Polish Biographies Index
Military Leader:1873 - 1960
Jozef Haller was an officer in the Austrian army until 1912. In 1914, he commanded the Second Brigade of the Polish Legions. On July 4, 1918, Haller became commander of the Polish Army which was organized under French auspices. In 1920, he was appointed Inspector General of the Polish Army. He retired in 1926.On October 4, 1939, General Wladyslaw Sikorski recalled General Haller to active service. He served in France and after its fall, he was sent to England. He died in London on June 4, 1960, and was buried at Gunnesbury Cemetery in London.
PADEREWSKI, IGNACY JAN
Musician/Statesman: 1860 - 1941
A concert pianist, Ignacy Jan Paderewski was born in Kurylovka, a district of Podolia which is today part of the Soviet Union. He studied at the Warsaw Musical Institute under Professors Jandt and Rogulski. In 1883, he went to Berlin and studied composition with Professors Kiel and Urban. In 1885, he was a pupil of Theodore Leschetizky in Vienna. He began his concert work in Vienna that same year. On November 17, 1891, he appeared at Carnegie Hall in New York City, and that first year in New York, he gave eighteen concerts. His initial United States tour totaled 107 concerts. Paderewski was widely hailed for his renditions of Frederick Chopin’s compositions, although Paderewski’s own works are known and played all over the world. In addition to numerous piano works, he wrote a sonata for violins, two symphonies, a concerto for pianoforte and orchestra. His opera Manru was written in 1900.
After the start of World War I, Paderewski founded a committee for assistance to war victims in Poland and established branches in Paris and London. He lobbied internationally for the establishment of a free Poland. At the end of the war, he was a Polish delegate to the Paris Peace Conference. He and Roman Dmowski fought to establish the proper boundaries between Poland and her neighbors, and Paderewski signed the initial peace treaty for Poland. He was among the richest musicians ever, but he donated most of his money to the Polish cause. He was the chief framer of the Polish Constitution of 1919 and was the chief delegate to the League of Nations in Geneva. He became Prime Minister and Secretary for Foreign Affairs upon Poland’s independence. In 1922, he withdrew from political life and returned to the concert stage; however, the outbreak of the Second World War (1939) brought Paderewski back into politics. He was chosen President of Ministers in the Polish Government-in-exile war cabinet in France. He became ill on a mission to the United States to gain support for Poland. He died in the Buckingham Hotel in New York City on June 29, 1941. Paderewski’s body lies in a crypt at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. scheduled for re-burial on June 28, 1992 in a free Poland. He was decorated by the Polish state, by Great Britain, Belgium, France and Italy. Honorary degrees bestowed upon Paderewski: Universities of Lvov (1912), Yale (1917), Cracow (1919), Oxford (1920), Columbia (1922), Southern California (1923), Poznan (1924, Glasgow (1925), Cambridge (1926) and New York City University (1933).