Above ^ The most known “Fathers of Independence” were: Józef Pilsudski, Roman Dmowski, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Wojciech Korfanty, Wincenty Witos and Ignacy Daszyński, Joseph Haller.

The regaining of Poland’s independence was a long process in which all generations of Poles were involved, having lived under Russia, Prussia and Austria for 123 years. On this website we present the biographies of politicians who contributed to the regaining of independence by Poland in 1918. The most known “Fathers of Independence” were: Józef Pilsudski, Roman Dmowski, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Wojciech Korfanty, Wincenty Witos and Ignacy Daszyński, Joseph Haller

President Woodrow Wilson and a “United, Independent and Autonomous Poland”

^^ The US President handwritten note, which is commonly referred to as the so-called: „Wilson’s Note”, indicates the necessity for the rebirth of Polish as a united, independent and autonomous state.

The monument is for the signing of treaty ratified by us Congress a few years later 1921 This was the official end to WWI. Pres. Harding just said „That’s IT!

Although Poland had no diplomatic representation since there was no Polish state, Polish diplomacy did exist, albeit without credentials. While this concept usually applies to the “diplomacy” carried out in the first half of the nineteenth century by Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski and other exile Poles who took part in those activities in his Hotel Lambert in Paris, it also applies to the work carried out for the Polish cause overseas by Polish piano virtuoso and ardent patriot Ignacy Jan Paderewski.

Paderewski did not hide his support for the political line adopted by Roman Dmowski, or even his admiration for the personal qualities of this leader of the national camp, who he considered “the greatest of all modern Polish politicians”. This political friendship with Dmowski began before the First World War and continued after 1914.

In 1917, Paderewski became a member of the Polish National Committee, led by the leader of the National Democratic Party. After the outbreak of the First World War, Paderewski began working with the Swiss-based General Committee in Support of Victims of War in Poland, the most prominent activist of which was Henryk Sienkiewicz.

From his first concert tour of the United States in 1891-1982, Paderewski was a regular visitor and his concerts were very popular. Arriving in the US in April 1915, Paderewski, as a “useful son of the homeland”, combined art and politics for the Polish cause. in August 1915 through May 1917, his concert tour of the US was a great promotional campaign for the Polish cause. Before each of his many concerts (90 during the first few months beginning May of 1915), the Polish pianist gave talks about Poland, about the need to rebuild it to both American and Polish audiences.

It is difficult to quantify the role Paderewski played in the revival of patriotic feelings among the hundreds of thousands of Poles in the US, who in early 1918 listened and responded to his appeals to join the ranks of the Polish army emerging in France (known as Haller’s Army) which at the end of the Great War was the only Polish military unit fighting alongside the victorious entente. In 1919, this gave Poland the right to sit at the peace conference in Paris.

Did Paderewski’s piano diplomacy secure Polish statehood? Paderewski’s fame opened the door to the White House. He formed a warm friendship with Colonel Edward House, a close adviser to President Wilson. After a long discussion with the US head of state on November 6, 1916, in early January 1917 he delivered a memorandum to the White House on the necessity of an independent Poland as referenced as the “United States of Poland.” It would be naive to think that the US president mentioned Poland during his January 22, 1917 speech before the US Senate was a result of his talk with Paderewski. More likely, it was that the White House’s display of its friendship with Paderewski served to give credibility to the political course that it had already adopted.

On the other hand, the Polish pianist was responsible for trying to convince US policymakers to follow the interpretation of a “united, independent and autonomous” Poland which was the correct course from the Polish point of view. And contrary to popular opinion, this was not so obvious. The interpretation of the thirteenth point of President Wilson’s message of January 1918, was not obvious since the Americans understood “unfettered access to the sea” and “territories indisputably Polish” differently.

By Prof. Grzegorz Kucharczyk. Source: Nasz Dziennik

Developed by Jarek Micewski


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