in the struggle.

Both were killed in August. Piasecki learned of the deaths of his wife and brother in October By early September, most of the territories on the right bank of the Vistula River had already been captured by the Soviets and put under the administration of the communist-led Polish Committee of National Liberation, created on July 20, There were few alternatives for Home Army soldiers.

Some disclosed themselves, hoping that they would be allowed to return to normal life. But the majority adopted a wait-and-see approach and remained underground. Piasecki became involved in the reconstruction of the AK underground shortly after his arrival in central Poland.

It is not clear whether he was already an agent provocateur, but there is no doubt that he denounced Piasecki to the NKVD. Elsewhere in Eastern and Western Europe, after the initial wave of purges, numerous former fascists and right-wing radicals reentered postwar politics. In East Germany, Hungary, Italy, and Romania, thousands of them joined the respective national communist parties.

Palmiro Togliatti, the head of the Italian Communist Party and minister of justice in the postwar government, quickly understood that retribution would not facilitate the restoration of order. The fate of Greece, where a civil war brought military intervention from the British, victory for a conservative royalist regime, and a purge of the Left, show what could have happened to Italy if tensions had continued.

In , Togliatti pushed for an amnesty law that allowed the return of many fascists to normal life and politics, often in the ranks of the Italian Communist Party. To put it bluntly, they had to expand the membership of their parties if they wanted to run local government, control the police, and take hold of the economy. Some former fascists switched over to communism out of opportunism or fear of retribution.

Yet ideology also played an important role, as both movements aspired to build an omnipresent state and a new society in opposition to liberalism, democracy, and capitalism. In Western Europe, the revolutionary rhetoric of liberation soon gave way to a predominantly conservative mood and programs favored by Christian Democrats and other anticommunist moderates.

National consensus often necessitated collective amnesia. Unlike nationalist elements in Western Europe or in the Balkan countries that had joined the Axis powers, the Polish Right largely escaped the stigma of having collaborated with the Nazis. Indeed, they would cooperate for many years to come.

For Piasecki, postwar Poland had much to offer. The old classes had vanished from the scene, and few Jews remained. It was clear to Piasecki that the Soviets were there to stay. In a conversation with Ryszard Reiff in , Piasecki stated that the power of the Red Army and the directives of Soviet leaders would shape political reality in Poland.

The country could regain its independence only on two conditions: First, it had to rebuild its devastated economy and infrastructure. Second, communism had to be eroded away. This time, it will not take so long. But he also recognized that the state, even in truncated form, was fundamental to the preservation and expansion of national cohesion, spirit, and discipline.

He gave the impression that not only had he coordinated clandestine operations, but he also had been in charge of building the new resistance network. The tactic paid off. He caught the attention of Serov, who conferred with Piasecki, probably in Lublin in late In all probability, Berman said, Piasecki had succeeded in presenting himself to Serov as a valuable asset in pacifying Poland.

These issues included an analysis of the situation in the country at the end of ; methods of increasing the influence of the Polish Committee for National Liberation; the characteristics of particular Polish political groups; and ideas about my cooperation with the Provisional Government.

Nazi ideology had never influenced his anti-German and pro-Catholic doctrine. He also praised the achievements of the Provisional Government, including its land reform program, the establishment of the Oder-Neisse border, and the conduct of foreign policy on the principle of Slavic brotherhood. To secure internal peace, they had to extend a hand to people at the other end of the political-ideological spectrum. Both sides needed to modify their political platforms, the communists by permitting political pluralism and the nationalists—for that matter all non-Marxists— by terminating their support for the London government and the anticommunist underground.

The pact that Piasecki envisioned made sense in the short term. Although the Yalta Conference in February had cemented Poland in the Soviet sphere of influence, its provisions also called for the reorganization of the Provisional Government through the inclusion of noncommunist politicians and for free elections. On June 21, , all but three defendants were found guilty and sentenced to prison.

Intimidated and pushed into a compromise by the Allies, the noncommunists agreed to enter the new government. The communists had decided to test his usefulness on the Catholic front. Commissars and Catholics, —48 The Polish church came out of the war decimated. Some two thousand Polish priests, including six bishops, had perished in Nazi concentration camps, jails, and mass executions. But the combined effects of border shifts, population transfers, and the Holocaust also had transformed Poland into an ethnically homogenous and predominantly Catholic country.

Monastic orders, clergy-administered schools, and charitable institutions continued to operate freely. In general, the bishops pushed for a return to normal life and welcomed the acquisition of the western territories from defeated Germany.

Jan Piwowarczyk and Jerzy Turowicz, Tygodnik powszechny quickly became the voice of the liberal Catholic intelligentsia. Both men were known for their unorthodox political views and pragmatism. A communist since the s, Borejsza spent the war in the Red Army. After his return to Poland, he quickly became the main organizer of publishing ventures in the liberated territories. Borejsza did not limit his advances to the pursuit of left-wing writers and journalists. Borejsza, for his part, declared that nothing prevented non-Marxists from reentering politics.

But when he tried to extract from his interlocutors a public appeal for social peace and national reconciliation, he left empty-handed. Piasecki pronounced God, mankind, nation, and family to be absolute values. He endorsed land reform and the nationalization of major industries and banks. The Germans can stay only as a labor force. All separatist movements [a reference to the Ukrainian insurgent army] should be dealt with through the policy of population transfers.

The military should be free from party politics, he declared, and open to members of all resistance organizations. Turning to the Catholic issue, Piasecki proposed the basis for a rapprochement: The communists should not view the Catholics as the incarnation of political reaction, whereas the latter would have to relinquish their distrust of Marxists. Known for his opposition to the dogmatic thinking of many prewar communists, he hoped to consolidate political power through a coalition model rather than through repression and ideological unanimity.

In this respect, Piasecki had the potential to channel nationalist clientele into the government camp without the attendant risk of rebuilding Endecja. It would be a safety valve, easy to control or shut off when necessary. Cardinal August Hlond, the primate of Poland, returned from exile in July They soon found themselves behind bars, however.

They were vehemently anti-German and enthusiastic about the acquisition of the western territories. They also deemed military resistance suicidal. He did not command a fully fledged political party, but this limitation also spared him the worries that beset opposition leaders. Parties could be crushed and eliminated, but Catholics were there to stay. The world of Catholic intellectuals in Poland consisted of a few dozen individuals who knew each other well. In the past, they had belonged to tightly interconnected networks, religious congregations, student corporations, and resistance organizations.

But unlike Piasecki and Tygodnik warszawski, the editors of Tygodnik powszechny were more cautious about making political commitments. Piasecki recanted his fascist past, his rejection of democracy, and his anti-Semitism, but he did not intend to flog himself. The war against Nazism had obliterated the traditional division between Right and Left, he argued. Therefore, nationalists could seek accommodation with the communists.

They represented two major ideological currents, Marxism and capitalism, the former on the rise and the latter in decline. But Poland, he was certain, could serve as the bridge between Western and Eastern Europe, between Christianity and Marxism. He talked about Polish manifest destiny by linking it to Soviet control of Poland. He legitimized communist rule by declaring Marxists the avant-garde of progress.

He also put himself and his followers on an equal ideological footing with the communists. Perhaps his most revolutionary claim was that both Marxism and Catholicism worked for the good of humanity, Marxism on a materialist level and Catholicism on a spiritual plane. The Catholics would share power and enrich Marxism spiritually. Catholic-Marxist dialogue was not unprecedented. The immediate postwar period was the heyday of Left Catholicism in Western Europe.

The ideological confrontations of the s—especially the Spanish Civil War— and above all World War II, with its delegitimization of a nationalist-Catholic Right tainted by social reaction and collaboration with fascism as well as Catholic participation in the resistance against the Nazi occupiers, forced numerous Catholic intellectuals to reconsider Marxism.

Of particular importance was the role played by the communists in resistance movements, as well as their increasing hold on the working class. Before Cold War politics in the late s and s eliminated the possibility of establishing some third way, French, Italian, and Belgian progressive Catholics had sought to instill a radical spirit in established Christian democratic parties, to organize Catholic workers, and to open the Church to theological innovations.

In Italy, some former resisters from the Christian Left merged with the communists. On the surface, his program had much in common with the philosophical thought of the French Personalist Emmanuel Mounier. Unlike Mounier, Piasecki emphasized historical determinism at the expense of philosophy.

He traveled to Poland in May as part of a delegation of twelve French intellectuals, six communists and six Catholics. He believed that their inflexibility could derail the entire project. Piasecki opted for full engagement. Piasecki did not. He concluded that the government needed the support of all Catholics for the tasks of rebuilding the country and raising young people.

Two years later, Piasecki launched the PAX Publishing Institute Instytut Wydawniczy PAX , which turned out theological, philosophical, and historical books, as well as Western literature, at a time when state publishing companies were flooding the market with socialist-realist junk.

The reactions of other Catholic groups were more nuanced. They refrained, however, from participation in the heated debates between the communists and the PSL. In , he had attempted to convince his former brothers-in-arms from the Wilno region, the partisans of Colonel Zygmunt Szendzielarz, to reveal themselves to the authorities.

In , the authorities captured Szendzielarz, sentenced him to death, and executed him. Consider the case of Ryszard Reiff, who had escaped from a Soviet camp and secretly returned to Warsaw: Piasecki resolved the matter over a bottle of cognac that he and Reiff shared with Wolski. Determined to eliminate what they considered the last bastion of reaction, ideological competition, and autonomous society, the communists pursued a strategy of intimidation, administrative harassment, and outright terror.

In Czechoslovakia, the government had Czech primate Josef Beran detained in a remote monastery in He was sentenced to life imprisonment in February He made sure that priests refrained from political involvement and redoubled efforts to create a permanent intermediary body between the episcopate and the government.

According to Piasecki, the authorities needed to assure the Vatican that they had no intention of forcing the Church in Poland to break away from Rome or of organizing a split between proregime and pro-Rome Catholics. Violators were to be refused the sacraments and excommunicated as apostates. It is important to remember that Piasecki was a devout Catholic, a regular churchgoer, and a religious traditionalist. While hiding in Nazi-occupied Warsaw, he regularly attended masses at the Church of Christ the Savior, even though such visits could have led to his denunciation.

He contributed to the rebuilding of the church in the s, a time when the government consistently blocked building permits for churches. He cultivated friendly ties with the parish priest, Rev. Jan Twardowski, an internationally acclaimed Catholic poet and longtime rector of the Church of the Nuns of the Visitation, one of the most prestigious religious sites in Warsaw and popular among the Catholic intelligentsia. Some members joined the organization voluntarily.

Others were blackmailed into cooperating by the security police, who threatened charges of alcoholism, sexual scandal, or corruption. Piasecki accepted this assignment with the hope of eventually expelling his rivals, the Patriotic Priests, for whom he had nothing but scorn. On April 14, , the episcopate signed an accord porozumienie with the Polish government. In return, the state guaranteed religious freedom, permitted religious instruction in public schools, allowed the existence of Catholic educational institutions, and vowed to refrain from any interference in the functioning of monastic orders, Catholic publications, and charity work.

He was buying time. It is our belief that Marxism will win in this confrontation, but that subsequently, it will be conquered by Catholicism. In May , he organized a conference of Catholic activists in Warsaw.

Among the participants were the editors of Tygodnik powszechny, members of Polish academia, priests, and representatives of the laity. Piasecki quickly joined this front. In November , the government approved his proposal to establish a clerical section of the Polish peace committee. Finally, Piasecki had his own priests. On most of these occasions, Piasecki declined to act as a moderator while he eagerly awaited a decision legalizing his new, expanded organization.

PAX supervised the Commission of Catholic Intellectuals and Activists, and it owned two newspapers, a publishing house, one high school, and two commercial enterprises. By August , approximately a thousand people worked for PAX-run projects and companies. In these circumstances, he found himself—perhaps against his own intentions—among the forces that sought to subordinate the Church to the communist regime.

For Piasecki, capitulation was preferable to schism, though the creation of a communist-controlled national church also would have harmed PAX. He also continued criticizing the Vatican. On March 5, , Stalin died. Across the Soviet bloc, newspapers competed to publish sycophantic and laudatory articles about the late Soviet leader.

Only Tygodnik powszechny stepped out of line. The authorities closed down the paper in April and three months later transferred it to PAX. This time, he vowed to resist. In May , he had the episcopate issue a memorandum, Non possumus We Cannot.

