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Register of the Poland. Poselstwo (Portugal) Records
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Content Note
  • Indexing Terms
  • Other Index Terms Related to this Collection

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Poland. Poselstwo (Portugal) records,
    Date (inclusive): 1919-1957
    Collection number: 65010
    Creator: Poland. Poselstwo (Portugal)
    Collection Size: 43 manuscript boxes (17.2 linear feet)
    Repository: Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace
    Stanford, California 94305-6010
    Abstract: Correspondence, memoranda, and reports, relating to foreign relations between Poland and Portugal between the two world wars, and to foreign relations between Portugal and the Polish Government-in-Exile in London during and after World War II.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Language: Polish.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Poland. Poselstwo (Portugal) records, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Materials were acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1965.


    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Alternative Form Available

    Also available on microfilm (48 reels).

    Historical Note

    Polish legation in Portugal and consulate in Lisbon.

    Scope and Content Note

    The Polish legation in Lisbon was established three years after Poland regained its independence in 1918. It played a rather marginal role in the Polish diplomatic network until the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, when it supplied Warsaw with vital news on political developments on the Iberian Peninsula, which was especially important because of the participation of a large contingent of Communist Poles.
    After September 1939, Portugal no longer recognized General Sikorski's government in London, but the legation was able to survive thanks to the support of General Salazar, and its operations continued uninterrupted. Throughout the war, the legation contributed to the humanitarian efforts in favor of refugees under the direction of Stanislaw Schimitzek, Delegate of the Ministry of Social Welfare.
    Like other neutral countries during World War II, Portugal became a center of political maneuvering and exchange of information between the various parties involved in the conflict. Poles were very active as well, particularly in their efforts to establish an alternative alliance in Central Europe, which would counterbalance the Western Powers. This is an aspect of Poland's foreign policy that remains largely unknown, into which this collection gives a good insight.
    From Lisbon, Poles also directed their espionage and subversive activities against Germany. The head of the so-called Akcja Kontynentalna was Colonel Jan Kowalewski, whose political agenda remained in conflict with London's official line. Some interesting examples of his initiatives can be found among these records.
    However, most of the documents relating to intelligence were destroyed after the war, not only to keep them from the communists but also from former allies, mainly the British. The full story of what they may have contained has to be reconstructed from other sources. One also gets the impression that sensitive documents on the failed post-war plans were removed from the records as well.
    The most significant figure in the legation's history was Karol Dubicz-Penther (1937-1944). Among his closest associates was Jozef Potocki, one of the most highly regarded Polish diplomats. Dubicz-Penther was succeeded by Gustaw Potworowski, who remained in his post until 1951, at which point the legation was handed over to Jan Tomaszewski. It operated until the death of the last Honorary Consul, Martin Leslie, in 1977.
    The collection was received by the Hoover Institution in 1965, so those last years aren't covered here and the fate of those records is not known.
    The records were filed according to the system established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before World War II. For the full list of that classification system, please see the register to the Poland. Ministerstwo Spraw Zagranicznych collection, also at the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the repository's online public access catalog.
    World War, 1939-1945.
    World War, 1939-1945--Diplomatic history.
    World War, 1939-1945--Poland.
    Lisbon (Portugal)
    Poland--Foreign relations--Portugal.
    Poland--History--Occupation, 1939-1945.
    Portugal--Foreign relations--Poland.

    Other Index Terms Related to this Collection

    Poland. Konsulat (Lisbon, Portugal)