Polish Underground State

Polish Underground State

Polish Underground State

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The Polish Underground State (, also known as the Polish Secret State) is a collective term for the World War II underground resistance organizations in Poland, both military and civilian, that remained loyal to the Polish Government in Exile in London. The first elements of the Underground State were put in place in the final days of the German invasion of Poland that begun in September 1939. The Underground State was perceived by supporters as a legal continuation of the pre-war Republic of Poland (and its institutions) that waged an armed struggle against the country's occupying powers: Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. The Underground State encompassed not only military resistance, one of the largest in the world, but also civilian structures, such as education, culture and social services.

The Underground State was not supported or recognized by the far right (nationalists) and far left (communists). Although the Underground State enjoyed broad support throughout much of the war, its influence declined amid military reversals (most notably, the failure of the Warsaw Uprising) and the growing hostility of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union had created an alternative, puppet government in 1944 (the Polish Committee of National Liberation) and ensured it formed the basis of the post-war government in Poland. During the Soviet-backed communist takeover of Poland at the end of the war, many involved with the Underground State were prosecuted as alleged traitors and died in...
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