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Poland: Her heroes and her traitors



pawian 127 | 6,555    
28 Dec 2009  #1

This thread is about Polish heroes and Polish traitors.
Who are heroes? Guys who fought for the Polish cause.
Who are traitors? Guys who betrayed the Polish cause.
How simple.
However, some guys are really controvercial. Half-traitors, half heroes.

Who shall go first?

In my opinion, the traitors of Targowica Confederacy in 18 century.

The Targowica Confederation was a confederation established by Polish and Lithuanian magnates on 27 April 1792, in Saint Petersburg, with the backing of the Russian Empress Catherine II. The confederation opposed the Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791, which had been adopted by the Great Sejm, especially the provisions limiting the privileges of the nobility. The text of founding act of the confederation was written by the Russian general Vasili Stepanovich Popov. Four days later two Russian armies invaded the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth without a formal declaration of war.

The forces of the Targowica Confederation defeated the forces loyal to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Sejm and King Stanisław August Poniatowski in the Polish-Russian War of 1792. Their victory precipitated the Second Partition of Poland and set the stage for the Third Partition and the final dissolution of the Commonwealth in 1795.

The nickname "targowiczanin", describing the supporter of this confederation, became a negative political epithet in Poland, akin to "foolish traitor", still used up to the modern day[/i]

What happened to Targowica noble members?

Some were hanged be revolted masses:

Szymon Marcin Kossakowski- A supporter of the Russian Empire during the Kościuszko Uprising and earlier, he was deemed a traitor. In the aftermath of the Wilno Uprising he tried to escape by boat, but was captured and hanged in the town hall square of Vilnius with the inscription of He who swings will not drown and was interred in the cellars of the church in Jonava.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Szymon_Kossakowski

Some escaped and were hanged in effigy:

Count Stanisław Szczęsny Potocki-Marshal of the Confederation. Sentenced to death, but never apprehended. Instead, on September 29, 1794, his portrait was hanged. In 1795 he was rewarded by Catherine the Great with the Russian Order of Alexander Nevsky and the rank of general en chef.



en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanis%C5%82aw_Szcz%C4%99sny_Potocki

Two quotes from him: After the signing of the Targowica Confederation:"Each true Pole, not blinded by the Prussian and royalist cabal, is convinced, that our Fatherland can only be saved by Russia, otherwise our nation will be enslaved".

"About past Poland and Poles [I don't want to talk anymore]. Gone is this country, and this name, as many others have perished in the world's history. I am now a Russian forever."


OP pawian 127 | 6,555    
28 Dec 2009  #3

1. Retain Poland as an independent country.
2. When independence is lost, fight for it.
2. Resist German and Russian expansionism.
3. Protect Polish lands from foreign invasion.
4. Keep the faith.
vetala - | 383    
28 Dec 2009  #4

2. Resist German and Russian expansionism.

Add also "Swedish", "Mongolian", "Ottoman" and everyone else who has ever invaded us.

4. Keep the faith.

Aw, I'm not a good Pole then. I can't remember the last time I prayed to Światowid.
Sokrates 8 | 3,352    
28 Dec 2009  #5

What IS the polish cause???

In our historiography when Prussia, Austria and Russia partitioned us Polish Cause = striving to get back our independence and help maintain our national integrity.

Usually heroes and traitors happen to be the same.

Not in Polish history, our line is clear cut in this aspect.

Sorry Pawian did not notice your answer.

I'd go with this fellow for a hero, a very very tragic figure.

A son to the poor noble family he was sponsored by Prince Czartoryski and received great military education.

Denied the hand of a wealthy magnates daughter with whom we was deeply in love he transferred all this love to his country.

He went to America where he was instrumental in several key victories, we can go as far as to say that he and Pulaski were the people who saved the American revolution, befriended Abraham Lincoln, built the original West Point fort.

Then moved back to Poland to command the Uprising that would be known for all history after his surname "Kościuszkowskie" wounded and captured he was imprisoned, the uprising lost, he spent his final years in Switzerland where he died.
OP pawian 127 | 6,555    
28 Dec 2009  #6

Add also "Swedish", "Mongolian", "Ottoman" and everyone else who has ever invaded us.

It is point 3: Protect Polish lands from foreign invasion. (Actually, it should be point 4. Yes, BrutalButcher, my Maths is really horrible. :):):):) Sorry.)

I'd go with this fellow for a hero, a very very tragic figure.

Yes, Kosciuszko is a good heroic counterpart to Targowica traitors.

Yet, I thought about another guy of the time as an example of a zealous Polish patriot.

