Portal:Poland/Did you know/archive
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- ... that the first concert of the Kraków Philharmonic Orchestra (hall pictured) in postwar Poland took place three months ahead of the end of World War II in Europe?
- ... that developments in the Polish film industry during the Interbellum saw the emergence of stars like Pola Negri (pictured)?
- ... that Onufry Zagłoba (pictured), a character in Henryk Sienkiewicz's Trilogy, has been compared to William Shakespeare's Falstaff?
- ... that 444 years ago, Poland's Royal Posts were entrusted to an Italian banker, Sebastiano Montelupi?
- ... that Count Emeryk Hutten-Czapski gathered his historical collections for the National Museum of Kraków mainly through purchasing entire collections of other noble families?
- ... that in the first half of the 19th century, the Sejm of the Grand Duchy of Posen continued Polish parliamentary traditions in the territories of the Prussian partition?
- ... that Wojciech Stattler (pictured) introduced live model studies, including nude art models, to the School of Fine Arts in Kraków?
- ... that popes awarded blessed swords and hats to defenders of Christendom, including at least 12 emperors, 10 kings of France, 7 kings of Poland, 6 kings of Spain, and the nation of Switzerland?
- ... that the Royal postmaster Roberto Bandinelli moved to Poland to escape possible imprisonment in Florence?
- ... that only one of the 114 registered museums in Poland is privately owned?
- ... that Jan Nepomucen Głowacki, considered the father of the Polish school of landscape painting, was the first to devote an entire series of works to the Tatra Mountains (example pictured)?
- ... that Rabbi Aryeh Tzvi Frumer, a leading rosh yeshiva in prewar Poland, was forced to work in a Warsaw Ghetto factory making footwear for German soldiers?
- ... that Albert Einstein's letter to the World Congress of Intellectuals in Defense of Peace, held in 1948 in Wrocław, was censored to remove his call for a world government?
- ... that the Polish-Russian border, now only 232 km (144 mi) long, used to be much longer?
- ... that Eustachy Trepka, Stanisław Murzynowski, and Hieronim Malecki were early Polish Lutherans who translated the Gospels, works of Martin Luther, and other religious texts while working in Königsberg in the 16th century?
- ... that Leopold Loeffler, who worked on commissions for the court of Franz Joseph, became the professor at the School of Fine Arts in Kraków on the invitation of Poland's national painter, Jan Matejko?
- ... that when Rabbi Avraham Kalmanowitz cried, "even the [U.S.] State Department listened"?
- ... that Władysław Machejek was a political hack writer during the Stalinist terror in Poland following World War II?
- ... that a 19th-century brick synagogue (pictured) in Radzanów designed with Moorish-style motifs, serves now as a public library as there are no Jews left in the village?
- ... that the Polish-Latin dictionary written by one of the Polish Brethren, Jan Mączyński, included translations of jargon and was the subject of a satirical poem by Jan Kochanowski?
- ... that Poczta Królewiecka ("Königsberg Post"), published from 1718 to 1720, was the second oldest Polish newspaper?
- ... that the account of life in the Yertsevo labor camp, described in the book A World Apart by Gustaw Herling-Grudziński, preceded Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's revelations about gulags by a decade?
- ... that Teofila Ludwika Zasławska (pictured) and her second husband owned the Baranów Sandomierski Castle and three other palaces designed by royal architect Tylman van Gameren?
- ... that Hans Weinreich issued the first printed books in Lithuanian and Old Prussian, as well as the first Polish translation of Luther's Small Catechism?
- ... that painter Leopold Pilichowski was known for his commitment to social commentary and psychological depictions of Jewish themes in a heavily industrialized environment?
- ... that the Stanisław Baranowski Spitsbergen Polar Station is named after the Polish glaciologist Stanisław Baranowski who died in a coma following an accident at the Henryk Arctowski Polish Antarctic Station?
- ... that painter Maurycy Trębacz belonged to the first generation of Jewish artists from Poland who broke away from the age-old religious prohibition on portraying a human figure (example pictured)?
- ... that Hieronymus Roth, an alderman of Königsberg who wanted Ducal Prussia to remain a Polish fief, was imprisoned for life by Great Elector Frederick William?
- ... that Austrian historian Dagobert Frey led the Gestapo in a mass looting campaign from the Warsaw and Kraków museums and national art galleries during the Nazi German occupation of Poland?
- ... that Kabaret Starszych Panów ("Elderly Gentlemen's Cabaret"; statues of the hosts pictured) was a cult Polish TV show, poking fun at the reality of the early People's Republic of Poland?
- ... that the first Protestant translation of the New Testament into Polish was published by Jan Seklucjan in Königsberg between 1551 and 1553?
- ... that artist and academician Władysław Łuszczkiewicz, who taught and inspired Poland's national painter Jan Matejko, gave private art classes for free to struggling artists?
- ... that just before the invasion of Poland, members of the German minority from Deutscher Volksverband were trained in sabotage by the Abwehr agents arriving in Poland from Germany?
- ... that the Great Polish Map of Scotland (portion pictured) was the brainchild of a Polish war veteran and is claimed to be the largest terrain relief model in the world?
- ... that the Battle of Martynów in 1624 was one of the largest Polish victories over the Tatar raiders?
- ... that Rabbi Alexander Zusia Friedman alerted world Jewry to the start of deportations from the Warsaw Ghetto to death camps in a coded message referring to "Mr. Amos"?
- ... that a majority of German-Swedish forces in the Battle of Czarne mutinied, capitulated and then joined the Polish Army?
- ... that the Swedes withdrew from the nearly won Battle of Dirschau (now Tczew) in 1624 due to the wound received by their king, Gustavus Adolphus?
- ... that Michael Sokolski, inventor of the Scantron multiple-choice optical answer sheet system, used to drive Polish tanks in Italy during World War II?
