Józewski, Henryk

Józewski, Henryk, b 6 August 1892 in Kyiv, d 23 April 1981 in Warsaw. Polish political leader. From 1914 to 1920 he was a member of the Supreme Command of the 3rd (Ukrainian) Section of the underground Polish Military Organization. During the joint Ukrainian-Polish Kyiv Campaign in 1920 he served as deputy minister of the interior in Symon Petliura's government. With Józef Piłsudski's rise to power he returned to politics and in 1928 became voivode of Volhynia (see Volhynia voivodeship).

As minister of the interior from December 1929 to June 1930, he introduced a differentiated nationalities policy that was tailored to the specific conditions in different regions. Resuming his previous post in Volhynia, Józewski tried to overcome the animosity between Poles and Ukrainians and to gain the political support of the Ukrainian community. His educational and administrative reforms favored Ukrainian participation in the cultural and political life of Volhynia. While closing down some organizations such as the Plast Ukrainian Youth Association, he permitted others to be founded. In 1930 he formed a special committee to promote understanding between the Ukrainian Orthodox church and the Polish Roman Catholic church. With the support of activists of the Ukrainian National Republic, he established the Volhynian Ukrainian Alliance. Some of its members, including Petro Pevny, Serhii Tymoshenko, and Mstyslav Skrypnyk, won seats in the Polish Sejm and Senate and formed a separate Ukrainian Parliamentary Representation. Józewski failed to win the confidence of the Ukrainian population and came under attack from the local Poles and the army. In 1938 he was transferred from Volhynia to Łódź.

Chojnowski, Andrzej. Koncepcje polityki narodowościowej rządów polskich w latach 1921–1939 (Wrocław 1979)

Marko Robert Stech

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]

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