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    Polish Presidents series: The first President of the Republic of Poland – Gabriel Narutowicz

    From now, on our website, you can find the Polish Presidents series. We are pleased to introduce to you the first president of the Republic of Poland, Gabriel Narutowicz.

    Gabriel Narutowicz was the first president of the Republic of Poland, serving from December 11 to December 16, 1922. He was a distinguished engineer, professor, and politician who had served as the minister of public works and as a member of parliament before being elected as president.

    Narutowicz was born on March 17, 1865, in the town of Telsze, which is now located in Lithuania. He studied engineering in St. Petersburg and later earned his doctorate in Brussels. Narutowicz then returned to Poland, where he became a professor of engineering at the Warsaw University of Technology.

    In addition to his academic career, Narutowicz was actively involved in politics. He was a member of the Polish Socialist Party and later the National Democratic Party. Despite his political affiliation, he was known for his non-partisan approach and his ability to bring together people from different backgrounds.

    In 1922, Narutowicz was elected as the first president of Poland after the country regained its independence following World War I. However, his presidency was short-lived. Just five days after his inauguration, he was assassinated by a right-wing extremist named Eligiusz Niewiadomski.

    Niewiadomski was opposed to Narutowicz’s presidency because he believed that Narutowicz was too sympathetic to minority groups, including Jews and Ukrainians. Niewiadomski approached Narutowicz at an art exhibition and shot him several times. Narutowicz died later that day from his wounds.

    Narutowicz’s assassination shocked the nation and sparked a wave of protests and demonstrations. His death was seen as an attack on the newly formed democratic government and its values of tolerance and inclusion. His funeral was attended by tens of thousands of people, and he was buried at a state funeral in Warsaw.

    Despite his short time in office, Gabriel Narutowicz is remembered as a visionary leader who sought to unite the diverse communities of Poland and build a democratic and inclusive society. His tragic death was a loss for Poland and a reminder of the challenges that democracy and tolerance can face.

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