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Ignacy Ewaryst Daszyński (October 26, 1866 - October 31, 1936) was a Polishmarker politician, journalist and Prime Minister of the Polish government created in Lublinmarker in 1918.

He was a co-founder of the Polish Social Democratic Party (Polish abbreviation: PPSD), which was later transformed into the Polish Socialist Party (PPS). He was also a founder in 1929 of the Centrolew (“Center-Left”). During the May 1926 Coup, he supported Józef Piłsudski; later, however, he joined the opposition to Piłsudski. From 1928 to 1930, he was Speaker of the Sejm.

As a journalist and underground activist, he used the pseudonyms Daszek, Żegota and Ignis.

Early life

Ignacy Daszyński was born on 26 October 1866 in Zbarazhmarker in Podolia area (now in Ternopil Oblastmarker), which was then after the Partitions of Poland, a part of the Austrian Empire. He came from not very rich family of the gentry that cherished patriotic traditions. He was son of the Austrian clerk Ferdynand Daszyński (1816-1875) and Kamila née Mierzewska (1834-1895), who had together also three sons and one daughter: Tomasz, Piotr, Feliks and Zofia. Ferdynand Daszyński was married in the past and Ignacy had also half-siblings but as he claimed they were much older and they did not contact with children from their father's second marriage.

During the January Uprising, Daszyński’s father (who was an Austrian clerk) had to check if no weapon or insurgents were hidden in the local buildings. Still, before every checking he informed his wife about planned revisions so she could warn the people hidden there.

In 1872, Daszyński started his education in Franciscan’s School in Zbarazhmarker. He was very good student because he already knew how to read and write. Moreover, as he grew up in the multicultural environment he also knew several languages. From childhood he could speak Ukrainian and Yiddish and understood German.

On 6 December 1875, Daszyński’s father died and the family moved to Ivano Frankivskmarker. To improve their financial situation, Daszyński’s mother rented flats to secondary school students. Two years later, Ignacy started his education in gymnasium where he earned money by giving his colleagues private lessons. At that time, he was under a strong influence of his older brother Feliks, who thought him how to be a good Polish patriot. Together they performed their own, small conspiratorial action. Feliks wrote an anniversary poem in honour of Maurycy Gosławski, the poet who fought in the November Uprising. Ignacy Daszyński copied the poem and scattered those copies around the grave of the poet. The Austrian police started an investigation. Feliks was arrested while Ignacy was released pending trial. However, they both were acquitted. Feliks still did not abandon his conspiratorial activity. He created conspiratorial group that gathered Polish and Ukrainian teenagers from Ivano Frankivsk area. Ignacy participated in the group by establishing its rules.

In 1882, Ignacy Daszyński gave a patriotic speech to students during the long break in his gymnasium. In the consequence, he was expelled from school and his family did not have an easy life in Ivano Frankivsk any more. Their financial situation broke down and they had to move to Lvivmarker. Feliks started to study chemistry at the Lviv Polytechnic. Soon, Ignacy and his mother had to move again. They went to Drohobychmarker where he began his first job as a lawyer’s secretary (no gymnasium wanted to enrol him). Also there for the first time Daszyński met the working class. Soon, he started to write for leftist biweekly Gazeta Naddniestrzańska where he wrote about hard condition of workers employed by petroleum industries in Ivano Frankivsk and Drohobych.

The atmosphere of Drohobychmarker was calling me to rebel.
The brutality of the sinister rascals who were then making their careers in Drohobych was so evident and public that you did not have to be a socialist to hate their felonious "production" based on the natural treasures of Mother Earth and on the unbridled exploitation of several thousand peasants who dug up the mineral wax in Boryslavmarker.

In September 1884, when his mother moved to Przemyślmarker, Ignacy was left alone in Lvivmarker. Again he was refused enrollment at gymnasium and so studied at home.

Political activity

At that time, his socialistic political views were already shaping. In 1886, Ignacy Daszyński became a tutor of his parents' friends at an estate. On 8 April 1888, he was allowed to pass the Matura without attending the classes. He received his diploma on 22 September 1888 and he was allowed to go to University. He became a student of philosophy department at Jagiellonian University in Krakówmarker. Thanks to his brother Feliks, who at that time stayed in Switzerland, Ignacy was in touch with Cracovian socialists. In 1889, he met Ludwik Kulczycki whom he helped in delivering socialist brochures to the Congress Polandmarker.

