Acta Poloniae Historica The magazine deals with problems and issues reflecting the most recent research findings and the output of Polish historians covering the historic periods spanning from the Middle Ages till the present, as well as offers a representation of the most important currents of world historiography in the Polish – and, more broadly, Central Eurepean – historiography.<br /><br /> Instytut Historii PAN en-US Acta Poloniae Historica 0001-6829 Title, logo and layout of journal are reserved trademarks of APH. Short notes Halina Manikowska Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Poloniae Historica 2021-07-18 2021-07-18 123 379 434 10.12775/34787 “An Unfulfilled Writer Who Became a Historian”. Jerzy Wojciech Borejsza (22 August 1935 – 28 July 2019) <p>Jerzy Wojciech Borejsza was the son of communist activist Jerzy Borejsza, referred to as an ‘international communist’, and Ewa née Kantor. His grandfather Abraham Goldberg was one of the leaders of Polish Zionists. Borejsza described himself as ‘a Pole of Jewish origin’. His personality was greatly influenced by the Second World War experiences, including the pogrom of Jews in German-occupied Lwów in July 1941 and the tragic events of occupied Warsaw. As a result of the decision of the communist party authorities, in 1952, Borejsza was sent to study in the Soviet Union, first to Kazan, then to Moscow. This made it impossible for him to study Polish philology in Warsaw; Borejsza, therefore, chose historical studies. After returning to Poland in 1957, he undertook research on the history of Polish emigration after the January Uprising (1863–4). He was also interested in the history of the Polish socialist movement and its connections to socialism in Western Europe. Later, Borejsza intervened in the historiography of the Crimean War (1853–6), intending to bring this forgotten armed conflict back to light. He coined the phrase ‘the beautiful nineteenth century’, in contrast to the twentieth century as a time of hatred, extermination, and the Holocaust. Initially, Borejsza worked at the Polish Academy of Sciences (1958–64), then at the University of Warsaw (1964–75). In the early 1970s, he began research on Italian fascism and Italy’s unsuccessful attempts to create a fascist International. He also conducted research on the worldview of Adolf Hitler, formulating the view that, apart from anti-Semitism, another vital component of the Führer’s racism was anti-Slavism. Borejsza was the author of a textbook on totalitarian and authoritarian systems in Europe in 1918–45 (entitled <em>Schools of Hatred</em>). After the anti-Semitic campaign launched by the communist authorities in March 1968, he was removed from the University of Warsaw (1975). From then until the end of his life, he worked at the Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. In the years 2004–12, he was also employed at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń. In the last years of his life, he researched Russian archives, dealing with the history of communism as a totalitarian system and the Comintern’s attitude toward Poland and Stalinist persecution of Polish communists. Jerzy W. Borejsza was an outstanding Polish researcher of the history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He also witnessed the tragic history of the century of extermination.</p> Mariusz Wołos Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Poloniae Historica 2021-07-18 2021-07-18 123 7 56 10.12775/APH.2021.123.01 ‘Schools of Hatred’. The Essence of Totalitarianism in Jerzy W. Borejsza’s Approach <p>Jerzy W. Borejsza regarded the term ‘totalitarianism’ as a helpful tool in describing the political systems in Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, and the Bolshevik/communist Soviet Union, but opted for restricted use of the term. Apart from the classical determinants of a totalitarian system, he believed that the mobilisation of hatred against the predefined ethnic/national, racial, or class enemy was essential to any totalitarianism. Rather than adding a new distinguishing feature of the totalitarian system, the Polish historian carried out a series of multi-aspect comparative analyses of its earlier-defined traits and characteristics. He has drawn a precise distinction between a totalitarian and authoritarian system. Not satisfied with apparent similarities, he tried to explore the issue more deeply, identifying different intensities of the phenomena specific to totalitarian systems. He stressed a gradation of totalitarianism in the different totalitarian systems, at the different stages of their functioning. To his credit goes the introduction in the historiography of the concept of ‘anti-Slavism’ and, as part of it, anti-Polonism, as essential traits of the National Socialist ideology. He opposed the simplifications tending to appear in broadly used terms, the attempts to ‘ideologise’ and ‘politicise’ the history, particularly in describing the communist totalitarianism. According to Borejsza, fascism, Nazism, and communism had once frequented the same school of totalitarian hatred and took there the same classes – but they were differently evaluated when it came to the finals.</p> Tomasz Ceran Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Poloniae Historica 2021-07-18 2021-07-18 123 57 72 10.12775/APH.2021.123.02 From the Napoleonic Wars to the Crimean War. Faddey Bulgarin’s Influence on Russian-French Relations in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century <p>Faddey Bulgarin [Polish: Tadeusz Bułharyn] (1789–1859) was one of the best-known authors and journalists in the Russian Empire in the first half of the nineteenth century. A former French army officer (1811–14) who had settled down in St. Petersburg, he was particularly interested in maintaining a good relationship between the two countries. The opinion-making newspaper <em>Severnaya Pchela</em>, edited by him, published information on France regularly. Moreover, Bulgarin dealt with French affairs in his reports and letters to the Third Department of His Imperial Majesty’s Own Chancellery, mainly in connection with the Polish question.