Polish National Council Rada Narodowa (A.5)

Language of Description
Alt. Identifiers
  • 2010.215
  • RG-59.031
1 Jan 1939 - 31 Dec 1949
Level of Description
  • Polish
  • English
EHRI Partner

Extent and Medium

2,414 digital images, JPEG


Biographical History

Rząd Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej na uchodźstwie (Government of the Republic of Poland in Exile) was established after Germany and the Soviet Union occupied Poland in September 1939. The Polish government-in-exile was first based in Paris, but moved to London after the French army surrendered to the Germans in the mid-1940s. The Allied powers accepted the government-in-exile as the legitimate representative of the Polish people soon after it was created. The Polish government allied itself with the Allied powers, as its members believed that only a total military victory over Germany would restore Poland's independence and freedom. The government-in-exile led the Polish war effort throughout World War II, and amassed its own land, air, and naval forces. In addition, it commanded the largest underground army of the war, the Armia Krajowa (the Polish Home Army). In 1942, reports about the mass murder of Jews in Poland reached London. At that point, the Polish government-in-exile made several public declarations on the subject, and officially demanded that the Allied powers stop the Germans from continuing their campaign to murder Jews, and other individuals they deemed undesirable. From December 1942 onward, the government-in-exile backed the rescue work of Zegota, which offered aid to Jews throughout occupied Poland.

Archival History

Instytut Polski i Muzeum im. Gen. Sikorskiego w Londynie


Forms part of the Claims Conference International Holocaust Documentation Archive at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This archive consists of documentation whose reproduction and/or acquisition was made possible with funding from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.

Source of acquisition is the Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum, London, England, created by the Polish Government in Exile.The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives received the digitized collection via the United States Holocaust Museum International Archives Programs in October 2010.

Scope and Content

Contains selected records of the National Council: the advisory body of the Polish government-in-exile, as established by the President of the Republic in the absence of the Polish Parliament. Included are minutes of sessions of the First and the Second National Councils, and of sessions of the Presidium of the National Council. The Chairman of National Council was Ignacy Paderewski, who was followed by Stanisław Grabski. Szmul Zygielbojm and Ignacy Schwarcbart were two representatives of the Polish Jews. The collection also includes the committees of the National Council of the sections: Occupied Poland, Foreign Affairs, Military Forces, Finance and Constitutional Matters; as well as drafts of government decrees, general correspondence of the Council, financial records of Council and governmental budgets, and personal files of the Council members and its staff.

System of Arrangement

Arrangement is thematic.

Conditions Governing Reproduction

Copyright Holder: Instytut Polski i Muzeum im. Gen. Sikorskiego w Londynie


Corporate Bodies



This description is derived directly from structured data provided to EHRI by a partner institution. This collection holding institution considers this description as an accurate reflection of the archival holdings to which it refers at the moment of data transfer.