Władysław Eugeniusz Sikorski was a Polish military and political leader. Prior to the First World War, Sikorski established and participated in several underground organizations that promoted the cause of the independence of Poland from the Russian Empire, he fought with distinction in the Polish Legions during the First World War, in the newly created Polish Army during the Polish–Soviet War of 1919 to 1921. In that war he played a prominent role in the decisive Battle of Warsaw. In the early years of the Second Polish Republic, Sikorski held government posts, including serving as Prime Minister and as Minister of Military Affairs. Following Józef Piłsudski's May Coup of 1926 and the installation of the Sanation government, he fell out of favor with the new régime. During the Second World War, Sikorski became Prime Minister of the Polish government-in-exile, Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Armed Forces, a vigorous advocate of the Polish cause in the diplomatic sphere, he supported the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Poland and the Soviet Union, severed after the Soviet pact with Germany and the 1939 invasion of Poland—however, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin broke off Soviet-Polish diplomatic relations in April 1943 following Sikorski's request that the International Red Cross investigate the Katyń Forest massacre.
In July 1943, a plane carrying Sikorski plunged into the sea after takeoff from Gibraltar, killing all on board except the pilot. The exact circumstances of Sikorski's death have been disputed and have given rise to a number of different theories surrounding the crash and his death. Sikorski had been the most prestigious leader of the Polish exiles, his death was a severe setback for the Polish cause. Sikorski was born in Galicia, at the time part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he was the third child in his family. His grandfather, Tomasz Kopaszyna Sikorski, had fought and been wounded at the Battle of Olszynka Grochowska in the November Uprising, during which he received the Virtuti Militari medal. Sikorski attended the gimnazjum in Rzeszów from 1893 to 1897 transferred for a year to a Rzeszów teachers' college. In 1899 he attended the Lwów Franciszek Józef Gymnasium, in 1902 he passed his final high school exam there. Starting that year, young Sikorski studied engineering at the Lwów Polytechnic, specializing in road and bridge construction, graduated in 1908 with a diploma in hydraulic engineering.
In 1906 Sikorski volunteered for a year's service in the Austro-Hungarian army and attended the Austrian Military School, obtaining an officer's diploma and becoming an army reserve second lieutenant. In 1909 he married Helena Zubczewska. In 1912 they had Zofia. After graduation he lived in Leżajsk and worked for the Galician administration's hydraulic engineering department, working on the regulation of the San river, was involved in private enterprises related to construction, real estate and petroleum trade. During his studies at the Polytechnic, Sikorski became involved in the People's School Association, an organization dedicated to spreading literacy among the rural populace. Around 1904–1905 he was involved with the endecja Association of the Polish Youth "Zet", drifted towards paramilitary socialist organizations related to the Polish Socialist Party, intent on securing Polish independence, he made contact with the socialist movement around 1905–1906 through the Union for the Resurrection of the Polish Nation.
In 1908, in Lwów, Sikorski—together with Józef Piłsudski, Marian Kukiel, Walery Sławek, Kazimierz Sosnkowski, Witold Jodko-Narkiewicz and Henryk Minkiewicz—organized the secret Union for Active Struggle, with the aim of bringing about an uprising against the Russian Empire, one of Poland's three partitioners. In 1910 in Lwów, Sikorski helped to organize a Riflemen's Association, became the president of its Lwów chapter, became responsible for the military arm within the Commission of Confederated Independence Parties. Having a military education, he lectured other activists on military tactics. Upon the outbreak of the First World War in July 1914, Sikorski was mobilized, but through KSSN influence he was allowed to participate in the organizing of the Polish military units, rather than being delegated to other duties by the Austro-Hungarian military command. In the first few weeks of the war he became the chief of the Military Department in the Supreme National Committee and remained in this post until 1916.
