Book Review: The Story of Sidonie C in Self & Society Autumn 2020

 Self & Society Vol. 48 No. 2 Autumn 2020, p.81

 Reviewed by Gillian Proctor 

 This edition is the first time this labour of love has been printed in the English language, having been originally printed in German in 2000. It is the biography of a woman, the named Sidonie, who lived from 1900 until 1999, and the book comprises 362 pages of a dense personal and moving history of the twentieth century, with the central focus in Vienna, Austria. 

The depth of detail in this book, and the meticulous research which must have gone into it, are staggering. The two authors, one of whom was the grand-daughter of Sidonie’s lifelong friend, met with Sidonie over a period of four years, recording her recollections, and returning after research with further questions. The accomplishment of this endeavour when Sidi was in her late 90s is remarkable. The two authors discuss their difficult decision about whether to use the pseudonym of ‘Sidi’ or her real name, Margarethe (known as Gretl) in the introduction. I found it frustrating that after this initial explanation of their roles, thereafter the authors disappear in the story, and this biography is presented as though an autobiography, with the authors’ contributions of interpretation, filling in missing detail or artistic licence completely unacknowledged. As a literary device, this works to the extent that the reader feels she is hearing Sidonie’s story directly, but I was left with a dissatisfaction that I was unsure whether Sidonie wanted to portray herself in such a superficial way, or whether this was more the authors’ perceptions. 

Sidonie had a truly incredible life, worthy of a biography. She had relationships with women in a time when it was illegal in Austria and certainly frowned upon, and yet managed to regain her position in bourgeois society, only partly by also getting married to a man. She was a traveller, and spent parts of her life in other parts of the world, first escaping the Nazi occupation of Austria in 1940. She stayed in Vienna as long as she could, trying not to identify as Jewish as she had been baptised Catholic. Her journey around the world culminating in Cuba, where she joined her two brothers, was epic, and worthy of a book in itself. She also spent time in the USA, in Spain, in Paris, in Thailand and in Brazil, and for much of her life was nomadic, only owning homes for very brief periods, and often lodging with friends or taking up offers of work that involved living with her employers. 

This book is marketed as the story of Freud’s ‘case of homosexuality’, yet this is not of huge significance in the book, nor for me does it state the significance of the book. Being a patient of Freud situates our protagonist in place – Vienna; time – 1918; and class – bourgeois; and it indicates her part refusal to fit with what polite society required from her at that time. The two sides of this therapy relationship are interestingly discrepant, with Freud describing her as ‘A beautiful and clever girl… enamoured of the lady in question… this one interest had swallowed up all others… neglectful of her own reputation… brazen.’ (p. 28). Sidonie’s parents sent her to Professor Freud, wanting him to ‘bring her back to the normal’ (p. 29) from her infatuation with a baroness of dubious reputation. From her side, Sidonie (p. 27) ‘in general, … finds him uninteresting; an old man with a lovely white beard who poses sticky questions and makes unbelievable assertions about her’. It seems that Freud diagnoses that Sidonie is looking for a mother substitute in her devotion to a woman, as her own is cold, distant and competitive, and she has turned away from men due to her envy at her mother having babies with her father in a classic Oedipal interpretation which Sidi finds outrageous. She uses the time to chat away and seems to be engaging to try and please her father enough to not be constrained in being able to see the woman to whom she is devoted. Freud, for his part, realised that she is resisting him emotionally and deceiving him (making up dreams!), has no desire to change in the way her parents want and finally tells her parents that he has finished what he can do, and suggests they may wish to continue with a woman doctor, which is a huge relief to Sidonie. 

It is interesting to think about Sidonie’s early experiences whilst reading about the rest of her life. Of relevance are not just her cold distant mother, but also her socio-cultural environment of growing up Jewish in a climate of anti-Semitism, clearly internalised by her whole family and trying to hide their identities by being confirmed Catholic, with the constant realistic fear of losing their bourgeois position. Despite the strap line of ‘homosexuality’, Sidonie herself is more comfortable with a self-definition of asexuality, and her discomfort and even disgust with bodies is clear throughout. Her passion for certain women is explained by her appreciation of their beauty, and her fantasies of these women are much more sustainable in her psyche than any real relationships. She does have a couple of sexual encounters, however, with two of the greatest loves of her life, the aforementioned baroness Leonie and, later, a short-lived relationship with Wjera, when both women are reunited after their traumatic experiences (particularly Wjera) in the Second World War. 

