Mniejszości narodowe w garnizonach Toruń i Grudziądz w okresie międzywojennym
Nationale Minderheiten in den Garnisonen zu Thorn und Graudenz in der Zwischenkriegszeit
National minorities in Toruń and Grudziądz garrisons in the interwar period
Languages of publication
In the interwar period the garrisons in Toruń and Grudziądz were among the largest in the state. Both cities were subordinate to the Corps District Command VIII, where not only basic combat units but also numerous headquarters, services, security and economic subunits were stationing. Twice every year numerous groups of newly drafted conscripts, obliged to take compulsory military service, arrived in the cities. In multinational Second Polish Republic the national minorities accounted for 30% of the total population. Such a situation must have been reflected in the army. Every young man of appropriate physical abilities was subject to military duty regardless of his nationality. Such a situation could be problematic for the Polish authorities, because most of the representatives of national minorities were either indifferent or hostile to the Polish statehood. The loyalty of some of the conscripts could have been doubtful. In order to minimize the unfavorable consequences, already in the 1920s the exterritorial army replenishment system was introduced, which was further supplemented with the distribution system. Thus, the number of representatives of national minorities in individual units was strictly controlled. As a result of this solution, numerous conscripts from eastern parts of the state, especially Belarussians, were sent to the units in Toruń and Grudziądz. It is worth noting that the stay in the West, the territory in many ways better developed, often resulted in a civilization shock in the case of these young men. Furthermore, the large number of Belarussian soldiers, mainly Orthodox, entailed the need of organizing a suitable pastoral care for them. There already exist studies dedicated to the national minorities in the Polish army in the interwar period in the Polish literature. Also the issues of national minorities in Toruń and Grudziądz garrisons have already been taken. This article organizes and enriches the current state of research on this subject.
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