He was a commissioner in charge of the recruitment to the Polish Legions in Kraków, choosing this role over the opportunity to serve in the Legions as a frontline commander. On 30 September 1914 he was promoted to podpułkownik, soon after that he became the commander of a Legions officer school; the Legions — the army created by Józef Piłsudski to liberate Poland from Russian and Austro-Hungarian and German rule — fought in alliance with Austria-Hungary against Russia. From August 1915 there was growing tension between Sikorski, who advocated cooperation with Austria-Hungary, Piłsudski, who felt that Austria-Hungary and Germany had betrayed the trust of the Polish people. In 1916 Piłsudski campaigned to have the
Battle of Lenino
The Battle of Lenino was a tactical World War II engagement that took place between October 12 and October 13, 1943, north of the village of Lenino in the Mogilev region of Byelorussia. The battle itself was a part of a larger Soviet Spas-Demensk offensive operation with the aims of clearing the eastern bank of the Dnieper River of German forces and piercing the Panther-Wotan line of defences. While the Polish and Soviet forces managed to break through the German defences and inflict heavy casualties on the Germans, they were unable to keep the advance. There was a failure in cooperation from other Red Army units, a lack of artillery support or close air cover caused by the ongoing Wehrmacht panzer counter-attack against the 10th Guards Army to the north of the 33rd Army; the division was forced to assume defensive positions, was ordered to hold its ground due to the expected arrival in its sector of the 6th Guards Cavalry Corps, tasked with breaking through the German defensive position. The relief never arrived.
The battle is prominent in Polish military history, as it was one of the first major engagements of Polish Armed Forces in the East. On the Soviet side of the front line, the main assault was to be carried out by the Polish 1st Tadeusz Kościuszko Infantry Division, aided by tanks of the 1st Polish Tank Regiment, light artillery regiments from the Soviet 144th and 164th Infantry Divisions, as well as the 538th Mortar Regiment and the 67th Howitzer Brigade from the Army's reserves. Both flanks of the Polish division were to be secured by the Soviet 290th Rifle Divisions. However, the Polish division was under-equipped and inadequately trained, having been formed only four months prior to the battle. In addition, the Soviet divisions had been reduced to 4,000 men each by the start of the operation and their combat value was limited. In addition to that, the morale of the Polish division was undermined by the fact that most of its soldiers were former prisoners of the Soviet Gulag concentration camp system and joining the army for them was a way to escape the prisons rather than to fight for their homeland.
The German side of the front was manned by elements of the 113th and 337th Infantry Divisions. The German units were battle-hardened and, more entrenched; as the Germans were aware of the Polish and Soviet plans, they reinforced their lines in the area with elements of the 36th Infantry division under Gottfried Fröhlich just a day before the launch of the offensive. The main German line of defences was stretched between hills 217.6 near Sukhino to the north and hill 215.5 north of the town of Lenino. The swampy valley of the Mereya River, lay in front of the German positions. While not much of an obstacle for infantry, it was uncrossable for Soviet tanks; the main task of the Polish 1st Infantry Division was to break through the German defences on a two kilometre front in the vicinity of the village of Polzukhi and Hill 215.5. The gap was to be further widened by the Soviet 42nd and 290th Rifle Divisions. In the second stage of the operation, Polish forces were to reach the line of the Pnevka river and continue the assault towards Losiev and Churilov.
Soviet forces were to assist the Poles in reaching the Dnieper River line. Three days prior to the actual battle, on October 9, General Zygmunt Berling, the commanding officer of the Polish 1st Division, ordered a force recon assault on the German lines; the assault failed due to a heavy German artillery barrage, yet alarmed the German HQ of possible offensive actions in this sector of the front. In addition, the Germans reported no less than 1,000 Polish and Soviet soldiers who crossed the lines prior to the battle for fear of being sent back to the Gulag when the war was over; the German forces were as a result aware of the Soviet preparations and plans. By October 11 the plans for a joint Polish-Soviet assault were ready and dispatched to various sub-units operating in the area; the main force of the assault was to be constituted by the Polish 1st and 2nd Infantry Regiments, with the 3rd Regiment following the 2nd in the northern sector. The enemy lines were to be paralysed by a creeping barrage lasting 100 minutes.
