Saturday, April 29, 2017
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Polish Diaspora

The Black Madonna of Derby - Review

"The Black Madonna of Derby" is very readable and enjoyable novel about complexities of the life of multi-generational family of Polish origin settled in Derby, England.

It encompasses three generations starting with babcia (grandmother) who does not even speak English and finishing with the grandchildren. The book encompasses different time periods; the family saga starts before World War II and it ends at late 70s. It shows glimpses of life in Poland through the dangerous times of war, so called street "lapanka", when people are caught randomly on the streets and send them to labor camps in Germany. Eventually we see the post-war communistic Warsaw with newly built big buildings full of small flats and boring streets with similar stores half-empty inside. On the other hand we discover Krakow, royal city of Poland and its full of life cafeterias and the spirit of Polish people which is seemingly unbroken, in spite of the suffering they have to endure.The story is so interesting that I felt as like I become a part of the Baran's family.

Read more: The Black Madonna of Derby - Review


Open letter to Polish immigrants and Poles abroad

I would like to kindly ask you to take part in the project named "Registration of Polish collections abroad" carried out by the Department of Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad at the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. This enterprise has mainly scientific and documentary goals. Our objective is to gather information on actually existing Polish collections in order to preserve knowledge and memory of them, without any attempts to interfere in their property and organizational status.

Read more: Open letter to Polish immigrants and Poles abroad


Polish Emigration: Historical Review

Polish Diaspora abroad counts 15-20 mln people. Poles belong to the nationalities that have relatively high fraction of emigrants compared to the number of Poles that live in Poland (about 40 mln now, read more about it in the article: Poland - Basic Information - Facts - Statistics ). This is due to difficult Polish history, loss of independence, economical problems and due to the communism. The total numbers of Poles abroad are given in the article Polish Diaspora (Polonia) Worldwide .

Read more: Polish Emigration: Historical Review


Jadwiga's Crossing - a Story of the Great Polish Migration: Book Review

This novel is based on stories Aloysius A. Lutz heard growing up in Dunkirk, New York, in the early 20th Century - stories he later told to his son, Richard.

The story's factual content reads like a documentary of ocean travel at the end of the 19th Century. The reader will become familiar with the details of traveling by sail in 1869 - the conditions of travel as well as the physical and emotional problems the passengers. The story is told mostly through the eyes of a newlywed couple, Paul Adamik and Jadwiga Wdowiak Adamik. At its beginning, she finds him, an obedient soldier in the Prussian army, intending to re-enlist, carry on his family's farming tradition, or accept an offer to become the caretaker of his German lieutenant's lands in occupied Poland. But she is a strong-willed fisherman's daughter from the Baltic coast, and she has different plans for him.

Read more: Jadwiga's Crossing - a Story of the Great Polish Migration: Book Review


How to find the Family Nest: the Town or Village where your Family comes from

I receive lots of email from people who are trying to find the location of the town or village in Poland where their ancestors came from. Sometimes people know the name of the settlement but it is misspelled, sometimes the name is correct but they do not know how to find the right search engine or website on the internet.

If you are not sure whether the spelling of the settlement is correct please post the message in our Polish Culture Forum so that we can help. It would also be very useful if you know the area of Poland where your ancestors came from, since some of the websites are easier to maneuver if you know the province but it is not necessary.

Read more: How to find the Family Nest: the Town or Village where your Family comes from


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