1,2: First National Philatelic Exhibition in Warsaw (1919) (1)
3-9: Opening of Parliament (1919)
10: 1921 Polish Red Cross
11-13: 1921 New Constitution (2)
First National Philatelic Exhibition in Warsaw (imperforated):
1: N. Copernicus (3) 450th Birth Centenary (1923)
2: S. Konarski (4) 150th Death Centenary (1923)
3: Unveiling of a Statue of F. Chopin (5) in Lazienki Park in Warsaw (1927)
4: Marshal J. Pilsudski (6) 60th Birth Anniversary (1927)
5: The First Anniversary of I. Moscicki's (7) Presidentship (1927)
6: Educational Fund (1927)
7: 4th International Congress for Military Medicine and Pharmacy in Warsaw: K. Kaczkowski (8) (1927)
8: Transfer of J. Slowacki's (9) Remains to Royal Burial Chambers in Wawel Castle, Krakow (1927)
9: Transfer of General J. Bem's (10) Remains to his Birthplace (1928)
10: 1928 H. Sienkiewicz (11)
11: Poznan National Exhibition: Swietowit (12) (1929)
12: 1930 King Jan III Sobieski (13)
1: 1930 November Uprising Centenary (14)
2: George Washington Birth Bicentenary (1932)
3: City of Torun 700th Anniversary (1933)
4: Philatelic Exhibition in Torun (1933)
5: Air Race Victory (15) (1933)
6: V. Stoss (16) Death Quatercentenary (1933)
7: Liberation of Vienna (17) 250th Anniversary (1933)
8: Republic of Poland 15th Anniversary (1933)
9: Polish Legion (18) 20th Anniversary (1934)
10,11: 1934 European Air Tournament
1: Death of Marshal J. Pilsudski (1935)
2,3: Pilsudski Monument Fund (1935)
4: I. Moscicki's Presidency 10th Anniversary (1936)
5,6: 1936 Gordon-Bennett Balloon Race (19)
7: 1937 Marshal E. Smygly-Rydz (20)
8: President Moscicki (1938)
9: USA Constitution 150th Anniversary (1938)
10: 1938 Acquisition of Cieszyn (21)
11: Winter Relief Fund (1938)
12: FIS World Ski Championship in Zakopane (1939)
13: Polish Legion 25th Anniversary (1939)
20th Anniversary of Independence (1939):
(1) Surcharge was for the Polish White Cross.
(2) In March 1921, first constitution of Republic of Poland was adopted. It was a democratic constitution, granting the Sejm (parliament), composed of 444 deputies, the dominating position over the 111-seat Senate and the executive authorities and limiting the powers of the president.
(3) Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543) was a Polish astronomer, mathematician and economist who developed the heliocentric (Sun-centered) theory of the solar system in a form detailed enough to make it scientifically useful. His theory about the Sun as the center of the solar system, turning over the traditional geocentric theory (that placed Earth at the center of the Universe), is considered one of the most important discoveries ever, and is the fundamental starting point of modern astronomy and modern science itself.
Konarski (1700-1773) was a Polish pedagogue, reformer of education, political
writer, poet, dramatist and precursor of the Enlightenment in Poland.
Stanislaw studied from 1725 to 1727 at the Collegium Nazarenum in Rome, where he became a teacher of rhetoric. After that he traveled through France, Germany and Austria. He came back to Poland in 1730 and began to work at a now edition of Polish collective laws, the "Volumina legum". He founded the Collegium Nobilium, an elite school and he also led to the reformation of the Piarist education in Poland.
His reforms became a landmark in the fight for modernization of the Polish education system in the 18th century. The King caused a medal to be struck in his honour, with his image and the well-merited inscription, "Sapere auso".
Chopin (1810–1849) is one of the greatest Polish composers and the very
greatest of composers for the piano, the instrument for which he wrote almost
The musical talent of Chopin became apparent extremely early on, and it was compared with the childhood genius of Mozart. Already at the age of 7, Chopin was the author of two polonaises. He also began giving public charity concerts.
In 1831 he left Poland for Vienna before settling in Paris where he spent much of his life. He began work on his first scherzos and ballades. It is also at this time that he began his lifelong struggle with tuberculosis.
Years in Paris were a productive time for the composer. He completed several of his most famous works and also concertized regularly. Chopin had become a famous figure in Parisian circles. By the 1840s Chopin's health was rapidly deteriorating. Before his death he concentrated on mazurkas and nocturnes. His last work was a mazurka in F minor. Chopin died of tuberculosis in 1849.
