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Anticipation of civil war: the Polish government in exile and the threat posed by the Communist movement during the Second World War

Prazmowska, Anita J. (2013) Anticipation of civil war: the Polish government in exile and the threat posed by the Communist movement during the Second World War. Journal of Contemporary History, 48 (4). pp. 717-741. ISSN 0022-0094

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Abstract

After the occupation of Polish territories by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in September 1939 a Polish government was formed in exile. At the same time in occupied territories underground resistance organisations emerged. All pre-war parties, to some extent, collaborated with each other. Throughout the war the government, its agencies in occupied Poland and the armed resistance prepared to take power after the war. They assumed that the end of the war would be followed by a civil war, or at least by revolutionary activities, as had happened after the First World War. Since the Communist party remained outside the consensus formed by the war time organizations, the government in exile and those loyal to it in occupied Poland feared that it would spearhead Soviet entry into Poland. Moreover they were anxious that the Communists would act as a catalyst for the revolutionary upsurges, which they anticipated. Thus throughout the war, but in particular from 1943, they gathered intelligence information on Communist activities in occupied Poland. They also investigated the likelihood of the Communists acting as a focal point for the disaffected radical elements from the peasant and the Socialist parties. This article suggests that contrary to the assertion that the main aim of war time policies was the restoration of an independent Poland, planning for the capture of power played an important role in war-time debates.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://jch.sagepub.com/
Additional Information: © 2013 The Author
Library of Congress subject classification: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D731 World War II
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain > DAW Central Europe
H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
Sets: Departments > International History
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2013 14:52
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/53728/

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