Polish National Committee (1917–19)

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Polish National Committee (Polish: Komitet Narodowy Polski) was formed in Lausanne on 15 August 1917 by Polish National Democracy politician Roman Dmowski. Its goal was to support Entente by creating the Polish Army (the Blue Army under Józef Haller) fighting alongside of it in exchange of receiving support for independent Poland. In addition to Dmowski its chief activists included Ignacy Jan Paderewski, August Zaleski, Erazm Piltz, Marian Seyda and Maurycy Zamoyski. In September 1917, the Polish National Committee was recognized by the French as the legitimate government of Poland. The British and the Americans were less enthusiastic about Dmowski's National Committee, but likewise recognized it as Poland's government in 1918. The Committee recognized the government of Ignacy Jan Paderewski in January 1919 and dissolved itself.

Historical background[edit]

During World War I, the Polish people were determined to regain their independence after 123 years of being occupied by the governments of Austria, Russia and Prussia. This period is known as the partitions of Poland. Towards the end of the war, a number of Polish organizations were established both within the occupied state, and across the world. This caused concern amongst the Kaiser of Germany and the King-Emperor of Austria Hungary. On November 5, 1916 they have passed an act proposing the creation of the Kingdom of Poland which was supposed to be the puppet state of the German Empire and remain under control of the Central Powers. The act is known as the Act of 5th November. After proclamation of the act, different Polish political groups and organisations had begun to seek support in the Allied states in hope of success in rebuilding the Polish state. In August of the following year the Polish National Committee was established and continued its action until 1919.

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