- ... that the ruined town of Miedzianka in Poland was a site of a secret Soviet uranium mine?
- ... that a sketch by Kabaret Olgi Lipińskiej ("Olga Lipińska Cabaret") resulted in an official protest by the Soviet embassy in Warsaw, followed by secret police questioning?
- ... that Bajan's list records the kill scores of Polish fighter pilots of World War II (number of German aircraft shot down by the 303 Squadron chalked onto a Hurricane pictured)?
- ... that the Cossack Zhmaylo Uprising ended without a decisive battle having been fought?
- ... that sources give two different commanders for the Polish forces participating in the Battle of Grudziądz of 1659?
- ... that one of the most popular Polish cabarets, Pod Egidą ("Under the Aegis"), performing since 1967, faced persecution from the communist authorities in the People's Republic of Poland?
- ... that the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland recovers and restores synagogues (example pictured) that had been nationalized under Communist rule?
- ... that the Battle of Ochmatów in 1644 was one of the largest victories of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth over the Crimean Tatars?
- ... that in 1981, Mirosław Chojecki went on a hunger strike for 33 days?
- ... that Dorota Krzysztofek, a glamour model, challenged her 2008 conviction for sunbathing topless and won her case in a court of appeals?
- ... that Jan Matejko created an ironic self-caricature of himself painting one of his works, Astronomer Copernicus, or Conversations with God (pictured)?
- ... that Ignacy Krasicki's Pan Podstoli, penned in 1778, was one of the first Polish novels?
- ... that during the Stalinist terror Baron Jerzy Waldorff defamed Catholic priests while serving as an editor of the popular Kraków magazine Przekrój?
- ... that the 1976 song "Żeby Polska była Polską" ("Let Poland Be Poland") by Jan Pietrzak became one of the anthems of Solidarity?
- ... that the Łazienkowska Thoroughfare (pictured), the most famous road in Poland, was part of the main transportation route for UEFA Euro 2012 connecting the Okęcie Airport with the National Stadium in Warsaw?
- ... that Karol Boscamp-Lasopolski, a courtier and diplomat, was executed by an angry mob during the Kościuszko Uprising?
- ... that Jan Matejko's painting The Hanging of the Sigismund Bell received a golden medal at the Paris World's Fair of 1878?
- ... that the PZL SM-4 Łątka helicopter never flew, because its engine was not approved for use in flight?
- ... that composer Włodzimierz Korcz received most recognition for the music to "Let Poland Be Poland", a protest song which was adopted as an informal anthem of the Solidarity trade union in Communist Poland?
- ... that the NOT Tower (pictured) in Kraków was nicknamed Skeletor after it had been abandoned by the Polish Federation of Engineering Associations and left unfinished for 30 years?
- ... that Polish historian Stefania Wolicka was one of the first women to receive a PhD in modern Europe?
- ... that communist Poland's ORMO voluntary police reserves specialized in staging and performing criminal acts, unlawful arrests, and street beatings of peaceful protesters?
- ... that theatre director and TV comedy producer Olga Lipińska launched her cabaret under Soviet-style socialism hoping to make the world a better place?
- ... that the Piotruś mountain in the Low Beskid range is the site of a pond and stream where Saint John of Dukla is said to have rested?
- ... that Jadwiga Apostoł (pictured), a school teacher and conspirator, survived three Nazi German camps, including Auschwitz, and was jailed in Stalinist Poland on trumped-up charges soon after her return?
- ... that the Army of the Congress Poland was disbanded after the November Uprising, which marked the end of an independent Polish army for close to a century?
- ... that the Polish Writers' Union had an annual budget set by the state allowing for food supplements, health clinics, foreign travel, cars, vacations, stipends, and cash prizes?
- ... that Albert Finney initially declined the role of the Polish-born pontiff in Herbert Wise's TV biopic Pope John Paul II as he did not want to play someone so high-profile?
- ... that the military of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (troops pictured) was so underfunded that it was often outnumbered 12 to 1 by neighboring armies?
- ... that children as young as eight were forced to work in a stone quarry in a Polenlager during the German occupation of Polish Silesia?
- ... that, during their fight against the Moldo-Wallachian Cuza regime, Românul editors agitated in international radical circles, assisted the rebellious Polish émigrés, and feigned madness?
- ... that Stanisław Klimecki served as the mayor of Kraków only for a few weeks before being fired and arrested by the Gestapo in September 1939, which led to his execution in 1942?
- ... that Wojciech Smarzowski's film Róża won the Polish Film Award in seven categories in 2011?
- ... that the army of the Duchy of Warsaw (troops pictured) was able to field almost 100,000 men, more than the larger Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth ever could for its army?
- ... that Polish resistance member Tadeusz Popek was one of only two known prisoners to have escaped from the Nazi German torture centre at the Palace Hotel in Zakopane?
- ... that the Poznań dance style was copied by Manchester City football fans after their team played Lech Poznań?
- ... that Bruno Müller was implicated in Nazi German atrocities against Polish academics, Ukrainian Jews, and prisoners in a slave labor camp, but died a free man?
- ... that Jan Matejko's painting Stańczyk (pictured), portraying a solemn court jester, is considered one of the most recognized and significant paintings of Poland?
- ... that Tadeusz Lehr-Spławiński was released from Sachsenhausen concentration camp with a group of Kraków academics due to protest by prominent Italians including Benito Mussolini and the Holy See?
- ... that the large prehistoric amphibian Cyclotosaurus, known mostly from finds in Germany and Poland, had a skull up to 70 cm long?
- ... that Edward Gierek of Poland and János Kádár of Hungary placed themselves within the pro-Soviet orthodox camp at the 1976 European Communist Conference, but expressed certain individual nuances?
- ... that the subversive newsletter made for German occupation authorities by the Polish underground Tatra Confederation was so well written that the Germans thought it was produced internally?
