The Baltic Sea has always played a vital part in the history of Poland. In the light of the resolutions of the Yalta Conference, Poland’s boarders were shifted, including Western Pomerania in its territory. In 1945 Kołobrzeg was the most severely destroyed city on that territory. The city was either already ablaze or set on fire by German gangs active at that time. All its pre-war functions were non-existent. The harbour was immobilized, the economic basis fell apart. The city was devoided of water, power and food delivery was problematic. The newly-arrived Polish settlers perceived Kołobrzeg as a tragic and overwhelming image of a “dead city”. The area was dominated by debris, the stench of decomposing bodies of German soldiers and looters arriving from central Poland. The Wehrwolf pursued sabotages and the most terrifying Red Army committed crime and rapes. In the light of the population records and files of the Registry Office the inflow of people was rather slow during the first months, only to increase the pace in the following years. Many of them believed they would find employment rebuilding the city or in the harbour. The settlers had long been insecure about the temporary character of Poland in Western Pomerania and on the Baltic coast.
The repatriation of Poles after World War II, despite its flaws, which caused its implementation not possible until 1949, at that period was possible only with the support of the Soviet Union. The international situation and the political situation in China in late forties made USSR only possible link between polish government and Manchuria, and a potential ally, which had measures to help in its organization. It was a pragmatic decision based on the possibilities and conditions. The central soviet authorities had an established communication with his consulate, adequate infrastructure for the transit of returnees and already developed basis of Polish-Soviet agreement on its terms. Only the change of the political situation after the establishment of Peoples Republic of China has allowed the Polish authorities to avoid additional costs and delays, which ware considerable disadvantages of the repatriation in cooperation with the Soviet Union.
Mixed couples, as one of the determinants of breaking distance of historical, cultural, psychological and social nature, trespass the fundamental principles that separate a group from the “Other”. This otherness makes the couples of this type evoke social attitudes of integration or isolation. A relationship is seen as mixed when the difference between the partners is considered significant by them or by the local community. When one speaks about everyday life of Polish-German couples living at the new north-western border of Poland after 1945, an important factor in their formation, i.e. the historical events of World War II and the sense of temporariness until the western Polish border was settled in 1950, cannot be overlooked. After 1945 mixed couples were an important part of the image of the border area, also integrating the Polish community with the remaining Germans. They formed the part of the first generation of such couples, which encompasses the years 1945–1971, the opening of the border with East Germany in 1972 gave rise to the second generation, which lasted until 1989, while accession of Poland to the European Union marks the end of the third generation. In our text we shall only focus on three aspects of everyday life, i.e. the formation of the German-Polish relationships, negative contacts with the surrounding environment and problems with authorities.
In the following article the author discussed the form of research and the central effects of a doctor’s project about four smaller party-blocks in the last years of the DDR. The citizens and members of all five party blocks, also SED, demanded between summer 1986 and November 1989 political and economic reforms in the DDR, referring to Gorbatschow’s glasnost’ and perestroika and under the dynamical influence of the social processes in Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia and Romania. The parties’ members issued critical statements about social deficits within the socialistic system which were relayed to the party leaders with different intensity. The dissertation shall provide answers concerning assumed impulses for the DDR-reformation from the party-blocks even without the citizens’ initiatives and the political engagement of the churches. T he a rticle d iscussed the developments of CDU(D), LDP(D), NDPD and DBD since 1980ies and described their positioning within the political and economic system of the DDR.
The article concerns a case study in the times of Enlightment. In that time the traditional class system has been questioned. The aim of the article was the description of a polemic between Bützow, a court clerk from Greifswald and the Swedish government in Stralsund in 1782 and its historical context. The dispute concerned the question, whether during the national mourning the clerks might put on the relatively cheap lacy cuffs at mourners’ sleeves. The main source for the analysis were files with the number 252 from the state archives in Greifswald. In the Swedish Pomerania, similar to many other places in Europe, and also on the empire’s territory the lacy cuffs were an attribute of nobility and of chosen court officials. The general governor of the Swedish Pomerania guaranteed in 1751 with an issued law the nobility the right to put them on as a symbol of mourning without specification, if the officials also be entitled to wear them. He created therefore an interpretation gap which Bützow tried to use for his aims. The fact that Bützow did not succeed and even had to apologize for his behaviour proves the stability of the traditional class system in the Swedish Pomerania at the end of the 18th century.
