Introduction to Polish Plebiscites

After World War I, the Polish state had to be re-established. In the Treaty of Versailles (France, 1919), it was decided to conduct plebiscites in areas with mixed populations. Such areas were Upper Silesia (Górny Śląsk in Polish) , Marienwerder (Kwidzyn, a West Prussian area), Allenstein (Olsztyn, a town in the Mazurian lake district) and the Silesian town of Cieszyń on the Polish-Czechoslovakian border. The plebiscites were conducted in 1920 and 1921.

A plebiscite, or referendum, is a direct vote of the people of a country to decide a matter of national importance. In this case, the popular votes determined that a country's territory was ceded to another country or not.


Plebiscite (or: Referendum)
Treaty of Versailles
Górny Śląsk (Upper Silesia)
Kwidzyn (Marienwerder)
Olsztyn (Allenstein)
Cieszyń Silesia
Military Inter-Allied Commission of Control
Afermath of World War I
Upper Silesia plebiscite
History of Cieszyń and Tesin
Autonomous Silesian voivodship
Polish corridor
German Empire
East Prussia
West Prussia
District of West Prussia
Posen - West Prussia
Weimar Republic
Second Polish Republic
Mazurians (ethnic group)
Causes of World War II