Polish government in Exile
Overview
 
The Polish government-in-exile, formally known as the Government of the Republic of Poland in Exile , was the government in exile
Government in exile
A government in exile is a political group that claims to be a country's legitimate government, but for various reasons is unable to exercise its legal power, and instead resides in a foreign country. Governments in exile usually operate under the assumption that they will one day return to their...

 of Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 formed in the aftermath of the Invasion of Poland of September 1939, and the subsequent occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, which brought to an end the Second Polish Republic
Second Polish Republic
The Second Polish Republic, Second Commonwealth of Poland or interwar Poland refers to Poland between the two world wars; a period in Polish history in which Poland was restored as an independent state. Officially known as the Republic of Poland or the Commonwealth of Poland , the Polish state was...

 founded in 1918. Despite the occupation of Poland by hostile powers, the government-in-exile exerted considerable influence in Poland through the structures of the Polish Underground State and its military arm, the Armia Krajowa
Armia Krajowa
The Armia Krajowa , or Home Army, was the dominant Polish resistance movement in World War II German-occupied Poland. It was formed in February 1942 from the Związek Walki Zbrojnej . Over the next two years, it absorbed most other Polish underground forces...

 (Home Army) resistance.

Though largely unrecognized and without effective power after the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, it remained in existence until the end of Communist rule in Poland
History of Poland (1945–1989)
The history of Poland from 1945 to 1989 spans the period of Soviet Communist dominance imposed after the end of World War II over the People's Republic of Poland...

 in 1990, in opposition to the People's Republic of Poland
People's Republic of Poland
The People's Republic of Poland was the official name of Poland from 1952 to 1990. Although the Soviet Union took control of the country immediately after the liberation from Nazi Germany in 1944, the name of the state was not changed until eight years later...

, a Soviet satellite state
Satellite state
A satellite state is a political term that refers to a country that is formally independent, but under heavy political and economic influence or control by another country...

, when it formally passed on its responsibilities to the new government.

The government-in-exile was based in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 during 1939 and 1940, first in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 and then in Angers
Angers
Angers is the main city in the Maine-et-Loire department in western France about south-west of Paris. Angers is located in the French region known by its pre-revolutionary, provincial name, Anjou, and its inhabitants are called Angevins....

.
Encyclopedia
The Polish government-in-exile, formally known as the Government of the Republic of Poland in Exile , was the government in exile
Government in exile
A government in exile is a political group that claims to be a country's legitimate government, but for various reasons is unable to exercise its legal power, and instead resides in a foreign country. Governments in exile usually operate under the assumption that they will one day return to their...

 of Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 formed in the aftermath of the Invasion of Poland of September 1939, and the subsequent occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, which brought to an end the Second Polish Republic
Second Polish Republic
The Second Polish Republic, Second Commonwealth of Poland or interwar Poland refers to Poland between the two world wars; a period in Polish history in which Poland was restored as an independent state. Officially known as the Republic of Poland or the Commonwealth of Poland , the Polish state was...

 founded in 1918. Despite the occupation of Poland by hostile powers, the government-in-exile exerted considerable influence in Poland through the structures of the Polish Underground State and its military arm, the Armia Krajowa
Armia Krajowa
The Armia Krajowa , or Home Army, was the dominant Polish resistance movement in World War II German-occupied Poland. It was formed in February 1942 from the Związek Walki Zbrojnej . Over the next two years, it absorbed most other Polish underground forces...

 (Home Army) resistance.

Though largely unrecognized and without effective power after the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, it remained in existence until the end of Communist rule in Poland
History of Poland (1945–1989)
The history of Poland from 1945 to 1989 spans the period of Soviet Communist dominance imposed after the end of World War II over the People's Republic of Poland...

 in 1990, in opposition to the People's Republic of Poland
People's Republic of Poland
The People's Republic of Poland was the official name of Poland from 1952 to 1990. Although the Soviet Union took control of the country immediately after the liberation from Nazi Germany in 1944, the name of the state was not changed until eight years later...

