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Wislawa Szymborska Wislawa Szymborska 1923 - 2012 Poet and essayist
Barbara Skarga Barbara Skarga 1919 - 2009 Philosophy historian and philosopher
Jan Kowalewski Jan Kowalewski 1892 - 1965 Cryptologist and intelligence officer
Henryk Niewodniczanski Henryk Niewodniczanski 1900 - 1968 Nuclear physics
Andrzej Dobrowolski Andrzej Dobrowolski 1921 - 1990 Composer and teacher of electronic music
Wojciech Has Wojciech Has 1925 - 2000 Film director, screenwriter and film producer
Aleksander Jablonski Aleksander Jablonski 1898 - 1980 Molecular spectroscopy and photophysics
Kazimierz Kutz Kazimierz Kutz 1929 - 2018 Film director, author, journalist and politician
Feliks Dzierzynski Feliks Dzierzynski 1877 - 1926 Head of the Soviet secret police
Maksymilian Maria Kolbe Maksymilian Maria Kolbe 1894 - 1941 Founder of Militia of Mary Immaculate
Sylwester Checinski Sylwester Checinski 1930 - 2021 Film and television director and screenwriter
Stefan Jaracz Stefan Jaracz 1883 - 1945 Theatre actor and producer
Ryszard Kuklinski Ryszard Kuklinski 1930 - 2004 CIA agent, Polish colonel
Janusz Sidlo Janusz Sidlo 1933 - 1993 Javelin thrower
Krzysztof Kamil Baczynski Krzysztof Kamil Baczynski 1921 - 1944 Poet and Home Army soldier
Wojciech Karpinski Wojciech Karpinski 1943 - 2020 Writer, historian of ideas, literary critic
Zygmunt Stojowski Zygmunt Stojowski 1870 - 1946 Composer and pianist
Grazyna Bacewicz Grazyna Bacewicz 1909 - 1969 Composer and violinist
Zbigniew Brzezinski Zbigniew Brzezinski 1928 - 2017 National Security Advisor
Krzysztof Gawedzki Krzysztof Gawedzki 1947 - 2022 Mathematical physics
Maria Kwasniewska Maria Kwasniewska 1867 - 1934 Nobel laureate in physics and chemistry
Stefan Wyszynski Stefan Wyszynski 1901 - 1981 Archbishop of Warsaw and Gniezno
Michal Bobrzynski Michal Bobrzynski 1849 - 1935 Historian, viceroy of Galicia
Janusz Kusocinski Janusz Kusocinski 1907 - 1940 Olympic runner
Tomasz Wojtowicz Tomasz Wojtowicz 1953 - 2022 Volleyball player
Wojciech Dlugoraj Wojciech Dlugoraj 1557 - 1619 Renaissance composer and lutenist
Elzbieta Krzesinska Elzbieta Krzesinska 1934 - 2015 Long jumper
Georges Nomarski Georges Nomarski 1919 - 1997 Creator of differential interference microscopy
Jozef Beck Jozef Beck 1894 - 1944 Foreign minister of Poland
Ferdynand Goetel Ferdynand Goetel 1890 - 1960 Novelist, playwright, essayist, screenwriter
Ignacy Feliks Dobrzynski Ignacy Feliks Dobrzynski 1807 - 1867 Composer, pianist, conductor, teacher
Danuta Siedzikowna Danuta Siedzikowna 1928 - 1946 Medical orderly in the Home Army
Wladyslaw Natanson Wladyslaw Natanson 1864 - 1937 Theoretical physics
Leon Petrazycki Leon Petrazycki 1867 - 1931 Legal scholar
Irena Sendler Irena Sendler 1910 - 2008 Social worker and nurse
Jaroslaw Marek Rymkiewicz Jaroslaw Marek Rymkiewicz 1935 - 2022 Poet, essayist, dramatist, translator
Casimir III the Great Casimir III the Great 1310 - 1370 King of Poland and Ruthenia
