Nationalism

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Additional info for Communism, Nationalism and Ethnicity in Poland, 1944-50 (BASEES Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies)

Example text

The chapter shows that through nationality policy the PPR was able to fend off the challenge from the Right, co-opting senior National Democrats, and from the Left through land reform and frontier policies in the ‘Recovered Territories’. The chapter also discusses assimilation programmes and verification processes, especially in relation to so-called ‘autochthonic’ populations. Chapter 4 explores the difference between structural and subjective violence and contends that subjective violence (‘unnecessary’ violence) was tolerated as an outlet for social anger up until late 1947, early 1948.

Ultimately, the Party itself was wound up in 1938 as most of its leaders had been killed by Stalin’s regime and Stalin himself felt that it could not be trusted. In short, the nationality policy of the Polish Communist Party moved from a position tolerant and supportive of national differences under the rubric of worker solidarity to a more restrictive position by 1935. This development was accompanied by greater control exercized by the Comintern on the Polish party and, crucially, a change in the international 12 Introduction political climate, from the limited optimism of the early 1920s to the emergence of totalitarian fascism in the 1930s.

32–33) show the borders of pre-1939 and post-1945 Poland respectively. Poland was moved 150 miles west and was reduced in size by 20 per cent. Only 54 per cent of pre-war Poland passed into post-war Poland’s borders (Davies 1981: 489). While US and UK support for population transfers and redrawing of borders has to be considered in the context of sustaining the Grand Alliance in the final push for victory over Nazism, it remains a theme of historical conjecture that the Western Allies were far too accommodating to Stalin (Davies, 2006).

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