Kazimierz Władysław Bartel (Polish pronunciation: [kaˈʑimjɛʂ ˈbartɛl]; 3 March 1882 – 26 July 1941) was a Polish mathematician and politician who served as Prime Minister of Poland three times between 1926 and 1930.
He was born on 3 March 1882 in Lwów, Austria-Hungary (then Lemberg, now Lviv, Ukraine). After completing secondary school he studied at the Lviv Polytechnic in the Mechanical Engineering Department. He graduated in 1907 and soon became an assistant in Descriptive Geometry. By 1914 he was a professor at his alma mater.
Conscripted into the Austro-Hungarian army during World War I, in 1918 he returned to Lemberg. In 1919, as commander of railway troops, he fought in the defense of Lemberg against the Ukrainian siege. Bartel was a friend and supporter of Poland's leader and commander-in-chief, Józef Piłsudski.
Appointed Minister of Railways (1919–1920), in 1922–1930 he was a member of Poland's Sejm (parliament). After Józef Piłsudski's May coup d'état (1926) he became prime minister and held this post during three broken tenures: 1926, 1928–29,1929–1930. He was Deputy Prime Minister between 1926–1928 and Minister of Religious Beliefs and Public Enlightenment, when Piłsudski himself assumed the premiership, however Bartel was in fact de facto prime minister during this period as Piłsudski did not concern himself with the day to day functions of the cabinet and government.
In 1930 he gave up politics and returned to academia. In 1930 he became rector of the Lwów Polytechnic and was soon awarded an honorary doctorate and membership in the Polish Mathematical Association.
In this period he published his most important writings, among them a series of lectures on perspective in European painting throughout the ages. In 1937 he was appointed a senator of Poland and held this post until the war broke out.
After the invasion of Poland by the Soviet and subsequent occupation he was allowed to continue giving lectures at the Lwów Polytechnical Institute. In 1940 he was appointed to Moscow and offered a seat in the Soviet parliament. He refused and returned to Lwów.
Soon after the German invasion of the Soviet Union, on 30 June 1941 the Wehrmacht entered Lwów. Kazimierz Bartel was arrested two days later and imprisoned in Gestapo prison. The Nazis made him an offer to create a Polish puppet government with himself as the head. He refused and, by order of Heinrich Himmler, was shot at the Brygidki prison on 26 July 1941, shortly after the mass murder of his colleagues ended. His place of burial remains unknown.
Honours and awards
He was decorated with, among others, the Order of the White Eagle (1932) for outstanding achievements, the French Legion of Honour (class I), the Cross of Valour, the Cross of Independence and the Silver Cross of the Virtuti Militari (1922).
Nürnberg. Crimes against humanity (Volume 5) (Russian) Нюрнбергский процесс. Преступления против человечности (том 5) Москва "Юридическая литература" 1991 ISBN 5-7260-0625-9 (part related to murder of Kazimierz Bartel and his colleagues)
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