Cover Osteuropa 1/2011

In Osteuropa 1/2011

Changing Identities
The American Polish Diaspora and Its Mission

Anna D. Jaroszyńska-Kirchmann

Deutsche Fassung


At the end of the 19th century, a Polish community with ethnic identity developed in the United States. This identity may have changed increasingly after 1918 from “Polish” to “Polish-American,” but during the Second World War and the East-West conflict, the Polish diaspora (Polonia) remained true to its dual mission: the establishment of an independent, free Poland and the preservation of its cultural and linguistic heritage. Today, Polonia is well integrated, fragmented, and transnational, its ethnicity largely symbolic. But the potential to be the “third party” in Polish-American relations, as was the case until recently, is still there.

(Osteuropa 1/2011, pp. 77–92)