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Tadeusz Rejtan

Portrait of Tadeusz Rejtan

Noble Family Rejtan
Coat of Arms Reytan Herb Reytan.PNG
Date of Birth 1742
Place of Birth
Date of Death 1780
Place of Death
Tadeusz Reytan.JPG
"Rejtan - The Fall of Poland", oil on canvas by Jan Matejko, 1866, 282 x 487 cm, Royal Castle in Warsaw.

Tadeusz Rejtan (or Tadeusz Reytan in Old Polish spelling) (1742 - 1780) was a Polish nobleman. He was a member of the confederation of Bar and a member of the Polish Sejm from the constituency of Nowogródek (today Navahrudak, Belarus).

In September 1773, as member of the Partition Sejm, Rejtan famously tried to prevent the legalization of the first partition of Poland. He is said to have bared his chest and laid himself down in a doorway, blocking the way with his own body in a dramatic attempt to stop the other members from entering (or leaving) the chamber where the debate on the partition was being held. Despite his efforts, the partition of Poland was legalized soon afterwards.

After the partition Rejtan withdrew from political life. He spent the rest of his days in a small estate called Hruszówka, where he died on August 8, 1780. According to tradition, he was so distressed with the loss of a part of his homeland, that he lost his senses, and as a result committed suicide.

Rejtan's dramatic attempt to prevent the partition earned him lasting recognition in Poland. He was, and to the present day is, considered a shining example of a patriot. He has been the subject of many art works, poems, songs and books. The events at the Partition Sejm were most famously depicted by Jan Matejko in his 1866 painting, Rejtan‚ÄĒthe Fall Of Poland.

One of the most prestigious secondary schools in Warsaw, VI Liceum Og√≥lnoksztaŇācńÖce im. Tadeusza Reytana (the Tadeusz Reytan Lyceum no 6), established in 1905, is named for Rejtan.



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