Anne (Anna of Inner Austria) b. August 16, 1573 d. February 10, 1598 Queen of Poland and Sweden. She was originally Archduchess-Princess of Austria, Duchess of Styria there, belonged to the Habsburg Dynasty and became the first consort of King Sigmund III in 1592. Her private nickname was "Andle". In six years, she bore five children of whom a son and all three daughters died young. She was Queen of both countries for seven years, from the year of her marriage until her death, and thus missed by a year her husband's official dethronement in Sweden in 1599. All...[Read More] (Bio by: Count Demitz) Wawel Cathedral, Krakow, Malopolskie, Poland Plot: Vasa Chapel
Asnyk, Adam b. September 11, 1838 d. August 2, 1897 Polish poet and dramatist. He published his poems in the collections Poezje (1869, 1872, 1880, 1894). He began his literary career in 1864-65. The fullest expression of his intellectualised poetry is the series of 30 sonnets, Nad glebiami (1883-94), owing to which Asnyk came to be referred to as "a poet-philosopher." This series comprises the poet's philosophical system, which was an attempt at reconciling idealism with positivist realism and scientism. He was leading poet of positivism period...[Read More] (Bio by: Kasia) Skalka Sanctuary, Krakow, Malopolskie, Poland
Casimir IV. b. November 30, 1427 d. June 7, 1492 Polish and Lithuanian Royalty. He was the Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1440 to 1492 and the King of Poland from 1447 to 1492. He sought to preserve the political union between Poland and Lithuania and to recover the lost lands of old Poland. As the second son of Władysław II Jagiełło and his fourth wife, Zofja Holszańska; he was the second in line to be heir to the throne. His father was already over 75 at Casimir’s birth; his brother Władysław III, who was...[Read More] (Bio by: Linda Davis) Wawel Cathedral, Krakow, Malopolskie, Poland
Deskur, Cardinal. Andrzej Maria b. February 29, 1924 d. September 3, 2011 Roman Catholic Cardinal. Born at the Deskur palace in Sancygniów to a noble family of French origins, Andrzej Maria Deskur earned a doctorate in law from the Jagellonian University of Kraków before entering the local seminary. Furthering his studies at the Catholic University of Fribourg in Switzerland, receiving a doctorate in moral theology with specialty in social sciences, he was ordained priest at St. Bonnet-les-Oules in France by Cardinal Pierre-Marie Gerlier, Archbishop of Lyon, on...[Read More] (Bio by: Eman Bonnici) Sanctuary Of The Divine Mercy, Krakow, Malopolskie, Poland Plot: Sanctuary Crypt.
Dlugosz, Jan b. 1415 d. May 19, 1480 Preeminent medieval Polish historian and diplomat. Born in Brzeznica, Poland and educated in literature and philosophy at the Academy of Cracow. Ordained in 1440 and appointed secretary to Cardinal Zbigniew Olesnicki, Bishop of Cracow. Best remembered for his monumental 12 volume History of Poland (Historiae Polonicae) which was partially published in 1614, and finally in full in 1711. The first of its kind, it inspired Poles with pride in their past and favourably changed the attitude of...[Read More] (Bio by: Fred Beisser) Skalka Sanctuary, Krakow, Malopolskie, Poland
Dunajewski, Cardinal. Albin b. March 1, 1817 d. June, 1894 Roman Catholic Cardinal. Born in Stanisławów, then part of the Austrian Empire and nowadays part of Ukraine, Albin Dunajewski frequented the theological faculty of Lviv, the university and seminary of Kraków and the Collegio Romano in Rome. Working at the said university with the youth, he was the co-founder of the "Mloda Sarmacja" union statute. Accused of conspiring for being a member of the Polish Democrats, he was arrested on February 8, 1841 and sentenced to death following a...[Read More] (Bio by: Eman Bonnici) Wawel Cathedral, Krakow, Malopolskie, Poland Plot: Krypty Biskupów Krakowskich.
