Poland, 1918 - 1945
An Interpretive and Documentary History of the Second Republic
Peter D. Stachura
In the turbulent history of twentieth-century Europe, the reborn Polish State faced the most formidable and diverse array of problems imaginable. From 1918 until the end of the Second World War, Poland struggled to retain and consolidate independence, finally falling prey to the allen ideology and political system of Communism. The period of the Second Polish Republic, from its establishment in 1918 until its end in 1945, has often been viewed in the context of its negative aspects and failures. This lucid new study demonstrates that a far more positive assessment is needed, through an informed, balanced and objective approach.
Based on an extensive range of Polish, British, German, Jewish and Ukrainian primary and secondary sources, this work provides an objective appraisal of the interwar period. Peter Stachura demonstrates how the Republic overcame enormous obstacles at home and abroad to achieve consolidation as an independent state in the early 1920s, made relative economic progress, created a coherent social order, produced an outstanding cultural scene, advanced educational opportunity, and adopted constructive and even-handed policies towards its ethnic minorities. Without denying the set-backs suffered by the Republic, Peter Stachura demonstrates that the late of Poland after 1945, with the imposition of an unwanted, Soviet-dominated Communist system, was thoroughly undeserved.
Poland, 1918 - 1945 is controversial and challenging revisionist analysis and interpretation, making essential reading for all those who study Modern European History.