What is palpable to me throughout the book is her lack of close relationships, with the exception of a dog and a monkey. This is presented as neither loneliness nor independence, but more as an ever-present regret that her fantasies of the women she has loved throughout her life never translate into ongoing relationships, but her wish always seems to be to feel alive with feelings of passion, rather than for anything relational. 

I was upset when Sidi died at the end of the book, despite her being very clear she had had enough of life at the age of 99 – but I didn’t want her story to end. Perhaps the sense I am left with is a regret at feeling I didn’t really get any relational sense of who Sidonie was, beyond a description of her experiences which, however amazing and fascinating in the context of history, nevertheless leave me with a sense of emptiness, which may well be the emptiness that Sidi herself experienced. If this is the case, the authors did an amazing job to evoke such a response. 

I thoroughly recommend this book to all interested in understanding how we construct our lives from the particular circumstances around where, how and when we are thrown into the world, particularly the cultural impacts of anti-Semitism and heteronormativity, and who wonder about the role of therapy in relation to such issues. 

Dr Gillian Proctor is Lecturer in Counselling and Psychotherapy, University of Leeds, UK. 

Book Review: The Story of Sidonie C in BACP Private Practice, September 2020

Private Practice is the quarterly journal of BACP Private Practice division, for counsellors and psychotherapists working independently. It is published by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy ( BACP)

REVIEW BY: Catherine Jackson, freelance editor and writer, specialising in counselling and mental health

BACP Private Practice, September 2020 p.37

Sidonie C’ was the subject of Freud’s only recorded ‘Case of Homosexuality in a Woman’, published in 1920. She was, in fact, Margarethe Csonka, the indulged daughter of a Viennese industrialist, whose life spanned almost the whole of the 20th century, from 1900 to 1999. Her biographers decided to respect her confidentiality nonetheless, and gave her the name ‘Sidonie’, or Sidi.

The book is drawn from interviews with Sidi in the latter years of her life when she had returned to Vienna, having fled the Nazi Anschluss during the Second World War. Her family was Jewish, although she was raised a Catholic. She left Vienna a year or so into the war, aided by various Jewish refugee organisations. She lived first with two of her brothers in Cuba and then, post war, in America.

Aged 18, Sidi became infatuated with a married woman who openly had affairs with both women and men. Such was her passion that, on being rejected by the woman, Sidi tried to take her own life. In despair, her parents sent her to see Freud. Freud was not opposed to homosexuality, or optimistic about the success of psychoanalysis in converting a person to heterosexuality: ‘In general,’ he wrote, ‘to undertake to convert a fully developed homosexual into a heterosexual does not offer much more prospect of success than the reverse, except that for good practical reasons the latter is never attempted’. Humans, he argued, are essentially bisexual; often, they will simply choose what is available.

Sidi’s exposure to Freud’s observations continued for about four months. In that time, she managed, guilelessly at times and at other times with deliberate intent, to bamboozle him and make a nonsense of his pronouncements. She chatted to him chirpily about the acceptable face of her busy social life, complained about her indulged brothers, her mother’s harsh treatment of her and her father’s angry attempts to make her obey him, and concocted a few dreams for him, as he seemed to want her to have some. She found him, frankly, creepy. His conclusion was, predictably, a simple inversion of his interpretation of male homosexuality: Sidonie was in love with her father, jealous of her mother and, at the same time, desperate for her love and approval. Thus, she sought it in another, older woman.

However, this potentially fascinating tale occupies only a few pages of the book. The rest tells the no less fascinating tale of the entirety of Sidi’s eventful life against the backdrop of 20th century Europe’s turbulent history. There isn’t much of direct professional interest to counsellors and psychotherapists, other than its cautionary tale of how one of the founding figures of their profession got it so wrong, blinded (or blocked?) as he was by his own theories to the reality of the young woman lying on his couch.

Interview with Lovice Maria Ullein-Reviczky, the translator of 
German War, Russian Peace

The Hungarian Tragedy by Antal Ullein-Reviczky

When was the first time you decided to translate your father’s memoir? And what has influenced your decision?