Fall, Richard b. April 3, 1882 d. January, 1945 Composer, Conductor. The youngest brother of famed composer Leo Fall, he studied in Berlin and was active in Vienna as an operetta conductor. Leo entrusted him with the premieres of several of his works. His own compositions were rather more modernistic, assimilating elements of avant-garde dissonance and jazz, though he also wrote his share of light music (salon pieces and a dozen light operas and revues). Fall's best efforts were done in collaboration with lyricist Fritz Lohner-Beda...[Read More] (Bio by: Robert Edwards) Auschwitz Death Camp, Oswiecim, Malopolskie, Poland
Gerron, Kurt b. May 11, 1897 d. October 28, 1944 Actor. He created the role of 'Tiger Brown', the Lord Mayor of London, in Berholdt Brecht and Kurt Weill's "The Threepenny Opera" (1928) and made "Mack the Knife" his signature song in his stage act. He also appeared in the films "Diary of a Lost Girl"(1928) and "The Blue Angel". He refused to leave Germany after the Nazi takeover in 1933, even though he was Jewish, and in 1942 he was sent to the concentration camp at Terecin. There he was forced to direct a Nazi propaganda film, "Hitler Builds...[Read More] (Bio by: Robert Edwards) Auschwitz Death Camp, Oswiecim, Malopolskie, Poland
Haas, Pavel b. June 21, 1899 d. October 18, 1944 Composer. A leading Czech musician of the 20th Century's inter-war period. His style united disparate influences - Neoclassicism, Moravian folk tunes, jazz, synagogue music - into a cohesive and exciting whole. Haas was born in Brno, Moravia (now part of the Czech Republic), into a family of Jewish merchants. From 1919 to 1922 he studied at the Brno Conservatory while also taking master classes with composer Leos...[Read More] (Bio by: Robert Edwards) Auschwitz Death Camp, Oswiecim, Malopolskie, Poland
John I Albert (Olbracht) (Jan) b. December 27, 1449 d. June 17, 1501 Polish Royalty. He was the third son of Casimir IV, the Grand Duke of Lithuania and the King of Poland and his wife Elisabeth, the daughter of King Albert of Hungary; his Polish name was Jan Olbracht. After his father’s lack in formal education, he was well-educated and studied under the noted Polish historian and Roman Catholic priest, John Dlugosz and advisor, Filip Callimachus. Since King Casimir’s second son had decided to follow the calling of the church leaving the duties of prince...[Read More] (Bio by: Linda Davis) Wawel Cathedral, Krakow, Malopolskie, Poland
Kaczynski, Lech Aleksander b. June 18, 1949 d. April 10, 2010 President of the Republic of Poland from 2005 to 2010. A politician of the party Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (Law and Justice, PiS). Kaczyński served as Mayor of Warsaw from 2002 until 22 December 2005, the day before his presidential inauguration. On 19 March 2005, he formally declared his intention to run for president in the October 2005 election. Elected President of the Republic of Poland in defeating the runner up Donald Tusk, by polling 54.04 percent of the vote, Kaczyński...[Read More] Wawel Cathedral, Krakow, Malopolskie, Poland
Kien, Petr b. January 1, 1919 d. October, 1944 Artist, Author. His visual and literary works reflected his experiences in the concentration camp at Theresienstadt (Terezin), where he was imprisoned as a Jew during World War II. Kien's watercolor drawings, created in secret on stolen paper, vividly depict the brutality of daily life in a camp the Nazis portrayed to the world as a "model Jewish community". As an author he is best known for his libretto to Viktor Ullmann's opera "The Emperor of Atlantis" (1944). Born Frantisek Petr Kien in...[Read More] (Bio by: Robert Edwards) Auschwitz Death Camp, Oswiecim, Malopolskie, Poland
Kościuszko, Thaddeus b. February 4, 1746 d. October 15, 1817 American Revolutionary War Soldier. He is remembered as a hero in the US, Poland, Lithuania, and Belarus for his participation in revolutionary causes as a military soldier. He was one of several foreign-born soldiers who joined the American Continental Army for a numerous reasons, but who added some well-needed professionalism to its rough-hewn tactics and tenuous grasp of strategy. He was born Andrzej Tadeusz Bonawentura Kościuszko in the village Mereczowszczyzna, Polish-Lithuanian...[Read More] (Bio by: William Bjornstad) Wawel Cathedral, Krakow, Malopolskie, Poland
Krasa, Hans b. November 30, 1899 d. October 18, 1944 Composer. His short fairy tale opera "Brundibar" (1938, revised 1943), written for children, is probably the most celebrated composition to emerge from the Holocaust. The tragic provenance of this work and the quirky charm of Krasa's music have given it lasting popular and historical interest. Krasa was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Reublic), into a respected German-Jewish family. After studying at Prague's German Music Academy, and privately with composers Alexander Zemlinsky...[Read More] (Bio by: Robert Edwards) Auschwitz Death Camp, Oswiecim, Malopolskie, Poland
Lem, Stanislaw b. September 12, 1921 d. March 27, 2006 Author. A well regarded Polish science fiction writer, he was born in 1921 in Lwów, Poland (now Lviv, Ukraine). In 1946 he was "repatriated" from the territory annexed by the Soviet Union to Kraków. Some of his works (which have been translated into 41 languages and sold over 27 million copies) include "Solaris", "The Cyberiad", "Eden", "Hospital of the Transfiguration", "The Star Diaries/Memoirs of a Space Traveler", "The Futurological Congress", and "Tales of Pirx the Pilot/More Tales of Pirx...[Read More] (Bio by: Kasia) Salwator Cemetery, Krakow, Malopolskie, Poland
Leszczynski, Stanislaw b. October 20, 1670 d. February 23, 1766 Polish Monarch. King of the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth and he was the last Duke of Lorraine. His reign was from 1704 to 1709 and then again from 1733 to 1736. He died in Luneville and was originally buried at Notre-Dame de Bon-Secours Chapel in Nancy, France. (Bio by: Tom Denardo) Wawel Cathedral, Krakow, Malopolskie, Poland