The May 3rd, 1791 Constitution was the first liberal constitution in Europe and second in the world, after the Constitution of the United States. The Polish Constitution was deemed too dangerous by the tyranny of absolutism still rampant in Europe. Thus Russia, Prussia and Austria decided to wipe out "the Polish cancer of freedom" from the face of the earth. In 1795 partitioned Poland ceased to exist as a state and in terms of national life, she lost the entire 19th Century, being reborn in 1918 at the conclusion of WWI. The Declaration of the Constitution, a famous painting by Jan Matejko.
In short: The Constitution was abolished by Russia and Prussia together with Polish aristocrats (Targowica members, commonly considered traitors in Polish historical memory) who opposed any reforms and the second partition took place in 1793.
It was a catastrophy for the state, that`s why an insurection broke out led by T. Kosciuszko.
During the insurection the riots took place in Warsaw and angry mob dragged imprisoned Targowica traitors to the market square where they were hanged.
Those who had escaped imprisonment, had their portraits hanged.
This thread is about Polish traitors. Who are Polish heroes? Guys who fought for the Polish cause. Who are Polish traitors? Guys who betrayed the Polish cause.
Who shall go first?
In my opinion, the makers and supporters of Targowica Confederacy in 18 century.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Targowica_Confederation The Targowica Confederation was a confederation established by Polish and Lithuanian magnates on 27 April 1792, in Saint Petersburg, with the backing of the Russian Empress Catherine II. The confederation opposed the Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791, which had been adopted by the Great Sejm, especially the provisions limiting the privileges of the nobility. The text of founding act of the confederation was written by the Russian general Vasili Stepanovich Popov. Four days later two Russian armies invaded the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth without a formal declaration of war. The forces of the Targowica Confederation defeated the forces loyal to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Sejm and King Stanisław August Poniatowski in the Polish–Russian War of 1792. Their victory precipitated the Second Partition of Poland and set the stage for the Third Partition and the final dissolution of the Commonwealth in 1795. The nickname "targowiczanin", describing the supporter of this confederation, became a negative political epithet in Poland, akin to "foolish traitor", still used up to the modern day
What happened to Targowica noble members?
Some were hanged be revolted masses:
Szymon Marcin Kossakowski - A supporter of the Russian Empire during the Kościuszko Uprising and earlier, he was deemed a traitor. In the aftermath of the Wilno Uprising he tried to escape by boat, but was captured and hanged in the town hall square of Vilnius with the inscription of He who swings will not drown and was interred in the cellars of the church in Jonava.
Count Stanisław Szczęsny Potocki -Marshal of the Confederation. Sentenced to death, but never apprehended. Instead, on September 29, 1794, his portrait was hanged. In 1795 he was rewarded by Catherine the Great with the Russian Order of Alexander Nevsky and the rank of general en chef.
Two quotes from him: After the signing of the Targowica Confederation:"Each true Pole, not blinded by the Prussian and royalist cabal, is convinced, that our Fatherland can only be saved by Russia, otherwise our nation will be enslaved".
"About past Poland and Poles . Gone is this country, and this name, as many others have perished in the world's history. I am now a Russian forever."
Iwo Sym was a known actor before WW2. When Germans occupied Poland, he openly cooperated with them. For that he was killed by the Polish underground.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Igo_Sym After September 1, 1939, Sym stayed in Warsaw. Known before the war for his pro-German stance, the actor signed the Volksliste, as a Volksdeutscher. Due to his widespread fame, the Germans regarded him a crucial element of legitimization of the new authorities. So, the propaganda department of the General Government gave him the post of the director of German “Theater der Stadt Warschau”. Sym was the director of the “Nur Fur Deutsche” (“Only for Germans”) cinema, “Palladium”, and owner of “Teatr Komedia”. Some time in late 1939, Sym became a Gestapo agent. Also, according to the preserved documents, the actor had been cooperating with Berlin before September 1, 1939. At the beginning of the war he helped to organize a trap, in which Hanna Ordonówna was caught (Ordonówna had been Sym's pre-war partner on the screen and his friend from Warsaw's theaters). Polish resistance quickly found out about this, and a group of agents, led by “Teatr Komedia” actor Roman Niewiarowicz, started to trace his activities. On October 10, 1941 in Berlin's Ufa-Palast theatre, the film Heimkehr debuted. The film, Nazi propaganda, told the story about pre-1939 German minority in Polish Volhynia. The Germans, presented as noble, peace-loving people, were brutally persecuted by vicious Poles. In the final scene, Polish soldiers lead arrested Germans to an execution, however German airplanes and tanks appear, saving the whole community. Igo Sym did not play in this film, but he actively cooperated in the production, finding Polish actors willing to take part. Several actors refused, including Kazimierz Junosza-Stępowski. Finally, he found some individuals, who were accepted by director Gustav Ucicky. After the war, these actors were punished for cooperating with the Germans. In early 1941, the headquarters of the underground Polish resistance group Związek Walki Zbrojnej (ZWZ) decided to liquidate the collaborator. Sym’s behavior was loudly trumpeted by the Nazis, and his assassination would show the Poles that the underground movement was active, always ready to punish all traitors. At first, the ZWZ planned to poison the actor, but later decided to shoot him instead. At 7:10 a.m. on March 7, 1941, two Polish agents knocked at the door of Sym's 4th floor apartment at 10 Mazowiecka Street in Warsaw. The agents – Rogoliński and Roman “Srebrny” Rozmiłowski – told Sym that they were mailmen, carrying a dispatch. Both were covered by Wiktor “Mały” Klimaszewski. On opening the door, Sym was asked to confirm his name, which he did. One of the agents then shot Sym dead with a Vis pistol.