The assault was to start at 9 a.m. on October 12. Although the plans were ready, in the evening of October 11, the Soviet command ordered the Poles to start the assault earlier than planned, with yet another attempt at a reconnaissance in force of the German lines at 6 a.m. the following day. The orders reached 1st Infantry Regiment only two hours prior to their assault. At 5:50 a.m. the 1st battalion left its positions and started to push towards the Mereya River and the German trenches located 200 metres further westwards. Supported by only a token force of divisional artillery, the battalion's forces were met with fierce German resistance from well-prepared positions; the unit managed to reach the first line of trenches, but was counter-attacked and suppressed in front of the German lines. The battalion suffered over 50% casualties, but held out in its improvised defensive positions for three hours, until the main assault started, it failed to reconnoitre the enemy lines however, only discovered that the German units were much stronger than expected.
Moreover, the premature assault notified the German HQ of the planned strike in this area and gave them time to prepare. During the eventual assault little went according to plan; the artillery barrage was due to start at 8:20 a.m. but was po
The Silesian Uprisings were a series of three armed uprisings in Upper Silesia from 1919 to 1921 in which Poles and Polish Silesians sought to break away from Germany and join the new Polish Republic, founded after World War I. The rebellions have subsequently been commemorated as an example of Polish nationalism in modern Poland. Much of Silesia had belonged to the Polish Crown in medieval times, but it passed to the Kings of Bohemia in the 14th century to the Austrian Habsburgs. Frederick the Great of Prussia seized Silesia from Maria Theresa of Austria in 1742 in the War of Austrian Succession, after which it became a part of Prussia and in 1871 the German Empire. Although the province had by now become overwhelmingly German speaking, a large Polish minority remained in Upper Silesia. Upper Silesia was bountiful in mineral resources and heavy industry, with mines and iron and steel mills; the Silesian mines were responsible for a quarter of Germany's annual output of coal, 81 percent of its zinc and 34 percent of its lead.
After World War I, during the negotiations of the Treaty of Versailles, the German government claimed that, without Upper Silesia, it would not be able to fulfill its obligations with regard to reparations to the Allies. The area in Upper Silesia east of the Oder was dominated by ethnic Poles, most of whom were working class. Most spoke a dialect of Polish, but many felt they were a Slavic group of their own called Silesians. In contrast, most of the local middle and upper classes – the landowners, factory owners, local government and Catholic clergy – were ethnic Germans. There was a further division along religious lines; the German Silesians were all Protestant, while the Polish Silesians were invariably Roman Catholic. In the German census of 1900, 65% of the population of the eastern part of Silesia was recorded as Polish speaking, which decreased to 57% in 1910; this was a result of forced Germanization, but was due to the creation of a bilingual category, which reduced the number of Polish speakers.
German scholar Paul Weber drew a language map that showed that in 1910 in most of Upper Silesian districts east of the Oder river, Polish-speaking Silesians constituted a majority, forming more than 70% of the population there. While still under German control, various Polish identified Silesians would write, and/or distribute pamphlets and other written material, promoting the idea of a Polish-Silesian Identity. Included among the identifies was adherence to the Roman Catholic church. One such publisher was Ignacy Bulla, who would spread information related to these identities at risk to his own life and freedom, he is credited with having inspired the Polish-Silesian patriotic feelings that inspired the uprisings. His contribution to bringing Silesia back into the Roman Catholic Church was the subject of at least one dissertation presented by a Seminary student; the Treaty of Versailles had ordered a plebiscite in Upper Silesia to determine whether the territory should be a part of Germany or Poland.