Barbara Krafftowna Barbara Krafftowna 1928 - 2022 film and theater actress
Kazimierz Przerwa-Tetmajer Kazimierz Przerwa-Tetmajer 1865 - 1940 Poet, novelist, playwright, journalist
Kazimierz Deyna Kazimierz Deyna 1947 - 1989 Attacking midfielder
Adam Hanuszkiewicz Adam Hanuszkiewicz 1924 - 2011 Actor and director of theater and television
Kazimierz Pulaski Kazimierz Pulaski 1745 - 1779 Military commander
Benjamin Fondane Benjamin Fondane 1898 - 1944 Poet, Philosopher
Maria Dworzecka Maria Dworzecka 1941 - 2023 Computational nuclear physicist
Jan Nepomucen Bobrowicz Jan Nepomucen Bobrowicz 1805 - 1881 Composer, publisher, guitar virtuoso
Stefan Gierowski Stefan Gierowski 1925 - 2022 Painter and professor
Wladyslaw Sikorski Wladyslaw Sikorski 1881 - 1943 Prime minister of Poland
Jozef Elsner Jozef Elsner 1769 - 1854 Composer, music teacher, and music theoretician
Henryk Grohman Henryk Grohman 1862 - 1939 Textile manufacturer
Samuel Willenberg Samuel Willenberg 1923 - 2016 Sonderkommando at Treblinka and participant
Janusz Glowacki Janusz Glowacki 1938 - 2017 Writer and playwright
Stanislaw Mrozowski Stanislaw Mrozowski 1902 - 1999 Physics professor and researcher
Stanislaw August Poniatowski Stanislaw August Poniatowski 1732 - 1798 King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania
Witold Lutoslawski Witold Lutoslawski 1913 - 1994 Composer and conductor
Wladyslaw Witwicki Wladyslaw Witwicki 1878 - 1948 Psychology, philosophy, translation
Jerzy Plebanski Jerzy Plebanski 1928 - 2005 Theoretical physicist and mathematician
Zygmunt Bauman Zygmunt Bauman 1925 - 2017 Sociologist and philosopher
Barbara Janiszewska Barbara Janiszewska 1936 - 2000 Sprinter
Ignacy Jan Paderewski Ignacy Jan Paderewski 1860 - 1941 Prime minister and foreign minister of Poland
Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki 1933 - 2010 Composer of contemporary classical music
Andrzej Wajda Andrzej Wajda 1926 - 2016 Film and theatre director
Francoise Frenkel Francoise Frenkel 1889 - 1975 Writer and bookseller
Jozef Maria Bochenski Jozef Maria Bochenski 1902 - 1995 Dominican priest, professor, rector
Jan Twardowski Jan Twardowski 1915 - 2006 Poet and Catholic priest
Anna Jablonowska Anna Jablonowska 1935 - 2010 poet and translator
Leszek Engelking Leszek Engelking 1955 - 2022 poet, short story writer, novelist, translator
Zbigniew Namyslowski Zbigniew Namyslowski 1939 - 2022 Jazz saxophonist, composer and arranger
Jerzy Grotowski Jerzy Grotowski 1933 - 1999 Theatre director and theorist
Isaac Bashevis Singer Isaac Bashevis Singer 1903 - 1991 Novelist, short-story writer, essayist, translator
Stanislawa Walasiewicz Stanislawa Walasiewicz 1911 - 1980 Olympic champion in 100 metres
Edmund Piatkowski Edmund Piatkowski 1936 - 2016 Discus thrower
Tadeusz Czacki Tadeusz Czacki 1765 - 1813 Historian, pedagogue, numismatist
Hipolit Cegielski Hipolit Cegielski 1813 - 1868 Founder of H. Cegielski - Poznań
Elzbieta Zawacka Elzbieta Zawacka 1909 - 2009 SOE agent, freedom fighter, mathematician
