The Polish Question through the Eyes of Professor Sergey Konovalov

Publication type Article
Status Published
Institute of World History RAS
Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Institute of World History RAS
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameISTORIYA

The first edition was published in London in 1944 and soon reprinted in the U.S.A. Konovalov was a Russian emigrant and a Professor in Birmingham University. In his constructions Russian and British intellectual traditions merged. It is concluded that the concept presented in the book fit well into the British historiographical discourse. S. A. Konovalov set a task to understand the evolution of ideas about the Russian-Polish ethnographic borderland. He fully shared the prevailing view in UK that the optimal line of demarcation between Poland and the USSR should be the Curzon line. S. A. Konovalov considered the problem of borders painful, generated by political adventurism, irreconcilable struggle of ideologies, catastrophic consequences of disintegration of empires and at the same time short-sightedness of Versailles system. Overcoming the shortcomings was inevitable, and the search for the optimal Russian-Polish border was among the priorities. Also the article analyzes the reaction of the scientific community to the publication of the book, primarily the critical views of the Polish historians (O. Halecki and W. Lednicki). The article shows that the views of S. A. Konovalov were formed both under the influence of his intellectual environment and under the influence of current historical events.

KeywordsS. A. Konovalov, Polish question, Poland, USSR, United Kingdom, World War II, historiography, Russian emigration
Publication date16.09.2019
Number of characters34936
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