Faces of Silesian insurgents

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1st Silesian Uprising, with the support of the long-term program Niepodległa, the Ślązacy.pl Foundation organized an exhibition dedicated to selected participants of the Silesian Uprisings.

Thirty boards showcase the profiles of the most famous Silesian insurgents and activists, such as Wojciech Korfanty, Michał Grażyński, and Henryk Sławik, as well as lesser-known individuals like Wiktor Polewka or Nikodem Sobik. In addition to the heroes’ biographies, the exhibition also presents the historical context, covering the socio-political situation in Upper Silesia after World War I. This context includes the consequences of the Versailles Treaty, regaining independence, Silesian Uprisings, the Plebiscite in Upper Silesia, and the return of part of Upper Silesia to Poland in 1922.

The exhibition’s uniqueness lies in its presentation of selected Silesian insurgents and individuals involved in pro-Polish plebiscite activities in their “human” dimension. This includes family histories, their activities in the interwar period, and often their tragic fates after the outbreak of World War II. For the first time, photographs and documents from the family collections of the descendants of the exhibition heroes were presented. The extensive set of illustrations is complemented by materials from various sources, including the Silesian Library, the Central Military Archives, the Institute of National Remembrance, and the National Digital Archives.

The exhibition premiered in the vestibule of the Silesian Sejm in Katowice in November 2019 and subsequently was displayed in Piekary Śląskie, the State Archives in Katowice, and the Institute of Polish Thought in Katowice.

The exhibition was initiated by the historian and journalist Dr. Andrzej Krzystyniak, with Łukasz Kobiela as its author. It is accompanied by a richly illustrated 72-page catalogue.