In 2011 Mówią Wieki, a Polish historical magazine announced a poll in which readers chose the most influential women in Poland’s history. Among those chosen were monarchs, saints, actresses, writers, activists, scientists, and war heroes. These ten women topped the list:
Maria Skłodowska-Curie (7 November 1867 – 4 July 1934) was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the only woman to win in two fields, and the only person to win in multiple sciences. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris, and in 1995 became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon in Paris. Her achievements included a theory of radioactivity (a term that she coined), techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of two elements, polonium and radium. Under her direction, the world’s first studies were conducted into the treatment of neoplasms, using radioactive isotopes. She founded the Curie Institutes in Paris and in Warsaw, which remain major centres of medical research today. During World War I, she established the first military field radiological centres. (source) Read More
Elżbieta Zawacka (19 March 1909 – 10 January 2009), known also by her war-time nom de guerre Zo, was a Polish university professor, scouting instructor, SOE agent and a freedom fighter during World War II. She was also a Brigadier General of the Polish Army (the second and last woman in the history of the Polish Army to hold this rank), promoted by President Lech Kaczyński on May 3, 2006. The only woman among the Cichociemni, she served as a courier for the Home Army, carrying letters and other documents from Nazi-occupied Poland to the Polish government in exile and back. Her regular route ran from Warsaw through Berlin and Sweden to London. She was also responsible for organizing routes for other couriers of the Home Army. (source)
Irena Sendlerowa (15 February 1910 – 12 May 2008) was a Polish nurse/social worker who served in the Polish Underground during World War II, and as head of children’s section of Żegota, an underground resistance organization in German-occupied Warsaw. Assisted by some two dozen other Żegota members, Sendler smuggled some 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto and then provided them with false identity documents and with housing outside the Ghetto, saving those children during the Holocaust. The Nazis eventually discovered her activities, tortured her, and sentenced her to death, but she managed to evade execution and survive the war. In 1965, Sendler was recognized by the State of Israel as Righteous among the Nations. Late in life she was awarded Poland’s highest honor for her wartime humanitarian efforts. She appears on a silver 2008 Polish commemorative coin honoring some of the Polish Righteous among the Nations. (source)
Urszula Ledóchowska (17 April 1865 – 29 May 1939) was a Polish Catholic Religious Sister, who founded the Congregation of the Ursulines of the Agonizing Heart of Jesus. She was a member of the prominent Ledóchowski family. She has been declared a saint by the Catholic Church. In Kraków she opened a home for female university students. At that time, that was a new phenomenon. With a special blessing of Pope Pius X, she went to St. Petersburg in Russia, where she worked to build up St. Catharine House, which was a residence for Roman Catholic Polish youth living there. She wore civil clothes, because Roman Catholic institutions were illegal in the Russian Empire. As the tsarist government oppression to Catholics grew, she moved to Russian-controlled Finland, where she translated prayers and songs for Finnish fishermen, who usually were Protestants. In 1914, she finally was expelled from the empire. After then settling in Stockholm, Sweden, Ledóchowska started a language school and a domestic science school for girls. In Denmark, she founded an orphanage. In 1920, she moved back to Poland with 40 other nuns who had joined her in her mission. With permission from Rome, she changed her independent monastery in Pniewy into the then newly founded Congregation of the Ursulines of the Agonizing Heart of Jesus. In 1928 she founded a religious centre in Rome. In 1930 she sent 30 nuns to female Polish workers in France. (source)
Jadwiga Andegaweńska (1373/4 – 17 July 1399) was monarch of Poland from 1384 to her death. Her official title was ‘king' rather than 'queen', reflecting that she was a sovereign in her own right and not merely a royal consort. She was a member of the Capetian House of Anjou, the daughter of King Louis I of Hungary and Elizabeth of Bosnia. In 1387, Jadwiga led two successful military expeditions to reclaim the province of Halych in Red Ruthenia, which had been retained by Hungary in a dynastic dispute at her accession. As she was an heiress to Louis I of Hungary herself, the expeditions were for the most part peaceful and resulted in Petru I of Moldavia paying homage to the Polish monarchs in September 1387. In 1390 she began a correspondence with the Teutonic Knights, followed by personal meetings in which she opened diplomatic negotiations herself. She sponsored writers and artists and donated much of her personal wealth, including her royal insignia, to charity, for purposes including the founding of hospitals. She financed a scholarship for twenty Lithuanians to study at Charles University in Prague to help strengthen Christianity in their country, to which purpose she also founded a bishopric in Vilnius. Among her most notable cultural legacies was the restoration of the Kraków Academy, which in 1817 was renamed Jagiellonian University in honour of the Jadwiga and her husband, Władysław II Jagiełło. (source) Read More
