British-Polish relations and the British Polish community

By Professor Sam Knapton, published 1st November 2023

In this podcast Professor Sam Knapton (University of Nottingham) discusses the development of the relationship between Britain and Poland in the 20th and early 21st centuries, the growth and experience of the British Polish community after World War II and Poland's accession to the EU, and looks at the influence of people of British Polish descent in the development of British society.

Professor Knapton examines the impact the British Polish community had on Cold War and post-Cold War relations between Poland and Britain, talks about areas for future research and suggests where students interested in expanding their knowledge of local British Polish history might access this.

1. The Polish diaspora is one of the largest in the world, how did this develop?
2. Which famous Polish individuals that made Britain their home in the 19th and early 20th century?
3. How did the Anglo-Polish relationship develop in the lead up to and during World War II?
4. How did the relationship change in the years after the war? What was the 'vicious circle of discontents?
5. What are the forces that lead to the Polish Resettlement Act? How popular was the act?
6. What connections and contact was there between Britain and Poland during the Cold War?
7. How has the British Polish community developed and grown since the 1950s?
8. How influential have people of Polish descent been in Britain’s development?
9. How have relations between Britain and Poland transformed in the years after the end of the Cold War?
10. What impact did Poland’s accession to the EU have? How connected are British Polish communities?
11. How has the relationship between British Poles and Poland changed since the end of the 1990s?
12. Areas for future research.
13. Using local Polish associations.

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