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Chronicle of events 2022

1. Conferences and Symposia

1.1. XXIII. International Symposium on Polish Biographistics
Profesorowie na wyższych uczelniach w Austrii, Niemczech i Szwajcarii

This symposium in Polish language took place on June 30, 2022.
Within the framework of this symposium, numerous renowned experts, including members of the Club of Professors at the Scientific Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Vienna such as Univ.-Prof. Dr. Gądek-Węsierski as well as Prof. Tadeusz Krzeszowiak, presented significant professors originating from Poland who teach(ed) at universities all over the world.

Accompanying the symposium was an exhibition of drawings and portrait sketches by Tadeusz Kurka.

The detailed program of the symposium can be found under this link.
You can find a picture report under this link.

2. Exhibitions:
2.1. Ukraine. Krieg in Europa
The exhibition opening took place on July 26, 2022 at the University of Vienna.

This exhibition, commissioned by the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture and Information and prepared by the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance, documents the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine through horror images and offers a tour d'horizon of its long prehistory. It first highlights the key differences in the historical trajectories of Ukraine and Russia and further analyzes Putin's motives for the war as well as his narrative regarding a "justification" for the war.

The German-language version of the exhibition was prepared with the cooperation of the Center for Historical Research Berlin of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Pilecki Institute Berlin.
The exhibition was on display in the corridor leading to the Main Library of the University of Vienna until September 9, 2022.

2.2. Reisepässe des Lebens
The exhibition "Passports of Life" was created by the Pilecki Institute (Instytut Pileckiego) in cooperation with the Embassy of Poland in Bern.
It shows the actions of righteous diplomats who saved Polish Jews during World War II, and focuses on the reaction of the Polish underground state as well as the Polish government-in-exile to the crimes of the Holocaust.
The exhibition will be on display in the Knights Hall in our Center (it is located in the back building) from August 31 to October 28, 2022, and can be visited Monday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm.

3. Lectures:

3.1. Mag. Marek Świdrak
From rockets to a new Temple of Solomon -
life and work of Silesian architect Valentin von Saebisch (1578-1657)

This lecture (in English) took place on February 23, 2022.

Although Valentin von Saebisch (1578-1657) was undoubtedly one of the leading figures in Silesian architecture and military engineering in the first half of the 17th century, his life and work are little known and often overshadowed by his son Albrecht, the architect of Silesian peace churches. Although the archive of Valentin von Saebisch in Wroclaw has been preserved almost intact to this day, his work has hardly been studied by the research of the early 20th century. The work in the archive is extremely important, as a significant part of Saebisch's legacy was lost during the Second World War. The lecture presented selected fragments of the speaker's dissertation dedicated to Saebisch's architectural work. The presentation, based primarily on archival finds, offered a new perspective on the architect's life and work. The focus is on a group of architectural drawings in the classicist style, originating from the Prague court, as well as Saebisch's works for Silesian dukes and nobles, including Charles of Austria (bishop of the Habsburg dynasty in Wrocław).

3.2. Robert Kostro, Director and Founder of the Museum of the History of Poland
How to tell the history of Poland?

This lecture (in Polish) took place on February 24, 2022.

The lecture presented the guidelines of the main exhibition of the Museum of Polish History (MHP) in Warsaw. This museum, founded in 2006, is one of the most important projects in the framework of Polish history policy. Since then, the museum has carried out intensive research, educational and popularization activities. It is also involved in international projects promoting Polish history. In the future, the museum will be located on the site of the Warsaw Citadel. Construction began in 2018, and the building is scheduled to open in 2023. A tender is currently underway for the permanent exhibition (with a planned exhibition area of 7,300 square meters), which will be the largest historical exhibition in Poland.  More information about the museum: https://muzhp.pl


3.3. Dr Jakub Jędrysiak
Assistant Professor at the Institute for History at the University of Wrocław and Fellow of the Lanckoroński Foundation
The forgotten Forerunner to the Springtime of Nations - underestimated Polish Uprising of 1846

This lecture (in English) took place on March 30, 2022.

