Robotnik (1894–1939)

This article is about a newspaper of Polish Socialist Party. For other newspapers of this name, and other meaning of this word, see Robotnik (disambiguation).

Robotnik (Polish pronunciation: [rɔˈbɔtɲik]; The Worker) was the bibuła (underground) newspaper published by the Polish Socialist Party (PPS), and distributed in most major cities and towns in Poland under Partitions.[1]

Robotnik 28.10.1931.jpg
Robotnik, front page of issue from 28 October 1931.
Typevaried, later daily newspaper
Political alignmentsocialist
LanguagePolish language
Ceased publication1939

Robotnik was first published on 12 July 1894 in Lipniszki near Wilno in the amount of 1,200 copies,[2] by the local branch of the then-illegal PPS,[3] led by the future Chief of State of the Second Polish Republic, Józef Piłsudski.[1] Among its other editors was Stanisław Wojciechowski, future president of Poland.[4] In order to throw the ochrana secret police and regular Russian police off track, the newspaper was first distributed in Warsaw.[1] Piłdsudski would become one of the chief editors and writers for the newspaper, and he often spent most of the day at the printing press.[1] In 1900 the police managed to find the printing press, leading to the arrest, sentencing, and imprisonment of Józef Piłsudski and several other members of PPS (including his wife, Maria Piłsudska), although Piłsudski would soon escape by feigning mental illness.[1]

In the following years Robotnik would be printed in various places by several groups of PPS, or related to it. From 1915 Robotnik was legalized; the first legal issue was printed in Dąbrowa Górnicza. From 1919 to 1939 it became a normal, legal newspaper in the Second Polish Republic. Among its editors were Feliks Perl (died 1927) and Mieczysław Niedziałkowski (1927–1939). Its notable contributors included Zygmunt Zaremba, Stanisław Posner, Karol Irzykowski, Cezary Jellenta and Jan Nepomucen Miller, and its circulation reached 10–20,000 issues. The last issue was released on 23 September 1939, in the fourth week of the Polish September Campaign.

After the May Coup (in 1926) of Piłsudski, who after the First World War distanced himself from PPS, Robotnik took an opposition stance towards his government; in return, some of its editions were subject to confiscations (only from 1926 to 1935 about 500 issues were confiscated).The journal was a strong supporter of PPS and socialism in general; among the notable policies opposed by the journal was that of anti-semitism.[5]

After the war several newspapers of that name were printed in Poland and abroad; among the most notable was another underground paper published by the Solidarity movement from 1983–1990.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e Bohdan Urbankowski, Józef Piłsudski: marzyciel i strateg (Józef Piłsudski: A dreamer and a strategist), Wydawnictwo ALFA, Warszawa 1997, ISBN 83-7001-914-5, p.91-99
  2. ^ Friszke, Andrzej (1989). O kształt niepodległej. Warszawa: Biblioteka "Więzi". p. 28. ISBN 83-7006-014-5.
  3. ^ Marek Adamiec, Tajne Drukarnie (Secret Printing Presses) including Index of articles. In the 'Bibuła', another underground paper, Piłsudski described in 1903 the origins of 'Robotnik'. Virtual Library of Polish Literature. (in Polish)
  4. ^ Stanisław Wojciechowski. Short biography. Last accessed on 16 October 2006.
  5. ^ Robert Moses Shapiro (1 February 2003). Why Didn't the Press Shout?: American & International Journalism During the Holocaust. KTAV Publishing House, Inc. pp. 415–. ISBN 978-0-88125-775-5. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  6. ^ Jan Kubik (1994). The Power of Symbols Against the Symbols of Power: The Rise of Solidarity and the Fall of State Socialism in Poland. Penn State Press. pp. 160–161. ISBN 978-0-271-01084-7. Retrieved 12 October 2012.

External linksEdit

  • Scans (1st issue, Jozef Pilsudski Institute of America)