The approaching centenary of 11 November 1918 provided the occasion for the European Civilization Chair at the Natolin Campus to hold a debate on "Polish Independence Regained: One Hundred Years On", within its "Breaking Empires, Making Nations?" series. On 22 October 2018, Professor Georges MINK and Professor Richard BUTTERWICK-PAWLIKOWSKI discussed the significance of the restoration of Poland in and after 1918.
Answering questions posed in French and English by the moderator, Mr Jakub KUBICA, and the students, they considered question such as the balance between international circumstances and Polish deeds in the restoration of the state, the respective contributions made by politicians such as Józef Piłsudski, Roman Dmowski and Ignacy Daszyński, the achievements of the Second Polish Republic and the problems it faced, the degree of continuity and discontinuity with the ‘First Republic’ (the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth) dismembered by its neighbours in 1795, and the symbolic and contested nature of the anniversary itself, both in the interwar period and in recent years. They also compared and contrasted the Polish experience of nation- and state-building with that of other central and eastern European nations.