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National Democracy

This article is about a Polish political movement. For the Italian party, see National Democracy (Italy). For the Spanish party, see National Democracy (Spain). For the Swedish party, see National Democrats (Sweden). For the major wing in Ukraine's parliament, see Political parties in Ukraine#Major parties and political camps For the Philippines, see National Democracy Movement (Philippines).
National Democracy
Leader Roman Dmowski
Founded 1886
Dissolved 1947
Headquarters Warsaw, Poland
Ideology Polish nationalism
National conservatism[1]
Political position Right-wing[5][6]
Politics of Poland
Political parties
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

National Democracy (Polish: Narodowa Demokracja, also known from its abbreviation ND as "Endecja") was a Polish political movement active from the second half of the 19th century under the foreign partitions of the country until the end of the Second Polish Republic.[7] It ceased to exist after the Nazi-Soviet invasion of Poland of 1939. In its long history, National Democracy went through several stages of development.[7] Created with the intention of promoting the fight for Poland's sovereignty against the repressive imperial regimes, the movement acquired its right-wing nationalist character following the return to independence.[7] A founder and principal ideologue was Roman Dmowski. Other ideological fathers of the movement included Zygmunt Balicki and Jan Ludwik Popławski.[8]

The National Democracy's main stronghold was Greater Poland (western Poland), where much of the movement's early impetus derived from efforts to counter Imperial Germany's policy of Germanizing its Polish territorial holdings. Later, the ND's focus would shift to countering what it saw as Polish-Jewish economic competition with Catholic Poles. Party support was made up of the ethnically Polish intelligentsia, the urban lower middle class, some elements of the greater middle class, and its extensive youth movement.

During the interbellum Second Republic, the ND was a strong proponent for the Polonization of the country's German minority and of other non-Polish (chiefly Ukrainian and Belarusian) populations in Poland's eastern border regions (the Kresy). With the end of World War II and the occupation of the country by the Soviet Union and its communist puppet regime, the National Democracy movement effectively ceased to exist.


  • Origins 1
  • Second Republic 2
  • World War II 3
    • Righteous among the Nations 3.1
  • After the war 4
  • Today's Poland 5
  • Notables 6
  • See also 7
  • Notes 8
  • References 9
  • Further reading 10


The origins of the ND can be traced to the 1864 failure of the January 1863 Uprising and to the era of Positivism in Poland. After that Uprising – the last in a series of 19th-century Polish uprisings – had been bloodily crushed by Poland's partitioners, a new generation of Polish patriots and politicians concluded that Poland's independence would not be won through force on the battlefield, but through education and culture.

In 1886 the secret Polish League (Liga Polska) was founded, in 1893 renamed National League (Liga Narodowa). From 1895 the League published a newspaper, Przegląd Wszechpolski (The All-Polish Review), and from 1897 it had an official political party, the National-Democratic Party (Stronnictwo Narodowo-Demokratyczne). Unlike the Polish Socialist Party (PPS), the ND advocated peaceful negotiations, not armed resistance. Influenced by Roman Dmowski's radical nationalist and social-Darwinist ideas, National Democrats soon turned against other nationalities within the Polish lands, most notably the Jews; anti-Semitism became an element of ND ideology.[9]

During World War I, while the PPS under Józef Piłsudski supported the Central Powers against Russia (through the Polish Legions), the ND first allied itself with the Russian Empire (supporting the creation of the Puławy Legion) and later with the Western Powers (supporting the Polish Blue Army in France). At war's end, many ND politicians enjoyed more influence abroad than in Poland. This allowed them to use their leverage to share power with Piłsudski, who had much more support in the military and in the country proper than they did. And because of their support abroad ND politicians such as Dmowski and Ignacy Paderewski were able to gain backing for of their demands at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and in the Treaty of Versailles.

Second Republic

In the newly independent

  • Maj, Ewa (2000). Związek Ludowo-Narodowy 1919-1928: Studium z dziejów myśli politycznej. Lublin: Wydawnictwo  
  • Porter, Brian A. (Winter 1992). "Who is a Pole and Where is Poland? Territory and Nation in the Rhetoric of Polish National Democracy before 1905".  
  • Terej, Jerzy Janusz (1979). Rzeczywistość i polityka: Ze studiów nad dziejami najnowszymi Narodowej Demokracji (2nd ed.). Warszawa: Książka i Wiedza.  
  • Wapiński, Roman (1989). Roman Dmowski (2nd ed.). Lublin: Wydawnictwo Lubelskie.  
  • Wapiński, Roman (1991). Pokolenia Drugiej Rzeczypospolitej. Wrocław: Zakład Narodowy Imienia Ossolińskich.  
  • Wizerunek endeka ratującego Żydów był komunistom nie na rękę

