The rural origins of the Polish migrants and their traditional Catholic religious beliefs led most observers, including their fellow workers as well as recent historians, to view them as obstacles to the labor movement and resistant to working-class consciousness. Based on extensive research in archives in Poland and Germany, this book documents a very different history. Throughout his rigorous examination of the major strikes and developments within the labor movement in the Ruhr, including the mass strikes of 1889, 1905 and 1912 and the so-called "Polish Revolt" of 1899, the author argues that Polish militancy generally exceeded that of native miners and calls into question the standard view of the Polish workers' relationship to the labor movement. This revisionist book begs a reconsideration of the role that foreign labor plays in modern industrial societies.
'... a valuable contribution to the study of both the Ruhr labor movement and Poles in the Kaiserreich.' H-German Book Reviews 'Would do well in any upper-division or graduate level course concerning modern nationalism and labor movements in Europe in the nineteenth or twentieth centuries.' The Polish Review '... a fine piece of scholarship which deserves a wide audience among anyone interested in Imperial Germany, labor history, migration, or nationalism.' Central European History 'Kulczycki's methodology and presentation is distinguished by precision, an extensive knowledge of sources, the literature, and to the European history of the period - and at the same time by being rather provocative.' Arbejderhistorie 'It is to be hoped that Kulczycki's stimulating study will be published in German and Polish in the near future. Without question, the work is giving rise to new comparative studies about regional, polyethnic labor movements.' German Politics and Society ' ... demonstrates meticulous mastery of sources, clarity of thought, and the ability to place his subject within the complexities of the history of modern nationalism.' The Sarmatian Review '... an excellent account... Kulczycki's data are very valuable... ' Labour History Review ' ... a valuable, in-depth examination of the events in the Ruhr...this is a fine account which should be read by all scholars interested in the social, ethnic, and labour history of modern Germany.' German Studies Review ' ... a penetrating and stimulating account of Polish-speaking miners in the Ruhr. Moreover, it is one that should be of interest to labor historians in general, for its arguments about nationality and class identity have an obvious bearing on recent debates about the general processes of class formation and political mobilization.' International Labor and Working- Class History 'In this massively detailed study, he sets out to chart the circumstances which brought Polish workers into the Ruhr coalfields in the nineteenth century and the impact of their arrival on "native" German miners. Whilst much of the essential detail may be familiar from his earlier writings [...]is is the powerfulness of Kulczycki's argument which stands out here.' Immigrants and Minorities 'Represents a welcome addition to our knowledge of Ruhr miners and its theme of the relationshiop between ethnic Germans and foreign migrant workers is of central importance today.' Labor History 'Kulczycki provides a needed corrective to the tendency of historians to blame foreign workers for labor movement shortcomings and, more specifically, to ignore the contributions of Polish-speaking workers in the Ruhr industrial region.' International Migration Review 'The Foreign Worker and the German Labor Movement makes a powerful revisionist point that should exercise a profound impact on our understanding of the failures of the European labor and socialist movements during the crisis of imperialism and, in particular, the place of race and racialism in the ideologies of Europe's industrial capitalist powers who made the Great War.' Polish American Studies 'John J Kulczycki's tightly-focussed study of Polish-speaking miners in Imperial Germany's Ruhr coal fields before World War I represents a significant contribution to the topic of labour history and the history of nationalism.' Canadian Review of Studies in Nationalism 'combines thorough research [...], solid organization and thoughtful analysis.' H-Sozial- und Kulturgeschichte