No. XXXIV (2012)

Political crime in lubelskie voivodship in interwar Poland

Grażyna Kędzierska
Non State Higher Pedagogical School in Bialystok
Zbigniew Siemak
Non State Higher Pedagogical School in Bialystok

Published 2012-01-01


  • political crime

How to Cite

Kędzierska, G., & Siemak, Z. (2012). Political crime in lubelskie voivodship in interwar Poland. Archives of Criminology, (XXXIV), 603–627.


In the system of security organs of the Second Polish Republic fight with crime described as political belonged to the duties of National Police. The department of political Police was a secret specialized internal service of the National Police designed most of all to invigilate almost the whole of the political and social life of the country as well as to persecute perpetrators of crimes against the state, with particular focus on persons suspected of acts of subversion. Between the wars the political police underwent a complex reorganization four times each time under a different name: Defensywa Polityczna, Służba Informacyjna, Policja Poli-tyczna i Służba Śledcza (respectively: Political Defence, Information Service, Political Police, and Investigation Service) and with specialised units for fight with various forms of political crime. Illegal political activity, form the point of view of law then, was divided into activity against the state and espionage for other countries. Until 1926 political service in lubelskie voivodship conducted full operational observation of factions and political movements of communist character, of ethnic minorities, and of radical peasant activists. Political movements of bourgeois character were not of interest to political counterintelligence, still they were under discreet operational observation. After the May Coup in Poland, interest of the political police, apart from communists and national minorities, was extended also to the whole legal opposition against the government. Political police in lubelskie voivodship was occupied with revealing social tensions, antigovernment moods, subversive actions, and actions against the state (in particular those by communists and nationalists form national minorities), observation of legal political formations and parties, but also of trade unions and members of parliament. Until 1934 the police statistics included, for example, high treason, rebellion and resistance against the government, desertion, and other crimes against military power and the state. After 1934 the police statistics included high treason (articles 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98 of contemporary criminal code), insult to the government or its institution (art. 125, 127), individual and group resistance (art. 129, 131, and 169 in relation to art. 129), insult and assault of an official (art. 132, 133, and para. 4 of art. 256), insult to the nation and the state (art. 152, 153), incitement to crime (art. 154, 155, 156, 157, 158), incitement to crime (art. 165 – 167), riots (art. 163, 163). “Incitement to crime” in lubelskie voivodship was carried out mainly by offenders’ by “dis-playing flags and banners” of anti-state and subversive content (26,5 % of national overall) and “spreading communist pamphlets and appeals” (16,5%). Such acts as “high treason” (7,9%), “insult to the government or its institution” (6,9%), “group resistance” (11%) were above national average.


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