Newsletter

2020 People and Events of the Year


2020 PEOPLE AND EVENTS OF THE YEAR

What became an established tradition in the 21st century, both chambers of Polish parliament (Sejm and Senate) vote on resolutions proclaiming selected historical figures or historical events to be celebrated as a person or event of the year.

For 2020, the members of Polish Parliament approved two historical events, one branch of science and six historical figures. Here they are in the chronological order of the related anniversaries.

On February 8, 2020, 25 years passes since the death of father Józef Maria Bocheński (1902-1995), a Dominican, logician and philosopher. He studied law in Lwów and economy in Poznań before earning two doctorates, in philosophy (University of Fribourg, Switzerland) and theology (Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Rome). All his life he defended the truths of faith and logic, and supported Poles fighting for freedom. As a soldier, he fought for Poland’s independence in Polish-Bolshevik War (1920) and in the Battle of Monte Cassino (1944). He also served as chaplain to Polish forces during the 1939 invasion of Poland and to the Polish II Corp under gen. Anders. Since 1945, he was a philosophy professor at the University of Fribourg (heading it between 1964-1966) and became widely known for his expertise in sovietology and philosophy of Marxism–Leninism.

February 10, 2020 marks the Centennial of the symbolic act of Poland’s “Wedding to the Sea” (Zaślubiny Polski z morzem) performed to celebrate Poland’s regained access to the Baltic Sea. Lost during the First Partition of Poland (1772), the free and secure access of Poland to the sea was explicitly called for in President Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points and brought to life by the Versailles Treaty. The ceremony took place in Puck on February 10, 1920 after the Blue Army under General Józef Haller liberated from German control all the lands assigned to Poland as so-called Polish Corridor. During the ceremony, general Haller rode on the horse into the icy Puck Bay and threw into the water one of two platinum rings with inscription “Gdańsk – Puck February 10, 1920.” (painting by Wojciech Kossak, 1931).

Designation of 2020 as the Year of Physics honors the centennial of Polish Physical Society (established on April 11, 1920) and contributions of Polish physicists made since Poland regained independence in 1918. The interbellum physicists named in the resolution include W.Rubinowicz (quantum mechanics, theory of radiation), A.Jabłoński (photophysics), M.Mięsowicz (liquid crystals, nuclear physics) and M.Wolfke (holography, television, helium solidification). Significant contributions since 1945 include research of A. Trautman (gravitational wave theory), J.Weyssenhoff (spinning fluids) and M.Danysz & J.Pniewski (Nobel nominees for the discovery of new subatomic particles). Most recently, Polish scientists participated in research awarded the Nobel Prize for the discovery of Higgs boson (2013) and neutrino oscillation (2015), as well as the prestigious “Breakthrough Prize” for neutrino research, discovery of the Higgs boson and research on gravitational waves.

May 16, 2020 brings into focus the 100th anniversary of the birth of Leopold Tyrmand (1920-1985), a seminal writer and journalist, one of the most unconventional creators of Polish literature of his time. He was revered for courage and upholding intellectual independence in the darkest times of communist rule. His novels, the iconic Bad (Zły), published in English as The Man with the White Eyes, and the uncompromising Dairy 1954 (Dziennik 1954), a unique account of absurdities of life in Stalinist Poland, still enjoy persistent popularity. When ban on playing jazz on the radio was lifted after Stalin’s death (1953), Tyrmand was instrumental in setting the stage for the flourishing of jazz in Poland. In 1966, he emigrated to the United States, where he continued to brilliantly analyze and write about the system enslaving countries behind the Iron Curtain

May 18, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the birthday of Saint John Paul II. Called often the “Polish Pope,” the “Millennial Pope” or the “Pope Pilgrim,” he has a special place in the history of Poland and the world. His life mission was to fight for the dignity and respect of every human being but he always emphasized his Polish roots. Viewing Polish heritage as a foundation of his openness to the diversity of people, he advocated dialogue between the followers of all religions. He made 104 pastoral journeys to every corner of the world. His first pilgrimage to Poland (1979) resulted in the emergence of “Solidarity”, the liberation of the nation from the communist rule and reconstruction of the unity of Europe. Notably, Lithuania also celebrates 2020 as the Year of Pope John Paul II.

