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Polsko-rosyjskie stereotypy

Author: Andrzej Skrzypek
Year of publication: 2012
Source: Show
Pages: 75-81
DOI Address: http://dx.doi.org/10.15804/npw2012105
PDF: npw/02/npw2012105.pdf

This article is devoted to the stereotypes about neighbours in a national consciousness of Russians and Poles and their development during the last four hundred years starting from the polish campaign to Moscow in 1612. In this time it appears the first Russian stereotype of a Pole – a proud lord, catholic and crafty plunderer, whereas in the polish consciousness a conviction about the inferiority of the Russian culture and of the Orthodox Church. Even though the internal policy of Peter the Great was an act of impetuous Europeanization in Poland it was perceive as an Eastern tyranny. The imposed constrains and discipline were considered by Poles as faults, which formed an image of the Russian state and society enslaved by each consecutive authority. This authority was personified by bureaucrats, who have done many acts of repressions in the times following the partition of Poland. From this moment we perceive Russia as a land of deportations mainly consisting of Siberia. It is only in the times of Stanislaw Augustus that Poles have proclaimed Russians as an „eternal” enemy. In the face of defeats in all fields Poles have searched for a recompense in the moral sphere charging Russians with inhuman methods of waging war. Successive deportations in 1940–41 and 1944–45 with the Katyn’s crime of genocide have established an opinion about Russians as a cruel nation. In evaluation of military might of Russia Poles, contrarily to the Western nations, have never considered the Russian army as an invincible power. Soviet technical science was considered as non-existing, obsolete and acting by espionage and theft.

Starting from the period following the November Insurrection the Russians consider that the absorbing of Poland has introduced into Russia a component which has slowly disintegrated the Empire. Apart from the Pole-catholic stereotype there is also that of a Pole-rebel. An attitude of Poles towards the Russian revolution of 1917 was generally negative, which follows from the fact that many landowners have lost their property and much more leaseholders their source of income. It was in a good tone to talk about the loses of large estates, which is a source for a general opinion about a gigantic Polish loss in the East. The Soviet Union has tried to recompense its defeat in the war of 1920 in the sphere of propaganda. In its opinion Poland was first of all „lordly” which was worse than „bourgeois” and as bad as „fascist”.

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