The article discusses the problem of province and smaller cities/towns within general political and social changes in critical times of Communists’ Poland and the role played by smaller communities in the occuring changes. The Author states that the influence range of central changes in the Communists’ party PZPR and other state organs in Warsow had a weaker feedback on the province and their regional pendants. The same concerned vivid social workers’ and independence movements, strikes and different struggles. The neighbourhood of two big centres: Szczecin and Gdańsk, the craddle of „Solidarność”, have had a rather low-rated effect on the changes in Koszalin (mainly influenced by Szczecin) and Słupsk (mainly influenced by Gdańsk) region. The both centres were active clusters of oppositional movements. Between them, as Marciniak stated, existed in the years 1956–1981 a precipice, a ‘sociological vacuum’, conditioned mainly by a lack of strong academic, intellectual and religious circles.
The factor that stimulated the thought of ethical justification of warfare in medieval Europe was among others expansion of Islam. At the beginning of the Islamic religion, its believers were deeply convinced by the ideas coming from the pages of Koran dictated by prophet Mohammed, the words which encouraged them to convert infidels. The fact is that during the lifetime of Mohammed, Muslims bent to their own will many Arabic tribes and just after his death they had a greater part of the Arabian Peninsula in their hands. In 711 they crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and started conquering the Iberian Peninsula. In the meantime, in Europe, people who, on account of their public role, were supposed to have a wider perspective of the world issues, were aware of the dangers which Islam caused. The fight for preservation of the Latin civilization caused thus far an unprecedented inner consolidation of armed, political and intellectual forces of those times. In this way the epoch of the crusades began.
The article concerns the role of violence while takeover of the National Socialists in Pomerania. Another aim is the explanation of the influence of state control surveillance measures on the strategic organization of the party’s inner life. Mittenzwei states that the NSDAP-history in Pomerania was dominated by many internal conflicts. These conflicts not only raise to question about action potential of the regional party authorities but also influenced the abilities of the whole party. Even if the Stennes’ revolt did not cause a sustainable division in the party and even if the state control surveillance ended up with no party prohibition, the circumstances reflected the influence on the party organization. In spite of the feared party prohibition the NSDAP-Gauleitung in Pomerania regarded itself being incapable of backing away from the violent takeover course. The Gauleiter Wilhelm Karpenstein saw in view of the inner conflicts in the party and revolting SA formations the only option: he put himself against the directives of the NSDAP-Reichsleitung at the head of the group which demanded a violent takeover and called for violence repeatedly. Finally, this strategy allowed the takeover in the countrified Pomerania but it caused also the end of Wilhelm Karpenstein as the Pomeranian Gauleiter. This end took place with the imprisonment of the Pomeranian SA-leader within so called Röhm revolt. This was also the reason after the Karpenstein’s dismissal to replace the Gau’s elite with Schwede-Coburg who surrounded himself with familiar faces from his times in Coburg.