- ... that at its extreme, serfdom in Poland required a peasant (pictured, in stocks) to work eight days a week for his feudal lord?
- ... that an opole was an early Polish administrative division that predated the creation of a unified Kingdom of Poland?
- ... that the privileges of Polish nobility were unprecedented in Europe, giving the nobles the right to control most legislation, foreign relations, taxation, elect a king and rebel against him?
- ... that on the southern slopes of Maja e Thatë lies the Cave of Haxhia, a Nature Monument of Albania, explored by Polish speleologists?
- ... that writer Łukasz Orbitowski (pictured) was one of the pioneers of setting horror stories in mundane, modern Polish cities?
- ... that the baptism of Poland in 966 led to its recognition by other European powers?
- ... that slavery existed in Poland during the Middle Ages, but eventually disappeared with the transformation of slaves into serfs?
- ... that Krzysztof Szwernicki was named "Apostle of Siberia" by Pope Leo XIII?
- ... that Piotr Skrzynecki (pictured), founder of the Piwnica pod Baranami ("Rams Cellar") cabaret, who became a "legend in his own lifetime", did not care for material wealth and was homeless for a time?
- ... that deputies of the Sejm of the Duchy of Warsaw circumvented the restriction on debating by staying in the chamber after the session officially ended?
- ... that Polish mathematician Stefan Banach and poet Zbigniew Herbert survived the Holocaust working as feeders of lice?
- ... that in one of its last acts, the Sejm of the Congress Poland (session pictured) deposed Emperor Nicholas I of Russia from the Polish throne?
- ... that Kaytek the Wizard, the second novel by Polish author and pedagogue Janusz Korczak to be translated into English, has often been compared to Harry Potter?
- ... that in 1968, Alfred Jahn, rector of the Wrocław University, supported students who were striking against communist censorship and lost his position as a result?
- ... that Battle of Grunwald (fragment pictured), a large canvas painting by Jan Matejko, was among the most wanted artifacts that Nazi Germany planned to destroy?
- ... that the Society of Friends of the Constitution, formed in 1791 to support the Constitution of 3 May, was the first Polish political party?
- ... that the fourth Rebbe of Radomsk, founder of a network of 36 Hasidic yeshivas in pre-war Poland, paid for the education of over 4,000 students out of his own pocket?
- ... that hundreds of Polish coal miners spent two weeks underground in the 1981 strike at the Piast Coal Mine in Bieruń?
- ... that Polish writer Ferdynand Goetel (pictured) participated in the first delegation sent by the Nazis to confirm the discovery of the Katyn massacre perpetrated by the Soviets?
- ... that the 1764 Russo-Prussian alliance, formed two years after the signatories clashed in the Seven Years' War, allowed them to intervene in internal matters of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth?
- ... that Polish writer and educator Konrad Prószyński, author of internationally recognized primers, had to struggle with the censorship in the Russian Empire?
- ... that Dovid Bornsztain, the third Sochatchover rebbe, supervised the education of several hundred yeshiva students in the Warsaw Ghetto?
- ... that the figure of Abbé Morio in Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace was modeled on Scipione Piattoli (pictured), one of the drafters of the Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791?
- ... that the abolition of serfdom in Poland was spurred by unrest and uprisings such as the Kraków Uprising and the January Uprising?
- ... that Siedlce pogrom in the Congress Poland was organized by the Russian Empire's secret police, and carried out by the Imperial Russian Army, whose soldiers were later decorated?
- ... that the exploits of the Polish partisan People's Army were significantly exaggerated by the propaganda of the People's Republic of Poland?
- ... that Stanisław Samostrzelnik, the first Polish Renaissance painter known by name, portrayed Bishop Piotr Tomicki (pictured)?
- ... that Prussia refused to meet its obligations from the Polish–Prussian alliance of 1790, and instead of aiding Poland during the Polish–Russian War of 1792, it helped Russia quell the Kościuszko Uprising the following year?
- ... that bibliophile, literary historian and theatre director Jan Lorentowicz, who first published the complete works of Jan Kochanowski, was also an amazing father according to his daughter's memoirs?
- ... that one of the largest operations of the Combat Organization of the Polish Socialist Party became known as the Bloody Wednesday?
- ... that Stanisław Jaros was executed in 1963 for trying to kill Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and Polish Communist leader Władysław Gomułka?
- ... that 49 people died and 135 were injured in the 1979 gas explosion in Warsaw's PKO Rotunda (pictured)?
- ... that Hieronim Ossoliński, a 16th-century Polish politician who helped unite Poland and Lithuania, also wanted to establish a Protestant national church?
- ... that the Polish Armed Forces in the East fought in Russia from the First World War, through the Russian Revolution of 1917 up to the Polish–Soviet War?
- ... that playwright Jerzy Szaniawski, who married at age of 76, was starved and physically abused by his wife, 20 years his junior, until his death in 1970?
- ... that Polish model and fashion designer Joanna Horodyńska used to present a TV program while laying in a foam-filled bath tub?
- ... that according to Czesław Miłosz, Karol Hubert Rostworowski (pictured) is most remembered for his tragedy about the killing of an unrecognised son?
- ... that the ideas of 17th-century Polish reformer Stanisław Dunin-Karwicki have been both praised as the harbinger of later reforms and criticized for not going far enough?
- ... that Polish actor and singer-songwriter Andrzej Bogucki and his wife were awarded the title Righteous among the Nations for helping Polish Jewish pianist Władysław Szpilman escape the Warsaw Ghetto?
- ... that the 1971 Łódź strikes were the only successful industrial action in pre-1980 Communist Poland?
- ... that Tadeusz Wrona, who safely landed LOT Flight 16 from New York to Warsaw after the landing gear failed to deploy, was decorated with the Order of Polonia Restituta?
