Friday, April 28, 2017
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People in History

Ryszard Kapuscinski: Most Celebrated Polish Journalist

Ryszard Kapuscinski (1932-2007) - most celebrated Polish journalist died on January 23, 2007 after unsuccessful heart surgery.

Kapuscinski was nominated for the Nobel Prize, but unfortunately he died too soon. He would fully deserve the Nobel since his journalistic work contributed greatly to our better understanding of less familiar parts of the world. Kapuscinski did not really care much for awards or recognition and treated his life as a mission. He was sent to countries scourged by conflicts and violence, where he tried to understand the lives of average people. He never simplified the reality of politics or marked the sides of conflict as black or white.

Read more: Ryszard Kapuscinski: Most Celebrated Polish Journalist


Edward Pulaski: Heroic Firefighter and Inventor

The year 1910 was the driest on record in northern Idaho and western Montana. By spring, thousands of small fires were already burning in the densely forested hills and valleys of the region. On August 20 gale force winds fanned the flames into one huge holocaust which threatened to destroy dozens of towns in the area. Every able bodied man was drafted by U.S. Forest Service rangers to fight the fire to save lives and property. One of the rangers was Edward C. Pulaski.

Read more: Edward Pulaski: Heroic Firefighter and Inventor


Garden of Venus: The Real Story of Sophie Potocka

Garden of Venus by Eva Stachniak is based on a real life story of a famous courtesan, beautiful Sophie Glavani born in Greece in the middle of the 18th century. The novel is set up in two slightly differing times and circumstances. We get to know Sophie as a girl of simple origin, a sweet young "Dou-Dou", we watch her become a lover of a Polish minister in Istanbul, a young wife of a Polish noble, and finally the wife of Count Felix Potocki and a Polish countess. She was able to change her status thanks to her beauty, intelligence and shrewdness. The complicated story of Sophie's life is intermingled with history - since her two husbands (Jan de Witt and Count Felix Potocki) and her children were prominent figures in Polish history of the turn of 18th and 19th centuries. Felix Potocki was so much in love with Sophie, his wife, that he built a beautiful garden which he called "Sophievka" in her name.

Read more: Garden of Venus: The Real Story of Sophie Potocka


Nicolaus Copernicus: His Theory and Times

CopernicusCopernicus (1473-1543) was rediscovered many times. When I was still a schoolgirl, the 500-hundred-year anniversary of his birth was celebrated (1973). Every schoolchild had to recite information about Copernicus's life and achievements. Just a couple of months ago, Copernicus's skull was identified. The old debate revived - was he a German or a Pole? This debate is quite fruitless since in Copernicus' times national identification was not the same as it is today. Copernicus was for his all life a faithful subject of the Polish king and a bitter enemy of the Teutonic Order, although he inherited German blood, especially from his mother's side. Copernicus used only Latin in writing his scientific works since Latin was the language of science and of communication with the world community of scholars.

Read more: Nicolaus Copernicus: His Theory and Times


Women in Poland's Early History

March is considered the Month of Women. In Poland, Women's Day was celebrated on March 8th. Sadly, the traditions of Women's Day, when all women were given some extra favors from men and beautiful flowers, are fading away. Women's Day is now considered to be a part of the communist tradition because it was celebrated in the majority of Eastern European countries, especially in Soviet Union.

Read more: Women in Poland's Early History


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