GREATER POLAND UPRISING 1918-1919 - selection of biographies

NOGAJ Stanisław

NOGAJ Stanisław
Independence activist, journalist, Greater Poland and Silesian insurgent and lieutenant in the Polish Army. Born on 8 November in Poznań, to the family of a cart driver - Jan, and Rozalia née Chwiałkowska. He was a participant of the school strike organised in the year 1906. In 1912 he was a member of the intelligence militia subordinated to Jan Kąkolewski. In June 1913, his regiment was part of the “Piast” scout troop. After the outbreak of World War I, having the “Piłat” [Pilate] pseudonym, he was a member of the “Vulture” fighting ten-man unit, preparing himself for acts of sabotage. On 8 May 1915, the members of this militia lead by Nogaj set up a Sports Club ”Unia” [Union], engaging in both underground and more overt activities. In August 1916, he was called up to the German Army, the sappers unit in the Wilda district, from which he deserted. In Easter 1917, Nogaj conducted a propaganda activity, posting the proclamation of Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich entitled ”To the Polish nation”. In May 1918 he was arrested. With the help of members of the “Union” he escaped from prison and submitted to the Polish Military Organisation of the Prussian Partition together with his militia. According to unconfirmed information he was the Deputy Second-Lieutenant M. Andrzejewski - the commandant of the Polish Military Organisation of the Prussian Partition. At the end of September he was arrested again and sent to Fort Grolman. On 12 November 1918, leading his militia, he seized the barracks used as warehouses behind the Kalisz Gate, then next day he took part in the so called attack on the Town Hall. He did not recognise the management of the security division of the Supreme People’s Council. As he was a member of the executive-intelligence unit, he belonged to the group of the most radical independence activists. He was exceptionally active during the first days of the Uprising? together with his company, he participated in the action in front of the Police Headquarters in the evening, on 27 December, the seizure of the museum building - which, from then on, became the headquarters of his company - the seizure of the staff of the 20th Brigade at Skarbowa Street and also the arrests of the commanding staff as well as the regional and provincial administrative authorities at the General Command of the 5th Army Corps. On 28 December, he did not recognise the authority of Lieutenant J. Maciaszek, as the city commandant. Nogaj made himself independent when he stopped obeying the orders of J. Kalinowski. He then chose the headquarters of the 20th Field Artillery Regiment at Solna Street as his seat. He contributed to the repeated arrest of Blankertz. He submitted to Second Lieutenant M. Paluch and participated in the action at the Ławica Military Airbase on 5/6 January 1919. On 8 January, he was part of the group organised by M. Paluch, which was sent to the Northern Front. In Gniezno, where insurgent troops were prepared for an action in Szubin, he became an assistant of Captain Jan Tomaszewski, commander of the Poznań battalion. Owing to his (very personal) recollections, we know the general atmosphere of those days in Gniezno. He fought near Szubin (11 I), Kcynia and Szamocin, and along the Paterek-Ludwikowo section. On 18 February 1919 he stayed in Poznań and attended the funeral of his subordinate Edmund Mikołajczak. On 21 February he was arrested for Bolshevism. A military court sentenced Nogaj to 4 months of imprisonment, suspending the execution of the penalty for the time of war. As soon as his subordinates learned about this, they left their front-line positions to try to get to Poznań, despite the various obstacles. As a consequence of the interventions of politicians, Nogaj was released and the deserters were delivered to Fort VI in Golęcin. In April 1919, those soldiers who were prone to rebellion and who were waiting for their war tribunal formed the so called Poznań Death Battalion in which Nogaj became the commander of the assault company. Until June 1919 he fought on the Lithuanian-Belarusian Front. He briefly underwent treatment in Warsaw and Poznań. In the period between June 1919 and November 1920, he was an officer (lieutenant) of the 2nd Division of the General Staff of the Polish Army, managing the branch in Praszka as Lieutenant Stefan Wolski, organising the conspiratorial troops in the poviats of Kluczbork, Lubliniec and Oleśno. In July 1919, he was arrested by the Germans in Kluczbork. He was sentenced by the German court in Opole to 15 years of prison, but by virtue of an amnesty he was released on 1 November. He took part in the plebiscite action in Silesia, as well as in Warmia and Masuria. In the middle of August 1920 he was wounded and treated in the hospital in Działdowo. After the third Silesian Uprising, he established the Polish Socialist Youth Union. In November 1921 he was dismissed from the army. So far it has not been possible to explain the circumstances and dates of his officer promotions? in the German army he was a private. Then he moved to Silesia working in the editorial office of “Polonia”, “Kurier Wieczorny” and “7 groszy”, where he described his activity in the Upper Silesia region. He issued the following brochures: Bitwa pod Szubinem, Banda Hanysa Stolorza (1933) and Bosogarda (1934). In 1937 he published the collection of reportage “Za drutami i kratami III Rzeszy” [Behind the wires and bars of the 3rd Reich], which were a description of life in the Nazi camp in Lichtenberg. He established the Greater Poland Insurgents Society in Katowice. In September 1939 he was the commander of the 3rd corps of the Workers’ Battalions for the Capital City Defence. After the capitulation of Warsaw, he returned to Silesia where, still hiding, he founded the organisation called “Rebirth”. On 9 March 1940, he was arrested by the Gestapo, incarcerated in Gusen, then in Mathausen-Gusen, where he worked in the camp office and organised (as a coach) football competitions. After the war he worked in editorial offices in Katowice. He was the author of the Gusen camp recollections? journalist’s diary (Katowice 1945-1946) and also extensive articles about the independence work in Poznań. In Katowice he lived with his family at 7/2 M.C. Skłodowskiej Street. He was active in the Society of Fighters for Freedom and Democracy and wrote extensive memoirs. He died on 27 January 1971 in Katowice. He was buried in the cemetery at Francuska Street. He received among others, the Cross of Valour (twice), the Upper Silesia Star and the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta.
J. Karwat, Nogaj Stanisław (1897-1971) ( in:) J. Karwat, Ziemia Gnieźnieńska w Powstaniu Wielkopolskim 1918/1919. Wybrane aspekty z perspektywy 100 lat. ed. G. Musidlak Gniezno 2018, pp.240-242.
Author of the entry
Janusz Karwat