Highlights of Polish History
Set out on a journey through the history that has shaped today’s Poland. Here you will hear the beating of the “heart of Europe,” as Norman Davies, a historian, calls our country.
The Polish Embassy in Washington has prepared an educational video titled "Words Matter," aimed at correcting historical distortions that denigrate the good name of Poland. This is just one of many examples of the activity undertaken by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the fight against so-called "defective memory codes".
150th Anniversary of the Polish Gymnastic Society “Sokół”
“It was assumed that if an opportunity to regain Polish independence arose, those who were able-bodied and patriotic would stand up to fight for it,” said Professor Andrzej Chwalba of the Jagiellonian University. The Polish Gymnastic Society “Sokół” (i.e. “Falcon”), an organisation with a sport and educational character, was established in Lwów 150 years ago on 7 February 1867.
Enemy of the People at 10 Years Old
An interview with Professor Stanislaw Kulon, sculptor, deportee to Syberia, and the author of the exhibition "A Testimony II. 1939-1946" ("Świadectwo II. 1939-1946").
The Niagara-Berezyna Axis
General Haller’s army had a lot to thank France for: first and foremost its name but also its regulations, machine guns, tanks and legendary blue capes. But its rank and file was Polish, composed of diverse “Polish elements” – from recent subjects of Emperor Franz Joseph to settlers from Brazil.
Ignacy Jan Paderewski’s America mission
How did it come about that one hundred years ago, on the behest of President Woodrow Wilson, the United States started talking about the need to create a “united, independent and autonomous Poland” after the end of the Great War?
The creation of the Polish Legions in Italy
On January 9, 1797, Jan Henryk Dabrowski signed an agreement with the Government of the Republic of Lombardy regarding the establishment of Polish divisions that would serve the latter republic and be financed by it. The divisions were named the “Polish Legions Supporting Lombardy” and were given uniforms and banners similar to those worn in Poland; commands and military ranks were also given in Polish.
People and Animals
Only real life could have scripted this story. Incredible, astonishing… and as inspiring as it gets. An ark was created in a zoo in occupied Warsaw, under the very nose of the Nazis. An ark with not a single animal on board. Animals were replaced with humans seeking shelter. Over one hundred humans.
They marched barefoot in front of the Soviets
“They fled to Manchuria,” these famous words by Joseph Stalin about the missing Polish officers taken prisoner by the Soviets in 1939, were uttered on December 3, 1941, during a meeting between the Soviet leader and the Prime Minister of the Polish Government in Exile General Wladyslaw Sikorski.
Polish traces in Cameroon
The name of a Polish explorer who ventured to western Cameroon was to be erased from the map forever. Today he has his own commemorative plaque in the palace belonging to the king of the Mondoleh people.
Witnesses of massacre speak out
Poles who survived genocide in Volhynia recount some of the most horrifying stories of the century.
Remembering Solidarity chaplain Father Popiełuszko
Events marking the 32nd anniversary of the death of the Blessed Jerzy Popiełuszko, the Solidarity chaplain murdered by communist secret agents, are being held in Poland on Wednesday.
Poland continues its efforts to commemorate KL Gusen
In its efforts to commemorate KL Gusen, Poland has proposed establishing co-operation between the KL Mauthausen Memorial and the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. However, on the Austrian side there is a stalemate due to the anticipation of the entry into force of a law on the commemoration of concentration camps.
The best cavalry in history
Almost every European country boasts of its cavalry. The French are proud of the cuirassiers, the English of the Light Brigade, the Russians of the Cossacks, the Swedes of the Reiters, the Prussians of the Hussars of Death, and the Americans of the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the US Army. And yet none of these formations –apart from maybe the Napoleonic Chevau-légers also dependent on Poles – can hold a candle to Polish hussars.
Independence Signet for Division 303 fighter pilot ace
John Kent, a Canadian colonel and fighter pilot ace, has been posthumously awarded with an Independence Signet. The distinction is awarded to heroes fighting for freedom and will be bestowed during the “Defiant, Dogged, Damned” festival held in honour of the Cursed Soldiers. This year’s edition of the festival will take place in Gdynia and last from 28 September to 1 October.
The massacre of Poland’s elites
Poles in the territories incorporated into the Reich were the victims of the Intelligenzaktion, a merciless extermination operation.
