Polish Canadians typically identify themselves as stringent anti-Communists, a label solidified by the legacies of the 1980s Solidarity movement, its founder Lech Walesa, and the widespread anti-Communist riots that helped topple the Communist regime in 1989. Hurrah Revolutionaries challenges this common perception by examining the Polish immigrant community in Canada and the development of radical and traditionally "deviant" ideologies during the interwar period until the end of the Second World War. Patryk Polec unveils a versatile, well-funded, and influential Polish pro-Communist movement with a talented leadership that worked tirelessly to persuade traditionally conservative and religious immigrants to adopt an ideology that was anti-nationalist and atheist. He traces the roots of socialist support in Poland, its transplantation to Canada where the movement enjoyed its greatest support, the challenges the movement faced within an ethnic community influenced by Catholicism, and the complications caused by its links to the Communist International. Polec offers a deeper understanding of the ways in which the Communist Party was able to appeal to certain ethnic groups through cultural outreach as well as its complicated and often counter-productive relationship with the Soviet Union. Grounded in recently declassified Polish consular documents and RCMP surveillance reports, Hurrah Revolutionaries is the first full-length study of Polish Communists in Canada, a group that constituted a substantial portion of the country?s socialist left in the twentieth century.
About the Author
Patryk Polec is assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Ottawa.
Table of Contents
A Guide to Pronouncing Polish xi
1 History, Politics, and "Deviant(?)" Polish Canadians 3
2 Goraczka Emigracyjna: Emigration Fever 17
3 The Law of Attraction: Polish Immigrants on the Move 35
4 Getting Organized: Polish Reds, Rebels, and Radicals 52
5 Gaude, Mater Polonia: The Battleground 70
6 The Law of Appeal: Joining the Revolutionary Movement 91
7 Treading on Hostile Ground: Promoting Proletarianism, Mutualism, and Internationalism in Canadian and Polish Canadian Society 108
8 Red Culture 128
9 The Changing Tide: Polish Communists in the Wake of World War II 148
10 The Last Leap of Faith 170