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.
Europe’s first constitution
It was the Polish Constitution, adopted on May 3rd 1791, and not the much-lauded French Constitution, that was Europe’s first fundamental law. And it was the second in the world, after the American Constitution of 1787. Moreover, it was implemented using democratic methods and, in contrast to France, without any blood being shed.
Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it
Poland.pl talks to Dr. Karol Nowicki, the director of the Second World War Museum in Gdansk about the museum, plans for the future and the merger with the Westerplatte Museum.
The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
The Germans squeezed over 400,000 Jews within the walled-in area of the Warsaw Ghetto – residents of the city and the neighbouring towns and villages, as well as deportees from the territories incorporated into the Reich. In the ghetto, tens of thousands of people died of hunger and disease.
UK police praise Polish truck art
UK police have taken to Twitter to praise artwork painted on a Polish truck.
How not to tell history
It is difficult to have a good reputation. However, it is easy to lose it. This truth is known to every sober-minded person.
They brought knowledge of the potter's wheel, advanced ferrous metallurgy and coinage - the Celts arrived in the southern areas of the current Polish territory 2.5 thousand years ago and significantly influenced the history of the region - Dr. Przemysław Dulęba from University of Wroclaw said in an interview with Polish Press Agency (PAP).
Steadfast to the end
Interview with Tadeusz Płużański, historian and son of a Doomed Soldier, conducted by Jan Przemylski.
National Remembrance Day of the Cursed Soldiers
On March 1 Poland marks the National Remembrance Day of the Cursed Soldiers, in honour of the once forgotten underground anti-communist heroes of 1944-1956. The commemorative ceremonies are being held under the patronage of the President of Poland Andrzej Duda.
Leopold Skulski – pharmacist and prime minister
The monthly journal “Czasopismo Aptekarskie” (“Pharmacy Journal”) has proclaimed 2017 as the Year of Leopold Skulski, in honour of the chemical engineer and pharmacist who served as Poland's prime minister and was murdered by the Soviets in 1940.
Polish Institute in Vienna hosts Janusz Korczak exhibition
On Tuesday 21 February, the Polish Institute in Vienna joined forces with the Austrian Janusz Korczak Society (Österreichische Janusz-Korczak-Gesellschaft), to host a ceremony commemorating the work of the eminent Polish-Jewish doctor, educator and writer Janusz Korczak, who devoted his whole life to children.
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.