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Poland: Her heroes and her traitors


OP pawian 176 | 14,299
9 Jun 2011 #31
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.

Yes, a good example:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogus%C5%82aw_Radziwi%C5%82%C5%82
Together with his cousin Janusz Radziwiłł in 1654 during The Deluge, or Swedish invasion of Poland, Bogusław Radziwiłł began negotiations with King Charles X Gustav of Sweden aimed at breaking the Commonwealth and the Polish-Lithuanian union. They signed a treaty according to which the Swedish-Lithuanian union was founded and the Radziwiłłs were to rule over two duchies carved up from the lands of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (this was also confirmed in another treaty, the treaty of Radnot).
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
9 Jun 2011 #32
Bogusław Radziwiłł is a very complicated case, when one of Polish Senators once voiced openly his desire to split Poland and Lithuania Bogusław first called the guy out in a highly vulgar manner and then simply got up, drew his sabre and went up to kill him (which he problably would) so the guy was a fervent commonwealth patriot.

Then John Casimir repeatedly insulted and even stole from Bogusław which lead directly to the later rift, essentially his views on Commonwealth changed due to the incompetence and insolence of the king.

Together with his cousin Janusz Radziwiłł in 1654 during The Deluge, or Swedish invasion of Poland, Bogusław Radziwiłł began negotiations with King Charles X Gustav of Sweden aimed at breaking the Commonwealth and the Polish-Lithuanian union.

Given that the king refused any reinforcements or money to Lithuania when it was invaded by Moscow its little wonder.

Another lie by you Pawian (you're quoting text with intent here) both Bogusław and Radziwill defended polish interests in multiple wars and battles.
OP pawian 176 | 14,299
9 Jun 2011 #33
Another lie by you Pawian (you're quoting text with intent here) both Bogusław and Radziwill defended polish interests in multiple wars and battles.

Only when it suited them. They betrayed the Commonwealth when it suited them, too.
boletus 30 | 1,366
9 Jun 2011 #34
I saw some websites that tried to soften Bogusław Radziwiłł's image somehow. I suspect that his own "Autobiografia" has a lot to offer, even though he tries to show himself there in the best possible light. For your convenience I translated few paragraphs below.

From the introduction to: Bogusław Radziwiłł, Autobiografia, in Polish, available in many sites, pdf format, 169 pages

Reading his "Autobiografia" carefully, we see that Bogusław created it not only to clear himself in eyes of the Polish society from the charge of treason and from his service to the foreign powers but also to justify his right to the Hetman Mace - not because the merits of his or of his ancestors but because of his personal skills and great military experience.

This is why he devoted so much space in this little book to the military ranks he received and the military campaigns he conducted. Even the general concept of himself, presenting himself above all as a fearless knight, even duelling with lower classes, was clearly associated with the desire to demonstrate his rights to the Mace.

In this randomly selected fragment of his own memoirs I somehow fail to see any heart breaking decisions for him to take. He just followed his own instinct and own business.

Anno 1656. On January 2, I followed the King of Sweden to Konigsberg, where soon afterwards a treaty was signed between the Elector and the Swedes. I then learned about death of my cousin [Janusz] (I was in Bartensztein then), so I hurried as quickly as I could to see to his body, but nearing Kamieniec Mazowiecki I learned that young JM Pan Sapieha besieged Tykocin. Collecting as many people as I could I went to the rescue of Tykocin - wishing to liberate the body of the deceased prince, which they wanted to mutilate. I also took revenge on Korotkiewicz, who had incited my soldiers to mutiny at Zaszków, cutting down his regiment at Choroszcza , so he barely escaped with his life. From there, going towards Warsaw and learning that a Sapieha's banner was readying to attack me I overtook them and cut all of them down.

I joined the King of Sweden, who was returning from Zamość, near Warsaw on the second day of Easter. Together we were moving around for few weeks towards Bydgoszcz and across the Great Poland until we finally came into Toruń, from where he cruised to Elbląg to meet the Swedish Queen his wife. I also welcomed her but shortly afterwards we went to Gdańsk, and after taking Głowa, the Swedish king took two more forts, which city badly needed.