Tadeusz Rejtan (or Tadeusz Reytan in Old Polish spelling) (1742 - 1780) was a Polish nobleman. He was a member of the Polish Sejm.
In September 1773, Rejtan famously tried to prevent the legalization of the first partition of Poland. He is said to have bared his chest and laid himself down in a doorway, blocking the way with his own body in a dramatic attempt to stop the other members from entering (or leaving) the chamber where the debate on the partition was being held. Despite his efforts, the partition of Poland was legalized soon afterwards.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tadeusz_Rejtan

Tadeusz_Rejtan
ZIMMY 7 | 1,607    
28 Dec 2009  #7

befriended Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was the 16 th president of the U.S. He wasn't born until 1809. Tadeusz Kościuszko befriended the person who was to become the 1st president of the U.S. George Washington. Kosciuszko

was also buddies with Thomas Jefferson who became the 3rd president of the U.S.
Ironside 46 | 8,407    
28 Dec 2009  #8

George Washington.

nay He was a friend of Jefferson but not Washington !
and general Gates ??or Green? I'm not sure which...
ZIMMY 7 | 1,607    
28 Dec 2009  #9

nay He was a friend of Jefferson but not Washington !

He knew Washington who asked Kosciusko "what can you do for me" to which the reply was "try me........and you'll see". Washington later made sure that Kosciusko received several American honors for duties performed.

Kosciusko was close friends with Thomas Jefferson and the two shared political views, among other things. Kosciusko first became friends with Ben Franklin who recommended him to Washington.

Kosciusko initially reported to Gen. Gates and when he was relieved by Gen. Greene, Kosciusko worked with him and did most of his major works under Greene.
Ironside 46 | 8,407    
29 Dec 2009  #10

He knew Washington

well, it doesn't mean there were friends!:)

Kosciusko initially reported to Gen. Gates and when he was relieved by Gen. Greene, Kosciusko worked with him and did most of his major works under Greene.

One of them was his friend!and other not!
OP pawian 127 | 6,555    
30 Dec 2009  #11

Traitor

Iwo Sym was a known actor before WW2. When Germans occupied Poland, he openly cooperated with them. For that he was killed by the Polish underground.

Iwo Sym

After September 1, 1939, Sym stayed in Warsaw. Known before the war for his pro-German stance, the actor signed the Volksliste, as a Volksdeutscher. Due to his widespread fame, the Germans regarded him a crucial element of legitimization of the new authorities. So, the propaganda department of the General Government gave him the post of the director of German "Theater der Stadt Warschau". Sym was the director of the "Nur Fur Deutsche" ("Only for Germans") cinema, "Palladium", and owner of "Teatr Komedia".
Some time in late 1939, Sym became a Gestapo agent. Also, according to the preserved documents, [...]

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Igo_Sym
1jola 14 | 1,884    
30 Dec 2009  #12

On opening the door, Sym was asked to confirm his name, which he did. One of the agents then shot Sym dead with a Vis pistol.

Percisely, he would have been told that he is being executed for treason on the basis of a underground court's ruling. These were serious matters, done by AK soldiers, not some haphazard operations.
OP pawian 127 | 6,555    
30 Dec 2009  #13

You are talking about rules.

But life is life and people are only people. :):):):)

Read the description of the assasination available in Wiki but elsewhere too
1jola 14 | 1,884    
30 Dec 2009  #14

Yes, ideal situations are rare, but that was the protocol to be followed.
poland_    
8 Jun 2011  #15

Count Stanisław Szczęsny Potocki -Marshal of the Confederation. Sentenced to death, but never apprehended. Instead, on September 29, 1794, his portrait was hanged. In 1795 he was rewarded by Catherine the Great with the Russian Order of Alexander Nevsky and the rank of general en chef.

Potocki organized archaeological excavations in Italy, inter alia in Laurentum in 1779 and Nola in 1785-1786. He collected art, mainly paintings, graphics and antique ceramics. His collection exhibited in Wilanów in 1805, initiating one of the first museums in Poland.

The palace was damaged by Germans forces in World War II,[7] but it was not demolished after the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. After the war, the palace was renovated, and most of the collection stolen by Germany was repatriated. In 1962 it was reopened to the public.[8]

Potocki died on 14 September 1821 and was buried in the church of Wilanów.

Source Wiki

Where is the art, Pawian and who is the rightful owner?
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997    
8 Jun 2011  #16

Warszawski!

Do not mix Kostka with Szczęsny! Cannot you see where Pawian did his failure? ;-)))))))))))))

Two different people: One a great patriot and another a traitor...
---
Talking about rightful owners, the city of Pszczyna, the city of Tychy and everything between them should be returned to the rightful owners, the Dukes of Pless, one of them, Bolko (grandson of English Duchess Daisy, still living in Germany.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duchy_of_Pless
pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolko_Hochberg_von_Pless
poland_    
8 Jun 2011  #17

Do not mix Kostka with Szczęsny! Cannot you see where Pawian did his failure? ;-)))))))))))))

Pawian has gone from historian to incompetent propagandist, in a single post, good to have you onboard Antek.