Izabela Czartoryska (3 March 1746 – 15 July 1835) was a Polish aristocrat, writer, art collector, and founder of Poland’s first museum, the Czartoryski Museum in Kraków. In 1775, together with her husband, Czartoryska completely transformed the Czartoryski Palace at Puławy into an intellectual and political meeting place. Her court was one of the most liberal and progressive in the Commonwealth, although some aspects of her behavior also caused scandals. In 1784 she joined the Patriotic Party. After the suppression of the Kościuszko Uprising, her sons Adam Jerzy and Konstanty Adam were taken as political hostages by Russia’s Empress Catherine II. In 1796 Izabela ordered the rebuilding of the ruined palace at Puławy and began a museum. Among the first objects to be included were Turkish trophies that had been seized by Polish King Jan III Sobieski's forces at the 1683 Battle of Vienna. Also included were Polish royal treasures and historic Polish family heirlooms. In 1801 Izabela opened the first museum in Poland, the Temple of the Sibyl, also called “The Temple of Memory”. It contained objects of sentimental importance pertaining to the glories and miseries of human life. During the November Uprising in 1830, the museum was closed. Izabela's son Adam Jerzy Czartoryski, going into exile in Paris, evacuated the museum's surviving objects to the Hôtel Lambert. His son Władysław Czartoryski would reopen the museum in 1878 in Kraków, where it exists today. (source)
Pola Negri (December 31, 1896 – 1 August 1987) was a Polish stage and film actress who achieved worldwide fame during the silent and golden eras of Hollywood and European film for her tragedienne and femme fatale roles. She was the first European film star to be invited to Hollywood, and became one of the most popular actresses in American silent film. She also started several important women’s fashion trends that are still staples of the women’s fashion industry. Her varied career included work as an actress in theater and vaudeville; as a singer and recording artist; as an author; and as a ballerina. (source)
Bona Sforza (2 February 1494 - 19 November 1557) member of the powerful Milanese House of Sforza. In 1518, she became the second wife of Sigismund I the Old, the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, and became the Queen of Poland and Grand Duchess of Lithuania. Almost from the beginning of her life in Poland, Queen Bona tried to gain a strong political position. She began to form her own cabal and also benefited from the support of the king. She was also supported by Piotr Kmita Sobieński, Andrew Ladislaus and Piotr Gamrat, taking them to her offices and creating the so-called Triumvirate. She managed to also get Pope Leo X to decide on the appointment of fifteen ecclesiastical benefice of very high importance (e.g. in Kraków, Gniezno, Poznań, Włoclawek and Frombork). In foreign policy, she was a fierce opponent of the Habsburgs and a supporter of a closer alliance with France. In Hungary during the wars that took place after the Battle of Mohacs in 1526, supported by János Szapolyai against the Habsburgs. Bona also sought to maintain good relations with Sublime Porte and contacts with Roxelana, the most important wife of Suleyman the Magnificent. Bona was also a spokesperson for connecting Silesia to the Crown in return for her hereditary principality Bari and Rosano, but Sigismund the Old did not support the idea and the whole project collapsed. Bona managed to also carry out tax reforms in Lithuania and agricultural products (including uniform duties of the peasants and a unit of area measurements). (source) Read More
Maria Konopnicka (May 23, 1842 – October 8, 1910) was a Polish poet, novelist, writer for children and youth, a translator, journalist and critic, as well as an activist for women’s rights and Polish independence. She used the pseudonym Jan Sawa and others. She was one of the most important Polish poets of the positivism in Poland period. In addition to being an active writer, she was also a social activist, organizing and participating in protest actions against the repression of ethnic (primarily Polish) and religious minorities in Prussia. She was also involved with the women’s rights activism. Konopnicka wrote prose (primarily short stories) as well as poems. One of her most characteristic styles were poems stylized as folk songs. She would try her hand at many genres of literature, such as reportage sketches, narrative memoirs, psychological portrait studies and others. Common theme in her works included the oppression and poverty of the peasantry, the workers and the Polish Jews. Her works were also highly patriotic and nationalistic. Due to her sympathy for the Jewish people she was described as a philosemite. One of her best known works is the long epic in six cantos, Mister Balcer in Brazil (Pan Balcer w Brazylii, 1910), on the Polish emigrants in Brazil. Another one was Rota (Oath, 1908) which set to the music by Feliks Nowowiejski two years later became an unofficial anthem of Poland, particularly in the territories of the Prussian partition. This patriotic poem was strongly critical of the Germanization policies and thus described as anti-German. Her most famous children’s literature work is the 1896 O krasonoludkach i sierotce Marysi’ (Little Orphan Mary and the Gnomes). Her children literature works were well received, as compared to many other works of the period. Maria Konopnicka also composed a poem about the execution of the Irish patriot, Robert Emmett. Emmett was executed by the British authorities in Dublin in 1803, but Konopnicka published her poem on the topic in 1908. She was also a translator. Her translated works include Ada Negri’s Fatalita and Tempeste, published in Poland in 1901. (source)
Emilia Plater (13 November 1806 – 23 December 1831) was a Polish–Lithuanian noblewoman and revolutionary from the lands of the partitioned Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Raised in a patriotic Polish tradition, she fought in the November 1830 Uprising, during which she raised a small unit, participated in several engagements, and received the rank of captain in the Polish-Lithuanian insurgent forces. Near the end of the Uprising, she fell ill and died. Though she did not participate in any major engagement, her story became widely publicized and inspired a number of works of art and literature. She is a national heroine in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus, all formerly parts of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. She has been venerated by Polish artists and by the nation at large as a symbol of women fighting for the national cause. (source)
ukontentowana I thought you might like this if you haven’t already seen it. : )
I tell this story to everyone, ever since I heard it in a documentary on Art Nouveau. Stop fucking up pretty hats, you bastards!
