Mikołaj S. Kunicki, Between the Brown and the Red: Nationalism, Catholicism, and Communism In 20th-Century Poland – The Politics of Bolesław Piasecki (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2012)
In my presentation I will concentrate on Bolesław Piasecki who was the most known leader of polish national-radical movement. Many doubts that he was really so devoted to this idea as he pretended to be before the World War 2. Some historians, including myself, argue that Piasecki was an iron pragmatic politician who only began his political career as a radical nationalist, but in the changing political circumstances of war and post-war Poland also changed its ideological camouflage. What is unique – his personality to the present day continues to fascinate his ideological foes. It is quite astonishing that this admittedly second-rate politician who did not play any significant role in Polish history, has already been the subject of two quite substantial biographical publications in English. Upon investigating the shelves of American and British book stores, it is difficult to find any books on important Poles - except perhaps for Pope John Paul II during the 1990s and Lech Wałęsa. Piasecki, however, became the subject of an English-language biography many years before his death, The Eastern Pretender by Lucjan Blit. Recent work appeared in 2012: Mikołaj Kunicki’s Between the Brown and the Red. But whereas Blit’s publication was rather a political pamphlet—which the author did not really disguise, nor did he deny his sharp antipathy towards Piasecki—Kunicki’s biography is presented as an objective work of scholarship.
POLAND FOR THE POLES! WHO WERE AND ARE THE POLISH NATIONALISTS? is the title of this Polish-language work. This tour de force is a comprehensive history of the Polish national movement, and it provides a much-needed corrective to the grotesque caricature, of Polish nationalism, that is routinely done by leftists and certain Jews. This work covers Polish nationalism from the days of Roman Dmowski, and then proceeds through Polish history all the way to the present. It is a somewhat frustrating item to review, as there is so much worthwhile information, and space to mention only a little of it.
Nationalism has been made into a naughty word by leftists. It is not. It is defined by the authors as an organization of society according to the principles of a shared language, culture, history, geographical locality, etc. It also includes a defense of national interests. (p. 11). [In addition, of course, there is a world of difference between emancipatory nationalism and imperialistic nationalism.]
POLAND UNDER THE COMMUNIST REGIME. A REPORT OF THE SITUATION IN THE NATION (1944-1949), is the title of this Polish-language scholarly book. This comprehensive work covers the political and social aspects of the Soviet imposition of the Communist puppet government on Poland. However, the tens of thousands of Poles murdered, and hundreds of thousands imprisoned, during the Communist enslavement of Poland, are almost entirely beyond the scope of this book.
Review of W Walce o Wielką Polskę. Prasa i Propaganda zaplecza politycznego Narodowych Sił Zbrojnych (1939-1945), by Wojciech Jerzy Muszyński (Biała Podlaska-Warszawa: Rekonkwista 2000).
Reviewer: Mr. Jan Peczkis. The NSZ Polish Guerrilla Organization: Its Political Philosophy and Program Through the End of WWII
This work, by historian Wojciech Muszynski, begins with a survey of Endek thinking in 1930’s Poland, and then proceeds through the end of the Nazi German occupation. It does not get into the second Soviet occupation of Poland (1944-on). In the years before WWII, the SN (STRONNICTWO NARODOWE) became a mass movement, and had 200,000 members. Many of them were later incarcerated at Bereza Kartuska when it opened in 1934. (p. 29).