Pre-WW2 Poland's Roman Dmowski, a figure often misunderstood

Roman Dmowski is a Polish personage who is often misunderstood. Here is my new list of self-reviewed books on and by Dmowski, including detailed reviews of some obscure Polish-language ones. — Mr. Jan Peczkis
Review of Polityka Polska I Odbudowanie Panstwa, 2nd Edition, by Roman Dmowski. 1937 (reprinted 1988). Pax, Warszawa
Reviewer: Mr. Jan Peczkis
Roman Dmowski on Jews and Freemasonry
POLISH POLITICS AND THE REBUILDING OF THE NATION is the title of this 2-volume Polish-language book. (Review based on 2nd, 1937 edition, reprinted in 1988). Owing to the breadth of its content, I focus mainly on what Dmowski is most remembered for–his evaluation of Jews.
Ironic to those who accuse Dmowski of being an anti-Semite, he actually condemned those who demonize Jews and ascribe fantastic powers to them–as much as he condemned those who made light of Jewish power and influence! He also thought it a mistake to overlook the contributions that Jews had made to human civilization. (V2, p. 44). Nor does Dmowski scapegoat Jews for Polish problems. He puts much blame on none other than Poles themselves. He faults Poles (specifically their weak middle class) for facilitating the rapid growth of Jewish population since the 17th century. (V2, p. 279). He chides Poles for still having a weak overall sense of political organization in 1914, after decades of improvement. (V1, p. 207). While in the USA, instead of dwelling on the pro-German and Jewish influence in the American media, he primarily faults Poles for not getting the word out. (V2, p. 90).
Although Dmowski does not use the term Litvak (Litwak), he describes how Jews, driven out of Russia, were artificially transplanted into Russian-ruled Poland. These Jews did not consider themselves Poles. They were ruled by Jewish nationalists who were hostile to Polish overtures. This led to the Polish boycott of Jews. (V2, p. 279).
Jews under tsarist Russian rule, having acquired positions of authority, had displayed enmity towards Poles well before the pivotal events of 1905, and the 1912 Jewish-led election of the pro-Russian Jagiello to the Duma had been among the political moves that had threatened the very viability of the emerging Polish national movement. (V1, p. 163). This prompted Dmowski to retaliate by launching his much-condemned boycotts of Jews. Long before Dmowski had taken any measures against Jews, however, they had been strongly attacking his Polish-independence movement, in the press, as being “reactionary.” (V1, p. 148).
The German-Jewish symbiosis was probably an even greater threat to Polish independence than the Russian-Jewish one. Jews had played an instrumental role in the growth of Bismarck’s Prussia. Much of its banking, industry, and commerce had been in Jewish hands. (V2, p. 50). Small wonder that Jewish vested interests were hostile to the resurrection of the Polish state. (V2, p. 52).
In the Austrian-ruled part of Poland, the conduct of the Jews towards Polish national aspirations was no better. (V1, p. 232). Jews had acquired such significance in the government and economy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire that they had assumed the role of “glue” holding the Empire together. (V2, p. 50).
Although Dmowski does not use the terms Judeocracy or Judeopolonia, he does mention the fact that some Jews had come to see foreign-ruled Polish territory as a second Land of Canaan–existing for the benefit of Jews, and not the native Polish inhabitants. (V2, p. 52). [Later, while in the USA, angry Jews beset Dmowski, demanding that the new Polish state grant “cultural autonomy” to its Jews. (V2, p. 84)].
Dmowski shows how Jewish separatism had become politicized in the form of Jewish nationalism and early forms of Zionism, which had tended towards the goal of acquiring Jewish territory (not necessarily in Palestine). This found encouragement in a 1902 proposal to carve the Austro-Hungarian Empire into a union of autonomous units, as well as the possibility of a German-ruled Jewish state in German-ruled Poland facilitated by the close similarity between Yiddish and German. (V2, pp. 46-47).
In time of war, Jews tended to give their loyalty to whomever they think was stronger or would emerge victorious. (V2, p. 17, 51). The influence of German Jews upon world Jewry was very strong, and Jews sided with Germany during the first half of the Great War. (V1, p. 189; V2, p. 49). Erstwhile Polish Jews in Prussian-ruled Poland had become so pro-German that local Poles did not want them in the Polish armed forces for this reason. (V2, p. 39; see also p. 36). The German press served as a conduit for [mostly bogus] Jewish reports of massive pogroms in Poland. This was a pro-German, anti-Polish provocation. (V2, pp. 115-116).