June 14, 1920 brings the 50th anniversary of death of Roman Ingarden (1973-1970), one of the greatest Polish philosophers known for the impressive body of work in areas stretching from the philosophy of literature and aesthetics, to the theory of cognition and ontology. After studies of mathematics and philosophy in Lwów, Göttingen, Vienna and Fribourg, he became a professor at the Jan Kazimierz University in Lwów. After the war, he taught at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń and the Jagiellonian University in Kraków but between 1949-1957, he was banned from work for the critical attitude toward Soviet interpretation of Marxism. Ever a rationalist himself, he corresponded with Edith Stein for years, while Karol Wojtyła (later Pope John Paul II) and Józef Tischner (the first chaplain of the Solidarity trade union) were among his students.(Portrait by Ignacy Witkiewicz)

August 15, 2020 marks the centennial of the Battle of Warsaw fought between August 12-25, 1920 in the final stages of the Polish-Soviet War (1919-1921). The battle ended with a decisive victory of Polish forces and in the words of Lenin, the “enormous defeat” to the Red Army. Its importance went far beyond defending the independence of the newly reinstated Polish State (1918) because Polish triumph thwarted the Soviet plan to spread communism to the entire Europe. For this reason, British diplomat Edgar Vincent D’Abernon added it to the extended list of the most important battles in the world. The Polish victory is often referred to as the “Miracle at the Vistula” (Cud nad Wisłą) because thanks to the ingenious battle plan conceived by the Marshal Józef Piłsudski, it was achieved when Poles seemed to be on the verge of defeat.

October 7, 2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the death of hetman Stanisław Żółkiewski (1547-1620), one of the greatest commanders in the history of Polish arms. He served the country in many high-ranking posts becoming finally the Great Chancellor of the Crown (Kanclerz Koronny) and the Grand Hetman of the Crown (Wielki Hetman Koronny). He took part in all wars fought by the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth during his life. His most famous victory was the battle of Klushino (1610) during the Polish–Muscovite War (1605–1618), where 3,000 of Polish cavalry (mostly the famous hussars) defeated 30,000 of the combined Russian and Swedish forces and later seized Moscow and Smolensk (1611). Stanisław Żółkiewski died a heroic death when he refused to withdraw during the Battle of Cecora (1620) fought against the invading Ottoman Turks. (to the right in the detail from Jan Matejko’s painting Batory pod Pskowem)

On October 31, 2020, 55 years passes since the death of Lt. Col. Jan Kowalewski (1892 – 1965), an intelligence officer and amateur cryptologist who played crucial role in winning the Battle of Warsaw by breaking Soviet military codes. Upon his return from Belgium, where he studied chemistry at the University of Liège (1909-1913), he was first drafted into the Russian Army. In 1919, he landed back in Poland, joined Polish army and deciphered Soviet messages for the first time while serving under Gen. Józef Haller in Volhynia. He was immediately transferred to Warsaw, where he became a chief of the Polish General Staff’s radio-intelligence department and kept breaking thousands o of Soviet ciphers with help of famous Polish mathematicians (Stanisław Leśniewski, Stefan Mazurkiewicz and Wacław Sierpiński) he recruited. This unit was a precursor of the Polish Cipher Bureau formed in 1931 involved in breaking the Enigma code.

Irena Frączek (last edits on January 17, 2020)

Bookmark and Share
Wednesday, January 1st, 2020 Newsletter No Comments

2019 Holidays

Polish Carols with “Mazowsze”

Classic Polish Carols (4 hours)

Become a sponsor of the
FLAVOR OF POLAND

In January 2020, viewers of PBS cooking and travel programs will get a chance to explore the wonders and secrets of Polish cuisine from different regions across the country. The Flavor of Poland series has 13 episodes to be broadcast on all of over 340 PBS stations around the nation.

In Milwaukee, the series is scheduled to air on Saturdays at 3:30 pm starting on 1/11/2019 (WMVS) and on Sundays at 10:00 am starting on 1/13/2019 (VMVT).


 


Polish Independence Day
and Veterans Day celebration
Poland In a Year of Anniversaries
of Enormous Consequence
1979, 1989, 1999

Irena Frączek reports……….

“Today, one hundred and one years after Poland was reborn, Poland is free and independent, and because of NATO, it’s security is guaranteed by the other 28 NATO member countries… With this freedom, independence and level of security and self determination, Poland has created one of the most dynamic economies in Europe.”

2019 EVENT
photo gallery

In these words, filled with pride and appreciation for Poland’s achievements, current President of the Polish American Congress (PAC) America Division, David Rydzewski, set the upbeat tone for the 2019 celebration of Polish Independence Day (Narodowe Święto Niepodległości) and the American Veterans Day held in Milwaukee area annually since 1997.

Poland has the fastest growing economy in Europe with unemployment at a 28 year low, skilled labor force educated in the extensive system of universities and technical schools, and over 300 R&D centers established to facilitate cutting edge innovation.

Among hallmarks of Polish economy is Aviation Valley, a cluster of over 160 aerospace & aviation companies, along with a booming yacht-building industry (Poland is now Europe’s second largest manufacturer of yachts) and strong auto-making industry. A new Central Airport to be constructed between Warsaw and Łódź can become the largest in Europe.