In December 1939 the Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess performed the ground-breaking ceremony for the Oder-Danube Canal, with Austria, Poland and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia already under German control,. Besides connecting the Oder and the Danube, resulting in a nonstop waterway from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, spatial planning authorities, he saw the canal as a fundamental addition for the ‘second Ruhr valley in the East’ (Upper Silesia). The outcome of this connection would have been a widely expanded trade between northern and southern Europe. The trade might become then faster and cheaper, a wide array of strategic materials like coal, ore, petroleum and petrol would have been accessible for industry and armed forces. Due to the war progress the work on the canal had to be discontinued in 1940. One of the profiteers of the canal should have been the seaport in Szczecin, located at the intersection of the Oder and the Baltic Sea. Therefore a think tank called the ‘Oder-Donau-Institut’ has been found to deliver scientific arguments reinstating the work on the canal under the lead management of the economic chamber of Pomerania (Szczecin) in close contact with the University of Greifswald. The director of the institute was Heinz Seraphim, professor for political economy at the University of Greifswald. Under his leadership, the well-financed institute started to work not only for the economic interests of the economic chamber but also for the SS-Reichssicherheitshauptamt.
In the reign of John Frederick, Duke of Pomerania (1569–1600) one of the most important central clerks was the chancellor who had not only a high position in the hierarchy of the court but also was in charge to control the court’s chancery – a very important place at a court where the inner and foreign policy was focused in, where documentation for different affairs was created, where income and outgoings registers were managed and till 1575 – where judicial decisions were elaborated. The article describes shortly the principles of the chancery operations, the duties of the chancery clerks and the obligatory circulation of documents. The analysis of the court ordinations allowed only a detailed recognition of the chancellor’s and scribes’ tasks and a short presentation of settled chancery matters. A more complex description of the function of the Szczecin’s court chancery shall base on long-lasting and laborious source investigations.
The aim of the article is depiction of the scientific cooperation between historians from Szczecin and Greifswald which is continuously developed in the beginning of the 21st century. The cooperation based primary on the DAAD guest professorship of Prof. Joerg Hackemann at the Institute for History and International Relationships at the University of Szczecin, lectures held by Prof. Lutz Oberdörfer from Greifswald, workshops at the EMAU lead by Dr. Paweł Migdalski, various research projects presented there by Dr. Rafał Simiński and Dr. Tomasz Ślepowroński. To mention be in this context the activity of Prof. Włodzimierz Stępiński and Prof. Jan M. Piskorski in the German scientific life and their participation at many debates and historical conferences. The rich contacts between the historians from both Pomeranian universities are referred to in a new and original form of a Szczecin–Gryfino postgraduate programme, started in the 21st century by the Institute for History and International Relationships at the University of Szczecin and Historisches Institut Ernst Moritz Arndt Universität Greifswald. Within this undertaking two meetings of postgraduates took place where their scientific output was presented: on the 3rd/4th November 2010 in Szczecin and on the 26th/28th Mai 2011 in Greifswald. This initiative is for young researchers of importance – it allows their development outside of the only one, native research milieu. Unfortunately, the project of postgraduates from Szczecin and Greifswald is one of only few initiatives within the Polish-German historical neighbourhood.
The cooperation of the Polish and German historians from Greifswald and Szczecin was developed in the second half of the 20th century in different periods: in the times of German Democratic Republic and Polish People’s Republic and also after 1990, as the two states mentioned no more existed or rather when the social-political system in these states ceased to be. Idependently of the caesura 1990 the contacts of Polish and German historians still remained in the shadow of experiences of the 2nd W W a nd i ts e ffects. In the first phase the cooperation can be judged partially positive, in spite of its burden with a big political involvement and ideological servitutes, as the first move against the prevalent hostility between both nations till the middle of the 20th century. These contacts were not fully frank and spontaneous and inspired (especially on the East German side) through party and state factors which caused them being not very original. The both parties possessed a list of issues not to be discussed which allowed to minimize the possibility of starting a historiographic dispute. In the times of open wounds this procedure might be evaluated being positive. The output of this cooperation period seems to be rather limited and sometimes even embarrassing. This can be understood as the necessary way for both parties to achieve the access to archives or to get trust of authorities for realization other fields of research. After 1990, as the political and ideological restrictions no more existed, the mutual German-Polish investigations of the Pomeranian past could experience their development in full bloom, which can be estimated upon a rich amount of publications. In that time, one was not able to create a durable base for the cooperation which could allow the new generation of Pomerania researchers to abandon looking for new ways of communication and seldom used paths of mutual contacts.
