Since the founding of the Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding in 2011, publishing has been one of the most important aspects of the institution’s work. Book publishing is not only an obligation imposed by the act that lays out the rules for the institution’s functioning (see Article 3 paragraph 2 point 2 of the Act of 25 March 2011 on the Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding), it’s also motivated by the conviction that by publishing books about the history of Russia and the Soviet Union by renowned scholars from Poland, Russia and other countries, the institution will contribute to a better understanding of Russia by Poles and of Poland by Russians, fulfilling the mission lawmakers assigned to it.
The Centre publishes essays, literary and scholarly works, from the fields of history, international law and economics, though thus far historical works have dominated, devoted to important problems, drawing interest not only from professional historians, but from the broader reading public. The Centre places great stress on editorial quality as well as graphic design – great care is taken in all publications – and later also to promoting its publications. The status of a government-chartered institution, the quality of its publications and also the renown of the authors who have published works with the Centre – it’s enough to mention historians such as Andrzej Walicki, Andrzej Nowak, Jerzy Borejsza, Nikita Petrov, Alexei Miller, Grzegorz Motyka, Robert Frost and Richard Butterwick-Pawlikowski – mean the publishing house enjoys an outstanding reputation among historians working on relations between Poland and its eastern neighbours. A work on the January Uprising published by the Centre is introduced by a letter from former Polish President Bronisław Komorowski to participants in the conferences whose results were presented in the book. The work is now being prepared for printing, and one dedicated to the NKVD’s Polish Operation, the fruit of a 2017 conference, is introduced by President Andrzej Duda.
In its publishing work, the Centre aims to popularise the work of Polish scholars on an international scale; this is exemplified by the publication by Routledge, one of the largest Anglo-Saxon publishers, of Circles of the Russian Revolution: Internal and International Consequences of the Year 1917 in Russia, edited by Łukasz Adamski and Bartłomiej Gajos, and prepared for printing by the Centre. In turn, the publication of The Case of Crimea's Annexation under International Law, an innovative work that makes a significant contribution to global scholarship, written by a group of outstanding international lawyers from numerous European countries and Russia, is used by Polish and Ukrainian diplomats as a helpful expert opinion demonstrating the absurdity of Russian statements about the legality of the incorporation of Crimea.
The Centre has also published works such as Nikita Petrov’s Poczet katów katyńskich (The Fellowship of Katyn Torturers), a pioneering work of biographical sketches of the NKVD workers responsible for crimes against Polish prisoners; multi-author monographs analysing topics such as selected aspects of the Peace of Riga (edited by Sławomir Dębski), the fate of Soviet prisoners in German camps in occupied Poland (edited by Jakub Wojtkowiak, published in Polish and Russian), the connections between Polish and Russian political thought (edited by Sławomir Dębski and Łukasz Adamski), international aspects of Polish uprisings (edited by Sławomir Dębski and Łukasz Adamski), nation-building processes in Eastern Europe (edited by Łukasz Adamski) and the NKVD’s fight against the Polish underground (edited by Grzegorz Motyka, Grzegorz Hryciuk and Łukasz Adamski).
Another pioneering work is Wojtkowiak’s biographical dictionary of Red Army officers of Polish and Lithuanian descent.
In 2019 the Centre published the first book editions of important sources for 20th century Polish and Eastern European history enhanced with introductory articles: the Miotła Stalina (Stalin’s Sweep) series. Polska Północno-Wschodnia i jej pogranicze w czasie obławy augustowskiej w 1945 roku (Northeast Poland and its borderlands during the Augustów roundup), discussing preparations for and execution of the Augustów roundup (edited by Grzegorz Motyka, Grzegorz Hryciuk and Łukasz Adamski), Wołyń i Galicja Wschodnia pod okupacją niemiecką 1943–1944 (Volhynia and Eastern Galicia under German Occupation, edited by Łukasz Adamski and Grzegorz Hryciuk) and Wołyń i Galicja Wschodnia „za drugiego Sowieta” (Volhynia and Galicia under the second Soviet, edited by Łukasz Adamski and Grzegorz Hryciuk), showing how the Polish underground was broken up by the Soviets, including the secret police.
The Centre has also attempted to reconstruct the so-called Belarusian Katyn list, resulting in the Maciej Wyrwa work Nieodnalezione ofiary Katynia? Lista osób zaginionych na obszarze północno-wschodnich województw II RP od 17 września 1939 do czerwca 1940 (Unknown victims of Katyn? List of missing persons in the North-Eastern provinces of the Second Polish Republic from 17 September 1939 to June 1940).
The Centre publishes some of its works jointly with other publishers. The Case of Crimea's Annexation under International Law was co-published with the Polish Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Law Studies and Wydawnictwo Scholar. Another book, published in a joint edition with the prestigious Russian publisher ROSPEN, the Sławomir Dębski’s monograph Между Берлином и Москвой. Германо-советские отношения в 1939-1941 гг. (Between Berlin and Moscow: German-Soviet relations, 1939-1941) is a translation, adjusted for the needs of the Russian reader, of a Polish publication illustrating at a level of detail unseen in world literature the USSR’s collaboration with the Third Reich in the period after 23 August 1939, which challenges the stereotypes of Soviet propaganda which are still spread in Putin’s Russia. In turn, Imperia, narody i społeczeństwa Europy Środkowej i Wschodniej na progu I wojny światowej (Empires, nations and societies of Central and Eastern Europe on the threshold of the First World War, edited by Andrzej Nowak, co-edited with the Polish Academy of Sciences’ Institute of History) is a survey of the problems that troubled our part of the continent in 1913-1914.
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