Polish Refugees and the Polish American Immigration and Relief Committee
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About the Book
The end of World War II found a devastated Poland under Soviet occupation. Many Poles—those displaced to work camps in Germany, those in German concentration and P.O.W. camps, and those still in Poland made the decision to immigrate to the United States. Their journey, however, would not be easy. The rigors of the war had affected America as well, and immigration laws were strict. Fortunately, many Polish refugees received help from the Polish American Immigration and Relief Committee (PAIRC). Founded in 1947 to help Polish citizens displaced by World War II, the committee continued its work as the postwar period became the Cold War era and Poles continued to flee the communist regime.
This study of the PAIRC and its work includes both the broad history of the committee and stories of specific individuals, which add detail and lend insight into the plight of the refugees and the importance of the advocacy that the committee provided. Drawing on information from committee archives and firsthand consultations with prominent members, this book covers such topics as American immigration law, aid for the Polish Republic, and the effect of political change in Poland itself. It also discusses how the downfall of the communist government transformed Poland into a country that opened its own arms to the world’s refugees.
About the Author(s)
Janusz Cisek is a professor and chair of European studies at Jagiellonian University, and Deputy Director of the Department of International Relations and European Integration at the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage in Warsaw, Poland. He lives in Warsaw and New York City.
Albert S. Juszczak teaches Polish at New York University in New York City and is the former President of the Kosciuszko Foundation. He lives in Elmhurst, New York.
Foreword by Janusz Krzyzanowski
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: 46 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
Table of Contents
Foreword by Janusz Krzyzanowski 1
I. The Genesis of the Polish American Immigration and Relief Committee in New York 11
II. A Survey of U.S. Immigration Law 14
III. The Polish American Community and the Problem of Aid for the Polish Republic During World War II 18
IV. The Committee’s Founding and the First Period of Activity 38
V. Other Engagements in the Years 1948–1957 71
VI. A Who’s Who in the Initial Years 83
VII. The Conclusion of the First Phase of Activity: A Summation of the Years 1947–1958 94
VIII. Enlarging the Scope of Operations: The Field Offices 103
IX. The Branches Abroad 115
X. The Committee Fights to Amend Immigration Laws 126
XI. Swimming with the Tide: Scaling Down, and Transformations 133
XII. Activity in the Years 1980–1990 187
XIII. A Review of Immigration Law in the Years 1980–1990 204
XIV. Political Changes in Poland: The Committee’s Activity in the Years 1990–2000 207
XV. A Summing Up and Conclusions 215
Book Reviews & Awards
“fill[s] important gaps…get this book”—Polish American Journal.