The Krakow Uprising of 1846 is often treated primarily as an episode, overshadowed by the tragic events of the Galician Massacre (the so-called Rabacja). Its analysis is also not helped by Karl Marx's opinion that it was "a banner of social revolution," which has resulted in it being cited for many years primarily as one of the earliest examples of the activities of the "communist" movement. Among these perspectives, the context of the significance of this forgotten Polish precursor to the Spring of Nations for Europe at the time tends to disappear. The unsuccessful Polish plans of 1844-1846 for a three-partition uprising assumed a large scale of action, even including a march on Moscow. The message of these plans was so strong that Austria and Prussia decided to carry out large-scale military operations at the time, during which both powers used the newly developed railroad network for operational purposes for the first time. This means that the significance of the events of 1846 is also underestimated from the point of view of military history.
The aim of the lecture was therefore to restore the memory of the forgotten aspects of the Cracow Uprising and to present its wider context.

3.4. Dr. Jakub Forst-Battaglia
Polnische Außenpolitik zwischen den Kriegen

This lecture in German took place on March 31, 2022.

As a state reborn in 1918 at the end of the First World War, divided in the late 18th century between Russia, Prussia and Austria, multinational Poland had to coalesce and reassert itself between Germany in the West and the Soviet Union in the East, supported by an alliance with France. How this position developed in the complicated European field of forces that had emerged from the precarious Versailles peace order and gradually led to the disintegration of this order under eroding power shifts and the pressure of the world economic crisis up to the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 and the renewed partition of Poland was the subject of the lecture.

3.5. Dr. Aleksander Łupienko
Cultural history of the Fin-de-Siecle Lviv

This lecture in English took place on April 13, 2022.

The city of Lviv, the capital of the Austrian crownland pf Galicia and Lodomeria, shared in the XIXth century the common, Central-European features: the multiculturalism, multireligiousness and multilingualism. The socio-political situation was complicated: the regime-change in 1772, the cnanging political ideas of the Austrian hegemon and the rise of new, ethnic-based groups. Bulding on diverse theoretical premises, this presentatio discusses Lviv's space as space of localness. In his lecture Dr. Lupienko tried o show how the future-oriented nationalistic programs and the development ofr new group-oriented memory cultures were imbedded in the 'solid' physical space of the city and that they were influenced not so much by the political and social imagination of the interregional perspective but rater entangled in the localness of the city itself. How was the space changed by the elites of selected cultural groups in the city: the Austrians, the Poles, the Ukrainians or the Jews? The research attempts to offer a new framework to understand the national turn in Lviv in the last decades of the XIXth century and to discuss it as merely one of possible symptoms of cultural change, and not as part of inescapable course of events.

3.6. Mag. Julia Harasimowicz
The creation of modern childhood.
Art education and exhibitions of child art at the beginning of the 29th century

This lecture in English took place on April 27, 2022.

The early XXth century, called the Child's Century by the famous teacher Elly Key in 1909, led to several discussions about the state of childhood. The European artistic communites aware if these debates, were searscdhing for a new formal languae of art and new ideas of modern human being. Children and their vulnerability became for them a potential source of cultural regeneration. The main question is: how children's art theories habe been formed in relation to the local social and political position and the riese of modern education? Which aspects of art educatin and the child art exhibiting were common within European art communities, and which responded exactly to local politics? The first case refers to the fascination which child art among the intellectual elites of Hamburg, which led to the first internationally recognized exhibition "Kind als Künstler" at the Kunsthalle in 1898. The second case will present the original teaching methods of Franz Cizek (1865-1946), a Vienna-based art teacher, often referred to as "the father of contemporary art education". The lastet example will bei the Polish exhibition "Sztuka dziecka!, launched in 1920 in Warsaw. The lecture emphazsizes the importance of children's art in the culture of the eraly XXth century and may be the first attempt to synthesize it ans an international phenomen.


3.7. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Piotr Szlanta,

Director of the Scientific Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Vienna
Aller Anfang ist schwer. Herausforderungen bei der Wiedergründung des polnischen Staates

This lecture in German took place on 25 June 2022.

In the autumn of 1918, on the threshold of independence, the re-established Poland had to overcome numerous challenges in addition to the struggle for borders and establishing the foundations of its political system. The elite of the Second Polish Republic had to find solutions to many questions. In addition to the struggle for the borders of the new state as well as establishing the foundations of its political system, numerous other problems had to be solved. How could the economy be stimulated and the budget and currency stabilised? How could territories that had belonged to three empires with different legal and economic systems before 1914 be turned into a functioning, internally united state with which all citizens could identify? These and many other exciting questions were discussed and answered in this lecture.

3.8. Mag. Maciej Polak
Father Marcin Kromer's legations to the Habsburg court. State of research and prospects

This lecture in English took place on 27 July 2022.

