Ryszard Kaczorowski

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Ryszard Kaczorowski

Ryszard Kaczorowski 2008 edit.jpg
President of Poland
6th President in Exile
In office
19 July 1989 22 December 1990
Prime Minister Edward Szczepanik
Preceded by Kazimierz Sabbat
Succeeded by Lech Wałęsa (domiciled)
Minister of the Country Affairs in Exile
In office
President Kazimierz Sabbat
Prime Minister Edward Szczepanik
Preceded by Edward Szczepanik
Succeeded by Ryszard Zakrzewsk
Personal details
Born(1919-11-26)26 November 1919
Białystok, Poland
Died10 April 2010(2010-04-10) (aged 90)
Smolensk, Smolensk Oblast, Russia
Political party Independent
Spouse(s) Karolina Kaczorowska

Ryszard Kaczorowski, GCMG ( [ˈrɨʂart kat͡ʂɔˈrɔfskʲi] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); 26 November 1919 – 10 April 2010) was a Polish statesman. Between 1989-90, he served as the last President of Poland in exile. He succeeded Kazimierz Sabbat, and resigned his post following Poland's regaining independence from the Soviet sphere of influence and the election of Lech Wałęsa as the first democratically elected President of Poland since before the Second World War. He also passed the presidential insignia to Wałęsa, thus ending the 45-year long episode of the Polish government in exile.

Order of St Michael and St George series of appointments of an order of chivalry of the United Kingdom

The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is a British order of chivalry founded on 28 April 1818 by George, Prince Regent, later King George IV, while he was acting as regent for his father, King George III.

Poland republic in Central Europe

Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres (120,733 sq mi), and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With a population of approximately 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, and Szczecin.

Kazimierz Sabbat President of Poland

Kazimierz Aleksander Sabbat, was President of Poland in Exile from 8 April 1986 until his death, 19 July 1989, after serving as Prime Minister of the Polish Government in Exile.


Life and career

Kaczorowski at the Katyn war cemetery, 2009 Ryszard Kaczorowski Katyn Russia April10 2009 Fot Mariusz Kubik 02.JPG
Kaczorowski at the Katyn war cemetery, 2009

Ryszard Kaczorowski was born on 26 November 1919, in Białystok, Poland. His parents were Wacław Kaczorowski of Jelita and Jadwiga (née Sawicka). He completed his education at a school of commerce. He was also a Scouting instructor of a local branch of the Polish Scouting Association. Following the Invasion of Poland at the beginning of World War II, he secretly recreated the scouting movement – which was banned by the Soviet authorities – and became a head of the Białystok banner of the Szare Szeregi. [1] In 1940, he was arrested by the NKVD and sentenced to death, which was later changed to ten years in a concentration camp in Kolyma. [1]

Białystok Place in Podlaskie, Poland

Białystok is the largest city in northeastern Poland and the capital of the Podlaskie Voivodeship. Białystok is the tenth-largest city in Poland, second in terms of population density, and thirteenth in area.

Invasion of Poland invasion of Poland by Germany, the Soviet Union, and a small Slovak contingent

The Invasion of Poland, known in Poland as the September Campaign or the 1939 Defensive War, and in Germany as the Poland Campaign (Polenfeldzug), was an invasion of Poland by Germany that marked the beginning of World War II. The German invasion began on 1 September 1939, one week after the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact between Germany and the Soviet Union. The Soviets invaded Poland on 17 September following the Molotov–Tōgō agreement that terminated the Soviet and Japanese Battles of Khalkhin Gol in the east on 16 September. The campaign ended on 6 October with Germany and the Soviet Union dividing and annexing the whole of Poland under the terms of the German–Soviet Frontier Treaty.

The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs, abbreviated NKVD, was the interior ministry of the Soviet Union.

Following the Sikorski-Mayski Agreement of 1941, he was set free and enlisted in the General Władysław Anders' Army. After it's evacuation from the Soviet Union, Kaczorowski joined the 3rd Carpathian Rifle Division, where he completed divisional secondary school. He fought in most major battles of the Polish 2nd Corps, including the Battle of Monte Cassino. [1] After the war, he remained in the United Kingdom as a political emigrant. Following demobilisation, he completed an academic course in foreign trade. Until 1986, he worked in business as an accountant. From 1955-67, he was the Chief Scout, and, subsequently, President of the émigré Polish Scouting Union (ZHP). As such, he presided the Polish delegation for the 1957 Jamboree.

Władysław Anders Polish Army general

Władysław Albert Anders was a general in the Polish Army and later in life a politician and prominent member of the Polish government-in-exile in London.

Battle of Monte Cassino assaults by the Allies against the Winter Line in Italy held by Axis forces during the Italian Campaign of World War II

The Battle of Monte Cassino was a costly series of four assaults by the Allies against the Winter Line in Italy held by Axis forces during the Italian Campaign of World War II. The intention was a breakthrough to Rome.

Polish Scouting and Guiding Association

The Polish Scouting and Guiding Association is the coeducational Polish Scouting organization recognized by the World Organization of the Scout Movement and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. It was founded in 1918 and currently is the largest Scouting organization in Poland. The first ZHP was founded in 1916, the current one is the fourth organization with this name. It is a public benefit organization as defined by Polish law.

Kaczorowski was also active in the Polish political circles and a member of the National Council of Poland, a parliament-in-exile. In 1986, he was appointed the Minister for Home Affairs within the Polish government in exile. As the April Constitution of Poland of 1935 (the legal basis for the government) allowed the president to appoint his successor "in case the seat is emptied before the peace is settled", acting president in exile Kazimierz Sabbat named Kaczorowski as his successor in January 1988. Sabbat died suddenly on 19 July 1989 and Kaczorowski automatically succeeded him. He handed over the insignia of the presidential power of the Second Republic to President Lech Wałęsa on 22 December 1990, signifying both a recognition of the legitimacy of the government in exile and it's continuity with the Third Polish Republic.

