The Polish Hearts of Darkness. Postcolonial Dimensions of History and Culture

This article’s attempt to apply postcolonial theses as a tool for rethinking Polish culture and history requires confrontation with the following engrained opinions: (1) Poland was not an imperialistic country, and having had no colonies is absolved from accounting for its shameful past, and (2) the non-colonial Poland is grouped with other colonized countries and nations (from the late 18th century until the year 1989). The analysis refers to the “structure of feeling” generated by the imperialistic Poland in the former borderlands as well as in relation to the peasant and Ukrainian populations after the Second World War. The ruling government’s treatment of natural forests as an economic resource that can be managed freely by the authorities is another strain of Polish cryptocolonialism.