Bolesław Wieniawa-Długoszowski

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President of the Republic of Poland
In office
25 September 1939 – 26 September 1939
Preceded by Ignacy Mościcki
Succeeded by Władysław Raczkiewicz
Personal details
Born (1881-07-22)22 July 1881
Died 1 July 1942(1942-07-01) (aged 61)
New York City, New York
Nationality Polish
Spouse(s) Stephania Calvas, Bronisława Wieniawa-Długoszowska

Bolesław Ignacy Florian Wieniawa-Długoszowski (22 July 1881 – 1 July 1942) was a Polish general, adjutant to Chief of State Józef Piłsudski, politician, diplomat, poet , artist, and formally, for one day, President of the Republic of Poland.

To World War I

Bolesław Wieniawa-Długoszowski was born 22 July 1881 on his family's estate in Maksymówka (near Stanisławów – now Ivano-Frankivsk), the son of Bolesław Długoszowski and Józefina, née Struszkiewicz.

In 1877 his family moved to a palace on another family estate, in Bobowa. There Bolesław spent his early life. He attended secondary school in Lwów, where he was a top student. Subsequently he moved to a school in Nowy Sącz, graduating in 1900. Subsequently he studied medicine at Jan Kazimierz University (currently Lviv University) in Lwów, graduating with high distinction.

After these studies he moved to Berlin, where he spent a year studying at the Berlin Academy of Arts. After completing his degree there, he moved to Paris, where he worked as a private physician.

In 1911 he was a founder of the Association of Polish Artists (Towarzystwo Artystów Polskich). He also joined the Riflemen's Association (Związek Strzelecki "Strzelec"), where he met Józef Piłsudski.


Wieniawa-Długoszowski, 1934

In 1914 he moved to Kraków and joined the First Cadre Company which fought on the Austro-Hungarian side against Russia. In October 1914 he became a commander of a platoon of a squadron in 1 Pułk Ułanów Legionów Polskich. During the fighting in 1914–1915 he was promoted to lieutenant, and after the war he was awarded the V-Class Virtuti Militari. In August 1915 he moved to the special group in Warsaw. Soon he became an aide-de-camp to Józef Piłsudski. In 1918, while on a mission to Russia, he was arrested by the Soviet Cheka as a member of the Polish Military Organisation. He was freed after several months.

As aide-de-camp of Józef Piłsudski during the Polish-Soviet War he helped him organize the Vilna Operation and Battle of Warsaw. He was also a commander of 1st Cavalry Division. After the war, Wieniawa was awarded many medals (including the Légion d'honneur, Cross of Valor and Cross of Independence).

In November 1921 he became the Polish military attaché in Bucharest, Romania. He was associated with making the Polish-Romanian convention which was signed in 1922.

In 1926 he passed his exams in High War School, and soon became a commander of 1 Pułk Szwoleżerów Józefa Piłsudskiego – the most prestigious and representative Polish cavalry division. He commanded it until 1930.

During the May Coup he was one of Piłsudski's officers. He helped him to organize the coup.

In 1930–32 he was commander of I Cavalry Division and, for some time, of II Cavalry Division. In 1931 he was promoted by President Ignacy Mościcki to the rank of Brigadier General. In 1932 he became commander of II Cavalry Division and performed his duties until 14 May 1938. In 1938 he was promoted to Major-General. From 1938 to 13 June 1940, he was the Polish Ambassador in Rome.

One-day presidency

On 17 September 1939, he was nominated president of Poland by retiring President Ignacy Mościcki. On the same day, Poland was invaded by the Soviet Union and he emigrated to Paris to perform his new role but was blackballed by Władysław Sikorski, the French Third Republic and the United Kingdom. After the capitulation of France he emigrated to Lisbon but soon he moved to New York.

Many sources do not list Wieniawa as President, merely "designated successor". However, according to the then constitution, when the President can not execute his powers (as when Mościcki was interned in Romania and it was clear that he would not be released unless he resigned), the designated successor automatically became President.

After receiving appointment or becoming President, Wieniawa asked Cardinal August Hlond to become Prime Minister. Hlond refused, referring, noteworthy fact, to Wieniawa as, "Mr. President".

Also in a press statement from President Lech Wałęsa's press secretary on 21 September 1994, to Dziennik Polski Wieniawa-Dłogoszowski was referred to as one of the legitimate Presidents in Exile.[1]

According to some opinions, Mościcki had meant to pass his office to Wieniawa-Dłogoszowski as caretaker, until the office could be assumed by a candidate acceptable to both Sanacja and opposition circles, General Kazimierz Sosnkowski, whose whereabouts were unknown in September 1939. Finally, after Wieniawa's resignation, a compromise candidate, Władysław Raczkiewicz, was chosen.[2]


Wieniawa became Polish Ambassador in Havana, but after moving to Washington he died by his own hand.[3] Some sources[4] state that he committed suicide by leaping from an upper story of a New York city residence, but the exact details of his death are debated among historians.

Honours and awards


In 1936, he was awarded the Golden Laurel of the Polish Academy of Literature Academic merit for literature.


Political offices
Preceded by
Ignacy Mościcki
President of the Polish Republic
Succeeded by
Władysław Raczkiewicz


  2. ^ Olgierd Terlecki, Generał Sikorski, Kraków, Wydawnictwo Literackie, 1983.
  3. ^ Lerski, George J.; Lerski, Jerzy Jan; Wróbel, Piotr; Kozicki, Richard J. (1996). "Wieniawa-Dłogoszowski, Bolesław". Historical dictionary of Poland, 966–1945. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 650. ISBN 978-0-313-26007-0. Retrieved 8 July 2009. 
  4. ^ Pinkowski Files.


  • Szuflada Generała Wieniawa, edited by Elżbieta Grabska and Marek Pitasz, Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, Warsaw 1998
  • Ulubieniec Cezara – Wydawnictwo MSW, Warszawa 1990
  • Belonging and Betrayal, The life of Bronisława Wieniawa Długoszowska, Gervase Vernon, Amazon 2013