|Author||Jerzy Gapys (Kielce)|
|Title||PRIVATE CHARITABLE ACTIVITY OF POLISH LANDED GENTRY IN THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT IN THE YEARS 1939–1945
|Keywords||private charity, General Government, landed gentry 1939–1945, Nazi occupation|
The Polish landed gentry, subjected to extermination and expropriation during World War Two (in annexed territories, under Soviet occupation and partly in the GG), survived as a collectivity in the General Gubernatorial State. With the majority of relatively large economic resources (favourable agricultural conditions and German preference policy), landowners, mainly for religious, national and humanitarian reasons, provided aid to the needy. Apar t f rom organized charitable actions (PCK, RGO, Caritas), the landowners carried out individual (private) assistance in their estates. In the frst place, the landowner fugitives and displaced were assisted in manors (housing and maintenance) and then pau-perized intelligentsia also received assistance (quarters, employment, and sometimes main-tenance), while farms ofered aid to the local poor or displaced peasants and workers (locum and labour). Some landlords conducted a broader action, mainly for the beneft of the r ural community. They organized supplementary feeding, ie, folk kitchens, feeding points and food delivery. The manors also supported the local poor by giving them regular grants or providing material aid. Some supported children and seniors in their estates (most often as foundations) by organizing orphanages and asylums for the old and the crippled. While the aid to the members of their own sphere and partly to those displaced from other social groups generally took the form of general help, a small percentage of the landowners were involved in other forms of assistance. They were mainly representatives of the wealthier landowners, especially the aristocracy.