Areas of cooperation or competition – rapport or conflict? The Polish – Czechoslovakian relations exemplified by the activity of Polish cultural and educational associations in Czechoslovakia in the years 1947-1958.
The postwar Czechoslovakian and Polish relations were not the most cordial, as the cooperation was disturbed by mutual territorial claims, as well as by various expectations regarding the national minorities. It caused a rise in mistrust between the Polish and Czech as well as Slovakian nations, generating conflicts and mutual accusations. The state of the relations has changed after the 10th of March 1947 when The Treaty of Friendship and Mutual Assistance between the Republic of Poland and the Republic of Czechoslovakia was signed. Political agreement helped to improve relations regarding a number of contentious issues, particularly in the treatment of national minorities. One of the main provisions arising from the records of the Protocol-Appendix from the Treaty was necessity of the settlement of the Polish cultural and educational organization on the territory of Czechoslovakia. In June 1947 the government of Czechoslovakia completing the arrangements approved the statutes of the Treaty and allowed the operating of the Polish Cultural and Educational Association in Czechoslovakia. Association conducted a large-scale cultural and educational activity, and therefore played a great role in education and integration of Polish minority in Zaolzie. It affected the nature of the relationship, and mutual contacts between the Polish and the Czechs and Slovaks.
Key words: Polish-Czechoslovakian cooperation; Polish Cultural and Educational Union in Czechoslovakia