The plebiscite was to be held within two years of the Treaty in the whole of Upper Silesia, although the Polish government had only requested it to be held in the areas east of the Oder river, which had a significant number of Polish speakers. Thus the plebiscite took place in all of Upper Silesia, including the predominantly Polish-speaking areas in the east and the predominantly German-speaking areas west of the river; the Upper Silesian plebiscite was to be conducted on March 20, 1921. In the meantime, the German administration and police remained in place. Meanwhile and strong arm tactics by both sides led to increasing unrest; the German authorities warned that those voting for Poland might forfeit their pensions. Pro-Polish activists argued that, under Polish rule, Silesian Poles would no longer be discriminated against. Poland promised to honour their German state social benefits, such as the old age pensions. However, many German Army veterans joined the Freikorps, a paramilitary organization whose troops fought any pro-Polish activists.
The pro-Poland side employed the Polish Military Organisation – a secret military organisation and predecessor of Polish intelligence – to fight back with the same force. The deteriorating situation resulted in Upper Silesian Uprisings conducted by Poles in 1919 and 1920; the right to vote was granted to all aged 20 and older who either had been born in or lived in the plebiscite area. A result was the mass migration of both Poles; the German newcomers accounted for 179,910. Without these "new voters", the pro-German vote would have had a majority of 58,336 instead of the final 228,246; the plebiscite took place as arranged on March 20, two days after the signing of the Treaty of Riga, which ended the Polish–Soviet War of 1919/1920. A total of 707,605 votes were cast for 479,359 for Poland; the Third Silesian Uprising conducted by Poles broke out in 1921. The League of Nations was asked to settle the dispute before it led to more bloodshed. In 1922, a six-week debate decided; this was accepted by both countries, the majority of Upper Silesians.
736,000 Poles and 260,000 Germans thus found themselves now in Polish Silesia, 532,000 Poles and 637,000 Germans remained in German Silesia. On 15 August 1919, German border guards massacred ten Silesian civilians in a labour dispute at the Mysłowice mine; the massacre sparked protests from the Silesian Polish miners, including a general strike of about 1
The January Uprising was an insurrection instigated principally in the Russian Partition of the former Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth against its occupation by the Russian Empire. It began on January 22, 1863 spread to the other Partitions of Poland and continued until the last insurgents were captured in 1864, it was the longest lasting insurgency in post-partition Poland. The conflict engaged all levels of society, arguably had profound repercussions on contemporary international relations and provoked a social and ideological paradigm shift in national events that went on to have a decisive influence on the subsequent development of Polish society, it was the confluence of a number of factors that rendered the uprising inevitable in early 1863. The Polish nobility and urban bourgeois circles hankered after the semi-autonomous status they had enjoyed in Congress Poland before the previous insurgency, a generation earlier in 1830, while youth encouraged by the success of the Italian independence movement urgently desired the same outcome.
Russia had been weakened by its Crimean adventure and had introduced a more liberal attitude in its internal politics which encouraged Poland's underground National Government to plan an organised strike against their Russian occupiers no earlier than the Spring of 1863. They had not reckoned with Aleksander Wielopolski, the pro-Russian arch-conservative head of the civil administration in the Russian partition, who got wind of the plans. Wielopolski was aware of his fellow countrymen's fervent desire for independence was coming to a head, something he wanted to avoid at all costs. In an attempt to derail the Polish national movement, he brought forward to January the conscription of young Polish activists into the Imperial Russian Army; that decision is what triggered the January Uprising of 1863, the outcome Wielopolski had wanted to avoid. The rebellion by young Polish conscripts was soon joined by high-ranking Polish-Lithuanian officers and members of the political class; the insurrectionists, as yet ill-organised were outnumbered and lacking sufficient foreign support, were forced into hazardous guerrilla tactics.
