Helena Modrzejewska

The Leading Female Interpreter of Shakespeare on The American Stage



Modjeska, ca. 1879, photo by Melecjusz Dutkiewicz (1836-1897)


Mother nature has been generous with her. She has given her all an artist needs: a beautiful appearance, figure and voice, and most importantly, the gift of artistic perspicacity, which makes an actor instinctively feel what a role needs” – Kurier Warszawski’s reviewer after Helena Modrzejewska’s  appearance  in Wacław Szymanowski's play–Salomon.

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Ignacy Jan Paderewski

Renaissance Man of the 20th Century




Ignacy Jan Paderewski was a Polish pianist, composer, politician and independence activist. He led an incredible life - his amazing music skills brought him fame and fortune, enabling him to speak out for Polish independence. Today, he remains an important figure in Polish history, with numerous schools and streets named after him.

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Jacek Kuroń

The Godfather of The Polish Anti-Communist Opposition




Jacek Kuroń was one of the most important politicians and human rights campaigners in post-war Poland. Nicknamed the “godfather of the Polish opposition”1, he was one of the people behind the idea of the Solidarity trade union and the Workers' Defence Committee (KOR). Vaclav Havel, who was responsible for leading the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, pointed to him as an inspiration2.


1 Jacek Kuroń was given this nickname by his co-workers and other oppositionists.

2 Associated Press (2004). Jacek Kuron; Led Defiance Of Poland's Communists [Internet]. The Washington Post. Available from: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A56705-2004Jun20.html [Accessed 1 August 2017].

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Marek Edelman

Hero of The Two Uprisings



Marek Edelman was the only military leader of the 1943 uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto, who not only survived it, but also went on to fight in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. In addition to that, and as the following article will demonstrate, he became an active politician and one of the most important figures of the Polish opposition during communism.

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Zbigniew Religa

The Man Who Changed The Polish Cardiothoracic Surgery



Zbigniew Religa was a cardiac surgeon and a politician. In 1985 he carried out the first successful heart transplant operation in Poland. Ten years later he was the first surgeon to graft an artificial valve created from materials taken from human corpses. Thanks to his achievements many human lives were saved and there is no doubt that Religa was the most famous figure in Polish cardiothoracic surgery, in spite of very inauspicious times.

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Pola Negri

The Great Hollywood Star



One of the most recognisable actresses of the American silent cinema. Pola Negri, called the “Hollywood’s first femme fatale”1 was not only a film star, but also theatre actress and recording artist, known worldwide.

1 Kotowski M. (2014). Hollywood’s first femme fatale. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky.

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