, a Soviet satellite state
Satellite state
A satellite state is a political term that refers to a country that is formally independent, but under heavy political and economic influence or control by another country...

, when it formally passed on its responsibilities to the new government.

The government-in-exile was based in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 during 1939 and 1940, first in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 and then in Angers
Angers
Angers is the main city in the Maine-et-Loire department in western France about south-west of Paris. Angers is located in the French region known by its pre-revolutionary, provincial name, Anjou, and its inhabitants are called Angevins....

. From 1940, following the Fall of France
Battle of France
In the Second World War, the Battle of France was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries, beginning on 10 May 1940, which ended the Phoney War. The battle consisted of two main operations. In the first, Fall Gelb , German armoured units pushed through the Ardennes, to cut off and...

, the government moved to London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, and remained in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 until its dissolution in 1990.

Establishment

On September 17, 1939, the President of the Polish Republic
Second Polish Republic
The Second Polish Republic, Second Commonwealth of Poland or interwar Poland refers to Poland between the two world wars; a period in Polish history in which Poland was restored as an independent state. Officially known as the Republic of Poland or the Commonwealth of Poland , the Polish state was...

, Ignacy Mościcki
Ignacy Moscicki
Ignacy Mościcki was a Polish chemist, politician, and President of Poland . He was the longest-serving President of Poland .-Life:...

, who was then in the small town of Kuty
Kuty
Kuty is a town in Ukraine, on the Cheremosh river, located in the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast. It is notable as one of the historical centres and the namesake of a historical region of Pokuttya. Population is 4,272 ....

 (now Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

) near the southern Polish border, issued a proclamation about his plan to transfer power and appointing Władysław Raczkiewicz, the Speaker of the Senate, as his successor. This was done in accordance with Article 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland
Polish Constitution of 1935
The April Constitution of Poland was the general law passed by the act of the Polish Sejm on 23 April 1935. It introduced in Poland a presidential system with certain elements of authoritarianism....

, adopted in April 1935, which provided as follows:
It was not until 29th or 30th September 1939 that Mościcki resigned. Raczkiewicz, who was already in Paris, immediately took his constitutional oath at the Polish Embassy and became President of the Republic of Poland. He then appointed General Władysław Sikorski to be Prime Minister and, following Edward Rydz-Śmigły being relieved by the President, was also made Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Armed Forces.

Most of the Polish Navy escaped to Britain, and tens of thousands of Polish soldiers and airmen escaped through Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 and Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 or across the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 to continue the fight in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. Many Poles subsequently took part in Allied operations in Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 (Narvik
Narvik
is the third largest city and municipality in Nordland county, Norway by population. Narvik is located on the shores of the Narvik Fjord . The municipality is part of the Ofoten traditional region of North Norway, inside the arctic circle...

), France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, the Battle of Britain
Battle of Britain
The Battle of Britain is the name given to the World War II air campaign waged by the German Air Force against the United Kingdom during the summer and autumn of 1940...

, the Battle of the Atlantic, North Africa (notably Tobruk
Tobruk
Tobruk or Tubruq is a city, seaport, and peninsula on Libya's eastern Mediterranean coast, near the border with Egypt. It is the capital of the Butnan District and has a population of 120,000 ....

), Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 (notably at Cassino and Ancona
Ancona
Ancona is a city and a seaport in the Marche region, in central Italy, with a population of 101,909 . Ancona is the capital of the province of Ancona and of the region....

), Arnhem
Battle of Arnhem
The Battle of Arnhem was a famous Second World War military engagement fought in and around the Dutch towns of Arnhem, Oosterbeek, Wolfheze, Driel and the surrounding countryside from 17–26 September 1944....

