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Independence DayMyth, Symbol, and the Creation of Modern Poland$
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M. B. B. Biskupski

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199658817

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199658817.001.0001

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(p.177) 10 Conclusions
Independence Day

M. B. B. Biskupski

Oxford University Press

November 11th is the symbolic representation of certain themes in Polish history: faith in the restoration of independence against the evidence of reality — the meaning of the first line of the national anthem; an affirmative, indeed assertive disposition towards the Polish national project; a jettisoning of the despair of the past for a forward looking sense of victory; the centrality of the military — insurrectionary tradition with its recollection of battles and heroes; a rejection of national despair; the evocation of a lost greatness as inspiration not lament; a central hero in the Kościuszko mode; Poland regaining its independence farà da sè, without dependence on outside agency. Does November 11th have a future? Can it survive Poland's integration into the EU? Can Piłsudski survive as the national hero with the 11th as his special handiwork? Can the 11th endure without a time-appropriate body of ideas? Can contemporary Poland be in any sense ‘Piłsudskiite’? Ultimately the 11th represents victory and Piłsudski as deliverer; the rest is details.

Keywords:   Piłsudski, Endecja, EU, sovereignty, independence

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