Democratic Clubs and the Alliance of Democrats in Poland in the Pre-War-Period (1937–1939)

Ewa Fogelzang-Adler

The establishment of the Alliance of Democrats was preceded by the emergence of Democratic Clubs. They sprung up between the autumn of 1937 and the summer of 1939 in a number of centres, in particular larger Polish cities. They brought together representatives of the contemporary intellectual elite, persons involved in academic and cultural activities, social and political life. Founders of Democratic Clubs declared that they would draw inspiration from the ideological heritage of progressive Polish and western traditions, independence-oriented desires of the Polish nation, democratic trends of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. […] The programme of Democratic Clubs and the Alliance of Democrats was largely affected by the diversity of their constituent environments: members of the former Polish Legions, Polish Military Organisation, the “workers” group of working intelligentsia, activists from the elder generation, as well as former members of the Polish Socialist Party, Communist Party of Poland, and others. The group deriving from the Piłsudskiites was, however, dominant. The postulates included rendering the system more democratic, introduction of the new election law, carrying out new parliamentary elections, independence of courts, equal rights of the citizens and providing work to citizens, introducing the principles of planning in economy, socialisation of basic segments of economy, agricultural reform, and extended competences of local governments and cooperatives. It was pointed out that the above postulates must be implemented in the legal manner.

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