, Wilhelmshaven
Wilhelmshaven
Wilhelmshaven is a coastal town in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated on the western side of the Jade Bight, a bay of the North Sea.-History:...

 and elsewhere beside other Allied forces. Even after the fall of Poland, and before the Soviet Union's entry into the war, Poland remained the third strongest Allied belligerent, after France and Britain. (Other Polish military units, formed in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 after Hitler's
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, fought alongside and under the command of the Soviets.)

Wartime history

The Polish Government in Exile, based first in Paris, then Angers
Angers
Angers is the main city in the Maine-et-Loire department in western France about south-west of Paris. Angers is located in the French region known by its pre-revolutionary, provincial name, Anjou, and its inhabitants are called Angevins....

 and then in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, was recognized by all the Allied governments. Politically, it was a coalition of the Polish Peasant Party
Polish Peasant Party
The Polish People's Party , is a centrist, agrarian, and Christian democratic political party in Poland. It currently has 31 members of the Sejm, one member of the Senate, and three Members of the European Parliament. It is the junior partner in a coalition with Civic Platform.The party was...

, the Polish Socialist Party
Polish Socialist Party
The Polish Socialist Party was one of the most important Polish left-wing political parties from its inception in 1892 until 1948...

, the Labour Party and the National Party
National Party (Poland)
Stronnictwo Narodowe was a Polish political party formed on 7 October 1928 after the transformation of National Populist Union. It gathered together most of the political forces of Poland's National Democracy right-wing political camp. SN was one of the main opponents of the Sanacja regime...

, although these parties maintained only a vestigial existence in the circumstances of exile.

When Germany attacked the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 in 1941, the Polish Government in Exile established diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, despite Stalin's
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 role in the earlier dismemberment of Poland. Hundreds of thousands of Polish soldiers who had been taken prisoner by the Soviets in eastern Poland in 1939, and many civilian Polish prisoners and deportees, were released and allowed to form military units (the "Anders Army
Anders Army
The Anders Army was the informal yet common name of the Polish Armed Forces in the East in the period 1941-1942, in recognition of its commander Władysław Anders...

"); they were evacuated to Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 and the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, where they were desperately needed by the British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, hard pressed by Rommel's
Erwin Rommel
Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel , popularly known as the Desert Fox , was a German Field Marshal of World War II. He won the respect of both his own troops and the enemies he fought....

 Afrika Korps
Afrika Korps
The German Africa Corps , or the Afrika Korps as it was popularly called, was the German expeditionary force in Libya and Tunisia during the North African Campaign of World War II...

. These Polish units formed the basis for the Polish II Corps, led by General Władysław Anders, which together with other, earlier-created Polish units fought alongside the Allies.

During the war, especially from 1942 on, the Polish Government in Exile provided the Allies with some of the earliest and most accurate accounts of the ongoing Holocaust of European Jews and, through its representatives, like the Foreign Minister Count Edward Raczynski
Edward Raczynski
Edward Raczyński was the name of three members of a Polish aristocratic family:* Edward Raczyński Polish conservative politician, protector of arts, founder of the Raczynski Library in Poznań...

 and the courier of the Polish Underground movement, Jan Karski
Jan Karski
Jan Karski was a Polish World War II resistance movement fighter and later scholar at Georgetown University. In 1942 and 1943 Karski reported to the Polish government in exile and the Western Allies on the situation in German-occupied Poland, especially the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, and...

, called for action, without success, to stop it.

In April 1943 the Germans announced that they had discovered at Katyn Wood
Katyn massacre
The Katyn massacre, also known as the Katyn Forest massacre , was a mass execution of Polish nationals carried out by the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs , the Soviet secret police, in April and May 1940. The massacre was prompted by Lavrentiy Beria's proposal to execute all members of...

