The Polish government has announced that 2017 will be a year to commemorate Adam Chmielowski, Joseph Conrad, Tadeusz Kościuszko, Honorat Koźmiński, Józef Piłsudski, and the Wisła river. Under UNESCO’s patronage, the 200th anniversary of Kościuszko’s death and the 100th anniversary of Ludwik Zamenhof’s death will also be marked.
Painter Adam Chmielowski is also known as Saint Brother Albert, founder of the Albertine Brothers and Sisters congregation. He is known for his work for the poor and homeless. The 100th anniversary of his death is marked on 25th December 2016. In 2017, it will be 130 years since he became a monk.
Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski was the son of Siberian deportees. He wrote in English as Joseph Conrad and became one of world literature’s leading figures. He is the author of renowned novels like Lord Jim, Heart of Darkness, The Shadow Line, and The Secret Agent. The 160th anniversary of his birth falls on 3rd December 2017.
Tadeusz Kościuszko was a Polish and American general, an ‘indomitable warrior in the struggle for independence’, and a participant of the American War of Independence. He was also the leader of a national insurrection in Poland against Russia and Prussia in 1794. The year 2017 is the 200th anniversary of his death.
Honorat Koźmiński (born Florentyn Wacław Jan Stefan Koźmiński) was a Polish Capuchin monk, theologist, presbyter, and founder of many religious congregations. In October 1988, he was beatified by Pope John Paul II.
Marshal Józef Piłsudski was a Polish statesman, social activist, founder of the Polish Legions, commander-in-chief of the Polish army, head of state from 1918 to 1922, the first Marshal of Poland, leader of the country’s restoration, and twice prime minister during the interwar period.
The year 2017 is to be the year of the Wisła river as well, as 550 years ago, after signing the Second Peace of Thorn (Toruń), Poland regained control over all the land where the river was navigable. By making 2017 the year of the Wisła river, ‘the government honours the generations of Poles who, thanks to the river and on the basis of it, built the identity and glory of Poland’.
The Polish anniversaries celebrated under the patronage of UNESCO from 2016 to 2017 are the 200th anniversary of Tadeusz Kościuszko’s death (1746-1817) and 100th anniversary of Ludwik Zamenhof’s death (1859-1917), creator of the international language Esperanto.
The year 2017 will mark also the 140th anniversary of birth and 80th anniversary of the death of Bolesław Leśmian, one of the most accomplished and beloved Polish poets of the 20th century.
Written by JRK, translated by BR, November 2016