National Identity and the Ethnic Minorities in Early Inter-War Poland

  • Peter D. Stachura


One of the principal reasons why the Second Polish Republic has been severely criticized over the years relates to its perceived treatment of ethnic minorities, who comprised about one-third of her population at any one time. With few exceptions, historians and other commentators have roundly condemned Poland for practising widespread discrimination and persecution of its minorities, thereby consigning them to the status of second-class citizens. In the West, Horak set the tone when he referred to ‘Polish terroristic policies against the national minorities’,1 while Korzec later wrote that Poland installed ‘a reign of terror and oppression’ against the minorities.2 More specifically, the Poles have been accused of opposing the legitimate nationalist aspirations of the Ukrainian minority and failing to devise ‘a consistent programme which might have reconciled them to the Republic’,3 and also of subjecting the Germans to just about every conceivable injustice behind a so-called ‘bleeding frontier’ (blutende Grenze) between Poland and the Reich.4


Ethnic Minority Polish State National Identity Communist Party Jewish Community 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Peter D. Stachura 1998

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