Non possumus! In making his calculations, however, he had completely ignored the intentions of the regime. On September 14, the show trial of Bishop Kaczmarek of Kielce began. Broken by a long detention, the bishop played his role well: he confessed to all charges and implicated the Vatican, the episcopate, and even the primate. The court sentenced Kaczmarek to twelve years in prison. Instead, it detained the primate in a remote, defunct monastery.

Piasecki admitted that social revolution did not stem from the gospel. Nevertheless, it was still possible to use the universality of Catholic doctrine in revolutionary struggle without involving the institution of the Church. He claimed that PAX could mobilize Catholic support for the revolution both at home and abroad. Having subdued the bishops, the government began to limit its contacts with PAX.

The leader of PAX no longer received invitations from party bigwigs. As Andrzej Micewski has pointed out, had it not been for the introduction, the book would not have amounted to much. First of all, he set about reexamining the relation of Catholic theology to earthly concerns. Piasecki declared that up to this point, Catholicism had focused on the act of salvation, pushing aside the act of creation. This emphasis on redemption had led Catholics to adopt the view that social injustice was a natural state of affairs regardless of the dominant political order, be it feudalism, capitalism, or socialism.

This blindness to the Promethean character of Christianity derived from an erroneous interpretation of labor, understood by Catholic theologians as a punishment for original sin. Consequently, Catholic theology dissuaded believers from struggling to better the world, earning them a reputation as enemies of progress.

Piasecki, in contrast, claimed that the notion of progress was deeply embedded in Christianity. They should sever their ties to capitalist exploiters, he urged, purge Catholicism of reactionary influences, and unite themselves with nonbelievers in working for the good of humanity.

Neither Marxists nor Catholics should have to give up their system of beliefs. This was the essence of a pluralism of worldviews. Above all, the idea of Catholic-Marxist reconciliation stemmed from his prewar nationalist-Catholic synthesis: the cornerstone of his doctrine was the notion that God was the highest destiny of man and that allying Catholicism to the dominant ideological current—nationalism before the war and communism afterward—was the path to God.

Because he always viewed Catholicism as the basis of national identity, Piasecki might have concluded that a modus vivendi between Catholics and communists would serve to entrench nationalism. Perhaps PAX and the nominally atheistic party regime could turn socialist Poland into a nationalizing state. It also seems that Piasecki treated Marxism as a political religion. Piasecki had to acknowledge the growing ritualization of the communist system.

Jacob L. For much of the late nineteenth century, the nationalists and the socialists were factions within the same independence movement. Neither group denied the link between the nation and the people. The problem was that the socialists cherished only the working-class component of the people, the proletariat, which they believed eventually would embody the nation after the socialist revolution.

The nationalists believed that the making of the modern Polish nation could not wait for the revolution, because the nation and the people already existed in the present. By that time, the break between the socialists and nationalists was complete. By then, socialism and nationalism also had common enemies: the conservative status quo, capitalism, ideological heterodoxy, and the Other. Piasecki already had pointed out the ideological kinship between Soviet communism and fascist movements before the war.

At that time, his political doctrine had combined ethnonationalism with a leftist and revolutionary social-economic program. He began his analysis with the presentation of one universalist current Catholicism and concluded it with another socialism , hinting all the while at nationalism. It was a return to universalism and the common front. Of course, this ideological solution was not devoid of pragmatic considerations. By proposing a kind of pluralism, here tightly restricted to Marxism and proregime nationalist Catholicism, Piasecki sought to position himself as a shareholder in power.

By attempting to elide the differences between Catholics and communists, Piasecki disregarded the policy of the Holy See as well as the evolution of Catholic theology. The Church no longer interpreted labor as a punishment for original sin and did not hesitate to criticize the abuses of capitalism. But from a Catholic perspective, Piasecki was a heretic. In February , he dispatched his sister-in-law, Janina Kolendo, to Switzerland with a copy of the book to deliver it to Rev.

To him and to all those who followed the situation in Poland and the Soviet bloc, major political changes seemed inevitable. The death of Stalin did not have an immediate effect on the regime in Poland, but things began to change in The elimination of Lavrenty Beria from the Soviet political leadership in the summer of and the subsequent accession of Nikita Khrushchev fueled the process of deStalinization. In response to these developments in the Soviet Union, the regime in Poland adopted a model of collective leadership.

Reporting on the inner life of the communist elite, the broadcasts seriously embarrassed the regime. Scores of dignitaries in the security apparatus lost their jobs. Purged communists began leaving their prison cells. With the approval of the communist authorities, he dispatched several emissaries to contact exiles from the National Party and the Labor Party in and In these troubled days, Piasecki often found solace in prayer.

Bishop Klepacz, the chairman of the Polish episcopate, had a good relationship with Piasecki. Banned from the Warsaw headquarters of PAX, they gradually had succeeded in forming a group of followers, later known as Fronda. The dissenters lacked a coherent program but were united in their opposition to the dictatorial rule of Piasecki and his cronies.

Soon, Piasecki learned that Fronda members were conferring secretly with the party and the Church. Apparently, Mazowiecki planned to set up a new organization. He described Piasecki as a Judas, a fascist whom the communists had used to subdue Catholics and break the Polish Church. Nowak killed two birds with one stone. On the one hand, he discredited Piasecki as a turncoat and chameleon. On the other, he delegitimized the communist regime, which in the march to power had cooperated with former fascists.

In response, Piasecki decided to improve his standing by launching an event of huge scale, the tenth anniversary of his political movement. The congress held by PAX in the fall of lasted for three days. It is not clear whether Piasecki acted with the approval of the authorities in revealing this secret.

Aid came from elsewhere. Apparently, it was too much for Bierut, who died in Moscow on March 12 and was succeeded by Ochab. The news from Moscow sent the Polish communists into disarray and fostered factional struggles. Once again, Piasecki complied. A reference to the Bolshevik October Revolution in Russia, it accentuated the socialist character of the movement, which sought to democratize the system and to bring about a renewal of the communist party and society.

As Jerzy Giedroyc, the chief editor of the Paris-based monthly Kultura, put it, the Polish October was the only time when the communist party could integrate itself with the nation.

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Betting simulator football For Piasecki, postwar Poland had much to offer. Like many other institutions and mechanisms put into motion under Stalinism, the proregime priests lingered for years after they had ceased to be useful. Th e conclusion seems eric bettinger notaire debouche -before the October Revolution ofsome marzec 1968 w dokumentach msw betting implemented by the Tsarist authorities were a kind of testing ground for future social changes. In comparison to his associates, Piasecki can be viewed as almost a moderate anti-Semite. Th is was initially connected with the suc-cessful advancement of the Reformation, including the Orthodox Reformation 10and, thereaft er, of the Counterreformation and polemics of the Eastern and Western rites around the eff ects of the Union of Brest of In order to avoid such abuse, an ukase was issued in stating that only those former nobles could join the army who were not subject to conscription in a given year. The delegacy started its operations only in Aprilhowever.
Marzec 1968 w dokumentach msw betting Aft er all, not only the Ukrainian marzec 1968 w dokumentach msw betting also, to a somewhat lesser degree, the Lithuanian and Belarusian petty nobility were subject to degradation in the 19 bellator betting odds century. In a letter to Enrico Corradini, a prominent Italian Fascist, he described the coup as the beginning of a crisis that eventually would elevate the National Democrats to power. It is not clear whether he was already an agent provocateur, but there is no doubt that he denounced Piasecki to the NKVD. But once territorial consolidation had taken place, they resumed their political confrontation. Yet, there is some value to this data -namely, it proves that either the central Tsarist administration had poor statistics at its disposal or it refrained from publishing the complete data.
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Marzec 1968 w dokumentach msw betting The bulk of the membership came from Warsaw, where the National Radicals claimed nearly two thousand adherents, mostly students and proletarian youth. The possible erosion of the homogeneity of the Polish-Catholic community and, by extension, of ethnoconfessional identity was another. In fact, the term of odnodvorets pl. Kyiv Province determined the tax amount by number of "souls" -i. They also demanded tuition-free enrollment of proletarian students.
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He migrated to Sweden in Marzec w dokumentach MSW, vol. Gontarczyk, P. Tomasik, Warsaw , p. In , he became an academic worker at the University of Warsaw, and in the years —, he held the position of professor extraordinarius. In the aftermath of the March protests at the University of Warsaw, he was dismissed on 31 March by virtue of a decision made by the Minister of Higher Education.

He migrated from Poland in The entry was written by Martyna Rusiniak-Karwat, Ph. Museum of history of Polish Jews Polin Contact. Bibliography: Marzec w dokumentach MSW, vol. Martyna Rusiniak-Karwat, Ph. She never came back to Poland. Marzec w dokumentach MSW , vol. Gontarczyk, P.

Tomasik, Warsaw , p. In , he became an academic worker at the University of Warsaw, and in the years —, he held the position of professor extraordinarius. In the aftermath of the March protests at the University of Warsaw, he was dismissed on 31 March by virtue of a decision made by the Minister of Higher Education.

He migrated from Poland in Marzec w dokumentach MSW, vol. The entry was written by Martyna Rusiniak-Karwat, Ph. Museum of history of Polish Jews Polin Contact.

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Th e Russian authorities had to do something to get rid of these "gentry masses", who -in their opinion -were not fi t to even be called nobles. Th e number of those expelled from "upper" to "lower" ranks is estimated at up to , individuals.

Th is degradation process was unknown or forgotten for a long period, and was fi nally rediscovered and popularized in the mids by French Slavist and historian Daniel Beauvois 6. He estimated the total number of those expelled during the above-mentioned period at over ,, in right bank Ukraine. Research into this question must be continued.

Th e crucial issue is when the process of petty noble degradation started, what were its subsequent phases and stages, and -fi nally -what was the scale of the phenomenon? As opposed to the quite common opinion held even in Lithuania before , a signifi cant number of those who might be defi ned as petty nobles were deprived of their gentry titles already by the s -long before the aforesaid disintegration.

Th e majority are recorded and noted as "diligent" or "laborious" Pracowity , what at the time identifi ed one's social position as a non-noble 8. Th ere are examples, where one member of the same family is listed in the church register as "Honourable Esquire", and another member as "Laborious". Th is provides us with a certain clue, that relations between the petty gentry and the peasantry on Lithuanian and Ruthenian territories were much more complex than we can imagine now, and that the process of petty gentry disintegration was triggered much earlier, probably already in the 18 th century although it might have happened even earlier, perhaps even in the Medieval era.

Th ere are well-known documented sources concerning the tracing of evidence of gentry roots among people illegally claiming to be nobles at the beginning of the 17 th century. One of the most famous is Liber Chamorum, written by Walerian Nekanda Trepka, who gathered a list of almost suspected imposters 9.

Th e other important issue is culture. Both nobles and non-nobles lived in a specifi c environment. Th at environment was, especially in Catholic circles, closely connected with the higher culture of the nobility. On the one hand, there was the Sarmatian, Old-Polish traditions straight from the 16 th and 17 th centuries, while on the other, there was also the Enlightenment heritage of social advancement that might assure someone future prospects. As a manuscript composed in For many of those less wealthy petty nobles, education was the one and only way not to be alienated from their environment or -at least -to survive among their social class through this educational camoufl age.

Th is metaphor mirrors to some extent -but quite precisely -the previous, pre-revolutionary situation of Poles under Russian rule in the 19 th century. Th e conclusion seems obvious -before the October Revolution of , some actions implemented by the Tsarist authorities were a kind of testing ground for future social changes. In these experiments, Poles played the role of a kind of experimental material -of human guinea pigs, if you will.

Th e next two chapters focus on the situation of the lesser gentry in the Western provinces of the empire. Th e subsequent article: Structure Modernised -Implementation of the "Honorary Citizen" Category into the Social Structure of the Russian Empire , was printed by Michael Branch in English in , but fi rst in Polish, in , as a tribute to Professor Juliusz Bardach on the occasion of his 90 th birthday X: , No. Th is text was also Partly translated into German language, and published as an introduction to a larger text on clandestine education in: Illegale Schulen im Wilnaer Lehroublesezirk in den er Jahren, [in:] Bildungskonzepte und Bildungsinitiativen in Nordost-Europa Jahrhundert , ed.