In 1917, the Jews, in large part, switched their loyalties, but never totally abandoned their Germanocentric orientation. (V2, p. 52). [Parenthetically, this change in loyalty led to “Jews stabbed Germany in the back” accusations by the later Nazis.]
Pro-German, anti-Polish Jewish influence in Britain had contributed to the impression that those who live in Poznania willed for it to remain part of Germany. (V1, p. 259). In fact, Lewis Namier (Bernstein) exemplified the influential anti-Polish Jew who caused great geopolitical harm to Poland. (V1, p. 264, 266). He also spread false information about what Dmowski had been doing. (V1, pp. 309-310). Lloyd George had been steered into an anti-Polish, pro-German direction by influential Jews. (V2, pp. 61-62, 139, 147). On the other hand, anti-German sentiment in the US had proved too strong for the same to happen to President Wilson.
In France, when in a discussion with Clemenceau and President Wilson, Dmowski said that Poland was situated in a part of Europe in which peace was the most threatened. Dmowski had to juggle languages because the Jewish translator, Mantoux, had twisted Dmowski’s statement into: “My nation represents the greatest threat to peace.” (V2, p. 128).
When in the USA, Dmowski talked for hours with Louis Marschall, a prominent American Jew. Marschall said that American Jews are unambiguously enemies of Poland–because of such things as the boycotts of Poland’s Jews. Dmowski replied that Poland’s Jews should strive to help Poland be independent, strong, and rich. (V2, p. 94).
Dmowski touches on the enmity of Freemasonry against everything Catholic–ever since it had been associated with the Hannover Dynasty and the Jacobins, and had become a tool of Frederick the Great. (V2, p. 141). For more on this, see the Peczkis review of: The War of Antichrist with the Church and Christian Civilization, Lectures.
Review of Wybor Pism Roman Dmowski. Edited by Roman Wapinski. 1990. Panstwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, Warszawa
Reviewer: Mr. Jan Peczkis
The Major Works of Roman Dmowski
A SELECTION OF THE WRITINGS OF ROMAN DMOWSKI is the title of this compilation of 29 Polish-language articles originally published between 1893 and 1934.
JEWISH SEPARATISM AND ITS CAUSES (1909) is reprinted in this anthology. (pp. 199-205). Owing to space limitations, my review of the definitely unabridged original is posted separately as a comment to this review.
THOUGHTS OF A MODERN-THINKING POLE (1902), here an essay (pp. 74-112), soon became a book. See the Peczkis review: Mysli Nowoczesnego Polaka (Polish Edition).
In MEMORIAL ON THE TERRITORY OF THE POLISH NATION (1917), Dmowski mentions the centuries of Polishness of Danzig (Gdansk), right up until the Second Partition. (p. 228). In QUESTIONS ON CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE (1917) Dmowski, mindful of the fact that German democrats had promoted the Great War no less than did the Kaiser and militarist Junkers, scoffed at the notion that a democratic Germany is necessarily a benign one. (p. 231). He also elaborated on the pre-WWI German-rule-Europe MITTELEUROPA Plan (p. 238). [Were he alive today, would Dmowski see the European Union as its fulfillment?]
In POLISH POLITICS AND THE REBUILDING OF THE NATION (1925), Dmowski focused on the reasons that Poland had succeeded in re-acquiring her independence after more than a century of failures. It was only partly due to favorable international developments. (p. 260). Also important was the acquisition of national consciousness, since about 1875, by the masses (p. 252); the abandonment of martyrdom and fatalism as options (p. 256); and the nature of the Polish national movement, embracing all social classes (p. 257), unambiguously led by fearless, selfless, realistic, and disciplined thinkers and leaders who did not seek cheap popularity. (p. 257). The “Germans are the main enemy” position was widely held by Poles, not just Dmowski. (p. 262).
In DECLARATION OF IDEAS (1926), Dmowski, though not a practicing Catholic, declares that Catholicism must be central in Polish life, and that youth must be raised in this spirit. (p. 29). The Pole must strive to uphold the good name of Poland. (p. 269).
In THE CHURCH, NATION, AND COUNTRY (1927) Dmowski re-affirms the fact that Poland is a Catholic nation–not only because the majority of Poles are Catholic, but also because Catholicism is dominant and must therefore inform secular Polish policies. Even non-Catholic Poles, some of whom recognizably were the best sons of the Polish nation, understood this fact. A Polish citizen is at liberty to practice any religion, but is not free to pursue a political course of action inconsistent with the character and practices of Polish Catholicism. (p. 287).
