(pseudonym, General Walter). Born Feb. 22, 1897, in Warsaw; died Mar. 28, 1947. Figure in the Polish and international revolutionary movement. Polish state and military figure; general.
The son of a worker, Świerczewski was apprenticed to a lathe operator in 1909. During World War I he was evacuated to Moscow. In 1917 he volunteered for the Lefortovo Detachment of the Red Guard and took part in the October uprising in Moscow. In 1918 he joined the RCP (B). During the Civil War he fought in the front ranks of the Red Army. A graduate of the Frunze Military Academy in 1927, Świerczewski volunteered in 1936 to fight in Spain, where, under the name of General Walter, he commanded the 14th International Brigade and subsequently the 35th International Division. From 1941 to 1943 he fought in the Soviet Army and in 1943 helped organize the Polish Army in the USSR.
In August 1944, Świerczewski was elected a member of the Central Committee of the Polish Workers’ Party and a deputy to the Krajowa Rada Narodowa. In September 1944 he formed the Second Polish Army, which under his command helped liberate western Polish and other lands from the fascist German invaders. Świerczewski was Poland’s deputy minister of defense from February 1946 and a deputy to the Legislative Sejm from January 1947. During a tour of inspection he was killed by nationalists in the city of Baligród in southern Poland. Świerczewski was posthumously awarded the Order of the Creator of People’s Poland.