Lovice Maria Ullein-Reviczky

We have to go a long way back for that one, to when I first met President Árpád Göncz at the Hungarian Embassy in London in 1992. The President was in London together with Foreign Minister, Dr Géza Jeszenszky, and they invited me to return home. It was then that the “homecoming” of my late father, Antal Ullein-Reviczky, was organised, with a Festival in Budapest, the Budapesti Pünkösdi Fesztival, May-June 1993, with President Göncz as Patron.

President Göncz
Budapesti Pünkösdi Fesztival, May-June 1993, with President Göncz

The event attracted hundreds of guests from all over the world, with many international investors visiting Hungary for the first time. President Göncz welcomed the guests with these words:

“I am very pleased to welcome you among the patrons of the 1993 Budapest Whitsun Festival. When I accepted the patronage of this Festival and of the Antal Ullein-Reviczky Award, I did this not only to pay tribute to someone who struggled for Hungarian independence, but also in the hope of creating new traditions adding to the glamour of our city and broadening the scope of its cultural offer. I trust that all of us will find the programs of this and future festivals satisfactory.”

The first edition of the Hungarian translation of Antal Ullein-Reviczky’s memoirs, Német háború – orosz béke, hardcover souvenir edition, was presented to President Göncz and to other members of the Hungarian Government who were on the podium. It then became clear to me that this very important story deserved an English translation.

Having such a close relationship to the author of the memoir is a very unique situation for a translator. Does it pose special challenges when carrying out the translation, or did it make it easier to find the right style and voice in the English language version?

It was indeed a unique situation, you could call it an example of the bond between father and daughter. I should like to mention that this is not only the rendering of text from French to English one word at a time, unexpectedly I also became the editor when Prof. Dr. Tibor Frank handed me this challenging task. I supplemented the text with additional material from the URA archive, footnotes, photographs and documents, so it is a new international version of the original 1947 French edition, “Guerre allemande-paix russe”. I am now considering a German edition “Deutscher krieg – russischer frieden”.

It has been almost 5 years since the English version was published. Can you tell us about the reception of the book? What kind of feedback have you received?

German War Russian Peace

Well, the first thing people notice is the iconic book cover, everyone loves the photograph of father Telling a story to little Lovice about bad people who invaded Hungary (in his own handwriting on the original photograph).

The feedback has been five stars from all those I know as well as on reviews and from leading academics. Let me quote a few:

“One of the best, if not the best, historical memoir of Hungary in the disastrous years of 1938 to 1945 now published for the first time in the English language.”

Amazon reader’s review

“The Memoirs has been printed in three languages. This review is based on the most recent English edition, the translated by Ullein-Reviczky’s daughter Lovice Maria Ullein-Reviczky, and with a foreword by Historian Tibor Frank who specializes in Hungarian political history and Hungarian-English relations. The memoir has been supplemented with additional documents and photographs.”

Journal of Southeast European Studies

“The new English edition of “German War-Russian Peace” the memoir of Hungarian diplomat Antal Ullein-Reviczky is allowing so many more readers to learn about Hungary during the fateful years that led to its demise as a free country after WWII. Deeply anti-fascist, Antal Ullein-Reviczky was a witness to history and as such his observations are extremely valuable for all those who are interested in Hungary. The book is highly readable and provides information that will enhance our knowledge of a period historians should study with an open mind. Antal Ullein-Reviczky was an outstanding individual with sharp insight combined with a strong sense of fairness, compassion and patriotism which clearly defines him as someone who tried to do the right thing against all odds.”

Amazon reader’s review

“This is primary source material, in a highly readable form, with a very attractive presentation. It will interest historians and lay readers of history. It will especially interest those curious about the efforts made by the Hungarian government when it was trying to avoid the disaster the country was plummeting toward during WW II. It happened anyway, but not for lack of trying…”

Amazon reader’s review

“A brilliant historical document. Superb quality presentation. Highly recommended. German War-Russian Peace is a fresh, intimate and revealing insight into what went on politically in Europe before and during the Second World War. A must for experts and armchair historians alike, this personal and honest reminiscence brings a great hero to light, and offers us food for thought about political systems past and future.”

Amazon reader’s review

Please tell us how as more archival material has become available your father’s role in the events of WWII has changed or expanded.

