Full-text resources of CEJSH and other databases are now available in the new Library of Science.
Visit https://bibliotekanauki.pl


2010 | 45 | 91-120

Article title

ACTIVITY OF POLISH CIRCLES ON MINSK TERRITORY IN THE REALITIES OF 1919-1920 (Aktywnosc srodowisk polskich w Minszczyznie w realiach lat 1919-1920)

Title variants

Languages of publication



After presenting demographic and political realities on Minsk territory at the beginning of the 20th century, the author of the first part of the text, on the basis of her own archival query, characterizes the activity of Polish political and social organizations in Minsk from November 1918 to August 1919, i.e. to the moment of liberation of Minsk from the Bolsheviks. In the second part, owing to the analysis of the found reports of the Borderland Guard instructors of the Minsk District of Borderland Guard, she reconstructs the national, social and political situation prevailing on the discussed territory from September 1919 to the summer of 1920. From November 1919, the representatives of Polish National Council on Belarusian Lands entered the Coordinating Commission remaining under the supervision of the Civilian Commissar for the Eastern Territories (Jerzy Osmolowski). Osmolowski agreed to the Coordinating Commission maintaining control over the action taken before the scheduled (in the Wilno Proclamation) referendum concerning the future fate of Eastern Lands. The Coordinating Commission formulated a project to create 'Byelopoland- (the author, J. Niemcewicz). Cited materials are evidence to a close cooperation between the members of Polish Council of Minsk District in 1920 (with Ignacy Porebski as the president) and the leaders of Borderland Guard in Warsaw, a cooperation which pointed at incorporation inclinations of both Polish Council as well as Borderland Guard. The leaders of Polish community formally accepted the ideas of the Head of the State. In practice, they endorsed National Democrats- views. As the analysis of the found sources proves, the Polish society of Minsk, similarly to Borderland Guard, followed a policy contrary to the one of 'the Head of the State-s political platform'. While, in the case of Borderland Guard, one can observe intentional action of the leaders in the hope of obtaining political profit for their party, in the case of Polish community of Minsk, however, no organized political action of a broader scope can be noticed, at the most, the effects of specific, spontaneous social lobbing reinforced by a feeling of social isolation. The last part of the text indirectly characterizes (the source: Borderland Guard reports) the activity of other communities of the Minsk District, and presents their attitude towards the Polish State and Poles. It provides, among others, interesting information about the reasons for the termination of a project to establish Belarusian army by the Belarusians of Minsk who did not place trust in Pawel Aleksiuk; and information related to Belarusian elites striving to delay the scheduled referendum. The information also concerns the attitude of Jewish and Russian community towards Poland.


  • Joanna Gierowska-Kallaur, Instytut Historii im. Tadeusza Manteuffla PAN, Rynek Starego Miasta 29/31, 00-272 Warszawa, Poland


Document Type

Publication order reference


CEJSH db identifier

YADDA identifier

JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.