Friday, April 28, 2017
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Polish Diaspora

“The Sweetest Enemy” – Review

Sweetest EnemySweetest Enemy, written by Joanna Czechowska,  is a continuation the story that began with The Black Madonna of Derby. It shows complicated lives of Polish immigrants of second and third generation, who live in Derby, England and their relatives in Poland. The first part entitled "The Black Madonna of Derby" takes place before and after World War II and winds up at the end of 70s. Please, check the review at: Black Madonna of Derby - Review.

"Sweetest Enemy" story begins in Gdansk's shipyard in the 1980 after establishment of Solidarity's Workers' Union. Poland's of Solidarity times is showed through eyes of Alex Lato. Alex is a shipyard worker by profession but an artist in heart. The narrative continues during Martial Law in Poland and in Great Britain until the middle 80s and beginning 90s.

Read more: “The Sweetest Enemy” – Review


Bielaski Family - Lincoln, Baseball & FBI

Born in Minsk, Lithuanian Poland in 1811, Aleksander Bielaski was trained to be a topographical engineer. When the uprising of 1831 against the Russians began, young Bielaski took part with the Polish forces in the defense of Warsaw. After the rebellion, he was exiled to France. From there, he made his way to the U.S. with thousands of other dispossessed Poles.
Once here, Bielaski was employed by railroads as a civil engineer and surveyor. He opened a land office in Springfield, Illinois in 1837 and became a friend of young Abraham Lincoln. He married, spent some time working in Mexico, got a job with the U.S. General Land Office and eventually moved to Washington, D.C. where he was employed as a draftsman.
When the Civil War broke out, Bielaski's old friend and now President Abe Lincoln personally recruited him at his home to accept an officer's commission as aide-de-camp to General John McClernand. Tragically, Captain Bielaski died in the Battle of Belmont, Mo. on November 7, 1861. He left behind his wife and seven children. One of them, Oscar Bielaski, had managed to join the Union army as a drummer boy where he supposedly learned to play the game of base ball from other soldiers.

Read more: Bielaski Family - Lincoln, Baseball & FBI


What does your Polish last name mean?

Have you ever wondered what your Polish last name means? Many started out as nicknames to indicate who one's father was. Andrzejczak, Tomczyk and Janowicz are the Polish equivalents of Anderson, Thomson and Johnson. Other surnames described the inhabitant of a native village: Wiśniewski came from Wiśniew (Cherrywood) and Wróblewski hailed from Wróblewo (Sparrowville).

Read more: What does your Polish last name mean?


Our People and Their Lives – The Talko Sisters

The story of the Talko family is like that of many others. The family was bound together by traditions, upbringing, and the faith. Their hands were for work, their hearts for God. Felix Pavlovich Talko, the father of the family, came from the petty bourgeois of the small village of Chudrov, Volynia province, and served his military service in Vladivostok on the steamship Rurik. The mother, Malgashata Seminskaia, came to Vladivostok from Lublin with the family of a railroad engineer for whom she worked as a maid. Felix and Malgashata met at Polish House on Aluetskaia Street, where there were often festive gatherings, concerts and magnificent holiday celebrations. Modest, hard-working and deeply devout, they caught each other's fancy and in the early summer of 1905 they were married at the Catholic church. The young couple settled in a room on Pushkin Street and a year later moved to the Zharikovskii Ravine district.
Olimpia & Kazimira Taiko
Olumpia and Kacimira Taiko

Colin Powell Honored on Polish Armed Forces Day

Colin PowellWASHINGTON, D.C. Polish Armed Forces Day was celebrated here on September 30, 2010 at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland. The numerous military, diplomatic, governmental, civilian and Polonia guests were hosted by Ambassador Robert Kupiecki and Brigadier General Leszek Soczewica.

     Ambassador Kupiecki welcomed everyone and said that Poland reserves this special day to honor its generations of armed forces who fought for - and defend - Poland. Today, a free Poland is an active member of NATO and the European Union. The U.S. supports Poland as a military partner with advanced training and modern equipment; and Poland currently cooperates with U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

     Poland's Minister of Defense, Bogdan Klich, was the guest of honor. His recent  meeting here with Robert Gates, U.S. Secretary of Defense was described as "concise and useful. " It focused on stationing U.S. Patriot missiles, transport aircraft, F-16 fighter planes, and possibly its special forces, in Poland. Klich addressed Poland's NATO military commitments in Afghanistan, and Poland's planned withdraw from there in 2014 at the latest.

     The highlight of the evening was the introduction of Colin Powell and his wife Alma. He was a U.S. General and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989-1993), which topped his long and fruitful military career. Powell later entered the political arena and eventually served as U.S. Secretary of State from 2001-2005.

Read more: Colin Powell Honored on Polish Armed Forces Day


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