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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 13Focusing on the Holocaust and its Aftermath$
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Antony Polonsky and Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774600

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774600.001.0001

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Whose Nation, Whose State? Working-Class Nationalism and Antisemitism in Poland, 1945‒1947

Whose Nation, Whose State? Working-Class Nationalism and Antisemitism in Poland, 1945‒1947

Chapter:
(p.224) Whose Nation, Whose State? Working-Class Nationalism and Antisemitism in Poland, 1945‒1947
Source:
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 13
Author(s):

Padraic Kenney

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781874774600.003.0017

This chapter studies working-class nationalism and antisemitism in post-war Poland. It argues that in early post-war Poland, citizen–state relations expressed themselves in part through national identity. In this context, antisemitism took on new meaning in Poland because it became not only an expression of fears about national identity and cultural vulnerability, but also a means of defining the state and citizenship. Thus, national identity paradoxically sharpened as Poland approached homo-ethnicity. Before and during the war, Polish workers had expressed a strong national consciousness, and post-war reconstruction invoked national themes. The professed class nature of the new state, however, and the practical concerns of the workers eventually made allegiance to the state a central issue. That allegiance was potentially based not just upon prosperity or nationalism, but upon agreement with certain programmes and policies of the communist regime.

Keywords:   working-class nationalism, antisemitism, post-war Poland, citizen–state relations, national identity, Polish workers, national consciousness, post-war reconstruction, state allegiance, communist regime

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