Polish Underground State

Polish Underground State

Polish Underground State ( _pl. Polskie Państwo Podziemne, also known as Polish Secret StateRef_label|a|a|none) refers to all underground resistance organizations in Poland during World War II, both military and civilian, loyal to the Polish Government in Exile in London. The Underground State was a legal continuation of the pre-war Republic of Poland and its institutions, in armed struggle against the occupying powers (Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union). Polish historian Stanisław Salmonowicz defined it as a "collection of state-legal, organizational and citizenship structures, which were to ensure constitutional continuation of Polish statehood on its own territory. This constitutional continuity, real performance of state's functions on its past territory and loyalty of a great majority of the Polish society to it were the most significants elements of its existence."Stanisław Salmonowicz, "Polskie Państwo Podziemne", Wydawnictwa Szkolne i Pedagogiczne, Warszawa, 1994, ISBN 930205500X]

Polish government in exile

The government in exile, based in London, with President of Poland and Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Army was the top military and civilian authority, recognized by the authorities of the Underground state as their commanders.


The main role of the civilian branch of the underground state was in maintaining the continuity of the Polish state as a whole, including its institutions such as the police, the courts or education. It was to prepare cadres and institutions for recovering power after the German defeat in World War II.

The rationale behind the creation of the secret civilian authorities stemmed from the fact that the German and Soviet occupation of Poland was illegal. Hence all the institutions created by the occupying powers were regarded as illegal and parallel Polish underground institutions were set up following Polish law.

In August 1943 and March 1944 Polish Secret State announced their long-term plan, partially designed to counter attractiveness of some of communists' proposals. That plan promised a land reform, nationalisation of industrial base, demands for territorial compensation from Germany as well as re-establishment of pre-1939 eastern border. Thus the main difference between the Underground State and the communists, in terms of politics, amounted not to radical economic and social reforms, which were advocated by both sides, but to their attitudes towards national sovereignty, borders and Polish-Soviet relations.en icon cite book | author =Jerzy Lukowski | coauthors =Hubert Zawadzki | title =A Concise History of Poland | year =2001 | editor = | pages = | chapter = | chapterurl = | publisher =Cambridge University Press | location =Cambridge | id =ISBN 0521559170| url =http://books.google.com/books?ie=UTF-8&vid=ISBN0521559170&id=NpMxTvBuWHYC&d | format = | accessdate = ]


The military part, consisting mostly of various branches of the Armia Krajowa (AK, Home Army) - until 1942 Związek Walki Zbrojnej (ZWZ, Union of Active Struggle), was to prepare the Polish society for a future fight for the liberation of the country. Apart from armed resistance, sabotage, intelligence, training and propaganda, the military arm of the Polish secret state was responsible for maintaining communications with the London-based government in exile, as well as for protecting the civilian arm of the state.


: a Note_label|a|a|none The more widely used term "Polish Underground State" was first used on 13 January 1944 by the official underground publication of the Polish underground authorities, the Biuletyn Informacyjny. [Barbara Wachowicz "Kamyk na szańcu – opowieść o druhu Aleksandrze Kamińskim" Wydawnictwo Rytm; ISBN 83-88794-68-X p. 222] "Polish Secret State" was a term coined by scholar Jan Karski in his book "Story of a Secret State" (Polish: "Tajne państwo"), written and first published in the second half of the 1944 in United States.

External references

* [http://www.polishresistance-ak.org/2%20Article.htm The Polish Underground State and the Home Army]
* [http://www.warsawuprising.com/state.htm Warsaw Uprising and The Polish Underground State]
* [http://www.republika.pl/unpack/1/dok01a.html The Polish government and the Polish Underground State]
* [http://www.citinet.net/ak/pages/polska_42.html Polish Secret State during WWII]
* [http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/pl_ug.html Polish Underground State 1939-45]

Further reading

* Stefan Korboński, "Fighting Warsaw: the Story of the Polish Underground State (1939-1945)", London, 1956
* Józef Garliński, "The Polish Underground State 1939-1945", "Journal of Contemporary History", Vol. 10, No. 2, 1975, [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0022-0094(197504)10%3A2%3C219%3ATPUS(%3E2.0.CO%3B2-J JSTOR]

ee also

* History of Poland (1939-1945)
* Leśni
* Polish contribution to World War II
* World War II atrocities in Poland
* Trial of the Sixteen

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