“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.