</p><p>Bulgarin sought to influence the Russo-French relations in breakthrough moments, such as the French Revolution of July 1830, the Polish November Insurrection 1830–1, the Spring of Nations, and the Crimean War. During the forty years of his activity as a man-of-letters, he successfully broke the stereotypes prevailing among the Russians concerning Napoleon I. This article seeks to analyse several aspects of Bulgarin’s influence on the Russian Empire’s policy toward France.</p> Piotr Głuszkowski Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Poloniae Historica 2021-07-18 2021-07-18 123 73 94 10.12775/APH.2021.123.03 From Paris to Izmir, Rome, and Jerusalem: Armand Lévy as the Missing Link between Polish Romantic Nationalism and Zionism <p>This article focuses on Armand Lévy, Adam Mickiewicz’s secretary, as the missing link between Romantic Polish nationalism and proto-Zionism. It examines Lévy’s interpretation of Adam Mickiewicz’s use of Jewish motifs and how Lévy’s interpretation provided his friend and neighbour in Paris, Moses Hess, a German-Jewish socialist, colleague and rival of Karl Marx, with a repertoire he had lacked to structure his proto-Zionist ideas.</p><p>The article discusses how ideas from one cultural sphere were transferred to others. Mickiewicz, seeking to find ways to strengthen the Polish nation-building process following the partition of his motherland, used his interpretation of the contemporary Jewish Diaspora as a model. His secretary, the Frenchman Armand Lévy, reinterpreted Mickiewicz’s interpretation. His convoluted life course eventually led him to think about the Jews in nationalist terms via the discursive tools he acquired from Mickiewicz. Going beyond the latter’s views, Lévy regarded the Jews as a diasporic nation aspiring to gain political statehood. He championed Jewish messianism as a concrete step towards the Jews’ sovereignty. This, in turn, provided Moses Hess with a repertoire he had lacked until this point: namely, an acquaintance with Jews who were committed to renewing the sovereign Jewish life as of old.</p><p>The article shows how Armand Lévy – a person acting in a sociological ‘contact zone’, i.e. in a social space where cultures meet, clash, and grapple – was able to cross the boundaries of Frenchness, Polishness, Jewishness, cosmopolitanism and nationalism, transferring motifs between Jewish and non-Jewish émigrés in complex ways which provoked unexpected results.</p> Marcos Silber Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Poloniae Historica 2021-07-18 2021-07-18 123 95 116 10.12775/APH.2021.123.04 Black Mirror: A Comparative History of Polish and American Failures <p>Even though they occurred around the same time, the Polish January Uprising of 1863/64 and the American Civil War (1861–5) have seldom been considered in the same context by historians, while comparative historical studies of the events are scarce. The present article explores the historiography relating to both countries to, firstly, outline the most interesting attempts in existing Polish and US-American research to find shared aspects in the two events. Secondly, my study establishes and analyses phenomena and themes in these parallel histories that could prove most fruitful for comparative investigation. In conclusion, I assess the potential that comparative approaches could generate for the historiography of the American Civil War and the January Uprising.</p> Maciej Górny Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Poloniae Historica 2021-07-18 2021-07-18 123 117 141 10.12775/APH.2021.123.05 Waiting for a Polish Mussolini. The Concepts and Contexts of ‘Fascism’ in Early Polish Right-Wing Political Discourse (1922–6): An Exploratory Study <p>The article presents the emergence and rooting of the concept of ‘fascism’ in Polish right-wing discourses, especially in the widely understood local nationalist movement of the 20th century (National Democracy, <em>Endecja</em>). According to the author, the early 1920s, and above all the period of Mussolini’s gaining power in Italy, was a decisive time (<em>Sattelzeit </em>by R. Koselleck) for the reception and transfer of both fascist concepts and ideas as a transnational phenomenon. Still, it also significantly influenced the radicalisation of the native right-wing identity in interwar Poland. However, the author proves how vital the role of radical anti-Semitism was in forming indigenous right-wing discourses and their subsequent political practices.</p> Grzegorz Krzywiec Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Poloniae Historica 2021-07-18 2021-07-18 123 143 185 10.12775/APH.2021.123.06 Can Fascism Be Good for the Jews? The Response of the Yiddish Press in Poland to Italian Fascism (1922–39): A Research Reconnaissance <p>The article sets out to profile the results of preliminary research into the stances taken by two Warsaw Yiddish daily newspapers, <em>Haynt </em>and <em>Der Moment</em>, on the phenomenon of Italian fascism. These ranged from guarded and benevolent interest, and even a certain fascination, to categorical rejection, depending on the official stance of the fascist movement towards the Jews. The article discusses the initial <em>ad hoc </em>judgments on fascism made in the 1920s, opinions on Polish and Jewish emulators of Mussolini, with particular attention to Vladimir Jabotinsky and the Revisionist movement, and the opinions of Jewish political journalists on Mussolini’s volte-face regarding the Jews in the 1930s. A separate section is devoted to a series of 1938 reportage features showcasing the life of the Italian Jews in Fascist Italy.