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    'We shall rebuild anew a powerful nation': UNRRA, internationalism and national reconstruction in Poland

    Reinisch, Jessica (2008) 'We shall rebuild anew a powerful nation': UNRRA, internationalism and national reconstruction in Poland. Journal of Contemporary History 43 (3), pp. 451-476. ISSN 0022-0094.

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    Abstract

    This article evaluates UNRRA as one of the first international agencies established during the war to manage the transition from war to peace and to provide liberated countries with essential relief. It argues that this organization was a forum for debates on questions not only of internationalism, but also of the future of the nation-state, national reconstruction, national sovereignty, patriotism and citizens' relationships to their states. Moreover, the article explores this chapter of international history at the national level, by asking how the problem of Polish reconstruction after 1945 was framed, discussed and understood by UNRRA's diplomats and relief workers in Poland and in the DP camps. Problems of Polish sovereignty and reconstruction were interpreted differently in different sections of UNRRA, as a pragmatic interpretation of civic usefulness and patriotic responsibilities coexisted with an ethnological understanding of Polish cultural traditions, shared land and ancestry. But even as these different interpretations came into conflict, both models continued to be grounded in a world view which saw nation-states as unavoidable constituents of the international order, and international organizations as having to bind nations together without abolishing them.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Displaced persons (DPs), Poland, postwar, reconstruction, repatriation, UNRRA
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > History, Classics and Archaeology
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2010 09:53
    Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:19
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/2793

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