Anja Wilhelmi, Wissbaden , pp. Why couldn't the metamorphosis of people's minds ultimately take place and overcome traditional values? Th is was previously published in the book: East and West. In this essay, I tried to show the most signifi cant fi gures in post-war Polish research concerning Russia, with just a pinch of comparison to other historiographies and achievements in East Central Europe at the time.

Th e fi ft eenth chapter has never been published before. It is a continuation of my research on Marxism, and contains a general analysis mostly sociological and philosophical aspects of the failure to create the new communist man -Homo Sovieticus -in Poland. Th e Case of Science in Poland mids to s ". At the same conference, I presented a yet unpublished paper on the situation of Polish historians during the Stalinist period which ended in , but in a broader context -until the end of the existence of the Peoples Republic of Poland in , and later -in the fi rst years of its independence.

Th e sixteenth chapter, an essay, is entitled: "Historians at the Crossroads -Polish Historians and their Attitude to Stalinism. Th ese two fi gures were the "founding fathers" of Polish historiography of the 19 th and 20 th century in post-war Poland.

Th e former -an agnostic -was condemned, the latter -a Catholic -was praised and honoured. Aft er the war, with Poland's complex situation, why was one scholar humiliated, even though he was a socialist, while the other was a monolith in the academic community and scholarly life, being a religious person? Neither belonged to the Communist Party. Th e seventeenth and fi nal chapter, is of a more personal nature.

It is focused on the fi gure of Professor Wiktor Sukiennicki, one of the most accomplished Polish experts on Soviet Russia before Aft er the war, he remained in exile and was connected pp. Second edition: Russia: of the Tsars, of the Bolsheviks, of the new times with introduction from Richard Pipes, ed. Malicki, Warsaw , pp.

History and Contemporary State of Eastern Studies, ed. Malicki, L. Z asztowt, "Bibliotheca Europae Orientalis", Vol. Sukiennicki was very popular in the West, especially in Polish emigre circles. Th e essay presents one of the last moments in his life, when Sukiennicki visited Stockholm in with a series of lectures.

He was cheered and warmly greeted in Sweden. It so happened that I was lucky enough to witness his last Scandinavian trip, and was able to record my personal memories of those events. I owe them much more then they can ever imagine. I thank all of them and I will always be grateful for their kindness to me. At the end of the communist era she was the only human being in the USSR who dared invite me -a foreigner -to her home being a young scholar without any relations in the city , and showed me the city.

She also helped me stave of homesickness, inviting me on Sundays for exceptional meals and discussions. In London, my aunt, Halina Sukiennicki, wife of Professor Wiktor Sukiennicki and my father's sister, played a similar role. Th anks to her, I had a chance to get acquainted with English culture and the city of London in the s, and later. Th ey were my guides, caregivers and mentors in American everyday life.

In general, wherever I have gone, I have been lucky to meet people who were always willing to support my endeavours, as well as me personally. In Poland, Professor Juliusz Bardach fulfi lled this role, whom I have been lucky to be acquainted since Th anks to his generosity and kindness I have had the chance to learn a lot in private, long aft er my studies at the university fi nished. Th ank you. Th e latter, let it be noted, has all too frequently assumed the form of a political ideology: a remark particularly true for the 20 th century.

Th e Union is considered a turning point: the process of the formation of ethnic communities, which in the 18 th and 19 th centuries were to form the foundations of modern nation states, and has taken place ever since. Th is approach generates a one-sided perspective: the research only emphasises certain elements -namely, those of essence from the standpoint of national interest, very much at the expense of those testifying to the country's ethnic diversity.

Such an approach defi nitely strains the image of a country and state, such as the Commonwealth of Two Nations. Interestingly, it was in the 16 th century, particularly in its latter half, that the formation of ethnic identities gained momentum -as exemplifi ed by the history of the Cossack region, its territory and population.

Th is was initially connected with the suc-cessful advancement of the Reformation, including the Orthodox Reformation 10 , and, thereaft er, of the Counterreformation and polemics of the Eastern and Western rites around the eff ects of the Union of Brest of In referring to the research on tertiary education in the Old-Polish period, one may fi nd that it would be appropriate to complement the image with studies describing the condition of the educational system in the Eastern rite -not only with respect to the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, but also regarding the so-called Ostroh Ostrogski Academy and the confraternal schools, especially those of Vilnius and Lviv.

To be more specifi c, our focus is the phenomena which occurred on Commonwealth territory in the 18 th century and, aft erwards, in the post-partition area of what was once Poland-Lithuania. Our discussion concludes with the end of the 20 th century -the moment a number of Central East European countries that emerged in this territory regained their independence.

Th e period referred to encompassed the birth and development of contemporary nationalism. National issues have profoundly stigmatised the history of culture and education in our region. Modern nations emerged which, apart from striving for their own statehood, set to create and develop their own national cultures as their main goal.

Th e "young nations" -the Lithuanians, Belarusians and Ukrainians -had their own high cultures developed in the 18 th , 19 th and 20 th centuries, stemming from earlier folk culture. Also, the "old nations", oft en called "historical" -e. Th e consequences also became apparent in the sphere of culture. Th e evolution of the European monarchies reigning 10 N.

See: H. It is easy to guess that the nations subject to this treatment were not entirely enthusiastic about it. It was education -that is, upbringing and training -that became the basic instrument for integration which was oft entimes pursued forcefully and, in most cases, contrary to the national aspirations of not only the Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, Belarusians and Ukrainians, but also the Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians until Austro-Hungary was formed and so many of the Balkan nations.

Consequently, the question of importance from the standpoint of European culture, as a whole, and its history, emerges -has the national character of education, as imposed by the ruling monarchies Prussian, Russian and Austrian only been a negative occurrence? Did the language and culture imposed by the authorities Russian and German , eliminate the positive eff ects of educational activities? It is worth adding that as national states emerged in the 20 th century, most of the new states took over the previously applied policies -but now in the form of Lithuanisation, Polonisation, Magyarisation, Bohemisation, or Slovakisation of national minorities that appeared within those newly-established countries.

Interestingly, Sovietization was not always defi nitely intended, as exemplifi ed not only by the situation of the Baltic countries -then republics of the USSR -but also by the entire Eastern Bloc of so-called "people's democratic real socialist countries". Hence, education was a factor of primary infl uence on ethnic processes occurring in the region.

It should be emphasized that the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth initiated the development of a national education system. Established in , the Commission for National Education created Europe's fi rst state and secular educational systemcertainly a matter for Polish pride.

It should be remembered, though, that the Commonwealth was not a uni-national state then. Th e Enlightenment activists did 14 Czech historiography believes that Czechoslovakia was the only Central East European country to pursue tolerant policies toward minorities; thus, no heavy Bohemisation or Slovakisation of national minorities was ever present.

Th is is confi rmed by J. Bilewicz, S. Bilewicz, R. Th ey sought to rescue and amend the Commonwealth; to shape modern patriotic attitudes; to cultivate country and state values. But what was the actual eff ect of introducing Polish as the language of instruction across all school levels?

A perverse statement could be made that the Lithuanians, Belarusians and Ukrainians were saved from Polonisation only through the quite mediocre success of the Commission's authorities in the organisation of the parish schooling system in the eastern regions of the Commonwealth and, to a lesser extent, through existing confessional diff erences.

Orthodoxy -let us addwas on the defensive at the time and the Greek Catholic Church assumed a dominant position as far as the Eastern rite was concerned. Th ese powers were not driven solely by sentimental or Enlightenment-oriented concern about the country's fortunes. Th e argument for intensifying the Germanisation or Russifi cation process in the school system was the need to introduce national education in order to build a uniform modern body politic, and to construct unifi ed nations -the German, Austrian and Russian nations -from out of the various nationalities and ethnic groups.

Th e methods applied to this end signifi cantly diff ered from the "peaceful Polish way". Th e educational system was consolidated top-down, oft en using power-sharing methods, accompanied by the elimination of schools run by religious and national minorities -to use a more modern notion.

Th e downtrodden nations responded, in the fi rst place, with considerable development of illegal Polish, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Jewish, and even Russian education systems -in areas integrated within the Russian Empire. Th is activity involved, fi rst of all, individuals of Polish landowning background. Th eir pursuance came more than a century ahead of what we refer to, from today's standpoint, as formation of a civil society.

Interestingly, such generous respect for 'distinctness of the others' , which was visible particularly in Lithuania, Belarus and, to a lesser extent, Ukraine, was not worked up by the Poles in the other partitioned areas -including in autonomous Austro-Hungarian Galicia, where Ukrainian schooling was restricted using all possible means. On the verge the of formation of modern nations -particularly, Lithuanian, Belarusian and Ukrainian, but Jewish too -this activity involved people who were deemed, in terms of 19 th -century categories, to be Polish or Russian, for one.

Th at some of them were 'actually' Lithuanians, Ukrainians, or Belarusians has become known to us from today's perspective; in any case, such was their ultimate national option. In spite of Orthodoxy being the ruling religion, other confessions enjoyed relative freedom in the Russian Empire's school system -save for periods of intensifi ed Russifi cation, aff ecting especially the Catholic religion aft er the suppression of the January Insurrection of Th is does not aff ect the fact that the state overtly fought against the Catholic Church, in particular.

Th e Empire's western provinces were the main site of this combat: religious congregations and orders, cloisters and nunneries were closed down there, parishes liquidated, beginning with the reign of Tsar Nicholas I. Th e aforesaid Lithuanian-Ruthenian lands were the most heavily aff ected, albeit the policy also extended to the Kingdom of Poland, especially its eastern regions.

Th e action was pursued along the lines of the then-emerging state ideology based upon the triune formula, a concept developed by Sergey Uvarov: pravoslavyesamoderzhavye-narodnost i. Meissner, J. B onusiak, J. Riasanovsky, Nicholas I and the Offi cial Nationality in Russia, Berkeley -a not-quiterecent, but still one of the best studies on the topic. Nationalism and Russifi cation on the Western Frontier, , DeKalb ter two authors refer to education-related questions to a small degree, although processes related to Russifi cation, as a broad concept, remain their focus.

In Austria, following the period of Germanisation which lasted, with varying intensities, until the s, quite considerable freedoms were retained by confessions other than Catholic -primarily, the Protestant churches and the Greek Catholic Church, in spite of the ruling Catholic religion.

Especially in the dualist period aft er , Austro-Hungary became the most tolerant monarchy in this part of Europe. However, this toleration did not extend to everyone on equal footing. On the territory of the Austrian Partition, the national aspirations of the Ukrainians dwelling in Eastern Galicia were restricted by the Polish authorities.

All the same, Galicia was, as it were, a Piedmont for the Ukrainian national movement and, likewise, for the Poles. It is worth remembering that Kulturkampf and coerced Germanisation policy was initiated by a total confl ict with the Catholic Church, which Reichskanzler Otto Bismarck perceived as the mainstay of Polish identity and things Polish. Th e religious confl ict did not overlap there, to a comparable extent, with the ethnic structure, as most of the German-speaking people were Catholic.

True, this was mainly the case -which is not to say, exclusively -with the eastern regions of the Empire. Himka, Galicja Polski Piemont? Kra kusk i, Kulturkampf. Kulczycki, Strajki szkolne w zaborze pruskim It seems that a comparative analysis of this kind would allow better understanding of the peculiar education-related situation of Polish people in these two Partitions.

On the other hand, the anti-Polish policies pursued in Russia were continually condemned by the Polish press in the Prussian Partition. In any case, this issue leads us to the important problem of how to assess the partitioning powers' policies and to the question whether it was the policy of Russifi cation or rather, Germanisation that proved more destructive to the Polish national substance.

Anti-Catholicism was an essential element of both. Th e conclusion of the First World War resulted in the emergence of new states in Central and Eastern Europe, and in the revival of certain previously existing states. However, the process was not seamless. Th e Polish political formations or interest groups, oriented toward an alliance with the Axis powers, were disillusioned by the idea rather soon.

Th ose few who counted on an alliance with Russia were disillusioned even earlier. Andrzej Nowak has penetratingly dealt with this issue. Th e eastern territory remained the bone of contention, while regained independence brought about new problems. During the Second Polish Republic, a relatively tolerant educational policy pursued in the fi rst years of independence with respect to minority groups evolved shortly aft erwards towards a coerced Polonisation. Like-processes were also observable in Latvia and Estonia.

