The Polish Question
The hopes that the successful invasion of Normandy would improve Anglo-Soviet relations and pave the way for a satisfactory settlement of the Polish question proved to be illusory. In July Eden felt that the Soviets were getting even tougher over Poland, and this was confirmed by Stalin’s letter to Churchill on 23 July, in which he expressed his determination to use the Soviet-dominated Polish Committee of National Liberation in Lublin to govern liberated Poland, and which spoke of the London Poles in disparaging terms and referred to the ‘so-called underground organisations’ as ‘ephemeral and devoid of influence’.1 The London Poles promptly reacted to this message by denouncing the Lublin Committee as nothing more than a collection of Quislings and unknown Communists, but Churchill assured the War Cabinet that the Committee of National Liberation were neither Quislings nor Communists but genuine Polish patriots. In a letter to Roosevelt the Prime Minister expressed his hope that a fusion of some kind between the Lublin and the London Poles might be possible. Certainly such a solution had not been entirely ruled out in Stalin’s note to Churchill.2 Writing to Stalin the following day Churchill said, ‘It would be a great pity and even a disaster if the Western democracies found themselves recognising one body of Poles and you recognising another.’
KeywordsPrime Minister Polish Question Liaison Officer National Liberation Polish Committee
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