Soon, Daszyński had to abandon his studies because of a poor financial situation. He became the tutor again and he started working under false name for family of Gniazdowski from Czarnostaw. Unfortunately, he did not stay there for long. On the 3rd of May 1889, Ignacy Daszyński was arrested by the Russian police. He spent half a year in jail in Pułtusk because he was mistaken with his older brother (Feliks) who was engaged in socialist movement (he attended the Congress of the Second International in Parismarker). At that time, socialist were oppressed by the authority of the Russian Empiremarker. When Ignacy was released from jail and expelled from the Congress Poland, he went back to Kraków. He was there again accused of illegal political activities but he was let off because of the statute of limitations. He went back at University but after joining the demonstration he had to give up his studies again. These events influenced his decision about emigration to Argentina.

Before leaving Europe, Ignacy Daszyński went to Switzerland to visit his brother Feliks who had a tuberculosis and was curing in Davosmarker. After meeting his brother, he went to Paris to buy a ticket for a ship to Argentina but on 9 April 1890 he was informed of Feliks’s death. After this tragedy, Stanisław Mendelson and Aleksander Dębski persuade him not to emigrate. Then he decided to study in Switzerland and he was admitted to the University of Zurichmarker. During his education, he was supported by Mendelson who was giving him 60 pounds per month.

In Switzerland, Daszyński continued his brother’s socialist activity. He was one of the founders of Polish Working Class Association “Zgoda” (Stowarzyszenie Robotników Polskich “Zgoda”). He collaborated with Julian Marchlewski, Róża Luksemburg and Gabriel Narutowicz. His greatest achievements of that time was creating order-keeping services that protected socialist demonstrations. The ceremony of moving Adam Mickiewicz’s ashes to Poland turned into such demonstration during which Marchelewski gave a speech.

Daszyński got back to his homeland in October, 1890. He first stayed in Kraków and than moved to Lviv where he created the managerial centre of socialist movement in Galicia . He started a collaboration with Ukrainian socialist activists and attended the founding meeting of the Russian-Ukrainian Radical Party (Rusko-Ukraińska Partia Radykalna) where he met poet, Ivan Franko.

Social Democratic Party

Daszyński wanted to unite all the working-cass movements of Galicia. Particular groups were connected with two newspapers: Praca or Robotnik; he himself was a Praca journalist. At a meeting on 7 November 1890 in Lvivmarker, social activists decided to create an official and legal Labour Party. The next step was establishing a new socialist educational-relief association, “Siła”, on 15 February 1891. When organization grew bigger, it reached Ivano Frankivskmarker and Krakówmarker. At that time, Daszyński was very active as journalist and politician. He delivered speeches at many rallies (e.g., the election rally on 1 May 1891 in Lviv) and published a political brochure, O partiach politycznych w Galicji (On the Political Parties in Galicia) under the pseudonym Żegota on 30 April 1891. After the publication, he was charged with affiliation with an underground organization; but since the Socialist Party was legal, the charge was dismissed. In June he became a Galician deputy of the Social Democratic Party in the Austrian congress in Viennamarker.
Sentence on Daszyński, 1896
From 16 to 23 April 1891, Daszyński led a delegation of Polish socialists from divided Poland to the Congress of the Second International in Brusselsmarker. Then he went to Berlinmarker, where he became editor-in-chief of the Polish newspaper Gazeta Robotnicza (Workers' Gazzette). He worked there for six months. When he was leaving Berlin, he was arrested by the Germans on charges of publishing seditious articles. Since, however, they could not prove that he was in fact their author, he was released.

In early 1892 he went to Lviv, where he played an important role in the first convention of the Polish Social Democratic Party of Galicia (I Zjazd Galicyjskiej Partii Socjalno-Demokratycznej). He delivered a speech about party's political program and tactics. On his way back, he was arrested again and spent ten days in jail in Kraków. Upon release, he returned to Lviv.

