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Communism, Nationalism and Ethnicity in Poland, 1944–1950

By Michael Fleming

Routledge – 2012 – 206 pages

Series: BASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies

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  • Add to CartPaperback: $54.95
    978-0-415-62500-5
    March 28th 2012
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    978-0-415-47651-5
    August 19th 2009

Description

This book fills a significant gap in the study of the establishment of communist rule in Poland in the key period of 1944–1950. It shows that nationalism and nationality policy were fundamentally important in the consolidation of communist rule, acting as a crucial nexus through which different groups were both coerced and were able to consent to the new unfolding social and political order.

Drawing on extensive archival research, including national and regional archives in Poland, it provides a detailed and nuanced understanding of the early years of communist rule in Poland. It shows how after the war the communist Polish Workers Party (PPR) was able to redirect widespread anger resulting from the actions of the NKVD, Soviet Army and the communists to more ‘realistic’ targets such as minority communities, and that this displacement of anger helped the party to connect with a broader constituency and present itself as the only party able to protect Polish interests. It considers the role played by the West, including the endorsement by the Grand Alliance of homogenising policies such as population transfer. It also explores the relationship between the communists and other powerful institutions in Polish society, such as the Catholic Church which was treated fairly liberally until late 1947 as it played an important function in identifying who was Polish. Finally, the book considers important episodes – hitherto neglected by scholars – that shed new light upon the emergence of the Cold War and the contours of Cold War geopolitics, such as the ‘Westphalian incident’ of 1947–48, and the arrival of Greek refugees in Poland in the period 1948–1950.

Contents

1: Introduction 2: Ethnicity And Nation: The International Consensus 3: Manipulating Social Anger 4: Violence 5: Securing The Church 6: Rupturing Homogeneity? Class And National Identities 7: Conclusion

Author Bio

Michael Fleming is Associate Professor at the Academy of Humanities and Economics, Lodz, Poland; and Lecturer at the Polish University Abroad in London, UK. He is the author of National Minorities in Post-Communist Poland (2003).

Name: Communism, Nationalism and Ethnicity in Poland, 1944–1950 (Paperback)Routledge 
Description: By Michael Fleming. This book fills a significant gap in the study of the establishment of communist rule in Poland in the key period of 1944–1950. It shows that nationalism and nationality policy were fundamentally important in the consolidation of communist...
Categories: Contemporary History 1945-, Nationalism, Eastern European Politics, Cold War Studies, Russian & Soviet Politics, European History, Religious History, Central Asian, Russian & Eastern European Studies, Jewish Studies, Marxism & Communism, Civil Wars & Ethnic Conflict