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    155 years ago Marshal Jozef Pilsudski was born

    Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

    Józef Piłsudski was born on December 5, 1867, in Zulow, near Vilnus (now Lithuania). He is known as the Polish revolutionary, statesman, and the first chief of state of the newly independent Poland established in November 1918.

    He came from a noble family that had settled in the Vilnius region since at least the 17th century. He was the fourth child of Józef and Maria. He had eleven siblings. The best known were Bronisław – ethnographer, discoverer of the Ajns – an autochthonous people of Japan, and Jan, a lawyer, in the inter-war period a Member of Parliament, Minister of the Treasury and Vice-President of the Bank of Poland.

    During his lifetime, he was also arrested on suspicion of involvement in preparations for the assassination of Tsar Alexander III. Jozef was sentenced to five years in exile. Pilsudski returned from Siberia to Vilnius in July 1892 with experiences that greatly influenced his later life.

    After his return, he started working for socialists and became Polish Socialist Party’s activist. He is the founder of the Polish legions (the first Polish military formation in the 20th century) and the legendary victorious commander in the Polish-Bolshevik war of 1920. The First Marshal of Poland was considered the leader (1926-35) of the Second Polish Republic and the Minister of Military Affairs. 

    Read the whole story of Piłsudski’s life at the Józef Piłsudski Institute of America website.   

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