, near Smolensk
Smolensk
Smolensk is a city and the administrative center of Smolensk Oblast, Russia, located on the Dnieper River. Situated west-southwest of Moscow, this walled city was destroyed several times throughout its long history since it was on the invasion routes of both Napoleon and Hitler. Today, Smolensk...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, mass graves of 10,000 Polish officers (the German investigation later found 4,443 bodies) who had been taken prisoner in 1939 and murdered by the Soviets. The Soviet government said that the Germans had fabricated the discovery. The other Allied governments, for diplomatic reasons, formally accepted this; the Polish Government in Exile refused to do so.

Stalin then severed relations with the Polish Government in Exile. Since it was clear that it would be the Soviet Union, not the western Allies, who would liberate Poland from the Germans, this breach had fateful consequences for Poland. In an unfortunate coincidence, Sikorski, widely regarded as the most capable of the Polish exile leaders, was killed in an air crash at Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

 in July 1943. He was succeeded as head of the Polish Government in Exile by Stanisław Mikołajczyk.

During 1943 and 1944 the Allied leaders, particularly Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

, tried to bring about a resumption of talks between Stalin and the Polish Government in Exile. But these efforts broke down over several matters. One was the Katyń massacre
Katyn massacre
The Katyn massacre, also known as the Katyn Forest massacre , was a mass execution of Polish nationals carried out by the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs , the Soviet secret police, in April and May 1940. The massacre was prompted by Lavrentiy Beria's proposal to execute all members of...

 (and others at Kalinin
Kalinin
Kalinin , or Kalinina , is a Russian surname, derived from the word kalina , and may refer to:People with the surname...

 and Kharkiv
Kharkiv
Kharkiv or Kharkov is the second-largest city in Ukraine.The city was founded in 1654 and was a major centre of Ukrainian culture in the Russian Empire. Kharkiv became the first city in Ukraine where the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic was proclaimed in December 1917 and Soviet government was...

). Another was Poland's postwar borders. Stalin insisted that the territories annexed by the Soviets in 1939, which had millions of Poles
Poles
thumb|right|180px|The state flag of [[Poland]] as used by Polish government and diplomatic authoritiesThe Polish people, or Poles , are a nation indigenous to Poland. They are united by the Polish language, which belongs to the historical Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages of Central Europe...

 in addition to Ukrainian
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 and Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

ian populations, should remain in Soviet hands, and that Poland should be compensated with lands to be annexed from Germany. Mikołajczyk, however, refused to compromise on the question of Poland's sovereignty over her prewar eastern territories. A third matter was Mikołajczyk's insistence that Stalin not set up a Communist government in postwar Poland.

Postwar history

Mikołajczyk and his colleagues in the Polish government-in-exile insisted on making a stand in the defense of Poland's pre-1939 eastern border (the Curzon Line
Curzon Line
The Curzon Line was put forward by the Allied Supreme Council after World War I as a demarcation line between the Second Polish Republic and Bolshevik Russia and was supposed to serve as the basis for a future border. In the wake of World War I, which catalysed the Russian Revolution of 1917, the...

 and Kresy
Kresy
The Polish term Kresy refers to a land considered by Poles as historical eastern provinces of their country. Today, it makes western Ukraine, western Belarus, as well as eastern Lithuania, with such major cities, as Lviv, Vilnius, and Hrodna. This territory belonged to the Polish-Lithuanian...

 region) as a basis for the future Polish-Soviet border. However, this was a position that could not be defended in practice Stalin was in occupation of the territory in question. The government-in-exile's refusal to accept the proposed new Polish borders infuriated the Allies, particularly Churchill, making them less inclined to oppose Stalin on issues of how Poland's postwar government would be structured. In the end, the exiles lost on both issues: Stalin annexed the eastern territories, and took control of the new Polish government. However, Poland preserved its status as an independent state, despite the arguments of some influential Communists, such as Wanda Wasilewska
Wanda Wasilewska
Wanda Wasilewska was a Polish and Soviet novelist and communist political activist who played an important role in the creation of a Polish division of the Soviet Red Army during World War II and the formation of the Polish People's Republic....