Magyar Front Cover
Magyar Front, Fall 2010

Enormously, so much so that the archival material would fill volumes. Today Ullein-Reviczky’s reputation is unassailable, near sacred and almost inviolable, a Hungarian hero who deserves the name. His standing in post-Communist Hungary is arguably higher than it was during WWII when he struggled to save his war-battered nation. As Mother writes in her diary: Antal risked his life every day. Dr. Antal Ullein-Reviczky was also a statesman-soldier, as portrayed by Peter Czink in MAGYAR FRONT. To quote Dr. József Antall, the first freely elected Prime Minister of Hungary after the fall of Communism:

“Antal Ullein-Reviczky was brave enough to take up a stand against Hitler at a time when he risked his life by doing so, today we are aware of how many people Antal Ullein-Reviczky negotiated with at home and abroad in his efforts to secure enough help from Western powers for Hungary to be able to withdraw from the war. He was a political realist, a democratic figure whose life and work can serve as an example to all of us.”

The Raoul Wallenberg story was one that changed dramatically when it was revealed how close the link was between Wallenberg and Ullein-Reviczky (see Raoul Wallenberg Foundation: NOT A ‘NOBODY’: CHOICE OF RAOUL WALLENBERG IN 1944 NOT ACCIDENTAL 19-03-2012, by Susanne Berger, Dr. Vadim Birstein). 

Every day something new surfaces. I just received this text from Susan Berger in February 2019: The new findings underscore your father’s central role in Stockholm – both with regards to Anglo-American contacts regarding separate peace negotiations, but aiding Swedish intelligence efforts in Hungary, to aid the resistance and with the overarching aim of countering the Soviet Union. The fact that all this occurred much earlier than previously thought raises important questions also about Raoul Wallenberg’s contacts with your father in Stockholm and Raoul’s ties to Swedish intelligence, they confirm our previous discoveries which is crucial. So, your father’s role in Stockholm attains even greater significance than previously known.

As David Amante writes:

“Antal Ullein-Reviczky is the fascinating man who guides Raoul Wallenberg behind the scenes in his rescue actions, in agreement with international authorities.” (Point of No Return Wallenberg, Milan, 2014)

The one very interesting thing is that your father mentions in his memoir that he first met U.S. intelligence representatives in Stockholm on December 1, 1944. In fact, he really hit the ground running, with first meetings already on October 23, 1944. This, too, is significant, because his arrival coincided with the appointment of Carl Bonde as head of Swedish Counterintelligence. And from that moment on, the preparations for a meaningful Hungarian intelligence operation was in full swing. We knew that discussions were under way, but not that there was such a coordinated, intense effort under way already in October 1943.

Please tell us about the Activities of the URA Foundation.

The Ullein-Reviczky Foundation was created to keep alive my father’s memory. He was a renowned Hungarian diplomat and academic, who did everything in his power during difficult times to combat Nazi infiltration of his native country. The Foundation dedicates itself to maintaining the positive moral values of my father, who in difficult times defended the inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled as a human being. As for its activities, where can I start? The foundation maintains and preserves the Antal Ullein-Reviczky Historical Archive; helps to further historical research based on the Ullein-Reviczky Archive; has implemented the Antal Ullein-Reviczky Award and Scholarship programme; manages the Antal Ullein-Reviczky Centre; provides an intellectual platform where fellow humans can share information on social,economic, cultural and political issues on a regular basis; organizes meetings and other events with leading national and international representatives in the fields of politics, diplomacy, economy, society, science, culture and religion; supports Hungary by keeping up its finest and most enduring traditions and making new ones.

Slavic Review: Third Europe

Third Europe: Polish Federalist Thought in the United States, 1940–1970s.

By Sławomir Łukasiewicz.
Reno, NV: Helena History Press LLC, 2016.
Trans. Witold Zbirohowski-Kościa. 476 pp.
Notes. Bibliography. Glossary. Index. Photographs. Maps.
$50.00, hard bound.
doi: 10.1017/slr.2018.143

Third Europe

This engrossing work deals with the organized efforts of a substantial body of political activists and intellectuals who worked together to discuss and promote the idea of a federalist solution to the national security concerns of the states in east central Europe, many of which gained their independence after World War I. These individuals, many of them Poles, realized that independence alone was no guarantee for their “third Europe” homelands—countries geographically perched between two threatening super powers—Germany and Russia. Nor were alliances with one another, with Britain and France, or their membership in international bodies like the League of Nations enough in themselves. Instead, the push for a “federalist” solution (a concept whose meaning and implications receive considerable discussion from the author) was something these individuals saw as a far better way to provide for both their countries’ individual advancement and their shared national security needs.