Pilsudski (1867–1935) was a Polish revolutionary and statesman, first
chief of state (1918-1922) and founder of armed forces.
Pilsudski was born in today's Lithuania. He attended school in Vilnius. In 1885 he studied medicine but was suspended in 1886 as politically suspect. In March 1887 he was arrested by authorities on a false charge of plotting to assassinate Tsar Alexander III and was exiled for five years to eastern Siberia. Pilsudski, after his release, joined the Polish Socialist Party. He began publishing an underground socialist newspaper, The Worker. In 1900 he was imprisoned but, after feigning mental illness, managed to escape from a mental hospital in St. Petersburg.
On the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War Pilsudski traveled to Japan, where he unsuccessfully attempted to obtain that country's assistance for an insurrection in Poland. In World War I Pilsudski's Polish Legion fought against Russia at the side of the Central Powers. In 1916, he proclaimed the independence of Poland, hoping that as a result Polish troops would be sent to the eastern front against Russia, relieving German forces to bolster the western front. Pilsudski, however, then serving as minister of war in the newly created Polish Regency government, opposed the demand that the Polish units swear loyalty to Germany and Austria. Consequently in July 1917 he was arrested. On November 8, 1918, Pilsudski and his comrade, K. Sosnkowski , were released and soon - like Vladimir Lenin before them - placed on a private train, bound for their national capital. Pilsudski was named Chief of State of a renascent Polish state.
In April 1920, Marshal Pilsudski signed an alliance with Ukraine, to conduct joint war against Soviet Russia. The Soviets launched an counter-attack, advancing into Poland. It was Pilsudski's strategy at the Battle of Warsaw (August 1920) that halted the Russian advance. The Treaty of Riga (1921), closed the Polish-Bolshevik war.
After the Polish constitution severely limited the powers of the president, Pilsudski refused to run for the office. In 1923 Pilsudski resigned as chief of the general staff and went into retirement. In May 1926, he returned to power in a military coup d'etat. Although till his death in 1935 he played a preponderant role in Poland's government, his formal offices were for the most part limited to those of minister of defence.
Moscicki (1867-1946), was a Polish politician, chemist and president of Poland
Moscicki was born in Mierzanów. He studied chemistry in Riga, where he joined the Polish underground leftist organization, Proletariat. On graduating he returned to Warsaw, but was threatened by the Tsarist secret police with life imprisonment in Siberia and was forced to emigrate in 1892 to London. In 1896 he was offered an assistantship at the university in Freiburg. There he patented a method for cheap industrial production of nitric acid. In 1912 he moved to Poland.
After Pilsudski's 1926 coup d'etat, Moscicki was elected president of Poland by the National Assembly. After the death of Pilsudski, he was the leading moderate figure in the government, opposing the more right-wing Marshal Smigly-Rydz. Moscicki remained president until September 1939, when he was interned in Romania and forced by France to resign his office. In December 1939 he was released and allowed to move to Switzerland, where he remained through World War II. He died in 1946.
(8) Karol Maciej Kaczkowski (1797-1867) was a Polish physician, educator, author and general. He was a military physician of the Polish army in the 1830s.
Juliusz Slowacki (1809–1849) was one of the most famous Polish romantic
His work focused on the Romanticism of Northern Europe with the classic tradition of the South. The breaking point for Slowacki's poetry was the November Insurrection (1830–31). The insurrection was to create an independent Polish country, but failed and caused severe repressions. The fight for independence became the main topic of Slowacki's works. It also had a great influence of the poet's later life - like many others he had to go into exile to France, where he published some of his earlier works.
Z. Bem (1794-1850) was a Polish general, national hero of Poland and Hungary.
Bem was born in Tarnów. The 2nd Partition of Poland in 1793, when his country suffered further territorial losses to the neighboring powers, put his home town under the Austrian Empire. After the creation of the tiny Duchy of Warsaw on the territories captured by Napoleon, Bem moved with his parents to Krakow, where after finishing school he joined the Duchy's forces as a fifteen-year-old cadet. After the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the Duchy of Warsaw was transformed into a constitutional Kingdom of Poland and Bem became a teacher at a military college, where he carried out research on a newly designed type of rocket missile. The Kingdom of Poland was a dependent territory of Russia, and Bem also became involved in a conspiracy to restore Poland to full independence. When his membership of a secret patriotic organization was discovered he was sentenced to a year in prison. Although the verdict was suspended, Bem resigned his commission, moved to Galicia (the Austrian zone of partitioned Poland) and researched on steam engines and their application.