The eminent French historian Fernand Barudel pointed out in his works about the Med that one would need for understanding of activites of an individual a wide context created by the social space and environment in which the main hero tends to live in. For Braudel became Philippe 2nd only a pretence to analyse the whole civilisation of the Medin his times. This context can be employed on the man of letters, a loner, spending the most of his life in his astronomical observatory – Nicolaus Copernicus. Unquestionably, the social environment of Thorn exerted the biggest influence on the formation of the young Copernicus. The city was located on the lower Vistula, on the boarder of the state of Teutonic Knights and Poland, with strong relationships with Silesia, Cracow and Hansa and over Hansa with Northern Europe. This location created extraordinary circumstances for the formation of the one of the biggest intellects of his times. This cultural mosaic was the native environment of Nicolaus Copernicus, a German- speaking Pole, on the maternal side a descendant of immigrants from Westphalia, on the paternal side of Silesian Copernicus-family with Slavic roots, from his birth to his death the faithful subject of the Polish kings.
Marxism, as any social ideology, contains many conflicting motives. They represent the potential of various political doctrines. The aim of the article was to show the sources, content and consequences of the ideological conflict between the two Marxists, precursors of conflicting political ideologies. Vladimir Lenin, with his monopolistic rights to the interpretation of Marxism, the army-like organization of the party and the recognition of his opponents as enemies, became the forerunner of the totalitarian system. Eduard Bernstein, touted as the creator of revisionism, has verified Marxism, rejected the ved that the socialist party should participate in a democratic system dogma of the class struggle, claimed the proletarian revolution being irrational and belie, using its mechanisms for achieving the objectives of the working class. In this way Bernstein became one of the promoters of democracy. The article discussed the main ideological and political consequences of the gap between the two ideological movements.
The Naval Disarmament Conference was held in Geneva between 20 June – 4 August 1927 on the initiative of the American President Calvin Coolidge. It was a continuation of the process initiated during the Washington Conference (12 November 1921 – 6 February 1922). It was then that Great Britain, the United States of America, Japan, France and Italy determined the ratio of the naval forces in the class of battleships and aircraft carriers in line with the following: 5 : 5 : 3 : 1.75 : 1.75. During the so-called Coolidge Conference (1927) the American party did its best to conclude an international treaty and consequently achieve parity between the US Navy and Royal Navy in all classes of warships. The British government accepted an invitation to the Geneva Conference (1927) assuming that their delegation would succeed in forcing through the disarmament plan formulated by the Admiralty. The plan was aimed at modifying the Washington Treaty in order that the British Empire could make savings and at the same time improve her national security. The British plan was aimed at prolonging the service life of battleships and aircraft carriers, reducing the displacement and calibre of guns carried by battleships, and, last but not least, dividing the cruisers into heavy and light as well as imposing limitations only on the number of the former. The British plan met with strong objection from the American delegation. Attempts made to reach a consensus over parity between the Royal and US Navy in the class of cruisers were unsuccessful, and the conference eventually turned into a fiasco. Such a state of affairs had to do with strategic, political and economic issues. The Admiralty opposed to reaching an agreement which put the security of the British Empire at a serious risk, and the majority of the British ministers were inclined to believe that the conference breakdown would be lesser evil than agreeing to the American demands. The British diplomats strove for adopting a common stance with the Japanese delegation in order that the responsibility for the conference collapse rested with the American party.
Throughout the period between the 11th and 15th centuries, Christian and Arabic countries as well as territorial dominions, although faced with feudal political chaos, managed to take joint action against pirates. Piracy was unanimously treated as a major risk both to inshore safety and safety at sea, as well as to trade and economic growth. Attempts were made to establish institutional framework for prosecuting the pirates and setting terms under which respective counties would remain legally liable. International treaties had laid foundations for the aforementioned framework and imposed certain liabilities on the countries. A number of treaties concluded during the period under discussion and published by an archivist in the 19th century enables modern researchers to get to know the Law of Nations created somewhere in between the Islamic and European legal cultures.
