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Ryszard Kaczorowski

In office
July 19, 1989 – December 22, 1990
Prime Minister Edward Szczepanik
Preceded by Kazimierz Sabbat
Succeeded by Lech Wałęsa (domiciled)

In office
1986 – 1989
President Kazimierz Sabbat
Prime Minister Edward Szczepanik

Born November 26, 1919 (1919-11-26) (age 90)
Białystok, Second Polish Republic
Political party None
Spouse(s) Karolina Kaczorowska

Ryszard Kaczorowski, Honorary GCMG [ˈrɨʂart kat​͡ʂɔˈrɔfskʲi] ( listen) (born 26 November 1919) is a Polish politician. Between 1989 and 1990 he served as the last President of Poland in exile. He succeeded Kazimierz Sabbat and resigned his post following Poland's regaining independence from the Soviet sphere of influence and election of Lech Wałęsa as the first democratically-elected president of Poland since World War II. He also passed the presidential insignia to Wałęsa, thus ending the 45-years long episode of the Polish government in exile.

Ryszard Kaczorowski was born November 26, 1919 in Białystok, Poland. His parents were Wacław Kaczorowski of Jelita and Jadwiga née Sawicka. He completed his education at a school of commerce. He was also a scouting instructor of a local branch of the Polish Scouting Association. Following the Polish Defensive War and the start of World War II he recreated the scouting movement - then delegalised by the Soviet authorities - clandestinely, and became a head of the Białystok banner of the Szare Szeregi.[1] In 1940 he was arrested by the NKWD and sentenced to death, which was later changed to 10 years in a concentration camp in Kolyma.[1]

Following the Sikorski-Mayski Agreement of 1941 he was set free and enlisted in the General Władysław Anders' Army. After its evacuation from the Soviet Union, Kaczorowski joined the 3rd Carpathian Rifle Division, where he completed divisional secondary school. He fought in most major battles of the Polish 2nd Corps, including the Battle of Monte Cassino.[1] After the war he remained in the United Kingdom as a political emigrant. Following the demobilisation he completed a college course in foreign trade. Until 1986, he worked in business as an accountant. During 1955–1967, he was the Chief Scout, and, subsequently, President of the émigré Polish Scouting Union (ZHP). As such, he presided the Polish delegation for the 1957 Jamboree.

Kaczorowski was also active in the Polish political circles and a member of the National Council of Poland, a parliament-in-exile. In 1986 he was appointed the Minister for Home Affairs within the Polish government in exile. As the April Constitution of Poland of 1935 (the legal basis for the government) allowed the president to appoint his successor "in case the seat is emptied before the peace is settled", acting president in exile Kazimierz Sabbat named Kaczorowski as his successor in January 1988. Sabbat indeed died suddenly on July 19, 1989 and Kaczorowski automatically became his successor. He handed over the insignia of the presidential power of the Second Republic to President Lech Wałęsa on December 22, 1990, signifying both a recognition of the legitimacy of the government in exile and its continuity with the Third Polish Republic.

Ryszard Kaczorowski currently resides in London. He has 2 daughters with wife Karolina, Jadwiga Kaczorowska, who has 2 children Zenon And Wanda Szulc, and Alicja Jankowska who has 3 children, Ryszard, Marcin and Krystyna Jankowska. He is frequently present in Poland and is treated according to the Polish law on former presidents of the state, granting him a presidential pension, Biuro Ochrony Rządu protection and a chancellery. He is an honorary chairman or numerous social and historical organisations, as well as an honorary citizen of almost 30 cities in Poland, including Warsaw, Gdańsk, Gdynia, Kielce, Kraków, Opole, Zielona Góra and his home town of Białystok. On November 9, 2004, Kaczorowski was appointed to the Order of St Michael and St George as an Honorary Knight Grand Cross by Queen Elizabeth II for "his exceptional contribution to the community of Polish emigrees and their descendants living in the UK".[2]


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Political offices
Preceded by
Kazimierz Sabbat
President of the Polish Republic in exile
Succeeded by
Lech Wałęsa (domiciled President)

Simple English

File:Ryszard Kaczorowski
Ryszard Kaczorowski, the last President of Poland in exile

Ryszard Kaczorowski (born 26 November 1919 in Białystok - died 10 April 2010 in Smolensk) was Polish politician and statesman, who served as the last President of Poland within Government in Exile, which orginated from early days of the World War II and was internationally recognized until 1945.

Kaczorowski who was active in Polish scouting movement, organized anti-Soviet resistance in 1939-1940 and was arrested, sentenced to death, which was commuted to 10 years of hard labors. Relased in 1941 he joined Anders Army and fought in a battle of Monte Cassino. Kaczorowski decided to remain in exile in the United Kingdom following establishment of the communist government ad worked for many years as economist, never becaming British citizen. Along with that, he was active in emigree circles, being head of exiled Polish scouting for example.

After retirement, he became Minister of Home Affairs in exile and was named designated successor for President Kazimierz Sabbat. He succeeded the office on 19 July 1989 following Sabbat sudden death.

After popular election of Lech Wałęsa for President of Poland in 1990, Kaczorowski handed presidential insignia of pre-War Poland to him and Government in Exile ended it's historical activity, recognizing new Third Republic of Poland.

Although largerly not involved in partisian politics, Kaczorowski remained an active figure after his Presidency, visiting Poland frequently (as he lived permanently in London) and participating in many events.

He died in a presidential plane crash with President Lech Kaczyński on 10 April 2010 in Russia. His body was lying at state in Warsaw Belweder palace and then he was buried in Temple of Providence Divinity.


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