Pawian, nature has a natural way of healing wounds...
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997    
8 Jun 2011  #18

By the way, I need to correct myself. Daisy was the Princess of Pless (not a Duchess) and she was born Mary Theresa Olivia Cornwallis-West. As an Englishwoman, she directly opposed her husband during WWI. Very popular character in Pszczyna.

As the two Potockis acted totally different regarding Polish matters, same happened to young Dukes of Pless. Two sons of Daisy fought in English and Polish Armies during WWII, and two other sons of the old Duke born from his second wife were Nazi. A good story is this: One of Daisy's sons served under Gen. Anders, and Anders' troops captured a high-ranked Wehrmacht officer. The officer demanded to be interrogated by "his equal". To his greatest surprise, a Polish Captain approached him and said in pure German: "Good morning, Sir, I'm Duke Hochberg von Pless, are we equal?' ;-)))))))))))

Princess Daisy in Pszczyna.

Not 100% true, Robert Lee. For example, the Duchy of Pszczyna started working long time ago that way: There was a large piece of uninhabited land. A landlord and his people had come there and offered protection to the early settlers. The settlers got big pieces of land, and they had to pay the rent for protection. Next wave of settlers could get half of original size lots. Yet next settlers were getting 1/4. The settlers could live peaceful life, only they were tenants paying the rent to the landlord. Over the history, the land was changing the owners because new owners had money to buy the property. The Dukes of Pless had been rightful owners of the Duchy since 1765.

The Castle of Pless

This castle was built by Dukes of Pless from their own money.

What is worthy to say, one of the Dukes founded social packages to inhabitants of his Duchy already in 1903.

Now, RobertLee, what you say is socialist gibberish. Based on your comments, all corporations in the world shall be nationalized. Sorry, but I have lived 28 years of my life in a country having the nationalized economy and I would not recommend anyone doing that again.

Funny thing, do you people know how the last real Duke of Pless lost his original property? Not because it was nationalized by the Polish before WWI! NO. Because the guy did not want to pay taxes, so he was simply evicted for unpaid taxes ;)
Palivec - | 381    
8 Jun 2011  #19

Add the Silesian Piasts to the list of traitors, which not only preferred Bohemia over Poland but also became Germanised...
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997    
8 Jun 2011  #20

The only thing the Polish King Casimir the Great did to Pless was robbing it and burning it down ;-)
David_18 69 | 987    
8 Jun 2011  #21

Who shall go first?

In my opinion, the creators and supporters of Targowica Confederacy in 18 century.

Today we can call them for traitors.

But if we gonna see it from their perspective we will have to try to understand why they did it.

The reformers wanted to reform the whole countrys system. They wanted to abolish the serf system enforce new taxes and give more power to the people.

And the Targowica Confederacy "the conservative party" just wanted to have status quo ante which means "same as before".

How they dealt with it is can today seem like stupid but remember that those magnates could never guess that their "ally" mother Russia would choose to take a large part of the country as a war booty. Actually i dont even think the Russians knew it before it happend. They just cease the moment, so did Austria and Prussia.
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 7,938    
8 Jun 2011  #22

Instead, on September 29, 1794, his portrait was hanged.

That is.......so.......polish! :)

Gotta love you guys! :):):)
boletus 30 | 1,367    
8 Jun 2011  #23

That is.......so.......polish! :)

As much as we would love to take credit for the original idea, French must have done it before.

To burn or hang in effigy, is to burn or hang an image or picture of the person intended to be executed, disgraced or degraded. In France,when a criminal cannot be apprehended, his picture is hung on a gallows or gibbet, at the bottom of which is written his sentence of condemnation.

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 7,938    
8 Jun 2011  #24

In France,when a criminal cannot be apprehended, his picture is hung on a gallows or gibbet, at the bottom of which is written his sentence of condemnation.

Nope...it's not cute when the French do it!

;)
Des Essientes 7 | 1,296    
8 Jun 2011  #25

How they dealt with it is can today seem like stupid but remember that those magnates could never guess that their "ally" mother Russia would choose to take a large part of the country as a war booty.

You honestly believe that those magnates could never guess that that was what would happen despite the precedent of the First Partition?
OP pawian 127 | 6,555    
8 Jun 2011  #26

If you spent five seconds to think Pawian, you would be more entitled to saying "Teaching history is my vocation!"

If you spent about 60 seconds to think (I am giving you more time because I don`t know your mental powers yet, but judging but this post, they are not too high. :):):):):) , you wouldn`t draw too hasty conclusions, dear Antek.

EPIC FAIL

Don`t be silly. I didn`t make any epic fail.

Did you really read what Warszawski wrote?:

In the original thread:
warszawski wrote:
Bzibzioh: Pałac w Wilanowie (Wilanów Palace)
The palace they will not give back to the rightful owners...