, in favor of Poland becoming a republic of the Soviet Union.

In November 1944, despite his mistrust of the Soviets, Mikołajczyk resigned to return to Poland and take office in the new government established under the auspices of the Soviet occupation authorities. Many Polish exiles opposed this action, believing that this government was a façade for the establishment of Communist rule in Poland, a view that was later proven correct; after losing an election which was later shown to have been fraudulent, Mikołajczyk left Poland again in 1947.

Meanwhile the Polish Government in Exile had maintained its existence, but France on 29 June 1945, then the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 on July 5, 1945 withdrew their recognition. The Polish Armed Forces in exile were disbanded in 1945, and most of their members, unable to safely return to Communist Poland, settled in other countries. The London Poles had to vacate the Polish embassy on Portland Place and were left only with the president's private residence at 43 Eaton Place. The Government in Exile became largely symbolic of continued resistance to foreign occupation of Poland, while retaining some important archives from prewar Poland. The Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

, Francoist Spain
Spanish State
Francoist Spain refers to a period of Spanish history between 1936 and 1975 when Spain was under the authoritarian dictatorship of Francisco Franco....

 and the Vatican City
Vatican City
Vatican City , or Vatican City State, in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano , which translates literally as State of the City of the Vatican, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of...

 (until 1979) were the last countries to recognize the Government in Exile, though the Vatican through Secretary of State Domenico Tardini had withdrawn diplomatic privileges from the envoy of the Polish pre-war government in 1959.

In 1954, political differences led to a split in the ranks of the Government in Exile. One group, claiming to represent 80% of 500,000 anti-Communist Poles exiled since the war, was opposed to President August Zaleski
August Zaleski
August Zaleski was a Polish economist, politician, and diplomat. Twice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, he served as the President of Poland within the Polish Government in Exile.- Biography :...

's continuation in office when his seven-year term expired. It formed a Council of National Unity
Council of National Unity
Rada Jedności Narodowej was the quasi-parliament of the Polish Underground State during World War II...

 in July 1954, and set up a Council of Three
Rada Trzech
The Council of Three was a collegial body created by the Polish Government in Exile in 1954 with prerogatives of the President of Poland. It consisted of three members of the government chosen by the Rada Jedności Narodowej , a rump parliament in exile.It was created in 1954, after president...

 to exercise the functions of head of state, comprising Tomasz Arciszewski
Tomasz Arciszewski
Tomasz Arciszewski was a Polish socialist politician, a member of the Polish Socialist Party and the Prime Minister of the Polish government-in-exile in London from 1944 to 1947, presiding over the period when the government lost the recognition of the Western powers.-Early life:Tomasz Arciszewski...

, General Władysław Anders, and Edward Raczyński
Edward Raczynski (1891-1993)
Edward Bernard Raczyński was a Polish aristocrat, diplomat, writer, politician and President of Poland in exile ....

. Only after Zaleski's death in 1972 did the two factions reunite.

Some supporters of the Government in Exile eventually returned to Poland, such as Prime Minister Hugon Hanke
Hugon Hanke
Hugon Hanke was a Polish politician, best known for being a Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland in Exile and his unexcepted return to the communist-ruled country while serving as PM....

 in 1955 and his predecessor Stanisław Mackiewicz in 1956. The Soviet-installed government in Warsaw actively campaigned for the return of the exiles, promising decent and dignified employment in communist Polish administration and forgiveness of past transgressions.

Despite these setbacks, the Government in Exile continued in existence. When Soviet rule over Poland came to an end in 1989, there was still a president and a cabinet of eight meeting every two weeks in London, commanding the loyalty of many of about 150,000 Polish veterans and their descendants living in Britain, including 35,000 in London alone.