At that time, the luck of Swedish king was cut short because JM King of Poland took Warsaw back, and where I lost much of my things and belongings. King of Sweden was perturbed of this news fearing for life of his brother Adolf and General Wrangel, who were staying at Nowy Dwór with very few people only. […] So he moved there himself and sent me with an army of 3000 selected soldiers to rescue Tykocin, besieged by "pospolite ruszenie". Thanks to the Lord I liberated the place and removed from it the most expensive belongings of mine. I came back to the King of Sweden the same day, when the armed union with the Elector was established.

Polish source: Bogusław Radziwiłł, Autobiografia
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997
9 Jun 2011 #35
Thanks, boletus! I gonna find the book now and put it onto the reader.
OP pawian 176 | 14,299
9 Jun 2011 #36
I saw some websites that tried to soften Bogusław Radziwiłł's image somehow. I suspect that his own "Autobiografia" has a lot to offer, even though he tries to show himself there in the best possible light. For your convenience I translated few paragraphs below.

Wow, did they already call it Autobiography then? Diary was more popular, I suppose.

Great you dug it up. Thanks for taking the effort to translate.
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
10 Jun 2011 #37
I saw some websites that tried to soften Bogusław Radziwiłł's image somehow

He was an unredeemable traitor, he had plenty of positive traits, he was a briliant general, an absolutely fearless commander but he didnt care for Poland or Lithuania, he was a typical soldier of fortune.

Sokrates: Another lie by you Pawian (you're quoting text with intent here) both Bogusław and Radziwill defended polish interests in multiple wars and battles.

Only when it suited them. They betrayed the Commonwealth when it suited them, too.

Thats not true, for a long year Janusz Radziwił fought Muscovites and Cossacks untill he had no men left, only after a year long refusal by Jan Kazimierz to issue instructions did he take action.

He fielded an army to defend Lithuania at personal cost since the king refused to pay for even a single soldier so again your claim of him being a conformist is not true, at one point he came to believe Lithuania cannot hope for any support from the Crown and thats when he abandoned his loyalty, thats treason yes but with solid local patriotism as its reason.
boletus 30 | 1,366
10 Jun 2011 #38
Did anyone mention Leszczyński i Opaliński yet, the two Great Poland traitors?

Bogusław Leszczyński, count of Leszno (1614–1659)

During the Swedish invasion of 1655 ("The Deluge"), he was committed by a chapter of the Sejm to defend the province of Greater Poland, but instead Bogusław began to negotiate with the Swedes and the Prussian elector.

and I have to remember this, it might be of some use to me, he-he:

Although considered a great speaker, he was also criticised by many for being selfish and dishonorable. He was suspected of defalcation of money and royal jewels. A telling story is that when he was offered a Chancellor's post, he bribed the members of the parliament to grant him "absolution", and when one of them later opposed him, he asked, curious: "Who's this son of a b1tch that I failed to pay off?"

Krzysztof Opaliński (21 January 1611 – 6 December 1655) politician and writer (satirist). Voivode of Poznań, starost of Kowel, Śrem, Osieck, Międzyłęsie.

During the Swedish invasion (The Deluge) Krzysztof Opaliński and Bogusław Leszczyński tasked with defence of Greater Poland (Wielkopolska), dissatisfied with policies of Jan Kazimierz, decided to surrender together with their pospolite ruszenie of Great Poland to Charles Gustav at Ujście on 25 July 1655.

BTW, this is all wikipedia. If you disagree, go ahead. :-)
RobertLee 4 | 73
10 Jun 2011 #39
If we talk about the Deluge, lets not forget Frederick William I, the Elector of Brandenburg and the Duke of Prussia, who sided with the Swedes, although he was a vassal of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Were he punished by the Poles at that time, instead of gaining sovereignty, probably the whole world history would be totally different (for example, a couple millions of lives could be saved ;)
OP pawian 176 | 14,299
25 Jul 2011 #40
Yes, ideal situations are rare, but that was the protocol to be followed.

Yes.

Wacław Krzeptowski - a Highlander who collaborated with Nazi Germans. A tragic figure. Some historians claim that by betraying Poland he tried to save his Highland compatriots from Nazi repressions. Others contradict and perceive him as blatant traitor.

d
OP pawian 176 | 14,299
25 Jul 2011 #42
more, please :)

Yes, I forgot to add a few photos of Goralenvolk which are still available on the Net:

Goralenvolk

One sentence worth considering:
He was tried for high treason, sentenced to death by hanging by his own brother, Julian Krzeptowski, a Home Army member, and executed.

