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Dmowski, Roman°


DMOWSKI, ROMAN ° (1864–1939), Polish politician and antisemite. He was leader of the Polish National Democratic party (nd: *Endecja) before 1914 in the Russian part of Poland and its chief representative in two of the *Dumas. Dmowski constantly propounded the view that antisemitism was an expression of the Kulturkampf between Jews and Poles; he adopted the anti-Jewish *boycott slogans introduced during the elections to the Duma in 1912. While on the Polish National Council between 1917 and 1918, which he headed as the representative of Poland to the Allied Powers, Dmowski discussed the future relations between Poles and Jews with the American Jewish leader Louis *Marshall in October 1918, particularly in view of the boycott then poisoning the atmosphere. Dmowski contended that Polish-Jewish relations would improve as the result of economic progress in an independent Poland, which would diminish the prevailing tensions. His readiness during the talks to listen to severe criticism of his antisemitic stand obviously only indicated his wish to alter his unfavorable image among American Jews so as to gain support in his activities as chairman of the Polish council. Dmowski served for a brief period in 1923 as foreign minister of Poland. After Józef *Pilsudski ousted Dmowski's party from all political power in 1926, Dmowski concentrated on writing articles in which he used antisemitism to rally right-wing opposition to Pilsudski's regime. With Hitler's rise to power Dmowski anticipated the collapse of world Jewry which in his view had hitherto depended on Germany. His "Downfall of Jewry" (1934) expresses the opinion that the 20th century will seal the fate of the Jewish people, which he considered to be an historical anachronism.


J. Petrycki, Roman Dmowski (Pol., 1920); W. Feldman, Dzieje polskiej myśli politycznej 1864–1914 (1933). add. bibliography: R. Dmowski, Separatyzm zydowski i jego zrodla (1909); S. Rudnicki, Oboz narodowo radykalny (1985), index; A. Micewski, Z geografii politycznej ii Rzeczypospolitej (1966), 15–78; I. Openheim, "Yaḥaso shel ha-Demokratiyah ha-Le'ummit h-Polanit (ha-Endecja) li-She'elah ha-Yehudit be-Shilhei ha-Me'ah ha-19 ve-Reshit ha-Me'ah ha-20," in: Galed, 10 (1987), 87–119.

[Moshe Landau]

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