Camp of Great Poland

Camp of Great Poland

Camp of Great Poland (Polish: Obóz Wielkiej Polski, OWP) was a far-right[1], nationalist[1] political organization of National Democracy in interwar Poland.



Camp of Great Poland was founded on 4 December 1926 in Poznań by National Populist Union (Związek Ludowo-Narodowy, ZLN) and other organizations of right-wing National Democracy political camp, led by Roman Dmowski, to unite Polish right-wing organizations and oppose sanacja regime, which gained power following Józef Piłsudski's May Coup in 1926.[2] After merging with National Pupulist Union in 1928 OWP retained its autonomy within newly established National Party (Polish: Stronnictwo Narodowe).[3]

In 1927 youth branch of the organization was established (Polish: Ruch Młodych Obozu Wielkiej Polski).[4], which virtually dominated OWP by 1928.[5] OWP positions in Polish universities among students were especially strong[5][6], it also gained popularity among workers and the lower middle class.[7] In January 1930 Camp of Great Poland had 35,000 members[7], in May 1932 its membership reached 120,000.[3][7] By 1933 OWP claimed to have a quarter of a million followers.[5][7].

Outbreaks of the anti-Jewish violence in Eastern Galicia in 1927 led the organization to be banned in that region that year.[8] After a further wave of nationwide violence in 1933 OWP eventually banned in entire Poland.[8] Government, alarmed by rapid growth of OWP, banned the organization together with its youth movement[4] on 28 March 1933.[9] on the grounds that these organizations threatened stability of the state.[4]. After dissolution of the organization, even more radical young members of OWP formed the National Radical Camp (Polish: Obóz Narodowo Radykalny, ONR).[10] ONR would be banned soon after its establishment, in 1934.[8]


Camp of Great Poland was led by the Great Council (Polish: Wielka Rada). The head of the Council, with the title of the Great Camp-maker (Polish: Wielki Oboźny) was Roman Dmowski; other notable members included Tadeusz Bielecki, Marian Borzęcki, Stanisław Haller and Roman Rybarski.[11]


Camp of Great Poland supported strongly religious corporative authoritarianism[5], borrowing some ideas from Italian fascism.[12]

OWP did not pursue its goals on the political scene, increasingly controlled by Piłsudskiite Sanacja; instead it aimed to create a violent, revolutionary movement aimed at toppling the government.[11] Camp of Great Poland even had its own fighting squads organized.[3][12]

OWP front organization, the Green Ribbon League (Polish: Liga Zielonej Wstążki) actively propagated a boycott of the Jewish-owned businesses.[13] In early 1930s OWP campaigned for numerus nullus, a policy of complete exclusion of Jewish students and academics from Polish universities.[14] OWP anti-Jewish activities weren't however limited to political means only. OWP openly incited anti-Jewish riots[15], and its youth movement advocated violence against Jewish students.[4] OWP and related youth organizations were engaged in violent attacks against Jews.[3][13] Those attacks eventually led the Polish government to ban the organization.[8]


  1. ^ a b (Polish) Obóz Wielkiej Polski, Encyklopedia PWN
  2. ^ Wapiński 1980, 264-265.
  3. ^ a b c d Lerski, Jerzy Jan (1996). Historical Dictionary of Poland, 966-1945. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 55–56. ISBN 0313260079. 
  4. ^ a b c d Michlic, Joanna Beata (2006). Poland's Threatening Other: The Image of the Jew from 1880 to the Present. University of Nebraska Press. pp. 112. ISBN 0803232403. 
  5. ^ a b c d Payne, Stanley G. (1995). A History of Fascism, 1914-1945. Univetsity of Wisconsin Press. pp. 321. ISBN 0299148742. 
  6. ^ Crampton, R. J. (1994). Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century. Routledge. pp. 48. ISBN 0415053463. 
  7. ^ a b c d Michlic, p.316
  8. ^ a b c d (Polish) Diapozytyw: Slownik terminow: Antysemityzm
  9. ^ Wapiński 1980, 299.
  10. ^ Blinkhorn, Martin (2000). Fascism and the Right in Europe, 1919-1945. Pearson Education. pp. 53. ISBN 058207021X. 
  11. ^ a b (Polish) Obóz Wielkiej Polski Encyklopedia WIEM
  12. ^ a b Frucht, Richard C. (2005). Eastern Europe: An Introduction to the People, Lands, and Culture. ABC-CLIO. pp. 26. ISBN 1576078000. 
  13. ^ a b Melzer, Emanuel (1997). No Way Out: The Politics of Polish Jewry, 1935-1939. Hebrew Union College Press. pp. 6. ISBN 0878204180. 
  14. ^ Richard S. Levy, ed (2005). Antisemitism: A Historical Encyclopedia of Prejudice and Persecution. ABC-CLIO. pp. 275. ISBN 1851094393. 
  15. ^ Haumann, Heiko (2002). A History of East European Jews. Central European University Press. pp. 224. ISBN 9639241261. 


  • Wapiński, Roman (1980). Narodowa Demokracja 1893-1939. Wrocław: Zakład Narodowy Imienia Ossolińskich. ISBN 83-04-00008-3. 

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