Popiel Wlodzimierz, pseud. Karyj, Lom, Lomonosow, Jur, Jurczenko (1893 - 1963), a bricklayer, later a building engineer, communist activist. Born on July 19 in Przemysl, he was a son of Daniel and Eufrozyna Rempel. During 1905-7 he was a stone mason apprentice then a mason journeyman and a master mason. In first half of the 1907 he became a member of the youth group of the Ukrainian Socialdemocratic Party (USDP), and shortly, a full member and a treasurer of a local group. He co-operated also in distributing the literature of the Russian socialdemocrats. In August 1914 he was mobilized to the Austrian army and attached to the sapper (combat enginners) detachment. In 1915 he was wounded in Carpathian Mountains and afterwards, detached to the construction corpus, he worked on the army projects constructed by the Russian POW's. In 1917 he was sent to the Italian war theatre, where he stayed till end of 1918. After his return to Przemysl he joined Ukrainian forces in their fight against Poland. During Ukrainian retreat he contracted typhus and was interned by Polish forces.

After his release in 1920 Popiel worked as a mason. He took a part in organization of first illegal communist groups in Przemysl area, and together with Stanislaw Lancucki organized strike of the railroad workers during Polish army move against Kijow. In 1920 he was elected to the board of the Workers' Health Insurance in Przemysl. At the end of 1920 he became a member of the Provisional Central Committee of the Communist Party of Eastern Galicia (KPGW). In February 1921 after breakup of KPGW into proponents of the political independence called breakers, and  partisans of the close ties with Central Committee (KC) of the Polish Communist Workers Party (KPRP), called kprpies, Popiel declared with breakers. Since July to October of 1921he was an editor in chief and one of the publishers of the "Robotnicaja Gazeta" in Przemysl. He was a part to the conference aiming at joining together broken up party and was a member of three-oerson presidium of the conference on 10-30-1921 in Lwow. Arrested in first day of the conference, he was brought to the court of law and during the hearings at the Lviv Circuit Criminal Court his case was dismissed (Oct. 22, 1921 to Jan. 11, 1923). During his stay in the jail Popiel took a part in a contest for the worker's biography organized by the Social Institute of the Poznan University and he was granted second award for his work (600 pages of the manuscript).

Upon leaving the prison, Popiel became a member (March 25, 1923) of the KC KPGW (breakers) and earlier, took part in the conference of USDP on March 17, 1923, became a member of the Central Committee and a Secretary General, and became a member of the editorial team of "Zemlja i Volja" in Lwow. In KC KPGW he was responsible for party's work with trade unions. Also he took part in the union conference of the existing KPGW branches on May 23, 1923 and became a member of the Central Committee of the united party and a delegate to the conference of KPRP (19 IX - 2 X 1923), in Bolshewo near Moscow. After several members of the KC KPGW was arrested, Popiel became a temporary member of the party secretariat. The fifth conference of KPZU in Charkow (April 12 through 26, 1924) appointed Popiel a member of the Central Committee and a delegate to the plenary conference of KC KPZU (4-16-1924). The plenum appointed Popiel a member of the secretariat of KC KPZU. He took part in another plenar conference (8 - 10 VI 1924), where he was appointed a delegate to the Fifth Congress of the Communist International. During August 21 through 23, 1924 he was a delegate to the KC KPZU session in Gdansk, where he was appointed to the Financial Control Committee of the Foreign Assistance Bureau for the Revolutionary Movement of the Western Ukraine (Zakordonne Bjuro Dopomohy Revoljucyjnomu Ruchovi na Zachidnij Ukraini - ZBD) in Berlin, and he was relieved as a Central Committee of the KPZU member. In 1924 he published in Lviv his brochure Profspilki i revoljucjini robitniki.