The historian in the contemporary Poland has to fulfil not only the tasks on his workplace, commonly at a state university or in a research institute but he has also commitments which result from the traditional ethos of a man of science. In the public sphere he has to deal with historical politics created by the state and the political forces immediately, which cannot actually be influenced by the scientific circles in a relevant way. The political forces await from the historian the disclosure of such a “truth” which would interpret the existing reality as the possible space for creation of that what ought to be. The associational scientific movement as a traditionally autonomous body concerned with population of knowledge has in this situation the chance and the not utterly fulfilled task of defending of the historical truth, conditioned and determined with the contemporary theory of knowledge.
The paper is aimed at presenting policy pursued by German occupants and Norwegian fascists toward the Church in Norway during World War II. Resistance mounted by the Lutheran Church to the Nazis, in Norwegian literature referred to as “kirkekampen“ (struggle waged by the Church), is hardly addressed by Polish authors. The article is nearly completely based on Norwegian literature, and printed sources are used as primary source material. In 1940, after Norway had been invaded, the Norwegians had to face a new (occupation) reality. The authorities of the German Third Reich did not however follow a uniform policy toward the Church in the occupied Europe. In Norway, the Church was state-run, in other words the state was obliged to propagate Lutheran religion and enable Norwegian citizens to follow their religious practices. In 1940, the occupants did not immediately take action against the Church. Furthermore, both the Nazi Germany and the NS assured the invaded about their positive approach to religion. They did not intend to interfere in the matters of the Church as long as the clergy did not oppose the new political situation. Events that took place at the turn of 1940 and 1941 proved that the German Third Reich and the NS planned to connect the Norwegians to gas supply system. Nevertheless, the Church ceased to be loyal toward the occupants when the Norwegian law was being violated by the Nazis. The conflict between the Church and the Nazi authorities started at the end of January and the beginning of February 1941, yet it had its origin in political and religious developments that took place in Norway during the first year of occupation. Massive repressions against the clergy began in 1942, and bishops were the first to suffer from persecution. In February 1942, they were expelled, lost their titles and had to report to the police regularly. Very soon they lost the right to make speeches at gatherings. It is worth mentioning Bishop Beggrav who was interned between 1942 and 1945, i.e. longest of all clergy members. Since temporary expelling of priests from their parishes paralyzed their pastoral activity, in 1943 the Ministry of Church and Education began to send the “non grata“ pastors to isles situated north of Norway. Nevertheless, the internment conditions in which the clergymen lived were much better than the conditions in which Norwegian teachers were being kept. What contributed to such a difference was strong objection stated by the German Third Reich against continuing the conflict with the Church. Just as in the Nazi Germany, Hitler postponed taking final decision about the future of the Norwegian Church and planned to settle the matter after the war. In this way, he prevented Quisling from pursuing his own policy toward the Church.
The article is an attempt to present and discuss – based on the struggle against Barbary pirates and corsairs waged in the Mediterranean Sea – dynamic and complex political and economic processes as well as diplomatic efforts that contributed to the French conquest of Algiers in 1830. The first three decades of the 19th century were among the most turbulent periods in the history of the French nation. Defeated and humiliated by the enemy coalition in 1815, France did not give up on her “imperial dream”, this time trying to make it come true in a non-distant Maghreb. The way to achieve this goal was, however, quite bumpy. At that time, the western part of the Mediterranean Sea was an arena of competition, mainly between the United States and Great Britain. After all, this turned out to be very favourable to France. Wishing to introduce an extra element into the game, eliminate rivals for overseas supremacy, as well as win Russia – that was gradually strengthening her influence in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea – as an ally, at the end of the 1820’s Great Britain became an advocate of her neighbour across the English Channel. Gradually regaining her economic potential and international importance, France reached for Algiers by entering the armed conflict. However, the French stronghold in Maghreb would soon pose a major challenge to the British colonialism in Africa. Expressing their major concern over the security of so-called “imperial route” leading via the Mediterranean sea, British politicians and statesmen adopted a new political stance toward the declining Ottoman Empire. Owing to their “independence and integrity” doctrine (formulated in 1830’s), the rich Ottoman heritage managed to “survive” by the outbreak of World War II.
