From_legalist

 
 
 
Propaganda flyer
from the period of the plebiscite in Upper Silesia
(collection of the Silesian Library in Katowice)
Dispatch informing
about the arrival of the Inter-Allied Committee of General Charles Joseph Dupont in Upper Silesia in August 1919
(collection of the National Archive in Katowice)
German propaganda flyer
denouncing Korfanty’s aversion to emigrants from Upper Silesia voting in the plebiscite, 1921
(collection of the National Archive in Katowice)
Arm band
Polish Plebiscite Commissariat, 1920
(collection of the National Archive in Katowice)
Notgeld (emergency money) with the image of Wojciech Korfanty showing the division lines of Upper Silesia, the so-called Korfanty lines
According to his project, the new border was to extend from Bogumin – along Odra river – to Zimnice Wielkie, then turn north-east along the then west border of Strzelecki District to Kolonowskie, from there near Chybie, through Knieja, Zębowice, Wachowice, Wolęcin, then, through Kościeliska with Olesno on the Polish side, up to the border of the Republic of Poland
(collection of the Museum of the History of Katowice)
Wojciech Korfanty depicted as Napoleon
retreating from burning Katowice to "the hero’s basement in Lomnitz Hotel in Bytom". It is a reference to Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow in 1812. German propaganda drawing, 11 September 1920
(collection of the Silesian Library in Katowice)
Polish propaganda flyer
from the plebiscite period
(collection of the National Library)
General Henri Le Rond
Head of the Inter-Allied Administrative and Plebiscite Commission in Upper Silesia, surrounded by French officers at the town square in Katowice during the ceremony of takeover of a part of Upper Silesia by Polish authorities, 19 June 1922
(collection of the Archidiocese Archive in Katowice, album collection 55/47)
Armoured troops of the French military contingent
1920
(collection of the Archidiocese Archive in Katowice, album collection 55/47)
Seat of the Polish Plebiscite Commissariat in Bytom
in Lomnitz Hotel, 1920-1921
(collection of the Archidiocese Archive in Katowice, album collection 55/47)
Seat of the Polish Plebiscite Commissariat unit in Katowice
demolished by German demonstrators in August 1920
(collection of the Archidiocese Archive in Katowice, album collection 55/47)
Plebiscite activists
in March 1921
(collection of the Archidiocese Archive in Katowice, album collection 55/47)
Act of transfer of power over Katowice to Polish officials
by allied officials. Wojciech Korfanty, third from the right, 19 June 1922
(collection of the Muzeum Śląskie in Katowice)
Polish troops
crossing the greeting gate in Katowice, 20 June 1922
(collection of the Archidiocese Archive in Katowice, album collection 55/47)
Wojciech Korfanty during the ceremony of takeover of a part of Upper Silesia
June 1922, Katowice
(collection of the Muzeum Śląskie in Katowice)
Polling station in Katowice
during the plebiscite, 20 March 1921
(collection of the Archidiocese Archive in Katowice, album collection 55/47)
General Stanisław Szeptycki at the town square in Katowice
during the entry of Polish army into the city, at the ceremony of takeover of a part of Upper Silesia by the Polish government
(collection of the Archidiocese Archive in Katowice, album collection 55/47)
Plebiscite flyer of Teofil Kupka
(later murdered by members of Polish militia), directed against Wojciech Korfanty, September 1920
(collection of the National Archive in Katowice)
Anit-Korfanty flyer from the plebiscite period
1920
(collection of the Silesian Library in Katowice)
Polish propaganda drawing
from the plebiscite period, 1920
(collection of the Silesian Library in Katowice)
A German propaganda poster from the plebiscite period depicting Teofil Kupka
of whose death Germans accused Wojciech Korfanty
(collection of the Silesian Library in Katowice)
"Walking off the stage"
German propaganda drawing depicting Wojciech Korfanty being "kicked out" of Upper Silesia, Pieron magazine of 25 September 1920
(collection of the Silesian Library in Katowice)
Wojciech Korfanty with members of the North Group in Tworóg
Third Silesian Uprising, 1921
(collection of the Museum of the History of Katowice)
Polish Plebiscite Commissariat
(collection of the Museum of the History of Katowice)
St. Anne’s Mountain
the location of one of the most important battles of the Third Silesian Uprising, interwar period
(collection of the Silesian Library in Katowice)
"Korfanty" armoured car
used during the Third Silesian Uprising, 1921
(collection of the Museum in Chorzów)
A group of insurgents
under the command of sailor Robert Oszka around "Korfanty" armoured car in Sławięcice during the Third Silesian Uprising, 1921
(collection of the Museum in Chorzów)
Plan for the project of takeover of a part of Upper Silesia
by the Polish government, 1922
(collection of the National Archive in Katowice)
A propaganda drawing from Polish magazine Kocynder
of 20 July 1921
(collection of the Silesian Library in Katowice)
Flyer of the Upper Silesian Plebiscite Committee
accusing Wojciech Korfanty of murdering Teofil Kupka, 1921
(collection of the National Archive in Katowice)
Map of the Upper Silesian Plebiscite
with marked plebiscite results
(collection of the Silesian Library in Katowice)
"Revivalists of Polish identity in Upper Silesia"
poster by Stanisław Ligoń depicting Józef Lompa, Juliusz Ligoń, Karol Miarka, and Rev. Konstanty Damrot, Kocynder of 20 March 1921
(collection of the Museum of the History of Katowice)
Bulletin of the Polish Plebiscite Commissariat
with a trilingual appeal from 26 June 1920
(collection of the Museum in Rybnik)
Polish poster from the plebiscite period
1920-1921
(collection of the National Archive in Katowice)
Members of the Insurgent Military Staff of the "East"
Army Group, Michał Grażyński third from the right
(collection of The National Digital Archives)
Silesian insurgents at the town market in Rybnik
1921
(collection of the Muzeum Śląskie in Katowice)
Plebiscite poster "I vote for the Germans"
1920-1921
(collection of the Muzeum Śląskie in Katowice)
Wojciech Korfanty in the company of Józef Rymer and General Stanisław Szeptycki
during the celebrations related to the return of Silesia to Poland, 1922
(collection of the Museum in Rybnik)
Celebrations on the occasion of a visit of the President of the Republic of Poland Stanislaw Wojciechowski
in Katowice, 17 June 1923
(collection of the Independence Museum in Warsaw)