Kumor, Z. Th e research is obviously continued. Walicki, Rosja, katolicyzm i sprawa polska, Warsaw Nowak, Polska i trzy Rosje. B ak hturina, Okrainy Rossiyskoi Imperii: gosudarstvennoe upravlenie i natsional 'naia politika v gody Pervoi Mirovoi Voiny , Moscow Z asztowt, Szkolnictwo na ziemiach litewsko-ruskich od r. Analogously to the 19 th century, the policies of the newly-emerged countries were orientated towards the fastest and most effi cient formation of a uni-national society possible, unmindful of the fact that most of the minorities concerned had by then gained a thorough awareness of their peculiarity, and their own aspirations.

It was rather awkward though comprehensible that, under the altered political circumstances, the young states carried out an educational policy identical to the one they had quite recently resolutely condemned -when applied against them by the partitioning powers. Th e question remains open whether the situation could have taken another route in Central East European countries as far as policy toward minorities -part of it being educational policy -was concerned.

Taking Czechoslovakia as an example -the most democratic country in this part of Europe at the time -the answer seems to be yes, albeit the situation of the local minorities was also diverse. Th e worst aff ected were members of the Gypsy minority in Carpathian Ruthenia Subcarpathian Rus' , with the Ukrainians faring somewhat better.

All in all, however -as Jerzy Tomaszewski wrote, referring to Czech literature: "the national minorities in Czechoslovakia enjoyed complete civic rights, whilst legislation ensured them entitlements in national life unknown to any other country, particularly in Central or Eastern Europe". It proves much tougher to assess policies toward ethnic minorities and in the area of education in the republics of Bolshevik Russia and, subsequently, the USSR, particularly with respect to the Ukrainian and Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republics of the inter-war period.

For one thing, Sovietization, combined with political repression, was advancing in these republics. For another, both the Belarusians and the Ukrainians enjoyed especially in the s, but not for long relative freedoms with regard to the development of their national cultures -as long as it was socialist. Th e national, or ethnic, minorities also enjoyed relative freedoms, in the sphere of education too.

Dokumenty i materialy, eds. Platonov, U. On the other hand, in spite of comparative achievements in the area of education, not only the Catholic Church, but also its Greek Catholic and Orthodox counterparts were already aff ected by unparalleled repressions.

Th e language of instruction was not, in itself -and could not be -an exclusive attribute of any national fostering. Given the context in question, it is hard to describe the system created by the Bolsheviks as tolerant, let alone democratic, in any form whatsoever -in spite of its slogans of equal rights to nations, or periods of "korenisation" i. At the end of the day, Soviet Russia resumed the policy of Russifying its ethnic minorities anyway.

With regards to Ukraine and Belarus, a facade of national individuality was retained, under the guise of which a policy propagating Great-Russian nationalism was pursued, almost uninterruptedly, beginning in the s. It was then that the famed opinions could be heard that Russian is not only the language of all lovers of peace worldwide, but also the most beautiful tongue that enables communication between half of the globe's population. Quite interestingly, the degrees and scopes of ideologisation varied.

Undoubtedly, the best situation prevailed in Poland, the country which began being perceived at some point as 'the merriest barrack' in the camp. Th e repressions to which the local teaching faculties were subjected proved much less stringent than those suff ered by their counterparts in Czech lands, or in what was to become the DDR.

John Connelly, an American historian, has proposed an interesting analysis of the situation of the schooling system in these three countries. Kapp eler, Th e Russian Empire. A multiethnic history, Harlow-London , p. Th e tradition of secret schooling in the Russian Partition was thus directly resumed.

From the standpoint of national values: German, Austrian, Russian -and, thereaft er: Polish or Lithuanian, the educational policy whereby Germanness, Polishness or Russianness was propagated on a top-down basis with an imposed language of school instruction was a policy of implementing state-oriented, and thus, also, national, objectives. Building a monoethnic society was the main goal.

Such a policy ought to be considered correct as a narrow concept , if viewed in terms of national interest. Th eoretically, the result was an increase in the number of aware citizens: Germans, Poles, Russians. Also, those who withstood this pressure and retained their respective nationalities, benefi ted in certain ways. In the Prussian Partition, the elimination of illiteracy was one such value, appreciated even by Polish historians. Th e situation was worse when a political system -as was the case in Tsarist Russia -barred its subjects from any access to education, while banning the spontaneous organisation of private schools with national languages of instruction.

Reconciling the national values of the oppressed nations with possible benefi ts from the superimposed system of education was a tough task. Th e benefi ts stemming from intercourse with German or Russian "high culture" were obvious, but coerced teaching could not foster its appreciation. In spite of ideological pressure, the "real socialist" system brought about an unprecedented development of education across the Eastern Bloc countries. One result -illiteracy has been almost completely eliminated.

Geneza systemu, Warsaw T. Sukiennicki ran these lectures almost until his death in Contrary to what the authorities expected, the new elites, oft en generated by "social advancement" that is, upward mobility , did not remain obeying, malleable tools. Conversely, "proletarian" circles yielded a number of leading opposition activists, ready to fi ght for truth and an education system independent of politics.

Th ey generally juxtaposed the superimposed ideology with national and democratic values. Currently, the educational policy pursued in most European countries assumes that young people are fostered and instructed to respect cultural peculiarities, ethnic and religious diff erences and, not infrequently, the varying visions of national history. However, in spite of the slogans advocating tolerance propagated in a united Europe, the old customs and habits are -regrettably -still present and in use; the ghost of nationalism continues to wander the Old Continent.

History does not seem to be the "teacher of life" -at least not in this case. Th e strivings of the French to solidify a secular model of education, to remove religious symbols from schools, is explainable. But can a ban on Muslim veils, extended to schoolgirls, solve the problem? Europe is no longer a continent of only Christians. In fact, it has never been one. If we are ready to overtly admit that otherness and diversity of cultures is to be respected, then, what objectives ought to motivate education in future?

Central among the still-unresolved questions preoccupying West-European governments, soon to gain importance in Central East European countries, is the following: has a diff erent concept developed to a more considerable extent than nationaloriented education for the societies that at present are not one-nation or monoethnic communities compared to previously? Increasing the infl ow of immigrants into Europe, a rich continent, is certainly to be expected.

To answer the question, a reference to our own tradition might be of use. For the Th ird Polish Republic or, Fourth, as some would see it , it could be the tradition of tolerance of the former Commonwealth of Two Nations -a multi-ethnic country without stakes.

As for politics, it has always been an inseparable part of education. Knowing its meanders and lapses of the past, perhaps errors could be avoided in future? It seems indispensable that topics related to the histories of all the nations once part of the Commonwealth be explored. Comparative research would be preferred in this respect. It would be even better if such research could be carried out on an international scale.

Th us, it would be possible to expand the fi eld of study beyond the issues or problems concerning a single nation in an at-tempt to tackle the history of the region in all its complexity. Hence the emphasis he put on knowledge of languages, which enables one to become familiar with the state-of-play in foreign research.

Awareness and knowledge of these studies is a prerequisite for any international discussion. Making use and taking advantage of the output of historical research pursued in the countries neighbouring Poland is a must. As for the history of the Commonwealth, we must be open to the East, and for historical studies to take into account distinct perceptions of education, as represented by historians from outside Poland. T he elimination of a considerable portion of the petty nobility in the 19 th century in historical Lithuania and right-bank Ukraine has been almost completely neglected by Polish historiography.

None of the researchers embarked on a thorough and systematic analysis during the inter-war period. A plausible reason is the inaccessibility of Russian sources at the time. Another reason why the degradation of such a sizeable group was overlooked can possibly be traced to the fact that historians have mainly focused on analysing the displacements of the Polish Eastern-Borderland that took place aft er the November Insurrection of Th e approximate data they worked with proved, in most cases, to be quite disproportionate.

Th e outcome of his eff orts was published as: Le noble, le serf et le revisor. La noblesse polonaise entre le tsarisme et les masses ukrainiennes , Paris-Montreux I-II, Warsaw ; A. XVII: , No. I: , p. Kieniewicz, Historia Polski , Warsaw M. Kieniewicz, W. Kula, Vol. II, Part 3, Warsaw , p. B eauvois, Polacy na Ukrainie Th is exceptionally original work discusses and points out a whole array of issues to tackle. Th e present essay is an added voice in the discussion surrounding the book in question -and an attempt at disambiguating and correcting certain proposals made by Beauvois.

Already in the 17 th and 18 th centuries, attempts at eliminating the petty bourgeoisie and the Cossacks were made on territories seized by the Muscovite state. With regards to the nobility szlachta , this issue is not as widely disseminated. Irena Rychlikowa has so far off ered the most relatively complete picture in the quoted review article, among others ; due credit also goes to Witold Sienkiewicz 6.

In contrast, the elimination of the Zaporozhian Sich and the mass displacements of Cossacks have long been commonly recognized facts. Beauvois with respect to Ukraine. Aft er all, not only the Ukrainian but also, to a somewhat lesser degree, the Lithuanian and Belarusian petty nobility were subject to degradation in the 19 th century. Th e third issue is to determine the fi nal date when the operation came to an end. In the years , the legal categories of grazhdanin 5 S. Rychlikowa, Deklasacja drobnej szlachty polskiej w Cesarstwie Rosyjskim.

XXIX: , No. Rozmowa z prof. Danielem Beauvois, "Zeszyty Historyczne", , No. XIX: , No. Below, I will also endeavour to render more precisely the legal consequences incurred by the petty nobility, resulting from their being re-classed as peasants and burghers. Daniel Beauvois has actually discussed these consequences to a signifi cant extent.

However, it seems that he has underestimated the importance of the ukase of 19 October , which became the legal basis for the operation to commence. Also, the role of the Committee for the Western Guberniyas I prefer, provinces has been highlighted -the institution whose infl uence was fundamental to the start and course of the operation. Th e above enumerated problems only refer to one of the threads analysed in Le noble, le serf et le revisor -aff airs related to the situation of the petty nobility.

Th e posesjonats remain out of the scope of the present discussion; they and their class-based solidarity, which crammed them by itself, as it were, into the routine of Tsarist service, in spite of the group's dislike for the Tsar and the Empire. Beauvois, are not covered in this chapter, either. Th e statistical data used or quoted herein come from offi cial Russian publications from the period of interest.

Although it is known that Russian "revisions" i. Hence, the idea to present them in this context seems entirely justifi able Th e eastern lands of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, absorbed by Russia following the country's partition, sealed by the Congress of Vienna, were not only attractive spoils but also, as it later appeared, a serious problem for the Empire.

Th e Tsar's despotic rule was in complete opposition to the freedom-oriented traditions of the Commonwealth. Th e citizens of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and of the Crown's Ukraine nowise fi tted the new state system which required absolute obedience from them and made them totally subject to the monarch's every whim. Th e profoundly rooted diff erences in the sphere of political culture, consciousness, morals and mores, along with a number of age-old stereotypes, began to come into play.

All the same, the enmity for the despotic empire seems pretty undisputable. Set against the realities of daily life, which oft entimes contradicted the myth of the nobility as a unifi ed estate, it is legitimate to state that the internal relations within this social group did not exert an essential impact on the szlachta's attitude towards the Russian Empire -the attitude was unambiguously inimical.

Th e multi-ethnic mosaic of Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine, despite the dominant Orthodox populace in the latter two, did not quite foster their assimilation with the Russian state. Apart from the separate political and state-related tradition, the fundamental obstacle was the resistance of the Polish nobility and clergy -the privileged strata residing in these areas.

It was already in the 18 th century that Russia's policy with respect to the nobility became bidirectional in the territory of interest. On the one hand, attempts were undertaken to win round the rich nobility, especially the magnates; on the other, the poor, petty nobility was to be entirely removed from the privileged class. As Irena Rychlikowa has proved, the conception to eliminate the landless nobility was characteristic not only of the Russian mode of operation; it was also an old unfulfi lled daydream shared by the rich Polish noblemen.

Let us, however, focus here on the Russian policies. Since the present chapter is primarily based upon archival material and records of the Committee for the Western Provinces, a centrally operating institution, the picture painted herein refl ects the knowledge the Tsarist bureaucracy of the time possessed at that level. Th is sheds a diff erent light on I.

Th e conclusion, stemming from the materials of the central Tsarist administration, proves to be quite unexpected. It seems that the administration was not fully knowledgeable of the magnates' doings related to their confreres -the petty bourgeoisie dwelling on their estates. Th e eff orts of these magnates were refl ected in the Committee's materials.