- ... that a socialist writer, Andrzej Strug, declined to join the prestigious Polish Academy of Literature (pictured) because he was upset by their criticism of freemasonry?
- ... that Kazimierz Karwowski holds the record for the highest number of times he was elected to the Sejm of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth?
- ... that the anti-religious campaign culminating in the Stalinist show trial of the Kraków Curia led to the imprisonment of 123 Polish Roman Catholic priests in just one year?
- ... that Wroniec, a dark fairy tale by Jacek Dukaj, was a taboo-breaking take on martial law imposed in Poland on 13 December 1981?
- ... that a Polish women's magazine, Miasto Kobiet ("Women's City"), organizes a recurring clothing swap known as Szafobranie, or "Wardrobe Picking"?
- ... that the cross in front of the Presidential Palace in Warsaw (pictured) became a focus of a major controversy in 2010, regarding the relations between church and state in Poland?
- ... that diplomat Michał Radziwiłł the Red was described as a psychopath by his own cousin, politician Krzysztof Mikołaj Radziwiłł?
- ... that Kasper Twardowski's erotic poem, banned by Bishop Marcin Szyszkowski of Kraków, was rejected by the poet himself as immoral?
- ... that Jerzy Bielecki escaped from the Auschwitz concentration camp in a stolen SS uniform, with a girl he fell in love with?
October − November 2011
- ... that Tadeusz Rejtan is remembered in Poland for his dramatic gesture (pictured) as a symbol of patriotism?
- ... that the Treaty of Kępno (1282) between Mestwin II and Przemysł II transferred control over Gdańsk Pomerania and facilitated the reunification of Poland?
- ... that there were over a dozen Zaporozhian Cossacks uprisings against the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Russian Empire?
- ... that the 1773 French satirical drawing of the First Partition of Poland, The Troelfth Cake, was banned in several European countries?
- ... that the Rędziński Bridge, a recently constructed cable-stayed bridge spanning the Oder river in Wrocław, is the tallest and longest bridge in Poland?
- ... that Prussian Homage (fragment pictured) by Jan Matejko was among the most wanted Polish paintings searched for by the Nazis during World War II?
- ... that both the Tarnogród Confederation and the Silent Sejm were engineered by Emperor Peter the Great to strengthen Russia's influence in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth?
- ... that the same Partition Sejm that acceded to the First Partition of Poland also created the Commission of National Education, regarded as Europe's first ministry of education?
- ... that Wojciech Pietranik was told to replace the Sydney Opera House with the Roman Colosseum in his design for the Sydney 2000 Olympic medals?
- ... that a masterpiece painting (fragment pictured) by Jan Matejko shows more than a dozen figures involved in the passing of the Constitution of 1791?
- ... that Polish Jacobin activist, officer of the Polish Legions, Kazimierz Konopka, gained notoriety for his involvements in the unrest and hangings during the Kościuszko Uprising?
- ... that the World War II idea of a Polish-Czechoslovakian confederation was eventually discarded by the Czechs, whose leader favoured a prospective alliance with the Soviet Union?
- ... that the Smok, an extinct genus of large carnivorous archosaur, is named after the legendary Wawel Dragon (statue pictured)?
- ... that an effigy of Jan Suchorzewski, who once threatened to kill his son to prevent the signing of the Constitution of 1791, was hanged during the Kościuszko Uprising?
- ... that Wacław Gluth-Nowowiejski's World War II memoir The Commonwealth of Ruins, about his experience of hiding in a destroyed city as a Robinson Crusoe of Warsaw, was adapted into a short comic?
- ... that the figure of Józef Tusk, grandfather of current Prime Minister Donald Tusk (pictured), was in the center of the "Wehrmacht affair" during the 2005 Polish presidential election campaign?
- ... that the Duchy of Opole and Racibórz, one of many in Silesia, was created in the 13th century, split by the end of it, and recreated in the 16th by John the Good?
- ... that among the Jewish ghettos in German-occupied Poland the most populous was the Warsaw Ghetto with over 400,000 inhabitants crammed into an area of 1.3 sq mi (3.4 km2)?
- ... that Polish-born cosmetics entrepreneur Lydia Sarfati is credited with introducing seaweed-based skin treatments in the United States?
- ... that an anarchist group called the Revolutionary Avengers (rubber stamp pictured), active 1910–1914, has been described as the most radical terrorist organization in the history of Poland?
- ... that David Olère was the only artist who worked as a member of the Sonderkommando at the Auschwitz concentration camp and survived?
- ... that the mining settlement of Bwana Mkubwa received thousands of Polish refugees who arrived in Northern Rhodesia during World War II?
- ... that May 3rd Constitution Day, among the most important Polish holidays, was banned in the former communist state, the People's Republic of Poland?
- ... that participants in performance art by Polish-born American artist Olek (pictured) are literally crocheted into her body suits, without fasteners?
- ... that the term Dominium maris baltici, referring to Danish and Swedish hegemonial ambitions in the Baltic Sea basin, was probably coined by King Sigismund II Augustus of Poland?
- ... that the Polish faculty expelled by the Nazis from the University of Poznań during World War II created the underground University of the Western Lands?
- ... that Solidarity's victory in the Polish legislative election of 1989, ushering the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, was a surprise to both the communists and the opposition?
- ... that the kremówka cream cake (pictured) gained international recognition after Pope John Paul II noted he had once eaten 18 of them as part of a bet?
- ... that Tadeusz Vetulani was a pioneer of biodiversity research in Poland and conducted studies about the forest tarpan and the konik horse, launching restoration and breeding schemes?
- ... that the 1945 Augustów roundup which resulted in the disappearance and likely murder of about 600 Polish citizens by the Soviet Union is considered the largest crime committed in Poland after World War II?
