The Edmondson Blog

The Polish Government In Exile

The Polish Government In Exile kept a lonely vigil in London for Poland’s independence during the 45 years of Soviet rule. When Communist rule came to an end in Poland in 1989, there was still a President and a Cabinet of eight meeting every two weeks in London.

During the presidential elections in Poland in 1990 Lech Wałęsa sent a message to the exiled government in London that he wished to inherit office from its President rather than from the Soviet-sponsored Jaruzelski. The Government in Exile responded by publicly backing the Solidarity leader, adding that the exiled government would dissolve itself if Wałęsa became president.

When Lech Wałęsa did became President, he received the symbols of the Polish Republic (the red presidential banner, the presidential and state seals, the presidential sashes, and the original text of the 1935 Constitution) from the last President of the Government in Exile, Ryszard Kaczorowski, thus re-establishing the continuity of the Republic and in effect retroactively recognizing the legitimacy of the Government in Exile.

In 1992, military medals and other decorations awarded by the Government in Exile were officially recognized in Poland.

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