On another subject, Dmowski dislikes the word nationalism, because the “-ism” connotes a doctrine. It detracts from the worth and thinking of the national movement. (p. 282).
Dmowski’s detractors have misrepresented him as one who believed that a Jewish conspiracy ruled the world, and that he grew Nazi-like near the end of his life. The four final writings of this collection debunk these myths.
In THE JEWS AND IMPERIALISM (1932), Dmowski characterized Jews as ones who tend to support those who are powerful. He cited the services of Jews to empires and their rulers, from the days of Cyrus right up to the time of Bismarck. (p. 312). However, Dmowski did not see influential Jews as ones so powerful as to form a shadow government that controls a given nation, let alone the entire world. The actions of influential Jews followed developments; they did not cause them. For example, as Germany first chose to draw closer to England at the beginning of the 20th century, THEN German Jews and English Jews drew closer to each other. (p. 313). Influential Jews ATTEMPTED to impose policy decisions on empires. (p. 314).
In HITLERISM AS A NATIONAL MOVEMENT (1932), Dmowski characterizes Italian fascism and German Nazism as attempts to restore order to the political crisis of the times. He condemns Masonic liberalism for its promulgation of a variety of scoundrels and vices, often against the will of the recipient, while simultaneously condemning Nazism for its lack of spirituality. (p. 320). Dmowski notes the paradox of Nazism combatting Freemasonry, even though Freemasonry had strongly influenced Prussia’s OSTPOLITIK, notably the partitions of Poland. (p. 322).
The Hitlerites were attempting to remove Jewish influence as part of their nation-building strategy, even though the Jews had done so much to make Germany a world power, and had long served Prussia at the expense of the Poles, starting with the Partitions. (pp. 322-323). In unmentioned agreement with Ukrainian nationalists, Dmowski acknowledges that Poles, for their part, had used Jews as part of their policies relative to the Ukrainians. (p. 324).
In THE WORLD UPHEAVAL AND THE EVOLUTION OF POLISH POLITICS (1932), Dmowski suggests that Mussolini achieved his following in part by taking advantage of the privations of the Italians. (p. 325). He believes that, during the Great Depression, the ones getting wealthier, in many nations, tended to be Jews. (p. 326). He reminds the reader that the Freemasons played a key role in the French Revolution, and suggests that Freemasons help Jews achieve their goals. (p. 327). He describes Polish Jews as follows: “This dynamic people, alien to Polish-ness in every way, capable at an instant of going against Poland, pro-German in the last world war and pro-Soviet in the 1920 War…” (p. 328).
Dmowski sees fascism as something that will sweep Europe and do away with the anarchic character of parliamentary democracy. (p. 328). However, the Polish national movement must develop in its own way, solve Poland’s Jewish problem (he did not say how), and be soundly based on Polish-ness. (pp. 323-324).
In THE MILITARIZATION OF POLITICS (1934), Dmowski frowns on the growing emphasis on the military in Germany and Italy. This is stifling political creativity (p. 337). Fascism and Nazism are emphasizing the destruction of the objectionable, but not the creation of good. (pp. 338-339). Worse yet, fascism and Nazism are preventing the rule of law. Evidently referring to the assassination of Ernst Roehm, Dmowski realizes that “Whatever Hitler says is law” has taken over (p. 341), and concludes that one would have to be an enemy of civilization to emulate this movement. (p. 342).
Review of Swiat Powojenny i Polska, 2nd Edition, by Roman Dmowski. 1931. Warszawa.
Reviewer: Mr. Jan Peczkis
Roman Dmowski on the Polish Situation About 1930. Insights into Jewish Poverty
THE POSTWAR WORLD AND POLAND is the title of this Polish-language book. [Review based on original 1931 2nd Edition]. This work covers the role of Russians, Germans, Jews, and Poles themselves. It provides an interwar vantage point towards the end of Dmowski’s life.
Before and during WWI, the Germans hoped for a great, European-wide German empire that they called MITTELEUROPA. (p. 164). After being defeated, Germany never gave up her ambitions for the reacquisition of Polish lands–lands which Germany professed to need. Writing in 1930–long before Hitler came to power–Dmowski noted the aggressiveness of German demands, and German demonstrations at the Polish-German frontier. (p. 64). German nationalism was always animated by arrogance and greed. (p. 66).
Far from being chauvinistic, Dmowski gave credit wherever it was due. He praised the Protestants for such things as their work ethic, discipline, sense of human responsibility and morality, etc. (p. 293). He also credited Protestants with having achieved many more scientific discoveries than Catholics. (p. 294). Dmowski was repulsed by the development of liberal Protestantism, which devalued discipline and which led to clergy that did not believe basic Christian truths. To him, this was worse than police who themselves commit crimes. (p. 295).
