Paul Brykczynski (2016)

Primed for Violence. Murder, Antisemitism, and Democratic Politics in Interwar Poland

Publishing house University of Wisconsin Press
Place of publication Madison, Wisconsin
Page references 215
Language English

ISBN: 978-0-299-30700-4

The assassination that changed a nation

In 1922, the new Republic of Poland democratically elected its first president, Gabriel Narutowicz. Because his supporters included a Jewish political party, an opposing faction of antisemites demanded his resignation. Within hours, bloody riots erupted in Warsaw, and less than a week later the president was assassinated. In the wake of these events, the radical right asserted that only "ethnic Poles" should rule the country, while the left silently capitulated to this demand.

As Paul Brykczynski tells this gripping story, he explores the complex role of antisemitism, nationalism, and violence in Polish politics between the two World Wars. Though focusing on Poland, the book sheds light on the rise of the antisemitic right in Europe and beyond, and on the impact of violence on political culture and discourse.


  • Primed for Violence

    Reviewed by Dr. Milosz K. Cybowski