Bolesław Roja. Legionowym szlakiem dowódcy czwartaków
Kozłowska, Aleksandra Anna
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The future commander of the 4th Legions’ Infantry Regiment was born on the 4th of April 1876 in the village of Bryńce Zagórne, Autrian Galicia. He grew up in a family of the forester. He completed the Imperial and Royal St Ann’s Gymnasium and in 1898 graduated from the Austro-Hungarian Army Cadet School (Kadettenschule) in Wiener Neustadt near Vienna. In 1899 Bolesław Roja was promoted to second lieutenant. He served in the 36th Land Defence Regiment (k.k. 36 Landwehrinfanterieregiment) in Kolomyia. In 1905 he was transferred to army reserve. Before World War I he cooperated with the Austro-Hungarian intelligence. In 1914 B. Roja joined the Polish Legions, at first in the 2nd Legions’ Infantry Regiment (the 2nd Brigade of the Polish Legions). In March 1915 r. he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and appointed the commander of the 4th Legions’ Infantry Regiment which joined the 3rd Brigade. The regiment was formed in Rozprza near Piotrków Trybunalski. In July 1915 B. Roja moved to the front to fight against the Imperial Russian Army. His regiment took a part in the battle of Jastków near Lublin (July 31-August 3, 1915) and later fought in the Volyn region. In September 1915 B. Roja got promoted to the rank of colonel. In December his regiment was moved to Optowa by the Styr River were the camp of the Polish Legions was set up. It was called the ”Roja’s Camp”. In the beginning of 1916 B. Roja organised the Colonel Council (Rada Pułkowników), a collective body of the Polish legionary officers. In July 1916 he took a part in the Battle of Kostyukhnivka (Kostiuchnówka) in the Volyn region. After the Oath Crisis (Kryzys Przysięgowy) in July 1917 B. Roja left the Polish Legions and rejoined the Austro-Hungarian Army. In 1918 he returned to Kraków where he took over former Austrian Military Command (late October). In November 1918 he was promoted to brigade general and named the commander of Kraków garrison. He served in the Polish Army untill 1922 when he was transferred to reserve. In 1928 B. Roja was elected to the parliament as a member of Stronnictwo Chłopskie peasant party. He frequently criticized Józef Piłsudski and sanacja government. In 1937 he was interned at the psychiatric ward of the Kraków military hospital. In March 1940 the general was arrested by the Germans and placed in Pawiak prison in Warsaw. In May he was transferred to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where he was murdered in a beastly way on the 27th May 1940.