Reprisals were ruthless. Public executions and deportations to Siberia persuaded many Poles to abandon armed struggle. In addition, Tsar Alexander II hit the landed gentry hard, as a result the whole economy, with a sudden decision in 1864 to abolish serfdom in Poland; the ensuing break-up of estates and destitution of many peasants convinced educated Poles to turn instead to the idea of "organic work", economic and cultural self-improvement. Despite the Russian Empire losing the Crimean war and being weakened economically and politically, Alexander II warned in 1856 against further concessions with the words, "forget any dreams". There were two prevailing streams of thought among the population of the Kingdom of Poland at the time. One consisting of patriotic stirrings within liberal-conservative landed and intellectual circles centred around Andrzej Zamoyski, they were hoping for an orderly return to the constitutional status pre-1830. They became characterised as the Whites; the alternative tendency, characterised as the Reds represented a democratic movement uniting peasants and some clergy.
For both streams central to their dilemma was the peasant question. However estate owners tended to favour the abolition of serfdom in exchange for compensation, whereas the democratic movement saw the overthrow of the Russian yoke as dependent on an unconditional liberation of the peasantry. Just as the democrats organised the first religious and patriotic demonstrations in 1860, covert resistance groups began to form among educated youth. Blood was first shed in Warsaw in February 1861, when the Russian Army attacked a demonstration in Castle Square on the anniversary of the Battle of Grochów. There were five fatalities. Fearing the spread of spontaneous unrest, Alexander II reluctantly agreed to accept a petition for a change in the system of governance, he agreed to the appointment of Aleksander Wielopolski to head a commission to look into Religious Observance and Public Education and announced the formation of a State Council and Self-governance for towns and Powiats. These concessions did not prevent further demonstrations.
On 8 April there were 500 wounded by Russian fire. Martial law was imposed in Warsaw and brutally repressive measures taken against the organisers in Warsaw and Wilno by deporting them into deepest Russia. In Vilno alone 116 demonstrations were held during 1861. In the autumn of 1861 Russians had introduced a state of emergency in Vilna Governorate, Kovno Governorate and Grodno Governorate; these events led to a speedier consolidation of the resistance: Future leaders of the uprising gathered secretly in St. Petersburg, Wilno and London. Two bodies emerged from these consultations. By October 1861 the urban "Movement Committee" was formed and in June 1862 the "Central National Committee", CNC came into being, its leadership included, Stefan Bobrowski, Jarosław Dąbrowski, Zygmunt Padlewski, Agaton Giller, Bronisław Szwarce. This body directed the creation of national structures intended to become a new secret Polish state; the CNC had not planned an uprising before the Spring of 1863 at the earliest.
However, Wielopolski's move to start conscription to the Russian Army in mid January, forced its hand to call the uprising prematurely on the night of 22–23 January 1863. The uprising broke out at a moment when general peace prevailed in Europe, although there was vociferous support for the Poles, powers such as F
Miami the City of Miami, is the cultural and financial center of South Florida. Miami is the seat of the most populous county in Florida; the city covers an area of about 56.6 square miles, between the Everglades to the west and Biscayne Bay on the east. The Miami metropolitan area is home to 6.1 million people and the seventh-largest metropolitan area in the nation. Miami's metro area is the second-most populous metropolis in the southeastern United States and fourth-largest urban area in the U. S. Miami has the third tallest skyline in the United States with over 300 high-rises, 80 of which stand taller than 400 feet. Miami is a major center, a leader in finance, culture, entertainment, the arts, international trade; the Miami Metropolitan Area is by far the largest urban economy in Florida and the 12th largest in the United States with a GDP of $344.9 billion as of 2017. In 2012, Miami was classified as an Alpha − level world city in the World Cities Study Group's inventory. In 2010, Miami ranked seventh in the United States and 33rd among global cities in terms of business activity, human capital, information exchange, cultural experience, political engagement.
