The Full Wiki

Wilno Voivodeship (1923–1939): Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Województwo wileńskie
Coat of Arms
(Coat of Arms)
Wilno Voivodeship

The Wilno Voivodeship (Polish: województwo wileńskie, Lithuanian: Vilniaus vaivadija, Belarusian: Віленскае вайводзтва) was one of Voivodeships in the Second Polish Republic. It was created in 1926 and populated predominantly by Poles with notable minorities of Belarusians, Jews, and Lithuanians. Following German and Soviet Invasion of Poland, at the insistence of Joseph Stalin at the Tehran Conference of 1943, Poland's borders were redrawn, Polish population forcibly resettled and Wilno Voivodeship was incorporated into the Lithuanian and Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republics. Since 1991, most of the former territory of the voivodeship has belonged to sovereign Lithuania.[1]



Wilno Voivodeship was created on 20 January 1926 from the territories of the Wilno Department (created in 1920) and the Republic of Central Lithuania (incorporated into Poland in 1922). From 6 April 1922 to 20 January 1926 it was known as the Wilno Land (ziemia wileńska). It was formed as the last of the Polish voivodeships in the interbellum (although the Sandomierz Voivodeship was to be created in late 1939).

Following the Soviet invasion in 1939, the Voivodeship was divided between the newly created Vileyka Voblast of the Belarusian SSR and independent Lithuania (from 1940 the Lithuanian SSR). This division wasn't internationally accepted. The Polish government-in-exile nominated Zygmunt Fedorowicz in 1942 as its representative for Wilno region. He was arrested by NKVD in 1944.

Currently the former territory of Wilno Voivodeship is divided between the Vinius and Utena counties in Lithuania and the Hrodna, Minsk and Vitsebsk voblasts of Belarus.


Its area was 29,011 square kilometers (which made it the fourth biggest Polish Voivodeship) and population (according to the 1931 Polish Census) - 1,276,000.


This Voivodeship was located in northeastern corner of the country, bordering Soviet Union to the east, Lithuania to the west, Latvia to the north, Nowogródek Voivodeship to the south and Bialystok Voivodeship to the south-west. Landscape was flat and hilly in parts, with several lakes (such as Narocz, the biggest lake of interwar Poland). On January 1, 1937, forested was 21.2% of the area (with national average of 22.2%)

Towns and administrative division


Wilno Voivodeship was created after the territory of the puppet state Republic of Central Lithuania was merged with the so-called Wilno Area. In the years 1922–1939 it was divided into 9 powiats (counties):

  • Brasław county Coat of Arms of Brasłaŭ, Belarus.png (area 4 217 km2 (84 sq mi), pop. 143,100),
  • Dzisna county Coat of Arms of Hłybokaje, Belarus.png (area 3 968 km2 (374 sq mi), pop. 159,900),
  • Mołodeczno county Coat of Arms of Maładečna, Belarus.png (area 1 898 km2 (347 sq mi), pop. 91,300),
  • Oszmiana county Coat of Arms of Ašmiany, Belarus, 1845.png (area 2 362 km2 (140 sq mi), pop. 104,600),
  • Postawy Coat of Arms of Pastavy, Belarus.png county (area 3 050 km2 (19 sq mi), pop. 99,900),
  • Święciany county Svencionys COA.gif (area 4 017 km2 (7 sq mi), pop. 136,500),
  • Wilejka county Coat of Arms of Vilejka, Belarus.png (area 3 427 km2 (165 sq mi), pop. 131,100),
  • city of Wilno county (since 1930) Vilnius city COA.gif (area 105 km2 (41 sq mi), pop. 195,100),
  • Wilno - Troki county Vilnius city COA.gif Coat of arms of Trakai (Lithuania).png (area 5 967 km2 (373 sq mi), pop. 214,500. This county was the biggest in the whole interwar Poland, bigger than the whole Autonomous Silesian Voivodeship).

In 1931, the biggest city of the Voivodeship (and the biggest in northeastern Poland) was Wilno, with 195 100 inhabitants. Apart from this city, Voivodeship was sparsely populated and lacked more urban centers. All other towns were very small, none of them reached the population larger than 10 000 (as for 1931).


Mother tongue in Poland, based on 1931 census.

In 1931 the Voivodeship was inhabited by 1,276,000 people. Majority of population was Polish (59.7% claimed Polish as their native tongue). Among minorities there were: Belarusians (22.7%), Russians (3.4%), Jews (8.5%) and Lithuanians (5.5%). The population density was 44 persons per sq. km. (second lowest in Poland, after Polesie Voivodeship).

Railroads and industry

Wilno Voivodeship was located in the so-called Poland “B”, which meant that it was underdeveloped, with non-existing industry (apart from the city of Wilno). Large part of population was poor, with high level of illiteracy (in 1931, 29.1% was illiterate, with the national average of 23.1%). Railroad network was scarce, with only few junctions - the most important one at Wilno, also at Molodeczno, Krolewszczyzna and Nowa Wilejka. Total length of railroads within Voivodeship's boundaries was 1,097 kilometers, which was only 3.8 per 100 square kilometers.


Government delegates
  • Władysław Sołtan 4 February 1922 – 6 April 1922
  • Walery Roman 6 April 1922 – 29 August 1924
  • Władysław Raczkiewicz 29 August 1924 – 14 June 1925
  • Olgierd Malinowski 22 December 1925 – 25 May 1926 (acting)
  • Władysław Raczkiewicz 18 May 1926 – 20 June 1931
  • Stefan Seweryn Kirtiklis 20 December 1930 – 20 June 1931
  • Zygmunt Beczkowicz 20 June 1931 – 27 January 1933
  • Marian Styczniakowski 27 January 1933 – 16 February 1933 (acting)
  • Władysław Jaszczołt 16 February 1933 – 13 October 1935
  • Marian Styczniakowski 14 October 1935 – 4 October 1935 (acting)
  • Ludwik Bociański 4 December 1935 – 19 May 1939
  • Artur Maruszewski 19 May 1939 – 18 September 1939

See also


  1. (Polish) Zygmunt Gloger (1900). Geografia historyczna ziem dawnej Polski. Kraków: Spółka Wydawnicza Polska. ISBN 83-214-0883-4.  
  • Maly Rocznik Statystyczny, Warszawa 1939 (Concise Statistical Year-Book of Poland, Warsaw 1939).



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address