Hilary Koprowski: the man who overcame polio
The man that saved millions of lives

An effective polio vaccine, discovered in 1950, saved the health and lives of hundreds of thousands of children around the world. Born in 1916, the Polish doctor, virologist and immunologist Hilary Koprowski belonged to the elite “Pasteur club”, as the group of eminent vaccinologists working on new vaccines was called. by Piotr Bejrowski   Despite...

Maurycy Mochnacki: an entangled revolutionary

Passionate, volatile, demagogic and captivating: Maurycy Mochnacki both co-creates and embodies the model Polish Romantic hero. It seems as if he descended from the pages of the poems and novels that he praised and promoted. And yet he lived, burned and suffered a defeat in the most real of stories. by Wojciech Stanisławski   He...

Three Presidents of the Second Polish Republic
Polish presidential elections in the historical perspective

There were three presidents-in-office in the Second Republic yet there were more presidential elections, one of the paradoxes related to the history of the office in interwar Poland, just like there were more persons carrying the duties of the head of state. by Wojciech Stanisławski   The discussion concerning the shape of the independent Polish...

Statement from the Polish government
103rd anniversary of the Interim People’s Government of the Polish Republic programme announcement

The Interim People’s Government of the Polish Republic run by Jędrzej Moraczewski, was established by Józef Piłsudski on 18th November 1918. In political terms, it partly continued the policies of the Lublin-based government led by the Prime Minister Ignacy Daszyński. Moraczewski’s Government declared the establishment of a Legislative Sejm, to be elected through a secret,...

General Maczek: Tenaciously, yet chivalrously
an interview with Jacques Wiacek

“Fight just like a Polish soldier has always done throughout history. Fight tenaciously, and yet chivalrously!” Thus, General Stanisław Maczek, the model of an indomitable soldier, encouraged his soldiers to fight. Jacques Wiacek, author of “Histoire de la 1re division blindée polonaise (1939-1945): L’odyssée du phénix”, first French-language monograph on the 1st Division of General...

The baptism of Mieszko I: the issue that generated an avalanche
An interview with Professor Andrzej Buko

The beginnings of the Polish state have received a lot of attention, and this period still raises many questions and doubts. How did people live in Poland a thousand years ago? How could Krakow become the cradle of the Piast state? What was the role of Mieszko I’s baptism? And what do we actually know...

The Victors and the Polish Cause at the End of the Great War
103rd anniversary of the Polish independence

When exactly 102 years ago, on 11 November 1918, the military operations ceased and the armistice ended the Great War the world was waiting for the accords of the peace conference which was to be held soon to determine the future of the world. A question remains: what did the main victorious powers offer Poland?...

Bronisław Piłsudski: researcher of the Ainu
From conspiracy to ethnography

Bronisław Piłsudski was the older brother of Józef Piłsudski, one of the leaders responsible for bringing about Poland’s return to independence in 1918 after more than one hundred and twenty years of partitions. Józef’s decision to become involved in the independence movement was largely influenced by the fate of Bronisław, who participated in an anti-tsarist...

Jadwiga Smosarska: a celluloid star
The 50th anniversary of Jadwiga Smosarska’s death

50 years ago, on 1 November 1971, the brightest star of pre-war Polish cinema – Jadwiga Smosarska – died in a hospital in Warsaw. by Wiesław Chełminiak   A life in 26 frames By the 20th century, the mystique surrounding kings and emperors had disappeared. The authority of the church and synagogue had weakened. Politicians...

How Adam Mickiewicz turned into stone, or a short history of the bard’s monuments

It is easier to wipe a country off the map than to destroy its soul. In the 19th century, that truth was discovered by Russia, Prussia and Austria as the loss of independence had a mobilising effect on the Poles. It became an impulse for spreading patriotic attitudes as well as an unprecedented flourishing of...

Stanisław August Poniatowski, the King Who Wanted to Repair the Commonwealth
An interview with Professor Richard Butterwick-Pawlikowski

[Poland’s] final royal election took place on 7 September 1764 in the village of Wola near Warsaw. In the presence of the Russian military, noblemen convened in the village elected Stanisław Poniatowski to be Poland’s new monarch. Prof. Richard Butterwick-Pawlikowski talks to the Polish History Museum about what happened behind the scenes of the election,...

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Polishhistory is an online project of the Polish History Museum in Warsaw. It is primarily addressed to all those interested in Polish and Central European history. Our aim is to build a community consisting of those professionally involved in research and of those interested in the outcomes of research, essentially, all lovers of history. The...