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Camp of national unity

The meaning of «camp of national unity»

Obóz Zjednoczenia Narodowego (Polish pronunciation: [ˈɔbuz zjɛdnɔˈtʂɛɲa narɔdɔˈvɛɡɔ], English: Camp of National Unity; abbreviated "OZN"; and often called "Ozon" (Polish for "ozone") was a Polish political party founded in 1937 by sections of the leadership in the Sanacja movement.

A year after the 1935 death of Poland's Chief of State Marshal Józef Piłsudski, in mid-1936, one of his followers, Marshal Edward Rydz-Śmigły, attempted to unite the various government factions under his leadership. The attempt failed as another (opposing) Sanacja politician, President Ignacy Mościcki, likewise had a large following; nevertheless, substantial numbers of people did throw their lot in with Rydz-Śmigły.

On February 21, 1937, diplomat and Colonel Adam Koc formally announced the formation of OZN.[2] Its stated aims were to improve Poland's national defense and to safeguard the April 1935 Constitution. OZN was strongly pro-military, and its politicians sought to portray Marshal Rydz-Śmigły as Marshal Józef Piłsudski's heir, describing Rydz-Śmigły as the "second person in the country" after President Mościcki—a claim that had no foundation in the Polish Constitution.

The OZN adopted 13 theses on the Jewish question. Modeled after the Nuremberg laws, they labelled Jews as a foreign element that should be deprived of all civil rights and ultimately expelled altogether.[3]

OZN's first official leader was Adam Koc,[4] and its second was General Stanisław Skwarczyński. After the 1939 German invasion of Poland and the start of World War II, OZN leadership passed to Colonel Zygmunt Wenda.[4] In 1937, OZN claimed some 40,000–50,000 members; in 1938, 100,000.

During World War II and the German occupation of Poland, OZN's underground military arm, created in 1942, was known as Obóz Polski Walczącej (the Camp of Fighting Poland).

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