He attended the Third Congress of Austrian Socialists. He wanted to separate Polish Social Democratic Party from the Austrian organizations by emphasizing pro-independence postulates in political program of the party which was based on the ideology of Marxism. It aimed to put socialism into practice by cancelling privet property of capital goods. The first steps to achieve this aim were democratization of the election procedures (liquidation of bourgeoisie privileges) and introducing the eight hour work day. Daszyński’s dreams of separate and independent Polish party (partially) came true when in 1892 in Polish Socialist Party (Polska Partia Socjalistyczna) came into being.

Daszyński met and fell in love with Felicja Nossig-Próchnik. They had a son, Adam Próchnik. Between 1892 and 1893 Daszyński lived in the Carpathian Mountainsmarker, where he was resting. In 1893 Daszyński moved to Kraków, where he became editor of the socialist newspaper Naprzód (Forward). In March 1893 he attended the Second Socialist Congress in Kraków. The police broke up the meeting, and Daszyński spent five days in jail. In October he moved to Lviv again, where he published the brochure, Krótka historia rozwoju partii socjalistycznej w Galicji (od maja 1890 do 1 maja 1894) [A Short History of the Development of the Galician Socialist Party (from May 1890 to May 1894)]. Meanwhile he moved to Kraków and resumed editorship of Naprzód. Later he attended the Third Socialist Congress of Galicia and Silesia and published another brochure, Bankructwo demokracji galicyjskiej (The Bankruptcy of Galician Democracy), in which he strongly criticized the bourgeoisie.

In 1895 Ignacy Daszyński’s mother died. In 1896, as a socialist activist Daszyński attended the International Congress in London. In Autumn, Pole who was Minister-President of Austria, Count Kazimierz Badeni partly reformed the electoral law. Thanks to those changes, 72 Members of Parliament were to be elected in universal suffrage. Ignacy Daszyński believed that it is a chance for socialist ideology to become more popular as well as a chance to fight for his ideology in parliament. Constituencies were divided in such way that they included towns and villages. Daszyński was the candidate from the Kraków constituency where he received 75% of all votes. He was supported by workers, peasants, students and many Jews. In 1897, Ignacy Daszyński became a member of parliament and in the same year he married an actress Maria Paszkowska in Vienna.

Austrian Parliament

Daszyński's 1897 election leaflet

After entering parliament, Daszyński became chairman of parliamentarian club which numbered 15 members.

In 1898, authorities introduced the state of emergency in a part of Western Galicia. Its aim was to weaken working-class movement, most liberties like freedom of assembly were limited. Daszyński was fighting against such activity e.g. by giving famous speech on the 22nd of November in which he protested against government's actions. Later, he supported worker's strike actions but he emphasized that they need to be lead legally. He was engaged also in democratization of electoral law in parliament (i.a. he postulated abolition of curial voting).

Daszyńki was a great speaker, his speeches attracted masses. He was attacking conservatives and President-Minister Badeni. He took part in huge manifestation in Vienna in 1898. In the resulted, Badeni was dismissed from his position by the emperor.

In 1900, Daszyński was chosen again to the Council of State. In his activity, he focused on circumventing censorship because as a publicist he was subjected to limitation of freedom of speech but as parliamentarian he was not. That is why he could present his articles in parliament even though they were confiscated by censors. They were presented as interpellations which could be printed by press without limitations.

Kraków City Council

Daszyński ca. 1905
On 12 May 1902, Daszyński became a member of the City Council of Krakówmarker. He focused on a struggle with the conservatives and loyalists. On first council-board, he turned to his political opponents with the words:

Joint-stock company of electoral hyenas!
This is the end of the nap!

Daszyński was also engaged in social matters and issues connected with Cracovian infrastructure. He was the member of municipal committees dealing with industrial, coal and floatable canals affairs. After outbreak of a revolution in 1905, he took part in demonstration on Market Square in Krakówmarker on the 2nd of February 1905 during which he burned a portrait of the emperor. Police which tried to disperse demonstrators did not success in seizing the council. In 1907, parliament passed a new electoral law which allowed all men above 24 to take part in voting in election to Council of State. In May of the same year, socialists achieved considerable electoral success while conservatives lost significant amount of parliamentarian representation.