In 2008, Forbes magazine ranked Miami "America's Cleanest City", for its year-round good air quality, vast green spaces, clean drinking water, clean streets, citywide recycling programs. According to a 2009 UBS study of 73 world cities, Miami was ranked as the richest city in the United States, the world's seventh-richest city in terms of purchasing power. Miami is nicknamed the "Capital of Latin America" and is the largest city with a Cuban-American plurality. Greater Downtown Miami has one of the largest concentrations of international banks in the United States, is home to many large national and international companies; the Civic Center is a major center for hospitals, research institutes, medical centers, biotechnology industries. For more than two decades, the Port of Miami, known as the "Cruise Capital of the World", has been the number one cruise passenger port in the world, it accommodates some of the world's largest cruise ships and operations, is the busiest port in both passenger traffic and cruise lines.
Metropolitan Miami is a major tourism hub in the southeastern U. S. for international visitors, ranking number two in the country after New York City. The Miami area was inhabited for thousands of years by indigenous Native American tribes; the Tequestas occupied the area for a thousand years before encountering Europeans. An Indian village of hundreds of people dating to 500–600 B. C. was located at the mouth of the Miami River. In 1566 admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, Florida's first governor, claimed the area for Spain. A Spanish mission was constructed one year in 1567. Spain and Great Britain successively ruled Florida. Spain ceded it to the United States in 1821. In 1836, the US built Fort Dallas as part of its development of the Florida Territory and attempt to suppress and remove the Seminole; the Miami area subsequently became a site of fighting during the Second Seminole War. Miami is noted as "the only major city in the United States conceived by a woman, Julia Tuttle", a local citrus grower and a wealthy Cleveland native.
The Miami area was better known as "Biscayne Bay Country" in the early years of its growth. In the late 19th century, reports described the area as a promising wilderness; the area was characterized as "one of the finest building sites in Florida." The Great Freeze of 1894–95 hastened Miami's growth, as the crops of the Miami area were the only ones in Florida that survived. Julia Tuttle subsequently convinced Henry Flagler, a railroad tycoon, to expand his Florida East Coast Railway to the region, for which she became known as "the mother of Miami." Miami was incorporated as a city on July 28, 1896, with a population of just over 300. It was derived from Mayaimi, the historic name of Lake Okeechobee. Black labor played a crucial role in Miami's early development. During the beginning of the 20th century, migrants from the Bahamas and African-Americans constituted 40 percent of the city's population. Whatever their role in the city's growth, their community's growth was limited to a small space.
When landlords began to rent homes to African-Americans in neighborhoods close to Avenue J, a gang of white men with torches visited the renting families and warned them to move or be bombed. During the early 20th century, northerners were attracted to the city, Miami prospered during the 1920s with an increase in population and infrastructure; the legacy of Jim Crow was embedded in these developments. Miami's chief of police, H. Leslie Quigg, did not hide the fact that he, like many other white Miami police officers, was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Unsurprisingly, these officers enforced social codes far beyond the written law. Quigg, for example, "personally and publicly beat a colored bellboy to death for speaking directly to a white woman."The collapse of the Florida land boom of the 1920s, the 1926 Miami Hurricane, the Great Depression in the 1930s slowed development. When World War II began, well-situated on the southern coast of Florida, became a base for US defense against German submarines.
The war brought an increase in Miami's population. After Fidel Castro rose to power in Cuba in 1959, many wealthy Cubans sought refuge in Miami, further increasing the population; the city developed cultural amenities as part of the New South. In the 1980s and 1990s
State National Council
Krajowa Rada Narodowa in Polish was a parliament-like political body created during the period of World War II in German-occupied Warsaw. It was intended as a communist-controlled center of authority, challenging organs of the mainstream Polish Underground State; the existence of the KRN was accepted by the Soviet Union and the council became to a large extent subjugated and controlled by the Soviets. The KRN was established on the night of 31 December 1943 on the initiative of the recreated in 1942 Polish communist party, the Polish Workers' Party led by Władysław Gomułka, it was the implementation of the Party's Central Committee decision of 7 November 1943. The council was declared to be the "actual political representation of the Polish nation, empowered to act on behalf of the nation and manage its affairs until the time of Poland's liberation from the occupation". From the beginning, the KRN viewed the prewar Sanation regime and the contemporary Polish government in exile as illegitimate, based on the "elitist-totalitarian" April Constitution, "whose legality had never been recognized by the nation", as representative of narrow reactionary interests.