Mr. Rydzewski’s praise for the Polish economy (see details to the right) were music to the ears of over 200 guests gathered in the beautiful banquet hall of the Polish Center of Wisconsin. Welcoming them in the facility built to reflect the “Polish tradition of gracious hospitality” was Steven Chybowski, the President of the Polish Heritage Alliance managing the center. In a brief overview of the alliance’s activities, Mr. Chybowski noted that in 2020, it will be 20 years since the center opened its doors after 13 years of hard work that went into erecting it. And this was just the first one of many anniversaries recognized on that day.

Another praise for Poland’s economy experiencing 28 years of growth uninterrupted even by the latest recession came from Piotr Janicki, Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago. He shared also the joyous news about Poland joining the 38 countries already participating in the Visa Waiver Program (going into effect on November 11, 2019) and substantial increase of direct flights from Poland to Midwest (to 15 per week starting in 2020). These developments are expected to strengthen the economic, social and cultural exchange between our countries. Among anniversaries of great importance to contemporary Poland, Consul Janicki noted:
     ● 100 years since the re-establishment of the USA-Poland diplomatic relations (1919);
     ● 20 years since Poland joined the NATO alliance (1999);
     ● 15 years since Poland became a member of the European Union (2004).

In the main speech of the day, David Rydzewski extolled a few other memorable events that helped Poland on its quest for freedom and prosperity:
     ● 75 years since the Polish American Congress was founded (1944 in Buffalo, NY);
     ● 40 years since Pope John Paul II made his first historic trip to his homeland (1979);
     ● 30 years since Solidarity movement won an incredible election victory over the Communist
     regime and the Solidarity-led government began to build a prosperous Poland;
     ● 20 years since the Polish American Congress, nationally and in Wisconsin, played a vital role
     in helping Poland’ s entry into the NATO alliance (1999).

After the invocation given by Deacon Theodore Gurzynski and an elegant luncheon ending with the well-deserved applause for the cooking staff, the focus shifted to the commemoration of our veterans. In her short remarks, Nellie De Baker, the Wisconsin State Commander of the Polish Legion of American Veterans, and National Vice Commander, made a heartfelt appeal to pause and reflect on the sacrifices made to win the Poland’s independence, and to never forget the heroic fighters for freedom, their families, and all those who continue to serve in the USA and in Poland.

The event’s MC, Mark Pienkos (Past President of PAC WI Division, Presently Polish American Congress National Vice President for Public Relations) introduced one of those fighters “For Our Freedom and Yours” (Za naszą i waszą wolność) present at the ceremony in person. Ted (Tadeusz) Cisek participated in the Operation Market Garden as part of the 1st Polish Parachute Brigade. In September 2019, he returned to Arnhem and Driel at the invitation of the Dutch government for events organized to pay a 75th Anniversary tribute to those Polish soldiers.

Ted Cisek was a 2001 recipient of the Congressman Clement Zablocki Award traditionally presented to the recipients during the Independence Day/Veterans Day Luncheon. In 2019, another four deserving individuals joined the group of nearly 100 past recipients of this distinction, and assisting the honorees were PAC member Karen Więckowski, PAC Recording Secretary Derek Zarzeczny and PAC Sgt. at Arms Hank Kulesza:

READ THE REST OF THIS POST HERE

 

Bookmark and Share
Monday, December 23rd, 2019 Newsletter No Comments

2019 December Medley

Polish National Song and Dance Ensemble

ŚLĄSK

Currently touring the USA and Canada with a spectacular concert to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Poland regaining independence.

Concert in Milwaukee
December 18, 2019, 7-9 pm
Basilica of St. Josaphat
tickets online or in the
Basilica’s gift shop

A portion of the ticket sales goes
toward Basilica’s organ restoration

Become a sponsor of the
FLAVOR OF POLAND

In January 2020, viewers of PBS cooking and travel programs will get a chance to explore the wonders and secrets of Polish cuisine from different regions across the country. The Flavor of Poland series has 13 episodes to be broadcast on all of over 340 PBS stations around the nation.

In Milwaukee, the series is scheduled to air on Saturdays at 3:30 pm starting on 1/11/2019 (WMVS) and on Sundays at 10:00 am starting on 1/13/2019 (VMVT).

Two performances of Śląsk in Chicago:

Holy Trinity Polish Catholic Church
December 20 at 8pm, tickets online

St. Ferdinand Catholic Church
December 22 at 10:30am, tickets online

Performances of the Polish National Song and Dance Ensemble “ Śląsk have been described as one of the most dazzling spectacles in the world! Named after the Poland’s region called Silesia, the group was founded in 1953 by Stanisław Hadyna to preserve and showcase the unique folklore of Upper Silesia, Cieszyn Silesia, and the Beskid Mountains. While this scope was quickly expanded to include other regions of Poland, no other group presents folklore of Polish highlanders better than “Śląsk“. Over the years, Śląsk has earned worldwide recognition by visiting 44 countries on five continents and giving over seven thousand concerts to an audience of over 25 million – including the group’s patron Pope John Paul II. The ensemble performed in all European capitals as well as major cities throughout Africa, the United States, Australia, China, and Japan.