every time i see this, my smile is renewed
I honestly do like fedoras ><
…It’s amazing what a tangential connection to Alphonse Mucha (who was Bernhardt’s official poster artist for many, many years and was one of the key intellectuals that she used to craft her image) can do for my opinion on a piece of clothing.
Incidentally, Bernhardt’s leg that was amputated? Apparently she had a funeral for it. People act like modern pop stars stars are a totally new radical weird thing but man Fin-de-Siecle Europe was a wild, wild place.
And here’s some images of Bernhardt courtesy of Mucha:
Man, Medea always gets me. What a haunting image.
But damn look at her as the fucking Prince of Denmark. Nnf.
I always get so pissed off at the whole co-opting of fedoras by the men’s rights movement because it wasn’t really until the fedora started going out of fashion that it became a men’s hat. Throughout its heyday of the first four decades of the 20th century it was pretty much always a unisex hat, as it was in the 1980s when it started to tentatively almost come back into fashion
I’ve told you before, I tell at least 40 students every semester, I’ll repost it every fucking time it comes up, until it Sinks In:
MRA’s wearing fedoras and claiming them as “Men’s Hats” is one of the most succinct arguments I can give for feminism.
EUROPEANS TAUGHT FOR CENTURIES that Africa had no written history, literature or philosophy (claiming Egypt was other than African). When roughly 1 MILLION manuscripts were found in Timbuktu/Mali covering , according to Reuters “all the fields of human knowledge: law, the sciences, medicine,” IT DID NOT MAKE MAINSTREAM NEWS as did the lies taught by Europeans concerning Africa
Someone asked me to somehow “verify” that this story is real.
Of course it’s real! The PROBLEM with the coverage regarding these manuscripts is that they’re constantly portrayed as being in “danger” because many of them are still in the possession of Malian descendants. About 700,000 have been cataloged so far, and they have had to be moved in part because apparently extremist groups have tried to firebomb them. Many others are still in the possession of the families they have been passed down in.
Many of these collected manuscripts are being housed in exile, but mold and humidity have been a constant threat. They have been raising funds to try and preserve these manuscripts-you can read more about the project to house and protect them here.
A bit of the history of these manuscripts from National Geographic:
These sacred manuscripts covered an array of subjects: astronomy, medicine, mathematics, chemistry, judicial law, government, and Islamic conflict resolution. Islamic study during this period of human history, when the intellectual evolution had stalled in the rest of Europe was growing, evolving, and breaking new ground in the fields of science, mathematics, astronomy, law, and philosophy within the Muslim world.
By the 1300s the “Ambassadors of Peace” centered around the University of Timbuktu created roving scholastic campuses and religious schools of learning that traveled between the cities of Timbuktu, Gao, and Djénné, helping to serve as a model of peaceful governance throughout an often conflict-riddled tribal region.
At its peak, over 25,000 students attended the University of Timbuktu.
By the beginning of the 1600s with the Moroccan invasions from the north, however, the scholars of Timbuktu began to slowly drift away and study elsewhere. As a result, the city’s sacred manuscripts began to fall into disrepair. While Islamic teachings there continued for another 300 years, the biggest decline in scholastic study occurred with the French colonization of present-day Mali in the late 1890s.
So yeah, basically the story of this collection’s source more or less ends with “…but unfortunately, colonialism”, as do most of the great cities of Africa, the Americas, and some parts of Asia.
Also, as an additional consideration:
With the pressures of poverty, a series of droughts, and a tribal Tureg rebellion in Mali that lasted over ten years, the manuscripts continue to disappear into the black market, where they are illegally sold to private and university collections in Europe and the United States.
Notice where the blame is placed here via language use: on the people in poverty forced to sell their treasures, as opposed to the Universities in Europe and the U.S. buying them.
It’s really just another face of Neocolonialism.
I heard mention of Timbuktu when I sang in “Oliver” the musical. Then I never learned anything about it again. Shame on me and my educational system. Certainly going to be hitting up Wiki and following the links out tonight.