Just before World War I, the PPSD came to an agreement with Józef Piłsudski's Polish Socialist Party–Revolutionary Wing (PPS–Frakcja Rewolucyjna). They decided that, in the coming conflict, Poles should support the Central Powers, which could lead to the creation of an Austria-Hungary-Poland. Daszyński co-authored the PPSD's resolution, which stated that:
As the true representatives of the Polish nation, we declare our conviction that in a prospective conflict between Austro-Hungary and Russia, whose outbreak is out of our control, all the forces of the Polish nation should be directed against the Russian emperor, who is the irreconcilable and cruel oppressor of the great majority of our nation.

Daszyński declared for joining Polish paramilitary troops (mainly “Strzelec”) by members of socialist parties. Thanks to such activity, those organisations were recognized by Austrian authorities as legally working. In November 1912, PPS-Frakcja Rewolucyjna and PPSD joined Temporary Commission of Confederated Independence Parties (Tymczasowa Komicja Skonfederowanych Stronnictw Niepodległościowych). Galician socialists were hoping to evoke uprising after the outbreak of war on the area of Kingdom of Polandmarker.

In August 1914, when conflict started, he put on his rifle uniform to become deputy military commissary in Miechów for few days. He unsuccessfully tried to spur the population to fight with Russia and he quickly returned to politics. After creating Supreme National Committee by parliamentarian Koło Polskie, Daszyński became on of the members of Executive Department. This unit made a decision about forming Polish Volunteer Army that is Polish Legions.

In his opinion, Poland should search for support from Austria-Hungary. He could not clearly judge the Act of the 5thNovember which would guarantee creating independent Kingdom of Poland. On the one hand, he was satisfied by the fact that the act was proclaiming Polish statehood but on the other hand he felt angry that it was separating issue of Russian partition from Galicia. However, he participated in work upon future constitution. On 28 May 1917, he voted in Austrian parliament for Polish People's Party “Piast” (PSL “Piast") proposal which claimed that the only desire of Polish Nation is regaining independent and united Poland with an access to the see. Under the influence of legionary crisis and imprisonment of Piłsudski in July 1917 (in Magdeburg), Daszyński moved to stronger opposition of Austria-Hungary Monarchy. On the 22nd of January 1918, he stated in parliament that Galicia wants to join united and independent Poland.

At the end of September 1918, from his initiative Polish members of parliament prepared and negotiated with National Democracy an proposal which was introduced to Austrian parliament on the 2nd of October 1918. In this proposal, they demanded restoration of independent Polish state composed of areas from three partitions and of own seashore and Silesia. They also recognized case of Poland as international matter and postulated participation of Poland in pacific convention which would “decide the case of Poland.” Daszyński gave his last speech in 3rd of October 1918. He stated then that:

Poles all together declare that they want national right to all three partitions arisen from the rape on Poland: all three partitions should be joined and announced as independent country but this unification and this independence needs to be achieved due to international law on international pacific convention.

Daszyński's government

On 15 October 1918 Daszyński and other Polish deputies to the Austrian parliament adopted a document in which they declared themselves to be Polish citizens. Late October brought the first signs of Austro-Hungarian collapse. On 28 October Daszyński became a member of the Polish Liquidation Committee, headed by Wincenty Witos and headquartered in Kraków and then Lviv. While the Austrian and German occupiers created a Regency Council which aimed to subordinate the Committee to itself, Witos and Daszyński managed to thwart that intent.

On the night of 6 and 7 November 1918, Daszyński became Prime Minister of the Interim Government of the Polish People's Republic (Tymczasowy Rząd Ludowy Republiki Polskiej) in Lublin in the areas of Congress Polandmarker that had earlier been occupied by Austria. The government's other members included Wincenty Witos, Tomasz Arciszewski, Jędrzej Moraczewski and Stanisław Thugutt. Government's programme was presented in Manifesto which was full of revolutionary phrases. It called for people, workers and peasants, to take power in their own hands and build the house of independent and united People's Republic of Poland. According to Manifesto, all citizens would receive equality of political and civil rights that is freedom of conscience, print, speech, assembly, parade, union and strike. Within the framework of improving social conditions, there was promised eight hour working day in industry, trade and craft as well as nationalization of mines and great land possessions. Future country was intended to have form of democratic parliamentarian republic.