Can you imagine it? A man sentencing his brother to death?The text about the demise of Waclaw Krzeptowski is not very accurate and needs clarification. Yes, the AK were after him - his brothers (a very large family of 14 brothers and sister) and relatives (close cousins) were in the AK and also couriers and guides over the Tatra mountains (they also used the same route in the 1950's + Cold war to smuggle people out), but he never betrayed them or even their whereabouts.

His brother Julian Krzeptowski held the 'trial' in the family home and Waclaw was hung from a beam in the house.
I am named after my granduncle 'Julian' the judge who after the war had a distinguished career as a lawyer and judge. Waclaw is not mentioned in family discussions to this day.

Julian M Hoseason, 25 Aug 2004


flagspot.net/flags/pl!gv39.html
Barney 15 | 1,477
25 Jul 2011 #43
Can you imagine it? A man sentencing his brother to death?

War within war, uncivil war the worst possible:(
OP pawian 176 | 14,299
26 Jul 2011 #44
Yes, civil war is much crueller than outside war.

A hero of 1939 campaign who died an honorable death, leading his soldiers in the field. Though born and brought up in Russia, he was Polish by heart.

Mikołaj Bołtuć (born December 21, 1893 in Petersburg, killed in battle September 22, 1939 near £omianki) was a brigadier-general of the Polish Army, commanded the IV Polish infantry Division during World War II. he was the son of Ignacy Bołtuć, Russian General of Polish descent.



en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miko%C5%82aj_Bo%C5%82tu%C4%87



Gen. Boltuc's tomb, in a form of a field stone, is at the Powązki Military Cemetery in Warsaw.

Short documentary film about the battle



The description of the battle. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Bzura

Polish soldiers in 1939




Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
26 Jul 2011 #45
Pawian, do you know how many Gorales were living in Poland when WWII broke out? I would like to know what percentage of the Gorale population these 300 constituted. Also do you have a list of their surnames, and if so would you be so kind as to post it?
OP pawian 176 | 14,299
26 Jul 2011 #46
I would like to know what percentage of the Gorale population these 300 constituted.

I found a few links in Polish which claim that 150.000 Polish Highlands people were summoned by Germans to join the Goralenvolk idea and about 27.000 did. But it can be wrong.

At the time of the next census of population Poles will be able to determine to what nationality they belong. Among the 200 proposals the Central Statistical Office is the nationality of highlanders . Table will begin April 1 , will end on 30 czerwca.Klasyfikacja introduced by the CSO result of the new law on national minorities , and our presence in the EU. - The public will have the opportunity to declare their nationality , as well as that with which ethnic group they identify - says Wieslaw £agodziński , a spokesman for the CSO. At the time of the census enumerators will ask us two basic questions .

=Des Essientes]Also do you have a list of their surnames, and if so would you be so kind as to post it?

oops.... I am not a god, come on....
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
27 Jul 2011 #47
oops.... I am not a god, come on....

It's just as well. I wanted to see if any of my family surnames appeared in the list of 300 traitors and I'd have been mortified if any did.
OP pawian 176 | 14,299
27 Jul 2011 #48
Please, don`t feel mortified even if your family signed the German collaboration list. The war was a terrible experience, we are not able to grasp the intesity of its terror today. Some people just couldn`t withstand the pressure and joined, in order to save their family, for example. They were weak, true, but they weren`t traitors of Poland. Real traitors were different - the guys who actively cooperated with Nazi Germans or Soviets. But there were very few of them.
hague1cmaeron 14 | 1,377
27 Jul 2011 #49
It's just as well. I wanted to see if any of my family surnames appeared in the list of 300 traitors and I'd have been mortified if any did.

My mother's side of the family came from Ciche, which according to a book borrowed by friend was supposedly the town with the highest number of recruits in podhale-Like you I sincerely hope that is not the case as well, although given the close knit community they have had, it would be almost certain that they would have known some people who did.
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
27 Jul 2011 #50
any of my family surnames appeared in the list of 300 traitors and I'd have been mortified if any did.

