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Register of the Poland. Konsulat Generalny (Dublin, Ireland) Records
59027  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Content Note
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Poland. Konsulat Generalny (Dublin, Ireland) records,
    Date (inclusive): 1921-1957
    Collection number: 59027
    Creator: Poland. Konsulat Generalny (Dublin, Ireland)
    Collection Size: 24 manuscript boxes, 3 oversize boxes (11.2 linear feet)
    Repository: Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace
    Stanford, California 94305-6010
    Abstract: Correspondence, reports, dispatches, memoranda, press releases, financial records, clippings, and other printed matter, relating to Polish-Irish relations, Polish citizens and consular affairs in Ireland, activities of the Polish Government-in-Exile during World War II, and postwar Polish émigrés and émigré affairs. A digital copy of this entire collection is available at http://szukajwarchiwach.pl/800/37/0/-/ .
    Languages: Polish, and English.

    Administrative Information

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Poland. Konsulat Generalny (Dublin, Ireland) records, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired.

    Accruals

    Increments may have been received since this finding aid was prepared. Please check Stanford University's online catalog Socrates at http://library.stanford.edu/webcat  to find the full extent of the collection.

    Alternative Forms of Material Available

    Also available on microfilm (27 reels).
    Digital copy in Poland's National Digital Archive at http://szukajwarchiwach.pl/800/37/0/-/ . It was digitized from microfilm by the Polish State Archives.

    Historical Note

    Polish consulate general in Dublin.

    Scope and Content Note

    The Polish Consulate in Dublin opened in 1929 as one of the first foreign representations to the young Irish state. For most of the time, it was staffed only by Consul Waclaw Tadeusz Dobrzynski (between 1930 and 1942 he was the consulate's sole employee). Because of stringent economic restrictions imposed by the Polish Foreign Ministry, the post's activities were suspended in 1932 and Dobrzynski, a man of independent means, was appointed Honorary Consul without financial support from Warsaw. After Ireland became a sovereign state in 1937, the status of the post changed to Consulate General.
    Dobrzynski's full reinstatement as Consul General occurred later in 1940, under Foreign Minister August Zaleski, with plans for upgrading the consulate to embassy. The staff increased in 1942 when Xavier Zaleski was appointed Press Bureau Chief. The office gradually assumed more diplomatic responsibilities and remained in full operation during World War II. When the conflict ended, Dobrzynski turned down an offer from the communist government in Warsaw to represent it in Ireland, but continued to serve as Consul General until 1954 (though he was paid his last salary in 1948). Out of the former network of 148 diplomatic representations, the Consulate General in Dublin was one of the last three active ones, along with those in Lisbon and at the Vatican.
    Even though it played a significant role during its existence, especially during the war, not much evidence of its importance is found in these records, which relate mostly to the usual consular activities. There is some material on Polish-Irish relations, but none on the communication channels Poles were able to maintain with the Axis in matters of mutual interest, thanks to the fact that the Irish remained strictly neutral for the duration of the conflict. (Traces of those channels can be found among the correspondence in the records of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, mentioned below.)
    The documents relating to the post-war years chronicle the further disintegration of the Polish diplomatic system struggling to stay alive but running out of funds. On July 5, 1945, the British recognized the communists in Warsaw and the Polish government in London ceased to function legally. Abandoned by the Allies, the Polish administration remaining in the West was faced with the choice of surrendering to the communists or continuing against all odds. There was talk in the press and moves were made to test the ground for a possible transfer of the seat of the government-in-exile to Dublin, but nothing came of it.
    From then on, what really mattered to the consular staff was not politics but assistance to former soldiers and refugees to regain their status of normal citizens. The staff issued confirmations of citizenship, birth and marriage certificates, affidavits, demobilization papers, testimonials, etc. Hundreds of documents were processed every day, above all passports, which were recognized by most countries (though not by Great Britain) and served as proof that the holder didn't come from a Soviet-controlled part of Europe.
    The Irish, more out of principle than national interest, helped Poles to preserve a sense of dignity, but also advised the Consul General to avoid unnecessary provocation where his influential counterparts was concerned. When Dobrzynski resigned in January 1954, at the age of 71, he was replaced by Zofia Zaleska, and shortly afterwards by Pawel Czerwinski. The office officially closed in March 1958, and provisional diplomatic relations with communist Poland were established by Ireland in 1976.
    From 1940 on, the Consulate served as the repository for the archives of the Foreign Ministry. Besides the shortage of space in London, the heavy bombing constituted a grave threat to the safety of the records. In addition, Poles increasingly distrusted the British government, which they found much too accommodating to Soviet demands; the neutral state of Ireland provided the necessary security conditions. Nevertheless, the staff found it increasingly difficult to deal with the size of incoming materials--annual installments shipped from London across the Irish Sea at the beginning of each new year. It is not surprising, therefore, that as early as 1943 the idea of shipping them farther across the ocean emerged, with the Hoover Library (as it was then called) as the final recipient.
    The records of the Consulate General in Dublin were eventually acquired by the Hoover Archives in 1959 as part of the Foreign Ministry collection, and were accessioned in the early 1990s as a separate collection. Its classification system is the same as that of the Ministry, established in the 1930s and consisting of 900 index numbers, 200 of which were left blank, available to be used for additional topics, which is in fact what happened during the war. Of course, not all 900 are always used: the records of the Consulate General in Dublin (which, incidentally, was the last to follow the old pattern) cover only about hundred of them.
    For a complete listing of the numbers in that classification system, please consult the series list of the register to the "Poland. Ministerstwo Spraw Zagranicznych" records.
    A microfilm copy of these materials has been deposited in the State Archives of Poland in Warsaw.
    For further study on the affairs of the Consulate General in Dublin, the researcher is advised to contact the Sikorski Institute in London, which, in 1981, acquired over twelve feet of material entitled "The Polish Consulate-General in Dublin," covering the period of 1940-1945, and consisting mostly of approximately 2000 personal files.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the repository's online public access catalog.

    Subjects

    Ireland--Foreign relations--Poland.
    Poles--Ireland.
    World War, 1939-1945--Poland.
    Poland--History--Occupation, 1939-1945.
    World War, 1939-1945--Governments in exile.
    Poland.
    Ireland.
    Great Britain.
    World War, 1939-1945.
    Poland--Foreign relations--Ireland.