Dmowski provides interesting details on Austrian-ruled Poland. Much has been said about how the Ukrainian intelligentsia had been a relatively recent development. However, the same was true of the Polish intelligentsia in eastern Galicia. It was not until about 1867 that the Austrian authorities needed Polish teachers, judges, administrators, etc. (pp. 102-105). Dmowski characterized the rapidity of the increase, in numbers of educated Poles after 1867, as unprecedented in comparison with other nations. (p. 104).
In elaborating on the Ukrainians, Dmowski recounted how the German influences (including the HAKATA) and Austrian influences (notably Stadion) had steered Ukrainians in an anti-Polish Ukrainophile direction. (p. 238). On the other hand, Russian influences on Poland’s Ukrainians tended to make them into Russophiles (Old Ruthenians). However, it is false to attribute to the Endeks the premise that foreigners “invented” the Ukrainian nationality. In fact, the relatively small group of Polonophile Ukrainians recognized themselves as a separate nationality: GENTE RUTHENUS, NATIONE POLONUS. (p. 238).
Dmowski describes the pre-WWI Polish boycotts of Jews as follows: “The Polish nation, which in the prewar years, having become unmistakably aware of the enmity of the Jews towards Polish national aspirations, and, sensing the danger of the growing Jewish population of her towns, began energetically to develop her own commerce and to support this effort by boycotting Jewish commerce…” (p. 319).
After the resurrection of the Polish state, Jews voiced constant complaints, most of which were unjustified (p. 322), save for the one about poor Jews getting poorer. However, this was not the fault of Poles (or Jews, for that matter). (p. 323). It occurred as an outcome of the tsarist-created Pale of Jewish settlement. (p. 325). Massive overcrowding of Jews into Polish towns impoverished them. It facilitated the proliferation of all sorts of unproductive make-work peddling among Jews. (p. 323).
In addition, for some time, Jewish middleman positions were becoming superfluous. Jews therefore switched to handcraft occupations–putting them in direct conflict with Poles who were leaving their farms to perform the same occupations. (pp. 329-330). Still, overall, quite a few Polish Jews were well off, even at the expense of Poles. (p. 323).
The author touched on Jewish political developments. As for the Zydokomuna (Bolshevized Judaism), Dmowski pointed out that both the spirit and the leadership of the Russian Revolution had been predominantly Jewish. (p. 319). As for Zionism, Dmowski, interestingly, foresaw the fact that a Jewish state in Palestine would be the object of massive and sustained Arab enmity. (p. 320).
In the decades up to WWI, Poland’s Jews, obeying the Talmud on procreation, enjoyed a higher population growth rate than the Poles. After WWI, adherence to the Talmud declined, and the relative population growth rates reversed. (pp. 330-331). As Jews “opened up” to European influences, Zionism increasingly replaced Talmudic orthodoxy. (p. 330).
Review of Duch Europy, by Roman Dmowski (1938 original; 1997). Utilis Publisher, 45p.
Reviewer: Mr. Jan Peczkis
Dmowski Comments on Nazi-Style Racism–In No Sense Embracing It
THE SOUL OF EUROPE is the title of this 45-page book. It was originally published, to a small audience, by Dmowski in 1938. This was less than one year before his death. It is one of his last, if not his last, work. However, this book was not widely published until well after WWII.
The author ponders the theory that Europeans are Aryans in the sense that they are descended from a people in India. (p. 19). He considers this a question, not a fact. Dmowski then mentions how “scientific” racism had become popular in the 19th century. It promoted the view that one people is superior to another. Dmowski mentions the views of Gobineau and, obviously alluding to the Nazis, notes how the Germans had come to believe that they are the closest to the original Aryans, and that they had a right to rule over others because of it. (p. 22). At no time does Dmowski endorse these views. (Ironically, were Dmowski to do so, he would have to reverse his lifelong premise—that Germany was Poland’s main enemy–and would have to repudiate his lifelong work by concurring that Germans have an innate right to rule over Poles!) At no time does Dmowski use the word Aryan in any sort of Nazi-style Aryan-Jew dialectic.
Dmowski reflects upon classical antiquity. He praises the achievements of the Ancient Greeks. He also admires the strength of Ancient Roman Civilization, but realizes that the origins of this civilization are obscure. Finally, Dmowski contends that the emergence of Christianity saved humanity from barbarism. (p. 43).

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