The genesis of the federalist thought that the book discusses is related to the collapse of the international order in East Central Europe in the years 1938-1939, which also marked a breakthrough in political concepts. One of the projects widely discussed beginning in the fall of 1939 was the idea of combining Poland’s and Czechoslovakia’s war efforts, which soon developed into federalist concepts, leading, in turn, to particular political gestures: the Polish-Czechoslovak Declaration of November 11, 1940; a joint project of a constitution of a future Polish-Czechoslovak Federation; and, finally, the Declaration from January 1942. The process was also reflected in the activities of other groups from East-Central Europe — including Polish circles — in the United States. The Declaration of November 1940 coincided with the publication of the inaugural issue of the journal New Europe and World Reconstruction, after the war the same milieu created another initiatives — Polish Federalists’ Association in America (Związek Polskich Federalistów — ZPF), Czechoslovak Polish Research Committee or the journal “The Central European Federalist”. The journals and organizations aspired to influencing U.S. policy. Poles and their Central European colleagues in exile cooperated with the American Committee for European Reconstruction during the war or with the National Committee for a Free Europe (later Free Europe Committee) after the war. There were many more initiatives referring to federalist ideas which incubated in the United States. Chronologically, the first organizations dealing with such problems included the International Peasant Union and the Christian Democratic Union of Central Europe. Another, much more important initiative was the Assembly of Captive European Nations — ACEN — established in 1954. ACEN included both representatives of national committees, which were part of the Free Europe Committee and representatives of CDUCE, the International Peasant Union, the Socialist Union of Central-Eastern Europe and the Liberal Union of Central Europe.
The goal of the political federalist thought was to offer the best solution to the situation in which Poland found itself after World War II. There were differences of opinion about the actual structure of the federation of states (or nations) that was to be established, about the way of establishing it and the political options that were proposed. However, the common assumption was that, without joint activism by the émigrés, followed by collective action by the countries of East Central Europe, independence could not be gained.
Sławomir Łukasiewicz, Hab. PhD, historian, Europeanist. Since October 2015 director of the Institute of European Studies, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science, Faculty of Law, Canon Law and Administration. Head of the Research Department at the Lublin branch of the Institute of National Remembrance, 2011-2015 coordinator of research program on Polish political exile 1939(45)-1990. Author of the books Trzecia Europa. Polska myśl federalistyczna w Stanach Zjednoczonych, 1940-1971 [Third Europe. Polish federalist thought in the United States – 1940-1970s], Warszawa-Lublin 2010; Partia w warunkach emigracji. Dylematy Polskiego Ruchu Wolnościowego “Niepodległość i Demokracja” 1945-1994 [Émigré party. Dilemmas of the Polish Freedom Movement “Independence and Democracy” 1945-1994], Lublin-Warszawa 2014; and several publications about Polish émigrés and their European visions (e.g. “Poles in European Federal Movement”, Warszawa 2005) as well as about activities of Polish communist intelligence after the II World War. Editor among others of Tajny oręż, czy ofiary zimnej wojny? Emigracje polityczne z Europy Środkowej i Wschodniej[Secret weapon or the victims of the Cold War? Political émigrés from Central and Eastern Europe], Lublin 2010; Towards a United Europe: an Anthology of Twentieth Century Polish Thought on Europe, Warsaw 2011; Polska emigracja polityczna 1939-1990. Stan badań[Polish political exile 1939-1990. Research reports], Warszawa 2016.
“A ground-breaking book that unveils a world hitherto unknown to the English-language reader — even though this world was based in the United States. Required reading for any student of political exile and emigration.”
Piotr H. Kosicki, University of Maryland
“Third Europe is about an idea. Many émigrés from East Central Europe who left their native lands because of World War II and communism wound up in the United States, where they were free to discuss the future shape of Europe and quickly discovered new inspiration — not only in regional traditions but also in the thoughts of the American Founding Fathers. Sławomir Łukasiewicz recounts the fate of these thinkers, illustrates the historical and political context in which they would act and create, and discusses the concept of a federalized East Central Europe. Many of these ideas are still current, which is why this book is not only of scholarly importance but also is significant in contemporary discussions about this topic.”
John Micgiel, President and Executive Director (Kosciuszko Foundation)
“The outbreak of the Second World War and the complete collapse of the world order created at Versailles led anti-Fascist, democratic politicians and intellectuals from Nazi-occupied Europe to work out plans for a future lasting and peaceful European settlement. In such a context, the projects that envisioned federalist or confederalist solutions formed the origins of the quest for a European union that was destined to characterize post-war Western Europe. Ideas put forth by the émigré political leaders and scholars from East-Central Europe were part of a process that was not limited to the war years but continued long after the ‘iron curtain’ had divided Europe and were of paramount relevance to defining the characteristics of the ‘return to Europe’ after 1989. Professor Lukasiewicz’s study explores those plans in detail on the basis of broad and in-depth research. This important scholarly contribution offers food for thought for everyone who is interested not only in the history of the European integration but also in the image of a continental order that was nurtured by Polish politicians and intellectuals.”
Antonio Varsori, professor, History of International Relations, University of Padua