Władysław Gizbert-Studnicki 1867-1953

Born in Daugavpils (in present-day Latvia) on the 3rd of November 1867. He studied at the Commercial School of Warsaw and at the Heidelberg University. Arrested for his involvement in the works of the Second Proletariat, he was exiled to Siberia in 1891-93. From 1896, he was active on the Polish Socialist Party (PPS) and Polish Social Democratic Party (PPSD); for instance, he co-edited the Przedświt magazine. After 1900 he parted company with the Socialist movement and joined the Nationalist camp for a short time; an about-face which also found expression in editing the Tygodnik Polski in Lviv. His break with the National Democracy was brought about also by his consistently anti-Russian attitude and increasingly emphatic insistence on the need to bind the Polish cause to Germany instead. He belonged to the leadership of the Polish Military Treasury and the Temporary Coordinating Commission of Confederated Independence Parties. During the First World War, he headed the conservative Club of Polish State Partisans which declared itself in favour of the establishment of a Polish Kingdom closely connected with the Central Powers. Gizbert-Studnicki served on the Provisional Council of State and then the Council of State. In the interwar period he conducted a vigorous campaign in favour of Polish-German rapprochement, which he perceived as the only way to save Central Europe from Soviet domination. Such activities won him the label of the leading Polish Germanophile. In 1939, the government censorship confiscated his book entitled Wobec nadchodzącej wojny, in which he urged the Polish authorities to conclude an agreement with the Third Reich and preserve the country’s neutrality at all costs. After the outbreak of the Second World War he tried – unsuccessfully – to induce the German leadership to abandon the policy of terror and establish a satellite Polish state. In 1941-42 he was imprisoned in Pawiak. After the war he went to London, where he died on the 10th of January, 1953. His major works include: Samodzielność Galicji (1903); Od socjalizmu do nacjonalizmu (1904); Sprawa polska (1910); Wskazania polityczne irredentysty polskiego (1913); Daleki Wschód w polityce światowej (1931); Rosja sowiecka w polityce światowej (1932); System polityczny Europy a Polska (1935), and Ludzie, idee, czyny (1937).


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