Poles in France
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|(1,000,000 (2009) 
2% of the French population)
|Regions with significant populations|
|Île-de-France, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Alsace, Lorraine, Centre-Val de Loire...|
|Christianity (ethnic Poles)|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Poles, French, Silesians|
Poles in France form one of the oldest Polish diaspora communities in Europe.
About one million people of Polish descent live in France, concentrated in the Nord-Pas de Calais region, in the metropolitan area of Lille and the coal-mining basin (Bassin Minier) around Lens and Valenciennes.
Prominent members of the Polish community in France have included Frédéric Chopin, Adam Mickiewicz (temporarily), Aleksander Chodźko, Rene Goscinny, Marie Curie, Raymond Kopa, Ludovic Obraniak, Edward Gierek (who was raised there), Matt Pokora and singer Jean-Jacques Goldman, the son of a Polish Jew.
- 1 French Revolution and Napoleonic wars
- 2 Great Emigration (1831-1870)
- 3 Interwar period
- 4 Polish resistance during the Nazi occupation in France
- 5 French Poles after WWII
- 6 From the year 2012
- 7 Notable Polish French people
- 8 First half of the 19th century
- 9 Second half of the 19th century
- 10 1900s
- 11 1910s
- 12 1920s
- 13 1930s
- 14 1940s
- 15 See also
- 16 References
- 17 External links
French Revolution and Napoleonic wars
Large numbers of Poles settled in France during the rule of Napoleon when 100,000 Poles fled Russian rule of Poland in the early 19th century. Many enlisted to fight in the French army, like Józef Antoni Poniatowski, Ludwik Mateusz Dembowski and many other Polish commanders of the Napoleonic Wars and Polish legionnaires.
Great Emigration (1831-1870)
Another wave of Polish migration took place between the two World Wars, when many were hired as contract workers to work temporarily in France. Polish refugees also fled Nazi or Soviet occupation (1940s).
Polish resistance during the Nazi occupation in France
During the Nazi occupation, a specific Polish Resistance group, Polska Organizacja Walki o Niepodleglosc – Organisation Polonaise de Lutte pour l’Indépendance (POWN), was created on September 6, 1941 by the Polish general consul in Paris, A. Kawalkowski (code name Justyn), and fought alongside the French Resistance. There were also other Polish Resistance movements in France, most notably former soldiers from the Jaroslaw Dabrowski Brigade who had fought in the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War went on in their struggle against Fascism in the FTP-MOI. Since 1941 the PPS activists in Northern France had also founded two resistance movements, Organisation S and Orzel Bialy (White Eagle). In 1944 Polish Committees for National Liberation (PKWN) were set up to support the Communist Polish army. There were clashes between POWN resistants, under the authority of the London-based Polish government in exile, and the Communist FTP-MOI resistants.
French Poles after WWII
When the Communists took power in Poland, several thousand French Poles decided to go and live in the "Socialist paradise", like French Armenians did in the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic.
From the year 2012
The number of new Poles who migrated to France was multiplied, many are students and traders and other percentage are displaced workers who come from Poland to work in France. Poles are well integrated into French society. The number of new Polish citizens in France amounts to 350,000 in 2012.
Notable Polish French people
First half of the 19th century
- Frederic Chopin (1810-1849) pianist and compositor.
- Xavier Branicki (1816-1879) magnate, financial and sponsor.
- Samuel Rosenthal (1837-1902) chess player.
- Marie Walewska (1786-1817) noblewoman and mistress of Napoleon I.
Second half of the 19th century
- Marie Curie (1867-1934) physicist.
- Joseph Babinski (1857-1932) doctor.
- André Citroën (1878-1935) founder of cars Citroën.
- Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) poet, playwright and novelist.
- Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (1891-1915) sculptor.
- Jean Epstein (1897-1953) filmmaker, film theorist, literary critic and novelist.
- Marie Epstein (1899-1995) actress, scenarist and film director.
- Bernard Pullman (1919-1996) biochemist.
- Michel Sima (1912-1987) sculptor, photograph and ceramicist.
- René Leibowitz (1913-1972) composer, conductor, music theorist and teacher.
- Jean Snella (1914-1979) football player.
- Haroun Tazieff (1914-1998) volcanologist and geologist.
- Marcel Landowski (1915-1999) composer.
- Joseph Wresinski (1917-1988) pastor.
- Simone Signoret (1921-1985) actress and writer.
- Michel Constantin (1924-2003) actor.
- Michel d'Ornano (1924-1991) politician.
- César Ruminski (1924-2009) football player.
- Henri Krasucki (1924-2003) trade-unionist.
- Georges Charpak (1924-2010) physicist.
- Henri Burda (1926-1965) football player.
- Charles Denner (1926-1995) actor.
- Jean-Marie Lustiger (1926-2007) cardinal.
- René Goscinny (1926-1977) writer and humorist.
- Roger Walkowiak (1927-2017) road bicycle racer.
- Raymond Kopa (1931-2017) footabll player.
- Jean Stablinski (1932-2007) road bicycle racer.
- Jeanloup Sieff (1933-2000) photograph.
- Roman Polanski (1933- ) actor, film director, writer and productor.
- Claude Berri (1934-2009) actor, film director, productor and scenarist.
- Georges Perec (1936-1982) writer.
- Michel Jazy (1936- ) long-distance runner.
- Robert Budzynski (1940- ) football player.
- Joachim Marx (1944- ) football player.
- Sylviane Agacinski (1945- ) feminist, philosopher, author and professor.
- Georges Lech (1945- ) football player.
- See Category:French people of Polish descent for prominent Poles in France
- France–Poland relations
- Great Emigration
- Migrations from Poland since EU accession
- Blue Army (Poland) (1917–1919)
- Polish Army in France (1939-1940)