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 pope who changed Poland
If it hadn't been for John Paul II’s first pilgrimage to Poland in June 1979, there would have been no Solidarity. “The Polish Pope as a spiritual authority contributed to the collapse of communism,” says Paweł Skibiński, Ph.D., historian at the University of Warsaw and between 2010-2015 director of Warsaw’s Museum of John Paul II and Primate Wyszyński.
Heroes from the "Ładoś list"
The so-called Ładoś list features the chief rabbi of the Netherlands, a friend of Anna Frank's, and a few professors of Israeli universities. Paraguayan passports were also issued to the leaders of uprising in the Bedzin ghetto and of the Jewish resistance in Slovakia, and a number of people who would later write their memoirs. Years later, at least one Survivor was killed in Israel's independence war. One of the Paraguayan documents features Dr Leon Rothfeld with the family, whose members included Adam Rotfeld, the future Polish Foreign Minister.
Polish, Israeli presidents to join March of the Living
The presidents of Poland and Israel were on Thursday expected to join the annual March of the Living at the former German Nazi Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in southern Poland.
"Cursed Soldiers" National Remembrance Day
For many soldiers, the dissolution of the Home Army in 1945 did not mean the end of the struggle for a just cause. On the contrary, the Red Army’s occupation of the territories of the Republic of Poland, resulting in the disbanding of the Polish Underground State, was the beginning of a new battle for a free Poland and its good name as well as, in time, a struggle to preserve historical truth.
Plaque to Polish diplomats who saved Jews unveiled in Bern
We have come to pay homage to people, who created a chain of good hearts, Senate Speaker Stanislaw Karczewski said Monday in Bern, Switzerland, at a ceremony honoring Polish diplomats who saved the lives of Jews during World War II.
Testimony of truth
A testimony of Lucyna Adamkiewicz, World War II veteran, Home Army soldier and prisoner of the German concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Poland & Lithuania. A union of equals
Edward Gibbon, in his "History of the Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire", observed that "history is little more than a register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind." Gibbon, one of the great paladins of the Enlightenment, looked back at the past with a considerable dose of cynicism. According to him, there was a one-word answer to the question "Why did Rome fall?": "Christianity." His views were considered scandalous even in the times of Voltaire, Rousseau and Hume.
#PL100 inauguration in London
On Thursday, 18th October, the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in London hosted a press conference, which inaugurated its year of commemorations of the 100th anniversary of Poland regaining its independence.
President Wilson’s Fourteen Points
In a message to Congress on January 8, 1918, US President Thomas Woodrow Wilson presented a peace programme that set out the principles of establishing a lasting and just world order after the victory of the Allies in the First World War.
Christmas in old Polish tradition
Preparations for Christmas started already in summer. In summer, mushrooms were picked in forests and fruit in orchards, and carefully dried to preserve until December. Then, it was time to take care of poppy seeds, flour, honey, nuts and other products.
Martial law caused long-term damage to Poland
“Martial law is one of the few cases when Poles took up arms against other Poles, and it seemed that the civil war was a step away,” says Dr Maciej Wojtyński, a historian at the University of Warsaw.
75th Anniversary of "Raczyński's Note"
On December 10, 1942, the Polish government-in-exile appealed to signatory states of the United Nations Declaration with a request to prevent crimes being committed against the Jewish population in German-occupied Poland. On the 75th anniversary of the note’s submission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is presenting an image of the original note, kept in The National Archives in London.
The bawdy soldier & the man of the world
In the Belvedere Palace, Józef Piłsudski was Commander and Chief of State. In the Bristol hotel, and later at the Royal Castle, Ignacy Paderewski was a genius-god. Both considered themselves to be saviour figures.
Museum about Poles who helped Jews in WWII to open New York branch
A Polish museum that honours Poles who helped rescue Jews during World War II will open a branch in New York, an official has said.
Get to know Tadeusz Kościuszko
The “Kościuszko. A Blockbuster Life” website presents the fate of the Polish hero of the struggle for freedom - Tadeusz Kosciuszko. The comic-film form and accessible content of the portal points to the untapped potential that lies in his biography.
99th anniversary of regaining independence
After 123 years of occupation by Russia, Prussia and Austria-Hungary, on November 11th 1918, Poland regained its independence and the streets of Polish cities were swept by a euphoric mood. On that day, Germany signed a ceasefire ending the First World War, and the Regency Council bestowed Józef Piłsudski with full civil and military power.
Poland’s mountains, the sea, or perhaps its history, traditions, or a favourite dish? Take a picture, shoot a short film and share your post on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram on Polish Independence Day, November 11th, using the hashtag #likePolska. Show us what you like most about Poland.
150th anniversary of the birthday of Maria Skłodowska-Curie
She was the first Polish woman at the Sorbonne, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first woman to be laid to rest at the famous Panthéon in Paris… Maria Skłodowska-Curie, born in Warsaw exactly 150 years ago, remains the most outstanding Polish researcher and global female scientist icon.
