National Youth Groups: Poland


Figure 1.--We have little information about this family portrait except that the back of photo has the stamp (as best I can make out because it is blurred) "Zaktad Fotograficzay (?) Bydgoszcz, wl?toja?ka". Am told that the town was in the Polish corridor. It looks like three of the boys were members of a youth group other than the Scouts. The boys look to be wearing uniforms, although there are no kerchiefs nor badges. The boy on the right may have a sleeve badge.

We have no information on Poland at this time. We do not know if there was any nationalist youth movement before World war II. As far as we know, Scouting was the principal youth movement in Poland. There may have been nationalist youth groups in Poland before World War II. We note boys wearing uniforms that were not Scouts. Many politcal groups in European countries sponored youth groups and we believe this occurred in Poland, but have no actual information at this time. Hopefully our Polish readers wll help supply some information here. After the NAZI invasion (September 1939), Poland was partiononed. Large areas of Poland were annexed to the Reich. A Government General was created centered in Warsaw, but the Germans could not find compliant Poles to serve in the administration. As the NAZIs wanted to destroy Polish national identity, there was no nationalist youth movement created as was the general NAZI pattern in many other countries. . Poland was also invaded by the Soviet Union which at the time was cooperatring with the NAZIs. The Soviets introduced the Young Pioneers in their eastern occuoation zone. The NAZIs quickly overran this area when they invaved the Soviet Union (June 1941).

Polish Republic (1919-39)

We do not know if there was any nationalist youth movement before World war II. As far as we know, Scouting was the principal youth movement in Poland. There were other groups often organized by political organizations both left-wing and right-wing groups. In the volitile political atmoshere of the 1930s, some countries prohibited these groups to wear uniforms. I believe there were a variety of other groups, but I de not have any details at this time. The boys in your photograph here appear to be wearing uniforms, but notably there are no kerchiefs are badges/patches (figure 1). The family pictured here appears to live in the Polish Corridor. This was the area of the former German Empire with large numbers of ethnic Germans. It wasa awarded to Poland after World War so that the new Polish Republic would have access to a sea port--the free coty of Danzig (now Gadansk). One possibility is that they are Germans. Many German families lived in the Polish Corridor. While I can't answer your question at this time, it is a topic of interest. There may have been nationalist youth groups in Poland before World War II. We note boys wearing uniforms that were not Scouts. Many politcal groups in European countries sponored youth groups and we believe this occurred in Poland, but have no actual information at this time. Hopefully our Polish readers wll help supply some information here. It may be that photographs showing boys in natinalist youth groups were potentially dangerous, both during the NAZI occupation and the Communist era and as a result many were destroyed.

NAZI Occupied Poland (1939-44)

After the NAZI invasion (September 1939), Poland was partiononed. The Polish Corridor and large areas of western Poland were annexed to the Reich. A Government General was created centered in Warsaw, but the Germans could not find compliant Poles to serve in the administration. As the NAZIs wanted to destroy Polish national identity, there was no nationalist youth movement created as was the general NAZI pattern in many other countries.

Soviet Occupied Poland (1939-41)

was also invaded by the Soviet Union which at the time was cooperatring with the NAZIs. The NAZIs quickly overran this area when they invaved the Soviet Union (June 1941).

Commiunist Poland (1945-89?)

The Soviets introduced the Young Pioneers in their eastern occuoation zone.

Democratic Poland (1989?- )

The Young Pioneers disappeared after the fll of Communism in Poland. Scouting has been reestablished in Poland. We know of no other youth groups at this time.







HBU






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Created: May 22, 2004
Last updated: May 22, 2004