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Title Political Murder and the Victory of Ethnic Nationalism in Interwar Poland.
Publication Date
Date Accessioned
Degree PhD
Discipline/Department History
Degree Level doctoral
University/Publisher University of Michigan
Abstract This dissertation examines the impact of the 1922 election and murder of Gabriel Narutowicz, the first president of Poland, on the discursive field of Polish nationalism. Narutowicz was seen as an illegitimate president by the nationalist right, and murdered by a nationalist sympathizer because of the support offered to him by Jewish, Ukrainian, and German deputies during the election. Using a blend of cultural, intellectual, and microhistorical approaches, the dissertation demonstrates that the most important shifts in the discursive field of Polish nationalism in the early 20th century occurred in response to specific, contingent, political events. The election and murder of Narutowicz constituted the most important in a series of these events. By examining the pre- and post- assassination discourse of both left- and right-wing Polish thinkers and politicians, the dissertation shows that the murder, and the street violence associated with it, propelled the left to abandon its “civic” vision of the imagined community of the nation. At the same time, despite suffering a temporary setback, the nationalist right quickly reaffirmed its commitment to anti-Semitism and further radicalized its “ethnic” nationalism. Therefore, the murder of Narutowicz played an instrumental role in the transformation of the discursive structures of Polish nationalism between 1918 and 1939, and can help explain the ultimate victory of an ethnic and anti-Semitic nationalism in interwar Poland.
Subjects/Keywords Ethnic Conflict; Nationalism; Anti-Semitism; Violence; Contingent Events; Poland; History (General); Humanities
Contributors Porter-Szucs, Brian A. (committee member); Zubrzycki, Genevieve (committee member); Suny, Ronald G. (committee member); Blobaum, Robert E. (committee member)
Language en
Rights Unrestricted
Country of Publication us
Record ID handle:2027.42/97869
Repository umich
Date Retrieved
Date Indexed 2019-03-07
Grantor University of Michigan, Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies
Issued Date 2013-01-01 00:00:00
Note [thesisdegreename] PHD; [thesisdegreediscipline] History; [thesisdegreegrantor] University of Michigan, Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies; [bitstreamurl] http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/97869/1/paulbryk_1.pdf;

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…Finally, this work would not have been possible without the generous support of the University of Michigan and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, which generously provided the funding for my research and graduate studies…