1 For short introductions see Jerzy, Lukowski and Hubert, Zawadski, A Concise History of Poland (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006); Redgate, A. E., The Armenians (Oxford: Blackwell, 1998).
2 This article does not address the political and demographic changes associated with the collapse of communism, nor does it discuss the extermination of Poland's Jewish population during the Second World War.
3 See the unsurpassed overview provided by Graham, Malbone W., New Governments of Eastern Europe (New York: Henry Holt, 1927), and the more recent study by Aviel, Roshwald, Ethnic Nationalism and the Fall of Empires: Central Europe, Russia and the Middle East, 1914–1923 (London: Routledge, 2001).
4 Robin, Cohen, Global Diasporas (London: UCL Press, 1997), 23, 26. See also Susan, Pattie, Faith in History: Armenians Rebuilding Community (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997).
5 Prem, Kumar Rajaram, ‘Humanitarianism and Representations of the Refugee’, Journal of Refugee Studies, 15, 3 (2002), 247–64.
6 My thinking on these topics has been influenced by leading theorists including James, Scott, Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998); Rogers, Brubaker, Nationalism Reframed: Nationhood and the National Question in the New Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996); and Tim, Mitchell, Rule of Experts: Egypt, Techno-Politics, Modernity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003).
7 Peter, Gatrell, A Whole Empire Walking: Refugees in Russia during World War 1 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999), 18–19, 26; Norman, Naimark, Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001), 27–35.
8 Hacobian, AvetoonP., Armenia and the War (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1917); Bertha, S. Papazian, The Tragedy of Armenia: A Brief Study and Interpretation (Boston: Pilgrim Press, 1918). See also Robinson, Emily J., Armenia and the Armenians (London, privately printed, 1917). These works were endorsed by Armenophiles such as Viscount Bryce and Barton, James L.. David Lloyd George contributed a pamphlet, Armenia's Charter: An Appreciation of the Services of Armenians to the Allied Cause (London: Spottiswoode, 1918). Work in Russian is listed in Tunian, V. G., Armianskii vopros v russkoi pechati, 1900–1917gg (Erevan: Chartaraget, 2000).
9 Peter Gatrell and Joanne Laycock, ‘Armenia: The Nationalisation, Internationalisation and Representation of the Refugee Crisis’, in Baron, N. P. and Peter, Gatrell, eds., Homelands: War, Population and Statehood in Eastern Europe and Russia, 1918–1924 (London: Anthem, 2004), 179–200. The Committee was formed in 1912, with Noel Buxton as its first chairman.
10 Richard, Hovannisian, The Republic of Armenia: Volume 1, The First Year 1918–1919 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982), ch. 9.
11 Vartan Malcolm to the Armenian National Delegation in New York, 20 Oct. 1922, NAA f. 430, op. 1, d. 255, ll. 60–2.
12 Harold Buxton to Aneurin Williams, 15 Jan. 1922, NAA f. 430, op. 1, d. 1062, ll. 1–2.
13 LNA, Fonds Nansen, Box C1586, doc. 24101, Major T F Johnson, Chief of Refugee Section, to Michael Gripenberg, Helsingfors, 9 Dec. 1930.
14 Richard, Hovannisian, The Republic of Armenia: Volume 2, From Versailles to London, 1919–1920 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982), 60, 300, 325 and passim.
15 LNA, Fonds Nansen, Box R1763, doc 39017, Fifth Assembly, Fifth Committee, Sept. 1924, ‘Transfer of Armenian Refugees to the Caucasus and Creation of an Armenian National Home’; unsigned letter to Lukashin, Sovnarkom, Soviet Socialist Republic of Armenia, 1 Feb. 1923, NAA, f. 113, op. 3, d. 82, l. 136. See also A. E. Ioffe, ‘Deiatel'nost’ amerikanskogo ‘Komiteta pomoshchi Blizhnemu vostoku’ v Zakavkaz'e, 1921–1930gg.’, Istoriia SSSR, 3 (1963), 18–36.
16 V. Tajirian, Armenian diocese, Mesopotamia, to British Colonial Office, 23 June 1922, NAA, f. 113, op.3, d. 44, ll. 66–67.
