Anna Maria Cienciała (1929–2014) jako historyk dyplomacji

Marek Kornat



The article discusses Anna Maria Cienciała (d. 2014), professor at the universities of Montreal and Kansas City, an outstanding Polish historian working in the USA, and without doubt one of the prominent historians of twentieth–century diplomacy. First and foremost, Professor Cienciała was the author of the fundamental monograph: Poland and the Western Powers 1938–1939 (1968), which she gave the subtitle: Study in the Interdependence of Eastern and Western Europe. She was also the editor of the reminiscences of Józef Beck about his mission in 1932–1939, and published several score valuable articles and studies about international politics in the first half of the twentieth century. For many years Professor Cienciała studied Polish inter–war foreign policy and indubitably created its highly convincing interpretation. In doing so she defended the validity of the balance policy and was of the opinion that the Polish–German agreement of 26 January 1934 served the interests of Poland. Furthermore, she maintained that the “collective security” mission was an illusion and supported the correctness of the decision made by Minister Józef Beck regarding the ultimatum addressed to Czechoslovakia on 30 September 1938. Rightly opposing the views of Western historians proclaiming the need for Polish–Soviet cooperation, Professor Cienciała declared that in 1939 there were no real chances for the inclusion of the Soviet Union into an anti–German coalition. She arrived at important findings while interpreting British policy as based on a thesis assuming the existence of special spheres of British interests on the Continent (the Mediterranean Sea basin and the frontier along the Rhine). Professor Cienciała perceived Polish policies in 1939 as devoid of a political alternative: the acceptance of German territorial demands resulted in the status of a vassal of the Great Reich and obtaining Soviet aid was impossible. Polish diplomacy was also incapable of gaining the immediate active assistance of the Western Powers in a defensive war against Germany.

Słowa kluczowe

historia dyplomacji; stosunki międzynarodowe; polska polityka zagraniczna; Józef Beck; Anna Cienciała; ład wersalski; Polska międzywojenna (1918–1939)

Pełny tekst:



Anna M. Cienciała, Tytus Komarnicki, From Versailles to Locarno. Keys to Polish Foreign Policy, 1919–1925, Kansas City 1984.

Anna M. Cienciała, Natalia Lebiediewa, Wojciech Materski, Katyń. A Crime without Punishement, New York 2007.

Anna M. Cienciała, Poland and the Western Powers 1938–1939. A Study in the Interdependence of Eastern and Western Europe, Toronto–London 1968.

Polska polityka zagraniczna w latach 1926–1939. Na podstawie szkiców min. Józefa Becka opracowała Anna M. Cienciała, Paryż 1990 [wznowienie w kraju: J. Beck, Wspomnienia o polskiej polityce zagranicznej 1926–1939, oprac. A. M. Cienciała, wstęp M. Kornat, Warszawa–Kraków 2015].


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