- ... that Tom Kahn organized a $300,000 aid from AFL–CIO to the Solidarity labor union in 1980–1981, despite Secretary of State Edmund Muskie's warnings that this aid might provoke a new Soviet invasion of Poland?
- ... that Polish Countess Eveline Hańska (pictured) was once ordered by a doctor to stick her feet into a small pig in order to treat her gout?
- ... that Bible translations into Polish date from the 13th century?
- ... that in the Battle of Byczyna, Polish Chancellor and Hetman Jan Zamoyski took Austrian Archduke Maximilian III prisoner, ending the brief War of the Polish Succession?
- ... that Polish armoured trains proved to be surprisingly successful during the Invasion of Poland in 1939?
- ... that father and son Augustyn and Roman Träger were Polish intelligence agents who provided the Allies with crucial information about German testing of the V-1 and V-2 rockets during World War II?
- ... that at 46.5 metres (153 ft), the longest Foucault pendulum in Poland is suspended inside the Church of Saints Peter and Paul (pictured) in the Old Town district of Kraków?
- ... that Captain Władysław Raginis is known as a modern Leonidas for facing Nazi German forces which outnumbered the Poles 40:1 in the Battle of Wizna?
- ... that the Battle of Bautzen in 1945 was the bloodiest battle of the Polish Army since the Battle of Bzura in 1939?
- ... that Czerwono-Czarni, or "the Red and Blacks", were the first Polish rock band to cut a record?
- ... that the 75-metre (246 ft) tall towers of St. Florian's Cathedral (pictured) in Warsaw's eastern district of Praga highlight its role as a form of protest against the Russian domination of Poland?
- ... that the adjective "Polish-Lithuanian" refers to pre-nationalistic, multicultural inhabitants of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, unlike the modern understanding of the two nationalities?
- ... that Anthony Sadowski, after escaping captivity in the Great Northern War in 1704, came to America and helped Daniel Boone's father found Amity Township in Pennsylvania?
- ... that in 2003 the German author Dieter Schenk became an honorary citizen of Gdańsk after his work led a German court to overturn a World War II ruling on the defenders of the Polish Post Office in Danzig?
- ... that the 1997 Central European flood (pictured) was caused by some of the heaviest rains ever recorded?
- ... that Polish neurologist Włodzimierz Godłowski was one of the victims of the Katyn massacre?
- ... that due to his criticism of the Polish communist government, best-selling historian and dissident Paweł Jasienica had his books removed from distribution and prohibited from printing?
- ... that the Commission for Polish Relief provided limited food and medical supplies to Nazi-occupied Poland (map pictured) until late 1941, in spite of Britain's 1940 blockade of shipments to German-occupied Europe?
- ... that in the aftermath of World War I, Polish agronomist Mieczysław Jałowiecki lost his renowned estates in Lithuania?
- ... that Władysław Marian Jakowicki, a Polish physician and rector of the Stefan Batory University of Wilno, was one of 19 faculty members arrested during the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939 who disappeared without a trace?
- ... that Romantic poet Juliusz Słowacki (pictured) is considered one of the Three Bards of Polish literature?
- ... that the Battle of Grochowiska, one of the largest battles of the January Uprising, has been also described as the "most bloody" and a "Pyrrhic victory" for the Polish insurgents?
- ... that the Polish canned fish paste known as paprykarz szczeciński was inspired by an African dish?
- ... that the Zouaves of Death (pictured), a Polish military unit of the 1863 January Uprising, drew their traditions from the French Zouaves of the Crimean War?
- ... that Soviet tank commander Aleksandra Samusenko was buried near the monument to German Emperor William I in Łobez in north-eastern Poland?
- ... that Polish athlete Edward Sarul became the first ever World Champion in the shot put in 1983, but missed the 1984 Summer Olympics due to the Eastern Bloc boycott?
- ... that 17 Polish songs by Frédéric Chopin (pictured) were published after the composer's death as his Op. 74?
- ... that François Rochebrune, the French commander of the Zouaves of Death, disciplined panicked Polish troops in the Battle of Grochowiska by asking them what time it was, which was the only Polish he knew?
- ... that interments at the Gunnersbury Cemetery in London include a Polish president-in-exile and a Polish commander-in-chief?
- ... that as theologian to the Pontifical Household, Wojciech Giertych provides advice to the pope on theological issues?
- ... that before departing from Kraków for his victorious Battle of Vienna against the Ottoman Empire, King John III Sobieski said his final prayers at the Carmelite Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary (pictured)?
- ... that Konstanty Jodko-Narkiewicz survived the burning of the hydrogen balloon Star of Poland in 1938?
- ... that Saint Maximilian Kolbe was called the "Apostle of Consecration to Mary"?
- ... that the execution of Witold Pilecki, Polish Righteous among the Nations, was carried out by the Mokotów Prison Staff Sergeant Piotr Śmietański?
- ... that the plafond in the Kraków Bishops' Palace in Kielce (pictured) depicts its founder's victory over the Polish Brethren Protestant church, which taught the equality and brotherhood of all people?
- ... that Hebraic studies specialist Harris Lenowitz has translated the works of 18th-century Jewish Messiah claimant Jacob Frank from Polish into English?
- ... that the most valuable biosphere reserve in Poland's Pisz Forest is home to the Mute Swan, which arrives in numbers reaching up to 2,000 birds in time of moult?
- ... that Janusz Radziwiłł, considered by some as a traitor of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, died in the besieged Tykocin Castle (pictured)?
- ... that the Homagial Crown was probably the coronation crown of king Vladislaus II?
- ... that the 1493 Sejm held at the Piotrków Trybunalski Castle was the first bicameral parliament in Poland?
- ... that Izrael Chaim Wilner, who took part in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, left his notebook of poems with the Dominican nuns in Vilnius, where he hid during the early part of Nazi occupation of Poland?
