Sanacja


Sanacja

"Sanacja" (Sanation) was a coalition political movement in the interbellum Second Polish Republic. It was created in 1926 by Józef Piłsudski as a broad movement to support the "moral sanation" ("restoration to health") of the Polish body politic before and after the May 1926 "Coup d'État" that brought Piłsudski to virtually dictatorial power. From then until 1939, Sanation was the dominant political force in Poland, largely controlling the government.

History

Named after the Latin word for "healing" ("sanatio"), the Sanation movement mainly comprised former military officers who were disgusted with the corruption in Polish politics. Sanation was a coalition of rightists, leftists and centrists whose main focus was the elimination of corruption and the reduction of inflation.

Sanation appeared prior to the May 1926 "Coup d'État" and lasted until World War II but was never formalized. Since Piłsudski disapproved of political parties, which he saw as promoting their own interests rather than supporting the state and its people, "Sanacja" never led to the creation of a political party. Instead, in 1928 "Sanacja" members created a "Bezpartyjny Blok Współpracy z Rządem" ("Nonpartisan Bloc for Cooperation with the Government"), a bizarre coalition political party that denied being a political party.

Although Piłsudski never claimed personal power, he exercised extensive influence over Polish politics after "Sanacja" took power in 1926. For the next decade, he dominated Polish affairs as strongman of a generally popular centrist regime. Kazimierz Bartel's government and all subsequent governments would first be unofficially approved by Józef Piłsudski before they could be confirmed by the President.

Piłsudski mixed democratic and dictatorial elements while pursuing "sanation," or national healing. Poland's internal stability was enhanced, while economic stagnation was ended by Eugeniusz Kwiatkowski's reforms. At the same time, the Sanation regime prosecuted communist parties (on the ostensible formal grounds that they had failed to legally "register" as political parties) and sought to limit the influence of opposition parties by splitting their forces.

From 1929, the semi-official newspaper of Sanation, and thus of the Polish government, was "Gazeta Polska" (the Polish Gazette).

In April 1935, shortly before Piłsudski's death, a new constitution (the "April Constitution") was adopted, which supported Sanation's principal ideas: a strong centralized state with a presidential system of government. Piłsudski died soon after, however, and Sanation faced some serious internal problems. Eventually it devolved into three separate movements:
# the Sanation Left ("Lewica sanacyjna", formed around Walery Sławek), which sought a "modus vivendi" with the opposition);
# the Castle ("Zamek", formed around President Ignacy Mościcki, who resided in the Warsaw Castle — hence the movement's name), which became the center; and
# the Sanation Right ("Prawica sanacyjna", formed around Edward Rydz-Śmigły), which soon became virtually indistinguishable from the Camp of National Unity.

The first of these Sanation movements soon lost much of its importance, but the other two continued the ideological struggle over the shape of the country until the outbreak of war.

During the 1939 invasion of Poland, many Sanation members were taken prisoner-of-war by the Germans, while others evacuated to Romania, where they remained to war's end or managed to reach France and Britain.

Though France insisted on excluding Sanationists from the Polish Government in Exile, many remained highly influential. During the war, Sanation members created several resistance organizations, including in 1942 the Fighting Poland Movement ("Obóz Polski Walczącej") and the Convention of Independence Organizations ("Konwent Organizacji Niepodległościowych"), which in 1943 became subordinate to the Home Army and in 1944 merged into the Union of Independence Organizations ("Zjednoczenie Organizacji Niepodległościowych").

After World War II, the forced exile of many Sanationists was made permanent by the communist regime, which branded them enemies of the state.

Notables

* Józef Beck
* Tadeusz Hołówko
* Janusz Jędrzejewicz
* Adam Koc
* Bogusław Miedziński
* Aleksander Prystor
* Walery Sławek
* Kazimierz Świtalski

Today

The Confederation of Independent Poland, founded in 1979, is the principal sanationist political party in Poland today.

ee also

* Social hygiene
* Bereza Kartuska prison
* Colonels' group

References

* cite journal
quotes =
last = Holzer
first = Jerzy
authorlink =
coauthors =
date =
year = 1977
month = July
title = The Political Right in Poland, 1918-39
journal = Journal of Contemporary History
volume = 12
issue = 3
pages = 395–412
issn =
pmid =
doi =
id =
url =
language =
format =
accessdate =
laysummary =
laysource =
laydate =
quote =


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Look at other dictionaries:

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