Review of Polska Dla Polaków! Kim Byli i Są Polscy Narodowcy? By Jolanta Mysiakowska-Muszynska, Wojciech Muszynski, and Marek Jan Chodakiewicz. 2015. Zysk i S-ka
Reviewer: Mr. Jan Peczkis
A One-Volume Encyclopedic Analysis of Polish Nationalism—Old and New. The Truth at Last. Endek Thinking is Demystified
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.]
MANY “EXTRAS” IN THIS WORK
The book, besides being jam-packed with information (notably biographical information) features many seldom-published photos of Polish nationalist rallies. The reader is reminded of the fact that, in the 1930s, the stiff-arm salute was widely used by anti-Communists at the time, all over Europe, and had no pro-Nazi connotations as it does today. In fact, the flat palm in the salute was a counter to the closed fist of the Communist salute. (pp. 131-132).
This work includes the texts of nationalist songs, and features reproductions of posters and brochures. For instance, one of them reminds the reader of Jewish-Soviet collaboration (as at Wlodawa, Wolkowysk, and Bialystok), during the pivotal 1920 Polish-Bolshevik War, as well as the camp at Jablonna (near Warsaw) for Jewish deserters from the Polish Army. (p. 136).
JAGIELLONIAN AND PIAST: A MUCH-EXAGGERATED DICHOTOMY
Conventionally, the nationalism envisioned by Pilsudski is regarded as of the Jagiellonian type (“inclusive”), whereas the nationalism envisioned by Dmowski is of the Piast type (“exclusive”). This is, at best, an oversimplification. To begin with, the positions of Pilsudski and Dmowski, and their followers, were not set-in-stone ideologies. They were driven by specific events, and they evolved according to changing circumstances. When Roman Dmowski expounded on the fact of his being part of the Polish nation, he was well aware of the fact that Jagiellonian Poland had consisted of many nationalities and religions. (pp. 32-33).
The Endek movement had originated while Poland was under Partition, and Poles had to defend their very Polishness from the aggressive Russification and Germanization of the occupants. That is why the Endeks were “exclusivist”, and thought in terms of “Piast Poland.” (p. 57, 526).
One of the most commonly-heard leftist buzzwords, today, is “inclusion”. On this basis, the reader should appreciate the fact that the Endeks had not excluded anyone from the Polish nation. Instead, the Jews, Germans, and—to a lesser extent—the Ukrainians, had first excluded themselves from Polishness through their overt separatism.