Calendar of Independence

The centennial of the restoration of independence is an exceptional anniversary for Poles. On November 11, 1918 the Polish state returned to the map of Europe from which it was erased by three annexationist monarchies: Austria, Prussia, and Russia. For 123 years Poles did not renounce their dream of independence and waged the unprecedented struggle for freedom and preservation of their identity. Despite the loss of yet another uprising, Poles managed to protect the most precious thing, the dream of their own state. The fall of the three annexationist states and joint efforts of Poles allowed them to revive the independent Poland.

“Calendar of Independence” takes us closer to that extraordinary time of struggle which was waged not only on battlefields and in the quietness of diplomatic cabinets, but also in the everyday life of common people who manifested their belonging to Poland without thinking of persecution and tried to preserve their own culture at all cost. These efforts lasted much longer than the warfare of the First World War (1914–1918), so the calendar tells about the events starting from the beginning of the war up to 1921, when Polish borders were finalized.

In order to represent this exceptional for Poles time in its entirety, we selected 365 dates that tell about military, social, cultural or moral and ethical events and together depict the complex and eventful road to independence. These events will be linked to specific days but will not be represented in chronological order.

The “Calendar of Independence” project is a part of the celebrations of the “Centennial of the restoration of Polish independence.” It is a result of the collaboration between the Polish Institute in Kyiv and the Polish History Museum. The authors of the selection of dates, pictures and comments that accompany them are two Polish historians, Dr. Hab. Piotr Szlanta and Jan Błachnio.

SEPTEMBER 30, 1921


The first general population census in the restored Republic of Poland was held on September 30, 1921. It covered the whole territory of the country except Vilnius region (officially joined with Poland in 1922) and Upper Silesia. The results were...

SEPTEMBER 29, 1920


On September 29, 1920 the Polish Army conquered Lida and Slonim. Bolsheviks fled in terror, leaving a lot of military supplies behind. In particular, staff members of Soviet 4th Army were captured. Polish troops continued their offensive to the east...

SEPTEMBER 28, 1918


On September 28, 1918 the Polish National Committee and the French government signed the military convention. It contained the new conditions for formation of the Polish Army in France. The Army was to be indivisible, self-governed, allied to the...

SEPTEMBER 27, 1918


On September 27, 1918 Emperor Charles І pardoned the interned soldiers of the Polish Auxiliary Corps who were captured in February 1918 during the attempt to defect to the Russian side and charged with treason. The Polish community met this decision...

SEPTEMBER 26, 1920


On September 26, 1920 Polish troops under the command of General Franciszek Krajewski conquered Pinsk. The city was conquered by Polish troops together with Belorussian military units under the command of General Stanisław Bułak-Bałachowicz and...

SEPTEMBER 25, 1920


The day of September 25, 1920 was the decisive moment in the Battle of Neman. The 2nd Polish Army under the command of General Andrzej Galica conquered Grodno. The city was poorly defended by the 3rd Red Army under the command of Colonel Vladimir...

SEPTEMBER 24, 1919


On September 24, 1919 the first group of American pilots who had volunteered to join the Polish Army arrived to Warsaw. They were greeted by Józef Piłsudski. The pilots were sent to the 7th Fighter Squadron, later Tadeusz Kościuszko 7th Fighter...

SEPTEMBER 23, 1920


On September 23, 1920 the offensive of the Bolshevik troops of the Western Front caused modification of the plan of Polish Neman operation that included surrounding of the Bolshevik troops from Lithuanian territory with the help of the Northern...

SEPTEMBER 22, 1920


On September 22, 1920 Polish and Lithuanian troops clashed in the fourth and the biggest battle of Sejny. It ended with the victory of the Polish Army. After the battle Polish troops marched through Lithuanian territory in order to circumvent the...

SEPTEMBER 21, 1914


On September 21, 1914 the Eastern Legion, which had been formed in Lviv several weeks before that, was disbanded. It had to fight against Russians on the Austro-Hungarian side, but ceased to exist because of internal turmoil and strong influence of...

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