In the areas of Mstislavl, Vitebsk and Polotsk Voivodeships -later to be Vitebsk and Mohylev Provinces, incorporated into Russia as part of the First Partition of the Commonwealth -the local nobles were ordained, by means of the Tsar's ukase of 13 25 September , to provide their lineage certifi cates to the respective provincial towns.

Th e considerable diff erences between Poland, a country that evolved out of the nobility-based democratic tradition, and autocracy-based Russia, have been refl ected in the opinions of foreigners. Th ey penned numerous lampoons on Russia, of which the widest-read was the famed La Russie en by Marquis de Custine for Eng.

Custine's book has been broadly commented on in: J. All of this was nevertheless extremely diffi cult to implement. Th e Tsarist authorities found it hard to fi nd their bearings within the complex structure of the nobility, whilst its members were reluctant to assist them to this end. As well, political events, especially the war with France, stood in the way. One example of the Tsarist authorities' inconsistent conduct was the attempted standardisation of taxes paid by the nobility.

Under the ukases of 27 January 8 February and of 26 February 10 March , the local nobles of the two Lithuanian provinces Vilnius and Minsk were charged with an increased chimney roof tax, at 1. Based on the material of the Committee for the Western Provinces, determining the numerical force of the petty nobility was only advanced at the fi ft h "revision", ordained by the Senate's ukase of 20 January 1 February. Th e number of persons who failed to appropriately document their nobility or illegally appropriated noble status was determined to be 33, Altogether, information was received regarding 95, people.

It was nonetheless found that the revision had not extended to most of the poviats districts , and that no fi nal summary of the results had been made in some of them yet. According to the Ministry of Finance's data, provided by the fi scal chambers, the szlachta numbered , members, in total.

Th e total fi gure is important for comparison with the aforementioned 95, petty nobles. Clearly, the Committee for the Western Provinces' data was far from complete. A considerable number of people with no property or estate, and living on income from remunerated work, were apparently neglected. Th is poor discernment of the Tsarist authorities with respect to the nobility's actual numerical force calls into question the statement whereby a total of 60, people were deleted from this social class between and , although Daniel Beauvois has found that the number could have even been higher.

B e auvois, Polacy na Ukrainie According to the inspection, those illegally claiming the status of "noble" amounted to 33, Alexander I's successor consistently stood fi rm with regard to depriving the Poles of infl uence over rule in the western provinces. Nicholas perceived the Poles as completely worthless in terms of their usefulness to the Empire; moreover, he saw them as a serious menace due to their inclination for individualism and irredentism. Th e November Insurrection became an offi cial pretext for more radical action.

Once the uprising fell, the Tsar could openly square his accounts with the "nobles". On the strength of the Tsar's supreme ukase of 14 26 September , the Committee for the Western Provinces was established to see "that at the provinces annexed from Poland be put in order, in the same manner as the Russian provinces.

Th us, the latter was devised as a design-proposing and advisory body. Th e rank of this institution was attested by its cast of members. At various times, the ministers of foreign aff airs, war, and state properties, the head of the gendarmerie, the Minister-Secretary of State for the Kingdom of Poland, the Ober-prokurator of the Holy Synod and Governors-General of the Western Provinces collaborated with, or even served on, the Committee.

Solving the question of the Polish nobility became the number one problem raised at the Committee's fi rst meetings on 22 and 28 September 4 and 10 October. Kushelov-Bezborodko, and the fi rst members of the Committee: An evolution of the Tsarist policy with respect to the western provinces is particularly evident in the area of education and the school system.

B eauvois, Szkolnictwo polskie na ziemiach litewsko-ruskich , Vol. Beauvois, Polacy na Ukrainie Together they formed the elite of the Russian aristocracy: representatives of the families that had given outstanding service to the Empire. Most of them were conservative in their thought, but not all could be identifi ed with the so-called "black reaction".

It had long been believed that those people were unworthy of being named "nobility" dvoryanstvo ; hence, a new social group was formed, described as "grazhdanye and odnodvortsy of the western provinces". Th e poor petty nobility undermined the Empire's estate or class-based system by its very existence. Th e previous case of the Cossacks bore much similarity to the current situation.

In fact, the term of odnodvorets pl. Actually, both terms: grazhdanin and odnodvorets possessed a certain tradition in the Russian legislative system. However, the newly-formed social category of odnodvorets was rather loosely related to its prototype. Although descending from servient people -that is, Cossacks and boyars -the Russian odnodvortsy were most similar to state serfs, a stratum with a similar scope of obligations, which included paying the "soul tax", the cereal tax and land money rents.

Th e odnodvortsy appearing in the provinces of Orenburg and Stavropol, and in the Siberian provinces, were persons displaced from Russia. Th e background of odnodvortsy was servient people, as well as lower Cossack strata, rifl emen, reiters, dragoons, spearmen, cannoneers, etc. Being, in their majority, boyars' off spring possessing each a cottage manor -dvor , they were obligated to pay the chimney tax and to personally serve in the army.

Th e word odnodvorets, functioning in earlier, offi cially appearing in Peter I's ukases of The rule was simple: every nobleman who failed to identify himself based on documents confirming their noble status possessing land and peasants, alongside overall financial status, were in practice the decisive factors was obligated to choose for him and his family the stratum he "should like" to be assigned to.

As for towns, grazhdanye were the case, while odnodvortsy were appropriate in rural areas. According to the eighth revision of which was by no means complete, as the new category had been established a mere three years earlier , eight western provinces contained, , male odnodvortsy i. Th e following inspection of , showed the fi gure rise to , males ca. Ever since, odnodvortsy became one of the few free peasant groups in Russia. In , they were made equal to the obligations of the treasury peasantry, which meant that they had to pay the 'soul' and cereal tax, and to serve in the army under general rules.

Th e scarce privileges the odnodvortsy had once enjoyed, such as chimney tax and no corporal punishment applied to this group, were lost by them under Peter I. As of , left -bank Ukraine was home to a total of , odnodvortsy. Petersburg , Vol. Th ese were usually artisans, owners of small workshops, for whom membership in guilds was compulsory.

Th e situation of so-called "honorary" pochetnye grazhdanye was better: they were released from military service and not subject to corporal punishment. Th ese honorary grazhdanye had rights similar to those aff orded to merchants of the fi rst two guilds. Th e category was formed of representatives of liberal professions residing in towns: teachers, painters, barristers. V, pp. XV, p. XVI, pp. According to the tenth census, executed at the end of the s, the western provinces were home to , odnodvortsy and grazhdanye, according to offi cially published statistics.

Yet, there is some value to this data -namely, it proves that either the central Tsarist administration had poor statistics at its disposal or it refrained from publishing the complete data. According to Daniel Beauvois, whose calculation is no doubt the most precise, a total of , individuals dwelling in Volhynia, Podolia, and Kyiv region were reassigned to the rural categories of odnodvorets and treasury peasant between and What is known is that the operation continued aft er the January Insurrection i.

A Tsarist ukase was issued, dated 19 31 January , whereby everyone representing the western province's szlachta that failed to prove their noble descent, was included in the peasantry and bourgeoisie. Th e only data we have at present, the calculations made by Russian historian Nikolai K.

Imertynski, say that the group consisted of , people across fi ve north-western provinces. Given the population in these areas, which in the early s numbered around 11 million, the new category saw 4. Th e above-specifi ed data are rather diffi cult to verify, especially in the context of the Russian statistics which tended to be falsifi ed in a variety of ways, always in view of diminishing the strength of Polish people residing in the western provinces. Th e Roman Catholic confessors dwelling in this territory amounted to 2,, Th is affected the quality of the ukase, which was unfi nished in its legal aspects.

Th e western provinces were not subject to Russian legislation then yet which was the to be the case from , but instead, the Lithuanian Statute extended to it, along with Polish legislation covering certain domains. All the same, the central emphasis was put in the decree of 19 October on accepting the existing solutions and former legal categories in creating a new social group on a precedent basis. Th e authors also endeavoured to keep up the appearances of law-and-order.

Th e assumption was ludicrous, as the categories of grazhdanye and odnodvortsy had been included in Russian legislation since the early 18 th century, but did not appear in the Lithuanian Statute or in Polish legislation, whatsoever. What was the szlachta's situation the moment the ukase imposing their division appeared? First off , their situation was non-normalised in many respects.

Th e Th ird Lithuanian Statute, in force until , did not correspond with Russian legislation prevailing in the Empire. As a result, technically, the western province's nobles could not be expected to agree to meet these obligations and enjoy the privileges of the Russian dvoryanstvo. Th e diff erences between the rights and obligations of the former Commonwealth's szlachta and the Russian dvoryanstvo were signifi cant.

Th e situation of the latter group had heavily deteriorated since the reign of Peter I. Every nobleman was obligated to serve in the military on a lifelong basis beginning at the moment he turned fi ft een. Th e option of civil service was only off ered to a third of noble family members. Catherine II's "primary charter" of ensured the nobility a number of rights, regardless of their ethnic or national identity, such as the right to command their landed estates and peasants, release from the obligation of doing public service and personal taxation, or the right to deed their estates to their children.

Yet, the Russian dvoryanstvo still remained much more dependent upon the ruler's will than the Polish nobility. Th e authorities expected that, similarly to the dvoryanstvo, the szlachta would serve in the Russian army expecting to get promoted to higher ranks, their sons willingly joining the cadet corps. Another option extended to a civil career path, featuring a gymnasium secondary school or a noble institute, then a tertiary school, followed by gaining subsequent ranks, moving up the levels of the centralistic Tsarist administration.

World War II, the Nazi extermination of Polish Jews, and the postwar territorial settlement had cleansed Poland, in large part, of its ethnic minorities. After the end of Stalinism, the communist regime used aggressive nationalism as a powerful tool to single out internal and external enemies.

Only recently has the relationship between communism and nationalism in twentieth-century Eastern Europe and Poland begun to receive the attention that it deserves, and these studies reveal a number of common themes. They portray nationalism as a living and diverse phenomenon subject to evolution through everyday life practices rather than as a rigid set of beliefs enforced by ideologues.

Instead, some of these works argue that the birth of organic nationalism often has roots in religious renewal and fervor. Finally, these studies often tap historical sociology to present the Soviet bloc states as heterogeneous polities open to various forms of negotiation and dialogue between societies and party regimes on the political, intellectual, and social levels.

To date, only a handful of Western scholars have attempted to produce book-length studies on the entanglement of religion, nationalism, and communism. Although this work is not a history of nationalism and Catholicism under Polish communism, it attempts to respond to this demand. Before World War II, as the leader of the National Radical Movement, a small fascist group, Piasecki envisioned Poland as a protototalitarian state integrated on the basis of ethnicity, Catholicism, and mass organization.

The cornerstones of his doctrine were the notions that God was the highest destiny of man and that striving to increase the might of the nation was the path to God. He pledged to build a Catholic-Marxist alliance and to mobilize the nationalist Right in the establishment of a socialist Poland. He believed that under the ideological guidance of PAX, Catholics, communists, and nationalists would be united in the service of God, socialism, and nation.

He remained the sole leader of PAX until his death in It is my hope that this political biography will prompt historians to reevaluate the way in which twentieth-century Polish history has been understood. More important, both Piasecki and the communists believed that their destiny was to construct a new society.

For Polish communists, the recruitment of Catholic nationalists like Piasecki provided a chance to mobilize nationalism and Catholicism. Facing a predominantly hostile country with a strong Right and a powerful Roman Catholic Church, they needed allies from outside their ranks—people who, while not Marxists, would support their cause. Hence, their political relationship, which lasted for two decades, should come as no surprise.

Both of them—sometimes jointly, but more often separately—tried to cross the boundary between two ideologies. And both of them ultimately failed. I also seek to capture the multifaceted nature of church-state relations in communist Poland, relations that oscillated between mutual confrontation, accommodation, and dialogue rather than stagnating in a state of constant struggle. Nevertheless, what happened in Poland, especially after the end of Stalinism, went beyond the historical duel between the religious and the secular, the clerical and the atheist, the domestic and the alien.

Some of these groups, like PAX, were staunchly procommunist. Others were ready to recognize party rule without endorsing its ideological system and weakening the Church. His involvement in the government highlights various processes that characterized uneasy church-state cohabitation and eventually led to the victory of the Church. His remarkable consistency may explain his ultimate failure: while the politician always strives to win power, Piasecki never achieved this goal, at least in part because he refused to reform his worldview.