When, in 1830 an anti-Russian uprising broke out in the Poland, he immediately joined the Polish insurgents. He arrived in Warsaw and was given the command of the 4th Light Cavalry Battery. For his valour on the battlefield, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier-general.
After Polish defeat in 1831 Bem was forced to emigrate. He went to France. In the 1848 Spring of Nations, he went to Austria, where he fought alongside the revolutionaries, defending Vienna against the Habsburg forces. Next he went to Hungary. He became the commander-in-chief of the Transylvanian army, with which he cleared Transylvania of Austrian soldiers. In 1849 he was given the supreme command of the entire Hungarian army. But when Hungary was invaded by the Russian armies, its forces were not capable of withstanding the combined Austro-Russian forces and the uprising collapsed. Together with the remnants of the Hungarian army, Bem crossed the Turkish border. He died of fever in 1850 in Syria. His ashes were brought back to Poland in 1929.
(11) Henryk Sienkiewicz (1846-1916) was a Polish novelist. Serializing his novels in newspapers, he became immensely popular and beloved in his time, and later, by readers of prose. In Poland he is best known for his colorful historical novels (The Trilogy) depicting Polish heroes in the 17th century Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth; abroad for his novel, Quo Vadis, set in the reign of the Roman emperor Nero. In 1905 he won the Nobel Prize in literature.
(12) Swietowit is the four-faced Slavic god of war, fertility and harvest.
Sobieski was born in 1629. During his life he had won fame as outstanding military
commander in wars against the Ottoman Empire, Tatars, Cossacks and Sweden.
In 1668 King Jan II appointed Sobieski the Great Crown Hetman and Commander-in-Chief of the Polish army. After a distinguished military career, and following the death of King Jan’s successor, Sobieski was elected by the nobles as king of Poland and was crowned in 1676.
One of Sobieski's ambitions was to unify the Christian Europe in a crusade to drive the Turks out of Europe. He allied with the Holy Roman Emperor and joined the Holy League initiated by Pope Innocent XI to preserve the Christendom. His greatest success came in 1683 as victor at the Battle of Vienna, with Polish, Austrian and German troops, against the Turks under Kara Mustafa. The pope and other foreign dignitaries then hailed Sobieski as the savior of Vienna and Western European civilization. He died in 1696.
(14) After the Napoleonic Wars Poland was divided between Russia, Prussia and the Habsburg Empire. Russian part was called Congress Poland or Kingdom of Poland and was a puppet state under Russian imperial rule from 1814 to 1915, constitutionally in personal union. Initially, the Congress Kingdom enjoyed a relatively large amount of internal autonomy and was only indirectly subject to Russian rule. United with Russia through a personal union, with the Tsar as King of Poland, the Polish estates could elect their own parliament and government, and the kingdom had its own courts, army and treasury. It was also informally known as Russian Poland. Over time, however, the freedoms granted to the Kingdom were gradually curtailed and the constitution was progressively ignored by the Russian authorities. The final spark that ignited Warsaw was a Russian plan of using the Polish Army to suppress the July Revolution in France and the Belgian Revolution, which would have been a clear violation of the Polish constitution. This led to the November Uprising (1830–1831) (also known as the Cadet Revolution) - an armed rebellion against Russia's rule. It was started on November 29, 1830 in Warsaw by a group of young conspirators from the army's officer school in Warsaw and was soon joined by large part of the Polish society. Despite several local successes, the uprising was eventually defeated by a numerically superior Russian army and their resistance was crushed.
(15) On 29 August 1932, Polish pilots Franciszek Zwirko and Stanislaw Wigura won the Berlin Challenge. They used an aircraft of Polish design, the RWD6.
(16) Veit Stoss (ca. 1445-1533) was a famous German sculptor who came to Krakow, Poland in 1477. He carved a magnificent wooden altar in St Mary's Church in Krakow. Among his important works are also the tomb of king Casimir IV in the Krakow Cathedral, the Altar from Bamberg and some other sculptures in Nuremberg.