Eventually, Daszyński's government was subordinated to Józef Piłsudski on 14 November. On the same day, Piłsudski commended Daszyński to formulate government but he stressed the need to strengthen effectiveness own cabinet's work through participation of prominent powers no matter for political beliefs and he forbade radical social reforms because establishing law is a duty of Legislative Sejm. However, Daszyński did not accomplish his mission due to right wing opposition, three days later he handed in his resignation. The next day, press published a letter from Piłsudski in which he thanked Daszyński for truly civil work that he made to help creating the first Polish government. Piłsudski stressed that Daszyński did not hesitate to sacrifice himself for the good of the cause only to reach an agreement of divergent factors.

Deputy to the Sejm

Daszyński campaigned in the first post-war elections to the Polish Sejm, proclaiming: "The first legislative Sejm is the first administrator of Poland, its builder, the source of law and authority [in] a free, independent and united Poland.". Legislative Sejm was entered by 36 members of PPSD and PPS who created parliamentarian club named Związek Polskich Posłów Socjalistycznych. Soon, Daszyński became its president and also joined convention of seniors.

He focused on promoting a socialist program. He opted for nationalizing some industrial sectors—e.g., for creating public monopolies in the coal and spirits sectors. He postulated improvement of working conditions and defended labor law, as well as supporting development of the cooperative movement and education of peasants and workers.

On 26 April 1919, the PPSD, PPS and PPS Zabór Pruski united to form a unitary PPS. Daszyński joined the party's general council and became one of its chairmen. He also edited the PPS's Bulletin Official du Partii Socialiste Polonaise, written in French, and the weekly magazine Trybuna. After the outbreak of the Polish-Soviet War, Daszyński was for concluding peace as fast as possible. He was against calling the Council of National Defense into being and named it as shortening the Sejm. However, on 24 July he joined the Government of National Defense (Rząd Obrony Narodowej) and filled the position of Deputy Prime Minister (Witos was Prime Minister). He thought that this step (including leaders of peasants and socialists) would increase the number of recruits. After victory in the Battle of the Niemen River, Daszyński was more and more in conflict with the rest of the government, especially with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Socialist leader criticized diplomatic posts' staff and Polish policy on East (i.a. Tadeusz Rozwadowski's offensive plans). On 15 December, General Council of PPS asked Prime Minister to dismiss Daszyński but he resigned himself on 18 December. Prime Minister accepted it very unwillingly just on 4 January 1921.

After leaving government, Daszyński focused on work upon passing a principal act. On 17 March 1921, Legislative Sejm adopted March Constitution of Poland after what it dissolved itself. Socialistic leader contributed to democratic character of constitution (e.g. conservatives proposed that Senate would be joined by members according to their actual position not involving election, PPS was against such practice).

Vice Speaker (1922-27)

On 5 November 1922, Daszyński was again elected the Member of the Parliament. He received 52.874 votes in constituencies: Kraków county, Chrzanów, Oświęcim, Olkusz and Miechów. On 9 December, Daszyński was put himself forward as a candidate for President by his party. He received only 49 votes. Gabriel Narutowicz became the President, which met with disappointment of the right wing (Narutowicz was elected i.a. by members who represented national minorities). On the inauguration day of the President-elect, Daszyński and Bolesław Limanowski, who were going on ceremony, were battered by the right wing fighting squads and forced to barricade themselves in the gate of one of the houses. Daszyński later demanded clarification on those events. He wrote:

“Polish political life cannot be an African jungle, in which a dozen of class' rogues scour.
(...) Your fascism, either die in Poland breaking its head on democracy, or Poland will boil with a civil war.”

After the assassination of President Narutowicz made by Eligiusz Niewiadomski, the National Democracy (“Endecja”) advocate, the Socialists planned to take revenge on the right wing activists. Daszyński objected to this reasoning and forbade the further escalation of the violence.

