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Title: Polish-Jewish relations during the rebirth of Poland, November 1918-June 28, 1919
Authors: Kaufman, David B.
Supervisor(s): McKean, Robert B.
Keywords: Polish-Jewish Relations
Poland History
Issue Date: Nov-2006
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: This study examines Polish-Jewish relations during the pivotal eight months between the declaration of Polish Independence on November 11, 1918 and the formal re-establishment of the Polish state by its recognition by the Allied and Associated Powers at the Paris Peace Conference on June 28, 1919. The thesis explores the background to Polish-Jewish relations in the years immediately preceding the period under investigation in order to place the events in their political and socio-economic context. The key to the present study is a detailed examination of the controversial anti-Jewish outrages that occurred in the disputed Russo-Polish-Ukrainian borderlands, namely in Lwów in November 1918, and at Pińsk in April 1919. It is important not only to scrutinise these events in detail, but furthermore to place them in their full international perspective. The direct result was the imposition of a Minorities Treaty upon Poland, which was largely drafted during the final months of the Peace Conference. Polish anti-Jewish violence was not the only factor that influenced the Allies gathered at Versailles, yet the peacemakers felt compelled to treat Poland as a special case. The Treaty further strained the interdependent links between Poles and Jews, both in Poland and the west, as the dominant group saw it as an unfair limitation on its sovereignty. Polish resentment at the perceived influence of ‘international Jewry’ further heightened tensions between the two, yet the drafting of the Minorities Treaty was emphatically not as a result of the ‘Jewish lobby’ (which was in fact divided) that had gathered in the French capital in an attempt to further Jewish demands in both Eastern Europe and Palestine. The damage done to Polish-Jewish relationships during the crucial period of 1918-1919 not only strained interaction between those groups in the months covered by the thesis, but also exacerbated the Jewish ‘problem’ during the course of the Second Polish Republic and beyond.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: School of Arts and Humanities
History and Politics

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