103 years ago, on November 11, 1918, the Regency Council handed over to Józef Piłsudski the military authority and the supreme command of the Polish troops subordinate to it. On the same day, Germany signed a ceasefire that ended the First World War. After more than 120 years, Poland regained its independence.
At the turn of October and November 1918, in the face of the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and the announcement of the imminent defeat of Germany, Poles felt more and more clearly that the reconstruction of an independent Polish state was imminent.
The international situation was exceptionally favourable for Poland. Four years earlier, at the outbreak of World War I, Poles could only dream that when it ended, all three partitioning states would be virtually powerless.
The Poles did not waste the chance given by history and actively began to take power in the Polish lands occupied by the central states.
From September 1917, a Regency Council established by Germany and Austria-Hungary operated in Warsaw. Its members were Prince Zdzisław Lubomirski, Archbishop Aleksander Kakowski and Count Józef Ostrowski. In December 1917, the Regency Council established a cabinet of ministers headed by Jan Kucharzewski.
The political situation in Warsaw was significantly changed by the arrival of Józef Piłsudski on November 10, 1918, in a special train from Berlin, freed from the Magdeburg fortress. He was greeted at the Main Railway Station by, among others, Prince Zdzisław Lubomirski representing the Regency Council.
On November 11, 1918, the Regency Council “in the face of the impending external and internal dangers, to unify all military orders and maintain order in the country” handed over the military power and the supreme command of the Polish troops to Brigadier Józef Piłsudski.