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Karol Liebelt

Karol Liebelt A Polish philosopher and politician, born on April 8, 1807 in Poznan in an artisan's family. During 1826-30, Liebelt studied philosophy, classical languages and natural sciences at the Berlin University where he earned his doctorate for the thesis "De pantheismo in philosophia" prepared under G. F. Hegel. At the beginning of 1831, Liebelt went to the Congress Kingdom to take part in the November Rising as an artillery soldier. Upon his return to Poznan, Prussian authorities made it impossible for him to work as a teacher. He supported himself and his family on income from a landholding inherited by his wife. The 1840s were a period of intensive scientific activity; his most important philosophical works, i.a. "On the love of the homeland", "On the moral courage", "Philosophy and criticism", were written then. He strove to create a system of Slavic philosophy which, by referring to the world view of Slavic peoples, was to resolve existing dilemmas,e.g., it was to even out contradictions between modern philosophy and religion. Libelt's historiosophy emphasized the importance of the so-called mediating elements, allowing a gradual passage from one epoch to the next and maintaining the continuity of historical development. In his political activity, too, Libelt opposed radical solutions. In 1839, he joined the conspiratorial Poznan Centralization, associated with the emigré Polish Democratic Society, constituting the major center of preparations to an all-Poland insurrection. However, as opposed to Edward Dembowski and the Plebeians' Union, he opposed accelerating the onset of armed fighting disagreed withthe anti-noble propaganda. Meanwhile, Liebelt was active in legitimate undertakings by collaborating in setting up the first Polish community organizations. Denounced, he was arrested on February 14, 1848 and condemnded to twenty years of fortress imprisonment. Upon his release on March 20, 1848 from the Moabit prison the Berlin revolutionaries, Liebelt joined the revolutionary committee set up by Ludwik Mieroslawski and was a member of the deputation presenting Polish demands to th e Prussian king. Upon his return to Poznan on March 27, 1848, he became one of the leaders of the 1848 Poznan rising. He was the principal author of appeals and proclamations issued by the national committee leading the rising and supervised the committee's sactions abroad. Along with Walenty Stefanski and Gustaw Potworowski, Libelt formed, on April 3, the underground national government which, however, did not have a chance to spread its wings. As a participant of negotiations on reorganization of the Grand Duchy of Poznan, he signed the Pact of Jarosalwiec and then tried to pacify radical attitudes in the countryside. On April 21 he set off to Berlin, leading a delegation whose aim was to investigate intentions of the Prussian government. Having returned to Poznan, he finally conceded to the necessity of launching a popular rising. On April 27, he left the national committee and took the side of L. Mieroslawski. As a representative of the province of Poznan, Liebelt attended the Wroclaw assembly (May 5-8) which was to form an all-Polish government. Then he travelled to Prague to participate in the Panslav Congress where he opposed the notion of Austroslavism, expounded the question of independence for Poland, and particularly vigorously worked to build bridges between Poles and the Ukrainian movement. He co-authored "The Manifesto of the Slav Community to Peoples of Europe". Upon his return to Poznan, he became one of directors of the Polish League. Elected to the German Frankfurt parliament, he tried to win support there for the Polish cause, but resigned from his seat, having failed to achieve any success.

Subsequently, he was the Grand Duchy of Poznan's envoy to the Prussian parliament, where he headed the Polish circle. After the dissolution of the parliament, in spite of winning in new elections, Liebelt decided against being an representative and devoted his efforts to publishing Dziennik Polski (Polish Daily) (1849 - 1850). Late r on, hisactivity weakened. From 1859 to 1870, he again became an envoy to the Prussian Landtag and headed the Polish circle there. He participated in numerous social and community activities in the Grand Duchy of Poznan; among other things, he co-founded the Society of Friends of Sciences in Poznan and presided over the society from 1868 until his death. Liebelt died on 9 June 1875 in Brdow.
Przemyslaw Matusik .

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