World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Piłsudski's colonels

Article Id: WHEBN0018811359
Reproduction Date:

Title: Piłsudski's colonels  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Józef Piłsudski's cult of personality, History of Poland (1939–45), History of Poland
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Piłsudski's colonels

Piłsudski's colonels,[1][2] or the colonels' regime[3][4] (in Polish called simply "the colonels"[5]), dominated the government of the Second Polish Republic from 1926 to 1939.[4] In some contexts, the term refers primarily to the final period, 1935–39, following the death of their mentor and patron, Józef Piłsudski.[3]


Close allies of [6] and in the Polish Army (particularly from 1919–1920, during the Polish-Soviet War, prior to Piłsudski's 1923 resignation as Chief of the General Staff). They had held key, if not necessarily the highest, military ranks during Piłsudski's May 1926 Coup d'État.[7]

Later they became important figures in Piłsudski's Sanation movement and ministers in several governments.[4] After the BBWR's 1930 electoral victory, Piłsudski left most internal matters in the hands of his "colonels", while himself concentrating on military and foreign affairs.[8]

The "colonels" included Józef Beck,[4] Janusz Jędrzejewicz,[4] Wacław Jędrzejewicz,[4] Adam Koc, Leon Kozłowski, Ignacy Matuszewski, Bogusław Miedziński, Bronisław Pieracki, Aleksander Prystor,[4] Adam Skwarczyński, Walery Sławek,[4] and Kazimierz Świtalski.

The colonels' regime may be divided into three periods: 1926-1929; 1930–1935; and 1935-1939.[9]

During the first period, after the May 1926 Coup, the colonels (and Sanation generally) consolidated their control over the government.[9]

The second period, following the 1930 "Brest elections", saw the colonels' regime under Piłsudski's guidance, with power exercised by his allies and friends such as Walery Slawek and Aleksander Prystor (both of whom had known Piłsudski since 1905 and had served in his paramilitary units before World War I).[9]

After Piłsudski's death (1935), the hardliner "colonels", led by Walery Sławek, lost influence to the Castle faction of Ignacy Mościcki and Edward Rydz-Śmigły.[5] Nevertheless, the "colonels' regime" and Sanation still dominated the Polish government in 1935–39 until the German invasion of Poland.[10] Some scholars draw a distinction between the "Piłsudski period" (1926–35) and the "colonels' period, proper" (1935–39).[3]

From 1937 the colonels' new political front would be the Camp of National Unity (OZON).[11] In that last period, the Polish government—a "dictatorship without a dictator"—in order to bolster its popular support, paradoxically adopted some of the nationalistic, anti-minority policies that had been opposed by Piłsudski and advocated by his most vocal adversaries, the National Democrats.[3][12]

See also


  1. ^ Pilsudski Bros., TIME, Monday, April 07, 1930
  2. ^ Colonels' Constitution, TIME, Monday, December 25, 1933
  3. ^ a b c d Peter D. Stachura, Poland, 1918-1945: An Interpretive and Documentary History of the Second Republic, Routledge, 2004, ISBN 0-415-34357-7, Google Print, p.68
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Jerzy Jan Lerski, Piotr Wróbel, Richard J. Kozicki, Historical Dictionary of Poland, 966-1945, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1996, ISBN 0-313-26007-9, Google Print, p. 368
  5. ^ a b Jerzy Jan Lerski, Piotr Wróbel, Richard J. Kozicki, Historical Dictionary of Poland, 966-1945, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1996, ISBN 0-313-26007-9, Google Print, 368
  6. ^ Leslie, R. F. (1983). The History of Poland Since 1863. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  , Google Print, p.170
  7. ^ (Polish) SANACJA, Encyklopedia Interia
  8. ^ Chojnowski, Andrzej. "Piłsudski Józef Klemens".  
  9. ^ a b c (Polish) Jacek Piotrowski, Piłsudczycy u władzy, "Mówią wieki" (05/2006)
  10. ^ Raymond Leslie Buell, Poland - Key to Europe, READ BOOKS, 2007, ISBN 1-4067-4564-2, Google Print, p.118
  11. ^ Abraham J. Edelheit, Hershel Edelheit, History of the Holocaust: A Handbook and Dictionary, Westview Press, 1994, ISBN 0-8133-2240-5, Google Print, p.187
  12. ^ Paul N. Hehn, A Low Dishonest Decade: The Great Powers, Eastern Europe, and the Economic Origins of World War II, 1930-1941, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2002, ISBN 0-8264-1761-2, Google Print, p.66


  • Wereszycki, H. (1968). "Towards a Total Dictatorship (1931-1939)". In History of Poland, Warsaw, 1968, pp. 689–709.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.