Józef Piłsudski (December 5, 1867 – May 12, 1935) was a Polish revolutionary and statesman, marshal, first chief of state (1918–1922) and authoritarian leader (1926–1935) of renascent Poland, and founder of her armed forces. He is considered a national hero by the vast majority of the Polish people. Also he is known for his straightforward and sometimes vulgar comments.
- I am not going to dictate to you what you write about my life and work. I only ask that you not make me out to be a 'whiner and sentimentalist.'
- Only the sword now carries any weight in the balance for the destiny of a nation.
- All that we can gain in the west depends on the Entente — on the extent to which it may wish to squeeze Germany, [while in the east] there are doors that open and close, and it depends on who forces them open and how far.
- Comrades, I took the red tram of socialism to the stop called Independence, and that's where I got off. You may keep on to the final stop if you wish, but from now on let's address each other 'Mister' [rather than continue using the socialist term of address, 'Comrade']!
- Józef Piłsudski (1867 - 1935). Poland.gov. Retrieved on April 23, 2006.
- Poland can have nothing to do with the restoration of the old Russia. Anything rather than that – even Bolshevism.
- To be defeated and not submit, is victory; to be victorious and rest on one's laurels, is defeat.
- To want to, is to be able to.
- (About Russians) They are all more or less disguised imperialists, including revolutionists. The trait of these minds, always longing for the absolute, is a vivid centralism. They loathe varieties, cannot conciliate dissonances - such things dull their will and imagination to the extent that they cannot combine varieties into one whole; they reject even the idea of conscious social organizations. [...] Let everything happen by itself, vividly - that is the wisest solution according to them, because it is the simplest and the easiest. Which is why there are so many anarchists among them. A strange thing, but I have never met any republicans among Russians!
- Wacław Sieroszewski, Józef Piłsudski, Piotrków: 1915, p. 19.
- Bolshevism is a disease which is peculiar to Russia. It will never grow deep roots in any countries which are not entirely Russian.
- Aleksandra Piłsudski, Memoirs of Madame Piłsudski, 1940
- He was the only great man to emerge on the scene during the [First World] war.
- Józef Piłsudski will remain in the memory of our nation as the founder of independence and as the victorious leader who fended off a foreign assault that threatened the whole of Europe and its civilization. Józef Piłsudski served his country well, and has entered our history forever.
- [H]e was king of our hearts and ruler of our will. Through half a century of his life’s travails, he took into his possession heart after heart, soul after soul, until he had drawn the whole of Poland under the purple of his royal spirit.[...] He gave Poland freedom, boundaries, power and respect.
- Whoever had the choice, would choose an eagle's nest on the cliffs in place of a home. May he know how to sleep, though his eyes be red from the thunder, and listen to the cries of the wild spirits in the murmur of the pines.
- Polish: "Wszyscy oni są mniej lub więcej zakapturzeni imperialiści, nie wyłączając rewolucjonistów. Żywiołowy centralizm jest cechą tych umysłów, wiecznie tęskniących do absolutu. Nie znoszą rozmaitości, nie umieją godzić sprzeczności – nużą one ich wolę i wyobraźnię do tego stopnia, że nie mogą stopić rozmaitości w jedną całość, odrzucają zupełnie nawet potrzebę świadomych społecznych organizacji. [...]. Niech się dzieje wszystko samo przez się, żywiołowo – to rozwiązanie według nich jest najmądrzejsze, bo najprostsze i najłatwiejsze. Dlatego to pośród nich tak dużo jest anarchistów. Dziwna jednak rzecz, że nie spotkałem wcale wśród Rosjan republikanów!"