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2006 | 4 | 129-146

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Stockholm political talks between activists in the country and liberal democrats in exile in Russia


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A revolutionary coup that took place in Russia in 1917 created an opportunity for the Poles residing in this country to activate themselves and to take independent political and military actions. The Russian pro-independence centre could potentially gain a dominant position and surpass the other two communities that were active in the country and Western Europe. The condition that had to be fulfilled to gain such a leading position was to build a lasting unity between Polish political fractions functioning in exile in Russia. All initiatives towards this cause, however, ended in fiascos. In such a situation, both dominating Polish political fractions in Russia, i.e. liberal democrats and national democrats, together with weaker fractions supporting them, decided to seek support for their actions with activists in the country and pro-coalition circles based in Western Europe, respectively. The consequence of such a situation was the need to coordinate the activities of both communities with the directions set by leading centres. This was easier for national democrats, since there were accessible communication channels between Coalition members, that Poles in the eastern and western parts of the continent could potentially use. For liberal democrats, contacting the activists was not possible, as they were separated from the country by a tight border of the eastern front. Because of this, an idea was born to organise political talks on the neutral ground, with the aim of synchronising the activities of all Polish fractions in favour of the programme contained in the 'November 5th Act'. The first meeting was held between 5 and 10 May, and the second one at the turn of August and September 1917. Both were held in Stockholm. Arrangements made in the capital of Sweden during both conferences shaped the directions of common actions of activists in the country and their liberal democratic supporters from Russia. It was not until the Bolshevik coup, that fundamental changes had to be made to political tactics of both fractions of this camp. These new geopolitical and strategic circumstances made the coordination of common action much easier, as the chaos in Eastern Europe enabled more frequent contacts of political leaders from the country and from the émigré community in Russia. Liberal democratic leaders visited Warsaw, while emissaries of the Regency Council and parties from its powerbase travelled in the opposite direction.







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  • A. Miodowski, Uniwersytet w Bialymstoku, Instytut Historii, pl. Uniwersytecki 1, 15-420 Bialystok, Poland


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