- ... that the new building of the Warsaw University Library (pictured) in Warsaw was consecrated in 1999 by Pope John Paul II?
- ... that the town of Marche, Arkansas, was founded by a Polish count who wanted to restore the agricultural environment familiar to most Poles before their arrival in the United States?
- ... that the Republic of Ostrów was a short-lived autonomous republic created in the aftermath of World War I?
- ... that ships from the Royal Navy, the Royal Norwegian Navy and the Polish Navy participated in the British Commando raid Operation Anklet?
- ... that the Crown of Boleslaus the Brave (replica pictured) was melted down in 1794 and recreated in 2003 using some of its original gold?
- ... that Tadeusz Adamowski, a pioneer of ice hockey in interwar Poland, played the sport at Harvard, coached the Polish national team, and was imprisoned in a German Oflag during World War II?
- ... that when Nazi Germany invaded Poland, Polish-Jewish poet Rajzel Żychlińsky fled by taking a taxicab?
- ... that the Mausoleum of Struggle and Martyrdom in Warsaw preserves cells in which Nazis tortured and killed Polish resistance fighters?
- ... that the roccoco Abbot's Palace (pictured) at Oliwa founded by Jacek Rybiński, the last Cistercian abbot of the Oliwa monastery, was burned down by German troops during World War II?
- ... that soon after the creation of the Łomża Ghetto, Nazi Germans killed all the Jews suspected of collaborating with the previous occupying power, the Soviet Union?
- ... that Władysław Wawrzyniak, one of the founders of the Republic of Ostrów, was among the victims of the Katyn massacre?
- ... that with over 1.2 million burials, the Bródno Cemetery is the largest cemetery in Warsaw?
- ... that in 1983 Janusz Krupski (pictured), who died in the 2010 Polish air force crash in Smolensk, was kidnapped by the communist secret police and burned with acid but that his thick sweater saved his life?
- ... that the Ślężanie were a tribe of the Polish group of West Slavs, inhabiting territory of Silesia, which is named after them, around Mount Ślęża and the Ślęza River?
- ... that only five units of the production model PWS-5, a Polish liaison aircraft, were built?
- ... that in 1938 Nazi authorities Germanized over 1,500 Old Prussian, Lithuanian and Polish place names in East Prussia?
- ... that Abraham Blum, a Bundist participant in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, was murdered by the Gestapo, but his wife Luba Blum-Bielicka, a nurse, survived the Holocaust and ran an orphanage in post-war Poland?
- ... that MEP Ryszard Czarnecki thought fellow Polish MEP Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein (pictured) might harm the Civic Platform in the 2009 elections because of her German-sounding name?
- ... that after Bolesław III Wrymouth defeated Pomeranian dukes at the Battle of Nakło, he gave Nakło and other fortified settlements on the river Noteć to Swantopolk I as a fief?
- ... that PWS-3 was the first sports aircraft manufactured by the Polish aerospace industry?
- ... that Thorvaldsen's equestrian statue of Prince Józef Poniatowski spent 80 years in Russian Field Marshal Ivan Paskevich's Gomel Palace but was destroyed within 20 years after its return to Warsaw?
- ... that according to a legend, the Bachorza manor in Mazovia is haunted?
- ... that the manufacturer of the Polish SHL brand of motorcycles (model SHL 98 pictured) was nationalized after World War II and closed in the 1970s?
- ... that Polish aviator Józef Lewoniewski planned to fly the PWS-52 monoplane prototype around the world?
- ... that publicist Stephen Rivers arranged Jane Fonda's 1987 trip to Poland, where she went to express her support for Lech Wałęsa, leader of the then-banned Solidarity movement?
- ... that Polish aerial photographer Mariusz Adamski is known for shooting aircraft from unusual perspectives?
- ... that Polish scholars have suggested that the model for The Polish Rider (pictured) was in fact Rembrandt's son Titus?
- ... that the Glider Experimental Works, created after World War II, became the main Polish centre for designing gliders?
- ... that in 1949 the Polish, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Yugoslav and Czechoslovak socialist parties founded the Socialist Union of Central-Eastern Europe as a common centre for work in exile?
- ... that Zbigniew Ścibor-Rylski, a trained aviator, took part in the Warsaw Uprising of World War II and later headed an automobile repair bureau in Poznań?
- ... that Józef Kowalczyk (pictured) served longer in one country than any other apostolic nuncio?
- ... that the Warsaw Lyceum, where Nicolas Chopin was a teacher and his son Frédéric Chopin a pupil, was founded by the Prussian government as a German language school?
- ... that the 1923 children's novel King Matt the First is as popular in Poland as Peter Pan is in the English-speaking world?
- ... that the 2010 Moscow Victory Day Parade was the first Victory Day Parade to include Polish and other NATO troops marching down Moscow's Red Square?
- ... that Sławomir Skrzypek (pictured), the Polish central banker who died in the Tu-154 crash, had recently come into open conflict with the Council of Ministers of Poland?
- ... that Pope John Paul II traveled more than all his predecessors combined?
- ... that with the Treaty of Bromberg in 1657, the rulers of Brandenburg-Prussia were freed of Polish vassalage for the Duchy of Prussia?
- ... that Pope John Paul II coined the term "Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary" in his Angelus address on 15 September 1985?
- ... that Augustus the Strong (pictured) lost the Polish crown in the Treaty of Altranstädt (1706), but regained it after the Treaty of Thorn (1709)?
- ... that one political faction in Isabelline Spain was known as the polacos because of its leader's Polish ancestry?
- ... that the Treaty of Pozvol triggered the Livonian War?
- ... that, during the bombing of Berlin, Minuscule 658, 659 and 661 were sent out of Berlin for safekeeping and were later found in Poland?
- ... that 18th-century painter Szymon Czechowicz (one of his works pictured) established a school of painting and thereby greatly influenced Polish art?
