Poles! Kościuszko and Pułaski Fought for the Liberty of Poland and Other Nations. Follow Their Example. Enlist in the Polish Army!


This World War I poster invokes the memory of two illustrious Poles who fought in the American Revolution, Tadeusz Kościuszko (1746–1817) and Kazimierz Pułaski (1747–79), to encourage men of Polish origin living in the United States to enlist in the Polish army. Poland had been partitioned by Russia, Prussia, and the Austrian Empire in 1795, and its sovereignty was not restored until 1918. There thus was no independent Poland during World War I. But many Poles believed that the cause of national independence could be furthered by supporting Britain, France, and Russia against the Central Powers, Germany and Austria-Hungary, especially after December 1916, when Tsar Nicholas II declared that one of Russia’s war aims was an independent Poland. An estimated 20,000 Poles living in the United States signed up to join a Polish army that was formed in 1917 to fight on French soil. This poster is by Wladyslaw Theodor Benda (1873–1948), who was born in Poznań, Poland. He studied art in Kraków, Poland, and Vienna, Austria, and immigrated to the United States in 1911, where he worked as a painter, illustrator, and designer.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Polacy! Kościuszko i Pułaski walczyli za wolność Polski i innych narodów! Idźmy w ich ślady! Hej na bój z wrogiem odwiecznym Polski i wolności!

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print (poster) : lithograph, color ; 90 x 68 centimeters



  1. “Wladyslaw Teodor Benda (1873—1948),” The Kosciuszko Foundation, http://www.thekf.org/about/gallery/artists/Benda/.

Last updated: February 10, 2014