Wac³aw Krzeptowski - a Highlander who collaborated with Nazi Germans. A tragic figure. Some historians claim that by betraying Poland he tried to save his Highland compatriots from Nazi repressions. Others contradict and perceive him as blatant traitor.
Wac³aw Krzeptowski (24 June 1897, Ko¶cielisko - 20 January 1945, Zakopane) was one of the leaders of the Goralenvolk during World War II. Before the German occupation he had been chairman of the People's Party (SL) in Nowy Targ. In the early years of the war, he lobbied Hans Frank in favor of his plan to establish an independent state for his ethnic group in southern Poland. This project proved to be a failure due to lack of support among the local population.During the German-Soviet war, Krzeptowski tried to recruit soldiers for his "Goralen legion" (also referred to as Goralische Division SS) to fight alongside the Axis Powers. The attempt ended in a complete fiasco as out of the initial 300 able bodied recruits (from the entire Podhale region) all but twelve deserted within a short time or were sent to concentration camps by the Germans for insubordination. At the end of the war, he refused to flee to Germany and instead hid out in the Tatry mountains of his native region. In December 1944 he was tracked down and captured by the Home Army. He was tried for high treason, sentenced to death by hanging by his own brother, Julian Krzeptowski, a Home Army member, and executed.
Goralenvolk was the name given by the German Nazis in World War II during their occupation of Poland to the population of Podhale in the south near the Slovakian border. They postulated a different ethnicity for that population, in an effort to divide the Polish people. The word was derived from the Polish word for people of the region, Górale (the Highlanders). There Germans suggested this group were part of the Greater Germanic Race and worthy of separate treatment from the rest of the Poles.
The Gorals (Górale) were considered by the Nazis to be a part of the "Greater Germanic Race". Nazi ideology claimed that a significant fraction of their ancestry was descended from ethnic Germans who allegedly settled in this region during medieval times. For example, the 1885 Meyers Lexicon entry under Goralen states, that Germans (also) lived in that area in the 11th century and were slavicized.  German occupation
The region inhabited by Górale (pre-war Polish Nowy Targ County in Podhale) was annexed by Germany immediately after the Invasion of Poland in 1939. Later, the German authorities attempted to assimilate the population into the body of Volksdeutsche, and to encourage collaboration with the occupying forces. Soon, a group of collaborators formed under the leadership of Witalis Wieder, Henryk Szatkowski, Wac³aw Krzeptowski, his cousins Stefan and Andrzej Krzeptowski and Józef Cukier. The latter five proposed to establish a separate state for Goralenvolk during a visit to Governor-General Hans Frank on 7th November 1939.
A census conducted in 1940 showed that 72% of the local Goralenvolk population identified as Polish rather than ethnic German. This result was a great disappointment to the collaborators and the occupiers alike. After attempts to revive the idea during the following years proved unsuccessful, the Germans abandoned the project in 1943. With the arrival of the Allied troops towards the end of the war, the short-lived existence of the so-called Goralenvolk became a footnote of history.
Before the war, Boles³aw Piasecki was a prominent leader of ultra right wing nationalist movement. In interwar Poland he was one of the more prominent nationalist politicians, playing an important role in the leadership of Obóz Narodowo-Radykalny. In 1934 he was interned in Bereza Kartuska. After his release, he became the leader of the illegal, extreme right faction ONR-Falanga. This organisation advocated "Catholic totalitarianism" and is considered by many to have been a fascist movement.
After the war, facing the execution by Soviet NKVD secret police, he joined the communists and became a provocateur whose task was to break the unity of the Polish Church. After the war, in 1945, he cofounded and directed a so-called social progressive movement of lay Catholics, grouped around the weekly publication "Dzi¶ i Jutro". In 1947 he created the PAX Association and was the chairman of its governing body (until his death). Until 1956, during the period of Stalinism, this organisation was one of the main tools employed by the Communist regime to decrease the influence of the Catholic Church in Poland. It had almost an exclusive right to publish "Catholic" publications. In return, it vocally supported anti-church actions taken by the government. After 1956, the importance of PAX diminished (and Piasecki's role along with it), though it remained a prominent organisation until 1989 and its successors still exist today.
He created PAX: PAX Association (Polish: Stowarzyszenie PAX) mainly pro-communist secular catholic organization, created in 1947 in Poland. At the beginning it worked to undermine grass-roots support for the Roman Catholic Church. Created by Boles³aw Piasecki, it attempted to compete over public issues with the right-wing clergy during the Stalinist era (1945–1956). It took over the Polish branch of Caritas, supported the trial and imprisonment of many Polish clergymen, among them bishop Czes³aw Kaczmarek and cardinal Stefan Wyszyñski. According to Norman Davies PAX was an NKVD front organisation, set up to win Polish Catholics over to communism and to break their links to the Vatican. It maintained a presence in the Sejm, winning for example five seats in the 1969 election. After 1956, together with many other similar government initiatives, it was toned down and took a more compromising position, in some regards even supporting the anti-communist resistance in Poland, although officially it supported the communist government of the People's Republic of Poland until the fall of communism. After 1982 it was a member of the Patriotic Movement for National Rebirth. Throughout the decades after its creation and the death of Stalin, it continued to steadily lose power and influence, although it still exists in modern Poland. At all times it was financed by the government as a fake opposition. There were number of collaborators from within the clergy, who were lured by free state benefits, including lavish state pensions (unavailable to clergy otherwise).