Lieberman, Herman

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LIEBERMAN, HERMAN (1870–1941), Polish lawyer and Socialist politician. Born in Drogobycz, Galicia, into an assimilated family, Lieberman joined the Polish Socialist Party of Galicia and Silesia and became one of its leaders. In 1907 he entered the Austrian parliament, where he was considered one of its most gifted speakers. During World War i he fought in the Polish Legion on the Russian front. When Poland regained her independence at the end of the war, he became a member of its parliament (1919–30), and was one of the authors of the democratic constitution of 1921. He was a member of the Central Council of the Polish Socialist Party from 1920 to 1929. He was a noted advocate, and distinguished himself as defense counsel in the famous case of Polish legionnaires in Mármaras-sziget (Sighet) in 1918. After the Pilsudski coup d'état in 1926, Lieberman led the opposition to the regime in parliament. In 1930 he was sentenced to three years' imprisonment, but escaped to Czechoslovakia and later went to France. He was the spokesman for the radical wing of the Polish Socialist Party in exile and cooperated with the Communists in organizing help for the Republicans during the Spanish Civil War. In 1940 he moved to London and a year later was appointed minister of justice in the Polish government-in-exile, thus becoming the first Jew in a Polish cabinet.

add. bibliography:

H. Piasecki, Sekcja zydowska ppsd i zydowska partia socjalno demokratyczna (1982), index; C. Kozlowski, Zarys dziejow Polskiego Ruchu Robotniczego do 1948 roku (1980), index; M. Leczyk, Sprawa Brzeska (1987), index; A. Tymieniecka, Warszawska organizacja PPS 19181939 (1982), index.

[Abraham Wein]