If you did your googling during your 60 seconds, you would know that the last righful owner of Wilanów Palace was Ksawery Branicki, the greatgrandson of one of the greatest Polish traitors, Franciszek Ksawery Branicki:

Count Franciszek Ksawery Branicki (1730, Barwałd Górny - 1819) was a Polish nobleman of the Korczak coat of arms, magnate and one of the leaders of the Targowica Confederation. Opponent of the reforms of the Great Sejm (1788-1792), supporter of the Targowica Confederation. Sentenced to death in absentia by the Supreme Criminal Court during the Kościuszko Uprising (1794).

So, when I answered Warszawski,

Quite right so. Those facking noblemen once betrayed Poland to Russia and today they deserve nothing but a kick in the butt!

I had the right to do it.

Here is the list of greatest Targowica traitors:

Stanisław Szczęsny Potocki: Marshal (head) of the Confederation. Sentenced to death, but never apprehended. Instead, on September 29, 1794, his portrait was hanged (see illustration). In 1795 he was rewarded by Catherine the Great with the Russian Order of Alexander Nevsky and the rank of Général en chef.

Other magnate members:

Franciszek Ksawery Branicki: Sentenced to death during the Kościuszko Uprising but never apprehended. Emigrated to Russia, died at Biała Cerkiew, 1819.
Szymon Marcin Kossakowski: Hanged April 25, 1794, in Vilnius during the Kościuszko Uprising.
Józef Kazimierz Kossakowski: Bishop. Hanged May 9, 1794, in Vilna during the Kościuszko Uprising.
Ignacy Jakub Massalski: Bishop. Hanged June 28, 1794, in Warsaw during the Kościuszko Uprising.
Seweryn Rzewuski.Sentenced to death in absentia by the Supreme Criminal Court during the Kościuszko Uprising (1794).


Where is the art, Pawian and who is the rightful owner?

Let me repeat: the last owner came from Branicki family. Members of this family once participated in destroying Poland. Kick in the butt!!!

Cannot you see where Pawian did his failure? ;-)))))))))))))

No, I can`t. But I can see your pathetic and futile attempts. :):):) Cheap!

Pawian has gone from historian to incompetent propagandist, in a single post, good to have you onboard Antek.

Good to have you on board, Warszawski and Antek. I just love teaching history to flaming ignorants and prove them wrong! :):):):):):)

Pawian, nature has a natural way of healing wounds...

I hope it will also work for you. :):):)

Today we can call them for traitors. But if we gonna see it from their perspective we will have to try to understand why they did it.

I am sorry but it is relativism which I cannot accept. Besides, if some of the traitors were actually hanged during Kosciuszko Insurection, it means their contemporaries judged them very negatively.

pawian:
Instead, on September 29, 1794, his portrait was hanged.
That is.......so.......polish! :)
Gotta love you guys! :):):)

Certainly, death penalty in effigy isn`t a Polish invention:

executedtoday.com/2010/09/11/1764-sirven-family-in-effigy-voltaire
Des Essientes 7 | 1,296    
8 Jun 2011  #27

What about Bogusław Radziwiłł? Was he anything like Sienkiewicz's portrayal of him in The Deluge? With a super effeminate powdered head attached to a herculean body his incongrousness made him the quintessential Baroque villian in my opinion.
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997    
8 Jun 2011  #28

Moreover, Bogusław Radziwiłł was pardoned by the King.
boletus 30 | 1,367    
8 Jun 2011  #29

quintessential Baroque villian

Oh yes, he was a traitor all right - at least twice. He first betrayed The Res Publica, and then Carolus Gustavus. He was even more of the villain than presented by Sienkiewicz. Planning the first Poland's partition with Transylvania + Moldova + Brandenburg + Chmielnicki.

"Chciałem ja być w czerni, bo taki w tych i cudzych krajach zwyczaj; ale że się to W. X. M. nie zda, postaram się o pstrą suknie, żebym był jako dzięcioł."

"I wanted to be dressed in black, because such is a practise here and in foreign countries, but since WXM insists, I will try to find a motley dress, just to look like a woodpecker." - to his future wife about their planned wedding

- Życie Janusza Radziwiłła, ebook

enthusiast of arms bustle and dueling discord, recorded in historical consciousness through the prism of Sienkiewicz's Trilogy, spent a large part of his youth at the manor of King Wladyslaw and European peregrinations, which strengthened its cosmopolitan orientation.

wilanow-palac.pl/boguslaw_radziwill_zebym_byl_jako_dzieciol.html

Bogusław Radziwiłł Wilanów Palace Museum


  • Bogusław Radziwiłł Wilanów Palace Museum
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997    
8 Jun 2011  #30

Was Bogusław the man who "preferred speaking German because that Polish speech made his mouth chap"?




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