Death and birth of the (new) Polish intelligentsia - Instytut Pileckiego



08.11.2021 (Mon) 00:00

Death and birth of the (new) Polish intelligentsia

The resettlement of the elites, the extermination of officers, and the rise of the "new" intelligentsia under Soviet auspices; these are some of the issues that will be discussed during the conference "Death and birth of the (new) Polish intelligentsia".

The German policy of the extermination of the Polish nation involved the execution of Poles who held high public or local government office in the Second Polish Republic. As soon as regular military operations ceased in September 1939, the Third Reich began implementing its criminal plans against the Polish community. With the beginning of the occupation, arrests of mayors, aldermen, and people connected with the Polish government and socio-patriotic organizations commenced. The majority of those arrested were brutally murdered or sent to concentration camps.

Polish communities within the territory of the Soviet Union experienced the criminal policy of the totalitarian Stalinist state even before the outbreak of the Second World War. Deportations, resettlement, repressions, and Soviet crimes after 17 September 1939 irrevocably destroyed the pillars of Polish statehood and culture in the Eastern Borderlands, paving the way for their Sovietization.

What then? Near the end of the war, Polish and Jewish citizens of the former Second Polish Republic "discussed" the need for a new intelligentsia in the pages of the placard newspapers published by the Union of Polish Patriots. They "discussed" in the most remote corners of the Soviet Union in preparation for a new Communist Poland. If there was a "new" intelligentsia, then what had become of the "old" one? Although ruthlessly and systematically exterminated by the Germans, it survived. The question now was just how ready they were to face the challenge of another occupation, this time by the Soviets. The Soviets, in turn, having destroyed the pillars of Polish statehood in the Borderlands, began to create a "new" intelligentsia that would be loyal to them. How did this process unfold? When did it begin? What did it consist of?

We will try to answer these and many other questions during the international academic conference "Death and birth of the (new) Polish intelligentsia", organized by The Pilecki Institute's Center for Totalitarian Studies.

The event, which will be held online on Zoom, will be attended by over 40 scholars from various academic and research centers from Poland and abroad. Simultaneous translation into Polish, Russian, and English will be provided.

Day 1

Day 2


Find more information on the conference schedule below.

See also