The new government formation would be based on the "worker-peasant alliance" and on the alliance with the Soviet Union. The Armia Ludowa was established as the KRN's armed force; the exile government and the Polish Underground State the Armia Krajowa command, were worried by this development and by the progressing social radicalization in Poland. They accelerated the formation of the planned Council of National Unity, their own parliament, created on 9 January 1944; the Soviet government under Stalin unaware of the establishment of the KRN because of the non-existent at that time communications, became critical of it until, according to the evolving international situation, the Soviets developed new ideas in respect to Poland and found the KRN to be a convenient entity. A KRN delegation went to Moscow for talks with Stalin on 22 May 1944 and the body's existence was upheld; the KRN was dominated by pro-communist activists from various Polish prewar parties. Attempts to broaden the KRN's base by absorbing other leftist and popular groups were unsuccessful.
The left-wing of the Polish Socialist Party and the agrarian movement had in mind a future People's Republic of Poland, but of a different variety than the communists. The KRN included some members of the PPS, the Polish People's Party, the People's Party, the Democratic Party, the Labour Party, non-aligned and Jewish politicians. Bolesław Bierut of the PPR became the KRN's chairman. Bierut was opposed to Gomułka's efforts to broaden the KRN's participation and a sharp conflict between the two ensued. Bierut believed in future communist rule based on the presence of the Soviet Red Army in Poland and did not want to dilute the PPR's identity and influence by the inclusion of too many other forces; the KRN's vice-chairmen were Stanisław Grabski and Stanisław Szwalbe. On 22 July 1944, the KRN delegation and the Union of Polish Patriots, having deliberated in Moscow, took it upon themselves to form a new governmental structure, the Polish Committee of National Liberation, established in the Lublin province.
PKWN gave rise to communist-dominated governments, which included some former members of the Polish-government-in-exile, led by Stanisław Mikołajczyk, represented a half-hearted attempt by the communists to meet the Yalta Conference requirements of forming a coalition government and carrying out free elections. On 31 December of that year, the KRN transformed the PKWN into the Provisional Government of the Republic of Poland. Both early governments were headed by the socialist Edward Osóbka-Morawski; until the elections to parliament, the KRN held both legislative and executive powers, Bolesław Bierut was the head of state. In July 1945, the KRN had 273 members. In October 1946 it was expanded to 444 members; the Polish legislative elections, 1947 were rigged by the communists, who conducted the Polish people's referendum of 1946. The unchallenged rule of the communists that followed, combined with extensive repressions and persecution, forced many opposition leaders to leave the country; the new Sejm, which replaced the KRN, was dominated by the communists and their allies.
Davies, Norman, 1982 and several reprints. God's Playground. 2 vols. New York: Columbia Univ. Press. ISBN 0-231-05353-3 and ISBN 0-231-05351-7 Boris Shub and Bernard Quint, Since Stalin, a photo history of our time, anthology published by Swen Publications, New York, Manila, 1951, hardcover
Zygmunt Henryk Berling was a Polish general and politician. He fought for the independence of Poland in the early 20th century. During World War II, he was sentenced to death in absentia for desertion from Anders' Army, the first Polish army formed in the Soviet Union; the verdict was overruled by the Polish government-in-exile. Berling was a co-founder and commander of the First Polish Army and thus of the communist-led Polish People's Army, which fought on the Eastern Front of World War II. Zygmunt Berling was born in Limanowa on 27 April 1896, he joined the Polish Legions of Józef Piłsudski in 1914, serving in the 2nd and 4th Legions Infantry Regiment. Between the "oath crisis" of June 1917 and October 1918 he served in the Austro-Hungarian Army. At the end of the World War I he joined the reborn Polish Army, becoming the commander of an infantry company in the 4th Infantry Regiment. During the Polish–Soviet War, he gained fame as an able commander during the Battle of Lwów and received the Virtuti Militari medal.
