Archive for the ‘History’ Category

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…)

Imperialistic “barkier” Radio “Free Europe”

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

It’s worthwhile to recall the aims and mission of the renown broadcasting station, Polish Radio Free Europe which beamed its programs from Munich Germany for over 42 years.

RFE’s programming was divided into 4 blocks, each 4 and ½ hours in length , and broadcast from 5:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. daily. Besides current news, there was coverage of politics, education, culture and even entertainment. All of the texts of RFE were created for and directed at the objective of joining listeners in a sense of unity and purpose: to keep hope alive in a captive and terrorized nation. Major goals were to expose the omnipotent authority of the U.B. (The Polish Ministry of Security- Public Security Service), its propaganda, deceitful accusations, repression and falsification of history and allowing Poles to learn the truth by revealing the true crimes and criminals. (more…)

The Warsaw Uprising 1944 in pictures

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw

Thursday, March 1st, 2007

A winter walk in Warsaw. Actually, a visit to just one site, but an important one – Plac Józef Piłsudski, or Józef Piłsudski Square.

A colonnade, damaged during the war, rises from the square, a fragment of the fomer Saski Palace. An eternal flame and an honor guard of soldiers stands before it. Every Pole knows that this is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
For several years there has been a custom that young couples come here after their wedding to place their bouquets as an offering to the Unknown Soldier. Such a beautiful patriotic gesture to begin their new lives. (more…)

Polish Mathematics in World Science

Monday, February 5th, 2007

In the last issue of the Forum, we published the first part of this history of mathematics in Poland. The article below continues the topic with a description of the influence of Polish mathematics on world science.

In any discussion of mathematics in Poland, one has to mention Professor J. Łukasiewicz, who created multi-valued logic. For example, if someone says that when visiting Warsaw, she always goes to the theater, and out of ten visits to Warsaw, she went to the theater seven times, we would say that the „degree of participation” is 0.7. There have long been computers built for „fuzzy” logic” and not only binary logic (there is current „1”  – there is no current „0”); they run, for example, the metros in many cities in Japan. (more…)

The Beginnings of Polish Mathematics

Friday, January 5th, 2007

Is it possible that our country, a land of great poets, writers, and poets, can also be one of the centers of world mathematics? Of course, thanks to the great mathematician, and astronomer, Nicolas Copernicus (1473-1543).

Were there others like him? And, by the way, what else can be discovered in the history of mathematics? We start with a few names from the distant past. Some of the young Poles studying at Italian, Austrian, or French universities in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries returned to Poland; others went from court to court practicing more applied notions of mathematics. Examples, writes R. Duda, include Witelon of Śląsk (ca.1230-ca. 1280) and Marcin Bylica (ca. 1434-1493; he spent almost his entire adult life in Italy and Hungary, as a professor at universities in Bologna and in Buda, or also as court astrologer to Roman cardinals and Hungarian kings). As we know, Copernicus, after studying at Italian universities, returned to Poland and created his greatw works in Frombork. (more…)

Gustaw Herling – Grudziński (1919-2000)

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

During „the year of Giedroyc”, the figure of Gustaw Herling-Grudziński (1919-2000), the friend and collaborator of Giedroyc in Kultura, a writer of the highest rank who can be placed on the same level as Miłosz or Gombrowicz, should also be remembered. For years, he was one of the great forgotten, considered enemy number one in the PRL and always erased from textbooks and publishers’ plans. If one did not have access to underground publications, then one did not have any chance to come across his name. This prisoner of the Soviet camps, who also served as a soldier in Anders’ army, a hero of Monte Cassino who lived in Naples after the war, was sentenced to literary nonexistence in communist Poland. His reception in Poland after 1989 was all the stronger because his work appeared suddenly at full creative maturity and raised questions related to philosophy, art, religion, literature, and politics. One can divide his work into three different areas: testimony, fiction, and chronicle.
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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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LESS IMPORTANT EXTERMINATION – Oversimplifying and Altering History

Wednesday, June 1st, 2005

On the sixtieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the world once again failed to recognize the Polish victims of the Nazi concentration camps. Instead, frequent remarks about “Polish concentration camps” once again reminded us of the extent of distortions and bias against the Polish cause in World War II that appears to be ever present in the English speaking world.  Accordingly, some remarks on the legacy of Auschwitz are in order.

Created pursuant to the 1933 decree on the protection of the German State, the first concentration camps were built in Pre-war Germany.  After the September 1939 invasion of Poland, most of the new concentration camps were built on the conquered Polish territory for the explicit purposes of exterminating undesirable population.  In addition to the well-known Auschwitz-Birkenau complex, at least seven other hub-like concentration camps were built in Poland, each one with a wide network of sub-camps.  Thus, the Germans set up Treblinka Concentration Camp for the Warsaw district, Majdanek Concentration Camp in central Poland for the Zamość region targeted for Arian colonization, and the Stutthof Concentration Camp with over forty auxiliary camps in northern Poland “to serve the needs of the Polish population in Pomerania,” as the German documents phrased it. (more…)

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…)