May 14, 2018


MAY 14


Signing of the Targowica Confederation.  Polish and Lithuanian magnates in Saint Petersburg established the Targowica Confederation on April 27, 1792 with the support of the Russian Empress Catherine II.  The Confederation was opposed to the creation of the Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791, because of the limitations it placed on the nobility. The text of the founding act of the confederation was written by the Russian general Vasili Stepanovich Popov, Chief of Staff of Prince Grigori Alexandrovich Potemkin, and proclaimed in the town of Targowica on May 14, 1792.  Four days later two Russian armies invaded the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth without a formal declaration of war.  The forces of the Targowica Confederation defeated the forces loyal to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Sejm and King Stanisław August Poniatowski in the Polish–Russian War of 1792. In defeat, King Poniatowski formally joined the Confederation. Their victory precipitated the Second Partition of Poland and set the stage for the Third Partition and the final dissolution of the Commonwealth in 1795. (Poland ceased to exist for 123 years.)


Pilsudski's forces gained control of Warsaw after three days of fighting.  (On May 10 at approximately 17:00 hours, Marshal Piłsudski faced President Stanisław Wojciechowski on the Poniatowski Bridge demanding the resignation of Witos' cabinet. The President refused and demanded Piłsudski's capitulation, creating a stalemate in negotiations. At 19:00 hours, fighting broke out. ) With the governments surrender, Pilsudski established the Sanacja government. He permitted the parliamentary government to continue rather than establish a personal dictatorship but he maintained influence through control of elections and military. (read May Coup, May 12, 1926)


5,000 Jews were arrested in Paris.  Jewish men between the ages of 18 and 40 were called to present themselves to the Paris police. They were summoned using a green postcard, for which this wave of arrests became known as the “billet vert”. More than 5,000 Paris Jews were taken into custody in this wave of arrests, almost all of them of Polish extraction. A few Jews of Czech and Austrian origin were also arrested. After their arrest, the prisoners were deported to the detention camps of Pithiviers and Beaune-la-Rolande.


Warsaw Pact was signed in Warsaw, Poland by signatories representing the Soviet Union, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland and Romania. The strategy behind the formation of the Pact was driven by the Russian objective to dominate Central and Eastern Europe. The Soviets intended to defend their part of Europe and prevent the Americans from invading.  Member countries of the Warsaw Pact pledged the mutual defence of any member who would be attacked. The Pact further stipulated that member relations would be based on "mutual  non-intervention" in the internal affairs of the member countries, "respect for national sovereignty," and "political independence."

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