Category: poland

Maria
Szyszkowska
(b. 1937)
is a Polish politician and the leader of the left-wing party Reason of the
Polish Left. She was previously a member of the Alliance of the Democrat Left
and chaired the Party’s Ethics Committee.

She has worked
to improve the rights of LGBT people in Poland and, as a Senator, introduced
legislation to recognise civil unions for gay couples.

Irena
Szewińska
(1946-2018) was a Polish sprinter and one of the best athletes in the
world for almost two decades. She is the only athlete in history who held the
world record in the 100 m, 200 m and 400 m events.

She participated in five Olympic Games throughout her career, winning
seven medals (three gold) and breaking six world records. She won numerous
other medals in European Championships and was named United Press International
Athlete of the Year in 1974.

Rose
Schneiderman
(1882-1972) was a Polish-American
activist for women’s and worker’s rights. She is credited with coining the
phrase ‘bread and roses’, which represents the rights of the working class to
an existence beyond mere subsistence.

Her family emigrated from Poland to New
York when she was eight, and she was forced to abandon school and start working
in a factory only five years later. Later, she became involved with the New
York Women’s Trade Union League, organising strikes and pushing for worker’s
rights. She was a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Wanda Landowska (1879-1959) was a
Polish-French harpsichordist. She was very influential in the revival of harpsichord
music in the 20th century.

She studied at prestigious
institutions such as the Warsaw Conservatory and the Berlin University of the Arts.
In 1933, she recorded Bach’s Goldberg
Variations
on the harpsichord, the first person to do so.

Eliza Orzeszkowa (1841-1910) was a Polish writer belonging to the Positivist movement. She was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1905.

She wrote 30 novels and over 120 other shorter works over her career. Most of her writing focused on the politics of Poland during a troubled time in the country’s history.

Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska (1925-2015) was a paleobiologist from Poland. She led a number of expeditions to the Gobi Desert, leading to the discovery of numerous new species of dinosaurs and other animals.

The expeditions took place from 1963 to 1971, and led to over 20 tons of fossils being uncovered and shipped to Poland. She was also the first woman to serve on the executive committee of the International Union of Geological Sciences.

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Zofia
Nałkowska
 (1884-1954)
was a Polish feminist writer and essayist. She was committed to issues of
social justice, and her novels are characterized by realism and psychological
depth.

She wrote her
first novel, Women, in 1906. Other
notable works include Boundary (1935)
and Bonds of Life (1948). During the
interwar period, she was the executive member of the Polish Academy of
Literature.

Stefania
Jabłońska
(1920-2017)
was a Polish physician and specialist in dermatology. She conducted crucial
research linking human papilloma viruses and skin cancer.

She
worked with the Russian Academy of Sciences, and later with the University of
Pennsylvania after obtaining a grant from the World Health Organization. She
was awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, and the
National Order of Merit, France’s highest order of merit, in 1998, in
recognition of her discoveries.