In December 1990, when Lech Wałęsa
Lech Wałęsa
Lech Wałęsa is a Polish politician, trade-union organizer, and human-rights activist. A charismatic leader, he co-founded Solidarity , the Soviet bloc's first independent trade union, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, and served as President of Poland between 1990 and 95.Wałęsa was an electrician...

 became the first post-Communist president of Poland since the war, he received the symbols of the Polish Republic (the presidential banner, the presidential and state seals, the presidential sashes, and the original text of the 1935 Constitution) from the last president of the Government in Exile, Ryszard Kaczorowski
Ryszard Kaczorowski
Ryszard Kaczorowski was a Polish statesman. Between 1989 and 1990 he served as the last President of Poland in exile. He succeeded Kazimierz Sabbat and resigned his post following Poland's regaining independence from the Soviet sphere of influence and election of Lech Wałęsa as the first ...

. In 1992, military medals and other decorations awarded by the Government in Exile were officially recognized in Poland.

Presidents

# President Picture Took office Left office Notes
1 Władysław Raczkiewicz  30 September 1939 6 June 1947 Died in office
2 August Zaleski
August Zaleski
August Zaleski was a Polish economist, politician, and diplomat. Twice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, he served as the President of Poland within the Polish Government in Exile.- Biography :...

 
9 June 1947 8 April 1972 Died in office, longest-serving President
3 Stanisław Ostrowski  9 April 1972 24 March 1979
4 Edward Raczyński
Edward Raczynski (1891-1993)
Edward Bernard Raczyński was a Polish aristocrat, diplomat, writer, politician and President of Poland in exile ....

 
8 April 1979 8 April 1986
5 Kazimierz Sabbat
Kazimierz Sabbat
Kazimierz Aleksander Sabbat , was President of Poland in Exile from 8 April 1986 until his death, 19 July 1989, after serving as Prime Minister of the Polish Government in Exile.-Early life:...

 
8 April 1986 19 July 1989 Died in office
6 Ryszard Kaczorowski
Ryszard Kaczorowski
Ryszard Kaczorowski was a Polish statesman. Between 1989 and 1990 he served as the last President of Poland in exile. He succeeded Kazimierz Sabbat and resigned his post following Poland's regaining independence from the Soviet sphere of influence and election of Lech Wałęsa as the first ...

 
19 July 1989 22 December 1990 Resigned after the election of Lech Wałęsa
Lech Wałęsa
Lech Wałęsa is a Polish politician, trade-union organizer, and human-rights activist. A charismatic leader, he co-founded Solidarity , the Soviet bloc's first independent trade union, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, and served as President of Poland between 1990 and 95.Wałęsa was an electrician...

. Died on April 10, 2010 in 2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash
2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash
The 2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash occurred on 10 April 2010, when a Tupolev Tu-154M aircraft of the Polish Air Force crashed near the city of Smolensk, Russia, killing all 96 people on board...

 in Smolensk
Smolensk
Smolensk is a city and the administrative center of Smolensk Oblast, Russia, located on the Dnieper River. Situated west-southwest of Moscow, this walled city was destroyed several times throughout its long history since it was on the invasion routes of both Napoleon and Hitler. Today, Smolensk...

.

Prime ministers

L.p. Portrait Name Entered office Left office
1. Władysław Sikorski
(2nd term)
30 September 1939
20 July 1940
18 July 1940
4 July 1943
2. Stanisław Mikołajczyk 14 July 1943 24 November 1944
3. Tomasz Arciszewski
Tomasz Arciszewski
Tomasz Arciszewski was a Polish socialist politician, a member of the Polish Socialist Party and the Prime Minister of the Polish government-in-exile in London from 1944 to 1947, presiding over the period when the government lost the recognition of the Western powers.-Early life:Tomasz Arciszewski...

29 November 1944 2 July 1947
4. Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski
Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski
General Count Tadeusz Komorowski , better known by the name Bór-Komorowski was a Polish military leader....

