Henryk Leon Strasburger
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|Henryk Leon Strasburger|
May 27, 1887|
|Died||May 2, 1951
Teresa Strasburger Tarnowski
Henryk Leon Strasburger (1887-1951) was a Polish economist, General Commissioner in the Free City of Danzig (now Gdańsk) and delegate to the League of Nations. He was also a member of the Polish government in exile during World War II. According to the New York Times, he was among the earliest and most outspoken of Poles to recognize the Hitler menace to his country. His warning was clear in his book The Case of Danzig, published some months before the outbreak of World War II.
He was born on May 25, 1887 in Warsaw, to Juljan Teofil Strasburger (half-brother of Eduard Adolf Strasburger) and Marja (Julia Maria) Simmler, daughter of Joseph Simmler. His schooling was at Heidelberg and Kharkov universities.
From 1916-1918, he was the Director of the Polish Industrial Association. After World War I, Strasburger was a member of the first Polish government, as Undersecretary in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry from 1918-1923, as well as holding the position of Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1923. He was a member of the Polish peace delegation at Riga in 1921, and a delegate to the League of Nations in 1923 and 1924. He conducted commercial treaty negotiations with Italy, France, Romania, Yugoslavia, Finland, Belgium, and Japan.
He then joined the Polish Foreign Office, and from 1924-1932 he was General Commissioner (Commissariat) of the Polish Republic (Komisarz Generalny Rzeczpospoltej Polskiej), responsible for the liaison between the Senate and the Polish government in the Free City of Danzig. He resigned in 1932 and was replaced by Dr. Kazimierz Papée. This was an unusual move that drew international attention since it seemed to mark an important change in Polish policy towards Danzig, as the supposedly Free City was becoming a center for Berlin Nationalist activities.
Strasburger had been allowed a free hand in dealing with Danzig authorities, and during his first few years in office had had success in improving Danzig-Polish relations, but difficulties increased in his last two years in office, caused by the new Nationalist Senate of the free city,[unbalanced opinion] which became a stronghold of the German Nationalists and Hitlerites.[dubious ] The Senate became increasingly hostile towards Poland, and after a public dispute in 1931 between Strasburger and the President of Danzig, Dr. Ernst Ziehm, Strasburger offered his resignation but it was not accepted. When he tried again to resign in 1932, the Polish Government decided that Danzig-Polish policies would be made in Warsaw, not in Danzig. From 1932-1939, he was the President of the Central Organisation of Polish Industries.
After the 1939 German invasion of Poland, Strasburger became part of the Polish government in exile. From 1939-1942 he was the Polish Minister of Finance, Industry and Commerce in the Sikorski Government. In 1942, he was the individual who announced to the world in New York that over one million Polish Jews had been killed.
In 1943, he became the "Minister in the Middle East," and then in 1944 accepted the Ambassadorship to London at the bidding of Stanisław Mikołajczyk, a post which he held until 1946. He was recalled at that time to Poland, but decided instead to stay in London, where he settled with his wife and children.
He died on May 2, 1951, in London, while still in exile.
Around 1926, he married Olga Dunin (1902-1972), daughter of Rodryg Dunin. They had two children, Henryk and Teresa.
- "German Designs on Pomerania; An Analysis of Germany's Revisionistic Policy", 1934, Torun, The Baltic institute
- "The Core of a Continent: Problems of Central and Eastern Europe", 1943, Philadelphia, The American academy of political and social science
- The Case of Danzig, 1936
- Foreign Trade in the Service of National Economy, 1939
- Danzig politicians at the Wayback Machine (archived July 30, 2009)
- Fifth Session of the Assembly
- League of Nations delegates, 1923 (Fourth Session)
- (Polish) "Turowiecki emigrant"
- New York Times, February 13, 1942, "Poland to Exercise a Firmer Hand in Danzig; Policy Seen in Naming of New Commissioner". (PDF)
- New York Times, November 28, 1942, "Poland in Appeal on Nazi Outrages" (PDF)
- TIME magazine, November 30, 1942, "Little Men, What Now?"
- The New York Times, November 28, 1942, "Finance Minister Strasburger, on Visit Here, Says Germans' Killings Total 1,400,000" (PDF)
- The New York Times, May 4, 1951, "Dr. H. Strasburger, Polish ex-envoy, 63; Ambassador to London, 1944 to 1946, Dies There in Exile -- Warned of Hitler Menace" (PDF)
- International Who's Who, 1945-1946 ("Strasburger, Henryk", LL.D), p. 843