Pilsudski, Jozef

(1867- 1935), Poland's prominent leader between WWI and WWII. At the end of WWI Poland was granted renewed independence after 130 years of partition and political subjugation. Pilsudski, a popular military figure and political moderate, came to power in a coup in 1926 and continued to lead the country until his death in 1935.

He favored a policy (known as "sanacja") that would unite all the ethnic groups in Poland, the Ukrainians, Byelorussians, Germans, Lithuanians and the Jews with the ethnic Poles. At the opposite end of the political spectrum was Roman Dmowski whose Endeks party espoused a policy of Polish domination and "Poland for the Poles."

Marshal Pilsudski was a pragmatic and charismatic leader whose political heirs were unable to maintain the coalition on which his power was based. After his death a national boycott of Jewish businesses was organized and an campaign was started that would prohibit the kosher slaughtering of animals.

Source: Encyclopedia of the Holocaust.

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