Jarosław Dąbrowski

For the person after whom the Polish national anthem is named, see Jan Henryk Dąbrowski. For the film, see Jarosław Dąbrowski (film).
Jarosław Dąbrowski

Jarosław Dąbrowski
Nickname(s) Jaroslav Dombrowski, Żądło
Born (1836-11-13)13 November 1836
Died 23 May 1871(1871-05-23) (aged 34)
Allegiance Congress Poland, Paris
Service/branch Communards
Rank Commander-in-Chief
Commands held Paris Commune (Communards)
Battles/wars January Uprising, Paris Commune

Jarosław Żądło-Dąbrowski (Polish pronunciation: [jaˈrɔswaf dɔmˈbrɔfskʲi], also known as Jaroslav Dombrowski; 13 November 1836 23 May 1871) was a Polish left-wing independence activist, general, military commander and a supporter of the Paris Commune. (Zdrada 1973, p. 9). He was a participant in the January Uprising and was one of the leaders [1] of the "Red" faction among the insurrectionists as a member of the Central National Committee (Komitet Centralny Narodowy) and the Polish Provisional National Government (Tymczasowy Rząd Narodowy).



Dąbrowski was born in Żytomierz, in what is now Ukraine. He was the offspring of the old Polish noble family Żądło-Dąbrowski z Dąbrówki h. Radwan. He bore the Clan Radwan arms. His father was Wiktor Żądło-Dąbrowski of Dąbrówka, coat-of-arms Radwan. His mother was Zofia née Falkenhagen-Zaleska. (Zdrada 1973, pp. 9–10).

Military career

In 1845 at age 9, Dąbrowski joined the Russian army, enrolling in the officer training corp at the Brest-Litovsk Fortress, where he spent 8 years. He graduated from the St. Petersburg Cadet Corps in 1855. He fought as a Russian officer against mountaineer uprisings in the Caucasus. In 1859 he enrolled in the General Staff Academy in St. Petersburg. There he was one of the leaders of the secret "Officers' Committee of the First Army". Members included several hundred Russian and Polish officers, cooperating with the revolutionary "Zemlya i Volya" (Land and Liberty) movement. (Lerski 1996, p. 103). He became involved in the preparation of the January Uprising, but was arrested on 14 August 1862, and exiled to Siberia for his participation in a plot against the Tsar, Alexander II. In 1865, he escaped and fled to France.

On the barricades in Paris

Jarosław Dąbrowski caricatured in Le Père Duchesne Illustré: "Un bon bougre!... Nom de Dieu!..." ("Good chap!... Good God!...")

In early March 1871, following months of siege by the Prussians, and social unrest after the Franco-Prussian War, revolution broke out in Paris. The city declared itself independent of the French National Government, calling itself the Paris Commune. Parisians – calling themselves Communards – took immediate steps to defend themselves against the Prussians (who were still in the vicinity) and against the deposed Monarchists, seeking a return to Louis Napoleon's Third Empire. By this time, Dąbrowski had been elected to the Council of the Paris Commune, using the nom de guerre, Jaroslav Dombrowski.[2] When negotiations with the National Government broke down, he became Commander-in-Chief and started organising its defence. He died on 23 May 1871 on the barricades of his adopted city. After he was killed, the Communards presented arms with un-communard precision[3] " The Commune itself fell on 28 May 1871. The subsequent massacres of the Communards by French National Government shocked liberal society throughout Europe.(Billington 1980, p. 613).



Several schools and roads are named after him in Poland; among them most notable is The Military Technical Academy in Warsaw, Poland,[4][5][6] named in memorial of him.

Spanish Civil War

In the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), – the Dabrowski Battalion and various Brigade-strength units (known in Polish as the Dąbrowszczacy) – were named in his honour. See Polish Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War.

Eastern Europe

Memorial—JAROSŁAW DĄBROWSKI House; Żytomierz, Ukraine, Sculptor Josef Tabachnyk.

See also


  1. Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Taylor & Francis. September 20, 2007. p. 160.
  2. Petit Robert: Noms Propres
  3. Horne, Alistair. The Fall of Paris. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 380.
  4. "Wojskowa Akademia Techniczna / Military University of Technology". wat.edu.pl.
  5. "Wojskowa Akademia Techniczna Warszawa ul. Gen. Sylwestra Kaliskiego 2". szkolnictwo.pl.
  6. ""Ogólnopolski Katalog Szkolnictwa", podręczniki online". szkolnictwo.pl.


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