After the war, he remained in the military and in 1923 he was promoted to the rank of major, first serving on staff of the 15th Infantry Division of V District Corps Command in Kraków. In 1930, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and started his service as a commanding officer, first in the 6th Infantry Regiment and in the 4th Infantry Regiment. Berling retired from active duty in June 1939 because of divorce problems and conflicts with his superiors. Berling did not participate in the Polish defence effort during the Invasion of Poland in 1939. After the city of Vilnius was occupied by the Soviet Union under the terms of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, along with many other Polish officers, was arrested by the Soviet secret police, he remained in prison until 1940, first in Starobilsk and Moscow, but since he agreed to collaborate with the Soviets, he avoided execution in the Katyn massacre. After the Sikorski–Mayski agreement of 17 August 1941, Berling was nominated to be chief of staff of the recreated 5th Infantry Division, commander of the temporary camp for Polish soldiers in Krasnovodsk.
Political developments led to the departure from the Soviet Union of many thousand Polish soldiers and civilians. The departed "Anders' Army" formed the II Polish Corps in the Middle East, under British command; the relations between the Polish government-in-exile and the Soviet Union kept deteriorating and were broken off after Nazi Germany publicized the findings on the Katyn massacre. Berling refused to leave the Soviet Union with the army led by Władysław Anders, of which Berling was formally a member, he was accused of desertion with two other officers. On 20 April 1943, Anders expelled them from the army. On 25 July 1943, a military field court confirmed the expulsion and sentenced them in absentia to death and loss of public rights for ever; the court's decision stated: "The accused deserted from the Polish Army, in Court's opinion in order to join the Soviet Army—i.e. to serve the country which has as one of its goals the end of existence of the independent Polish state by means of incorporating its territory."
The sentence was vacated by General Kazimierz Sosnkowski, the Polish commander-in-chief in London, because of political considerations. From 1940, Berling had been involved in efforts to create a Polish division in the Soviet Union, at first within the Soviet Red Army. In September 1942 and during the following months, he and Wanda Wasilewska appealed to Joseph Stalin for permission to establish the Polish division. On 8 April 1943, Berling proposed the establishment of a new Polish army. In May 1943, the communist-led Polish People's Army was created in the Soviet Union, it was a new formation of Polish Armed Forces in the East. Berling was nominated to be the commander of its first unit, the 1st Tadeusz Kościuszko Infantry Division, was promoted to general by Stalin, he became the overall deputy commander of the Polish Army on the Eastern Front on 22 July 1944. On 1 August 1944, the underground Polish Home Army, loyal to the Polish government-in-exile in London, began the 63-day long Warsaw Uprising, an attempt to free the city from the occupying German forces before the arrival of the Red Army.
On 15–23 September, when the uprising was in its phase, with his First Polish Army on the east bank of the Vistula River and the Praga district of Warsaw secured, Berling led a rescue effort that involved crossing the Vistula and establishing a bridgehead on the west bank. The failed operation not consulted with Berling's Soviet military superiors, resulted in heavy Polish Army casualties and may have caused Berling's dismissal from his post soon thereafter, he was transferred to the War Academy in Moscow, where he remained until his return to Poland in 1947. In Poland Berling directed the Academy of General Staff, he retired from the military in 1953. Zygmunt Berling held a variety of government positions after 1953. Between 1953 and 1956, he was Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of National Agriculture Industries, between 1956 and 1957 he was Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and from 1957 to 1970 he was General Inspector of Hunting in the Ministry of Forestry. In 1963, he joined the Polish United Workers' Party.
He is buried at Powązki Military Cemetery in Warsaw. Polish contribution to World War II Bargiełowski, Daniel. Konterfekt renegata. Maciej Dybowski. ISBN 8386482214. OCLC 36400290. Short bio and photo of pre-war Jagiellonian University