The Social Origins of the Polish Secret Police, 1944-1954


Dissertation Fellowships in East European Studies




The decade of unbridled repression by the Communist government in Poland following the end of the Second World War has given rise to the idea of a Manichean struggle between an illegitimate totalitarian state and a rebellious society, overlooking the fact that the postwar regime experienced little difficulty in quickly attracting a sizable number of recruits to its internal security services, in particular the secret police. This project goes beyond the stereotypical profiles of secret policemen as social rejects and national minorities to seek out individual motivations and the root causes of personal accommodation to authoritarian rule.