In the interwar period, however, the idea of federalism fell like a seed on rocky ground. The focus of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Albania and the Baltic states was on nation building, a focus that too often led to friction and divisions over boundary and ethnic minority issues. World War II in turn brought devastation to the region. What followed was the Soviet takeover of east central Europe, a “solution” to the issues of the region that the federalists, along with a host of other émigrés who found themselves in western Europe and the United States after the War, totally rejected. 

Out of this tragedy came a new impetus for the exiles’ patriotic thinking, and their far-sighted but realistic discussions in support of a federalist, post-Soviet, future for east central Europe. Their many activities, often taking place in concert with various American and west European activists who established organizations in the decade after World War II like the National Committee for a Free Europe, and exile groups who became involved in the Assembly of Captive European Nations, are well presented. These involved debates on a number of proposed federalist solutions—some of which focused on bi-lateral relations (most notably between Poland and Czechoslovakia) and others that extended the application of federalism to most, if not all, of the countries in the region.

Two particular features of this work merit a comment here. One involves the author’s extensive and welcome discussion of the thought and scholarship of a number of Poles who settled permanently in the United States after 1940 and went on to establish impressive and influential academic careers in this country. Four of these individuals receive particular attention. The oldest was the historian Oskar Halecki (1891–1973), who had already achieved prominence in Poland and was in the U.S. at the start of World War II. An organizer of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America, which was formed in the wake of the ruthless Nazi and Soviet efforts to destroy his country, Halecki found a home at Fordham University and published extensively on Polish history through the rest of his life. A second scholar was the Kraków-born sociologist Feliks Gross (1906–2006), who wrote extensively about federalism and was based at the City University of New York. Marian Kamil Dziewanowski (1913–2005), a Polish army officer during the War who later earned his PhD in History at Harvard University, went on to enjoy a multifaceted career at Boston University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The fourth member of this distinguished group, Piotr Wandycz (1923–2017), whose work in diplomatic history at Indiana and Yale Universities gained him international recognition and saw him guiding a number of graduate students who continue to publish extensively on Polish, east-central European, and global matters. Moreover, the work of all four continues to be read and cited to this very day. A last point about this book involves the connections between the ideas of the east-central European federalists and the developments in the region since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. This subject, briefly touched upon by the author, merits a mention here. Freedom and independence for the countries of “East-Central Europe” (a term coined by Halecki), has indeed been greatly enhanced by the entry of nearly all of them into the NATO alliance from 1999 and the European Union after 2003. In a real sense these two developments represent the realization of the federalists’ dream, and it is to be hoped that the foolish criticisms of these organizations, both from within and from outside them, will not do serious damage to them.

There are also the regional organizations that have arisen in the spirit of the federalists—most notably the Visegrad group that brings Poland, Hungary, and the Czech and Slovak republics together—and the recent conversations about a broader “Three Seas Initiative.” These efforts are further testimony to the far-sighted thinking of the east-central European federalists whose aim was always the well-being of the peoples of the “Third Europe.”

Donald E. Pienkos
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Foreword Review’s Review of Comrade Baron

August 26, 2016

by Bradley A. Scott

Comrade Baron

Jaap Scholten has done an extraordinary job of recording and presenting the stories of a persecution almost forgotten.

In Comrade Baron, Jaap Scholten explores a harrowing history little known in the English-speaking world. With a mixture of personal observation, sympathetic interviews, and astute historical analysis, he exposes the Romanian government’s cruel campaign against the aristocratic families of Transylvania between 1949 and 1989, when Nicolae Ceaușescu’s brutal dictatorship finally collapsed. “I want to write down the stories of a disappearing world,” he explains to a skeptical sister-in-law in the introduction. Those stories form a gripping and tragic tale. 

Read full review on Foreword Reviews’ website

The New Criterion Review: Comrade Baron

“Elegy for elegance” by David Pryce-Jones

Vol. 35, No. 6 / February 2017

A review of Comrade Baron: A Journey through the Vanishing World of the Transylvanian Aristocracy by Jaap Scholten

Comrade Baron

Comrade Baron is a highly personalized defense of aristocracy. These days, that’s the sort of thing that simply isn’t done and this singular book therefore runs the risk of being overlooked, perhaps even finding a place on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum that keeps progressives occupied. That would be a shame. Comrade Baron is thought-provoking and a pleasure to read.

