The specific situation in the Prussian partition area on the eve of the WW I differed considerably from the one prevailing in the Russian and Austrian partitions. The territories in question were inhabited by a Polish and German population, with the Poles constituting about 46% of all residents. Prussia treated the appropriated lands as a guarantee of its position as a power, and thus aimed at their complete integration with the monarchy. This purpose was supposed to be attained by a Germanisation campaign and colonisation. The Polish community effectively opposed this policy by creating a system of various organisations, from economic to cultural. After the outbreak of the war the authorities, fearing an an-mobilisation campaign , interned a large group of Polish activists. The mobilisation, however, was undisturbed. The Poles adopted a realistic attitude, well aware of the fact that any form of resistance would end tragically. The political arena witnessed a complex game played by the authorities and Polish politicians. The Polish politicians who enjoyed authority, created an Inter-Party Circle, whose aim was to oppose all forms of cooperation with the Central Powers; great hopes for a change of circumstances that would prove more beneficial for Poland, were attached to attempts at establishing contacts with France and the United Kingdom.
L. Trzeciakowski, Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza, Instytut Historii, ul. Sw. Marcin 78, 61-809 Poznan, Poland.
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