17 Secret report of Soviet agent D. Shaverdov to Comrade Lukashin, Tbilisi, copied to Sovnarkom, 16 Sept. 1925, NAA f. 113, op. 3, d. 375, ll. 38–40.
18 NAA f. 114, op. 2, d. 172, ll. 159-ob., Mravian memo, 31 Aug. 1921; Central Evacuation Commission, Caucasus, 2 April 1921, NAA f. 113, op. 3, d. 38, ll. 50–4. Askanaz Mravian became a victim of the Stalinist purges in 1937.
19 Sovnarkom statement, 21 Jan. 1926, NAA f. 113, op. 3, d. 449, l. 10; Vartan Malcolm to the American National Delegation, 9 July 1922, NAA f. 430, op. 1, d. 265, ll. 5–10; Fridtjof, Nansen, Armenia and the Near East (London: Allen & Unwin, 1928); Gorvin, J. H., ‘Soviet Russia: Some Observations’, Journal of the British Institute of International Affairs, 5, 2 (1926), 61–78.
20 Armenian National Delegation memo, 24 Aug. 1923, NAA f. 430, op. 1, d. 1081, ll. 15–18.
21 ‘The Refugee Question’, June 1925, NAA f. 113, op. 1, d. 127, ll. 1–6. See also the ‘Strictly confidential’ memo from Makedonskii to Armcheka, 2 March 1926, which complained about the behaviour of priests and merchants. NAA f. 113, op. 3, d. 256, ll. 174–5, 177–178ob. The Narkomzem assessment, dated April 1925, is in NAA f. 113, op. 3, d. 302, ll. 66–69.
22 Unsigned memo submitted to Sovnarkom SSRA, 8 Jan. 1923, NAA f. 113, op. 3, d. 82, ll. 100–102; Letter dated 23 May 1924, NAA f. 113, op. 1, d. 153, ll. 49–51; Soviet representative in Tehran to Sovnarkom, 30 Nov. 1924, NAA f. 113, op. 1, d. 127, l.63; Unsigned report to Transcaucasian Sovnarkom, 25 May 1924, NAA f. 113, op. 1, d. 310, ll. 10–12. The Dashnaktsutiun Party, formed in the 1890s, campaigned on a socialist platform in support of an independent Armenia free from Soviet control.
23 ‘Oprosnyi list’ sent to Inotdel, Sovnarkom, SSRA, 1922, NAA, f. 113, op.3, d. 53, ll. 87–8; here the respondent claimed no party membership but declared that he was ‘sympathetic to the communists’. See also V. Shumiatskii to A. Mravian, Deputy Chairman of Sovnarkom SSRA, 23 June 1924, NAA f. 113, op. 1, d. 153, ll. 88–9. Mravian acknowledged, however, that Dashnak influence was on the wane. NAA f. 113, op. 1, d. 153, l. 138.
24 ArmCheka to Sovnarkom, 10 Jan. 1925, NAA f. 113, op. 3, d. 330, l. 107; Cheka memo to Sovnarkom, 7 Oct. 1925, NAA f. 113, op. 3, d. 294, l. 14.
25 LNA, Fonds Nansen, Box R5638, doc. 17248, Letter from the Union Générale Arménienne de Bienfaisance to the Secretary General of the League, 30 Aug. 1937.
26 Quoted in Razmik, Panossian, The Armenians: From Kings and Priests to Merchants and Commissars (London: Hurst, 2006), 304. See also Suny, Ronald G., Looking toward Ararat: Armenia in Modern History (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993), 222–3; Mandel, Maud S., In the Aftermath of Genocide: Armenians and Jews in Twentieth Century France (Durham N.C: Duke University Press, 2003), 120–34.
27 Soviet officials had already drawn up contingency plans. In a top secret report on 18 Dec. 1929, the Transcaucasian Sovnarkom reckoned on a possible influx of 380,000 refugees in Armenia alone. Strenuous efforts were to be made to discourage civilians from fleeing their homes and to define potential regions of settlement for those who did, on the basis of the ‘ethno-morphological composition of each refugee region’. NAA f. 113, op. 3, d. 851, ll. 1, 15–17, 64, 89–102.