Read full review on New Criterion website

Review: Third Europe: Polish Federalist Thought in the United States, 1940–1970s

Reviewed by Marcus E. Ethridge 
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Emeritus)

Third Europe

Between 1939 and 1945, nearly 15,000 Poles arrived in the United States, including a substantial number of highly respected Polish intellectuals. Their ideas they explored and the proposals they discussed were driven by their shared hope for an independent Poland, lost first to the Nazis and later to the Soviet empire.

This book’s title can be traced to an observation by a British columnist in January of 1942. The columnist, Valentine Heywood, identified the “Third Europe” as a “lithe” area situated between Germany and Russia, and stretching from the Baltic as far as the Adriatic, the Aegean, and the Black Sea” (p. 1). The Cold War divided Europe into East and West, of course, but Polish émigrés in the United States made strong arguments for the idea that Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Lithuania, and Greece constituted an identifiable region that would figure prominently in Europe’s future.

Sławomir Łukasiewicz brings a detailed historical perspective to the political and legal analysis generated by these Polish intellectuals, giving us valuable insights into the issues at stake in the emerging bi-polar post-war world. Although these thinkers were a diverse lot, the book focuses on their efforts to create a federal arrangement for the countries of central Europe.

Long before the creation of the European Common Market and decades before the EU was formed, the idea of a European federation had been discussed seriously among important politicians and philosophers, particularly in Central Europe. Among the most important was Count Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi, an Austrian politician (born in Japan in 1894), who had argued in 1923 for a federal system. According to Łukasiewicz, Coudenhove-Kalergi’s ideas influenced Winston Churchill and many others during and after the war. However, while many spoke of a “United States of Europe,” Łukasiewicz notes that the federation envisioned by Coudenhove-Kalergi and others would primarily emphasize collective security and trade.

Although many Polish intellectuals were initially drawn to the Pan-European Movement, most broke away from it in the early 1930s. Toward the end of World War II, the Polish government thoroughly rejected the concept of Pan-Europeanism, largely because its leaders distrusted the Germans and the Soviets. Łukasiewicz chronicles the evolution of support among Polish-American intellectuals for a federation of central European states. These thinkers represented an extensive array of perspectives, although they shared the idea that a federal arrangement of these nations would be beneficial. Some were concerned about collective security, given that the countries included had a population of some 15 million, which could support an army of more than a million. Others focused on the need for independence from the Soviet and Western blocs.

The book documents the contributions of dozens of historians and political scientists, more than can be described in this review. Among the most noteworthy is Oskar Halecki, who joined the faculty of Fordham University in 1944.

Łukasiewicz points out that Halecki was opposed to a “world order based on the balance of power, which was the opposite of a world order based on federalist states” (p. 111). Feliks Gross was, according to Łukasiewicz, “one of the most original Polish thinkers of the twentieth century” (p. 219). Gross’s 1945 book, Crossroads of Two Continents: A Democratic Federation of East-Central Europe, set out proposals for several alternative federations of central and eastern European nations, based on the importance of security and economic factors.

Piotr Wandycz, currently professor emeritus at Yale, contributed significantly to the concept of federalism in the post-war years. One of his key contributions was the idea that a federal arrangement can only work if it was “transformed into a new ideology” that supported personal and national freedom. 1

Łukasiewicz points out that the proposals prepared by the Poles during the war failed in 1945. The Cold War dominated international relations, and Western policies were often shaped by concerns for Soviet responses and demands. However, it is arguable that many of the ideas discussed in this book have been fulfilled. 

As the author notes, an identifiable “Eastern Europe” became a reality “when Belarus and Ukraine broke away from the Soviet Union” and when Poland, Hungary, and other nations joined NATO. Recent actions by Putin’s Russia are perhaps best understood by appreciating the pro-federation forces that existed throughout the last century, which were articulated so ably by Polish émigrés. Some readers will feel that The Third Europe is more of a bibliographical synopsis than a thorough analysis of the federalism concept as it applies to Poland and her neighboring states. However, the book provides an excellent discussion of the contribution that Polish émigrés made to the modern understanding of history and international relations by exploring the special problems of central Europe in the mid-twentieth century. 


1. Halecki was also a founder and President of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America (PIASA). Gross and Wandycz later served as President of this interdisciplinary academic Association, which is the sponsor of The Polish Review.