Register of the Poland. Konsulat (Cape Town) miscellaneous records

Finding aid prepared by Andrew Sorokowski
Hoover Institution Library and Archives
© 2000
434 Galvez Mall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-6003

Title: Poland. Konsulat (Cape Town) Miscellaneous records
Date (inclusive): 1939-1948
Collection Number: 75067
Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
Language of Material: Polish
Physical Description: 1 manuscript box (0.4 Linear Feet)
Abstract: Correspondence, clippings, photographs, pamphlets, and printed matter, relating to Polish commercial interests, emigre organizations, fund raising for war relief, and consular activity in South Africa.
Creator: Poland. Konsulat (Cape Town, South Africa)
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives


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Acquisition Information

Materials were acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 1975

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Poland. Konsulat (Cape Town) Miscellaneous records, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

Historical Note

A Polish Consulate General was established in Cape Town, Union of South Africa, on January 1, 1929. It was headed by Consul General Micha[UNK]l Kwapiszewski from January 1, 1930 to August 1, 1931. It then became an Honorary Consulate under Honorary Consul Cyryl Caro (August 1, 1931-September 15, 1934). In 1935, it was a Consular Agency and in 1936 an Honorary Vice-Consulate under Jan Majewski. In 1938, the post was an Honorary Consulate with Majewski as Honrary Consul, and in 1939 its status was raised to that of a regular Consulate. It remained as such, under Consul Majewski, until its liquidation in 1946. Among the changes occurring during this period were an expansion in both sphere of activity (reflecting the post's elevated status) and territorial jurisdiction (to include both Northern and Southern Rhodesia by 1938).
Elsewhere in southern Africa, a Polish Consular Agency was set up in Johannesburg in 1939, and in the same year an Honorary Consulate was opened in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia. By February 1941, a Consulate General had been established in Pretoria with Minister Plenipotentiary Dr. Stanis[UNK]law [UNK]Lepkowski as Consul General. In 1943, a Consular Agency at Durban attained the status of Consulate, the Honorary Consulate at Salisbury became a Consulate General, and Consulates were opened in Lusaka, Northern Rhodesia and Zomba, Nyasaland for the care of Polish war refugees transported to East Africa. Contacts were maintained between the consular posts in South Africa and Polish government representations elsewhere in Africa, such as the Consulate in Tananarive, Madagascar and ministry delegations in Nairobi, Kenya. Among the concerns of the posts in the Union of South Africa were the transport and supervision of Polish war orphans settled at the Polish Children's Home in Oudtshoorn (see also the collection Dom Polskich. Dzieci).
As a result of withdrawal of international recognition of the London Government, most consular offices of the Republic of Poland were closed after the war. The Consulates in Durban and Cape Town and the Consulate General in Johannesburg ceased to function on May 1, 1946, while the Consulate General in Pretoria closed on May 15 of that year.
The archives of the Polish Consulate in Cape Town were sent by Mr. Majewski to Dr. Lepkowski in Pretoria for storage on July 27, 1946. Both the Cape Town and Pretoria consular archives eventually came into the possession of Mr. Tadeusz Kawalec, a former official of the Consulate in Cape Town, who donated them to the Hoover Institution in 1975.
(Sources: Palyga, Edward. Stosunki konsularne Drugiej Rzeczypospolitej, Warszawa 1970 and Rocznik sluzby zagranicznej Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej, Warszawa 1936 and 1938).

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Poland -- History -- Occupation, 1939-1945
World War, 1939-1945 -- Refugees
World War, 1939-1945 -- Poland
International relief
World War, 1939-1945 -- Civilian relief
Polish people -- South Africa
Poland -- Foreign relations -- South Africa
South Africa -- Foreign relations -- Poland
Cape Town (South Africa)


SUBJECT FILE 1939-1948

Scope and Contents

Letters, clippings, photographs, pamphlets, and the Polish Digest (Nos. 1-14/15, August 1944 - September/October 1945). Arranged alphabetically by subject.
box 1

Committee of Jewish citizens and Friends of Poland, Johannesburg


Export of Polish products to South Africa

box 1

State Export Institute, Warsaw, correspondence 1936-1939

box 1

Trade representative, Y.N. Mi¸edzyrzecki, correspondence 1938-1942

box 1

Gifts for Polish soldiers, II Army Corps

box 1

Madagascar, opening of Polish consulate in Tananarive, correspondence 1942-1944

box 1

Maritime affairs

box 1

Mission of Jesuit Fathers, Broken Hill, Northern Rhodesia, and other missions 1933-1941

box 1

Mozambique, aid to Polish citizens in

box 1

Polish Defence Loan (Polish Internal Loan) 1939


Polish Information Centre, Johannesburg

box 1


box 1

Distribution lists

box 1

Polish Digest, Nos. 1-14/15 August 1944 - September/October 1945

box 1

Polish Relief Fund, Cape Town

box 1

Union of Poles in Africa, Organizing Committee 1945-1946