Ethnic differences overlapped with social and religious distinctions. The Polish ruling elites often behaved as if the country were a onenation state and frequently trampled the political, religious, and cultural rights of ethnic minorities. But once territorial consolidation had taken place, they resumed their political confrontation. The constitution promoted the legislative branch over the executive.

But as political parties proliferated, successive ruling coalitions failed to secure a lasting majority in the fragmented parliament. The internal divisions mentioned here did not necessarily correspond with pro- or antidemocratic persuasions.

The nationalist Right, which frequently had the largest parliamentary representation, was hardly a proponent of a democratic state. What became clear to nearly all politicians in was that Poland stood at a crossroads. Instead, it became increasingly authoritarian. The National Democrats, the main right-wing organization, meanwhile experienced an influx of young militants who radicalized the party and eventually brought about its split.

Finally, a new generation, brought up in independent Poland, was coming of age. The immediate post—World War I period witnessed the growth of political activism bolstered by suffrage reforms, violence propelled by the experience of brutalizing combat, anxieties raised by the threat of revolution, and the partial delegitimization of the liberal and conservative politics that had dominated the pre landscape.

As a member of the younger generation, he embraced political radicalism and preached revolution. While the Left applauded the coup, the nationalist Right contemplated its own alternatives to parliamentary governance. In and , the National Democrats had proposed numerous constitutional amendments, including increasing presidential power and curtailing the liberal franchise.

In a letter to Enrico Corradini, a prominent Italian Fascist, he described the coup as the beginning of a crisis that eventually would elevate the National Democrats to power. Following a National Democratic victory, the party would impose a system based on limited political representation and fully controlled by a nationalist party on a fascist model.

Authoritarianism had been a dominant undercurrent of the National Democratic movement since the turn of the century, when Dmowski and his comrades had grown preoccupied with authority, discipline, strict social and political hierarchies, and quasicolonialist expansion. Democracy, or rather democratic rhetoric, constituted the most effective means of controlling the masses. In December of that year, they joined the campaign against Narutowicz.

The following year, their demands for a numerus clausus for Jewish students were barely defeated in parliament. Such views dominated the agenda of the student periodical Akademik polski, founded and edited by Jan Mosdorf. Their assimilation was swiftly ruled out. In fact, as early as , Dmowski had concluded that they had to be eliminated.

Catholic political action received a great boost from the election of Pius XI in Nationalist-Christian consensus manifested itself across the political map of Europe in the s and early s. In Spain and Portugal, young Catholic militants distanced themselves from older Catholic leaders and soon drifted toward the authoritarian and fascist Right.

In Austria, Engelbert Dollfuss of the Christian Social Party established an authoritarian state that blended corporatism, elements of Italian Fascism, and the social teachings of the papacy. After all, Mussolini was hailed as the gravedigger of atheist socialism. This militarization also reflected the increasing authoritarianism of the Sanacja government.

In September , the government crushed the center-left opposition alliance known as Centrolew, detained its leaders in the military fortress at Brest, and dissolved parliament. In the November elections, Sanacja easily defeated its truncated opponents. Having destroyed Centrolew, the regime then concentrated its attack on the nationalist Right, the strongest remaining opposition force. Both parents belonged to impoverished Polish noble families from the Russian partition.

In , the family moved to Warsaw, where, shortly after World War I, Ludomir entered state service as an employee of the Ministry of Justice. He gradually rose to the rank of administrator of prison farms and forests. Raised in a national-Catholic atmosphere at home, the young man entered a school where sympathy for Endecja prevailed.

During the last two years of his high school education, Piasecki led the student government and regularly contributed to the school newspaper, writing on patriotic anniversaries as well as philosophical subjects. He immediately joined the academic section of the OWP, possibly the most active student section of the movement in Poland.

In a country where education emphasized humanistic training and university graduates more often sought jobs in the civil service than in the professions, law could secure prestigious and relatively well-paid bureaucratic employment.

The department offered courses in political theory, philosophy, and history, and it had been a hotbed of nationalist militancy since the s. The provisions of the university bill that banned political organizations from academia were never truly observed. He also joined the editorial board of Akademik polski. Raised in families of noble origins in which a nationalist upbringing was combined with a strong Catholicism, they came of age in independent Poland.

It was precisely their militant Catholicism that separated them from older nationalist leaders. Membership in the OWP quickly turned them into protofascist radicals. Anti-Semitism was particularly prevalent among the ethnic Polish middle class.

Piasecki and his comrades witnessed xenophobia in their day-to-day lives, absorbed the anticommunism of the political establishment, experienced the Great Depression, and took part in a religious revival that was sweeping the country. Steeped in these influences, they came out as anti-Semitic, antileftist, antiliberal, and ultra-Catholic.

God determined the progress of history, in which the coming of Christ signaled both the end and the beginning. On one level, history constituted the mystical reunion of God and man; on another, history was a myth, a tale or legend preserved in the memory of nation, as in the myths of the Reformation, the French Revolution, and the twentieth-century vision cherished by Hitler.

Instead, he called for the establishment of a Christian state and Christian society that, if realized, would obliterate traditional state models, including that of the nation-state. We do not know whether Reutt noticed this conflict later, in the latter half of the s, when he parted ways with Piasecki. The question is worth considering, however, given that both Berdyaev and Maritain eventually became advocates of Christian existentialism and universalism, moving away from the Right and toward the positions of critics of totalitarian solutions.

Tall and slender, blondhaired and blue-eyed, and always immaculately dressed, Piasecki had a likable appearance. Women and men adored him. Piasecki impressed people with his self-assurance and carefully chosen phrases, though he was a poor orator. The section on the Jews is the longest, and its proposals are reminiscent of various antiJewish laws contemplated and implemented by the radical Right throughout Europe.

The principle of numerus nullus would end Jewish enrollment in public schools and universities as well as participation in the liberal professions, government, and military. A prohibition on mixed marriages would eliminate the problem of religious conversion. With the help of the Roman Catholic Church, the culturally superior Poles would civilize and absorb the eastern Slavs. The authors did not specify how these border shifts would take place, offering only the estimate that Polish expansion westward would take place in the span of one generation.

A shift toward medium and small enterprises would facilitate the growth of the middle class. The state also would adopt a more aggressive policy against big capital and its foreign shareholders. Property ownership would cease to be a class privilege. First, the scope of its proposed anti-Jewish measures sealed the fate of Jewish converts to Catholicism: since they were not ethnic Poles, but Jewish Catholics, their road to assimilation and citizenship was effectively closed.

In the face of such universal discrimination, Jews were expected simply to depart. In addition, his camaraderie with the other editors soon developed into a political collective under his command. The camp did not take any action until January , when it used the controversy over a new university law to show its strength. By preserving the autonomy of academia from state control, the young militants also could shield the endangered organization from the government.

Contrary to these expectations, however, the collapse of order at the universities provided the Sanacja regime with an opportunity to destroy the student section of the camp through a reform of university governance. In many respects, the proposed university reform aimed at unifying and modernizing the academic system, which was proving itself unable to cope with the effects of the Great Depression.

The political elements of the bill consisted mostly of placing student associations under the control of a rector, whose appointment would require government approval, and giving the state control over 20 percent of all grants and stipends. Yet these innovations, as well as fears that the state-controlled portion of stipends would likely go to Sanacja supporters, turned many students and academics against the project.

The appeals of university rectors to refrain from drastic measures had no effect on nationalist students. In parallel to the student strike, OWP militants instigated pogroms against Jews in parts of the Polish countryside. Two days later, parliament accepted the new university law. On March 28, the government dissolved the OWP throughout the country. Just as in the Middle Ages, when Catholics had launched wars and crusades against the enemies of Christianity, now religion would mobilize the Poles to cleanse the country of alien and immoral elements.

His Catholicism was a religion of action and expansion, militant and unforgiving of its enemies, almost militaristic. In this model, only the nationalist was capable of passing judgment on believers. If nationalism and religion were one, those who rejected the fusion were stripped of their identity, be they professing Catholics or committed political nationalists.

For Piasecki, the goal was to create a new Pole. For Piasecki and like-minded young radicals, it was a point of departure. Disillusioned with the passive attitude of the National Party and the rapidity with which the camp had collapsed, the group around Akademik polski decided to seek new forms of political action and to push forward their agenda. Slavic minorities were to be forcibly Polonized, while Jews and Germans would lose their citizenship.

All political parties that reflected class or professional divisions were to be abolished, along with the existing electoral system. Elections were to be replaced by consultations between organization members and the government, eliminating the possibility of conflict between the state and society. The legislative and executive branches of government would become one in the same.

In the case of a major disagreement within the high council, the government would be obliged to stage a popular referendum among OPN members. It was to integrate all children, regardless of class, in a cycle of training that consisted of three stages. From the age of ten to fourteen, children would participate in games and shows that illustrated the history of Poland. In the second stage, adolescents would be subjected to compulsory military and ideological training.

Only then would the selection of OPN members take place. The OPN itself was to be divided into four classes of activists. The lowest level would include all Poles who passed through the ranks of the youth organization and did not commit any legal offenses. Advancement to the second level required a ten-year period of proper conduct in the previous group and a high school degree.

A university education or outstanding participation on the second level, combined with model behavior, constituted the criteria for advancement to the third category. Members of the highest order would constitute the ruling class. As in the previous groups, education would be one of the requirements, a Ph. Advancement on levels one and two was to be monitored and sanctioned by local OPN cells. In the case of the third and fourth orders, advancement decisions would have to be made by special commissions at the county and provincial levels.

Committing a crime would result in degradation or expulsion. On the one hand, he favored having a small group of leaders in charge of the country. It was a mixture of fascism, nationalist collectivism, radical statism, and corporatism. It sketched out a project that bridged the traditional platform of the Polish nationalist Right with the fascist principles of radical nation-statism, cleansing of enemies from the body of nation, and transcendence of social conflict, the political order, and the economy.

The meeting was dominated, however, by an organizational agenda focusing on the status of the former OWP cells. The militants lost this battle. From that point on, secessionist tendencies among the young nationalists rapidly increased. The party did not want a united opposition or any revolutionary action; nor did it contemplate a compromise with Sanacja. The Jewish question was the only binding issue. In October, the dissidents launched Sztafeta, a weekly newspaper in which political essays coexisted with pieces composed in the language of the street.

Rossman, who instigated this move, remained skeptical about the chance of any compromise, predicting that Dmowski would not yield. Dmowski rejected the proposals. According to Bielecki, Dmowski opposed the demands out of an aversion to their socioeconomic radicalism. Was it not Dmowski, after all, who had supported the influx of young radicals into the OWP and thus contributed to the radicalization of the movement? From that moment, a split within the party became unavoidable.

It proclaimed the ONR as the only force capable of reforming a declining economy, abolishing the ineffectual political system, and ending moral decay. The organization was unaffected by class divisions, it asserted, and was both ardently Catholic and deeply committed to the struggle against Jewish influence in Poland. It claimed to respect all groups participating in the struggle for independence and emphasized the unbreakable bond between the military ethos and the national spirit.

The Ukrainian and Belorussian minorities would enjoy full political rights, whereas Jews would receive resident status. It sought a national and collective model for the economy, with limitations on private property. The full employment of all Poles was a stated goal. The homage paid to all veterans of the independence movement, regardless of their political persuasions, may have been a coded conciliatory message to the ruling camp. The radicals clearly sought to portray themselves as standing above political, social, and cultural divisions.

The emergence of the ONR drew various responses. The National Democrats were less united in their criticism than might have been expected. Bielecki brought the youth sections of the National Party into line. The position taken by Dmowski was more ambiguous: although he declared the ONR an irresponsible initiative that undermined the unity of the nationalist movement, he did not condemn it as harshly as other senior Endeks did.

The ONR lacked strong leadership and internal discipline. Warsaw was the only location where the ONR possessed any organizational network. This organizational chaos fostered internal divisions. The bulk of the membership came from Warsaw, where the National Radicals claimed nearly two thousand adherents, mostly students and proletarian youth. He was especially keen on recruiting students, as well as young workers and apprentices, and apparently met with some success. Under the command of Zygmunt Dziarmaga, they carried out acts of physical violence and intimidation.

Such a move would deprive us of our integrity and [would discourage] those members for whom activism constitutes the essence of our existence. Such was the case for Zygmunt Przetakiewicz, who greatly admired discipline, military choreography, and violence.