 


 


Polish Independence Day
and Veterans Day celebration
Poland In a Year of Anniversaries
of Enormous Consequence
1979, 1989, 1999

Irena Frączek reports……….

“Today, one hundred and one years after Poland was reborn, Poland is free and independent, and because of NATO, it’s security is guaranteed by the other 28 NATO member countries… With this freedom, independence and level of security and self determination, Poland has created one of the most dynamic economies in Europe.”

2019 EVENT
photo gallery

In these words, filled with pride and appreciation for Poland’s achievements, current President of the Polish American Congress (PAC) America Division, David Rydzewski, set the upbeat tone for the 2019 celebration of Polish Independence Day (Narodowe Święto Niepodległości) and the American Veterans Day held in Milwaukee area annually since 1997.

Poland has the fastest growing economy in Europe with unemployment at a 28 year low, skilled labor force educated in the extensive system of universities and technical schools, and over 300 R&D centers established to facilitate cutting edge innovation.

Among hallmarks of Polish economy is Aviation Valley, a cluster of over 160 aerospace & aviation companies, along with a booming yacht-building industry (Poland is now Europe’s second largest manufacturer of yachts) and strong auto-making industry. A new Central Airport to be constructed between Warsaw and Łódź can become the largest in Europe.

Mr. Rydzewski’s praise for the Polish economy (see details to the right) were music to the ears of over 200 guests gathered in the beautiful banquet hall of the Polish Center of Wisconsin. Welcoming them in the facility built to reflect the “Polish tradition of gracious hospitality” was Steven Chybowski, the President of the Polish Heritage Alliance managing the center. In a brief overview of the alliance’s activities, Mr. Chybowski noted that in 2020, it will be 20 years since the center opened its doors after 13 years of hard work that went into erecting it. And this was just the first one of many anniversaries recognized on that day.

Another praise for Poland’s economy experiencing 28 years of growth uninterrupted even by the latest recession came from Piotr Janicki, Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago. He shared also the joyous news about Poland joining the 38 countries already participating in the Visa Waiver Program (going into effect on November 11, 2019) and substantial increase of direct flights from Poland to Midwest (to 15 per week starting in 2020). These developments are expected to strengthen the economic, social and cultural exchange between our countries. Among anniversaries of great importance to contemporary Poland, Consul Janicki noted:
     ● 100 years since the re-establishment of the USA-Poland diplomatic relations (1919);
     ● 20 years since Poland joined the NATO alliance (1999);
     ● 15 years since Poland became a member of the European Union (2004).

In the main speech of the day, David Rydzewski extolled a few other memorable events that helped Poland on its quest for freedom and prosperity:
     ● 75 years since the Polish American Congress was founded (1944 in Buffalo, NY);
     ● 40 years since Pope John Paul II made his first historic trip to his homeland (1979);
     ● 30 years since Solidarity movement won an incredible election victory over the Communist
     regime and the Solidarity-led government began to build a prosperous Poland;
     ● 20 years since the Polish American Congress, nationally and in Wisconsin, played a vital role
     in helping Poland’ s entry into the NATO alliance (1999).

After the invocation given by Deacon Theodore Gurzynski and an elegant luncheon ending with the well-deserved applause for the cooking staff, the focus shifted to the commemoration of our veterans. In her short remarks, Nellie De Baker, the Wisconsin State Commander of the Polish Legion of American Veterans, and National Vice Commander, made a heartfelt appeal to pause and reflect on the sacrifices made to win the Poland’s independence, and to never forget the heroic fighters for freedom, their families, and all those who continue to serve in the USA and in Poland.

The event’s MC, Mark Pienkos (Past President of PAC WI Division, Presently Polish American Congress National Vice President for Public Relations) introduced one of those fighters “For Our Freedom and Yours” (Za naszą i waszą wolność) present at the ceremony in person. Ted (Tadeusz) Cisek participated in the Operation Market Garden as part of the 1st Polish Parachute Brigade. In September 2019, he returned to Arnhem and Driel at the invitation of the Dutch government for events organized to pay a 75th Anniversary tribute to those Polish soldiers.

Ted Cisek was a 2001 recipient of the Congressman Clement Zablocki Award traditionally presented to the recipients during the Independence Day/Veterans Day Luncheon. In 2019, another four deserving individuals joined the group of nearly 100 past recipients of this distinction, and assisting the honorees were PAC member Karen Więckowski, PAC Recording Secretary Derek Zarzeczny and PAC Sgt. at Arms Hank Kulesza:

READ THE REST OF THIS POST HERE

 

Bookmark and Share
Wednesday, December 11th, 2019 Newsletter No Comments