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Dembinski, Henryk

Dembinski, Henryk born January 16,. 1791 in Strzalków, died June 13, 1864 in Paris, Polish general. In 1807-09 studied at the Academy of Engineer ing in Vienna; 1809-14 an officer in the army of the Warsaw Duchy, took part in the 1809, 1812, and 1813 campaigns; for the battle at Smolensk promoted to the rank of lieutenant by Napoleon; for the battle at Leipzig decorated with the cross of the Legion of Honor. In 1825 deputy in the Diet of the Polish Kingdom. During the November Uprising 1830-31 D. organized security guard and then military troops in the Cracow region; in the summer of 1831, as colonel and commander of a cavalry brigade, he pr oved himself in the battles at Dab Wielki, Kuflewo and Ostroleka, and was nominated general of brigade; in June and July 1831 D. made a name for himself by successfully carrying out the retreat from Lithuania and was nominated general of division; in August the same year, at the peak of his popularity, D. was nominated governor of Warsaw; on August 11, 1831, after the dismissal of General J.Z. Skrzynecki, D. was nominated temporary commander-in-chief of the Polish army corps. Politically connected w ith the conservative camp and under the influence of Skrzynecki, D. implemented his anti-Jacobin policy; an enemy of left-wing leaders of the Uprising gathered in the Patriotic Society [Towarzystwo Patriotyczne], he attempted to assume dictatorial power and to carry out the plans of the reactionary generals; dismissed from the general command of the Polish army on August 19 the same year, as a result of his conflicts with officers, deputies and the government; after general Krukowiecki's taking over the general command of the army, D. commanded a division. After the collapse of the November Uprising he emigrated to France and advocated further military struggle against Russia; put forward proposals for Polish participation in Turkish and Egyptian armies. Connected with the Hotel Lambert, D. was for a time its political agent in Strasburg; in 1833 a member of the secret Stowarzyszenie Jednosci Narodowej [Association of National Unity], gathered around Prince Adam Czarto ryski, and modelled after freemasonry lodges; its purpose was to support a national spirit, reconciliation of political factions of the Polish emigration, and to prepare the Polish society to regain in dependence. In May 1848 D. participated in a meeting of deputies from the Austrian and the Prussian sectors of Poland in Wroclaw; then in the Slav Congress in Prague. In the Hungarian uprising of 1848 chief of the general staff; then temporarily commander-in-chief of the revolutionary army; after the defeat at Temesvar in August 1849, he left for Turkey; after April 1851 in France; died suddenly in Paris; buried in Montmorency. Author of memoires, political pamphlets, articles, occasional speeches, and addresses, including: Jenerala . . . pamietniki o powstaniu w Polsce r.1830-31 [Memoires on the 1830-31 uprising in Poland by general .. .], 2 vols (1875; 1877); Mein Feldzug nach und in Litauen, und mein Rueckzug von Kurszany nach Warschau (1832); Pamietnik . . .jene rala wojsk polskich [Memoires of a general of the Polish army] (1860; 1911).

Jolanta T. Pekacz


L. Russjan, Polacy i sprawa polska na Wegrzech w r. 1848-1849. Warsaw, 1934.

B. Szyndler, Henryk Dembinski, 1791-1864, Warsaw, 1984.

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