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By Michael Fleming

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Extra resources for Communism, Nationalism and Ethnicity in Poland, 1944-50 (BASEES Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies)

Sample text

In particular, it is worth noting the texts of Polish scholars, amongst others, who have explored in some detail the documentary evidence to be found in the regional archives. Their work has formed a very important sounding board for many of the arguments developed in this book. Terminology There has been a debate on the correct terminology to employ when discussing the population transfers of the immediate post-war period. ‘Transfer’ has been seen to be an inaccurate term as it is contended that what actually happened amounted to ‘expulsion’.

Knoll’s document therefore analysed the situation of minorities in Poland and suggested future policy directions. In relation to the Belarusian minority, Knoll argued that Polish policy could take one of two courses. Should a Belarusian sentiment of separateness manifest itself, then Polish policy could support it to provide a buffer between Poland and Russia. However, caution was necessary because Belarusian independence might well give rise to an all-Russian feeling, and thereby compromise Poland in relation to Russia.

Thus, as much as shaping the political contours of the mid- and late 1930s, the Polish Communist Party was responding to less tolerant social sentiment on the basis that wider support for Communism and the policy of the Popular Front, without the burden of providing substantive equality for all minorities, could be achieved, thereby allowing some pertinent social and political issues to be articulated, if not resolved. However, the reframing of policy was inspired and directed by the Comintern, and derived from the USSR’s assessment of the wider international situation.

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