Józef Haller Hohorary Citizen of Warsaw

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Józef Haller Hohorary Citizen of Warsaw 


Józef Haller, (born in 1873 – died in 1960)

Honorary Citizen of Warsaw from 23 April 1919

Born on 13th of August 1873 in Jurczyce near Kraków, to a landowning family. After he graduated from university he was appointed to the rank of second lieutenant and started a 15-year period of service in the Austrian army. In the years 1895–1910 he served in the 11th Artillery Regiment in Lviv and Stanisławów. He acted as instructor and then commander of the one-year voluntary artillery military academy. He reformed education, removing the corrupt regular officers from the positions of instructors and replaced them with volunteers. In spite of the troubles this caused on the part of his superiors, he introduced the Polish language as the official language in military schools. He invoked the resolutions of the Parliament of Vienna, which allowed partial use of the Polish language in the military. For the achievement of excellent results he received the highest possible military decoration of Austria - the Military Merit Medal. In April 1919 the forces of the Polish Army, created in France and directed by him, returned to the country. They were welcomed with hope and joy, as they strengthened the Polish army, and with it there were better chances of the fair establishment of the borders of the new Polish state. Haller was honoured as a politician and General.

In 1920 Haller was appointed to the function of the Inspector General of the Voluntary Army, the organisation of which he largely contributed. During the Battle of Warsaw he commanded the forces defending the foreground of the capital. He was also a part of the Council of National Defence, and then led the North-Eastern Front.

In the time of the 2nd World War Haller’s Army became famous for its heroism during the fighting in the West of Europe. In the years 1940-1943 Józef Haller was a member of the Polish Government-in-exile.