Archive for the ‘History’ Category

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…)

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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