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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 14Focusing on Jews in the Polish Borderlands$
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Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774693

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774693.001.0001

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(p.3) Introduction
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 14

Antony Polonsky

Liverpool University Press

This introductory chapter briefly explores Jewish life and Polish nationhood within the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth up until the Second World War. The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was a dual state, created in 1569 by the union of the kingdom of Poland with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. It was extremely heterogeneous in character. The history of Poland–Lithuania throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries raised the questions of who was a Pole and what should be the boundaries of the future Polish state. For the Polish political élite, there was no question that the goal was the reconstitution of the country within its 1772 frontiers. This created a new interest in documenting the ‘Polishness’ of the borderlands (kresy) of the former Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Keywords:   Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Poland–Lithuania, Polishness, kresy, Poland, Lithuania, nationhood, Polish state, Jewish life, Polish borderlands

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