Marian Spychalski Spychalski

Marian Spychalski Spychalski

Polish military, statesman and communist leader, Marshal of Poland.
Date of Birth: 06.12.1906
Country: Poland

  1. Biography of Marian Spychalski
  2. Early Life and Career
  3. Role in the Resistance Movement
  4. Political Career and Repression
  5. Arrest, Rehabilitation, and Later Career

Biography of Marian Spychalski

Early Life and Career

Marian Spychalski was a Polish military, statesman, and communist leader, who later became an architect. He was born in Lodz, which was then a district city in the Petrokovskaya Governorate of the Russian Empire. In 1931, he graduated from the Warsaw Polytechnic Institute and joined the Polish Communist Party in the same year. Spychalski worked extensively as an architect in Warsaw and Poznan, where he designed several schools, gymnasiums, the military court building in Warsaw, and a church in one of the Warsaw cemeteries. In 1937, he received the Grand Prix at the International Exhibition in Paris. From 1935, he served as the Director General of the Department of Public Buildings in Warsaw.

Marian Spychalski Spychalski

Role in the Resistance Movement

After the occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany, Spychalski actively participated in the Resistance Movement as part of the communist wing. He was a long-time ally of Vladislav Gomulka and became one of the prominent underground communist leaders in Warsaw. In 1942, he was one of the founders of the People's Guard, which was later transformed into the People's Army in January 1944. From January 1944, he served as the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the People's Army and the Head of the Information Department in the General Staff. In July 1944, he entered the territory liberated by the Red Army and was appointed as the Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Army. However, due to his lack of military education and combat experience, he could not contribute significantly in this position, as the main objective of the Polish Army had shifted to large-scale operations for the liberation of the country.

Political Career and Repression

In September 1944, Spychalski was transferred to the position of the Mayor of Warsaw, with his jurisdiction limited to the right-bank part of the city, known as Praga, which was liberated by the Soviet forces. From 1945, he became a member of the Central Committee and the Politburo of the Polish United Workers' Party, as well as the Deputy Minister of Defense of Poland for political affairs. In February 1945, he was awarded the rank of Brigadier General, and in June of the same year, he was promoted to the rank of Divisional General. In 1948, when the Polish United Workers' Party was formed, he was elected as a member of its Central Committee and the Politburo.

However, Spychalski became a victim of the power struggle in Poland between Gomulka and Boleslaw Bierut, which ended in the victory of the latter. In April 1949, he was transferred to a less significant position as the Minister of Reconstruction and Construction of Poland. In November of the same year, he was accused of nationalist deviation and disobedience to the party line during the Plenum of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers' Party. As a result, he was removed from the Politburo and sent to work as an architect in the city administration of Wroclaw.

Arrest, Rehabilitation, and Later Career

In May 1950, Spychalski was arrested, and shortly afterward, Vladislav Gomulka was also arrested. He was subjected to torture during his imprisonment and confessed to numerous crimes, including espionage for England, nationalism, and right-wing deviation. However, after the death of Joseph Stalin, the arrest of Lavrentiy Beria, and the unofficial condemnation of repression practices in the Soviet Union, Boleslaw Bierut abandoned the idea of a trial against Gomulka, Spychalski, and others involved in their case. At the same time, he could not release them without damaging his own authority, as his personal involvement in their arrest was well-known. Spychalski remained in detention without trial, although interrogations and torture were ceased, and the conditions of his confinement improved.

A few days after the death of Bierut in March 1956, Spychalski was released and fully rehabilitated. In October of the same year, his old friend Vladislav Gomulka came to power and became the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers' Party. Spychalski was immediately included in the Central Committee and the Politburo of the party, and appointed as the Deputy Minister of Defense. A month later, in November 1956, at Gomulka's insistence, Marshal Konstantin Rokossovsky, the Minister of Defense of Poland and Marshal of the Soviet Union, was recalled from Poland, and Spychalski was appointed as the Minister of Defense. In 1957, he was promoted to the rank of Army General, and on October 7, 1963, he was made a Marshal of Poland, becoming the last person to hold this rank.

During the Polish political crisis in 1968, Spychalski was removed from the position of Minister in April 1968 and appointed as the Chairman of the State Council of Poland, the highest executive post in the country. In 1970, Gomulka was ousted from power, and in December of the same year, Spychalski was removed from the position of Chairman of the State Council, expelled from the Politburo of the Polish United Workers' Party, and in 1971, he was also removed from the Central Committee.

After being retired, Spychalski remained involved in the leadership of various public organizations and was invited to ceremonial events. He passed away on June 7, 1980, in Warsaw, and was buried with the highest state honors at the Powazki Military Cemetery.

Notable Awards and Recognitions:
- Order of the Builders of the People's Poland (1961)
- Virtuti Militari (order for military valor)
- Partisan Cross (1946)
- Awards and medals from the USSR
- Awards from other countries.