Silesia and the European Coal Organization in Great Britain’s politics in 1945–1948 (based on Foreign Office documents)
The purpose of the article is to show that in the years 1945–1948 Great Britain, in cooperation with the United States, developed the concept of political and economic integration of Silesia with the European system of economic cooperation through the European Coal Organization (ECO). Since the Potsdam Conference in 1945, London has called for maintaining economic relations between former German Silesia and Western European countries in the name of rebuilding political and economic order in Europe, which was to justify the need to change the border on the Oder and Lusatian Neisse rivers. Silesia’s involvement in the process of rebuilding Europe was to consist of exporting Silesian coal and food to Western Europe in exchange for help in modernizing the industrial infrastructure of the region. Poland’s accession to the European Coal Organization in 1946, combined with Anglo-American attempts to revise the Polish-German border, extended international control over the Silesian industry. However, the dissolution of ECO at the beginning of 1948 and Poland’s resignation from participation in the Marshall Plan, as well as the consolidation of the Soviet Union’s dominance in Poland and the deepening divisions in Europe led to the failure of British plans to permanently include Silesia in the framework of European economic cooperation.