the biography of Bronisław Piotr Piłsudski
-Zułów, Święciany District, 60 km north east of Vilnius, Bronisław
Piotr Piłsudski was born in the family of Józef Wincenty Piotr Piłsudski
and Maria de domo Billewicz.
July The family estate was
burnt out and the family settled down in Vilnius
September registration entry
in the Russian Gymnasium in Vilnius
Bronisław with his brother Józef organise
a self-study pupils’ group.
First contacts with socialist
Bronisław is not promoted to the 7th
form. His mother falls ill.
1st September Death of the
September Bronisław graduates
the 7th form and goes to St. Petersburg without graduating the
Baccalaureate examination in St. Petersburgand
registration entry at the Law Faculty of the local university
In the village of Rykovskoye, in the northern
part of the Sakhalin Island – the place of future Bronisław ‘s exile,
a meteorological station is established on the basis of an initiative of
a local doctor.
Independently from the sentence of
the special court, 50 people were sentenced to Siberian exile – among
them Józef Piłsudski for 3 years.
first half of February during
a prolonged Christmas and New-Year’s visit in Vilnius Bronisław is asked
(probably by Józef Łukaszewicz) for help in completing materials which
would serve the members of the Terrorist Fraction of the Narodnaya
Vola Party to prepare explosives and on 12th February
hands them over to Mikhail Nikitich Kancherov, who came for them from St.
Petersburg. Bronisław lends 40 rubles to Kancherov, arranges overnight
accommodation for him and the next day leaves to St. Petersburg, leaving
Kancherov under the care of his brother Józef, who serves the terrorist
as a guide in Vilnius.
13th March in the morning
hours, on the 6th anniversary of assassination of Tsar Alexander
2nd, a police patrol arrests in St. Petersburg 6 young assailants
who have explosives with them. Mikhail Kancherov is among the arrested,
during the examination he reveals the tsar authorities names of conspirators
and other people connected with the conspiracy, including the names of
14th March Bronisław is
arrested in his Petersburg flat.
27th April and 1st
May during two sessions
of a special court called up in the Senate, five of the 15 accused are
sentenced to death (including Alexander Ulyanov – the brother of Vladimir,
later known as Lenin), two – lifelong imprisonment (Łukaszewicz and
Novorusskiy) and the other eight (including Bronisław and Kancherov not
yet revealed as a traitor) – hard labour exile for 2 to 20 years long
term. In that group Bronisław was sentenced to 15 years long hard labour
exile on the Sakhalin Island.
of 5 terrorists sentenced to death in the Schlüsselburg fortress
Departure from Odessa with a group of 525 exiles on the Nizhnyi Novgorod
to Sakhalin via Suez, the Indian Ocean and the Japan Sea,
Bronisław Piłsudski together with a group of some 200 exiles is disembarked
at the Alexandrovskiy Cape, at the western coast of northern Sakhalin,
about 60 km from the Rykovskoye village in the Tymovskiy Rayon – the
target area of his exile.
to work in prison of the Rykovskoye village (clearing the area of forests).
Then he works as a cow barn keeper and finally as a carpenter at the building
site of an orthodox church.
Starts teaching children. The number of
his pupils varies from three to eight
to work at the cow barn at the prison
February - May Because
of shortage of educated people in the state administration he was released
from physical work and transferred to work at the chancellery of the Police
Authority of the Tymovski Rayon. He lives in a common room with Ivan Pavlovich
Yuvachev (literary pseudonym Mirolubov), later an author of the book “Eight
years on the Sakhalin Island” Increasing contacts with the local
population – the Gilyaks (present name: Nivkhs).
January Bronisław Piłsudski
gets acquainted with an already known ethnographer Lev Yakovlevich Sternberg,
exiled to Sakhalin in 1889.
B. Piłsudski starts to write his Sakhalin diary (entries are continued
until 20th March 1892)
end May – 1st September.
Brutal treatment of the forced labour exiles employed at the construction
of a road from the Tymovskiy Rayon to the south of the Sakhalin Island
(the Onorskaya Taiga) by their supervisors results in death or disappearance
of about 100 prisoners. Bronisław Piłsudski together with Mikołaj Perłaszkiewicz
become the main suppliers of information about the crime – its disclosure
in the press leads to the initiation of an official investigation. In the
documents of the chancellery of the administrator of the Tymovskiy Rayon
Piłsudski and Perłaszkiewicz are mentioned as “state criminals” carrying
out an independent, illegal investigation outside the mainstream of inquiries
carried out by the examining magistrate Klimov. The authorities made attempts
to hush the matter up.
Probably the year of initiation of the
first systematic efforts on the dictionary, tradition and culture of the
On the recommendation of the authorities
Piłsudski starts systematic meteorological observations in the Rykovskoye
village and undertakes to make botanical research at the newly established
museum in Khabarovsk.
