Polish discourses concerning the Spanish Civil War. Analysis of the Polish press 1936–2015
(University of Opole, Poland)
ABSTRACT: The Spanish Civil War of 1936–1939, as an ideologised and mythologised event, has been and is still used instrumentally within the Polish public discourse. The war was an important subject for the Polish press in the years 1936–1939. The Catholic, national-democratic, and conservative press supported General Franco's rebellion. The governmental and pro-government press also supported the rebels. The Christian-democratic and peasants' party press remained neutral. The social democratic, communist, and radical press backed the Spanish Republic — as did liberal-conservative organs such as Wiadomości Literackie. After the Second World War, the Polish communist media created the positive legend of Polish participants in the Spanish Civil War in the International Brigades, labelling Franco's post-war regime fascist. In contemporary Poland, the same division within the Polish political scene as in 1936–1939 can be observed. Starting in 1990, the Spanish Civil War, as a subject of the Polish political discourse, has been the source of heated disputes, whose participants often present more radical views and narratives. The key issues that entered the canon of Polish political disputes after 1989 (the International Brigades of volunteers, religious crimes, the support of fascists and communists for opposite sides of the conflict), are concentrated along the lines of the dispute arising from the debate within pre-war Poland: the clash of the traditional, Catholic world with the communist revolution.