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A member of the Communist Youth Union, Zawadzki went into exile in the Soviet Union in 1931, after spending six years in prison for subversive activities against the Polish state. He returned to Poland in 1939, just before the outbreak of World War II, but was immediately arrested. Freed from prison by the Soviet occupation of Eastern Poland, Zawadzki eventually joined the Soviet-organized Polish People's Army, rising to the rank of major general.
Upon the conclusion of the Vistula-Oder Offensive, he was appointed a Voivode, the new government's representative to the former German territory of Silesia, which was to be transferred to Poland as a result of the Potsdam Conference after the war.
Honours and awards
- Knight's Cross of the Virtuti Militari
- Grand Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta
- Order of the Builders of People's Poland
- Order of the Banner of Labour, 1st Class
- Cross of Grunwald, 2nd Class
- Cross of Valour
- Partisan Cross (12 June 1946)
- Silesian Insurrectionary Cross
(President of Poland)
| Chairman of the Polish Council of State
20 November 1952– 7 August 1964