Archive for the ‘Famous Poles’ Category

Treasures from the attic: Virtuti Militari

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

A ribbon of black and blue
Girdles a  silver cross
Virtuti Militari
What does it mean — do you know?

It stands for the virtues of the soldier
The noble ones dream of it
But to obtain  this cross
You must disdain death and blood

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Jan Nowak-Jeziorański 1913 – 2005

Monday, March 9th, 2009

My fate forever remains bound to the fate of my country. Jan Nowak-Jezioranski has passed away. Our distinguished countryman, true hero, great moral authority, a man entirely dedicated to his country, departed on his final mission on January 20, 2005 at the age of 92. He was buried with honors in his native soil at the Powazki Cemetery in Warsaw.

Jan Nowak-Jeziorański is a representative of the first generation born in a resurrected Poland. He was a graduate of the Adam Mickiewicz Gimnazium in Warsaw. He was a soldier in the September 1939 Defense Campaign and legendary courier of the Main Command of the Home Army. He participated in the Warsaw Uprising. He was director of the Polish Section of Radio Free Europe. He was a great leader who helped pave the way for Poland into NATO. (more…)

Why Eugene Bak?

Thursday, April 5th, 2007

The government of the Republic of Poland has honored Eugene Bak, cofounder and long time President and Executive Director of the Polish-American Cultural Center in Cleveland, with the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland. We can read the following about such orders and distinctions in a law of the Sejm from October 16, 1992:

„Article 13. The Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland is an award for distinguished merit in the field of cooperation between nations. The Order is presented to a foreigner or Polish citizen living abroad whose activities have made a significant contribution to international cooperation and cooperation linking Poland with other states and nations.” (more…)

Legacy of Adam Grant

Friday, January 5th, 2007

The tragedy of great artists, says Peggy Grant, is that they live only during the time that they work, and when they pass away, their creation dies with them if they have no one to pass on their way of seeing the world.  She never wanted this fate to befall her husband, Adam Grant, and therefore she continues his work in her own special way identifying with his creation, presenting it to the world by traveling to various Polish centers to talk about Adam Grant’s life and art.  He has remained alive in this way and by her side.

We were fortunate to have been visited by Mrs. Grant in the Cleveland Polish American Cultural Center on January 5, to hear her speak about Adam Grant and view his work in a slide show presentation.
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Stanisław Lem – colossus of science fiction of the XX century

Saturday, July 8th, 2006

When I was a little boy the books by Julius Verne allowed me to travel. I went around the world in 80 days, I visited the oceans with captain Nemo, and I even traveled to the moon. A couple of years later came the time of Łajka, Gagarin, and Armstrong. All of a sudden the mankind was on a brink of conquering space. And this is when, for the first time, I saw a book written by Stanisław Lem. For a teenager in Poland, in the fifties, when everything was a “state secret”, his books about robots, astronauts, and space vehicles were like a magical world.  Lem opened our eyes; his books moved galaxies and planets closer to us, while the technology became more understandable and accessible.
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The Emigre Prince Jerzy Giedroyć on the 100th anniversary of his birth

Saturday, July 8th, 2006

“Someone who wants to be Polish. An act of will is more important than a birth certificate. To be a Pole is not to change one’s national loyalty.”
Juliusz Mieroszewski, „Kultura”

If we had to choose the five Poles with the greatest degree of influence on the fate of Poland, and therefore Europe, in the twentieth century, among them would certainly be Jerzy Giedroyc, the creator and editor of Kultura in Paris and the founder of the publishing house Instytut Literacki (Literary Institute).

The work of Jerzy Giedroyc is so associated with the Paris-based journal Kultura that we often forget about his literary and government work during the prewar years. During his studies in law and history at the University of Warsaw, Giedroyc edited two titles, „Bunt Młodych” (Youth Rebellion) and „Politykę” (Politics). In these first years of his work, his numerous talents were already evident: his work ethic, excellent organization, and, most important, his ability to surround himself with excellent people. In addition to his publishing activities, the young Giedroyc was employed in the Ministry of Agriculture and, before the outbreak of war, he was secretary to the Minister of Industry and Trade.
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The Family of Fryderyk Chopin

Tuesday, March 1st, 2005

The Chopin family home was blessed.  They were the perfect example of a loving family – dwelling within an intimate, secure atmosphere; all shared a deep, sincere love and respect for each other.  During his youth, Beethoven endured a troubled relationship with his alcoholic father. Bach was orphaned at an early age and had to live off the kindness of his brother. Mozart, the child prodigy, had been exploited shamelessly and was  driven to the point of exhaustion by ceaseless traveling resulting from the overblown ambitions of his father.  But the Chopin family wrapped young Fryderyk in a warm blanket of love and affection, where he was doted on not only by his parents, but by his sisters as well.  We know of the family’s closeness and affection through family correspondence. Even now, Chopinists continue to find new evidence solidifying the picture of an idyllic family life. (more…)

Polish Nobelist Passes away

Wednesday, September 1st, 2004

Czesław Miłosz (1911-2004) - “Slowly, because not until after reaching ninety, the doors opened for me and I walked out into the clarity of the morning (…) and I said that we are all children of the Lord. Because we come from where there is no divide between Yes and No, nor the division into Is, Will be, and Was.”

“Second Space” – Czesław. Miołosz

Czesław Miłosz – poet, prose writer, essayist, translator, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature, was born on June 30, 1911, in Sztejnie on the banks of the Niewaza River in Lithuania. “Sztejnie, Ginejty, and Peiksiva – these were noble villages, very independent and sometimes in conflict with the local manors over lands in the forest. (…) The villages were purely Lithuanian and very aware of their heritage. (…) After the occupation of these lands by the Soviet Union the residents of these villages were transported to Siberia. (…) Buildings were torn down, orchards cut down and cleared (…).” This is how the Nobelist recalled his childhood.

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