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.

DECEMBER 21, 1916


On December 21, 1916 Major General Erich von Diller, who had been the acting governor general of Galicia and Lodomeria since May 1, 1916, came on a visit to Lviv. At the time the province capital was in the military zone and was governed by the...

DECEMBER 20, 1919


On December 20, 1919 the first congress of the Polish Football Association began its work in Warsaw. During the two-day meeting the statute of the organization was developed and the leaders were elected. Edward Cetnarowski, the president of...

DECEMBER 19, 1914


On December 19, 1914 the 1st Brigade of the Polish Legions was formed from the units of the 1st Regiment of the Polish Legions which was commanded by Józef Piłsudski. The former commander of the brigade took the control over the new...

DECEMBER 18, 1915


On December 18, 1915 the Central National Committee was formed in Warsaw, which was occupied by Germans. It was created by representatives of the Polish Socialist Party – Revolutionary Fraction, National Workers’ Union, Polish Peasant...

DECEMBER 17, 1921


On December 17, 1921 the Workers’ and Academics’ Sport Club (SKRA) was formed in Warsaw at the initiative of a member of the Polish Socialist Party (PPS), medical student Jerzy Michałowicz. The club had to promote the development of the...

DECEMBER 16, 1918


On December 16, 1918 the extreme left circles merged to form the Communist Party of Working Poland. The new formation opposed the restoration of independent Poland as a sovereign democratic state, due to which it was soon declared Soviet agents...

DECEMBER 15, 1918


On December 15, 1918 Harry Kessler, the German ambassador in Warsaw, was declared persona non grata by the Polish government. He was ordered to leave Warsaw. This date was symbolic, because on that day Poland celebrated the “Wilson’s Day”...

DECEMBER 14, 1919


On December 14, 1919 the delegation of the Russian Red Cross headed by Julian Markhlevsky left the Belarussian town of Mikashevichi. It meant the end of the Polish-Bolshevik negotiations that had been being conducted since October 12th. The calm in...

DECEMBER 13, 1918


On December 13, 1918 a solemn military oath of allegiance took place throughout the territory of the country. In Warsaw the ceremony was conducted in front of the old Orthodox cathedral, which was renamed to the temporary field cathedral of the...

DECEMBER 12, 1916


On December 12, 1916 Józef Piłsudski arrived to Warsaw. City residents greeted him with ovation. His carriage was covered with flowers and horses were replaced by young people who thus expressed their loyalty and respect. Figure:...

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