The dispute over the synthesis of the Millennium

Janusz Tazbir


The article discusses a polemic that in 1961 developed in the Polish emigrant press appearing in London; it concerned the book entitled Millennium. A Thousand Years of Polish History, issued in Poland in several languages. Most objections were aroused by the presentation of Polish-Russian relations over the ages (especially in the 20th century). Three authors of the synthesis were accused of downright servility and national renegation. Marian Kukiel, an émigré authority on the history of modern Poland, defended their case. Pointing out the specific conditions and the constant pressure of censorship under which Polish historiography had to develop, he appraised highly the achievements of those researchers. However, he failed to convince a majority of the readers of the Polish emigrant press, as is testified by their letters in which they expressed their indignation.


synthesis of the history of Poland; M. Kukiel; emigrant press

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