Monument to the Indomitable Soldiers in Doylestown
“By honouring and revering the Damned Soldiers, Poland regains its dignity,” stressed President Andrzej Duda at a ceremony unveiling a monument commemorating their sacrifice held at Doylestown cemetery on Sunday.
Poland marks anniversary of KOR opposition group
Events have begun in Poland marking the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Workers Defence Committee (KOR), Poland’s first major opposition group and one of the most influential ones in the former Soviet bloc.
Witold Pilecki's book among WSJ's best wartime secret mission reports
The Wall Street Journal has included Witold Pilecki's "The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery" book among the five best publications devoted to wartime secret missions.
Uprising in history, insurgents in hearts
My attitude towards the Warsaw Uprising is very personal. It’s all because of my father, who was only 10 when he ran away from home and joined the insurgents’ postal service.
At the end of the nineteenth century, Harbin in Manchuria became home to many Poles. The enthusiasm and resourcefulness of Poles settling among the Chinese on the Songhua River produced results very quickly.
How the Poles built Harbin
The story of Harbin – a city founded by Poles in the Far East, is no less captivating than the history of the gold rush in Alaska or expeditions to Africa. It contains great emotions, full-blooded characters, unexpected twists and entails faith, patriotism and solidarity.
The truth about the Volhynian massacre
The Volhynian crime was a cruel and planned genocide, but Polish politicians still lack the courage to call it by its name. This error in judgment encourages followers of the neo-Bandera movement to behave in an increasingly insolent way.
It is a miracle that I am alive
My grandparents were murdered in the Volyn massacre and my parents barely survived it, recalls Krzesimir Dębski, a jazz musician and composer.
Covering up the traces of the crime
Poles are protesting against the destruction of the remnants of sub-camps and subsidiaries of Mauthausen concentration camp. They have sent a petition regarding this issue to Austria’s Minister of Internal Affairs.
The forgotten 'Polish Operation' of the NKVD
In the 1930s, Stalin murdered 200,000 Poles. The Rodacy ’37 Foundation (“Compatriots Foundation”) seeks to honour the martyrdom of these individuals.
Where did Poland's borders start - and end?
An interview with Professor Marek Kornat, Polish Academy of Sciences.
The Monte Cassino battle area added to national registry of monuments
The Italian Ministry of Culture decided on Friday to add the area of the Monte Cassino battle to their national registry of monuments.
Poland is proud of its soldiers
Occupied by the Germans, on 9 April 1940 the French and British started their push to win back Narvik with the assistance of the remainder of the Norwegian armed forces. The Poles landed on 8 May.
The Sejm commemorates the “Good Maharaja”
He created a real home for more than a thousand Polish war orphans in India. The Sejm has decided to honour the memory of Jam Saheba Digvijay Sinhji with a special resolution.
Anthem at the museum
You can hear Dąbrowski's Mazurka played according to a nineteenth-century harmony or performed by the folk musical group Trebunie Tutki at the Museum of the National Anthem in Będomin. It is probably the only museum in the world devoted solely to a country's anthem.
The 1050th Anniversary of the Baptism of Poland
The Baptism of Poland helped turn the whole of Europe to Christianity. However it wasn’t until the 11th Century that faith became properly embedded and the process was a gradual one across the continent, Andrzej M. Wyrwa, Director of the Museum of the First Piasts in Lednica tells Poland.pl.
New museum to honour Poles who rescued Jews
Poland’s first museum honouring Poles who rescued Jews during World War II is being opened in the town of Markowa near Łańcut in Subcarpathia.
Poland's Cursed Soldiers are now increasingly called The Undeterred. They fought for an independent state and a free society during the war and in its aftermath, when merely talking about independence could cost a person their life, Polska.pl is told by Dr. Maciej Korkuć, Director of the Public Education Office at the Institute of National Remembrance in Krakow and a lecturer at the Krakow-based Jesuit University of Philosophy and Education Ignatianum.
Sienkiewicz – uplifting hearts 100 years on
Successive generations of Poles cultivated their patriotism on his novels. A winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, to this day Sienkiewicz remains one of the most popular Polish writers in the world.
Kościuszko - Father of Freedom
Tadeusz Kościuszko preceded his era building civil society. His friend Thomas Jefferson regarded Kościuszko as a father of the American nation, pointing out that his vision for America was developed during his conversations with Kościuszko, Michał Niezabitowski, a historian and director of the Historical Museum of Krakow, tells Polska.pl.