January 26, 2018




Venice, Poland and Austria signed the Treaty of Carlowitz with Ottoman Empire. It marked the end of Ottoman control in much of Central Europe, with their first major territorial losses after centuries of expansion, and established the Habsburg Monarchy as the dominant power in Central and southeast Europe. The Austrian Empire acquired about 60,000 square miles (160,000 km2) of Hungarian territories at Karlowitz and of the Banat of Temesvár 18 years later, at Passarowitz, thus cementing Austria as a dominant regional power. (Note: Today Austria has 32,386 sq mi or 83,879 km2)


Stanislaw I of Poland abdicated his throne. In compensation, he received the Duchy of Lorraine and of Bar, which was to revert to France on his death. In 1738, he sold his estates of Rydzyna and Leszno to Count (later Prince) Alexander Joseph Sułkowski. He settled at Lunéville, founded there in 1750 both the Académie de Stanislas and Bibliothèque municipale de Nancy, and devoted himself for the rest of his life to science and philanthropy, engaging most notably in controversy with Rousseau. He also published Głos wolny wolność ubezpieczający, one of the most important political treatises of the Polish Enlightenment.


First Sejm Election of the Second Polish Republic: The elections, based on universal suffrage and proportional representation, was the first free election of Poland (after 123 years of oblivion). It produced a parliament balanced between the right, left and center, although the elections were boycotted by the Polish communists and the Jewish Bund. In the territories where the election took place, voter turnout was from 70% to 90%. Right-wing parties won 50% of votes, left-wing parties around 30%, and Jewish organizations more than 10%.


The German–Polish Non-Aggression Pact was signed between Nazi Germany and the Second Polish Republic.  According to the pact, both countries pledged to resolve their problems through bilateral negotiations and to forgo armed conflict for a period of ten years. It effectively normalized relations between Poland and Germany, which were previously strained by border disputes arising from the territorial settlement in the Treaty of Versailles. As a consequence of the treaty, Germany agreed to recognize Poland's borders, and moved to end an economically damaging customs war which existed between the two countries during the previous decade. On April 28, 1939, Hitler unilaterally abrogated the pact, and invaded Poland on September 1, 1939.


General Tadeusz Kutrzeba, while presenting a plan of possible military conflict with Nazi Germany, emphasized that the Wehrmacht was three times stronger than the Polish Army. During the invasion of Poland in September 1939, General Kutrzeba commanded the Poznań Army,devised the Polish counterattack plan of the battle of Bzura and commanded the Poznań and Pomorze Armies during the battle. In the aftermath, at the behest of major general Juliusz Rómmel (commander of the Warsaw Army), Kutrzeba began capitulation negotiations with the German 8th Army and signed the surrender documents on September 28. He spent the rest of the war in German concentration camps, until the American forces liberated him. In April 1945 he turned down the position of Minister of Defense in the Government-in-Exile. He chose instead to head a commission which focused on the history of the Polish Army’s military campaign in September 1939, and the contributions of Polish soldiers fighting in the West from 1939 to 1945.


Przyszowice Massacre was perpetrated by the Red Army against civilians of the Polish village of Przyszowice in Upper Silesia (from January 26 to January 28, 1945.) The Soviet soldiers set several dozen houses on fire, looting the village and raping women. They began shooting at the civilians who were trying to extinguish the flames. Over 60 civilians were brutally murdered. Among the victims were four former prisoners of the Auschwitz concentration camp who had escaped from a death march the previous day. With the exception of an Italian and Hungarian, the remainder of the victims were Polish civilians, including two former soldiers of the Polish Army, who had recently been freed by the Soviets from a POW camp.

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