The administration of Sakhalin makes a
decision to establish a museum.
Thanks to amnesty announced after the death of Tsar Alexander 3rd,
Bronisław Piłsudski’s sentence of 15 years of hard labour exile was
changed into 10 years.
The first published work of Bronisław
Piłsudski: Reports from observation of weather
in the Rykovskoye village
The activities of Piłsudski in the area
of rural education. Permission of the authorities to make public lectures.
Public reading of classic works of Russian literature. The firstmultimedia
presentations in the Sakhalin Island: historical lectures illustrated
with “foggy images” presented with a projector.
Piłsudski is sent to the southern part
of the Sakhalin Island to organise and equip a meteorological station at
the Korsakovskiy Cape and in the Galkino - Vraskoye village (at present
Dolinsk) and complementation of earlier ethnographical collections with
materials about the Ainu people. The first meeting with the Ainus.
6th December According
to the decision of Governor General Merkazin a museum is opened at the
Alexandrovskiy Cape. The future generations are inspired to profound considerations
by the inscription in the charter of foundation of a stupendous fact –
among the people who contributed to its establishment two “state criminals”:
Piłsudski and Sternberg are mentioned. The museum owes nearly entirely
to them the assembly and explanation of the first ethnographic collection
of over 1000 objects.
Bronisław Piłsudski’s sentence is changed from the obligation to perform
make hard labour works into permanent settlement without provision of the
means of sustenance.
30th April because
of lack of remunerated employment he asks for permission to go to
Annianskiye Mineralnye Vody (near Nikolsk on the Amur river)
Amur Region Research Society asks the authorities to issue permission of
B. Piłsudski’s relocation to Vladivostok, where he would receive the
job of a manager of the library in the museum of the Society
10 September refusal of
the application because the term of the sentence of an exile – settler
is not yet over.
23rd May the Amur Region
Research Society asks for the second time for permission to transfer Piłusudski
The Governor General of the Amur Region allows to transfer Piłsudski to
– Piłsudski’s arrival to Vladivostok
B. Piłsudski prepares a selection of
exhibits for the International Ethnographic Exhibition in Paris in 1900
Visitors very positively assess the exposition
of the Amur Region Research Society at the Paris Exhibition, it is awarded
a silver medal and sold on the spot.
Piłsudski is involved in processing the
material collected on the Sakhalin Island, studies scientific literature,
performs the functions of the secretary of the Vladivostok Branch of the
Imperial Geographic Society, gives presentations, works in a statistical
committee, co-edits the first far-eastern statistical bi-weekly and edits
a local newspaper
Piłsudski receives a preliminary proposition
of the Imperial Academy of Sciences to go to Sakhalin on an official visit
in order to complement the ethnographic material among the Ainus and Orocks.
He asks for permission to go to Blagoveshchensk because of unfavourable
climate for him in Vladivostok
The Amur Region Research Society notifies the military governor about B.
Piłsudski’s resignation from employment in the museum.
the military governor gives permission for his transfer to Blagoveshchensk.
Piłsudski files an application to change his status of an exiled settler
to the status of a peasant because his term of exile is over.
fulfils duties at the Coastal District Authority
a telegram from the Vice-president of the Academy of Sciences asking to
send B. Piłsudski to Southern Sakhalin in order to collect ethnographic
permission of Governor General for his voyage to Sakhalin
Piłsudski files an application for permission to travel to Khabarovsk
together with Baron Bugsgweden – secretary of the Society of Care over
the families of the exiled, to review the issues of children’s education
on the Sakhalin Island.
June – Piłsudski’s
stay in Khabarovsk
8th July Piłsudski leaves
Vladivostok on the “Zea” steamship
to Sakhalin, taking an Edison phonograph and wax cylinders with him.
Bronisław Piłsudski receives again some of his citizen’s rights –
he is granted the status of a peasant.
End of the year Piłsudski
settles down in the Ai village at the eastern coast of the Sakhalin Island
in the house of the Ainu Chief Kimur Bafunke. He gets acquainted and falls
in love in a beautiful niece of his host, Chuhsamma. The first attempt
to organise a school for the Ainu people.
The Russian Geographical Society grants
him a little silver medal for his efforts spent for the sake of science.
Piłsudski organises the first schools
for the Ainu people
Chuhsamma gives birth to his son named
The Russian Geographical Society asks the governor-general for permission
for B. Piłsudski’s voyage with W Sieroszewski for 4 months to the Yesso
Island (the former name of the Hokkaido Island).
– permission of the Minister of Interior for B. Piłsudski’s voyage
to the Yesso Island.