He joined the ONR after witnessing the May 3 parade. They were preceded by an honor guard, dressed in light-colored shirts and carrying two Chrobry swords. They proudly marched in military fashion. I stood dazed. On June 13, the authorities shut down the printing press of Sztafeta.

His secretary advised Mosdorf to contact the minister on Monday, June It is worth noting, however, that in the regime showed some interest in reconciling with its democratic opponents. The government also released some Centrolew politicians from the Brest fortress. Hence, the attack on the ONR might have been an act of goodwill toward the center and the Left.

Hours after the assassination, the police arrested some six hundred National Radicals, including Piasecki. Mosdorf escaped and went into hiding in eastern Poland. The decree provided that the detainees could be held for up to three months without trial at the request of a district attorney.

The government had the right to extend the detention to six months. The camp was opened in the small town of Bereza Kartuska in the eastern province of Polesie. The nationalist Right would never regain its unity. Days in the camp started at a. With the exception of Sundays, the prisoners worked for eight to ten hours a day at a road construction site. Numbered, uniformed, and divided into large units, they were housed in overcrowded cells. Their daily diet consisted of black bread, coffee, buckwheat, and peas.

The nationalists enjoyed far better treatment than the other inmates, who were often subjected to beatings. According to Sznarbachowski, Piasecki turned his accumulated reflections on Sanacja into a twelve-year plan for political takeover. At this point, little remained of the ONR. Some National Radicals had joined the youth sections of the National Party; others awaited the return of the interned leaders. Soon, Rossman and Piasecki entered into a rivalry over what was left of the organization.

Unlike Piasecki, who wanted to create a highly centralized organization held together by a leader, Rossman and his followers favored a collective leadership and conspiratorial structures under the cover of a legal organization. Among the most active of these was Zygmunt Przetakiewicz, in whom Piasecki acquired a lifelong collaborator and friend.

This conflict also signaled the advent of a new political era in the history of national communities. He proposed that only a clear break with the past could guarantee the development of the modern nation. The gradualist approach had outlived its usefulness, as had parliamentary order, which contaminated the ideals of freedom and equality with moral relativism; party politics, meanwhile, destroyed the spirit of brotherhood by manipulating voters.

There was innovation, however, in his proposal to redesign nationalist politics. Piasecki saw the Italian Fascists as pioneers of the new nationalism. By distributing privileges and obligations equally, the Italian corporatist system provided each citizen with a share of power.

But he rejected Nazi secularism as too much grounded in the religious disunity of the German nation and the crisis of the Protestant ethic. The Soviets had proved themselves extremely adaptable to all three dominant currents of the new era by building a hegemonic party, reeducating the population, and achieving mass political mobilization. In this, he differed from the main body of Polish nationalists. Unlike their Italian, German, and Russian counterparts, the young Polish nationalists also realized the necessity of combining metaphysics with rationality and religion with secular ideas, particularly statism.

God is the absolute and the highest end of man. Thus [striving to achieve] the good of the nation is only the means for reaching this absolute goal. He insisted that because all nations showed distinct traits, no single state could accommodate several nationalities. National minorities simply had no place in Poland. Piasecki asserted that the will to influence the fates of other nations was deeply embedded in the Polish psyche. At the moment, Europe was torn by a conflict between its western and eastern halves that in the long run could lead to the destruction of its civilization.

Because of its geographical location and history, Poland had the cultural and military capacity to mediate among its neighbors and introduce them to Western values. From this capacity there arose, in turn, an obligation to lead a spiritual revival that would ultimately produce the victory of a new Christian nationalism and the redemption of Europe.

It was also representative of a larger political and cultural movement within European thought, namely, a search by young Christian-oriented ethnonationalists for a fourth path alongside liberalism, communism, and secular fascism.

Not only did the leader of the Arrow Cross view Christianity, Marxism, and nationalism as the three great ideologies of the twentieth century—a belief Piasecki shared—but he also considered Hungarians to be predestined to bridge East and West and to play a dominant role in central Europe.

He aimed to transcend these differences, something Piasecki refused to contemplate. Last but not least, he refrained from territorial expansionist schemes. Degrelle, however, started as a dissident within the Catholic Party, whereas Piasecki was a nationalist who drew more heavily on Catholic inspiration than did his older mentors. Operating in democratic Belgium, the Rexists capitalized on a protest vote and won a respectable 11 percent in the general election.

Such electoral gains were unthinkable in authoritarian Poland. By the mids, the fragmentation of political Catholicism in western, and particularly French-speaking, Europe had produced conflict among Catholic intellectuals previously united by their antiliberal and antimaterialist approaches and often influenced by the traditional Right of the Maurrassian or Carlist type. For Piasecki and his followers, this was the beginning of the new era.

It is the dawn of social justice and human dignity, the dawn of Poland without Jews and foreign capitalist parasites, the dawn of a free and creative man [who will live] in the free and great fatherland. During his service, Piasecki wrote several political articles. Very much like his European authoritarian contemporaries, Piasecki proclaimed the armed forces a model institution for all aspects of public life and declared that the young nationalists fully shared with the military an emphasis on hierarchy, discipline, and patriotism and would not hesitate to obey professional soldiers.

Clearly, some in the military sympathized with his political reflections. The leader was also the chief exponent of the idea of National Radical Poland, which he received through personal revelation. He led the organization in compliance with the Catholic ethos and National Radical ideology. During its three-year existence, the section claimed to men, and constituted the most fanatical element of the National Radical Movement.

Meanwhile, the impact of the Great Depression had brought about substantial social unrest, anti-Semitic riots, labor protests, and a mass peasant strike. After the general elections, which were boycotted by the main opposition parties and were marked by low voter turnout, the regime dissolved the Nonpartisan Bloc for Cooperation with the Government.

In the summer of , the government endorsed the slogan of economic struggle against the Jews, lending its support to a boycott of Jewish enterprises. Calls for numerus nullus were followed by the implementation of the so-called bench ghetto, a forcible segregation of Jewish students from Christians in lecture halls. Having established contact with activists of the youth branch of the National Party, Piasecki began preparations to launch an occupation strike at Warsaw University.

Both groups decided to make dealing with the Jewish problem the main agenda of the strike. They also demanded tuition-free enrollment of proletarian students. The strike was to begin in late November By , several institutions of higher learning in Poland had adopted the bench ghetto, often with the blessing of the Ministry of Religion and Public Education. In December , Piasecki presented the most complete elaboration of his economic policies to date.

Piasecki argued that in the future Poland, employers who did not participate in the process of production would lose their property rights. As long as there was unemployment, no one should be allowed to earn more than the actual cost of living. The purge of Jews from industry and trade would facilitate the migration of ethnic Poles from the overpopulated countryside to urban centers, while expropriated Jewish capital would boost investment.

State acquisition of banks would render the annihilation of the capitalist economy complete. All political parties and secret organizations would be liquidated. The army, after its merger with OPN political structures, would play a pivotal role as an institution for forging national unity through compulsory military service.

The Jews would be banned from all Polish institutions, expropriated, and subsequently expelled from Poland. In the modernization of the eastern borderlands, Slavic minorities were expected to fully assimilate. In fact, the only thing that distinguishes the National Radical Movement from the Popular Front is the Jewish question. But was denouncing Nazism in Germany equivalent to condemning totalitarianism in Poland? Fundamentally, the National Radicals paled in comparison to the nominally proclerical Endecja, which made no attempt to influence matters of religious doctrine.

But the RNR did get a sympathetic reception from some of the most authoritarian elements of Sanacja. The OZN Venture The Camp of National Unity was similar to efforts by other authoritarian, monarchist, and military-based regimes to create government parties or mass organizations in eastern Europe and the Mediterranean. The conservative, yet pragmatic, government politicians of Greece, Romania, Yugoslavia, and the Baltics all advocated organic nationalism, subscribed to fascist ideology to a greater or lesser degree, and embraced corporatism and paramilitarism; but they also competed with domestic fascists and other nationalist radicals.

His intention was to build a movement beyond Sanacja, which would consolidate power in his hands. Koc was an ailing man who lacked both personal charisma and tactical skills. His nationalist and authoritarian views made him extremely unpopular among the Left and Sanacja moderates.

Nor could he count on the support of Endeks, who rejected any compromise with the regime. The program of the OZN advocated national unity above party and class divisions and praised the army as a uniting force, while paying nominal respect to the Church. Koc also declared that state regulation of the economy would increase through closer supervision of private enterprises. The OZN did not intend to liquidate opposition parties that refused to cooperate.

Instead, it tried to win over the masses, ignoring opposition leaders. At the same time, he must have been aware that most of his supporters opposed any deal with Sanacja. Attacks on Jews also helped attract new recruits. In Poland, Jews, communists, and even members of non-Catholic religious groups constituted equally vulnerable targets. Again, the example of Mussolini, who allied himself with political elites in order to dominate them in the future, was highly seductive.

Yet his personal reputation overshadowed the strength of his organization or rather the lack thereof. Koc thought that Piasecki commanded the nationalist youth, and Piasecki thought that Koc and Rydz constituted the entire ruling camp. The Jewish problem was to be solved through emigration. The term derived from Yiddish usage and referred to the alleged Jewish character of popular fronts.

At a meeting of the Union of Polish Legionnaires, Rydz tried to pacify the unrest by dismissing rumors of a military coup that had permeated liberal circles. By these accounts, the coup was to have taken place on the night of October 25 and in the early hours of October Who would dominate this partnership?

For Mackiewicz, the October crisis had demonstrated that the old political guard was still able to block the young nationalists. On November 28, between one and three thousand of his followers, dressed in sand-colored shirts, flocked to a mass rally at the circus building in downtown Warsaw. Piasecki came to the podium dressed in a long black coat. The audience raised a forest of hands in the fascist salute. He spoke slowly and methodically. In doing so, we shall not destroy individuality, but we will redirect the moral and ideological course of the nation.

And I say: We will call a surgeon! Evil, stupidity, materialism, failures of the system, and exploitation must be removed by a single cut. After weeks of internal intrigue, Rydz resolved to end cooperation with the National Radicals and forced Koc to resign.

These regimes, however, still feared the masses and would not support the formation of fascist paramilitaries. By , the OZN openly advocated both economic struggle against the Jews and cleansing Polish culture of Jewish influences.

The government also took steps to reduce the Jewish population by encouraging emigration to Palestine and revising citizenship laws. Did Piasecki contribute to the radicalization of Sanacja? More likely, the Polish regime simply was turning nastier, like others in authoritarian eastern Europe.

But it also feared radical sociopolitical experiments and tried to reduce political violence to a minimum. Unlike the fascists, the Polish authoritarians displayed a lack of will and readiness to expunge political opponents, be they nationalists, peasants, or socialists. Some were former socialists. Piasecki tried to restore his flagging authority by quelling dissent in the ranks of the organization, uniting other radical nationalist groups with his own, and courting opposition parties.

He failed at all three tasks. His press showered special praise on Codreanu, leader of the Romanian Iron Guard. On the other hand, women in National Radical Poland were to enjoy the same rights to education, employment, payment, and political participation as men—through their membership in the OPN, of course.

Some of these articles read like fairy tales. The country grew so prosperous that Polish farmers traveled to Denmark to lecture on the achievements of Polish agriculture. Poland underwent a vast industrialization, as the Labor Front built roads and modern railways, drained marshes, and dug canals. Modern housing and green neighborhoods changed the urban landscape.

Synagogues were converted into museums where citizens could study the Jewish menace of the past. Poland was a leading European power with no minorities left: the Ukrainians and Belorussians had assimilated, the Jews had emigrated, and the Germans had been subjected to population transfers. Piasecki failed to capitalize on the Munich crisis and on the subsequent Polish claims to Zaolzie, part of former Austrian Silesia lost to Czechoslovakia in When he ordered the formation of the Zaolzie Volunteer Corps, however, only two hundred men responded to his call.

Piasecki saw his movement moving toward rapid collapse. In the highly contested municipal elections of December and March , the National Radicals did not win a single seat. As his reports became openly pro-Nazi, he lost his job in October In case of a major international conflict, however, Poland would switch sides, ally itself with Britain and France, and stab Germany in back.