Marcin Kromer (1512-1589) was a Polish writer, humanist, historian, clergyman and diplomat. He carried out his diplomatic missions on behalf of the Polish King Sigismund August. Most of his diplomatic journeys took Kromer to the court of Emperor Ferdinand I in Vienna. From 1558 to 1564 he was even a permanent representative at the Habsburg court. Nevertheless, many of his diplomatic activities remain unexplored to this day. This lecture presented the most important findings to date on Kromer's legations, but also new research perspectives based on hitherto unprocessed sources in the Austrian State Archives - Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv.

3.9. Dr. Joanna Giel
Die Reformation in Schlesien

This lecture in German took place on 19 September 2022.

In her lecture, the Lanckoroński Foundation scholarship holder Dr Joanna Giel (University of Wrocław) presented the Reformation in Silesia. Among other things, she spoke about the leading personalities of the Reformation movement in Silesia such as Johannes Hess and Kaspar von Schwenckfeld as well as the attitude of the city of Wrocław, the Catholic bishops and the Habsburgs towards the Reformation. Dr Joanna Giel is currently researching in Viennese libraries and archives on her research project "The Silesian context of the reception of Martin Luther's writings". Her interesting presentation was followed by a lively discussion with the audience.

3.10. Bartłomiej Zygmunt
Pässe des Lebens. Das Wirken der Gesandtschaft der Republik Polen in Bern zur Zeit des Zweiten Weltkriegs
zur Rettung der Juden vor dem Holocaust

This lecture in Polish took place on 29 September 2022.

The lecture by Bartłomiej Zygmunt on the topic "Passports of Life. The work of the Legation of the Republic of Poland in Bern at the time of the Second World War to save Jews from the Holocaust" was at the same time the symbolic opening of the exhibition "Passports of Life", designed by the Pilecki Institute in cooperation with the Embassy of Poland in Bern. The lecture presented the work of the Łados group, thanks to which thousands of Jews were able to flee persecution in Europe.

4. Panel discussions:
4.1. Das KL Gusen als Ort der Vernichtung im kollektiven Bewusstsein

This panel discussion took place on 19 May 2022.

The former German National Socialist concentration camp Gusen within the Mauthausen-Gusen camp complex is one of the most important memorial sites in Europe.
The panel discussion was attended by:
Dr. Winfried Garscha, Dokumentationsarchiv Des Österreichischen Widerstandes
Direktor Dr. Tomasz Kranz, Państwowe Muzeum na Majdanku / State Museum at Majdanek
Univ.-Prof. Doz. Dr. Bertrand Perz, Universität Wien, Institut für Zeitgeschichte
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Claudia Theune, Institut für Urgeschichte und Historische Archäologie, Universität Wien
Mag. Robert Vorberg, Mauthausen Memorial / KZ-Gedenkstätte
Redakteur Jakub Kukla, Der Auslandsdienst des Polnischen Rundfunks
Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Christoph Augustynowicz, Universität Wien, Institut für Osteuropäische Geschichte
Botschafterin der Republik Polen in der Republik Österreich Jolanta Róża Kozłowska Polnische Botschaft in Österreich
and the director of the Polish Institute in Vienna Monika Szmigiel-Turlej Polnisches Institut Wien

5. Film screenings:


Dieser Filmvorführung fand am 2 June 2022.

Regie: Simon Wieland
Österreich 2020 | 70 Min.

Regie: Magdalena Żelasko u. Wolfgang P. Schwelle
Österreich 2022 | 18 Min.

Der Film MAUTHAUSEN – ZWEI LEBEN dokumentiert die Geschichte zweier Menschen, die während des NS-Regimes Zeugen der grauenvollen Vorgänge im Konzentrationslager Mauthausen wurden – des in Łódź geborenen Stanisław Leszczyński als Häftling und des aus Mauthausen stammenden Franz Hackl als Schlosserlehrling in der Schlosserei des Lagers. Zwei Schicksale, die konträrer nicht hätten sein können – und die doch so viele verstörende Gemeinsamkeiten haben. Dem österreichischen Regisseur Simon Wieland ist es gelungen, die beiden Protagonisten und ihre Konfrontation mit Mauthausen, einem wichtigen Symbol für den Holocaust und damit für Schuld und Unmenschlichkeit, auf eine sensible und vielschichtige Weise zu porträtieren. Die Produktion der Simon Wieland Film wurde in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Land Oberösterreich, dem ORF (Film/Fernseh-Abkommen) und dem Österreichischen Filminstitut hergestellt.