National Council of Poland was a consulting and expert body of the Polish government in exile and Polish president. The first council was formed in December 1939 and was disbanded in July 1941 in protest to the signing of the Sikorski-Mayski Agreement. It was reactivated in February 1942, but disbanded again in March 1945 after the Yalta Conference. The third and last council was formed in 1949, and finally disbanded, together with the entire government-in-exile, after the fall of communism in Poland, in 1991.

The April Constitution of Poland was the general law passed by the act of the Polish Sejm on 23 April 1935. It introduced in Poland a presidential system with certain elements of authoritarianism.

Lech Wałęsa Polish politician, Nobel Peace Prize winner, former President of Poland

Lech Wałęsa is a Polish retired politician and labour activist. He co-founded and headed Solidarity (Solidarność), the Soviet bloc's first independent trade union, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, and served as President of Poland from 1990 to 1995.

Personal life

Kaczorowski coffin displayed at Belweder Trumna Ryszarda Kaczorowskiego 2.jpg
Kaczorowski coffin displayed at Belweder

Ryszard Kaczorowski's last home was in London. He had two daughters with wife Karolina, Jadwiga Kaczorowska, who has two children Zenek and Wanda Szulc, and Alicja Jankowska who has three children, Ryszard, Marcin and Krystyna Jankowska. He was frequently present in Poland and was treated according to the Polish law on former presidents of the state, granting him a presidential pension, Biuro Ochrony Rządu protection and a chancellery. He was an honorary chairman of numerous social and historical organisations, as well as an honorary citizen of almost thirty cities in Poland, including: Warsaw, Gdańsk, Gdynia, Kielce, Kraków, Opole, Zielona Góra and his hometown of Białystok.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Government Protection Bureau Polands equivalent of the United States Secret Service

The Government Protection Bureau or Bureau of Government Protection was Poland's equivalent of the United States Secret Service, providing antiterrorism and VIP security services for the Polish government. On February 1, 2018 the bureau has been disbanded and a new State Protection Service has been formed in its place, absorbing its manpower and functions.

Warsaw City metropolis in Masovia, Poland

Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. The metropolis stands on the Vistula River in east-central Poland and its population is officially estimated at 1.765 million residents within a greater metropolitan area of 3.1 million residents, which makes Warsaw the 8th most-populous capital city in the European Union. The city limits cover 516.9 square kilometres (199.6 sq mi), while the metropolitan area covers 6,100.43 square kilometres (2,355.39 sq mi). Warsaw is an alpha global city, a major international tourist destination, and a significant cultural, political and economic hub. Its historical Old Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

During his retirement, Kaczorowski did not hold any public positions, although it was reported that in November 1994 Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak proposed to President Wałęsa to appoint Kaczorowski as Minister of Defence (as, under the then-constitution, the President appointed the Ministers of Defence, the Interior and Foreign Affairs, regardless of the Prime Minister's will). [2] Although he was a self-described follower of Józef Piłsudski (Piłsudczyk), Kaczorowski chose to not get involved in any partisan or strictly political activity during his retirement. [3]

Waldemar Pawlak Polish politician

Waldemar Pawlak(listen) is a Polish politician. He twice served as Prime Minister of Poland, briefly in 1992 and again from 1993 to 1995. From November 2007 to November 2012 he served as Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Economy. Pawlak is the only person who held the office of Prime Minister twice during the Third Republic, and he remains Poland's youngest Prime Minister to date.

Józef Piłsudski Polish politician and Prime Minister

Józef Klemens Piłsudski, was a Polish statesman who served as the Chief of State (1918–22) and First Marshal of Poland. He was considered the de facto leader (1926–35) of the Second Polish Republic as the Minister of Military Affairs. From World War I he had great power in Polish politics and was a distinguished figure on the international scene. He is viewed as a father of the Second Polish Republic re-established in 1918, 123 years after the 1795 Partitions of Poland by Austria, Prussia and Russia.

On 9 November 2004, Kaczorowski was appointed to the Order of St Michael and St George as an Honorary Knight Grand Cross by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom for "his exceptional contribution to the community of Polish emigrees and their descendants living in the UK". [4]


He died on 10 April 2010 in a plane crash near Smolensk, Russia, along with the President of Poland Lech Kaczyński and 94 others. He was the oldest victim of the crash. [5] On 19 April 2010, Kaczorowski's coffin was taken to St John's Cathedral for a funeral mass, before being buried in a crypt at the National Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw.



  1. 1 2 3 Matylda Młocka: Prezydent z przedwojennego dworu   Rzeczpospolita , 26 November 2009.
  2. "Kaczorowski Ryszard (1919–2010) | Ostatni prezydent II RP". Polityka.pl. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  3. "Ryszard Kaczorowski, ostatni prezydent RP na wychodźstwie nie żyje". Osen.pl. Archived from the original on 5 March 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  4. "United Kingdom Government News: BRITAIN HONOURS MR RYSZARD KACZOROWSKI". Archived from the original on 12 January 2016. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  5. "Prezydenckim Tu-154 leciały najważniejsze osoby w państwie (Polish)". Wiadomosci.gazeta.pl. 10 April 2011. Archived from the original on 15 April 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2011.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Kazimierz Sabbat
President of the Polish Republic in exile
Succeeded by
Lech Wałęsa (domiciled President)