Polish Society Under German Occupation
Jan T. Gross
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Sozialwissenschaften, Recht, Wirtschaft / Politikwissenschaft
By combining historical and political analysis with a sophisticated sociological approach, Jane Gross offers a new itnerpretations of the German occupation of Poland during World War II. Based on his hypothesis that a society cannot be destroyed by coercion short of the physical annihilation of its members, his work has a twofold aim; to examine the model of German occupation in theory and in practice, and to identify the patterns of collective behavior that emerged among the Polish people in response to the social control exercised over them.
The author argues taht when an occupier provdies no institutions through which a lcoal population can at least minimally satisfy its social needs, the subjugated populace builds substituted institutions on the remnants of previous forms of its collective life. These substitutes constitute the society's self-defense, to which the occupier must in some way adjust if its goals of manipulation and exploitation are to be achieved.
Professor Gross points out numerous ways in which the Poles under the General gouvernement circumvented the goals and authority of the German occupiers. Most significant was the emergence of the Polish underground, which took on the leadership, social welfare, political, and financial functions of an independent state. This phenomenon, he concludes, shows that resistance should not be conceived merely as a military movement but rather as a complex social phenomenon.
Jan Tomasz Gross is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Yale University.
Originally published in 1979.
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War effort, Denazification, World War II, Chetniks, Blitzkrieg, Polish Party, Imperialism, Reprisal, Aftermath of World War II, Employment, Poles, General Government, Józef Pilsudski, World War I, Einsatzgruppen, Soviet Union, Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, Slavery, Germanophile, Polish language, Camp of Great Poland, Resistance during World War II, Extermination through labour, Political party, Home Army, Polish underground press, Ideology, Wehrmacht, French Resistance, Polish People's Republic, Labour service (Hungary), Authoritarianism, Collective responsibility, Heinrich Himmler, Prisoner of war, Führerprinzip, Ukrainian State, Weimar Republic, Former eastern territories of Germany, German Party (Romania), Biuletyn Informacyjny, Germanisation, Nowy Kurier Warszawski, Counter-revolutionary, Nazism and race, Bundeswehr, Nazi Party, War economy, Abwehr, Nazi propaganda, Reichskommissar, Radical right (United States), Occupation of Poland (1939–45), Gestapo, Hostility, Germans, Jewish Bolshevism, Code word (figure of speech), Allies of World War II, Adolf Hitler's rise to power, Weimar culture, Bureau of Information and Propaganda, Polish literature, Tadeusz Borowski, Johannes Blaskowitz, Poland, Eastern Front (World War II), Politics of Poland, Bolsheviks, Internment, Nazism, Corruption, Katyn massacre, Social Darwinism, German Order (decoration), Institution, Silesians, Ukrainian Auxiliary Police, Underground press, Central Industrial Region (Poland), Polish government-in-exile, Wladyslaw Sikorski, German minority in Poland, Adolf Hitler, Invasion of Poland, Neo-fascism, Sicherheitspolizei, Judenrat, Social movement, Sachsenhausen concentration camp, Nazi Germany, Politics, Russification, Collaboration with the Axis Powers during World War II, Hans Frank, Polish Underground State, Russian Liberation Army, German Reich, Nazi seizure of power, Military occupation