Emigracja polska w Wielkie j Brytanii Bezpośrednio po II wojnie światowej: warunki polityczne i psychologiczne

Jan Ciechanowski


The author shows the great psychological shock and the tragedy experienced by Polish soldier emigrants in Great Britain. They were caused by the withdrawal of the recognition for the Polish Government in London after the end of World War II. This withdrawal meant a complete breakdown of the goals the emigrants self-sacrificingly fought for on all the battle-fields during all of world War II.

The paper contains a presentation of opinions on this issue expressed by Polish military and political leaders in Great Britain, the British Government and many emigrants. It also shows the illusions of those leaders about the temporary character of the emigration and the hope that they will soon return to their native country. For the British authorities the demobilization of the Polish Armed Force numbering 250 thousand men at the beginning of 1946, became a difficult problem. A decision to immediately dissolve it could easily lead to a rebellion against the English. The author presents the attempts undertaken by the English Government aiming at relieving the tension. The British wanted a possibly greatest number of the Polish troops to return to Poland or to settle down in other Western countries. However, only about 114 thousand Polish soldiers returned to Poland. In May 1946 the British Government established a paramilitary organization - Polish Resettlement Corps. Its aim was to make it possible for the Poles to prepare themselves for taking part in the public life in England or abroad.

Most of the Polish Armed Force joined the Polish Resettlement Corps, although it was not without hesitation. Despite various conflicts both sides, the British and the Polish, proved to be moderate and tolerant in solving the very difficult problem of dissolving the Polish Armed Force in Great Britain.

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Studia Polonijne · ISSN 0137-5210 | eISSN 2544-526X

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