On the 21st of December 1922, at the meeting of the General Council, PPS tabled a proposal to set up a nationwide worker's educational organization – Towarzystwo Uniwersytetu Robotniczego (TUR). Already on the 21st of January 1923, the Board of Directors of TUR, headed by Daszyński, constituted. He upheld this position until his death. The creation of TUR was one of the most important personal achievements of Daszyński. As he later described:

"On the moment of independence of Poland, there appeared a disproportion between preparing masses to civil life and the adequate possibility of using the acts, which resulted in the first weeks of independence of Poland.
This discordance led to the tragedy of the murder committed on the first President of the Republic of Poland(...) At that time, TUR came into being (...) – it was connected with the idea of bringing the working class to the sufficient stage of development to be able to face the obscurity.
We do not practice a party campaign (within TUR) protecting ourselves from anything that would deter our members from quiet gaining of knowledge"

In February 1923, Daszyński fainted during his speech in the Sejm, which resulted in his withdrawal from ongoing operations (in September 1926 he took the floor in the Parliament again). Despite staying at the sanatoriums, he focused on journalism and writing memoirs. Despite the state of his health, during the 19th Congress of PPS (30 December 1923 - 1 January 1924) Daszyński was re-elected the chairman of the General Council of PPS. At the 20th Congress of PPS (31 December 1925 - 3 January 1926) he was elected once again.

On 26 November 1925, after the entry of Jędrzej Moraczewski to the Government of Aleksander Skrzyński, Daszyński took up the function of Vice-Speaker of the Sejm left by Moraczewski. At first, Daszyński supported the participation of PPS in Skrzyński’s Government but the politics he run (increasing unemployment, hyperinflation) and his projects resulted in sharp criticism. On 20 April 1926, PPS withdrew from the government which soon led to its collapse. On 10 May 1926, in place of Skrzyński’s Government, the right-wing government of Wincenty Witos was established, towards which PPS stood in opposition.

On 12 May 1926, Józef Piłsudski made an armed attack later called "May Coup". Just a month after the coup, Daszyński attacked the new government especially its project of a new Constitution. Its aim was to reduce the role of the legislature. Later, in his brochure, he stated:

"After several years the supremacy,Legislative Sejm led to the collapse of the Sejm and contributed to the supremacy of the government (...) Days of May became the starting point of the growing strength and power of government, while weakening Legislative factor: Parliament (...) The state teeters between two abnormal and harmful states.
It is high time we brought it to the balance and harmonious cooperation of the legislature and the executive"

On 10 November 1926, at the motion of Daszyński, CKW PPS took the "factual-oppositional" position towards the Government of Józef Piłsudski. On 20 December 1926, after a stormy debate, the General Council of PPS took a similar position indicating that:

“PPS opposition does not aim to overthrow the Prime Minister and the Speaker Pilsudski but to reconstruct his cabinet by removing monarchist and reactionary elements and to change the economic policy, what is the demand of the working class; moreover, to change the internal policy, especially as far as the national minorities are concerned.
The change of the position of the government in the future will be factually judged by PPS”.

Appointing the Vilnius conservatives ("bisons"): Aleksander Meysztowicz and Karol Niezabytowski to the government caused the particular objections in PPS. At the same time, Daszyński took the lead of a new PPS's magazine Pobudka.

On 28 November 1927, President Ignacy Mościcki dissolved the Sejm and Senate.


In March 1928, PPS achieved 14% of the votes and 64 seats in the parliamentary elections. Daszyński received 77.470 votes in his constituency (Kraków, Chrzanów, Oświęcim, Olkusz, Miechów) representing an increase of 50% compared to the year 1922.

On 27 March 1928, at the first meeting of the parliament, Daszyński defeated Kazimierz Bartel, the representative of The Nonpartisan Bloc for Cooperation with the Government (BBWR) and Aleksander Zwierzyński of National Populist Union in the election for the Speaker of the Sejm. He received 177 votes in the first round and 206 in the second (54.4%). After the election, Daszyński renounced his party functions: the chairman of PPS General Council and editor-in-chief of Pobudka but still remained the leader of the Board of TUR.

