Refugees from Polish territories in Russia during the First World War
in Europe on the move
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Warfare on Polish soil in 1914-15 caused huge material losses, as well as the impoverishment and deprivation of the local population. The war also led to mass displacement, much of it involuntary, involving people living in the territories of the Kingdom of Poland, a constituent part of the Russian Empire, and in Galicia, belonging to Austria-Hungary. As a general order of magnitude, it is reasonable to agree with Walentyna Najdus who concludes that the Russian Empire was home to around one million refugees from the Polish lands during the First World War. In the case of refugees from Polish lands, the criteria used by Polish relief organisations also proved to be important. Despite the efforts to conduct an orderly repatriation of the refugees, many of them attempted to return without waiting for the approval or assistance of any re-emigration or relief organisation.

Europe on the move

Refugees in the era of the Great War

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