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Wojciech Korfanty

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Wojciech Korfaty in 1905

Wojciech Korfanty (1873-1939) was a Polish nationalist and activist, known for his irredentist policies after World War I. He was opposed to the policy of Germanisation in Upper Silesia before the war, and was one of the chief advocates of returning Upper Silesia to Poland after the war.

Korfanty was born the son of a coalminer in Sadzawka, Siemianowice in Upper Silesia, which was then German territory. He studied at the Technical University in Charlottenburg in Berlin and at the University of Wroclaw. In 1903, Korfanty was elected to the German Reichstag and in 1904 also Prussian Landtag from the list of ethnic Polish parties.

In a Reichstag speech October 25, 1918, Korfanty demanded that the provinces of West Prussia, Warmia, Masuria, Gdansk, Wielkopolska (Poznan), Upper Silesia and Middle Silesia become Polish territory.

After the war, during Great Poland Uprising, Korfanty became a member of the Naczelna Rada Ludowa in Poznan, and a member of the Polish provisional parliament, the Constituanta-Sejm. He was also the head of the Polish plebiscite committee in Upper Silesia. In 1921 he was one of the leaders of the Third Silesian Uprising — a Polish insurrection against German rule in Upper Silesia which succeeded in restoring half of the province to Poland.

Korfanty served the national Sejm from 1922 to 1930 and the Silesian Sejm(1922-1935). He was now an opponent of the autonomy of Polish Silesian Voivodship, which he saw as an obstacle in integration of Poland. Korfanty defended the rights of German minority in Upper Silesia, because he believed that the prosperity of minorities enriches the whole society of the region. In 1935 he left Poland and emigrated to Czechoslovakia. After his return to Poland in April 1939 he was arrested. He died two weeks before the outbreak of World War II.


Preceded by:
Artur Sliwinski
Prime Minister of Poland
1922
Succeeded by:
Julian Nowak

Template:End boxde:Wojciech Korfanty pl:Wojciech Korfanty

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