As far as the Polish People’s Republic (PRL) and the communist years are concerned, support from professional organizations, society members, authorities and Polish emigration in Sweden to the Independent Self-Governing Trade Union (NSZZ) Solidarity (“Solidarność”) and democratic opposition took a number of forms. Before the first independent trade union was established, activists of the Swedish Social Democratic Labour Party had supported the creation of such structures in the Polish People’s Republic (PRL). Furthermore, the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (Landsorganisationen and Sverige – LO), whose members were mainly social democrats, already during the 1980 strikes got in touch with the structures organizing public speeches of Polish workers. Consequently, the Swedish party supported striking workers on an international arena. This help was provided among others by Olof Palme, chairman of the Swedish Social Democratic Labour Party, as well as in the form of financial assistance for organizational purposes and the purchase of printing machines. When martial law was imposed in the Polish People’s Republic and Solidarity together with other opposition groups were declared illegal, Social Democratic and other Swedish trade unions supported the Polish underground democratic opposition in a number of ways. Money and gifts were collected and sent to PRL, and numerous propaganda and information activities were undertaken in Scandinavia, Europe and all over the world. Apart from the assistance provided by the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO), support from the Swedish officials and Swedish society was of profound importance to the opposition groups established in the Polish People’s Republic. After martial law had been imposed in PRL, minister Ole Ullsten together with Danish and Norwegian ministers of foreign affairs unanimously criticized restricting civil liberties in the Polish People’s Republic as well as detaining (arresting) of Solidarity leaders and activists. Strong support for the then illegal structures of Solidarity and Polish people was offered by Swedish non-governmental and charity organizations such as the Swedish Red Cross, organization “Save the Children”, Lutheran Help, Free Evangelic Church and Individual Relief. Attention should also be paid to help provided by Swedish people and Swedish educational institutions. Special emphasis should also be placed on support that the democratic opposition groups in the Polish People’s Republic received from their compatriots in Sweden. Two organizations, namely Polish Emigration Council (RUP), consisting of 16 pro-independence organizations, and Polish Emigration Federation (FUP), coordinated aid programmes launched in Sweden to give a hand to Solidarity and the democratic opposition. Last but not least, one mustn’t neglect support from Denmark-based Scandinavian Committee for Independent Poland headed by professor Eugeniusz S. Kruszewski. By the time it was transformed into Polish-Scandinavian Institute in December 1984, the aforementioned Committee had been leading a propaganda campaign, among other things in Sweden, to provide reliable information about political goings-on, the persecuted oppositionists, steps taken by the communist regime and actions taken internationally to help Polish people.
Archaeological research on the Hanseatic towns established in the Middle Ages in the Baltic region has been conducted on a large scale since the 1980’s. Discoveries made since then allow to formulate a thesis about the cultural unity among the inhabitants of towns situated on the South Baltic coast between the 13th and 15th centuries. Based on selected instances of the urban culture, widely discussed in archaeological sources, the paper is an attempt to prove that a number of similarities can be revealed in various spheres of life led by the inhabitants of towns located in the Baltic region, often situated far away from one another. The analysis covered the following aspects: architecture – quoting the example of tenements with entrance halls which in the 14th century became a common element of the cultural landscape in towns located in the Baltic region; pottery – quoting the example of popular in this part of Europe stoneware and red glazed jugs; and, last but not least, devotional objects – quoting the example of pilgrim badges that revealed evident preferences demonstrated by the pilgrims as to their pilgrimage destinations, paying special attention to supra-regional sanctuaries located in German-speaking area, particularly on the Rhine and the Moza rivers.