July- September B. Piłsudski,
thanks to the support of the Russian Geographical Society joins W. Sieroszewski’s
expedition to Hokkaido
return to the Sakhalin Island. Piłsudski gets acquainted with the military
governor of the Island – Lapunov, who asks him to prepare documents about
the aboriginal population of Sakhalin for the Russian administration.
February Outbreak of war
between Russia and Japan
Piłsudski collects complete statistical
data about the Sakhalin Ainu population concerning the location of settlements,
number of inhabitants, family status, number of births and deaths and the
number of crippled people not able to work.
11th June B. Piłsudski
leaves Sakhalin on the steamship “Vladivostok”.
The ship on her route to Vladivostok calls at Nikolayevsk, Maryisk and
Khabarovsk. B. Piłsudski is involved in studying life of the Oltcha people
(a Tunguz tribe) in the area of the lower Amur River.
Early autumn the second
stay in the southern part of the Sakhalin Island. Having the permission
to go back to his homeland, Piłsudski makes attempts to carry his family
with him, but Bafunke staunchly opposes the idea. Besides a son, Piłsudski
has a daughter Kyzh, whom he will not be able to see with his own eyes
October – voyage to Japan
(Kobe), where he supports a Russian escapee naturalised in the Kingdom
of Hawaii – a journalist named Nikolay Russel (real name Sudziłowski)
organising anti-tsar opposition among Russian prisoners of war in Japan.
He goes back from there to southern Sakhalin again.
November B. Piłsudski arrives
at Vladivostok, and goes back to Japan at the end of the month.
Late January Piłsudski
arrives to Tokyo and promotes the sale of a periodical publication “Vola”
published by Russel in Nagasaki. At the same time he develops contacts
with Shimei Futabei, a renowned Japanese journalist and translator of Russian
literature. The two activists set up the Japanese-Polish Society with the
aim to mutually promote national literary works. The first translations
were made after Bronisław Piłsudski’s arrival to Cracow.
Piłsudski holds a speech (in Russian, with the help of an interpreter)
at a meeting with Japanese socialists who welcome Sen Katayama, their comrade
coming back to his country.
Piłsudski takes part in a dinner party with Japanese socialists and poses
to a common photograph. Eight years after those events he will meet again
one of its participants – Sanshir Ishikawa –in Brussels.
– a meeting with a Chinese revolutionary activist – Song Jiao-Ren.
Later a visit to a Chinese revolutionary group “Minposha”, lead by
Sun-Yat-sen, concluded with a common photograph.
Futabei introduces B. Piłsudski to Gennosuke
Yokoyama – a journalist specialising in the problems of the lower classes.
The information received from Piłsudski was used by Yokoyama to write
Contact with a Japanese right-wing organisation
Contacts with Japanese anthropologists
resulting in the translation of two works of Piłsudski into Japanese.
July Piłsudski goes to Nagasaki and directly
supports Russel in his activities.
B. Piłsudski embarks a ship and goes to Yokohama via Kobe.
B. Piłsudski leaves Japan on board “Dakota”-
an American ship
September – voyage across
the United States of America: Seattle, Chicago to the New York City. B.
Piłsudski loses his passport during the voyage.
(? Early autumn?) Intermediate
stages of his return voyage to homeland: London, Paris.
November dates of B. Piłsudski’s
letters with Cracovian return addresses indicating Topolowa street No.
16 (the address of his brother Józef and his family)
June (?) several weeks lasting
voyage to Karlovy Vary/Karlsbad in order to improve health
August short stay in Cracow
and voyage to Zakopane. Stay in the boarding house of the Bratnia
Pomoc (“Brotherly Help”) and then transfer to the
brother’s house at the edge of the Poronin village.
November another transfer
within the borders of Zakopane. This time Piłsudski settles down in a
pension house at the Krupówki street no. 78. It is probably here that
Maria Żarnowska, a friend from the younger age, at that time a wife of
a tsar official joins B. Piłsudski. Without regard to law and generally
accepted moral standards they publicly declare to be a married couple.
couple stays in Lvov, at the Turecka street no. 3. Piłusdski sells 8 phonographic
cylinders from his Ainu collection and several photos.
An illness of Maria Żarnowska. The diagnosis
suggests a cancer of the throat. Doctors suggest an immediate surgical
operation. Maria’s family finds surgeons in St. Petersburg who agree
to carry out the operation.
May a team of ten surgeons
carry out the operation of elimination of the malignant tumour.
Metastasis of the malignant tumour leads
towards a near end of the publicly declared community of Piłsudski and
Żarnowska. The Żarnowska family claim Piłsudski’s guilt for her moral
and material degradation.
Żarnowska remains under the care of her
family and Piłsudski – who cannot accompany her because of the lack
of a passport – decides to leave Lvov.