The choice of Daszyński for the Speaker of the Sejm caused the aggravation in the relations between government and parliament. The reason of the conflict was called "Czechowicz's case" after Gabriel Czechowicz, the Minister of Treasury who was accused of overdrawing the budget for the year 1928. Some amount of money came from the disposable fund of the Prime Minister. However, the money was used by the BBWR during the election campaign. The Sejm passed a proposal to bring Czechowicz before the State Tribunal but did not venture to bring Piłsudski himself to account for it. Despite this, in June 1928 Daszyński met Piłsudski and proposed him to form the BBWR, PPS and PSL "Liberation" (“Wyzwolenie”) coalition. However, Piłsudski rejected this offer. As a result, in mid-September 1929, the Centrolew was created – the alliance of six parliamentary camps opposing the sanitation.

On 31 October 1929 an open conflict between Józef Piłsudski and the Parliament took place at a meeting of the Sejm's budget session. Instead of Prime Minister Kazimierz Świtalski, Minister of Military Affairs Józef Pilsudski appeared with over a hundred Army officers. The Sejm deputies thought that Piłsudski had sent the soldiers to arrest them. After the meeting of the senior convention, Daszyński as Speaker of the Sejm refused to open the session. A sharp exchange between Piłsudski and Daszyński took place, which according to General Felicjan Sławoj-Składkowski ran as follows:

Piłsudski: Hold your tongue, please.
[A slam on the table.] I am asking whether you intend to open the session?

Daszyński: Under threat of use of bayonets, revolvers and sabers, I will not open it.

Piłsudski: Is that your final word?

Daszyński: Yes, sir.

Piłsudski: That is your final word?

Daszyński: Yes, sir.

Piłsudski makes a small bow and, without shaking hands with Daszyński, leaves the room.
Passing through the Sejm foyer, he says loudly: "What a fool."

Versions of the conversation differ, depending on the source. However, on the evening of 31 October the Speaker issued the following statement:

Under threat by second-lieutenants' sabers, I cancel today's session.

The Sejm's November session was postponed by President Ignacy Mościcki. On 5 December 1929 the members of the newly-created Centrolew outvoted, by 243 to 119, a vote of no confidence in the government of Prime Minister Kazimierz Świtalski.

On 29 March 1930 Daszyński withdrew the Czechowicz case from debate, under pressure from members of the BBWR, in order not to escalate the conflict with Józef Piłsudski.

On 29 June 1930, a congress of Defense of the Law and People's Freedom took place in Kraków. Daszyński sent a telegram to the congress, as "the Speaker of the Sejm, condemned to inactivity." On 29 August 1930, President Mościcki dissolved the Sejm and proclaimed new elections. Before the elections, many members were arrested and terrorized. Daszyński stood up for the detainees, sending an open letter to Irena Kosmowska, an ex-member of PSL-”Liberation” who was being held at the Lublin Castle.

Daszyński was a candidate in constituencies: Kraków, Chrzanów, Oświęcim, Miechów. He was also the first on the national list of Centrolew. Although he got 80.000 votes, the list was annulled in the Kraków district. Thus Daszyński was chosen the member of parliament from the national list. After the election, his health deteriorated. After the conference of General Council of PPS on 18 January 1931, he went to The House of Health in Bystra Śląska. He retired on the 12th PPS Congress (May, 23-25, 1931); however, he was again chosen a leader of the General Council of PPS in Kraków and on 13th PPS Congress (2-5 February 1934) he was chosen an honourable leader of Polish Socialist Party. Despite of his stay in sanatorium, he organized “fund for fight with confiscation” for Robotnik.

He died on 31 October 1936 in Bystra Śląska.

A lot of people came to the funeral which took place on the 3rd of November 1936 in Kraków on Rakowicki Cemeterymarker. There was a special train from Warsaw and Ministry of Transport granted free return tickets for those who went to the funeral. On the day of the funeral, everybody in every work place stopped working for 5 minutes.

On 22 November, the last letter of Daszyński was published:

“All my life I’ve worked with workers.
To them I owe the fact that my work did not come to nothing.
To them with my last thought I say goodbye.
I hope that their life will be better, that they will be strong and morally healthy, that they will make their common ideals come true.
I say goodbye to my companions and friends with whom I have worked and I ask them to remember that time with kindness.
I ask everybody to forgive me my mistakes and forget the pain that I caused.
The thought about death for a long time has been for me the beginning of freedom.”

Ignacy Daszyński


Felix Daszyński (1863–90), brother of Ignacy, was a journalist and social activist who married women's-rights activist and senator, Zofia Daszyńska Galińska.

