For the past couple of weeks, I have been researching the battle of Lemberg (German) (1918 – 1920), the city is also known as Lwów (Polish) and Lviv (Ukrainian) depending on which decade of the twentieth century your studying. Presently the city is Lviv, although this occurred after my family left Galicia. So historically I prefer the Polish name of Lwów.
For this particular post, I am not going to refer too much about the battle even though the story is an incredibly patriotic one. The Lwów Eaglets were children and students and they defended their city, their schools, garden’s, homes and railway stations preceding the collapse of the Habsburg Empire and Ukraine looked greedily towards the city and decided it was theirs.
This post is about Leopold Kula (1896 – 1919) and a little reference to his interesting surname, which looks remarkably similar to my own. His biography references that the Kula family were descendants of the old knight’s family Kulów. So for me, this shortening of a surname is what is believed to have happened to my own ‘Kuta’, a shortened version of Kutowski.
Enjoy his biography
Leopold Kula (1896 – 1919)
Son of Tomasz Kula – a small landowner, descendant of the old knight’s family Kulów – Niemstów, who due to his large family accepted the government job as a railway official, and Elżbieta from Czaykowscy.
Leopold was born as the fourth child in the family. Kulów moved from Kosiny to Rzeszów, where it was easier to give children an education. In Rzeszów, in a small flat in a house at ul. Przybyszowska gave birth to the next four siblings.
The boy was raised mainly by his mother.
Soon, together with the three oldest children, Leopold attended the folk school and the Second Grammar School of the State CK, which now as Secondary School No. 2 at ul. Fr.. The barrow in Rzeszów bears his name.
At the age of 16, he organized a secret military organization with several colleagues. After his disintegration he joined the Scouting.
When in November 1911 he came to Rzeszów from Lviv with an inspection and instruction mission to create a scout movement in Galicia, Andrzej Małkowski, he was able to note with satisfaction that the young inhabitants of Rzeszów know the idea well and have mastered the basics of scouting.
Under the influence of the meeting with Andrzej Małkowski in Olszynka on Wisłok and his chat about the need to work on himself in the service of independent Poland, something new appeared in the characters of the Scouts of Rzeszów.
In the spring of 1912, in the face of the Russian-Austrian conflict over the Balkans, the hopes of independence grew in Galicia. Less than 16-year-old junior high school student Leopold Kula together with the “Lisów” team quickly, in the underground learn the secrets of the underground fight, practice fencing and drill. They meet in the forests near Głogów Młp. And Tyczyn.
In 1912 Leopold as one of the first joins the Riflemen’s Association organized in Rzeszów, in which he adopted the pseudonym << Lis & quot >>. This organization was closer to him, because unlike the scouting, influenced by the National Democrats, he derives from the socialist ideas he was acquainted with while acting in the circles of the Radiant.
He was attracted to Józef Piłsudski who, as the commander of the underground Riflemen’s Association, visited secret maneuvers in the vicinity of Jasło. . Piłsudski distinguished him with praise before the front of the shooters.
It was these exercises and commendation of the Commander that during the school holidays Leopold was sent to a secret officer’s course to Zakopane, who graduated with honors and received the rank of shooting officer. In 1913, the commander of the Rifle Association in Rzeszów, Rudolf Wilk, proposed after his departure Józef Nadzie, his candidacy for his deputy commander of the Strzelce District in Rzeszów. In Rzeszów hardly anyone thought that calm and serious a serious 16-year-old middle school student in the Riflemen’s Association had such a high and responsible function.
On August 5, 1914, at the head of the shooting company, he came to Cracow from Rzeszów. Here he was appointed commander of the 4th company in the group led by Mieczysław Trojanowski << Rysia >>.
18-year-old Leopold distinguished himself in the first battles near Kielce, where he commanded the 2nd company of the 5th Battalion of the Karasiewicz-Tokarzewski Legions.
Because the personnel’s staff were reduced, the command decided not to give him a permanent assignment. On the one hand, he could not have his own company, on the other he did not want to lower his rank, giving him the command of the platoon. His squad took part in several skirmishes, including Szczucin. Then, at the beginning of September, he fought in the area of Nowy Korczyn, where he led a fierce battle with the attacking Russians.