Its hardly a slur on you,and without living through the times we just cannot judge "minor players" (ie,people not fully biographed with well recorded motives) on what choices they may have made and regreted or made under duress or any other number of reasons alien to our presant day lives.
GrzegorzK
27 Jul 2011 #51
I have some recent hero's that I respect and admire:

1) Mariusz Pudzianowski - 5 times world's strongest man... never done before in history of the sport. And holder of numerous other trophies.. this put Poland on the map in terms of athletics. His famous phrase after CRUSHING his opponents .. POLSKA GOROM!!!!! screaming into the cameras which were often shoved into his face

2) Pope John Paul II
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
27 Jul 2011 #52
The Interia news portal asked more than 10,000 Poles who they were proud of. Do the results surprise you? How would you have answered? The results:

John Paul II 61%
Józef Piłsudski 10%
Adam Małysz 9%
Mikołaj Kopernik 4%
Righteous amongst nations (Jew savers) 4%
Fryderyk Chopin 3%
Madame Skłodowska-Curie 2%
Ryszard Kapuściński 2%
Lech Wałęsa 2%
Mickiewicz, Wyszyński, Kościuszko and Górski's 'Orły' 1%

fakty.interia.pl/kraj
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
27 Jul 2011 #53
Pol3The Interia news portal asked more than 10,000 Poles who they were proud of. Do the results surprise you?

Very. I'd have put Marie Curie and Lech Wałęsa much higher, Janusz Korczak up there with them, JP2 and Mickiewicz somewhere in the middle and ignored Małysz.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,386
27 Jul 2011 #54
Do the results surprise you?

not really. JPII will probably stay at the top for a few years yet.

Adam Małysz has just retired and is in the news.

to my mind the others reflect younger people's thoughts.
ConstantineK 26 | 1,259
2 Aug 2011 #55
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".

Golden words...

"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."

...and reasonable choice...
OP pawian 176 | 14,299
15 Aug 2011 #56
A fascinating conversion at the risk of life.

Before the war, Bolesław Piasecki was a prominent leader of ultra right wing nationalist movement.

Quotes from

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PAX_Association
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boles%C5%82aw_Piasecki

Bolesław Piasecki

prewar Falanga

Falanga
delphiandomine 88 | 18,858
15 Aug 2011 #57
A fascinating conversion at the risk of life.

Wow - thank you - I never knew about this guy before.
OP pawian 176 | 14,299
28 Aug 2011 #58
The youngest Polish soldier ever!
SOLDIER OF POLAND AT 9, CORPORAL AT 12

Captain Stefan Ogonczyk Wesolowski was born on January 31, 1909 in Warsaw during the occupation of Poland by Czarist Russia. [...].


In addition to these decorations, Stefan Wesolowski was promoted to the rank of corporal at the tender age of 12, becoming the youngest noncommissioned officer in the history of Polish military services. He was later awarded decorations for Silesia, Wolyn and Lwow as an additional point of recognition for his military service in these campaigns.

Later on he joined the navy and during WW2 he fought on Polish destroyers.

Captain Stefan Ogonczyk Wesolowski

Read the complete story here: memoriesofwar.com/veterans/wesolowski/default.asp

Wow

Yes, wow. I came across this story by pure accident. He has a Wiki entry, but only in Polish.
pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stefan_P._Weso%C5%82owski

Great family traditions: his great grandpa took part in 1830 November Uprising, his grandpa participated in 1863 January Uprising, his father entered into 1905 Revolution.

I would like my sons to be as patriotic as this boy.
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
28 Aug 2011 #59
If he was an Afgan we would all be hand wrining and talking about muslim savages making children risk their lives............but,its Ok,he isnt brown so he is a hero and those who thought it fine and dandy to use a nine year old child as a soldier are left un mollested by historical judgement.
OP pawian 176 | 14,299
28 Aug 2011 #60
It is a great controvercy, indeed. But be aware of the fact that the boy wasn`t forced into fighting, he ran away from home to join the Polish militia. If you were a commander of Polish defences in Lwów and desperately needed volunteers to repel Ukrainians` advances, would you refuse a 9 year old boy who claimed he was 13?


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