Cichociemni – the Silent Unseen. Elite soldiers of the Polish army during the Second World War

Hieronim Dekutowski “Zapora” feared most that the communists would manage to destroy the memory of the heroic struggle of the Cichociemni – tells Mirosław Widlicki, president of the Warsaw-East District Board of the World Association of Home Army Soldiers. Have they succeeded? Who were the “Cichociemni” and why are they often called the elite of…


Zdzisław Najder (1930–2021): conclusions from reading Conrad

Philologists are relatively rarely sentenced to death in absentia. Nor do they always (although somewhat more often) become Chevaliers of the Legion of Honour. This alone shows how remarkable was the fate of Zdzisław Najder, who died on 15 February 2021. by Wojciech Stanisławski   In the mid-20th century, it seemed that – comparing with…


Duels, forays, and robberies. Violence among the nobility in the 17th century

Screams, gunshots, and the burning of thatched roofs. Yet this was not a full pitched battle. When faced with the weakness of the state, the 17th-century Polish nobility settled their differences by fighting. by Antoni Olbrychski   Duels Duels in Poland are a complicated issue. Scholars of 17th-century society emphasize that violence in this period…


Operation Kutschera

On 1 February 1944, the Polish resistance carried out the assassination of Franz Kutschera, known as ‘the executioner of Warsaw’. The assassination of this SS officer and police commander in the Warsaw District of the General Government was one of the most spectacular operations in the history of the Home Army (Armia Krajowa), because never…


The Warsaw Confederation (1573)

The declaration of the Warsaw Confederation was approved on January 28, 1573, at the Convocation Sejm held in Warsaw after the heirless death of King  Zygmunt II August (Sigismund II Augustus)  and prior to the first free election of a monarch. The Sejm was convoked in order to lay down the principles for electing the…


The voices of the survivors are the most important

Auschwitz-Birkenau is the world’s largest Jewish, Polish and Roma cemetery. This is neither rhetoric nor poetry. For centuries, the earth will continue to hide here the ashes from the crematoria and bits of unburnt bones. It will be saturated with human blood and fat. Literally. by Marek Zając   That’s how one should see it….


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