28 Vertanes, Charles A., Armenia Reborn (New York: Armenian National Council of America, 1947), 174, 177. This memorandum ended by associating ‘honourable and illustrious men’ with the Armenian cause – Gladstone, Bryce, Wilson and Nansen, along with Lenin and Stalin, surely the only occasion when Gladstone and Stalin were mentioned in the same breath.
29 Vertanes, Armenia Reborn, 114, 117, 135, quoting the draft constitution of the American Committee for Armenian Rights; Suny, Looking toward Ararat, 165–6.
30 The famous ‘Red Dean’ of Canterbury, Hewlett Johnson (1874–1966), attended the ecclesiastical convention in Etchmiadzin in 1945. Hewlett, Johnson, ‘At the Foot of Ararat’, in Soviet Russia since the War (New York: Armenian National Council of America, 1947), 213–14. For a hostile account, see Alexander, Edward, ‘The Armenian Church in Soviet Policy’, Russian Review, 14, 4 (1955), 357–62.
31 Schechtman, Joseph B., Population Transfers in Asia (London: Hallsby, 1949), 55; Vertanes, Armenia Reborn, 118–24; Mandel, Aftermath of Genocide, 179, 192–3. The campaign received further impetus from the growth of Arab nationalism in the Middle East.
32 LNA, Fonds Nansen, Box R5638, doc. 17248, Mrs A. A. Altounyan, director of the Altounyan Hospital in Aleppo, Syria, to ‘Dr Nanson, the Nanson Office [sic]’, dated 26 June 1946.
33 Mandel, Aftermath of Genocide, 198–9; Schechtman, Population Transfers, 55, 65.
34 Claire Mouradian, ‘L'immigration des Arméniens de la diaspora vers la RSS d'Arménie, 1946–1962’, Cahiers du monde russe, 20, 1 (1979), 79–110. By and large Armenians in the Middle East were much more sympathetic to repatriation than their US counterparts.
35 Schechtman, Population Transfers, 69, quoting the Economist.
36 Afans'ev, Iu. N., ed., Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga: konets 1920kh-pervaia polovina 1950kh godov, tom 1 (Moscow: Rosspen, 2004), 526–9; George Mamoulia, ‘Les premieres fissures de l'URSS d'après guerre: le cas de la Géorgie et du Caucase du Sud, 1946–1956’, Cahiers du monde russe, 46, 3 (2005), 593–616.
37 It was briefly revived in the early 1960s. Claire Mouradian, De Staline à Gorbatchev. Histoire d'une république soviétique: l'Arménie (Paris: Ramsay, 1990); Panossian, Armenians, 291–4, 358–65.
38 Gatrell, Whole Empire Walking, 154–7, 212–14.
39 Gosudarstvennyi arkhiv Rossiiskoi Federatsii (GARF) f. 5115, op. 3, d. 220, ll. 6, 21; Laurence, Alma-Tadema, The Children of Poland (London: n.p., 1918); Arnold, Toynbee, The Destruction of Poland: A Study in German Efficiency (London: Fisher Unwin, 1916); Norman, Davies, ‘The Poles in Great Britain, 1914–1919’, Slavonic and East European Review, 50, 118 (1972), 63–89.
40 Rossiiskii Gosudarstvennyi Istoricheskii Arkhiv (RGIA), f. 1322, op.1, d. 13, l. 42; GARF f. 3333, op.1a, d. 68, ll. 8, 27. Contemporary comment is summarised in Gatrell, Whole Empire Walking, 154–7.
41 The refugees were described as ‘brat'ia-vyselentsy’, that is compatriots who had been forced out of Poland. Polish refugees resisted the idea of settling in Siberia. Utro Rossii, No. 227, 18 Aug. 1915; Trudovaia pomoshch’, No. 5, 1916, 463.
42 Trudovaia pomoshch’, No. 6, 1916, 21.
43 Prace Polskiej Narady Ekonomicznej w Petersburgu (1919), cited in Wojciech Roszkowski, ‘The Reconstruction of the Government and State Apparatus in the Second Polish Republic’, in Paul, Latawski, ed., The Reconstruction of Poland 1914–1923 (Houndmills: Macmillan, 1992), 159.