Piłsudski settles down in Limanowa, continuing the correspondence with
August – voyage to France
September Piłsudski goes
to Paris. Working as a correspondent of “Kurier
Lwowski” develops a broad network of contacts with the local
community of exiled Poles including Władysław Mickiewicz (son of the
poet), Maria Skłodowska-Curie and St. Szpotański – a historian. He
joins the Polish-Turkish Society and the French Geographical Society.
February Piłsudski makes
a quick visit to Cracow and returning via Vienna brings Maria Żarnowska
End of April progressing
illness of Maria Żarnowska who is not able to wake up from her bed.
Unclear circumstances of separation of
Maria and Bronisław. They cease to call each other husband and wife. Probably
her husband, who, encouraged with a telegram, comes for her to Paris, takes
her to St. Petersburg.
Beginning of June voyage
to London to visit a Japanese exhibition. A stay at the friendly house
of the Wojnicz family at St. Peter Sq. 37.
After some time Piłsudski relocates himself
to an inn at Shepherd Bush Green 45, where a large group of Japanese participants
of the exhibition was staying. Soon after that Stefan Żeromski (a renowned
Polish writer) with his family stay at the same address. Thanks to the
assistance of the Wojnicz family, Piłsudski manages to sell some objects
from his Ainu collection.
End of January Bronisław
Piłsudski returns to Cracow and stays at the flat of his brother staying
in Italy at that time, at the Szlak street no. 25.
April a visit of a former
Sakhalin exile friend, E. Płosski in Limanowa.
May return to Cracow. Bronisław
Piłsudski stays at Stachowskiego Street no. 12. It is probable that he
finishes the writing of this book “Materials
for the study of the Ainu Language and Folklore” at
12th May the death of Maria
summer – voyage to Kuźnice
on the initiative of Bronisław Piłsudski a Folk Research Section of the
Polish Tatra Society (SL PTT) was established. Piłsudski is elected its
End of May Bronisław Piłsudski
changes his address to Bystre, staying at the house of Dr Korniłłowicz
- friend and active member of the SL PTT.
October Voyage to Prague
where he gets acquainted with a technical exhibition of the museum in Vinogrady.
On his way he probably visits the Slovak Museum in Martin.
December He pays short visits
in Cracow and Zakopane on his way home.
beginning of the year B.
Piłsudski comes to Neuchâtel in Switzerland, where he is registered as
a student at the local university
beginning of May voyage
25 June date of a letter
sent to PTT and signed for the first time with the name Ginet- Piłsudski
departure from Paris to Brussels
building of the corner stone at the foundations of the Tatra Museum in
Zakopane during the absence of B. Piłsudski
October Piłsudski returns
to Zakopane and stays again at the Korniłłowicz family in Bystre.
March relocation to Cracow.
The Polish Academy of Abilities establishes an Ethnographic Section of
the Anthropological Commission, which elects Bronisław Piłsudski as their
full time managing secretary.
Several visits to Zakopane allow him to
finish the edition of the first issue of the “Podhalański Annual”.
Unfortunately, this issue would appear in print in 1921 only, after the
tragic death of Bronisław Piłsudski.
visit at Professor Benedykt Dybowski’s house in Lvov.
official beginning of the 1st world war. Austria gives a public
announcement about being at war with Russia.
Beginning of December Piłsudski
departs to Vienna and stays at Schindlergasse no. 44.
B. Piłsudski receives an Austrian passport.
leaves to Lausanne in order to initiate the co-ordination of efforts aimed
at the preparation of a Polish encyclopaedia in Vienna, Lausanne and Warsaw.
September B.Piłsudski goes
to Zurich to support professor Gabriel Narutowicz.
visit at the Polish museum in Rapperswill
12 December a “Comité
général de secours pour les victimes de la guerre en Lithuanie”
is formed in Fribourg and Piłsudski is elected its president.
Numerous voyages across Switzerland: Lausanne,
Vevey, Zurich, Geneva, Fribourg and Rapperswill. Editorial work on the
February B.Piłsudski gives
a speech in Lausanne and Geneva about “The Poles
15th August the Polish National
Committee (KNP) is formed under the leadership of Roman Dmowski in Lausanne.
Bronisław Piłsudski joins the group of supporters of the most important
opponent of his brother.
Mid November. Bronisław
Piłsudski arrives to Paris and stays in the official residence of KNP
at Avenue Kléber 11 bis.
early spring B.P. goes to
17th May 1918
the probable date of death of Bronisław Piłsudski as a result of drowning
in the river Seine.
a press note about finding the body of an unidentified victim of drowning
without documents at the Mirabeau bridge.
date of medical examination carried out at the order of the prefecture
of the police (Dr Socquet). Report on the examination
is recorded under the number 598 page 101 of a May logbook of the
archives of Paris police of 1918.