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Stories

Pilsudski Project

Français - Polski

Our admiration for Marshal Pilsudski

was passed down

five generations

After the "coup" of May 1926, Walenty Książyk (1863-1947) came in France with his family. He had been advised to leave Poland by an official from the entourage of Marshal Józef Piłsudski. Walenty was a fluent French, Russian and German speaker. With a mind open to political debates, he was a Socialist and a staunch supporter of Józef Piłsudski who was also a Socialist. They shared a same vision about the independence of Poland and the defence of the Polish Nation. But for the Socialists of the "old guard", the presence of politicians of the future "Sanacja regime" in the new government was adding insecurity to anxiety. Some of them had been arrested. Many of them had already left the country. France was a safe destination. The family decided to stay there after a few weeks. Here is the paradox: Walenty left Poland but remained loyal to Pilsudski.

 

This admiration for Marshal Piłsudski was passed down through 5 generations. With time, Marshal Piłsudski has become an invited member of our family. Every visit of his resting place in the Crypt of the Wawel Cathedral in Krakow is a moment of deep emotion. This loyalty is reflected by our collection of books and documents from 1919 to 1945. Many of these documents are in French. The Pilsudski Museum in Sulejowek (Muzeum Józefa Piłsudskiego w Sulejówku) has confirmed its interest for this collection. The year 2017 commemorates the 150th anniversary of the birth of Józef Piłsudski. The year 2018 will celebrate the 100th Jubilee of the Restauration of Independence in Poland. On this occasion, the Pilsudski Museum will open a new building dedicated to information, education and researches. We hope that this collection will be useful for historians, experts and students.

 

When Walenty Książyk left Poland, he was 63. He remained in France. His son Léon went to the USA at the beginning of the 30's. In 1947, aged 84, Walenty returned to Poland. He travelled across post-war ruins to claim his properties in Warsaw (Mokotów) and Grochale Górne. Devastated by the magnitude of the destructions in Warsaw, he died shortly after his return. This project of donation to the Pilsudski Museum is a tribute to his courage and resilience.

 

Our collection includes Books, Magazines-Newspapers and Miscellaneous.

You are welcome to visit the page Pilsudski Collection (1) Documents and (II) Memorabilia.