In the second half of 1925 Popiel was sent to Charkow and in November he became a member of the Russian Communist Party (bolsheviks) [RKP(b)] with seniority since 1920; as a responsible worker of the Central Committee of Communist Party (bolsheviks) of Ukraina [KP(b)U] he was appointed a secretary of the Political Emigrats section at Central Committee of the International Organization of Relief for Ukraine Revolutionists. He was also a co-worker of the ZBD that hedquarters were moved from Berlin to Charkow. Then he became an instructor at the building concern "Industoj" and later at the management of the construction company "Ukril sojuz". From there he was sent to KPZU as a KP(b)U representative and took part in the IV Congress of the Polish Communist Party (KPP) (from July 22 to August 9, 1927 near Moscow). The congress elected him a member of the Central Committee of KPP. Since September 1927 to the end of 1928 Popiel was in Gdansk, in the headquarters of the party leadership there. He was a member of the Ukrainian commission organized by the Executive Committee of the Communist International examining the matters of the breakage of the KPZU. As a KP(b)U representative he took part in the Political Bureau of the KC KPZU VIII plenary meeting (October 1927), where he was chosen a deputy member of the KC KPZU, and in Political Bureau of the KC KPZU meeting (September 25, 1927 in Charkow). During 1928 through 1932 he was a depyty member of the KC KP(b)U in Charkow, where he was staying till October 1930. He worked in the construction company, later in the construction co-operative ("Ukrzilkoopstroj") and was a building sub-code official for Charkow. During 1930-1933 he studied engineering at the Building Construction School of the Joseph Stalin Industrial Academy and graduated at the end of the period. Twice was he verified as a party member: in 1929 and 1933. He worked as a Chief Engineer at the sixth building concern in Kijow. There, in effect of the false accusation he was fired, then arrested, taken to Charkow and sentenced to 10 years of the labor camp; he was released in November of 1945. In December 1951 he was again sentenced to deportation and settling under administrative control in Uchta. In 1956 he was rehabilitated and in 1958 he repatriated to Poland, in June 1958 he received a Polish United Workers Party (PZPR) i.d. and also in 1958 he was decorated with 1st class Order of the Labor Standard. For some time he was a secretary of no. 3 midtown PZPR organization.

He died on August 7, 1963 in Warsaw and was buried on August 10, 1963 at the Powoazki Military Cemetery in Warsaw.

There is no information on Popiel's family life except that in 1963, several days before his death, he married Zofia Skwierczynska.


Fot. (z lat przedwojennych) w Centr. Arch. KC PZPR: sygn. 5787;  - Masotas V.V., Komunisticna Partija Zachidnoi Ukrainy. Bibliograficnuj pokazcyk materialiv i publikacii za 1919 - 1967r., Lviv 1969 poz. 692, 693, 2439, 2463, 2470, 3698; - Iwanski G., Powstanie i dzialalnosc Zwiazku Proletariatu Miast i Wsi 1922 - 1925, W. 1974; Radziejowski J., Komunistyczna Partia Zachodniej Ukrainy 1919 - 1929. Wezlowe problemy ideologiczne, Kr. 1976; Swietlikowa F., Komunistyczna Partia Robotnicza Polski 1918 - 1923, W. 1968; Willner J., Dzieje ruchu rewolucyjnego ziemi przemyskiej (Matreialy i wspomnienia), Rzeszow 1961 s. 7, 22, 24, 36; - Na coli vyzvolonoj borotby. Spohady kolisnych aktyvnych dijaciv Komunisticnoj Partii Zachidnoi Ukrainy, Kyiv 1965 s. 53, 61; Pjatyj Vsemirnyj Kongress Komunisticeskogo Internacionala 17 ijunja - 8 ijulia 1924 goda. Stenograficeskij otcet. Cast vtoraja (prilozenija), Moskva - Leningrad 1925 s. 242; Proces komunistow we Lwowie (sprawa swietojurska). W. 1958 s. 3, 140, 555, 562; Tesljuk M.M., U borotbi za vozzednannja (slorinky spohadiv), Lviv 1979 s. 39, 61, 66-8, 74. 75, 93-9, 103-6, 109-19, 114, 116, 117, 122, 123, 125, 126-7, 133-6, 149, 154, 226, 240; - "Nowy Przegl." (Reedycja) 1922, W. 1957 s. 515; "Prikarpatska Pravda" 1963 nr z 16 VIII (nekrolog); "Tryb. Ludu" 1963 nr 218 s 5 (nekrolog), nr 219 s 2 (fot.); "Ukrainsky Scodenni Visti" Charkiv 1924 nr z 28 VI; "Vilna Ukraina" 1962 nr z 28 XI, 1963 nr z 10 VIII (wspomnienie posmiertne); "Visti" Charkiv 1924 nr z 8 VI; "Z Pola Walki" 1958, 1959, 1967, 1969; - Centr. Arch. KC PZPR, Referat opieki i pomocy: sygn. 734/237.

Gereon Iwanski

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