Poland, Bridge for the Abyss? An Interpretation of Developments in Post-War Poland

By Richard Hiscocks | Go to book overview

PREFACE

THE preparation of this book has taken me into fields with which previously I was little acquainted. My indebtedness to others for their help and advice is, therefore, all the greater.

During annual visits to Poland from 1957 to 1961 I was treated with great kindness by a large number of people in many walks of life, including members of the government, church dignitaries, workers' representatives, and peasants. Poland has a great tradition of hospitality, and I received a friendly welcome from people in varied occupations and of very different political opinions. I want to express my gratitude to all of them and especially to four institutions which acted as my sponsors on different occasions: the University of Cracow, the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Polish Institute of International Affairs, and the Society for the Development of the Western Territories. I should like also to thank officials of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the British and Canadian Ambassadors in Warsaw and their staffs, and the Polish Minister in Ottawa and his staff for their assistance and many acts of kindness.

I am very grateful to the Canadian Social Science Research Council and the Canada Council for their sustained support over a number of years and to the University of Manitoba for granting me leave of absence during the academic year 1961-2. I am indebted also to the librarians of the following institutions for their assistance: the Jagiellonian Library, Cracow; the Bodleian Library; St. Antony's College, Oxford; the Royal Institute of International Affairs; the Polish Library, London; the Widener Library and the Russian Research Centre at Harvard; and the University of Manitoba.

Mr. Isaac Deutscher and Dr. W. J. Rose encouraged me at an early stage to undertake a study of post-War Poland, and I greatly appreciate their confidence and advice. I am grateful to Dr. Z. Pełczyński and to Mr. P. C. Dobell for their help and encouragement and to Professor Martin Wight, Mr. T. H. M. Baker, Mr. M. Levin, and Mr. Z. A. Straszyński for reading all or parts of the manuscript, and for the assistance given to me in

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