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Michihiro Yasui. Belarusians and Jews in the Polish Parliament 1922–1927

The aim of this paper is to discuss the political activities of Belarusians and Jews in the Polish Parliament in its first term.

Before the parliamentary elections of 1922 the national minorities in Poland formed the “Bloc of National Minorities” and had a remarkable success in the elections, which became a model of cooperation for minorities in East Central European countries. Indeed the minorities in Poland tried to coordinate their parliamentary policies and continue to cooperate. However the differences between “territorial minorities” like Belarusians and Ukrainians, and “extraterritorial (dispersed) minorities” like Jews and Germans often led to disputes.

The comparison of the political behavior and policies of Belarusians with those of Jews presents a good example to explain the differences and similarities between “territorial minorities” and “exraterritorial minorities”. This paper analyzes this topic with a special emphasis on the discussions about such problems as numerus clausus (1923), language laws in the eastern provinces (1924), “the Agreement between the Polish government and the Jewish Parliamentary Club of July 4, 1925” and the bill of Agrarian Reform (1925); and also attitudes towards Józef Piłsudski’s seizure of power (1926).