Battle of Vienna in 1683 marked the final turning point in a 250-year struggle
between the forces of Christian Europe and the Islamic Ottoman Empire. Over
the 16 years following the battle, Christian forces would permanently drive
the Turks south of the Danube River, where they never again posed a serious
threat to central Europe.
The battle, which took place on September 12, pitted a large Austrian and German army of about 100,000 troops and their allies, a 30,000-man relief force under Jan III Sobieski, King of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, against their Turkish besiegers. The Turks, commanded by Pasha Kara Mustafa, numbered approximately 140,000 men.
Upon reaching Vienna, Sobieski’s army joined up with the Austrians and Germans. Sobieski planned to attack on the 13th of September, but he had noticed that the Turkish resistance was weak and ordered full attack on September 12. In the morning Sobieski’s army of about 81,000 men attacked a Turkish army. Sobieski charged with husaria heavy cavalry forward and soon after the Turkish battle line was broken as the Turks scattered in confusion. In less than three hours, the Christians won the battle. The Turks lost about 15,000 men in the fighting, compared to approximately 4,000 for the allied Christian forces.
Legions was the name of Polish armed forces created in August 1914 in Galicia.
The unit became an independent formation of the Austro-Hungarian Army. They
were composed mostly of former members of various scouting organizations as
well as volunteers from all around the empire.
The Legions took part in many battles against the forces of Imperial Russia, both in Galicia and in the Carpathian Mountains. After the creation of puppet Kingdom of Poland, the Polish Legions were transferred under German command. However, most of the members of legion denied to swear allegiance to the emperor and were interned. Approximately 3 000 of them were drafted and sent to the Italian Front, while approximately 7 500 stayed in the rump Polish Auxiliary Corps. After the war the officers of the Polish Legions became the backbone of the Polish Army.
Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett, is one of the most prestigious event
in aviation and challenge for the balloon pilots and equipment. The goal is
simple: to fly the farthest distance from the launch site.
This international balloon competition was initiated by adventurer and newspaper tycoon Gordon Bennett in 1906. Held once every year and hosted by the country of the most recent winner, the 24th Gordon Bennett race was held in Warsaw, on August 30th, 1936.
Rydz-Smigly (1886-1941) was a Polish politician, and officer of the Polish Army.
Successful army commander during the Polish-Bolshevik War, Rydz succeeded J.
Pilsudski as the Marshal of Poland, and Commander-in-Chief of the Polish armed
forces. He served in that post during the opening stages of the Second World
Rydz was born in Galicia. In 1910 he attended the reserve officers' academy in Vienna. He finished his military education with distinction. In 1912 Rydz was one of the founders of the Polish paramilitary organization Riflemen's Association. Drafted into the Austrian army in 1914, Rydz was transferred to the Polish Legions and fought in the brigade of Pilsudski. He took part in many battles against the Russians and rose quickly in rank. In 1917, after refusing to swear an oath to the Austrian and German authorities, the Legions were disbanded, and Pilsudski imprisoned. By Pilsudski's appointment, Rydz became commander of Polish Military Organization.
In October 1918 Rydz entered the socialist government of Poland as Minister of War. In 1918 the Government relinquished all power to Pilsudski, who became Provisional Head of State. During the Polish-Bolshevik War Rydz commanded Polish armies in several battles. After the war he was appointed the Inspector-General of the Polish Army. In 1926, during Pilsudski's coup d´état, he took the Marshal's side. In 1936 Rydz was elevated to the rank of Marshal of Poland. He was now one of the most powerful people in Poland.
On 1 September 1939 when the Germans invaded Poland, Rydz was named Commander-in-Chief of Polish forces. When Soviet forces also attacked Poland, Rydz ordered Polish forces to retreat towards Romania. The Polish government’s crossing into Romania saved Poland from surrender and allowed Polish soldiers to carry on fighting. Large numbers of Polish soldiers crossed southern Europe and regrouped in Britain. In Romania, Rydz relinquished his function as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
In October 1941 he came back to Warsaw to participate in the resistance movement as a common underground soldier. But he did not participate in any combat as he suddenly died of heart failure, 5 weeks after his arrival.
to popular myth, Poland did not fanatically resist Nazi Germany's expansionist
policies - at least not as long as Poland itself was not on the agenda. In this
way Poland took an active part in the German created dismemberment of the Czechoslovakian
state in 1938. As part of the settlement Poland received Cieszyn region (about
1.036 square kilometers of Czech territory inhabited by a majority of Czechs)
which historically belonged to Poland.