Federation Plans in Central-Eastern Europe and the Question of the Baltic States during the Second World War within the Context of Polish Policies
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While outlining plans for the construction of a Polish-Czechoslovak federation or confederation, envisaged as the beginning of a Central European union encompassing also three other countries: Hungary and Rumania in the south, and Lithuania in the north, the author focused his attention on the question of Lithuania, whose participation in the future union remained one of the interests of the Polish state. The article also deals with the remaining Baltic states within the context of strivings towards a Central European union. From the very outset, i.e. 1939, projects for a Polish-Czechoslovak and Central European union encountered growing obstacles, mainly due to the protest expressed by the Soviet Union as well as the dishonest game played by the President of Czechoslovakia, Edward Benes. Ultimately, Moscow torpedoed all efforts. Within this context, the problem of Polish attempts to ensure Lithuanian access to the future union became particularly delicate after Lithuania was incorporated into the Soviet Union (1940); another sensitive issue concerned relations with the remaining Baltic states. The author examined pertinent Polish and Czechoslovak policies. The fundamental difference between them consisted of the fact that the Czechoslovak side regarded eventual Lithuanian presence in the union as part of the Polish policy; secondly - the Czechoslovak side was ready to acknowledge Soviet claims to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, an approach totally opposed by Poland.
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