Jan III Sobieski Jan III Sobieski 1629 - 1696 King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania
Maria Konopnicka Maria Konopnicka 1842 - 1910 Poet, novelist, children's writer, translator
Pola Negri Pola Negri 1897 - 1987 Film actress and singer
Felicjan Slawoj Skladkowski Felicjan Slawoj Skladkowski 1885 - 1962 Prime Minister of Poland
Alina Szapocznikow Alina Szapocznikow 1926 - 1973 Sculptor and graphic artist
Edward Gierek Edward Gierek 1913 - 2001 First Secretary of Polish United Workers' Party
Andrzej Ciechanowiecki Andrzej Ciechanowiecki 1924 - 2015 Art historian, art dealer, antique dealer
Stefania Wilczynska Stefania Wilczynska 1886 - 1942 Director of Jewish orphanage
Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka 1923 - 2014 Phenomenologist
Rosa Luxemburg Rosa Luxemburg 1871 - 1919 Marxist theorist, anti-war activist
Jerzy Trela Jerzy Trela 1942 - 2022 Theatre and film actor
Franciszka Arnsztajnowa Franciszka Arnsztajnowa 1865 - 1942 Poet, playwright, and translator
Krzysztof Penderecki Krzysztof Penderecki 1933 - 2020 Composer and conductor of classical music
Riad Haidar Riad Haidar 1951 - 2023 Member of the Sejm of Poland
Witold Pilecki Witold Pilecki 1901 - 1948 Cavalry officer, intelligence agent
Stanislaw Kot Stanislaw Kot 1885 - 1975 History of culture and Reformation in Poland
Jozef Oleksy Jozef Oleksy 1946 - 2015 Prime Minister of Poland
Aleksander Doba Aleksander Doba 1946 - 2021 Ocean kayaker
Ulrich Schrade Ulrich Schrade 1943 - 2009 philosopher, educationist and ethicist
Alfred Tarski Alfred Tarski 1901 - 1983 Model theory, metamathematics, algebraic logic
Konstanty Antoni Gorski Konstanty Antoni Gorski 1859 - 1924 Composer, violinist, organist, music teacher
Jozef Noji Jozef Noji 1909 - 1943 Long-distance runner
Jan Kozielewski Jan Kozielewski 1914 - 2000 Courier for the Polish Underground
Roman Czerniawski Roman Czerniawski 1910 - 1985 Polish Air Force captain and Allied double agent
Kazimierz Zimny Kazimierz Zimny 1935 - 2022 Long-distance runner
Jedrzej Moraczewski Jedrzej Moraczewski 1870 - 1944 Prime Minister of Poland
Witold Gombrowicz Witold Gombrowicz 1904 - 1969 Novelist, playwright, diarist
Adam Zagajewski Adam Zagajewski 1945 - 2021 Poet, novelist, translator, and essayist
Tadeusz Boy-Zelenski Tadeusz Boy-Zelenski 1874 - 1941 Writer and translator of French literature
Emil Zegadlowicz Emil Zegadlowicz 1888 - 1941 Expressionist poet and novelist
Bronislaw Geremek Bronislaw Geremek 1932 - 2008 Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland
Georges Charpak Georges Charpak 1924 - 2010 Particle detector inventor
Stanislaw Lem Stanislaw Lem 1921 - 2006 Science fiction writer and philosopher
Jadwiga Grabowska-Hawrylak Jadwiga Grabowska-Hawrylak 1920 - 2018 Architect of post-war Wrocław
Ignacy Lukasiewicz Ignacy Lukasiewicz 1822 - 1882 Inventor of the kerosene lamp
Teresa Cieply Teresa Cieply 1937 - 2006 Olympic medalist in athletics
Edith Frank Edith Frank 1900 - 1945 Mother of Anne and Margot Frank
Boleslaus the Brave Boleslaus the Brave 967 - 1025 King of Poland, Duke of Bohemia
Jerzy Kosinski Jerzy Kosinski 1933 - 1991 Novelist and two-time president
Wladyslaw Szpilman Wladyslaw Szpilman 1911 - 2000 Pianist and composer
Olga Boznanska Olga Boznanska 1865 - 1940 Painter
Kazimierz Funk Kazimierz Funk 1884 - 1967 Biochemist
Janusz Korczak Janusz Korczak 1878 - 1942 Pediatrician, children's author, pedagogue
Tadeusz Rozewicz Tadeusz Rozewicz 1921 - 2014 Writer and translator
Wladyslaw Bartoszewski Wladyslaw Bartoszewski 1922 - 2015 Historian, journalist, politician
Kamila Skolimowska Kamila Skolimowska 1982 - 2009 Hammer thrower
Teresa Remiszewska Teresa Remiszewska 1928 - 2002 Sailor, journalist, political activist
Wladyslaw Broniewski Wladyslaw Broniewski 1897 - 1962 Poet, writer, translator
Henryk Sienkiewicz Henryk Sienkiewicz 1846 - 1916 Novelist and journalist
Gabriela Zapolska Gabriela Zapolska 1857 - 1921 Novelist, playwright, naturalist writer
Nathan Handwerker Nathan Handwerker 1892 - 1974 Founder of Nathan's Famous
Pawel Huelle Pawel Huelle 1957 - 2023 Novelist
Adam Asnyk Adam Asnyk 1838 - 1897 Poet and dramatist of the Positivist era
Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz 1890 - 1963 Logic, semantics, philosophy of science
Adam Kozlowiecki Adam Kozlowiecki 1911 - 2007 Archbishop of Lusaka
Nicolaus Copernicus Nicolaus Copernicus 1473 - 1543 Heliocentric theory of the solar system
Zdzislaw Krzyszkowiak Zdzislaw Krzyszkowiak 1929 - 2003 Runner
Augustus II the Strong Augustus II the Strong 1670 - 1733 King of Poland and Elector of Saxony
Agenor Maria Goiuchowski Agenor Maria Goiuchowski 1849 - 1921 Foreign Minister
Krzysztof Kieslowski Krzysztof Kieslowski 1941 - 1996 Film director and screenwriter
Roman Aftanazy Roman Aftanazy 1914 - 2004 Author of History of Residences
Jan Gotlib Bloch Jan Gotlib Bloch 1836 - 1902 Railway financier and war analyst
Zdzislaw Jachimecki Zdzislaw Jachimecki 1882 - 1953 Historian of music, professor
Wladyslaw Reymont Wladyslaw Reymont 1867 - 1925 Novelist
Halina Konopacka Halina Konopacka 1900 - 1989 Discus thrower
Irena Kwiatkowska Irena Kwiatkowska 1912 - 2011 Actress, cabaret artist
Jacek Kaczmarski Jacek Kaczmarski 1957 - 2004 Singer, songwriter, poet and author
Daniel Passent Daniel Passent 1938 - 2022 Journalist and writer for Polityka
Henning von Tresckow Henning von Tresckow 1901 - 1944 Major general in the German Army
Ludwik Dorn Ludwik Dorn 1954 - 2022 Deputy Prime Minister, Marshal of the Sejm
Marian Foik Marian Foik 1933 - 2005 Sprinter
Ryszard Kapuscinski Ryszard Kapuscinski 1932 - 2007 Journalist and author
Jan Matejko Jan Matejko 1838 - 1893 History painter
Joanna Chmielewska Joanna Chmielewska 1932 - 2013 Novelist and screenwriter
Jerzy Chromik Jerzy Chromik 1931 - 1987 Long-distance runner
Ernest Malinowski Ernest Malinowski 1818 - 1899 Civil engineer
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Top 10 Died Influential People

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  • 1. Nicolaus Copernicus

    Died: 1543 A.D
    Slogan: Mathematics is written for mathematicians.

    Nicolaus Copernicus was a Renaissance polymath who revolutionized astronomy by proposing that the Sun, not the Earth, was the center of the solar system. He also made contributions to mathematics, economics, medicine, and canon law. He studied at various universities in Poland and Italy, where he learned classical languages, mathematics, astronomy, and philosophy. He became a canon of the Warmian Cathedral chapter and a doctor of canon law. He also served as a diplomat, governor, and administrator for the church and the Polish king. He spent most of his life in Royal Prussia, a semi-autonomous region of the Kingdom of Poland. He wrote his magnum opus, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), in which he presented his heliocentric theory, over several decades. He delayed publishing it until 1543, the year of his death, fearing the criticism and controversy it would provoke. His book was banned by the Catholic Church and condemned by Protestant theologians, but it also inspired many later astronomers and scientists, such as Galileo, Kepler, Descartes, and Newton, who built on his ideas and developed the modern scientific worldview. Copernicus is widely regarded as one of the greatest astronomers and one of the fathers of modern science.

  • 2. Frederic Chopin

    Died: 1849 A.D
    Slogan: Simplicity is the final achievement.

    Frédéric Chopin was a Polish-French composer and pianist of the Romantic period, who wrote primarily for solo piano. He has maintained worldwide renown as a leading musician of his era, one whose "poetic genius was based on a professional technique that was without equal in his generation". Chopin was born in Żelazowa Wola and grew up in Warsaw, which in 1815 became part of Congress Poland. A child prodigy, he completed his musical education and composed his earlier works in Warsaw before leaving Poland at the age of 20, less than a month before the outbreak of the November 1830 Uprising. At 21, he settled in Paris. Thereafter he gave only 30 public performances, preferring the more intimate atmosphere of the salon. He supported himself by selling his compositions and by giving piano lessons, for which he was in high demand. Chopin formed a friendship with Franz Liszt and was admired by many of his musical contemporaries, including Robert Schumann. After a failed engagement to Maria Wodzińska from 1836 to 1837, he maintained an often troubled relationship with the French writer Aurore Dupin (known by her pen name George Sand). A brief and unhappy visit to Mallorca with Sand in 1838–39 would prove one of his most productive periods of composition. In his final years, he was supported financially by his admirer Jane Stirling. For most of his life, Chopin was in poor health. He died in Paris in 1849 at the age of 39. All of Chopin's compositions feature the piano. Most are for solo piano, though he also wrote two piano concertos, some chamber music, and 19 songs set to Polish lyrics. His piano pieces are technically demanding and expanded the limits of the instrument; his own performances were noted for their nuance and sensitivity. Chopin's major piano works include mazurkas, waltzes, nocturnes, polonaises, the instrumental ballade (which Chopin created as an instrumental genre), études, impromptus, scherzi, preludes, and sonatas, some published only posthumously. Among the influences on his style of composition were Polish folk music, the classical tradition of Mozart and Schubert, and the atmosphere of the Paris salons, of which he was a frequent guest. His innovations in style, harmony, and musical form, and his association of music with nationalism, were influential throughout and after the late Romantic period. Chopin's music, his status as one of music's earliest celebrities, his indirect association with political insurrection, his high-profile love life, and his early death have made him a leading symbol of the Romantic era. His works remain popular, and he has been the subject of numerous films and biographies of varying historical fidelity.

  • 3. John Paul II

    Died: 2005 A.D
    Slogan: Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors for Christ

    John Paul II was born in Wadowice, a small town near Kraków, on May 18, 1920. He was the youngest of three children and the only son of Karol Wojtyła and Emilia Kaczorowska, who died in 1929 and 1932, respectively. He was baptized on June 20, 1920, in the parish church of Wadowice. He attended elementary and secondary school in Wadowice, where he excelled in academics, languages, and sports. He also developed a passion for theater and poetry. He enrolled in the Jagiellonian University of Kraków in 1938, where he studied Polish literature and philosophy. However, his studies were interrupted by the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939, which forced him to work as a manual laborer in a quarry and a chemical factory to avoid deportation. He also joined an underground theater group and a cultural resistance movement. During this time, he felt a growing call to the priesthood and began to study secretly at an underground seminary run by the Archbishop of Kraków, Adam Stefan Sapieha. He was ordained a priest on November 1, 1946, and sent to Rome to continue his studies at the Pontifical Angelicum University, where he earned a doctorate in theology in 1948. He returned to Poland and served as a parish priest, a university chaplain, and a professor of ethics and social philosophy at the Catholic University of Lublin. He also earned a second doctorate in philosophy in 1953. He was appointed as an auxiliary bishop of Kraków in 1958, and became the archbishop of Kraków in 1964. He participated in the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), where he contributed to the drafting of several important documents, such as the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes) and the Declaration on Religious Freedom (Dignitatis Humanae). He also established a close friendship with the future Pope Benedict XVI, then a young theologian. He was created a cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1967. He was elected as the successor of Peter on October 16, 1978, becoming the first non-Italian pope in 455 years and the first Slavic pope in history. He took the name John Paul II, in honor of his predecessors John XXIII and Paul VI. He was inaugurated on October 22, 1978, and chose as his motto Totus Tuus (Totally Yours), expressing his devotion to the Virgin Mary. John Paul II was one of the most influential and charismatic leaders of the 20th century. He traveled extensively, visiting 129 countries and covering more than 1.2 million kilometers. He was seen by more than 250 million people, making him the most widely seen person in history. He was a champion of human rights, democracy, and social justice, and a staunch defender of the dignity of every human person from conception to natural death. He played a key role in the peaceful collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, especially in his native Poland, where he supported the Solidarity movement led by Lech Wałęsa. He also promoted dialogue and reconciliation among different religions, cultures, and nations, and apologized for the sins and errors committed by the members of the Church throughout history. He was a prolific writer, authoring 14 encyclicals, 15 apostolic exhortations, 11 apostolic constitutions, 45 apostolic letters, and numerous books, speeches, homilies, and messages. He also initiated several reforms and innovations in the Church, such as the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the revision of the Code of Canon Law, the establishment of World Youth Day, the introduction of the luminous mysteries of the rosary, and the proclamation of the Jubilee Year 2000. He also beatified and canonized more saints than any other pope in history, including some of his predecessors, such as Pius IX, John XXIII, and Pius X. He also declared Mary as the Mother of the Church and the Co-Redemptrix of humanity. John Paul II suffered from various health problems, especially in his later years. He was shot and wounded by a Turkish gunman, Mehmet Ali Ağca, on May 13, 1981, in St. Peter's Square, but he survived and forgave his assailant. He also endured a tumor surgery, a broken femur, an appendectomy, a dislocated shoulder, and a Parkinson's disease. He died on April 2, 2005, at the age of 84, after a long and painful illness. He was mourned by millions of people around the world, who gathered in Rome or watched his funeral on television. He was buried in the grottoes of St. Peter's Basilica, near the tomb of St. Peter. He was beatified by his successor, Benedict XVI, on May 1, 2011, and canonized by Pope Francis on April 27, 2014, along with John XXIII. His feast day is celebrated on October 22, the anniversary of his inauguration. He is regarded as one of the greatest popes of all time, and as a saint and a hero by many Catholics and non-Catholics alike. He is also known as John Paul the Great, the Pope of the Family, and the Pope of Mercy.

  • 4. Jan Kozielewski

    Died: 2000 A.D
    Slogan: The world should know and remember

    Jan Karski was a Polish soldier, resistance-fighter, and diplomat during World War II. He is known for having acted as a courier in 1940–1943 to the Polish government-in-exile and to Poland's Western Allies about the situation in German-occupied Poland. He reported about the state of Poland, its many competing resistance factions, and also about Germany's destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto and its operation of extermination camps on Polish soil that were murdering Jews, Poles, and others. Emigrating to the United States after the war, Karski completed a doctorate and taught for decades at Georgetown University in international relations and Polish history. He lived in Washington, D.C., until the end of his life. Karski did not speak publicly about his wartime missions until 1981 when he was invited as a speaker to a conference on the liberation of the camps. Karski was featured in Claude Lanzmann 's nine-hour film Shoah (1985), about the Holocaust, based on oral interviews with Jewish and Polish survivors. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Karski was honored by the new Polish government, as well as honored by the US and European nations for his wartime role.

  • 5. Marie Salome Skudofska Curie

    Died: 1934 A.D
    Slogan:

    radiumPoloniumNuclear decay

  • 6. Ignacy Jan Paderewski

    Died: 1941 A.D
    Slogan: If I am to speak ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if an hour, I am ready now.

    Ignacy Jan Paderewski was a Polish pianist, composer and statesman who was a spokesman for Polish independence. He was born on November 18, 1860, in Kuryłówka, a village in the Podolia province of the Russian Empire. He showed an early interest in music and studied piano at the Warsaw Conservatory, where he later became a teacher. He also studied composition in Berlin and Vienna, where he improved his technique under Theodor Leschetizky. He made his debut as a concert pianist in 1887 and soon gained international fame for his virtuosic performances and charismatic personality. He played mainly works by Chopin, Bach, Beethoven and Schumann, but also composed his own pieces, such as the Symphony in B minor, the Piano Concerto in A minor, and the opera Manru. He was also a generous patron of Polish culture and arts, and donated a monument to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Polish victory over the Teutonic Order. Paderewski was also a passionate patriot and a leader of the Polish National Committee during World War I. He campaigned for the cause of Polish independence in the United States, where he met with President Woodrow Wilson and persuaded him to include Poland in his Fourteen Points. He also participated in the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, where he signed the Treaty of Versailles on behalf of Poland. He briefly served as the prime minister and foreign minister of the newly restored Polish state, but resigned after a few months due to political conflicts. He then resumed his musical career and toured extensively in Europe and America. He also settled in Switzerland, where he owned a villa and a vineyard. Paderewski remained involved in Polish politics and supported the anti-Nazi and anti-Soviet resistance during World War II. He became the head of the Polish National Council, a government-in-exile based in London. He died of pneumonia on June 29, 1941, in New York, where he had gone for medical treatment. He was buried at the Arlington National Cemetery, but his body was later transferred to Poland in 1992, after the fall of communism. He is regarded as one of the greatest Polish musicians and statesmen of all time, and a symbol of national pride and cultural identity.

  • 7. Tadeusz Kosciuszko

    Died: 1817 A.D
    Slogan: For your freedom and ours

    Tadeusz Kościuszko was a Polish-Lithuanian military engineer, statesman, and national hero who fought for the independence of both Poland and the United States. He graduated from the Corps of Cadets in Warsaw and then studied in France. He joined the American Revolutionary War in 1776 and became a colonel in the Continental Army. He designed and built several fortifications, including those at West Point, New York. He was promoted to brigadier general by the Continental Congress in 1783. He returned to Poland in 1784 and became a major general in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Army. He participated in the Polish-Russian War of 1792 and was awarded the Virtuti Militari, Poland's highest military decoration. He led the Kościuszko Uprising against the Russian Empire in 1794, but was captured and imprisoned. After his release in 1796, he moved to the United States, where he was given a large estate by Congress. He later moved to France and then to Switzerland, where he died in 1817. He was buried in Kraków, Poland, and a mound was erected in his honor. He is regarded as a national hero in Poland, the United States, Lithuania, and Belarus. He was a champion of human rights, democracy, and social justice. He freed his own serfs and urged others to do the same. He also supported the emancipation of African Americans and Native Americans in the United States. He was a friend of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Napoleon Bonaparte. He inspired many artists, writers, and poets with his life and deeds.

  • 8. Witold Pilecki

    Died: 1948 A.D
    Slogan: I tried to live my life so that in the hour of my death I would rather feel joy, than fear.

    Witold Pilecki was a Polish World War II cavalry officer, intelligence agent, and resistance leader. As a youth, he joined Polish underground scouting; in the aftermath of World War I, he joined the Polish militia and, later, the Polish Army. He participated in the Polish–Soviet War which ended in 1921. In 1939, he participated in the unsuccessful defense of Poland against the German invasion and shortly afterward, joined the Polish resistance, co-founding the Secret Polish Army resistance movement. In 1940, he volunteered to allow himself to be captured by the occupying Germans in order to infiltrate the Auschwitz concentration camp. At Auschwitz, he organized a resistance movement that eventually included hundreds of inmates, and he secretly drew up reports detailing German atrocities at the camp, which were smuggled out to Home Army headquarters and shared with the Western Allies. After eventually escaping from Auschwitz in April 1943, Pilecki fought in the Warsaw Uprising of August–October 1944. Following its suppression, he was interned in a German prisoner-of-war camp. After the communist takeover of Poland, he remained loyal to the London-based Polish government-in-exile. In 1945, he returned to Poland to report to the government-in-exile on the situation in Poland. Before returning, Pilecki compiled his previous reports into Witold's Report to detail his Auschwitz experiences, anticipating that he might be killed by Poland's new communist authorities. In 1947, he was arrested by the secret police on charges of working for "foreign imperialism" and, after being subjected to torture and a show trial, was executed in 1948. His story, inconvenient to the Polish communist authorities, remained mostly unknown for several decades; one of the first accounts of Pilecki's mission to Auschwitz was given by Polish historian Józef Garliński, himself a former Auschwitz inmate who emigrated to Britain after the war, in Fighting Auschwitz: The Resistance Movement in the Concentration Camp (1975). Several monographs appeared in subsequent years, particularly after the fall of communism in Poland facilitated research into his life by Polish historians.

  • 9. Rosa Luxemburg

    Died: 1919 A.D
    Slogan: Freedom is always the freedom of the one who thinks differently.

    Rosa Luxemburg was a Polish-born German revolutionary and agitator who played a key role in the founding of the Polish Social Democratic Party and the Spartacus League, which grew into the Communist Party of Germany. As a political theoretician, Luxemburg developed a humanitarian theory of Marxism, stressing democracy and revolutionary mass action to achieve international socialism. She became involved in underground activities while still in high school and emigrated to Zürich in 1889. There she studied law and political economy, receiving a doctorate in 1898. She challenged both the Russian and the Polish socialist movements because of their support of national independence, which she regarded as a bourgeois diversion from the class struggle. She moved to Berlin in 1898 and joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), becoming one of its most prominent and radical leaders. She opposed the revisionist trend within the SPD led by Eduard Bernstein, who advocated a gradual and peaceful transition to socialism. She also criticized the party's parliamentary and trade-union tactics, calling for more militant and spontaneous forms of mass action. She was a fierce opponent of World War I and the SPD's support for it. She co-founded the anti-war Spartacus League with Karl Liebknecht and other left-wing socialists. She was imprisoned several times for her anti-war activities and wrote some of her most influential works in jail, such as The Accumulation of Capital (1913), a critique of capitalism as a system of perpetual growth and expansion, and The Russian Revolution (1918), a defense of the Bolsheviks against their critics, but also a warning against their authoritarian tendencies. After the German Revolution of November 1918, she co-founded the Communist Party of Germany and the newspaper Die Rote Fahne (The Red Flag). She supported the Spartacist uprising of January 1919, but considered it a blunder. She was captured, tortured and executed by the Freikorps, a right-wing paramilitary group, on January 15, 1919. Her body was dumped into the Landwehr Canal and only recovered months later. She is widely regarded as one of the most influential and inspiring figures of the socialist movement and a martyr of the communist cause.

  • 10. Andrzej Wajda

    Died: 2016 A.D
    Slogan: Cinema is not only entertainment, but also a way of thinking.

    Andrzej Wajda was a Polish film and theatre director who was a leading figure in the "Polish film school", a group of talented filmmakers who brought international recognition to their country's post-World War II reality. He was known for his trilogy of war films consisting of A Generation, Kanał, and Ashes and Diamonds, as well as his adaptations of literature and his engagement with contemporary issues. He received many honors and awards, including an Honorary Oscar, the Palme d'Or, the Golden Lion, and the Golden Bear. He was also a member of the Polish Senate and a supporter of the Solidarity movement. He died in 2016 at the age of 90.

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