The Un-Polish Poland, 1989 and the Illusion of Regained Historical Continuity

  • Tomasz Kamusella

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxix
  2. Tomasz Kamusella
    Pages 1-10
  3. Tomasz Kamusella
    Pages 11-14
  4. Tomasz Kamusella
    Pages 15-36
  5. Tomasz Kamusella
    Pages 37-60
  6. Tomasz Kamusella
    Pages 93-117
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 119-133

About this book


This book discusses historical continuities and discontinuities between the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, interwar Poland, the Polish People’s Republic, and contemporary Poland. The year 1989 is seen as a clear point-break that allowed the Poles and their country to regain a ‘natural historical continuity’ with the ‘Second Republic,’ as interwar Poland is commonly referred to in the current Polish national master narrative. In this pattern of thinking about the past, Poland-Lithuania (nowadays roughly coterminous with Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia’s Kaliningrad Region and Ukraine) is seen as the ‘First Republic.’ However, in spite of this ‘politics of memory’ (Geschichtspolitik) – regarding its borders, institutions, law, language, or ethnic and social makeup – present-day Poland, in reality, is the direct successor to and the continuation of communist Poland. Ironically, today’s Poland is very different, in all the aforementioned aspects, from the First and Second Republics. Hence, contemporary Poland is quite un-Polish, indeed, from the perspective of Polishness defined as a historical (that is, legal, social, cultural, ethnic and political) continuity of Poland-Lithuania and interwar Poland.


Ethnicity Lithuania Eastern Europe Central Europe Geschichtspolitik Language Politics national master narrative memory politics

Authors and affiliations

  • Tomasz Kamusella
    • 1
  1. 1.School of HistoryUniversity of St Andrews School of HistorySt AndrewsUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-60035-2
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-60036-9
  • Buy this book on publisher's site