Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Seventy Years Ago…

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

February 10, 1940 – the second most important date, after the Soviet invasion of September 17, 1939, to engrave itself in the memories of the residents of the eastern kresy (borderlands) of the Second Republic. The first mass deportation of Poles to Siberian camps, officially known as „resettlement”, began at dawn on February 10th, seventy years ago. More than 220,000 people were taken – state officials (including judges, prosecutors, and policemen), self-government activists, foresters, landowners, and those in the military with families. The deported were taken to the northern regions of the Soviet Union, near Archangelsk, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk, and Komi. An estimated one and a half to two million Poles were taken to this „inhuman land” by the Soviets during  four deporations, lasting until June 1941. (more…)

Memories of Christmas Eve

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

The year was 1943 and the winter, as is usual in the Bialystok region, was harsh.  The trees looked like glassy, motionless objects.  Houses in the entire town stood shrouded in melancholy  and dread.  As night fell, the lights went dark in the windows, leaving only the moon casting its glow among distant cold stars.  Sometimes passing airplanes could be  heard,  followed by  the sounds of bombs exploding far away  and then a glow of fires burning somewhere over the horizon reflected in the night sky. (more…)

Professor Maciuszko and General Kościuszko

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

September 28, 2009 marked the 70th anniversary of the Nazi-Soviet Friendship and Bounty Treaty also known as the second Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact.  On that day David Barnett presented an extensive interview with Prof.  Jerzy Maciuszko in a radio program entitled ‘Around Noon’ on WCPN 90.3 FM.  As a soldier of the 50th Infantry Brigade of the Polish Army, Jerzy Maciuszko was one of the first who stood up against the invading Nazi army in the early days of September   1939.  At the outset of the war, his platoon came under intense German fire and suffered heavy losses.  Only a small number of the Polish soldiers survived. He was among the lucky ones.

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A Child’s View of the Warsaw Uprising

Monday, August 24th, 2009

As part of the European Union program, „Europe for Citizens”, the Museum of the City of Warsaw has published an anthology of writings in Polish, English, and German. Below is an abbreviated version of the story of an eleven-year-old girl.
Our family was intact at the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising (my parents must have known when it was about to begin). The first of August, at 5 pm. The sirens began, and the city began to come to life. Through the open window of our apartment on the first floor of 5 Grzybowska Street, the sounds of war came bursting in, growing louder. The residents began building a barricade at the beginning of the street, near the gate of the building. In several hours the barricade had grown high and wide and the soldiers of the Home Army felt safe behind it. Finally, Warsaw, tortured by the occupation, was attacking its enemy. (more…)

The “Enigma” Secret

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

Some time ago, Dr. Elzbieta Ulanowska published an article in our “Forum” on the enormous contribution of Polish mathematicians in the victory over the Bolsheviks in 1920. Let me only remind readers that the Polish mathematicians deciphered the code used by the Red Army, so all the moves of the Red Army’s divisions were well known to the Polish leadership.

Many of us remember another, better known event in this history, when, again, Polish mathematicians played the main role. This is the Enigma Secret. And here’s how it all started. In 1927, or at the beginning of 1928, an innocent package has arrived from the German Reich at a customs office in Warsaw. (more…)

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…)