- ... that in the Treaty of Bromberg, Poland-Lithuania accepted Hohenzollern sovereignty in the Duchy of Prussia in return for an "eternal alliance"?
- ... that the Alvensleben Convention allowed Russian troops to cross the Prussian border in pursuit of Polish revolutionaries of the 1863 January Uprising?
- ... that the Polish Independent Socialist Labour Party of Joseph Kruk merged into the Labour Zionist Poalei Zion in 1937?
- ... that Mannerist architecture and sculpture in Poland (example pictured) were dominant between 1550 and 1650, when they were finally replaced with Baroque?
- ... that Emanuel Chobot, chairman of the Polish Socialist Workers Party in interwar Czechoslovakia, was active in the cooperative movement?
- ... that the British cargo ship Empire Builder was handed over to the Polish government-in-exile on completion in January 1942?
- ... that the Polish–Czech Friendship Trail was closed to tourists outside the two countries until the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993?
- ... that the bronze Gniezno Doors, of about 1175, are the only Romanesque doors in Europe decorated with scenes from the life of a saint (his murder pictured)?
- ... that the neo-romantic Chłopomania movement based in Young Poland's fascination with folk culture inspired Polish playwright Stanisław Wyspiański to marry a peasant wife in 1900?
- ... that the most prominent leader of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia within the Polish minority, Karol Śliwka, died in the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp in 1943?
- ... that five Fablok Luxtorpeda trains were constructed under the leadership of Klemens Stefan Sielecki?
- ... that the defense of Allenstein (now Olsztyn; castle pictured) in 1521 against a siege by the Teutonic Knights was successfully organized by the Catholic cleric and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus?
- ... that there are different theories about the parentage of Constance, the Piast princess who ruled over Wodzisław Śląski until her death in 1351?
- ... that Polish publicist and politician Jan Ludwik Popławski was one of the first chief activists and ideologues of the right-wing National Democracy political camp?
- ... that chaplain Władysław Gurgacz, member of the Polish anti-communist resistance, opposed lethal force, but was nonetheless executed by the Polish communist authorities?
- ... that the Jakub Wujek Bible (pictured) served as the main Catholic Bible translation into Polish for more than three centuries?
- ... that the opening of the Gesta principum Polonorum, a history of early Poland written sometime in the 1110s, is addressed to Martin I, the Archbishop of Gniezno?
- ... that Poland–Lithuania and the Ottoman Empire signed a "perpetual" peace in 1533?
- ... that the Embassy of Poland in London at Portland Place did not open until ten years after the country became independent?
- ... that one of the platoons of the Chrobry II Battalion (badge pictured) was led by Witold Pilecki, who later wrote the first-ever report on the Holocaust?
- ... that the Duchy of Belz was passed as a dowry by King Ladislaus II of Poland to Duke Siemowit IV of Masovia, upon Siemowit's marriage to Ladislaus's sister, Alexandra?
- ... that Ivan Naumovich, a major Ukrainian pro-Russian cultural and political figure, as a youth supported the Polish national movement?
- ... that the entire Częstochowa massacre, in which hundreds of Poles and Jews were murdered by the Wehrmacht, was captured in narrative form by a German photographer?
- ... that Archbishop Władysław Oporowski (pictured), Primate of Poland, was a chief political rival of Cardinal Zbigniew Oleśnicki?
- ... that Steven van Herwijck created portrait medals of both Sigismund II Augustus of Poland and Elizabeth I of England?
- ... that the Puławy Legion of the Imperial Russian Army, supported by the National Democracy party, was formed to counteract the Polish Legions of the Austro–Hungarian Army, an initiative of Józef Piłsudski?
- ... that the proposed Lithuanian–Polish–Ukrainian Brigade reflects the Polish government's attempts to tie Ukraine more closely to the West?
- ... that the Wronki Prison (pictured) is the largest penitentiary in Poland?
- ... that the unsuccessful siege of Hlukhiv and the following retreat became the worst defeats of the Polish army in the Russo-Polish War of 1654–1667?
- ... that in the attack on Hrubieszów partisans of the Polish Freedom and Independence group coöperated with the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, even though the two groups had previously often fought each other?
- ... that one of those killed in the mass murders in Piaśnica, Sister Alicja Kotowska, was beatified together with 107 other victims of Nazi terror in 1999 by Pope John Paul II?
- ... that Polish media mogul Jan Wejchert, founder of the TVN television network, converted a ruined papermill into a shopping center?
- ... that Karl Wilhelm Scheibler (pictured), the "Cotton King" of Łódź, sold his stock at triple the price after the American Civil War broke out?
- ... that Tadeusz Kościuszko initially did not want to support the Greater Poland Uprising of 1794 in order to avoid a two-front war against both Russia and Prussia?
- ... that Narcyz Wiatr, a Polish activist in the agrarian movement and member of the anti-Nazi resistance group Peasant Battalions, was murdered by the communist secret police in Kraków’s Planty Park?
- ... that Michał Klepfisz, a hero of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, saved his comrades' lives by throwing himself on a German machine gun?
- ... that the head of Polish communist secret police Stanisław Radkiewicz ordered his agents to "liquidate" members of the Polish Peasant Party, and make it look like the work of the anti-communist underground?
- ... that Dymitr of Goraj (pictured, kneeling), one of the most powerful people in the late 14th-century Kingdom of Poland, was instrumental in preventing the marriage between Jadwiga of Poland and Wilhelm Habsburg?
- ... that Kordian, a romanticist drama by one of Poland's Three Bards, Juliusz Słowacki, is a polemic with Dziady, an earlier work by another of the Three Bards, Adam Mickiewicz?
- ... that a Polish railway worker, Wojciech Najsarek, was one of the first victims of World War II?
- ... that the Polish town of Polanów was completely destroyed during the World War II?
