Discovering Independence Day

M. B. B. Biskupski

in Independence Day

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199658817
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744235 | DOI:
Discovering Independence Day

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This chapter discusses the circumstances in which November 11th emerged as one, if not the sole claimant for the designation of Poland's Independence Day. This includes an analysis of the crowded hours of mid-November and Piłsudski's activities upon returning to Warsaw on November 10th. To accept the 11th you had perforce to accept its Piłsudskiite genealogy and reject the Dmowski and Paderewski alternative which explains Poland's resurrection as a project resulting from Western support and diplomatic machinations. Although Piłsudski himself later proposed different days as candidates, at the time he deemed the 11th as ‘the border stop between two eras’. One of the 11th's principal attractions was it presented Polish independence as a project worked by Polish hands exclusively — Polonia farà da sè, and not beholden to outside agencies. It also posited a Poland which was the fulfillment of the long-held myths and traditions discussed in the previous chapter. It was, as a result, a radically partisan claimant for the honor of marking Poland's rebirth because it perforce rejected not only other days but other means, agencies and actors who bulked large in the years before.

Keywords: World War I; armistice; Dmowski; Piłsudski; Warsaw; Lublin; Śmigły -rydz; Daszynski; pow; legions; Germany; Austria

Chapter.  6932 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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