2 July 1947 10 February 1949
5. Tadeusz Tomaszewski 7 April 1949 25 September 1950
6. Roman Odzierzyński
Roman Odzierzynski
Roman Odzierzyński was prime minister in the Polish Government in Exile....

25 December 1950 8 December 1953
7. Jerzy Hryniewski
Jerzy Hryniewski
Jerzy Hryniewski was a Polish politician, who is best known for serving as Prime Minister of the Polish Government in Exile from 18 January to 13 May 1954...


(actually Mikołaj Dolanowski)
18 January 1954 13 May 1954
8. Stanisław Cat-Mackiewicz 8 June 1954 21 June 1955
9. Hugon Hanke
Hugon Hanke
Hugon Hanke was a Polish politician, best known for being a Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland in Exile and his unexcepted return to the communist-ruled country while serving as PM....

8 August 1955 10 September 1955
10. Antoni Pająk
Antoni Pajak
Antoni Pająk was a Polish socialist politician, who served as Prime Minister of Poland in exile for nearly ten years ....

10 September 1955 14 June 1965
11. Aleksander Zawisza
Aleksander Zawisza
Aleksander Zawisza was the Prime Minister of the Polish Government in Exilefrom June 25, 1965 to July 16, 1970.Previously the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in 1959 he played a part in moving the wartime archives of the Ministry of Information and Documentation from the UK to the Hoover Institution...

25 June 1965 9 June 1970
12. Zygmunt Muchniewski
Zygmunt Muchniewski
Zygmunt Muchniewski was a Polish politician who headed the Christian Democracy party and was the Prime Minister of the Polish Government in Exile from 16 July 1970–August 1972....

20 July 1970 13 July 1972
13. Alfred Urbański
Alfred Urbanski
Alfred Urbański was a Polish politician, a member of the Polish Socialist Party , primarily known for his political activities within the Polish Government in Exile....

18 July 1972 15 July 1976
14. Kazimierz Sabbat
Kazimierz Sabbat
Kazimierz Aleksander Sabbat , was President of Poland in Exile from 8 April 1986 until his death, 19 July 1989, after serving as Prime Minister of the Polish Government in Exile.-Early life:...

5 August 1976 8 April 1986
15. Edward Szczepanik
Edward Szczepanik
Edward Franciszek Szczepanik, was a Polish economist and the last Prime Minister of the Polish Government in Exile...

8 April 1986 22 December 1990

Armed forces

  • Association of Armed Struggle
    Zwiazek Walki Zbrojnej
    Związek Walki Zbrojnej was an underground army formed in Poland following its invasion in September 1939 by Germany and the Soviet Union that opened World War II.The precursor to the ZWZ was the Service...

     (Związek Walki Zbrojnej
    Zwiazek Walki Zbrojnej
    Związek Walki Zbrojnej was an underground army formed in Poland following its invasion in September 1939 by Germany and the Soviet Union that opened World War II.The precursor to the ZWZ was the Service...

    or ZWZ)
  • Home Army (Armia Krajowa
    Armia Krajowa
    The Armia Krajowa , or Home Army, was the dominant Polish resistance movement in World War II German-occupied Poland. It was formed in February 1942 from the Związek Walki Zbrojnej . Over the next two years, it absorbed most other Polish underground forces...

    )
  • Grey Ranks
    Szare Szeregi
    "Gray Ranks" was a codename for the underground Polish Scouting Association during World War II.The wartime organisation was created on 27 September 1939, actively resisted and fought German occupation in Warsaw until 18 January 1945, and contributed to the resistance operations of the Polish...

     (Szare Szeregi
    Szare Szeregi
    "Gray Ranks" was a codename for the underground Polish Scouting Association during World War II.The wartime organisation was created on 27 September 1939, actively resisted and fought German occupation in Warsaw until 18 January 1945, and contributed to the resistance operations of the Polish...