44 See GARF, f. 3333, op.1a, d. 102, l. 86 for a petition submitted to Soviet authorities in May 1919 by a group of Polish teachers in Riazan’. See also ‘Poland: Refugee Problems, Conditions, and Relief Work’, Friends’ Emergency and War Victims’ Relief Committee (FEWVRC), Box 9, parcel 1, folder 3, Library of the Society of Friends, London. See also ‘Polish Thanks’, signed by Wojt Pozniak and Soltys Jukowicz on behalf of the community, The Friend, 27 Oct. 1922, 746–7.
45 Raiskii, N. S., Pol'sko-sovetskaia voina 1919–1920 godov i sud'ba voennoplennykh, internirovannykh, zalozhnikov i bezhentsev (Moscow: RAN, 1999). The standard source on the conflict remains Norman Davies, White Eagle, Red Star: The Polish–Soviet War 1919–1920 (London: Macdonald, 1972).
46 Anna Louise Strong, ‘Repatriation of Poles’ and ‘The Bitter Way Home’, n.d. (early 1922) and Gregory Welch, ‘Creatures that were Once Men’, FEWVRC, Box 9, parcel 1, folder 3; Archie McDonnell, ‘The Reaction of the Russian Famine on Poland’, The Friend, 10 Feb. 1922, 106; Anna Louise Strong, ‘Typhus attacks Relief Missions in Poland’, The Friend, 31 March 1922, 220. See also Werner Benecke, ‘Die Quäker in den Kresy Wschodnie der Zweiten Polnischen Republik’, Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas, 42 (1994), 510–20.
47 Joseph Van Gelder, ‘Activities of the Refugee Department, American JDC in Europe During the Years 1921–23’, unpublished (May 1924), JDC Archives, New York, 40–4.
48 Timothy Snyder, Sketches from a Secret War: A Polish Artist's Mission to Liberate Soviet Ukraine (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005), 161. For the situation in Soviet Ukraine see Terry, Martin, The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923–1939 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2001), 325–32.
49 Emil, Revyuk, Polish Atrocities in the Ukraine (New York: United Ukrainian Organisations of the United States, 1931), 497 (emphasis added); Robert, Machray, The Poland of Pilsudski (London: Allen & Unwin, 1936), 280–2, 289.
50 Timothy, Snyder, The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569–1999 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003), 143; Shimon, Redlich, Together and Apart in Brzezany: Poles, Jews, and Ukrainians, 1919–1945 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002), 40, 57, 69; Machray, Poland, 358, 427–8.
51 Gross, Jan T., Revolution from Abroad: The Soviet Conquest of Poland's Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002); Keith, Sword, Deportation and Exile: Poles in the Soviet Union, 1939–48 (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1994).
52 Jolluck, Katherine R., Exile and Identity: Polish Women in the Soviet Union during World War II (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2002), 98–141.
53 Ryszard, Kapuściński, Imperium (London: Granta, 1994), 28–9; Wesley, Adamczyk, When God Looked the Other Way: An Odyssey of War, Exile and Redemption (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004); Thomas, Lane, Victims of Stalin and Hitler: The Exodus of Poles and Balts to Britain (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), 107–8; Jolluck, Exile and Identity, 125–6.
54 As one official put it in July 1945, ‘having reached an understanding with the Soviet Union to establish an ethnographic frontier, we have a tendency to be a national state, and not a state of nationalities’. Snyder, Reconstruction, 193.
56 Marek, Jasiak, ‘Overcoming Ukrainian Resistance: The Deportation of Ukrainians within Poland in 1947’, in Philipp, Ther and Ana, Siljak, eds., Redrawing Nations: Ethnic Cleansing in East-Central Europe, 1944–1948 (Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001), 184.
57 Anita, Prazmowska, Civil War in Poland, 1942–1948 (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2004), 186–9; Snyder, Reconstruction, 197–8.
58 Orest Subtelny, ‘Expulsion, Resettlement, Civil Strife: The Fate of Poland's Ukrainians, 1944–1947’, in Ther and Siljak, Redrawing Nations, 167–8.
59 Keith, Sword, ed., The Formation of the Polish Community in Great Britain 1939–1950 (London: School of Slavonic and East European Studies, 1989), 55–64, 198, 229.