</p> Joanna Nalewajko-Kulikov Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Poloniae Historica 2021-07-18 2021-07-18 123 187 214 10.12775/APH.2021.123.07 Degrees in Revolution and for the Revolution’s Sake: The Educational Experience of Polish Communists before 1939 <p>This paper identifies the most significant patterns of educational experience among members of the interwar Polish communist movement. The first part of the article covers the experiences that communists shared with other representatives of the social strata from which they originated: the reproduction of the social structure or their overcoming of it in the form of social advancement. It also discusses the importance of educational barriers and opportunities as factors facilitating the emergence of attitudes of radical contestation of the socio-political order. The second part identifies educational experiences that were directly related to involvement in an illegal, subversive and repressed political current, and the diverse, sometimes paradoxical consequences of that involvement for representatives of different social strata. It traces the transformations of the communist habitus and proposes the concept of ‘clandestine white-collar workers’. The article concludes that there were two patterns in the pursuit of education among the communists: acquiring a degree in revolution or for the sake of the revolution.</p> Łukasz Bertram Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Poloniae Historica 2021-07-18 2021-07-18 123 215 237 10.12775/APH.2021.123.08 Henryk Dembiński: The Man Who Became a Communist after Death? <p>The case of Henryk Dembiński (1908–41) represents the left-wing involvement of Polish intellectuals in the interwar period. After 1945, the party historians left a communist mark on his image. Those in exile also accepted this thesis. In fact, party historians portrayed Dembiński’s life in a one-sided fashion and omitted events inconsistent with their narrative. In light an of relevant accounts and documents, this article shows that Dembiński was neither a member of the communist party nor its youth organisation even though, in 1935–6, he participated in some activities inspired by the Communist Party of Poland (KPP), and edited a periodical supported financially by the KPP. It is unclear whether this was conscious cooperation or a matter of manipulation by the party. In 1937, Dembiński joined the Polish Socialist Party (PPS) and was engaged in catholic activities centre, which the communists at the time perceived as a change of his political views. Nonetheless, after the war, party historians unequivocally stated that he was a communist.</p> Paweł Libera Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Poloniae Historica 2021-07-18 2021-07-18 123 239 260 10.12775/APH.2021.123.09 Polish Research on the History of the Comintern: An Overview of Existing Literature and an Outline of Future Perspectives <p>Although Polish research on the Communist International (Comintern) history began in the interwar period, the existing literature does not constitute a highly-developed field. This becomes particularly evident when Polish studies are compared to research produced in Russia, Germany, the United States, and Italy, or even India and Korea. This state of affairs is, to some degree, a result of political conditions that influenced, and continue to influence, access to archival sources. For this reason, interest in the Comintern after 1989 closely resembles the situation in research on the history of the Communist Party of Poland (KPP), which was, after all, one of the sections of the Third International. In both cases – in research on the Comintern and on the KPP – the focus was on shedding light on historical “blind spots” rather than on developing systematic studies of political organisations. Largely thanks to Professor Jerzy W. Borejsza, improvements have become evident over the past two decades in Polish research on the Comintern and related issues. Indeed, many important case studies have emerged, although what Polish research still lacks are wide-ranging monographs and analytical syntheses. This paper offers a review of Polish historiography’s most important contributions to research on the Comintern, covering the period from the interwar era to the present. It also attempts to outline potential future perspectives in the field, including a brief overview of important international works.</p> Eryk Krasucki Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Poloniae Historica 2021-07-18 2021-07-18 123 261 287 10.12775/APH.2021.123.10 The Soviet Narrative of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising <p>Soviet ideological overseers did not consider the Warsaw Ghetto uprising an utterly taboo topic. However, on their general scale of notable events of the Second World War, the uprising belonged to the category of relatively minor episodes, worth mentioning mainly in the context of ‘more important’ themes, such as the presence of former Nazis in state institutions of West Germany or the collaboration of some Jews, most notably Zionists, with the Nazis. At the same time, the Soviet Yiddish periodicals, first <em>Eynikayt </em>[Unity, 1942–8] and then <em>Sovetish Heymland </em>[Soviet Homeland, 1961–91] did not treat the uprising as an event of secondary importance. Instead, they emphasise the heroism of the ghetto fighters.</p> Gennady Estraikh Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Poloniae Historica 2021-07-18 2021-07-18 123 289 307 10.12775/APH.2021.123.11 Contributors Halina Manikowska Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Poloniae Historica 2021-07-18 2021-07-18 123 435 436 10.12775/34788 Reviews Halina Manikowska Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Poloniae Historica 2021-07-18 2021-07-18 123 329 378 10.12775/34786 Paul Eluard’s Address at the World Congress of Intellectuals in Defence of Peace, 1948 Grzegorz P. Bąbiak Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Poloniae Historica 2021-07-18 2021-07-18 123 309 320 10.12775/34784 Speech delivered by Paul Eluard (1948) Halina Manikowska Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Poloniae Historica 2021-07-18 2021-07-18 123 321 327 10.12775/34785