The murder of Lwów professors
German unpunished crime (July 1941)

Among those murdered in Lwów by German troops in July 1941 were eminent mathematicians, pioneers of modern medicine, engineers, and university rectors. The murder of Polish scientists has become a symbol of fanaticism and hatred. by Piotr Abryszeński   The destruction of the Polish intelligentsia On 28 September 1939, the Third Reich and the Soviet...

Maria Skłodowska-Curie: The Star Of Radioactivity
(7 November 1867 – 4 July 1934)

She broke the glass ceiling. Maria Skłodowska-Curie was the first woman professor at the Sorbonne and the only woman to receive the Nobel Prize twice. The price of her scientific achievements was huge – permanent insomnia, unbearable pain in her muscles and joints, and weight loss. by Jan Hlebowicz   Maria Skłodowska came from a...

The Long Road to Lublin
Interview with professor Robert I. Frost

The Union of Lublin created a Republic, formed by two states and two nations. The creation of one political community was a radical step. Nothing like it existed in contemporary European political thought. polishhistory: The Union of Lublin, was signed more than 450 years ago, on 1 July 1569. Is it worth celebrating? Robert I....

Jan Matejko: The Painter of Polish History
(24 June 1838 –1 November 1893)

This outstanding artist became famous for his paintings depicting important moments in the history of Poland. They are a story highlighting the country’s former glory, but also contain warnings for its entire society. by Michał Haake   Many paths into the creative future were open before the young, artistically gifted, Matejko (b. 1838). Wishing to...

Palmiry and the destruction of the Polish elite
One of the most notorious places of mass executions in Nazi German occupied Poland

It is worthwhile noting the above mentioned group – the Polish leadership elite – as its fate reveals the objectives of Nazi-Germany’s occupation policy in Poland. Before the outbreak of war, the German authorities began to plan the extermination of a broadly defined Polish leadership elite. Although generally referred to as the intelligentsia, with education...

The Power of the Story: From an Old Chronicle to a Modern Museum – a temporary exhibition at the Polish History Museum
15/06/2024 – 15/09/2024

A temporary exhibition titled The Power of the Story: From and Old Chronicle to a Modern Museum has opened at the Polish History Museum. It focuses on various ways of narrating Polish history and is divided into its successive stages: from the Middle Ages until modern times. The exhibition makes the visitor familiar with the...

An image of genocide
An interview with Dr. Piotr Setkiewicz, head of the Research Center of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum

14 June 1940 the first mass transport to the German Concentration Camp in Auschwitz took place. The vast majority of the 728 men were Polish political prisoners. Overall, the group consisted of members of the resistance movement; social and political activists arrested under AB Aktion, Catholic clergy, and a small group of Jews. Every one...

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....

A young Girl and a Mighty Queen: the Exceptional Jadwiga of Anjou
An interview with Prof. Tomasz Graff (Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow)

After the coronation of Jagiełło, Jadwiga was still formally King, and not just the wife of the monarch. As she matured, she increasingly often took the initiative in matters of the state and, in the final years of her life, was an independent politician, able to effectively negotiate with neighbours and set them tough conditions....

The Nihil novi Constitution
519th anniversary of proclamation of the Act

The Nihil novi Constitution was adopted by the General Sejm (parliament) convened in the city of Radom in 1505. Its passage entailed one of the stages in the conflict between the magnates of the royal council and the representation of the szlachta (gentry) gathered in the Chamber of Deputies – i.e., the lower house of...

The birth of local democracy in Poland
the 35th anniversary of the first free elections of local government in the Third Polish Republic

The 1989 revolution created an opportunity for the resurgence of a democratic state in Poland. That is why the elections for local authorities that were held on 27 May 1990 were so important. It was a first step on the road to rebuilding democracy on a local level after nearly half a century of Communist...

Polish War Cemeteries in Italy
Soldiers of the Polish II Corps Fallen on Italian Soil in the Fight for Poland's Freedom

There are four war cemeteries in Italy commemorating the participation of the Polish II Corps in the Italian campaign. The largest necropolis is in Bologna, where the unit fought its last battle and ended its campaign in 1945. The others are located in Casamassima and Loreto and – the most famous – on the Monte...

Wojtek – A Bear Who Became A Soldier
The most famous corporal of the Polish Armed Forces

A bear became a soldier? Yes! Polish soldiers adopted a little orphaned bear and took good care of him. He returned the favor during the war. by Piotr Bejrowski   A Bear Joins The Polish Army Arguably the most unusual soldier to fight in the Battle of Monte Cassino in 1944 was Wojtek, a bear....

A centre of entertainment and a temple of culture
 An interview with Agata Łuksza about the beginnings of Warsaw’s theatre

The 19th-century theatre had a double function – it offered an ambitious repertoire, and was an element of ‘high culture’, but it was also a way to spend an evening, not necessarily ambitiously – says Agata Łuksza (Institute of Polish Culture, University of Warsaw) in an interview for polishhistory.pl   Nowadays, when we say ‘theatre’...

Władysław Szpilman: How did the pianist survive the war?
(5 December 1911 – 6 July 2000)

Władysław Szpilman is currently the most well-known of the Warsaw Robinsons. How did he survive in German-occupied Warsaw? by Michał Studniarek   In 1939, Władysław Szpilman resided in the center of Warsaw on Śliska Street with his parents, Samuel and Edwarda, his brother Henryk and his two sisters – Regina and Halina. Władysław was working...

The Polish manor house – A symbol of tradition
An interview with Maciej Rydel, Vice-president of the Board of the Polish Landowners’ Association

“I am the Polish manor house, which fights bravely and loyally stands on guard,” was written above the entrance to a manor in Pęcice in the Masovian region. This short sentence, like no other, seems to contain the key to the importance of the manors of the Polish noble and landed gentry. To begin with,...

The message of Chopin's music transcends the boundaries of musical cultures
An interview with Zbigniew Skowron, professor at the Institute of Musicology, the University of Warsaw

polishhistory: Let us begin with the issue that raises disputes among historians. When should we really celebrate Fryderyk Chopin’s birthday? Zbigniew Skowron: This question remains unresolved to this day because two dates are at stake. In the light of the official document, which is Chopin’s birth certificate dated 22 February 1810, one should celebrate his...

Marian Małowist and Witold Kula: Polish leading figures of world historiography
Parallel Lives

Historians were highly interested in economic history in the mid-20th century. At that time, a number of fundamental studies were published, and discussions on economic matters were printed in the most prestigious historical periodicals. In fact, one historian of socio-economic history, Fernand Braudel, was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Economics. Two Polish academics, Marian...

short news_

MEETINGS

About

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...