But Piasecki categorically opposed any collaboration with the Nazis. Piasecki reported Brochwicz to Polish counterintelligence and arranged for his arrest in early June. Tried by a military court, he was found guilty of espionage and sentenced to death. The capture of the fortress by German troops saved his life, however, and Piasecki and Brochwicz would meet again in occupied Warsaw in December In July , Piasecki closed down Falanga and soon afterward announced that the organization had suspended its activities because of the prospect of war.

This seems indeed to have been the case. Whether Polonized or holding to their ethnoreligious identity, Jews came to be seen as separate from the rest of society. A new Christian middle class considered them an obstacle to national economic advancement. The prominence of others in the arts and entertainment disturbed self-styled guardians and advocates of national culture.

In fact, one could argue that those who assimilated were regarded with greater suspicion than orthodox, Yiddish-speaking Jews: they were said to contaminate the body of the nation. Yes, there was. Is there a Jewish occupation now? Yes, there is. In this sense, the Nazis committed a heresy, since no ideology should worship a man. In May , Falanga claimed to have unmasked the shameful cooperation of Polish aristocrats and Jewish bankers. In comparison to his associates, Piasecki can be viewed as almost a moderate anti-Semite.

Yet, I cannot rule out that Grabski was telling truth. But the reputation of being a virulent anti-Semite that Piasecki acquired in the s had two results. On the one hand, it made him extremely unpopular among the liberal intelligentsia. At a time when the fate of nations depended on military superiority, he had the ambition to build a political army whose strength relied on ideology rather than on numbers of soldiers and the power of weapons.

During the war, he took over leadership of a small right-wing resistance group, the Confederation of the Nation Konfederacja Narodu, KN. Piasecki based his strategy on the belief that the war, especially after the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, constituted a clash of ideologies. His program for Polish national renewal, by contrast, would combine elements of Christianity, nationalism, and radical modernity. While pursuing his ideological dreams, Piasecki faced the very real challenges of underground struggle in the resistance movement, which operated in a context of terror and brutality experienced in few other Germanoccupied countries.

As commander of a resistance group, he was responsible for the lives of hundreds of men and women serving under him, a duty that he undertook with mixed results. Divided into numerous factions, the underground forces fought the occupiers and, occasionally, one another. Like underground groups elsewhere in Europe, the Polish resistance shared two broad goals: the liberation of their country and the implementation of socioeconomic and political changes after the war.

There could be no return to the prewar order. It remained only to determine what would replace it. By the end of the conflict, these differences proved to be secondary. The fate of postwar Europe was determined not by indigenous resistance movements—which were unable either to liberate their countries or to change the course of the war—but by the Great Powers.

Defeat, September —May On September 1, , Piasecki, like hundreds of thousands of his countrymen, joined the struggle against the Nazi invaders. It was a war that the Poles could win. Outnumbered and poorly armed, the Poles fought gallantly, yet without much success.

The Polish lines of defense were easily pierced, broken, and overrun by massive German blows. The massive Soviet attack on September 17 hastened the destruction of the Polish army, and the Polish government fled to Romania, where it was interned. Warsaw fell on September 27, and the last Polish units capitulated in early October. The German victory was quick and achieved with relatively few casualties: 10, killed and 40, wounded. On the Polish side, 67, were killed, , wounded, and , taken prisoner.

In addition, 2, Polish soldiers were killed in chaotic resistance against the Soviets, who took another , prisoners. The city surrendered to the Soviets on September Initially, he set off toward the Romanian border, but then decided to return to Warsaw.

He reached the conquered capital in early October. On September 28, , a new German-Soviet treaty partitioned the country between the two powers. The September catastrophe also constituted a major revolution in Polish politics: it delegitimized the Sanacja regime, which was widely held responsible for the swift collapse of the armed forces.

The delegacy started its operations only in April , however. Meanwhile, the government in exile had not yet secured the loyalty of Polish society, especially the nationalist far Right. Other participants included the notorious anti-Semite Rev.

This episode of Polish wartime history has not been fully researched and analyzed, partly because detailed evidence is lacking and partly because it challenges the myth of Poland as the only European nation without quislings.

Hitler rejected any collaborationist arrangements in Poland, mostly on the basis of his racial and historical contempt for Slavic peoples, his perception of the Poles as an obstacle to establishing Lebensraum, and his wish to completely eradicate Polish nationalism. In return, they could expect only rule by terror and deprivation. The fall of France in June only consolidated this conviction within the Nazi hierarchy. As mentioned earlier, Piasecki returned to Warsaw in October , where he tried to revive the National Radical Movement.

According to Sznarbachowski, Piasecki sought contact with the Wehrmacht to create Polish paramilitary units. What this explanation lacks, however, is an appreciation of the fluidity of the political situation in late At that point, little was known in Warsaw about Nazi designs for Poland. He soon found another influential protector, however. The Frassatis had belonged to the Italian establishment for many years.

Gestapo boss Joseph Meisinger claimed, however, that the fate of the prisoner was unknown to him. She quickly drove to the jail, met the warden, and obtained permission to see Piasecki. He looked physically exhausted but otherwise seemed calm. Frassati assured him that she would do everything in her power to secure his release.

One of the guests was Meisinger. The meeting took place in February The couple spent two hours together, undisturbed by prison guards— an unusual treat in occupied Warsaw. In January , he even urged Hitler to take a more realistic approach toward Poland, perhaps restoring a rump Polish state. Momentarily safe, Piasecki did not expect the Italians to protect him forever.

He started using the name Sablewski, which remained his pseudonym for the rest of the war. Anticipating another arrest, Piasecki went underground. On May 24, , the German regional court sentenced him to death in absentia for crimes against the German state. These developments coincided with important decisions in his personal life. The war had dispersed most of his comrades. Some were dead. Others had either escaped abroad or joined rival underground organizations. Fortunately for Piasecki, the persistence of political divisions after the defeat of had produced a tendency for disparate parties and groups to establish their own private armies.

These clandestine organizations differed in their relationships to the government in exile, as well as in their programs, membership, and scale of operations. He placed the organization under the command of the Polish government in November But Sikorski, the new prime minister and commander in chief, considered the group too pro-Sanacja.

The aim of the ZWZ was to build a secret army and launch a national uprising on the arrival of the Allied armies. The extreme Right acknowledged the government in exile but did not recognize the authority of the delegacy. Allied with the British and the Americans, the bloc would defeat the Nazis and set up a federation with a common government, military, foreign policy, and free trade.

Pushed westward to the old Piast borders, Germany would become a marginal power, while the Soviet Union would cease to exist. Piasecki was not alone in advocating some form of central European integration along nationalist and authoritarian lines. Poland would bridge Catholic with Orthodox, Roman with Byzantine, and Western with Eastern, thus reconciling the nations of east central Europe.

Real power belongs to those of us who are in the country. But the agreement did not solve the problem of border changes, leaving the issue open to future negotiations. The treaty drew harsh criticism from numerous Polish politicians, resulting in a government crisis.

In a secret instruction to his closest associates in April , he acknowledged that the confederation would have to recognize the London government. The majority of confederates came from the ranks of the young, rightwing urban intelligentsia, and their training reflected the priority of ideology. They ran the communication network, provided medical care, and tended to arrested members. It organized literary contests, experimental theater, and a music studio.

After the defeat of Germany, the conquest of new territories, particularly in the east, would begin. The ethnic composition of the population in the annexed lands posed no problems, as German residents would face deportation. But this Polonization, or ethnic cleansing, would need the approval of the Allies—something the London Poles never doubted they would get—as part of the peace settlement.

The Cadre Strike Battalions would cross the Bug, attack both the Germans and Soviet partisans, prevent the spread of communism, and establish a bridgehead for further advances in the east. The confederation started building its network in Podlasie in February and March Recruitment did not proceed smoothly.

In July , the Polish police caught a confederation team during the attempted robbery of a Polish industrialist who was untainted by collaboration, an incident that drew sharp responses from the AK command. But Piasecki did not abandon his men, who in the meantime had been handed over to the Gestapo. On the night of July 26, , a small detachment posing as Gestapo agents freed the prisoners. Not only did Piasecki rehabilitate the reputation of his organization, but he also won the lifelong gratitude and loyalty of his men.

Upon their return, they tried to dissuade Piasecki from launching the operation, pointing to the presence of strong Soviet partisan units in the area. The columns of young men carrying backpacks easily caught the attention of both passengers and railroad guards, but they reached the rendezvous point on October Of the two hundred men gathered under the command of Ignacy Telechun, only 30 percent were armed, mostly with pistols.

While waiting for the shipment to arrive, the partisans spread out in the forest and nearby meadows. It is not clear how the Germans discovered them. Shortly afterward, they attacked the main Polish forces, killing or wounding some twenty partisans and taking thirty prisoners.

The Germans hunted down many of the unarmed partisans, and Telechun dissolved the unit after two weeks. The survivors reached Warsaw at the end of October, complaining bitterly about the disastrous organization of the action and the amateurism of their commanders. Despite this colossal failure, Piasecki did not abandon his plans. Meanwhile, Piasecki had to cope with another challenge. Nowa Polska declared that the Soviet problem should be solved not by negotiations and compromises but only by armed struggle.

This time, he would be dealing with different men. Five days later, on July 4, Sikorski died in a plane crash at Gibraltar. The three men were also sharply divided in their political visions. He still believed that Polish-Soviet cooperation was possible. Sosnkowski was a pessimistic realist and an ardent anticommunist, opposed to any agreement with the Soviet Union. The government in exile believed that liberation by the Soviet Union would most likely result in territorial losses and vassal status for Poland.

In this context, the question of the Polish response to the oncoming Soviet advance became particularly urgent. By January , Rowecki already had advised Sikorski that the timing of an uprising should correspond not with the disintegration of the Wehrmacht but with the Soviet advance into the eastern borderlands.

He also faced the question of how the AK should act in the east before the Soviet advance. In , the Soviets had boosted their partisan network in the eastern borderlands and regularly attacked AK units. Piasecki received the rank of lieutenant. Its ethnic makeup included Poles, Belorussians, Jews mostly exterminated by , and Lithuanians.

Following the German attack on the Soviet Union, the province became part of the Reichskommissariat Ostland. The Germans held only the urban areas, while the countryside remained under the control of partisans. By the fall of , strong Soviet guerrilla detachments controlled the territory south of the Niemen River, while the AK prevailed on the northern bank.

Initially, these Warsaw intelligentsia youths and peasant lads from the Podlasie region did not get along with the locals. They did not speak the kresy dialect, which contained many Belorussian words and phrases. He took a temporary leave to Warsaw, where he stayed for several weeks.

While in the capital, Piasecki wrote an article about the prospects of Polish-Soviet relations. He had no doubt that the Soviets would enter Polish territory not as allies but as an invading army. Soviet victories in the east had forced Piasecki to abandon his dreams of a Slavic empire and to limit his territorial demands to the preservation of prewar frontiers.

This, however, was not the core issue. Piasecki echoed the provisions of the so-called Tempest Plan, which anticipated attacks on the retreating Germans, tactical cooperation with the Red Army, and the disclosure of underground Polish governing institutions in the liberated territories. There is no doubt that after the merger with the AK, Piasecki moderated his program and rhetoric.

He also emphasized the need for a strong welfare state, land reform, the nationalization of banks and public services, and a central economic plan regulating both public and private sectors. While small industry would remain private, the ownership of large industry would pass to shareholders recruited from the labor force. The war constituted a revolution not only in terms of its brutalizing effect on society but also in the development of postwar socioeconomic designs. In unoccupied England, invaded France, occupied Poland, and divided Italy alike, resisters perceived victory over fascism as a chance for social change.

Societies and economies were to move to the Left. Even Piasecki recognized this trend. Piasecki returned to his unit in February At the time of the trial, there were other AK leaders who had negotiated one or another form of armistice with the Germans in order to defend themselves against Soviet partisans.

What was taking place in the kresy resembled the pattern of resistance struggles in Yugoslavia or Greece, where anti-Nazi resistance fragmented into rival factions and ethnic groups, often engaging in various deals with occupying forces. The Soviet military presence was weaker, and the Polish underground stronger. At the same time, the province was the scene of bitter ethnic conflict between Poles and Lithuanians.

Under the Nazi occupation, Lithuanian collaborators were allowed to set up the quasi-governmental Taryba, or Lithuanian State Council. Both the quislings and the underground Lithuanian Liberation Committee Vyriausias Lietuvos Islaisvinimo Komitetas treated the province as an integral part of the Lithuanian state.

The attack on Wilno was supposed to take place on July 7 at p.

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