Poland: Key to Europe

Poland: Key to Europe

Poland: Key to Europe

Poland: Key to Europe

Excerpt

WHEN I visited Poland in the early summer of 1938, I intended to write only a report -- to be published by the Foreign Policy Association -- on the problems confronting that country. But these problems proved so complex, and so fascinating, that I decided to write a book. My decision was affected by the fact that, so far as I know, no other volume has yet appeared which endeavours to survey and analyse the problems of modern Poland in a sympathetic but scientific spirit.

As a country which in fifteen years will have as large a population as France, Poland is important in itself. Its rise as one of the great powers of Europe during the later Middle Ages, its partition and disappearance in the eighteenth century, and its resurrection at the end of the World War constitute one of the most romantic chapters of history. But this history is still unfinished. Germany's growing power in Europe has once more made Poland's future uncertain.

Although public opinion in the Western democracies is inclined to hold Poland responsible for its plight, this judgment is too severe. Poland is confronted by two fundamental problems, the solution of which depends not on Polandalone, but on the international situation as a whole. These problems are security against foreign aggression and security against internal want. Entering the world of commercial rivalry only at the close of the World War, Polandfinds itself barred from many foreign markets. It has the most rapidly increasing population in Europe, yet lacks the resources to provide a decent living on the basis of self-

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