VI. The World Wars and the Interwar Period, 1914–1945 > C. Europe, 1919–1945 > 18. Poland
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  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
 
(See 1914)
 
18. Poland
 
During World War I Poland was a pawn in the conflict between Russia and the Central powers. The Russian government made appealing promises in order to hold the loyalty of the Poles.  1
 
1914, Aug. 14
 
Russia promised that Poland should be restored as an autonomous kingdom. This policy secured the support of an important faction of Polish nationalists, led by Roman Dmowski, who, on Nov. 25, formed the Polish National Committee at Warsaw.  2
 
Aug. 16
 
On the other hand, Gen. Joseph Pilsudski (a Russian Pole by birth and several times convicted and imprisoned in Russia for radical, revolutionary activity) founded the Supreme National Committee at Kraków, under Austrian protection. The Austrian government permitted the formation of Polish legions to fight against Russia. In the course of 1915 most of Poland was conquered by the Germans and Austrians, who for a time divided the administration of the territory between them. Ultimately, however, the German high command took almost complete control of the country.  3
 
 
 
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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