GREATER POLAND UPRISING 1918-1919 - selection of biographies

ZABŁOCKI Mateusz Jerzy

ZABŁOCKI Mateusz Jerzy
Chaplain of the 3rd Uhlan Regiment, dean of Gniezno, social-political activist and a major in the Polish Army. Born on 16 August in Żurawice (Włocławek poviat) to the family of an estate administrator - Zygmunt, and Helena née Ostoja-Lińska. He attended gymnasium in Trzemeszno, Inowrocław and Gniezno, where he passed his final secondary education exam (Abitur) (1909). He was a member of the secret Tomasz Zan Society. He studied in the seminary in Poznań and in Gniezno. In 1913 he was ordained to the priesthood, as a vicar, he exercised pastoral care in Mogilno, Kamieniec, Kruszwica and Gniezno. He was the chaplain of the Gniezno group of the Polish Military Organisation of the Prussian partition. At the time of preparation for the Uprising, in the Gniezno People’s Council, he was considered a representative of the radicals. He was a signatory of the agreement on withdrawal of the German military expedition in Zdziechowa. On 29 December 1918, he was abducted by Germans and sentenced to death by a field court in Bydgoszcz. However, a German pastor stood up for him, saving him from the execution of the sentence. After three days he was exchanged for several officers, who had been taken captive by insurgents. As the chaplain of the Gniezno garrison and the 3rd Uhlan Regiment, he received oaths from insurgents. He served on the Northern Front, setting many examples of courage and devotion on the first line (e.g. near Szubin). During battles with the Red Army, he was the chaplain (major) of the15th Infantry Division and at the same time the 61st Infantry Regiment. In the battle of Łomża, he went in the first line of attack setting an example of courage (based on the communication of the General Staff dated 23 August 1920). Having been transferred to the reserves (October 1921), he became the parish priest of St. Lawrence Church, and then St. Trinity Church. Later on he was also the dean of Gniezno. He issued ”Wiadomości Parafii Farnej” [Parish Church News], and for several years he was a city councillor representing the National Democratic Party. He was a member of the Main Board of the People's Libraries Society, chaired the Polish Alcohol League of the Gniezno poviat, and was the chaplain of the district and nest of the Polish Gymnastic Society “Sokół” [Falcon]. He applied for the position of member of the Polish Parliament (Sejm) in 1928 from the list of the Catholic-National Block. From the year 1938, in the face of the increasing German threat, in consultation with Dept. II of the Polish Army, he got involved in the formation of secret structures of non-front-line sabotage (the Secret Military Organisation). At the beginning of September 1939, right after the army and the municipal and poviat authorities left Gniezno, he organised a substitute administration and Civil Guard with Józef Bilski. With the help of reserve soldiers - former insurgents - he organised an infirmary as well as a network of Polish Red Cross stations, and ordered the emission of substitute money bills. On 8 September, skirmishes between self-defence units with the invading German troops took place. Groups of volunteers were sent from Gniezno to the towns which were exposed to the greatest risk. After the ensuing clashes, in order to avoid further casualties and the destruction of Gniezno, he left in the direction of Września to discuss the surrender of Gniezno with the German command. As the result of an attack of German militia he was wounded on the way. He stayed in hospital from which he was taken away by the Gestapo on 12-13 October 1939 and then imprisoned in Inowrocław. Together with 13 members of the Gniezno self-defence he was sentenced to death “for incitement to sabotage”. On 17 September 1939, he was shot in the prison yard. His corpse was exhumed in 1945 and buried in St. Peter's Cemetery in Gniezno. He was commemorated with plaques in the Gniezno parish church, Primary School No. 2 and on the prison wall in Inowrocław. He is also the patron of streets in Gniezno and Żydowo. He was awarded: the Order of Virtuti Militari of the 5th class, the Cross of Independence, the Cross of Valour and the Golden Cross of Merit.
J. Karwat, Zabłocki Mateusz Jerzy (1887-1939) (in:) J. Karwat, Ziemia Gnieźnieńska w Powstaniu Wielkopolskim 1918/1919.Wybrane aspekty z perspektywy 100 lat. ed. G.Musidlak. Gniezno 2018, pp. 269-270.
Author of the entry
Janusz Karwat