Ignacy Daszyński and his wife Maria Paszkowska had five children:
  • Felix, a reserves 2nd lieutenant (imprisoned after 1939 at Starobielsk; probably murdered at Katynmarker);
  • Stefan (emigrated to the United States; died 1958)
  • Jan (died 15 May 1940 of tuberculosis);
  • Helena Rummel (died 1984 in London);
  • Hanna Borkowska (secretary to Tomasz Arciszewski; died 1953 in London);

Daszyński had an extramarital son, Adam Próchnik (born 1894), with Felicja Próchnik (Nossig).

Selected publications

  • Szlachetczyzna i odrodzenie Galicji, Lwów, 1899
  • O formach rządu. Szkic socjologiczny, Kraków, 1902
  • Polityka proletariatu. Kilka uwag o taktyce rewolucji w Polsce, Warsaw, 1907
  • Mowa o sprawie polsko-ruskiej, wygłoszona w Izbie Posłów d. 21 maja 1908 r., Kraków, 1908
  • Cztery lata wojny. Szkice z dziejów polityki Polskiej Partii Socjalistycznej Galicji i Śląska, Kraków, 1918
  • Z burzliwej doby. Mowy sejmowe wygłoszone w czasie od października 1918 do sierpnia 1919 roku, Lviv, 1920
  • Wielki człowiek w Polsce. Szkic polityczno-psychologiczny, Warsaw, 1925
  • Pamiętniki, vol. I Cracow, 1925; vol. II Kraków1926
  • Sejm, rząd, król, dyktator, Warsaw, 1926
  • W obronie praw przedstawicielstwa ludowego. Przemówienie sejmowe tow. Daszyńskiego, Warsaw, 1926
  • W pierwszą rocznicę przewrotu majowego, 1927
  • Czy socjaliści moga uznać dyktaturę proletariatu, Lublin, 1927

See also


  1. Ignacy Daszyński, Pamiętniki (Memoirs), vol. I, Kraków, 1925, p. 37.
  2. Daszyński had 22214 of 29758 votes.
  3. W. Najdus, "Koncepcje polityczne Ignacego Daszyńskiego w latach 1890-1918," in Polska myśl polityczna XIX i XX wieku, vol. 5, edited by H. Zieliński, Wrocław, 1983, p. 189.
  4. W. Najdus, Polska Partia Socjalno-Demokratyczna Galicji i Śląska 1890-1919, Warsaw, 1983, p. 539.
  5. W. Najdus, Ignacy Daszyński..., p. 369-370.
  6. M. Śliwa, Ignacy Daszyński o państwie, demokracji i parlamentaryzmie, Warszawa, 1997, p. 13.
  7. W. Najdus, Ignacy..., p. 447.
  8. na Zjeździe TUR w 1929 r. - Historia TUR na stronach Towarzystwa Wiedzy Powszechnej
  9. Adam Ciołkosz, Ludzie PPS, London 1981, p. 16
  10. Adam Próchnik, Pierwsze piętnastolecie Polski niepodległej, Warszawa 1983, p. 208
  11. Walentyna Najdus, Ignacy Daszyński, Warsaw, 1988, p. 493.
  12. Walentyna Nadus, Ignacy Daszyński, Warszawa 1988, s. 532


  • Najdus, Walentyna, Ignacy Daszyński 1866-1936, Warszawa 1988; ISBN 83-07-01571-5
  • Próchnik, Adam ps. Henryk Swoboda, Ignacy Daszyński. Życie, praca, walka; Warszawa 1934;
  • Ignacy Daszyński, wielki trybun ludu. W 70 rocznicę urodzin. Garść wspomnień, Kraków 1936;
  • Winnicki, Wiesław, Ignacy Daszyński na tle historii Polskiej Partii Socjalistycznej. Wydane w X rocznice śmierci nakładem stołecznego komitetu PPS w Warszawie; Warszawa 1946.
  • Ciołkosz, Adam, Ludzie PPS; Londyn 1981.
  • Śliwa, Michał, Ignacy Daszyński o państwie, demokracji i parlamentaryzmie; Warszawa 1997

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