POLISH GREATNESS TRAFFIC

June 20, 2018

JUNE 20 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 20

1922

The division of borders of Upper Silesia between Poland and Germany were decided by a commission of the Paris Peace Conference. The German Reich was granted West Upper Silesia (which did not have economic value), and had to accept the fact that the coal-bearing territory was granted to Poland.  The Silesian coal was highly relevant to the German economy during that time. The major part of Silesia remaining in Germany, was reorganized into the two provinces of Upper Silesia and Lower Silesia.  The Polish Sejm decided that the eastern-most Upper Silesian areas would become an autonomous area within Poland, and categorized as the Silesian Voivodeship, possessing its own Silesian Parliament as a constituency and Silesian Voivodeship Council as the executive body. A central political figure was Wojciech Korfanty. The part of Silesia awarded to Poland was by far the best-developed and richest region of the newly formed state, producing most of Poland's industrial output. ( see May 2, 1921 )


1937

Bishop Adam Stefan Sapieha, who had opposed the Pilsudski Sanacja regime, made the controversial decision to move Piłsudski's body, within Wawel's Cathedral, from St. Leonard's Crypt to the crypt under the Silver Bells. The event was met with public outcry and calls for the removal of Saphieha.  During his regime, Marshal Piłsudski periodically changed his religious affiliation from that of Catholicism to Lutheranism and then back again.  After the May coup, Piłsudski considered himself a Roman Catholic, but he did not appear to be religious and often used religion as public tool. Piłsudski was quoted saying: "Religion is for idiots". After the May Coup and during his reign as authoritarian leader Piłsudski's often clashed with Catholic leaders but did enjoy a good working relationship with Cardinal Aleksander Kakowski, who subsequently led his funeral mass.  After the Germans invaded Poland, Sapieha was forced to operate the Polish seminary in secret because the Germans began executing seminarians whenever they found them. Sapieha moved his students (including the future Pope John Paul II, Karol Wojtyła) into the Bishop's Palace in Kraków to finish their training during the Nazi Occupation of Poland.


1944

The Glinciszki massacre:   Nazi units of the Lithuanian Auxiliary Police Battalion instigated a mass killing in the village of Glinciszki.  39 Polish villagers were murdered, which included 11 women (one who was in the final stage of pregnancy) and 11 children (some as young as 3 years old) and 6 elderly men.  The Nazis inflicted collective punishment on the Poles in reprisal for the death of four Lithuanian policemen the night before at the hands of Polish resistance units of the 5th brigade of Armia Krajowa (Polish Home Army) under the command of Lieutenant Wiktor Wiącki.  Two days later, Polish partisans retaliated against Lithuanian civilians in Dubingai.



June 19, 2018

JUNE 19 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 19

1669

Polish parliament elected Michał Korybut Wiśniowiecki as King of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Michael I was a native Pole and descendant of Korybut, brother of King Władysław II Jagiełło, Michael, chosen after the abdication of his predecessor, John II Casimir Vasa., won the election partly because of the merit of his father, Prince Jeremi Wiśniowiecki (a powerful border magnate who had helped suppress the Cossacks in eastern Poland during the Khmelnytsky Uprising). However, Michael proved to be a passive tool in the hands of the Habsburgs. In view of this, the French party rallied round John Sobieski, a rising military commander.


1917

British Royal Family Changed its Royal Name:  During the third year of World War I, Britain’s King George V ordered the British royal family to dispense with the use of German titles and surnames, changing the surname of his own family, from the Germanic Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, to the more acceptable name,  Windsor. His decision was based on strong anti-German feeling within Britain. It caused sensitivity among the royal family about its German roots -  Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, also a grandson of Queen Victoria, was the king’s cousin; the queen herself was German.



June 18, 2018

JUNE 18 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 18

1945

Trial of the 16:  Between June 18 and 21, 1945, sixteen Polish Officers of the Armia Krajowa, Polish Home Army, were subjected to a mock Soviet trial on falsified charges. They were accused of gathering intelligence and sabotage against the Soviet Union, propaganda against the Soviet Union, fighting against the Red Army, membership in an underground organization, and collaborating with Nazi Germany.(Note:  The vast majority of Poles, the Polish Government In Exile, and Polish military never collaborated with the Nazis, and fought against the Nazis throughout the war.) Immediately after the arrest of all the leaders, the Polish Government in Exile dispatched a letter of protest to Washington and London demanding their release. Stalin declared that the protest was a bluff by the “Fascist Polish government” but finally admitted that the leaders were arrested. Stalin then told American envoy Harry Hopkins that “there is no point in linking the case of the Trial of the Sixteen with the support for the Soviet-backed government of Poland because the sentences will not be high.”  Both British and American governments shared this view.


1949

Jarosław Kaczyński (dob) was the 13th Prime Minister of Poland from July 14, 2006 to November 16, 2007. He was the leader of the Law and Justice Party. The party was founded in 2001 by the Kaczyński twins, Lech and Jarosław, and was formed from part of the Solidarity Electoral Action (AWS), with the Christian democratic Centre Agreement forming the new party's core.   The party won the 2005 election, while Lech Kaczyński won the presidency. Jarosław served as Prime Minister. In the 2007 parliamentary elections, Law and Justice finished a distant second behind pro-European Christian-democratic and conservative liberal Civic Platform. Kaczyński was succeeded as prime minister by Donald Tusk (after which Kaczyński remained chairman of Law and Justice, becoming leader of the opposition).  On April 10, 2010, Lech Kaczynski and many leading members of government and military were killed in a plane crash near Smolensk, Russia. The delegation was on route to attend a commemoration of the victims of the Katyn Massacre who were massacred near Smolensk, Russia during World War II.  Following the death of his brother, Jaroslaw announced that he would run in the 2010 presidential elections, but was defeated by Bronisław Komorowski by a small margin.