Polish Scholar Visits Hoover Library & Archives To Research Assistance To Anti-Communist Opposition In Poland

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Paweł Sowiński, a fellow at Institute of Political Studies, Polish Academy of Science in Warsaw, has completed his October visit to Hoover. His research here, sponsored by the Polish National Research Council, centered on American support for Polish anti-communist opposition during the Cold War.

Paweł Sowiński, Stanford, October 2018

Dr. Sowiński is a graduate of the Warsaw University Faculty of History, where he received his M.A. degree in 1998 and completed his the doctorate in 2004. Since 2000 he has worked at the  Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Science.  Besides transnational aid to the Polish opposition, Sowiński has researched the underground book scene, tourism,  and the May Day festivals in communist Poland.  He has received research funding from the International Visegrad Fund, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and most recently the Polish National Research Council. Sowiński’s earlier visit to the Hoover Library & Archives, in 2014, was partially funded by Hoover.

Paweł Sowiński recently co-edited, together with Gwido Zlatkes and Ann M. Frenkel, a collective volume entitled Duplicator Underground. The Independent Publishing Industry in Communist Poland, 1976-89 (Slavica Publishers, 2016). In 2016, he also published a monograph in Polish about the U.S. government financed book program for Poland, Tajna Dyplomacja. Książki emigracyjne w drodze do Polski 1956-1989 [Secret Diplomacy: Émigré Books on their Way to Poland, 1956-1989]. This work is based substantially on the George Caputineanu Minden papers available in the Hoover Institution Archives.  During his recent visit Dr. Sowiński continued his research on the Cold War books project for Poland, concentrating on Hoover’s rich Polish émigré collections. By helping to subsidize publishing and smuggling of émigré literature into Poland, the book project helped to create favorable conditions for pro-democratic thinking among Polish opposition elites. This literature, along with the programming of Radio Free Europe, contributed to the collapse of communism in 1989 and was a significant factor in the emergence of a civil society in Poland.

Maciej Siekierski PhD

Senior Curator / Research Fellow

Maciej Siekierski is curator of the European Collections at the Hoover Institution Library & Archives and a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.

siekierski [at] stanford.edu