13 December 2016

Primed for Violence Murder, Antisemitism, and Democratic Politics in Interwar Poland by Paul Brykczynski

Category: New publications, Editorial notes, XXw, Editorial note, News, Political history

The assassination that changed a nation.

In 1922, the new Republic of Poland democratically elected its first president, Gabriel Narutowicz. Because his supporters included a Jewish political party, an opposing faction of antisemites demanded his resignation. Within hours, bloody riots erupted in Warsaw, and less than a week later the president was assassinated. In the wake of these events, the radical right asserted that only “ethnic Poles” should rule the country, while the left silently capitulated to this demand.

As Paul Brykczynski tells this gripping story, he explores the complex role of antisemitism, nationalism, and violence in Polish politics between the two World Wars. Though focusing on Poland, the book sheds light on the rise of the antisemitic right in Europe and beyond, and on the impact of violence on political culture and discourse.

Paul Brykczynski holds a PhD in modern European history from the University of Michigan. He lives in Ontario, Canada.


Publisher: Wisconsin University

Year of publication: 2016

ISBN: 978-0-299-30700-4

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