Powojenne paniki wojenne: Polska 1945–1980
Post-war War Panics: Poland 1945–1980
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The author defines “war panic” and analyzes specific manifestations of the phenomenon: the war panics that Poland experienced repeatedly after the Second World War. The author demonstrates that for Polish society the Second World War was the most traumatic event of the twentieth century, and that it left behind not only the human losses and a sea of ruins, but enormous deposits of fear. These ap- peared above all in flight behavior, the hoarding of shop goods, and the withdrawal of money from banks in order, for instance, to buy jewelry – every time the pattern was the same. The first war panic occurred already in 1945. Until the end of the 1960s, Poles were convinced that a third world war was just around the corner. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan also induced a panic. Poles were afraid of war, but war was also used to threaten them. During the Stalinist period, the threat was of American imperialism, and in the 1970s, of German “militarists” and “revanchists.” The Second World War did not entirely end in 1945. The author claims that we can speak of its long-term, post-war continuation.
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