THE YEAR OF JERZY GIEDROYC - RESOLUTION OF THE SEJM
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The website www.culture.pl, managed by Adam Mickiewicz Institute. The Year of Jerzy Giedroyc - Resolution of the Sejm.
THE YEAR OF JERZY GIEDROYC
RESOLUTION OF THE SEJM OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND
29 July 2005
Jerzy Giedroyc devoted his entire life to Poland's independence. He worked towards a tolerant and modern Poland that would also respect its own national traditions. He created Kultura monthly, a publication that for Poles embodied the ideals of freedom of speech and freedom of conscience for more than half a century. The journal's pages were open to authors of the right and left, proponents of Pilsudski and nationalists, liberals and conservatives alike. Works published under the "Kultura Library" imprint went on to enter the Polish literary canon. The quarterly Zeszyty Historyczne [Historical Notebooks] is today one of the most important sources of knowledge about modern Polish history.
In homage to this exceptional Pole and his life's work, the Sejm of the Republic of Poland hereby proclaims 2006, a year marking the centenary of the 'Editor's' birth, The Year of Jerzy Giedroyc.
We will celebrate three anniversaries in 2006: the centenary of the birth of Jerzy Giedroyc; the sixtieth anniversary of the creation of the Literary Institute in Paris and, subsequently, of Kultura monthly; and the centenary of the birth of Juliusz Mieroszewski, the monthly's supreme political columnist.
Kultura was the most important Polish intellectual journal of the second half of the 20th century. For more than five decades, Maisons-Laffitte was where designs were laid for an independent Poland freed from Soviet occupation and unburdened of the errors that had characterized the country before World War II. The research pursued at the Literary Institute focused on the country's contemporary reality, analyzing and documenting Poland's modern history.
Some of Poland's most exceptional authors and artists published their works in Kultura. The journal's list of collaborators remains impressive to this day, having included Czeslaw Milosz, Jozef Czapski, Gustaw Herling-Grudzinski, Jerzy Stempowski, Konstanty A. Jelenski, Andrzej Bobkowski, Marek Hlasko and Witold Gombrowicz, who was honored under a similar resolution of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland in 2003.
Jerzy Giedroyc knew that in the future Poland would need to normalize relations with its neighbors. The breakthrough achieved in Polish-Ukrainian relations during the "Orange Revolution" in Kiev and the reactions of Poles to the Ukrainian struggle for the right to self-determination and democratic elections number among the Editor's real and most resounding victories.
It was obvious to Jerzy Giedroyc that an independent Polish Republic would be an inseparable part of Europe, and thus Kultura lead the way in offering incisive analyses of progressing European integration from a new Polish perspective.
The small-format monthly published on "biblical" paper proved one of the chief forums for the enduring debate about a future independent Poland. Carried to Poland through various channels, Kultura proved to be an invaluable lesson in democracy and freedom of speech for Poles. Jerzy Giedroyc came to symbolize common sense and an unshaken hierarchy of values, values among which an independent Poland in a free world was given pride of place. Today, it is impossible to conduct a serious discussion about international, cultural or social policy without referring to the collective opus of the Literary Institute in Paris and Kultura monthly.
For these reasons, the Sejm of the Polish Republic considers it a duty and an honor to proclaim 2006 The Year of Jerzy Giedroyc.