History of the Polish Community in Leamington Spa

This paper was first published in 1994 in Polish, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Polish Centre. It is based on the minutes of the AGMs and the monthly committee meetings of the "Zarzady". By their very nature minutes tend to be dry and skirt around controversial issues. Nevertheless it is obvious that the Polish Centre was established and maintained through the efforts of a very small number of activists, working in very difficult circumstances.

It could not have been any other way. The history of the Polish community in Leamington Spa is the story of political émigrés, or to put it another way, of people for whom national identity was always a matter of personal choice. This set them apart from the British host community, and indeed from people in Poland, who if they considered it at all, would see it as something you were born with, and could not consider changing.