Further reading



  1. ^ Michlic, Joanna Beata (2006). "Poland's Threatening Other: The Image of the Jew from 1880 to the Present". University of Nebraska Press. p. 60 
  2. ^ Beyrau, Dietrich (1993). "Anti-Semitism and Jews in Poland, 1918-1939". Hostages of Modernization: Studies on Modern Antisemitism 1870-1933/39 - Austria, Hungary, Poland, Russia (de Gruyter): 1087 
  3. ^ Naimark, Norman M. (2010). The Killing Fields of the "East": Three Hundred Years of Mass Killing in the Borderlands of Russia and Poland. Nation, Nationalitäten und Nationalismus im östlichen Europa (University of Vienna, Lit Verlag). p. 185. 
  4. ^ Michlic, Joanna Beata (2006). "Poland's Threatening Other: The Image of the Jew from 1880 to the Present". University of Nebraska Press. pp. 1, 76 
  5. ^ Stachura, Peter D. (2004). "Poland, 1918-1945: An Interpretive and Documentary History of the Second Republic". Routledge. p. viii 
  6. ^ Chodakiewicz, Marek Jan (2004). "Between Nazis and Soviets: Occupation Politics in Poland, 1939-1947". Lexington Books. p. 41 
  7. ^ a b c Michał Szukała interview with Aleksander Hall (2014-08-05). "Dziedzictwo Narodowej Demokracji. W 150. rocznicę urodzin Romana Dmowskiego – rozmowa z Aleksandrem Hallem" (in Polish). 2013 © Muzeum Historii Polski (Museum of Poland's History). Retrieved 15 August 2014. Podzielam pogląd Wiesława Chrzanowskiego, który był moim zdaniem najwybitniejszym kontynuatorem endecji, który uważał, że Narodowa Demokracja należy do przeszłości, ponieważ wypełniła z powodzeniem swoje najważniejsze zadanie polegające na stworzeniu nowoczesnego narodu obejmującego wszystkie warstwy społeczne. Podobnie jak swoje misje wypełniły kształtujące się w tej samej epoce ruch ludowy, czy patriotyczny nurt PPS nadający świadomość narodową warstwie robotniczej. — Aleksander Hall,  
  8. ^ Davies 2005, 40.
  9. ^ Jerzy Lukowski; W. H. Zawadzki (2001). A Concise History of Poland: Jerzy Lukowski and Hubert Zawadzki. Cambridge University Press. pp. 173–174.  
  10. ^  
  11. ^ Terej, Jerzy Janusz (1979). Rzeczywistość i polityka: Ze studiów nad dziejami najnowszymi Narodowej Demokracji (2nd ed.). Warszawa: Książka i Wiedza. p. 18.  
  12. ^ Terej, Jerzy Janusz (1979). Rzeczywistość i polityka: Ze studiów nad dziejami najnowszymi Narodowej Demokracji (2nd ed.). Warszawa: Książka i Wiedza. p. 28.  
  13. ^ André Gerrits, Dirk Jan Wolffram (2005). Political Democracy and Ethnic Diversity in Modern European History.  
  14. ^ Jerzy Lukowski; W. H. Zawadzki (2001). A Concise History of Poland: Jerzy Lukowski and Hubert Zawadzki. Cambridge University Press. pp. 217–18.  
  15. ^ [5]
  16. ^ [6]
  17. ^ [7] Polish Club Online – Wywiad z Przewodniczącym Obozu Wielkiej Polski – Dawidem Berezicki
  18. ^ [8] Official KRS Website


See also


Another Polish national-democratic association with legal standing is the Camp of Great Poland. The association was established on March 28, 2003, as a response of the National Party (Stronnictwo Narodowe; SN) Youth Section to the deletion of the party from the national registry.[17] In February 17, 2012 the OWP was registered in the National Registrar of Companies and Legal Entities (Krajowy Rejestr Sądowy; KRS),[18] gaining legal personality.

Since the fall of communism, with Poland once again a democratically governed country, several political parties have sought to re-establish some ND traditions; their adherents prefer to call themselves the "national movement" (ruch narodowy). The only significant party that declared itself a successor to the ND was the League of Polish Families (Liga Polskich Rodzin) , founded in 2001 by Roman Giertych, grandson of Jędrzej Giertych, a pre-war ND politician. It received 8% of the parliamentary vote in 2001 and 16% in 2004, but then fell below the 5% threshold in 2007 and lost all its parliamentary seats.

Today's Poland

After the war, when a communist, pro-Soviet government took power in Poland, most remaining NDs either emigrated to Catholic movement.

After the war

Righteous among the Nations

During Nazi Germany but also against the Soviet Union. Both occupying forces regarded members of the movement as their mortal enemy, and its leaders were hunted down and killed in mass executions, in concentration camps, and in the Katyń massacre. Among those killed are:

World War II

Simultaneously the ND emphasized its fascist-inspired National Radical Camp (Obóz Narodowo-Radykalny).[14]

In 1928 the National Party (Stronnictwo Narodowe) was founded, as a successor party to the Popular National Union. In the beginning, the new party adopted the same political line as its predecessor.[11] After the official banning of the Camp of Great Poland, radicalized youth entered the National Party. The ideological clash between the old and new generation of National Democrats culminated at the party convention in 1935 where the younger activists were elected to lead the party.[12] In 1936-1939 the personal changes within the party continued, and the young generation totally began its complete domination. The older generation of National Democrats, disagreeing with the new course, left active politics or exited the party completely. A chief characteristic of ND policies at this time was their emphasis on Polonization of minorities: ND politicians such as Dmowski and Stanisław Grabski contributed to the failure of Piłsudski's proposed Międzymorze federation and the alliance with the Ukrainian leader Symon Petlura, as well as to the alienation of Poland's ethnic minorities.


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