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Jozef Pilsudski

Jozef Pilsudski (December 5, 1867 - May 12, 1935) was a Polish marshall, statesman and the father of the modern Polish nation.

Born in Zulow[?] (Lithuania) in a noble patriotic Polish family and brought up in austere circumstances. First he attended a grammar school in Vilnius. Then he studied at the University of Kharkov and then he joined a clandestine revolutionary and anti-tsarist organization "The People's Will". In 1887 he was arrested by Tsarist authorities and sent into exile in Siberia for five years. His brother, Bronislaw Pilsudski, also was in a revolutionary plot, and he was an associate of Lenin's brother.

After his release he got to know socialist movement and in 1892 he founded PPS, The Polish Socialist Party[?]. In 1900 he was arrested again for being the editor of an underground leftist daily "Robotnik" (The Worker). He managed to escape and organized a military groups of the party. At that time he believed in guerilla and carried out bank and train raids. With the money he seized he slowly built up a new revolutionary army. The goal of his army was to gain independence from Russia.

In the years before the WW I Pilsudski was a leading figure that linked and helped several military, paramilitary or guerilla groups. All those groups aimed at Polish independence from the oppressive powers.

In 1914 he establised the Polish Legion[?] (the predecessor of the Polish Army) and fought with Austrian and German troops against Russia. However, he was unwilling to take orders from the German and Austro-Hungary Command and he got arrested. With the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk Russia had to renounce claims to what was until then Polish-Russia and a kingdom of Poland was announced by Germany and Austria.

1918 Pilsudski was released and on the November 11 he was appointed the provisional head of the newly formed Polish state. However, at the Versailles Treaty Poland was represented by Pilsudski's political opponent Roman Dmowski[?].

The Polish army led by Pilsudski put a stop to successful march of the Red Army towards the Western Europe. He defeated the Bolshevik Army at the Battle of Warsaw (known to Poles as the Miracle on the Vistula) and won considerable gains for Poland in Treaty of Riga[?] (1921).

He remained the military leader until 1923. After three year long retirement he came back and staged a military coup in 1926. Later he played an overwhelming role in Polish political life and some forms were suppressed.

Pilsudski's death in 1935 left a political vacuum and many unresolved problems for the newly reestablished Polish state.

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