- ... that Sara Szweber, one of a few women who held leadership positions in the Jewish socialist movement, after the invasion of Poland was threatened with arrest by the NKVD and fled to the United States?
- ... that in the Polish–Muscovite War of 1577–1582 (Siege of Pskov pictured), Muscovy failed in its attempt to gain access to the Baltic Sea?
- ... that in 1882, almost a century after the final partition of Poland, Polish explorer Stefan Szolc-Rogoziński tried to found a Polish colony in Cameroon?
- ... that many Jews of the Radom Ghetto in German-occupied Poland were forced to work in the local arms factory?
- ... that one of the most notable actions of the minor sabotage in occupied Poland during World War II involved stealing a propaganda plaque from the monument of Nicolaus Copernicus?
- ... that Emilia Malessa, a Polish soldier in the anti-communist resistance, committed suicide after she had trusted the Security Chief Józef Różański and revealed her fellow soldiers, which led to their arrest?
- ... that the Nicolaus Copernicus Monument in Warsaw (pictured) was inspired by a comment made by Napoleon, and was nearly melted down by Nazi Germany after the Warsaw Uprising?
- ... that during the Seven Years' War, Kolberg (now Kołobrzeg) was besieged three times?
- ... that Adolf Bniński, Polish presidential candidate in 1926, was the Government Delegate of the Polish Underground State for the Polish territories annexed by Nazi Germany?
- ... that Maurycy Orzech and Leon Feiner wrote a telegraph informing Bundist member of the Polish government in Exile, Szmul Zygielbojm, of the outbreak of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising?
- ... that the observation deck atop the Trzy Korony Mountain (pictured) in the Pieniny National Park hangs over a 500-metre (1,600 ft) precipice with a near perfect view of the Dunajec River Gorge?
- ... that, after defeating the troops of Petro Doroshenko in the Battle of Podhajce, Jan Sobieski was promoted to Grand Crown Hetman, the highest military rank in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth?
- ... that Dr. Wacław Olszak, Polish physician and former mayor of Karviná, Czechoslovakia, was murdered by the Nazis just ten days after the war started?
- ... that Leon Feiner, a leader of the Bund and of Żegota, wrote many communiqués to the Western Allies describing the Holocaust in Poland?
- ... that the Polish Committee for Settling of Place Names determined 32,138 toponyms of Poland in between 1946 and 1950?
- ... that the architectural style of the manor houses known as dwór or dworek (example pictured) that evolved during the late Polish Renaissance period still inspires some contemporary Polish manors?
- ... that rigged elections to the People's Assemblies of Western Ukraine and Western Belarus became an official legitimization of Soviet annexation of eastern Poland in 1939?
- ... that Edward Fokczyński of the AVA Radio Company knew that Poland had solved Germany's Enigma ciphers, but kept the secret even while being worked to death at Sachsenhausen?
- ... that as a result of the Okęcie Airport incident in 1980, four top players of the Polish national football team were disqualified, and one of them never capped for Poland again?
- ... that Polish archaeologist Mieczysław Domaradzki, who was based in Bulgaria for 22 years studying the archaeology of Thrace, discovered the ancient market centre Pistiros?
- ... that in May 1945, Marian Bernaciak (pictured) helped defeat a force of 680 soldiers supported by armored cars in the largest battle between the communist government of Poland and the anti-communist resistance?
- ... that Jadwiga of Żagań bore no sons to her husband, Casimir III the Great, which spelled the end of the Piast Dynasty in the Kingdom of Poland?
- ... that during the Holocaust, of the four Jews rescued by Stanisław Jasiński and his daughter from Kostopol in Eastern Poland, only Szmuel Liderman survived the massacres of Poles in Volhynia?
- ... that collective punishment meted out to mostly innocent Ukrainian peasants by Polish authorities during the Galicia Pacification campaign resulted in increased bitterness and encouraged extremists on both sides?
- ... that the Kraków City Council has forty-three elected members, including the mayor?
- ... that all Allied pilots shot down over Poland in World War II are laid to rest at the Rakowicki Cemetery (pictured) in Kraków?
- ... that the anti-government August 31, 1982 demonstrations in Poland ended with four demonstrators killed and unknown number wounded?
- ... that the decision of Pope Pius XII to appoint German apostolic administrators to occupied Poland during World War II was labelled "one of his most controversial decisions"?
- ... that Polish pilot Władysław Turowicz moved to Pakistan, became a citizen, and has since become known as the "Rocket-Missile Man of Pakistan"?
- ... that the 1937 peasant strike in Poland was the largest anti-government demonstration in the Second Polish Republic?
- ... that once a year almost 1,000 mummified bodies are put on public display inside the monastic crypt at the Church of St. Casimir the Prince (pictured), one of many churches of Kraków ?
- ... that Polish partisan leader Władysław Łukasiuk, despite his paralyzed leg, always marched at the head of his unit, using his carbine as a crutch?
- ... that architect Chrystian Piotr Aigner used a range of styles including Neoclassical, Palladian, Neo-Gothic, Empire and Romantic?
- ... that after the declaration of martial law in 1981, Kornel Morawiecki became one of the most wanted people in Poland?
- ... that the family of Józef and Wiktoria Ulma (pictured), Polish Righteous among the Nations from Markowa, was summarily executed for rescuing their Jewish countrymen during the Holocaust?
- ... that the Mayor of Danzig, Conrad Letzkau, was treacherously murdered in 1412 by the Teutonic Knights for his support of Poland and refusal to pay taxes?
- ... that the Środa treasure, one of the most valuable archeological finds in 20th-century Europe, was originally lost during the Black Plague?
- ... that Nazi German regulation of Polish forced laborers intentionally created and supported discrimination on the basis of ethnicity?
- ... that an East German defector hijacked a Polish plane in 1978 to escape to West Germany?