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Manage episode 282214603 series 1014507
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About the lecture: Most politically active Poles welcomed the outbreak of the Great War as a chance to regain independence for their nation. Polish politicians and their followers were deeply divided among themselves. There were several orientations among them vying for influence. "Russian" Poles were pro-Western and counted on the victory of the Entente and sovereignty at best, or autonomy at worst. "Austrian" Poles pursued an "Austro-Polish solution," hoping that Vienna would unite all Polish lands under the scepter of the Habsburgs. Yet, the Austro-Hungarians increasingly yielded to Prussian prerogatives. Berlin at most entertained an idea of a dwarf Polish puppet state in the central provinces of Poland. Notwithstanding, the Poles raised several armed forces by the sides of the Russian, Austrian, and, lastly, Prussian armies. Meanwhile, emigre Poles, in particular in the United States supported the pro-Entente orientation. They also fielded the largest Polish force in the field which fought first in France and then, from 1919, in Poland itself. As the empires collapsed, it was both the diplomatic effort of the Poles in the West and the valor of Polish arms at home that facilitated the resurrection and defense of the Commonwealth. Ultimately, although they enjoyed some material assistance from the United States, France, and Hungary, it was the valor of Polish arms alone that secured the reborn nation's freedom. About the speaker: Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz currently serves as a Professor of History at The Institute of World Politics, where he holds the Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies. He also leads IWP’s Center for Intermarium Studies. At IWP, Dr. Chodakiewicz teaches courses on Contemporary Politics and Diplomacy, Geography and Strategy, Mass Murder Prevention in Failed and Failing States, and Russian Politics and Foreign Policy. He was formerly an assistant professor of history of the Kosciuszko Chair in Polish Studies at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. He also served as a visiting professor of history at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.