What Happened In 1919
In 1919 Ignacy Jan Paderewski became Prime Minister of Poland. In the wake of Poland regaining statehood, Paderewski and his new government faced the task of leading the reborn country as it reestablished itself, including asserting Poland’s position internationally. A renowned pianist and a strong advocate of the Polish cause, Paderewski was greatly respected by his fellow countrymen as well as abroad. Paderewski had played a key role in inspiring American support for Polish independence during World War I. When he arrived in Warsaw before becoming Prime Minister, Paderewski said “Nie przyszedłem po dostojeństwa, sławę, zaszczyty, lecz aby służyć” – “I did not come for dignity, fame, honors, but to serve.” Paderewski was also named the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington, D.C.