From legalist to dictator

Wojciech Korfanty was not a supporter of spontaneous outbursts, like the First and Second Silesian Uprising. As a realist – in contrast to Piłsudski’s supporters – he was a proponent of legal political fight. He preferred to take diplomatic action and believed that any military conflict in Upper Silesia would be a mistake. He saw the opportunity to implement his plans in the future verdict of the Entente superpowers. Therefore, to his mind, the role of the uprisings from the years 1919-1920 was limited to serving as a tool of political pressure on allied countries to enforce Polish claims. This naturally resulted in him taking the position of the Commissioner of the Polish Plebiscite Commissariat with its seat in Bytom, when the decision to carry out a plebiscite was made. The vote which took place in March 1921 turned out to be unfavourable to the Polish side. Based on the result, the Inter-Allied Government and Plebiscite Committee with its seat in Opole prepared a report on the future Polish-German border. Information about the report leaked to the public on Sunday, 1 May 1921. The next day, all the mines and most of the steelworks stopped working. On the night of 2nd of May, the Third Silesian Uprising broke out.

The developments in Upper Silesia put Korfanty in a very difficult situation. Ultimately, due to the unfavourable result, he decided to use military force. As the leader of the Third Uprising, he established the Supreme Authority, which represented the highest military and civil jurisdiction in the territory that was taken by the insurgents. During the fights conducted on its behalf, administrative matters were taken over from German officials with the help of the Administrative Department. The role of the former Landrats was carried out by technical advisers to allied district controllers. Local assemblies and district divisions were also dissolved and replaced with temporary divisions, with newly appointed district heads (mainly Poles). This led to a conflict with the Piłsudski camp, as they began removing village leaders themselves, including the Poles that were politically inconvenient. The dismissal of the Commander-in-Chief of the insurgent army, Count Maciej Mielżyński, inflamed the conflict. At the same time, the Chief of Staff for the East Army Group, Michał Grażyński, made an unauthorised decision to appoint Captain Karol Grzesik as the Commander-In-Chief of the uprising. Korfanty, with the help of his loyal soldiers, arrested the entire staff and brought them before court. The case was dismissed, and the defendants left Upper Silesia.

As a result of the fights, the problem of Upper Silesia was put back on the agenda of the Conference of Ambassadors, which discussed it on 7 May. The sides agreed on a truce on 5 July. The question of Upper Silesian was finally solved on 20 October 1921. Pursuant to the decision of the allied countries in Paris, Poland received one third of the plebiscite territory, including the majority of its natural resources and industry. The areas under its territorial jurisdiction included Katowice, Świętochłowice, Królewska Huta (currently Chorzów), Rybnik, Lubliniec, Tarnowskie Góry, and Pszczyna. The negotiations concluded with the signing of the Polish-German Upper Silesian Convention, ratified by the parliaments of both the countries in May 1922. It was supposed to regulate the rules of cross-border cooperation as well as guarantee the respect of Polish and German rights in the divided territory. The takeover of the part of Upper Silesia that was granted to Poland began in June 1922. The symbolic ending of this process was the signing of a commemorative act of taking over the part of Upper Silesia by Poland on 16 July of the same year.