ORCID: Sławomir Łukasiewicz: 0000-0002-2724-545X
Edition: Lublin 2012
Integration of the Western Europe was among the most important processes which took place in the political arena of the end of the 1940’s and the 1950’s. For the Polish émigrés, it was an experience as fascinating as it was frustrating. The fascination came from the fact that many Poles had been working, already during the WWII, on various international solutions which could be implemented after the war. However, the outcome of the WWII made it impossible to realize even a semblance of such solutions in the territory of East-Central Europe. Nonetheless, the politicians in exile agreed that they could at least continue the preparations for the integration of also this part of Europe and partake, to the best of their ability, in the changes which were taking place in Western Europe. Indeed, studying émigrés political life, we can talk about the coinciding of political programmes focusing on building a Central European federation (with the exception of National Party). Both the actions and programmes of nationalists as well as those of Christian democrats and socialists revealed many signs of such a focus. But the most interesting experiment of all seems to be the legacy of the Polish Freedom Movement “Independence and Democracy” (in Polish: Polski Ruch Wolnościowy “Niepodległość i Demokracja” – PRW “NiD”) – a movement created in 1945 as a sign of discontent with the existing parties and the political system of the Polish People’s Republic. As far as European integration is concerned, the legacy of the PRW “NiD” can be divided according to two criteria. The first criterion is the place where references to the European community appear. We find them mostly in the documents of the party, starting with the “Programme Principles” or the “Principles of the Central European Policy” drawn up in 1951 as a part of the works of Polish Federalists’ Association. Another area where these matters were clearly present was the work of renown leaders of the PRW “NiD”, i.e. Zbigniew Jordan, Piotr Wandycz and Aleksander Bergman. The party’s demands would also reach the programme documents of larger bodies, such as the Political Council and the Provisional Council of National Unity. The second criterion was the very ideas of the PRW “NiD”. More precisely, the deliberations about a new international order in Europe were divided into two parts: one referred to the entire Europe and the other only to the East-Central Europe. That is why it was vital for the polish émigrés to balance their activity between the Central European emigration circles and western societies. This article present an analysis of the activity of the PRW “NiD” in terms of European integration as well as the political thought focusing on these matters.