In our hands again, there are lots of us and our future, depends on us how to made.

- Wincenty Witos, appeals to the peasants - 1945r.

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The life and work of Wincenty Witos

"I come from those peoples whose lives many centuries and threw at his feet and at the mercy of others, both in terms of political and material, -the peasant class. Worse still, because in this class I belonged to the disinherited and the most disadvantaged, swallowing the bitter bread of extreme poverty..."

Wincenty Witos was born on 21.01.1874. in Wierzchoslawice near Tarnow. He was born a poor peasant family on 21 January 1874 in the hamled near Wierzchoslawice called "Dwudniaki". In the family house was poverty, because all assent of Wincenty Witos parents consisted of two acres of land and a half miserable huts. In the tenth of year of life Wincenty Witos has been sent by their parents to the local school. He Graduated a 4- year state school and then continued education on his own. He started his political career in his village and nearby region. In 1905 he joined the region council. From 1908 to 1931 he was an administrator in Wierzchoslawice.

Wincenty Witos was active in peasant economic organizations (Peasant Party) and PSL (Polish Peasant Party). From 1903 he was a member of a general council of PSL. In 1908 he became a member of State Parliament in Lwów and in 1911 a member of Austrian Parliament.

In 1914 he was a co-creator of PSL "Piast" and became its chef in 1918. He held this function until the unification of a peasant movement in 1931. During the I World War he was a strong defender of Polish matters. At the beginning of II RP (Republic of Poland) he was a chairman of a Polish Abolition Committee - the first, local Polish government set up in Kraków On 28.10.1918. During the II RP he was a Member of Parliament in 1919, 1922, 1928, 1930. He was a Prime Minister for three times 1920-1921, in 1923 and in 1926. After an attempt to overthrow a government by Pilsudski in May 1926, he was a consequent opponent of purification. He helped in creating "Centrolew" party. He was a follower of a peasant movement and after its reunification he was one of the leaders of SL. After a few years he became a chief of SL. As for his anti-purification activities he was imprisoned and placed in a fortress in Brześć. He was demurred in the "Brześć Process". Convicted for 1.5 year of prison. 28.09.1931 he immigrated to Czechoslovakia, where he stayed until 30.03.1939. At the congresses of SL in 1935 and 1938 he was chosen a chief of SL party. After Germans had invaded Czechoslovakia, he returned to his country. He was imprisoned and then released because of health problems. After the German invasion on Poland he was arrested on 16.09.1939 and then imprisoned in Jaroslaw then in Rzeszow, transferred to Berlin, Potsdam, and finally to Zakopane to SS ( Germans Police) headquarters. Since 1. 03. 1941 he was under custody in Wierzchoslawice. 15. 10. 1944 he was secretly taken away with an attempt of a transfer to London. However it had never happened. After the liberation he returned to Wierzchoslawice. He was arrested for a few days by NKWD (Russian People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs). In June 1945 he was appointed for a vice-president of KRN ( State National Council). He was the first chief of PSL. On 31. 11. 1945 Wincenty Witos died in OO. Binifrat's Hospital in Krakow. After a manifestative funeral he was buried in his family village on a parish cemetery in Wierzchoslawice.

Wincenty Witos family house
Polish deputies in the
Austrian parliament - 1911r.
Witos with legionnaires
of colonel Boleslaw Roja 1918
Polish Liquidation Commission
(PKL) with Wincety Witos
Wincenty Witos and Jozef Pilsudski
Warsaw 1921
Wincenty Witos during
the "Brześć" trial
Funeral procession - Krakow 1945
Witos in the backyard of own farm - 1939
Witos, gen. Sikorski and Wladyslaw
Kiernik in Zbraslaw near Prague 1935
Chapel at the cemetery
in Wierzchoslawice