Educational policy of the Second Polish Republic towards national minorities, ethnic and religious groups inhabiting the Eastern Border Land of the Republic

Urszula Wróblewska

Abstract


The aim of the present article is to describe a policy of the Polish state towards national minorities and ethnic and religious groups inhabiting the Eastern Border Land of the Second Polish Republic. The educational policy towards national minorities and religious groups was determinated by national and foreign policy of the state taking into account the field of national security. There was no the only one policy towards all minorities, but the policy was diversified depending on a region and a cultural characteristic of a minority. According to the level of national consciousness, population, and national aspirations, the educational policy towards different minorities and ethnic groups was diversified too. The main danger was seen in Slavonic minorities (Belorussian, Ukrainian), which could be dangerous to the state integrity and could influence to weaken Polish eastern borders. The Jewish minority, which was an economic base of the Second Polish Republic, obtained much more autonomy in the field of education. The biggest opportunity of cultural and educational development there had small minorities, which had assimilated for a long time and did not have national aspirations (among them: Tatars, Karaims). The educational policy made by the state had the opposite effect to the plans, because every closure of schools and disturbing in educational activity by state authorities caused an aversion of minorities to the Polish state. On the other hand, the main aim of the state was to preserve national security and every decentralizing activities were noticed as dangers. Education system was a basic means of preservation of national home security and order in the country. Owing educational means let the authorities create consciousness of young generations and keep balance between their activities and national security.

Keywords


educational policy; Second Polish Republic; Polish Eastern Border Land; national minorities; ethnic minorities

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