Abstract: Piotr Szlanta „Poles – Nation without Pacifists? Phenomenon of War and the Polish Public Opinion 1899–1914“
Poles, as a nation deprived of their statehood, perceived war as a useful means to regain full independence. New generations of Poles were educated in the traditions and myths of the national uprisings. A cult of national heroes, who fell on the different battlefields, as Napoleonic marshal Józef Poniatowski, during the long 19th century for the sake of independence, constituted one of the fundaments of the Polish culture. For the approaching war Polish youth could prepare in gymnastic Falcon organizations and paramilitary units, established in Austrian Poland (Galicia) after 1908.
The two, main parties, which dominated the Polish political arena in the pre-1914 period, namely the Socialist (PPS) and National Democrats (SND) accepted the violence as a means of solving political disputes. Voices of liberal intellectuals such as Jan Bloch, attempting to raise doubt regarding the benefit of a war which must be fought on Polish soil, were marginalized in a public opinion.
Colloque international “Les défenseurs de la paix 1899-1917. Approches actuelles, nouveaux regards”, 15-17 janvier 2014