Do Follow in the Footsteps of Giedroyc and Mieroszewski
An interview with Prof. Alfredas Bumblauskas

“Lithuanians are a small but very proud nation. Looking down at them or dismissing them is bound to antagonize the Lithuanian public opinion right away”, says Alfredas Bumblauskas from the Vilnius University. What should foreigners know about Lithuania to better understand Lithuanians? Read our interview about complicted Polish-Lithuanian common history!   polishhistory: Both Poland and...

Factories for the people? The nationalization of industry in Poland

In the 1940s, nationalization, i.e. bringing private property under the ownership of the state, was common in post-war Europe. It was also accompanied by additional types of seizures of private property, including confiscation and expropriation. At the same time, it was not uncommon for property to be collectivized without any legal basis. However, it was...

The Sikorski-Maisky Agreement: a tactical success but a strategic defeat
The treaty between the Soviet Union and Poland

The Sikorski-Maisky Agreement, concluded at the end of July 1941 between the USSR ambassador and the Prime Minister of the Polish Government-in-Exile, provided an opportunity to free hundreds of thousands of Polish citizens from labor camps and prisons, enabled the establishment of Polish armed forces in the USSR, and strengthened the anti-Hitler coalition. At the...

Protest!
Polish Catholics against Holocaust

“Protest!” is a leaflet written by Zofia Kossak-Szczucka, a Polish novelist, social activist and co-founder of the underground Catholic organisation Front for the Rebirth of Poland (Front Odrodzenia Polski, FOP). Illegally distributed on 11 August 1942, the pamphlet called for solidarity with the Jews who were subjected to brutal terror. On 22 July 1942, the...

Prof. Tomasz Schramm: Anders' generation used their chance almost 100%
Interview with Prof. Tomasz Schramm

Anders was a representative of the generation which, thanks to active work in the interwar period, could then pass the story of free Poland to following generations of Poles. Therefore, after the Second World War, Anders served as a representative  of Polish independence. However, it was only symbolic for many years and remained so until...

Henryk Arctowski, polar and Antarctic explorer
The 150th anniversary of Arctowski’s birthday

A mountain and glacier in Spitsbergen is named after him, as well as a bay, peninsula, mountain range, mountain, nunatak (a hill hidden under the ice surface) and a research station in Antarctica. Despite his German origin, Arctowski was a Polish patriot who believed that, thanks to his presence in Antarctica, his homeland would find...

Robert Kostro: Why couldn’t Jan Karski stop the Holocaust?

In May 1943, a moving scene took place at the Polish embassy in Washington. A 29-year-old man, speaking English with a strong accent and recently arrived in the West from occupied Poland, was meeting with 61-year-old Felix Frankfurter, an American Jew and a US Supreme Court judge, in the company of Ambassador Jan Ciechanowski. The...

At the side of Poles in Tobruk
Czechoslovak soldiers in the Middle East

The Czechoslovak Legion, established in September 1939 in Poland, was captured by the Soviets. After the Allies recognized the Edvard Beneš group in exile as the official government-in-exile in July 1940, the Czechs contacted the Soviet embassy in London requesting the release of Col. Svoboda’s soldiers interned in the USSR. The fact that the British...

Jan Szczepanik, a genius from Galicia

Teacher and inventor Jan Szczepanik is also known, in what is perhaps a slight exaggeration, as the “Polish Edison” or the “Galician Leonardo da Vinci”. Although he was self-taught and had no technical background, he created several hundred inventions and technical solutions that contributed to the development of television, photography, film and the textile industry....

The Central Industrial District: the industrial heart of the Second Polish Republic
Second Polish Republic and its path to moderization

“A great thing is being created right before our eyes. Thousands of people sacrifice the work of their minds and muscles for the greatness of their homeland. We must not remain indifferent. And we also have to contribute to the Central Industrial District with our heart and our generosity” – thus stated the authors of...

John III Sobieski and Marysieńka
Love letters of the Polish King to his beloved wife

King John III Sobieski is remembered as the commander of the victorious armies on the battlefield at Vienna. Yet this brave and talented commander was also a man of deep feelings, as evidenced by his love letters to his wife, Marie-Casimire de la Grange d’Arquien (Marysieńka). by Piotr Abryszeński   Marie-Casimire came from the old...

June 1976: workers’ victory at the cost of repression
45th anniversary of June 1976 protests

A single day in June 1976 showed how fragile the public’s confidence in Gierek’s team was after almost six years in power. by Paweł Sasanka   The fourteen-year rule of Władysław Gomułka ended in the socio-political crises of March 1968 and December 1970. After the December tragedy, in which the army and police opened fire...

Helena Modrzejewska. The brightest theater star

Helena Modjeska (or rather: Modrzejewska) became a theater legend during her lifetime. An outstanding actress and Polish patriot, she was widely esteemed and her talent admired. by Piotr Bejrowski   Born on 12 October 1840 in Krakow, Jadwiga Helena Mise was the illegitimate daughter of the wealthy widow Józefa Benda. From an early age, she...

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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...