Jan and Kacper


Jan, called Janek, three years younger than Maria, was also born in Vilnius. He received his education at the same gymnasium as his older brothers, and did not repeat any school year. Bronisław noted, “… as Daddy said, he will ride a horse very well, now he is ridding almost every draft horse in Zułów, to be sure.” From 1892 to 1894, he studied at the gymnasium in Lipawa, where he received his high school diploma. Then he studied law in Moscow, but was expelled from the university because of his activities in a Polish student organization. He completed his studies in 1904 in Kazan, earning the title of assistant attorney. Two years later, he married a 24-year-old noble woman Maria Zabłocka in the St. Antony’s Church in Vitebsk. In the family, she was called Maryniutka. A year after their wedding, she stayed in Zakopane for medical treatment and recovery. In his letters, Bronisław wrote, “… with Maryniutka I played cards and we played a lot. She laughed and made sure that Janek remembered her more than you remembered me.”

Jan and Kacper
Photo from the collection of the Józef Piłsudski Family Foundation

Maria Piłsudska died of pneumonia in Vilnius at the age of 40. She was buried in a family grave at the Rossa Cemetery. After her death, Jan became a member of the Sejm (lower chamber of parliament) of Central Lithuania, a member of the Polish Sejm from the list of the BBWR party in 1928-1931, and a deputy speaker of the Polish Sejm in 1930-1931. From 27 May 1931 to 6 September 1932, he served as the Minister of Treasury in Alexander Prystor’s government. From 1932 to 1937, he was the Vice-President of the Bank of Poland. A member of the governing body of the Society for the Development of Eastern Lands and a founder of the National-State Union, he was awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta in 1927, and ten years later, he received the Grand Ribbon of that Order. He was also awarded the Cross of Independence. Thanks to him, diaries of his brother Bronisław from the years 1882-1885 found their way to the Wróblewski Library in Vilnius. After the aggression of the USSR against Poland, he was arrested by the NKVD and taken to the Lubianka Prison in Moscow. Released in the summer of 1941 as a result of the Sikorski-Mayski agreement, he was evacuated from the USSR. Since then, he was in exile in the United Kingdom, where on 21 December 1950 he died of a heart attack at the Polish Hospital in Penley. He is buried at the cemetery in Wrexham and has a symbolic grave at the Powązki Cemetery in Warszawa.

Kacper, nicknamed Kacperek, was born two years after Ludwika. He was baptized at St. John’s Church in Vilnius. This is how Bronisław saw his brother, who was 15 years younger, “Kacperek, stubborn, spoiled, used to having everyone act the way he wanted.” Like Jan, Kacper studied at the gymnasium in Lipawa, but completed only two classes. He later stayed with his father in St. Petersburg. He probably suffered from kleptomania. He did not start a family. He died in Vilnius on 28 July 1915 at the age of 36. He was buried at the Rossa Cemetery “, next to his sister Helena and aunt Stefania Lipmanówna.”

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