from "Die Gnatowskis. Die Geschichte einer masowischen Familie" by Alfred von der Lehr
ISBN-Nr: 3-00-005311-5


Gnatowski, Antoni, born 1863 as a son of Dominik in Wilna, noble descent, Polish revolutionary1).

He graduated from the railway school in Wilna. He participated in the organized revolutionary circle of Appelberg and was arrested in 1882. After serving his sentence he stood under police surveillance until 1885. In the years 1886 to 1887, he was an activist in the political circle "Narodnaya Volya" under the leadership of the functionary Dembo.

On A.J. Ulianow's2) (Aleksandr Ulyanov) instruction, in the year 1887 he met with M. Kanczer, B. PiƂsudski, and T. Passkowski to prepare a bomb attack on the Czar. After the attack on 01 March 1887 he fled abroad on 04 March 1887 out of fear of an arrest.

In the years 1888 to 1889 he stayed in Switzerland in Geneva and Zurich under the name Prekker. In Zurich, together with a group around Dembo, he installed a laboratory for explosives. Under the influence of A. Gnatowski and his friends, the Russian groups "Rosyjska Czytelnia" (Russian Library) and "Kasa Samopomocowa" (Cashier's office of self-help) took a revolutionary direction.

On 06 March 1889, a bomb exploded during work at the laboratory. Dembo was killed. The Russian government in the years 1887 and 1889 to 1890 carried out investigations that yielded that Gnatowski participated in the attempt on the czar's life in March 1887 and that he is staying in Switzerland in Zurich. Both investigations were interrupted until an arrest. Since 1890, Gnatowski was under permanent surveillance by agents of the Russian secret police3).

After he was obliged to leave Switzerland, Gnatowski traveled to Paris. There he also worked further with explosives. In the year 1897 he came in close contact with Burzew and to the participation in the work in the Russian revolution committee. Antoni Gnatowski became a member of this committee and worked abroad. He was also one of the editors of the magazine "Russkij Robocij" (Russian Worker). In the year 1901, Gnatowski tried to entrust J. Rubanowicz, L. Szyszko, J. Nachamski, N. Rusanow - he was a member of the special-committee - with the task of coordinating all the revolution groups which were active abroad. The date of Gnatowski's death is unknown.

1) The failure of the so-called Polish rebellion in the birth year of the future revolutionary already marks the star, under which his further life stood. See in addition dtv-Atlas of the world history, Book. 2, Munich 1976 (11th Edition), P. 51 and P. 69. See again: Poland, a Historical Panorama, Warsaw 1983, here: P. 102 FF. To the place of birth Vilnius see the references in section 1 and 2.3. See also the report over the negotiations by Andreas Gnadcovius: Chapter 3.

2) A.J. Ulianow should be Alexander, the brother of Vladimir Iljitch Lenin, who was executed 1887.

3) The political police "Ochrana" (Protection), founded in 1881 was in charge of a wide network of agents and denunciators. Like its younger follower, for example "Stasi" this organization not only spied on their own people but also used its knowledge for the cause of agitation and propaganda. See dtv-Atlas of the World History, book 2. Munich 1976 (11th Edition), p. 111.