THE POLISH WORKERS' ASSOCIATIONS IN VIENNA IN THE 19TH AND 20TH CENTURIES (UNTIL THE OUTBREAK OF THE WW II)
The first legal Polish workers' association formed in Vienna (1868) was the Mutual Help Association of the Polish Craftsmen and Laborers 'Sila' (Force), which united mostly nationally conscious factory workers and craftsmen. The animated contacts of 'Sila' with the centers of the Polish political emigration in France became the direct reason of prohibiting its activities in 1877 and its dissolution by the police in 1878. In place of the dissolved 'Sila' the Polish settlers in Vienna created new associations. Such as Polish Association 'Zgoda' (Concord) (1878), the Association of Polish Workers' 'Sila' (1892), Polish Association 'Strzecha' (Tchatch) (1894). The most influential was The Polish Association of Christian Male and Female Laborers 'Ojczyzna' (Fatherland). Many workers' organizations stressed their christian appeal. At the end of the WW I the Poles still living in Austria were civically loyal to the state, at the same time showing the bonds they held with the country of their origin. Anschluss resulted in the immediate worsening of the Polish and Jewish situation. The outbreak of the WW II stopped the organizational life of the Polish ethnic group in Austria.
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