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    Janusz Jędrzejewicz was appointed as the Prime Minister of Poland 90 years ago

    90 years ago, on May 10, 1933, Janusz Jędrzejewicz was appointed as the Prime Minister of Poland by Marshal Józef Piłsudski. He is remembered not for his leadership, but for being the author of the most significant educational reform in the interwar period.

    Born on June 21, 1885, in the village of Spińczyce in Podolia, Jędrzejewicz was the eldest of three siblings. His sister Maria, born in 1887, served the Polish government in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the General Staff’s Department II. His brother Wacław, born in 1893, was a general in the Polish Army and the Minister of Religious Affairs and Public Enlightenment. Their father was a chemist employed in nearby sugar refineries, while their mother, one of the few women of her time, graduated from a teaching seminar.

    During his studies at gymnasiums in Kiev and Odessa, Jędrzejewicz became involved in the activities of secret youth organizations. He studied philosophy and mathematics at the University of Warsaw from 1903 but was expelled due to his participation in school strikes. He joined the Polish Socialist Party at this time and completed his studies at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, where he studied physics. He went to Paris for two years, where he studied at the prestigious École des Sciences Politiques. In 1909, he started working as a physics teacher in private schools in Warsaw.

    Jędrzejewicz spent the summer of 1914 in Volhynia. After the outbreak of the war, he returned to Warsaw and became involved in the struggle for independence in the ranks of the Polish Military Organization. He also returned to the activities of the Polish Socialist Party. After the German army entered Warsaw, he joined the ranks of the 1st Brigade of the Polish Legions. In 1916, he left the Legions and began serving in the Supreme Command of the Polish Military Organization. As a close collaborator of Józef Piłsudski, he worked alongside him on the Military Commission of the Temporary Council of State. He graduated from the Military School of the Polish Military Organization and, in 1917, became the director of Kazimierz Nawrocki High School and, a year later, the Teacher Training College in Łowicz. He published a biographical brochure about Piłsudski in one of the underground publications.

    In November 1918, Jędrzejewicz became Piłsudski’s aide-de-camp. In this capacity, he took part in the Vilnius Expedition and worked in the Scientific and Educational Department of the Polish Army. He was promoted to the rank of Major. He resigned from active military service with Piłsudski’s withdrawal from political life and returned to education. He was the director of the Stanisław Konarski Teacher Training College, taught mathematics at one of the gymnasiums, and conducted educational courses for adults.

    Jędrzejewicz actively participated in the activities of the Legionary movement. He co-organized the 3rd Congress of the Legionary Union in 1924. In the period preceding the May Coup, he became one of the leaders of the future “colonels” group. The close relationship with Piłsudski was facilitated by the Jędrzejewicz family’s residence in Sulejówek.

    During the May Coup, he sided with the Commander. Under the new government, he worked in the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Public Enlightenment and the Cabinet of the Prime Minister.

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