Florian Siwicki (Polish pronunciation: [ˈflɔrjan ɕiˈvit͡skʲi]; 10 January 1925 – 11 March 2013) was a Polish career military officer, diplomat and a communist politician, as well as a General of the Polish Army.
Early life and career
Siwicki was born in Łuck, eastern Poland, in 1925 to middle-class parents of peasant origin who worked in the civil service. He joined the Polish Workers' Party in 1942 and the Gwardia Ludowa as an ordinary rifleman and mortarman in 1943. He was an NKVD operative and operated behind German frontlines to organize mortar and anti-Tank platoons among the Gwardia Ludowa. Since 1944 he joined the new Armia Ludowa and underwent training in the Soviet Union. He participated in the Soviet offensives in the Eastern Front as a soldier in the Armia Ludowa, in early 1945 after 5 months' officer training in the USSR he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the newly created People's Army of Poland and commanded infantry platoons and companies in the East Pomeranian Offensive and the Prague Offensive. After the war, he resumed his normal military career as an infantry officer while continuing his political career as a member and official of the Polish United Workers' Party and an NKVD operative. He became a "political officer" within the Army, and rose within the ranks of both the Army and the Party. However, he did not become too close to the "Jewish-Stalinist" wing of the Party, though dutifully carried out their orders as a junior officer and functionary of the Army and the Party. From 1951 till 1953 he underwent a Command-and-Staff course for Brigade and Division Command from the Frunze Military Academy in the Soviet Union and was later promoted to Podpulkownik (Lieutenant-Colonel) and commanded an infantry battalion in the Warsaw Military District till 1957. He was promoted to Pulkownik ( Colonel ) in 1957 and Brigadier in 1960. From 1956 till 1959 he was in charge of the Military Intelligence and Police division in the Warsaw Military District. In the course of his career he held a number of senior posts, including military attaché in China from 1959 till 1961, commander of an independent mechanized brigade in the Silesian Military District from 1961 till 1963, commanding officer of the 8th Motorised/Mechanized Infantry Division from 1963 to 1967, commander of the 2nd Polish Army from 1967 till 1972 during the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, a stint as the Commander of the Silesian Military District from 1972 to 1973, and the Chief of General Staff of the Polish Army from 1973 to 1983 and a long-time Minister of Military Affairs in the governments of Wojciech Jaruzelski, Zbigniew Messner, Mieczysław Rakowski and Tadeusz Mazowiecki. In 1972 he became a candidate member of the politburo of the Party, and in 1980 a full member of the Politburo. As one of the people behind the imposition of the martial law in Poland in 1981, after Poland deposed the ruling communist regime in 1989 Siwicki was forced into retirement in July 1990.
After Jaruzelski stepped down from his position as Defense Minister, Siwicki was then appointed to the position, along with serving as Jaruzelski's "top deputy on the defense council".
- Paczkowski, Andrzej; Malcolm Byrne; Gregory F. Domber (2008). From Solidarity to Martial Law: The Polish Crisis of 1980-1981: A Documentary History. Central European University Press. p. xxviii. Retrieved December 22, 2010.
- Jan Chodakiewicz, Marek; John Radzilowski; Dariusz Tolczyk (2003). Poland's transformation: a work in progress : studies in honor of Kenneth W. Thompson. Transaction Publishers. p. 27. Retrieved December 22, 2010.
- O. Pragnell, Mervyn; Ann Patrick Rogers (1985). The International year book and statesmen's who's who. Burke's Peerage Ltd. p. 392. Retrieved December 22, 2010.
- Panos Danopoulos, Constantine; Cynthia Ann Watson (1996). The political role of the military: an international handbook. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 367. Retrieved December 22, 2010.
- "Polish defense council head named". The Miami News. November 22, 1983. Retrieved December 22, 2010.
- "Polish army chief honored". Ottawa Citizen. October 11, 1983. Retrieved December 22, 2010.