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2014 | 15 | 145-169

Article title

Powstanie i działalność Stowarzyszenia Polskich Kombatantów w USA w świetle materiałów wywiadu cywilnego Polski Ludowej



Title variants

The Origins and Activities of the Polish Veterans of World War II Organization in the USA in the Light of Source Materials from the Civil Intelligence Service of the Polish People's Republic

Languages of publication



After World War II, Poland lost its independence to the communists regime suported by Joseph Stalin. Poland's legitimate president and government refused to acknowledge the unfavorable decisions of the Yalta Conference and foreign rule imposed on Poland, and they remained in exile in London after World War II. Most members of the Polish Armed Forces in the West never returned to the Soviet- controlled country. This posed a significant problem for Poland's war allies who were keen on maintaining peaceful relations with the Soviet Union. Polish soldiers in exile became the backbone of the second wave of Polish immigration. They campa- igned for Poland's rights to independence and founded many social and cultural organizations in the West, many of which operated on the principle of mutual aid. Their efforts were strongly criticised by the Communist authorities who accused the veterans of collaborating with foreign intelligence services. Former soldiers of the Polish Armed Forces in the West who remained loyal to the Polish President and government in exile and settled in the USA after the war founded the Polish Vete- rans of World War II organization in 1953. Many of them were former members of European mutual aid associations for soldiers. At the time, the Polish American Congress was the largest Polish organization in the USA. A fierce argument broke out with the management of the Polish Army Veterans Association of America (PAVA) before the establishment of the Polish Veterans of World War II. PAVA had been founded in 1921 in Cleveland (Ohio) by the former soldiers of General Joseph Hal- ler's Blue Army. Its members feared that the organization and its substantial assets would be taken over by the newcomers from Europe. The establishment of the Polish Veterans of World War II was monitored by the civil intelligence service of the Polish People's Republic with the support of diplomatic outposts of Soviet block countries. According to the Polish secret police, a combatant organization in the USA was an enemy to the post-war Polish state. Secret service agence led inquiries into members of the Polish Veterans of World War II as part of operation Ulik. Communist agents closely monitored the establishment of every veteran organization in the USA and its relations with the Polish community. Several years later, they concluded that the Polish Veterans of World War II did not pose a direct threat for Poland, the investi- gation was closed, and surveillance measures were directed only at individual activists. The article relies largely on archival materials of Polish organizations in the USA and the resources of the Institute of National Remembrance.






Physical description


  • Instytut Pamięci Narodowej, Delegatura w Olsztynie


Document Type

Publication order reference


YADDA identifier

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