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  • Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

     

  • POLISH DIPLOMACY ARCHIVE

  • 15 July 2015

    In July 1945, Iceland recognised the Provisional Government of National Unity. This decision opened the way for establishing official relations and exchanging diplomatic representatives.

    Although Poland and Iceland did not sustain official diplomatic relations during the interwar period, they did establish contacts—they signed a trade and navigation treaty in 1924, and in July 1934 Michał Sokolnicki, the Polish envoy in Copenhagen, paid an official visit to Reykjavik. He arrived in Iceland on board the SS Kościuszko steamship and, as he emphasised in his report: “the nature of my official visit to the Icelandic government was enhanced by the fact that for the first time the Polish flag appeared in Reykjavik.” Sokolnicki expressed a very positive view of the visit, commenting that “the sight of the Polish flag flying over those distant waters in both Iceland, united with Denmark by a personal union, and on Denmark’s Faroe Islands—made an impression on the authorities there and was, as it were, a real revelation of Poland’s existence.” During his visit, Sokolnicki held talks with Iceland’s Prime Minister, Ásgeir Ásgeirsson, who returned his visit and attended a special lunch hosted in his honour on board the SS Kościuszko.

     

    When World War Two ended, Iceland, on 13 July 1945, recognised the Provisional Government of National Unity. The Polish government was notified of the fact through the Polish embassy in Moscow. A visit to Poland by Pétur Benediktsson, Iceland’s envoy to the USSR, who came with a trade mission at the turn of September and October 1945, served as another occasion for talks on formalising relations. During a meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Zygmunt Modzelewski it was agreed that Poland and Iceland would establish diplomatic relations at the legation level, but will not open diplomatic posts. Poland was to be represented in Iceland by the Polish envoy in Oslo, while the Icelandic envoy to the USSR would be accredited in Warsaw. Diplomatic relations were officially established in January 1946 by an exchange of notes transmitted through Moscow-based diplomatic representations of Poland and Iceland.

     

    A Polish People’s Republic consulate in Reykjavik was not opened until 1956, and was later converted into a legation. In 1962, diplomatic missions were raised to the rank of embassies.

     

    Archive materials

     

    On the 70th anniversary of establishing Polish-Icelandic relations, the MFA is making public a number of documents from the 1945-1948 period that illustrate the process of establishing bilateral relations and appointing diplomatic representatives.

     

    The gallery contains copies of letters of credence of the first Polish envoy to Iceland, Mieczysław Rogalski, and the credentials of the first Icelandic envoy to Warsaw, Pétur Benediktsson. The gallery also features a copy of a Polish note of 24 January 1946, which confirmed the establishment of relations and the exchange of diplomatic representatives, and the text of a cable communicating the recognition of the Provisional Government of National Unity.

     

    Below you can find the following dokuments presented as pdf files:

     

    report by the first Polish envoy Mieczysław Rogalski from 1946, made after the credentials ceremonies 

     

    report by the second envoy Józef Giebułtowicz from 1948

     

    set of documents illustrating the proces of establishing diplomatic relations between Poland and Iceland

     

    ***

    The originals of the presented documents are kept in the Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the quoted report by Michał Sokolnicki is deposited at the Józef Piłsudski Institute in New York and was published in Polish Diplomatic Documents 1934.

     

     

    Cable of the Polish Embassy in Moscow notifying the MFA of the recognition of the Provisional Government of National Unity, 15 July 1945 (MFAA)
    Cable of the Polish Embassy in Moscow notifying the MFA of the recognition of the Provisional Government of National Unity, 15 July 1945 (MFAA)
    Polish note of 24 January 1946, which cofirmed the exchange of diplomatic representatives (MFAA)
    Polish note of 24 January 1946, which cofirmed the exchange of diplomatic representatives (MFAA)
    Copy of the letters of credence of Mieczysław Rogalski, 6 March 1946, page 1 (MFAA)
    Copy of the letters of credence of Mieczysław Rogalski, 6 March 1946, page 1 (MFAA)
    Copy of the letters of credence of Mieczysław Rogalski, 6 March 1946, page 2 (MFAA)
    Copy of the letters of credence of Mieczysław Rogalski, 6 March 1946, page 2 (MFAA)
    The speech of the first Icelandic envoy to Warsaw, made during the presentation of credentials to the president of the State National Council, Bolesław Bierut, 27 September 1946 (MFAA)
    The speech of the first Icelandic envoy to Warsaw, made during the presentation of credentials to the president of the State National Council, Bolesław Bierut, 27 September 1946 (MFAA)
    Letters of credence of Petur Benediktsson, 5 February 1946 (AMSZ)
    Letters of credence of Petur Benediktsson, 5 February 1946 (AMSZ)

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