“Adjutancy - Commander-in-Chief” archive fully digitized

ModlinThese documents reflect the struggles of the new Polish state received often by hostility, not only by Germany and Bolshevik Russia, but also by the Czech Republic and Lithuania... little known, forgotten and unpublished documents showing the preparation of the Paris Conference for the Treaty of Versailles...documents showing the Polish-German struggle for Upper Silesia, Gdansk Pomerania and Greater Poland (Wielkopolska), the attacks of Czechs against the  Silesia Cieszyn, Lithuanians against the Suwalki Region, Ukrainians against Eastern Galicia...rare reports speaking of the Army of General Józef Haller in France and its subsequent battles in Poland ...documents about Roman Dmowski, Józef Piłsudski, Ignacy Jan Paderewski. Józef and Stanisław Haller, Tadeusz Rozwadowski, Ignacy Matuszewski, Kazimierz Sosnkowski, Maurycy Zamoyski, Eustachy Sapieha and others.

The digitization of all documents from the Office of Head of State and Commander-in-Chief (Adiutantura Generalna Naczelnego Wodza) Józef Piłsudski has been completed. Now you can reach them on the Internet from every corner of the earth. This is a great convenience for all those who for various reasons are or will be interested in the history of Poland, Europe and the World in the period from November 1918 to the end of 1922. This does not mean, however, that we will not continue to provide these documents to people who come in person to the seat of our Institute in New York's Greenpoint. Not only professional historians, researchers from different disciplines and journalists, but also people who want to expand their knowledge of history or access to information about these interesting facts and events are welcome in the Pilsudski Institute. We will also provide e-mail assistance for those using our collections in the internet.

Our archival collection  “Adjutancy - Commander-in-Chief” consists of 17,000 documents with a total of 40,000 pages. Searching, browsing or perusing them will be easier in the electronic form in the Internet than at the Institute, where you have turn over page by page in portfolios and folders to locate the information you need. Based on these documents one can capture the events of newly established Polish state, coming out of the partitions and the World War I. One can detect in them the great joy of independence and the great struggle for the shape of the reborn Poland, pulling the territories from the hands of the invaders and fighting for recognition of its sovereignty by the world. One can also see an almost unbelievable effort coupled with an equally incredible skills to quickly create, out the three former partitions, a functioning state able to defend itself against enemies attacking from the East, West and South. These documents reflect the struggles of the new state received often by hostility, not only by Germany and Bolshevik Russia, but also by the Czech Republic and Lithuania, the neighbors who like Poland obtained an independence as a result of the Treaty of Versailles. The United Kingdom under Lloyd George is not an ally, the Scandinavian countries and Belgium and the Netherlands are rather indifferent towards that fate of Poland. Only France sees Poland as its ally, mainly in the strategy towards Germany and to the Soviet Union. The resurgent  Poland is supported by the United States led by its President Woodrow Wilson, but United States is far and the continuing threat posed by Germany and Bolshevik Russia are close. In these archival documents also comes through a sad truth that in the Bolshevik onslaught in 1920 Poland was completely alone, except for the advisory and moderately helpful French Military Mission. The fact that Poles saved Europe from  the Bolshevik invasion indeed reached the politicians who know the imperial plans of Russia, but they quickly forgot about it.

The digitized collection  “Adjutancy - Commander-in-Chief” contain little known, forgotten and unpublished documents showing the preparation of the Paris Conference for the Treaty of Versailles, the disputes between the envoys of Józef Pilsudski and the Polish National Committee members, behind the scenes discussions between diplomats, the formation of the Polish relations with other countries. These documents show the Polish-German struggle for Upper Silesia, Gdansk Pomerania and Greater Poland (Wielkopolska), the attacks of Czechs against the Silesia Cieszyn,  Lithuanians against the Suwalki Region, Ukrainians against Eastern Galicia. Many telegrams, reports and memos concern the Polish - Ukrainian fight for Lviv in late 1918 and 1919 and subsequent conflict in the Eastern  and Western Borderlands (Kresy). There is no shortage of documents which cover the fight for Vilnius and Vilnius region and its occupation first by Marshal Józef Pilsudski and then by General Lucjan Zeligowski. They show these dramatic events from different points of view, including the reaction of the World. In the section concerning the Polish - Bolshevik war in 1920 there is no shortage of sketches and maps showing the the front lines and their changes from day to day. Very interesting and still unknown documents speak of negotiations between the Polish and Soviet Red Cross and preparations for peace talks with the Bolsheviks, culminated in the Treaty of Riga. Unique materials show the fate of the Polish Army in the East, including Siberia. Rare reports speak of the Army of General Józef Haller in France and its subsequent battles in Poland. The reports from the Parliament show the clashing visions of the new state and issues requiring immediate intervention.
   
The Adjutancy - Commander-in-Chief collection also includes materials on people most important in the country and those most merited for its emergence, ranging from Roman Dmowski, Józef Piłsudski and Ignacy Jan Paderewski. Among the builders of this country there are two generals related to each other, Jozef and Stanisław Haller, Tadeusz Rozwadowski, Ignacy Matuszewski, Kazimierz Sosnkowski, Maurycy Zamoyski, Eustachy Sapieha, Kazimierz Dłuski Wojciech Korfanty, Kazimierz Lubomirski, Edward Śmigły-Rydz, brothers Janusz i Wacław Jędrzejewicz. Some documents talk about their work and struggle, some are written by them.  In light of the variety of records, very competent and creative people emerge to be the closest associates of Marshal Piłsudski: Aleksander Prystor, Walery Sławek, Michał Sokolnicki, Kazimierz Świtalski and his personal aide Bolesław Wieniawa- Długoszowski. An interesting light is also shed on foreign politicians and military officers, starting from David Lloyd George and Marshal Ferdinand Foch and ending with George Clemenceau and Paul Prosper Henrys. Those who are interested in the twists and turns of the White Russians war with the Reds will be satisfied by relations on  Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel, Anton Denikin and Boris Sawinkow on one side and of Felix Dzerzhinsky, Julian Marchlewski, Karl Radek and Vladimir Lenin on the other. In the reports on the Polish - Ukrainian relations the common personality is  Ataman Symon Petliura.

In this short introduction to the digitized collection  “Adjutancy - Commander-in-Chief” it is impossible to specify all persons and documents or even thematic collections in which they are placed. One thing is certain, however, it cannot be ignored by anyone dealing with the history of Polish in the years 1918-1922 or interested in the first period of the Polish state resulting from World War I and the heroes, which led the nation to the liberation struggle.

Andrzej Józef Dąbrowski, May 8, 2017

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