2006 | 16 | 63-84
Article title

Syndicalists in the camp of the 'May Revolution' (1926-1935)

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The text takes up the subject of obscure issues of Polish syndicalism of 1926-1935. Gathered around Jerzy Szurig and Kazimierz Zakrzewski syndicalists derived from socially radical 'zeta' movement, which had been connected with democratic irredenta since the end of 19th century. The impulse that caused this small environment become active was the May Revolution. Similar to all advocates of Józef Pilsudski syndicalists welcomed the come back of Marshal to power with huge hope, however, their understanding of the situation differed greatly from substantial majority of the then presented opinions. Triumph of the 'May Revolution' was for Szurig, Zakrzewski and their political friends apparent proof of bankruptcy of a liberal-democratic model, final termination of degenerate 'party state' and readable signal saying that capitalism in Poland lived through its last days. At the same time syndicalists argued that logical consequence of May 1926 events should have been the realization of a no-class vision based on labour unions and super powerful Poland of Labour. In 1926-1935 syndicalistic environment situating itself on the left-wing side of 'Sanacja' took up numerous propaganda and organizational actions aiming at pushing through postulated concepts. The effects of these efforts appeared miserable. With time syndicalists evaluated processes taking place in the 'May camp' more and more negatively, at the same time, however, avoiding questioning Pilsudski's actions as such. Syndicalistic activists perceived in a person of former Commander of Legions and State Governor a factor still capable of pushing the ruling camp into the right direction by his prestige and respect. Syndicalists seemed not to realize the fact that the project of a society of free manufacturers, where labour unions would be the basis of the state system, had never been even considered by Pilsudski. After Marshal's death in May 1935, joining opposition by Szurig and Zakrzewski group was just a question of time.
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  • G. Zackiewicz, Uniwersytet w Bialymstoku, Instytut Historii, pl. Uniwersytecki 1, 15-420 Bialystok, Poland
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