    )
  • Polish resistance movement in World War II
    Polish resistance movement in World War II
    The Polish resistance movement in World War II, with the Home Army at its forefront, was the largest underground resistance in all of Nazi-occupied Europe, covering both German and Soviet zones of occupation. The Polish defence against the Nazi occupation was an important part of the European...

  • Polish Armed Forces in the West
    Polish Armed Forces in the West
    Polish Armed Forces in the West refers to the Polish military formations formed to fight alongside the Western Allies against Nazi Germany and its allies...

  • Polish Armed Forces in the East
    Polish Armed Forces in the East
    Polish Armed Forces in the East refers to military units composed of Poles created in the Soviet Union at the time when the territory of Poland was occupied by both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in the Second World War....


See also

  • Jan Karski
    Jan Karski
    Jan Karski was a Polish World War II resistance movement fighter and later scholar at Georgetown University. In 1942 and 1943 Karski reported to the Polish government in exile and the Western Allies on the situation in German-occupied Poland, especially the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, and...

    , resistance fighter
  • Tadeusz Chciuk-Celt
    Tadeusz Chciuk-Celt
    ' was a Polish Cichociemny, journalist, and author. He did two parachute missions into occupied Poland during World War II and for his war work he was honored with the Virtuti Militari....

    , special envoy of the government
  • Ignacy Schwarzbart
    Ignacy Schwarzbart
    Ignacy Schwarzbart was a prominent Polish Zionist, and one of two Jewish representatives on the Polish National Council of the Polish Government-in-Exile during the Second World War, along with Szmul Zygielbojm....

  • Szmul Zygielbojm
    Szmul Zygielbojm
    Szmul Zygielbojm was a Jewish-Polish socialist politician, leader of the Bund, and a member of the National Council of the Polish government in exile...

  • Henryk Leon Strasburger
    Henryk Leon Strasburger
    Henryk Leon Strasburger was a Polish economist, General Commissioner in the Free City of Danzig and delegate to the League of Nations. He was also a member of the Polish government in exile during World War II. According to the New York Times, he was among the earliest and most outspoken of...

    , (Sikorski government): Finance Minister, Minister in the Middle East. (Mikolajczyk): Ambassador to London
  • Juliusz Nowina-Sokolnicki
    Juliusz Nowina-Sokolnicki
    Juliusz Nowina-Sokolnicki Polish politician, head of one of the two governments which claimed in 1972 to be the successor to the exiled Polish government that was created to replace original Polish government, which fled to Romania in September 1939 at the start of World War II...

    , alternative President of the Republic of Poland (1972–1991)
  • Polish Committee of National Liberation
    Polish Committee of National Liberation
    The Polish Committee of National Liberation , also known as the Lublin Committee, was a provisional government of Poland, officially proclaimed 21 July 1944 in Chełm under the direction of State National Council in opposition to the Polish government in exile...

     (Polski Komitet Wyzwolenia Narodowego or PKWN) - 1944/45
  • Provisional Government of the Republic of Poland (Rząd Tymczasowy Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej or RTRP) - 1945
  • Provisional Government of National Unity
    Provisional Government of National Unity
    The Provisional Government of National Unity was a government formed by a decree of the State National Council on 28 June 1945. It was created as a coalition government between Polish Communists and the Polish government-in-exile...

     (Tymczasowy Rząd Jedności Narodowej or TRJN) - 1945/47
  • People's Republic of Poland
    People's Republic of Poland
    The People's Republic of Poland was the official name of Poland from 1952 to 1990. Although the Soviet Union took control of the country immediately after the liberation from Nazi Germany in 1944, the name of the state was not changed until eight years later...

     (Polska Rzeczpospolita Ludowa or PRL) - 1944/52 (unofficial), 1952/89 (official)
  • Western betrayal
    Western betrayal
    Western betrayal, also called Yalta betrayal, refers to a range of critical views concerning the foreign policies of several Western countries between approximately 1919 and 1968 regarding Eastern Europe and Central Europe...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK