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.

JANUARY 21, 1918

JANUARY 21

A series of strikes took place in many cities of Germany and Austria-Hungary during the last year of the First World War. The protests under the slogan “Peace and bread!” were caused by war exhaustion, hunger and poverty, and by slogans that were...

JANUARY 20, 1918

JANUARY 20

On January 20, 1918 the “Stanisławów Courier” wrote about the creation of the “Society of Care for Polish Soldiers” in Stanisławów (currently Ivano-Frankivsk) several weeks before that. This civic organization consisted mainly of women and...

JANUARY 19, 1921

JANUARY 19

In the afternoon of January 19, 1921 in Warsaw negotiations were resumed between the chairman of the Council of Ministers Wincenty Witos (a longstanding leader of the Polish People’s Party “Piast”) and representatives of the Sejm factions....

JANUARY 18, 1919

JANUARY 18

January 18, 1919 was the first day of the international conference in Paris, in which 27 countries took part. Its main purpose was to negotiate the peace conditions with the Central powers in order to formally end the First World War and to develop...

JANUARY 17, 1917

JANUARY 17

At the beginning of January of 1917 the occupation authorities of Germany and Austria-Hungary convened the Provisional Council of State that consisted of 25 persons in the territory of the Kingdom of Poland that was a part of the Russian Empire. It...

JANUARY 16, 1919

JANUARY 16

On January 16, 1919 the government of Jędrzej Moraczewski resigned. Moraczewski's cabinet was appointed by the head of the state Józef Piłsudski on November 18. 1918. Before 1914 Moraczewski was known as a socialist and deputy of the Austrian...

JANUARY 15, 1919

JANUARY 15

Polish units which had been formed in Greater Poland by the end of 1918 lacked high command, because few Poles were officers of the Kaiser's German army before the First World War. Those of them who did decide to choose a military career often could...

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