60 Cardinal Hlond's appeal to DPs to return was published in Repatriant: Ilustrowany Tygodnik Informacyjny, No. 17, 1948. Thanks to Konrad Zielinski for this reference.
61 Marta, Dyczok, The Grand Alliance and Ukrainian Refugees (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2000), 123; Malcolm, Proudfoot, European Refugees, 1939–1952: A Study in Forced Population Movement (London: Faber, 1957), 182, 256.
62 Stoessinger, John G., The Refugee and the World Community (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1956), 68–71, 100; Hilton, Laura J., ‘Pawns on a Chessboard? Polish DPs and Repatriation from the US Zone of Occupation of Germany, 1945–1949’, in Steinert, J.-D. and Inge, Weber-Newth, Beyond Camps and Forced Labour (Osnabrück: Secolo, 2005), 90–102.
63 Wilson, Francesca M., In the Margins of Chaos: Recollections of Relief Work in and Between Three Wars (London: John Murray, 1944). According to Lane, Victims of Stalin and Hitler, 154–5, soldiers and DPs of modest means with homes in western Poland and who had not yet experienced Soviet rule returned in 1945–6.
64 The standard Polish source is Stefan Banasiak, Działalność osadnicza Państwowego Urzędu Repatriacyjnego na Ziemiach Odzyskanych w latach 1945–1947 (Poznań: Instytut Zachodni, 1963). Anna Louise Strong (see n. 44) paid a return visit to Poland and published I Saw the New Poland (Boston: Little, Brown, 1946). See also Bernard, Newman, Russia's Neighbour: The New Poland (London: Gollancz, 1946).
65 Eugene, Kulischer, Europe on the Move: War and Population Changes 1917–1947 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1948), 293; Elizabeth, Wiskemann, Germany's Eastern Neighbours: Problems Relating to the Oder-Neisse Line and the Czech Frontier Regions (London: Oxford University Press, 1956), 216; Włodzimierz Brus, ‘Postwar Reconstruction and Socio-Economic Transformation’, in Kaser, M. C. and Radice, E. A., eds., The Economic History of Eastern Europe 1919–1975. Volume 2: Interwar Policy, the War and Reconstruction (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986), 592–5; Philipp, Ther, ‘The Integration of Expellees in Germany and Poland After World War II: A Historical Reassessment’, Slavic Review, 55, 4 (1996), 786–7, 798–9; Padraic Kenney, ‘Polish Workers and the Stalinist Transformation’, in Norman, Naimark and Leonid, Gibianskii, eds., The Establishment of Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe (Boulder: Westview Press, 1997), 139–66.
66 Jerzy, Zubrzycki, Polish Immigrants in Britain: A Study of Adjustment (The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1956). The remarkable career of Zubrzycki (b. 1920) – cavalry cadet, prisoner of war, parachute officer, SOE officer in London, doctoral student at the LSE, civil servant and eminent sociologist in Australia – represents one extraordinary strand of Polish displacement.
67 SOS: A Call from 100,000 of Your Neighbours in Distress (Geneva: IRO, 1950), 8–9.
68 For reflections on this theme see Daniel, E. Valentine, ‘The Refugee: A Discourse on Displacement’, in Jeremy, MacClancy, ed., Exotic No More: Anthropology on the Front Lines (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002), 270–86.
69 An Armenian correspondent provided a neat international twist by suggesting that an enlarged Armenian homeland would ‘relieve the great American people from the burden of supporting indefinitely a nation of refugees’. A. H. Tiryakian to L. Kevork, Manchester, n.d. (1922), NAA f. 430, op. 1, d. 257, ll. 2–3.
70 Sword, Formation, 357–444. On class divisions in the diaspora see John Brown, The Un-Melting Pot: An English Town and its Immigrants (London: Macmillan, 1970), 38–40.
71 This is evident in travel writing, for example Michael Arlen, Passage to Ararat (London: Chatto & Windus, 1976). I am not aware of any Polish equivalent.
72 James L. Barton to Vartan Malcolm, 2 June 1923, NAA f. 430, op. 1, d. 263, l. 33.