PM Glinski: EP museum distorts historical truth
The EP's Brussels-based museum distorted historical truth and passed over many vital facts, Poland's deputy Prime Minister, Culture and National Heritage Minister Piotr Glinski stated Friday in a letter to European Parliament President Antonio Tajani.
The esteemed Poles of Siberia
Forced mass migrations of Poles to Siberia took place after the January Uprising and lasted until the Second World War.
200th anniversary of the death of Tadeusz Kościuszko
Tadeusz Kościuszko, a Polish and American general, participant in the American Revolutionary War, Supreme Commander of the Polish National Armed Forces during the Kościuszko Uprising, died in Solothurn, Switzerland on 15 October 1817. To mark this anniversary, the Sejm of the Republic of Poland announced 2017 as the Year of Kościuszko.
Polish diaspora embraces Kosciuszko events
Poland's ambassador in Washington, Piotr Wilczek, on Friday told PAP the country's US-based diaspora welcomed the events of the Year of Kosciuszko, marking the 200th death anniversary of the Polish national hero, who also helped create indpendent America.
Opening of the exhibition "Tadeusz Kościuszko. Price of freedom"
On Friday, at the Lithuanian Seimas, the Ambassador Urszula Doroszewska and Deputy Chairman of the Lithuanian Seimas Irena Šiaulienė opened the exhibition titled "Tadeusz Kosciuszko. Price of freedom".
Kosciuszko Days in Washington DC
On October 14th and 15th the Embassy of Poland in Washington, DC will organize two events promoting the Year of Kosciuszko. We invite everyone to take part in the Kosciuszko Freedom Run and in a special wreath laying ceremony at the Kosciuszko Monument in Lafayette Square next to the White House.
Savannah pays tribute to Polish Revolutionary War heroes
Plaques paying tribute to three Polish-born heroes of the American Revolutionary War, Generals Tadeusz Kosciuszko and Kazimierz Pulaski, and Pulaski's aide Captain Jan Zielinski, were unveiled Tuesday in Savannah, Georgia.
A Forgotten Date
September 17th marked the anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland of 1939. A key date in the chronology of the Second World War – marking as it does the USSR's entry into that conflict in collaboration with Hitler's Germany – it slipped by almost unnoticed outside of Polish-speaking circles. Though Poles earnestly declare “Pamiętamy” - the rest of the world, it seems, has forgotten.
How Żegota scattered the dark
On September 27th 1942, the Provisional Committee to Aid Jews started its operations. The underground organisation was founded by Zofia Kossak-Szczucka and Wanda Krahelska-Filipowicz.
General Kuklinski at West Point
20 years after the rehabilitation of Ryszard Kuklinski and the revocation of the shameful death sentence imposed on him by the Polish People's Republic in 1984, the General Ryszard Kukliński Museum organised an exhibition in his honour at the West Point Military Academy in the United States.
Polish WWII pilot leads British poll to honour RAF heroes
A Polish World War II pilot Franciszek Kornicki is well ahead in a poll held by a London museum to honour the heroes of Britain’s Royal Air Force.
The European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism
The European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism was proclaimed by the European Parliament on 23 September 2008. Its aim is to commemorate the victims of mass deportation and extermination, as well as to promote democracy, peace and stability in Europe.
Polish Armed Forces Day
The Feast of the Polish Armed Forces is celebrated on August 15 to commemorate the decisive Polish offensive during the 1920 Battle of Warsaw, which was fought during the Polish-Bolshevik War. The victorious battle, which lasted almost two weeks, was decisive in preserving Poland's independence and disbanded plans to spread the Bolshevik revolution to Western Europe.
On August 8 Dziennik Gazeta Prawna published a sensational article by Zbigniew Parafianowicz and Michał Potocki about how a Polish envoy in Bern saved several hundred Jews from the Holocaust, together with Swiss and Jewish organizations in the United States. Yet another series of events from which Poland and Poles can draw pride and strength.
The 73rd anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising
Every year at 17:00, alarm sirens are heard on the streets of Warsaw. The city comes to a standstill. The inhabitants of Warsaw pay homage to the fallen and surviving partisans.
How the Warsaw Uprising Challenged and Changed Poland
Poland must keep the memory of 1944 alive so that these valuable lessons are not forgotten.
How Beniowski became the ruler of Madagascar
Not many discoverers or world travellers have made a name for themselves on the pages of Polish history. But one man that did was undoubtedly Beniowski – a valiant soldier, sailor, commander and even... king.
The Blue Army’s furry friend
Wojtek the bear, who accompanied Anders’s Army in all its battles, was not the only animal to serve in the Polish Armed Forces. Wojtek had a predecessor – a polar bear named Baśka from Murmansk. Her story sheds light on a somewhat forgotten part of the history of Polish military units.