Der Kurzfilm „545 TAGE. UND DANACH EIN LEBEN LANG ” widmet sich Stanisław Zalewski und seinem langen Kampf um eine würdige Gedenkstätte für das ehemalige KZ Gusen. Stanisław Zalewski erlebte als 14-Jähriger den Einmarsch der Wehrmacht in Polen und den Ausbruch des Zweiten Weltkrieges. In den folgenden Jahren war er im Widerstand aktiv, bis er 1943 von der Gestapo verhaftet wurde. Er kam zuerst ins berüchtigte Pawiak-Gefängnis, dann ins Vernichtungslager Auschwitz-Birkenau, von dort ins Konzentrationslager Mauthausen und schließlich ins KZ Gusen. Der Film, der im Auftrag des Polnischen Instituts Wien entstand, wurde durch das LET’S CEE Filmfestival produziert und durch die Abteilung der öffentlichen Diplomatie des Ministeriums für Auswärtige Angelegenheiten der Republik Polen sowie den Zukunftsfonds der Republik Österreich co-finanziert.

6. Literature evenings:

6.1. Literature evening "Wygrać literaturę"

This evening took place on 10 June 2022.
Scenario: Mateusz Nowak
Texts by winners of the Nike Literature Prize and poems by Ukrainian women poets were read by:
Joanna Granbichler, Nadja Sarnowska und Napoleon Kuchalski, Teilnehmer des Workshops unter der Leitung von Mateusz Nowak, einem  Rezitator aus Lublin.
Moderatorin: Joanna Ziemska, President of the Klub der Professoren am Wissenschaftlichen Zentrum der Polnischen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien
Special guest: Maria Pietrusza-Budzyńska, Vorsitzende der Lubliner Stiftung Teatroterapia, Begründerin und Pionierin der Theatertherapie für ausgegrenzte und diskriminierte Menschen.
Organization: Wiener-Krakauer Kultur-Gesellschaft in cooperation with Klub der Professoren am Wissenschaftlichen Zentrum der Polnischen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien
More information: https://www.wiener-krakauer.at/2022/04/wygrac-literature/

7. Science festivals:

7.1. Lange Nacht der Forschung

The "Lange Nacht der Forschung" took place on 20 May 2022.

The Long Night of Research met with great interest throughout Austria, with 135,000 visitors from all over the country taking part. At the "Research in the Centre" location of the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research at Maria-Theresien-Platz, the Polish Institute Vienna and our Centre showed the importance of Polish scientists in the development of science worldwide. Among other things, the life and work of the scientist and two-time Nobel Prize winner Maria Skłodowska-Curie were illustrated by means of a poster exhibition.


8. Award ceremonies:

8.1. Award of the Golden Owl

The Golden Owl Award Ceremony took place on 6 May 2022.

The annual award is due to the initiative of Mrs Jadwiga Hafner, editor of the magazine "Jupiter". The statuettes are awarded by the editorial staff of the magazine "Jupiter", the organ of the Club of Polish Intelligentsia in Austria, and the Federation of the Polish Congress in Austria.

This year's laureate is Dr Matthias Kneip of the Deutsches Polen-Institut e.V. in Darmstadt for popularising Polish language and culture abroad. Dr Kneip spoke about his family history and his fascination with the Polish language. He has published a number of books on Polish topics, including the book "Deklaracja miłości do najpiękniejszego kraju na świecie" [111 Reasons to Love Poland: A Declaration of Love for the Most Beautiful Country in the World]!

The laudatory speech was given by editor Beata Dżon.

9. Concerts:

9.1. Abschied von alten Erinnerungen

This concert took place in our centre on 25 June 2022.

During this concert, Borys Somerschaf (vocals) and Jakub Niedoborek (guitar) performed Polish and Jewish hits from the interwar period as well as popular songs, gypsy romances and Ukrainian folk songs. Borys Somerschaf is a Polish singer, conductor, composer and singing teacher. He studied singing and choral conducting at the Moscow Conservatory and composition at the Warsaw Academy of Music. He has received numerous prizes and awards for his achievements in the field of music. Jakub Niedoborek holds a doctorate in instrumental music and graduated from the K. Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice in the guitar class of Prof. A. Gruszka. He currently works as an assistant professor in the Instrumental Pedagogy Department of the Music Institute of the Faculty of Arts at Maria Curie Skłodowska University in Lublin.


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