On October 9, 1914, he became a lieutenant. On the act of appointment, there are signatures of Józef Piłsudski and the chief of staff of Kazimierz Sosnkowski. At the same time, he was given the command of the 2nd company. He made a great impression during a hard fight at Krzywopłoty, where he commanded a unit hidden in the ruins of a medieval castle. After the first fairly calm day of war struggle, a storm started. November 18, 1914 weakly armed battalions IV and VI, without fire support, after a nearly 1200-meter walk through the exposed positions managed to get the village of Załęże. However, they were immediately fired by the Russian artillery. When everything seemed lost, mainly due to the lack of reaction of the Austrians, the commander of the VI battalion, Fleszer, decided to cast Lieutenant Kula’s company. After the daring action,
The second serious clash between the young lieutenant and the Russians took place near Łowczówek, where he managed to capture the Russian lines that had been lost by the Austrian army during the eve of the eve.
In the I Brigade of Legions, his fame of courageous and anticipating commander, caring for his subordinates grows. In the spring of 1915 Leopold fights with his unit on the line of Włostów and Ożarów, and when the First Brigade crosses the Vistula, he took part in the battles in the Lublin region. He participated in the fighting at Jastków, Kamionka, Kostiuchnówka, Kamienna and Kukla. In the hustle and bustle of battle, somewhere near Sandomierz, he remembers his high school exam. Between the battles he was able to learn French fluently and studied the works of Kant, Nietzsche and Spinoza. In trenches, he taught illiteracy and – which is particularly amazing – he ran a sports club.
During the war, during a vacation in January 1915, before the commission of professor Klisiewiczazdał, in the secondary school in Wadowice, the secondary school-leaving examination.
In 1917, refusing to take the oath of allegiance to the Austrian authorities, he was interned. After the official dissolution of the Legions (as an Austrian citizen) he is sent to the Austrian officer’s school, which he ends in autumn 1917 and is assigned to the assault battalion, which is actually a Slavic unit, consisting of Czechs, Poles and Slovaks. During service in the Austrian army, he entered into a conflict with the command of the right to wear legionary decorations. Eventually, he was sent to the rear after suffering heavy wounds at the Battle of Cordellazzo.
After returning to Poland in 1918, he began to create Polish armed forces behind the eastern front. At the age of 22, he became the first Commander of the POW Square in Kiev. He led sabotage operations there. His legions grew in Polish Legions. He was a favorite of Józef Piłsudski, a talented commander, an extremely brave soldier. He was entrusted with the most difficult parts of the fight, including in Ukraine. December 17, 1918 promoted to the rank of major. At the turn of 1918-1919 he took part in the relief of Lwów against the Ukrainian army. On the Ukrainian front he held a series of victorious skirmishes. On the night of March 6, 1919, he led the Polish soldiers to attack the town of Torczyn occupied by Ukrainians, mostly inhabited by Poles. The battle for the city was extremely fierce, during the attack on the enemy lines on the night of March 6, Lis-Kula was wounded in the groin.
He was one of the most talented Polish officers. Posthumously promoted to lieutenant colonel, and then verified as an infantry colonel (with seniority from April 1, 1920). Decorated with the Cross of the Virtuti Military Order of the 5th class and the Cross of Independence with Swords. His funeral in Rzeszów became a great patriotic manifestation. Colonel Leopold Lis-Kula was buried in the cemetery at Pobitno. During the funeral ceremony a wreath was placed with the inscription “To my brave boy – Józef Piłsudski”.
The name of the young legionnaire was called many streets and objects in Poland, and even an armored train, songs were arranged about him, for most junior high school students he became a model worth imitating.
In 1937, the name of Leopold Lisa-Kula was awarded to the 5th Middle School in Bródno (today XIII High School).
On March 8, 1939, the Minister of the Interior, to commemorate the merits of the Colonel, gave the colony established on land separated from the Smoligów state forestry, in the municipality of Torczyn, the name “Cologne Lisa-Kuli” .
In 1939 he became the patron of the 23rd Infantry Regiment in Włodzimierz Wołyński.
From March 7, 1991, Second High School in Rzeszów is named after Colonel Leopold Lisa-Kuli.
November 11, 1989, was established in Rzeszów VIII Rzeszów Drużyna Harcerzy im. Leopold Lis-Kuli