ILLEGAL EDUCATION OF POLISH CHILDREN IN INDEPENDENT LITHUANIA IN THE 1930s: CIRCUMSTANCES AND DEVELOPMENT TRENDS
University of Vilnius, E-Mail: email@example.com
This paper has been presented at the Third International Conference on Nordic and Baltic Studies in Romania:
European Networks: the Balkans, Scandinavia and the Baltic World in a Time of Crisis hosted by the Romanian Association for Baltic and Nordic Studies and Valahia University of Târgoviste, and sponsored by the Romanian National Research Council, May 25-27, 2012.
The circular of the Minister of Education Konstantinas Šakenis on the amendment to the 1925 Law on Primary Education, dated August 6th 1927 and the 1936 Law on Primary Education
created the precedent demanding that children of mixed families (only one parent of Lithuanian nationality) should be taught at Lithuanian schools. As a result of this demand, the need to evade this provision arose because the contingent of pupils in Polish schools suffered losses due to this restriction. Polish organisations (“Pochodnia”) seeking to compensate losses due to restriction of spread of Polish people started organising illegal (secret) Polish schools. To contain their activities, official authorities used the mechanism of punishment, which partly suppressed that process. Polish organisations changed the tactics of their activities in seeking to maintain vitality of secret schools. The analysis of contents of some financial sources shows that almost the same amount of funds was allocated to both legal and illegal schools (the case of 1937). Establishment of diplomatic relations between Lithuania and Poland in 1938 activated secret education of Polish children, developed it even to a greater extent, and enhanced self-confidence of secret teachers in doing their work.
Circulara Ministrului Educa?iei Konstantinas Šakenis asupra amendamentului la Legea Educa?iei Primare din 6 august 1927 ?i Legea Educa?iei Primare din 1936 au creat precedentul de a solicita ca elevii din familii mixte (cu un singur parinte de na?ionalitate lituaniana) sa fie educa?i în ?coli lituaniene. Ca rezultat al acestei solicitari a aparut ?i nevoia de a se sustrage acestei prevederi ca urmare a faptului ca a fost afectat contingentul elevilor din ?colile poloneze. Organiza?iile poloneze (“Pochodnia”) care cautau sa compenseze aceste pierderi datorate restric?iilor impuse au început sa organizeze ?coli poloneze ilegale (secrete). Pentru a le diminua activitatea, autorita?ile de stat au facut uz de pedepse, acestea contribuind la suprimarea acestui proces. Organiza?iile poloneze ?i-au schimbat tacticile cautând sa men?ina vitalitatea ?colilor secrete. Analiza con?inutului unor surse financiare arata ca fonduri aproape echivalente au fost alocate ?colilor legale ?i ilegale poloneze (datele sunt din 1937). Stabilirea rela?iilor diplomatice dintre Lituania ?i Polonia în 1938 a activat procesul educa?iei ilegale a copiilor polonezi, a dezvoltat-o intr-o mai mare masura ?i a întarit încrederea profesorilor clandestini în activitatea lor.
Keywords: secret education of Polish children, “Pochodnia”, the Law on Primary Education of 1936
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