Parliamentary elections has always been arousing extreme emotions in Poland. The 2005 and 2007 elections were widely addressed in the Polish media. Furthermore, the election campaign and the final election results attracted the attention of the British press, which was reflected in a number of articles published in the United Kingdom in 2005 and 2007 respectively. The main reason behind interest that the British press had in the political situation in Poland had to do with large population of Polish emigrants residing in the UK. The article is aimed at presenting the standpoint of one of widely-read English dailies which shapes not only the British foreign policy, but also the British public opinion, namely “The Guardian”. Through presenting the profiles of two main political parties running for the 2005 and the 2007 elections in Poland (i.e. Civic Platform as well as Law and Justice), “The Guardian” did its best to affect the results of the vote. The articles published in the daily not only described the political parties, but were also aimed at creating the image of Poland in Great Britain. Depending on the election results, the image of Poland and Poles was subject to change. “The Guardian”, British daily dealing with political matters, devoted much of its attention to parliamentary election held in Poland in Autumn 2005 and 2007. Before taking a good look at articles published in the newspaper, it is worth presenting the profile of the daily and political preferences expressed by its journalists. Originally “The Manchester Guardian”, “The Guardian” was first published in Manchester in 1821, and since 1961 has been coming out also in London. At the very beginning a weekly, now it is published Monday through Saturday and owned by world-famous Guardian Media Group plc., “The Guardian” boasts of being the first British daily produced entirely in colour. Having in mind the place and moment in history when it was first published, “The Guardian” is said to have liberal-democratic character, in other words to be in favour of the political programme outlined by British Labour Party. As for parliamentary election, since 1945 “The Guardian” has been a committed supporter of Labour Party or Liberal Democrats (an exception was election held in 1951 when the daily backed the candidature of Winston Churchill). Political sympathy expressed toward liberal parties is reflected in articles published by the daily. This was also the case with press coverage of two leading Polish political parties running for election both in 2005 and 2007, namely Law and Justice (PiS) and Civic Platform of the Republic of Poland (PO).
The article describes the functioning of British consulate in Szczecin, paying special attention to activities undertaken by the heads of the consulate (vice-consuls), namely Joseph Walters, David Garnett Mitchell and Henry Francis Bartlett who were knowledgeable and competent officials delegated from the Foreign Office in London. Nevertheless, what had a negative effect on the work they carried out in the city on the Odra river was internal and external invigilation by the Security Service (SB) and the fact they were isolated and had hardly any contact with Polish institutions or the local community. Duties performed by the vice-consuls included not only standard administrative procedures (e.g. granting visas) or attention for their few compatriots, but most of all the observation of processes and events taking place in West Pomerania. Information function, which the British consulate fulfilled by submitting reports to their supervisors, was performed through reading local newspapers, asking people for their opinion, listening to the local community and “the hubbub of the street“. While at the very beginning the vice-consuls placed an emphasis on economic or socio-demographic issues, since the end of the 1940’s they paid special attention to political matters in their reports, which had to do with changes arising from the socialisation of life in Poland. The reports submitted by the British consulate confirmed the Foreign Office in their opinion about the presence of Polish people in West Pomerania. Needless to say, it was rather negative. The communist administration and new inhabitants of the former German lands were often criticized for the walking pace of the reconstruction and development of particular areas of economy which, according to the British, did not guarantee the adequate development of the region. Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service, which questioned the belonging of Szczecin and the adjacent area to Poland and at the same time officially honoured the Potsdam agreement, postponed adopting their stance on the Polish-German border by the time another peace conference was organized. Nevertheless, it is worth noticing that by applying to Polish authorities for permission to establish vice-consulate in Szczecin, Great Britain recognized formally that Polish authorities did administer West Pomerania.