THE 2001 DONATIONS
The five books are:
“Polish Surnames: Origins & Meanings”
“First Names of the Polish Commonwealth: Origins & Meanings”
“Polish Customs, Traditions & Folklore”
“Polish Herbs, Flowers & Folk Medicine”
“The Murderers of Katyn”
Useful for people doing genealogy research on their Polish ancestors are two books on the origins and meanings of Polish first names and surnames. Both books also list variations of many Polish names from other countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
For those interested in Polish Customs, there is a book that lists traditions for each month of the year. It also describes many traditional Polish games for children.
For those who are interested in traditional Polish gardening there is a book about Polish Herbs, Flowers and Folk Medicine. Included, is a glossary of herbs, plants and flowers in English, Latin and Polish.
Recent Polish history is contained in the book “The Murderers of Katyn”. It described an incident in 1940, at the outbreak of World War II, in which the Soviet Union executed 15,000 Polish Army Officers in the Katyn Forest. The Soviet government only publicly admitted guilt for this incident in the 1990’s.
THE 2008 DONATIONS
The four books by subject and title are:
Polish History: “Kosciuszko: Military Engineer of the American Revolution”
Polish Genealogy: “In Their Words: A Genealogist’s Translation Guide to Polish, German, Latin and Russian documents, Volume 1: Polish, 2nd edition”
Polish Crafts: “Easter Eggs Polish Style and Two Hundred and One Egg Patterns”
Polish Traditions: “Dictionary of 1000 Polish Proverbs”
Descriptions of the four books are listed by subject as follows:
Polish History: This book on Tadeusz Kosciuszko addresses his service as a Military Engineer in the American Revolution. There is even mention of a diplomatic mission that was undertaken by him at the request of Thomas Jefferson after the war was over.
Polish Genealogy: This book is for people researching their “Polish Roots”. For the person with limited knowledge of Polish, it has information on the translation of documents, including Polish grammar and vocabulary. There are numerous sources of information on Polish records both in America and Poland, including whom to write for records in Poland.
Polish Crafts: This really consists of two booklets, on “Polish Style” Easter Egg decorating. One has step-by-step instructions for eight decoration techniques. The other has over 250 authentic regional egg patterns for Polish Easter eggs. After reading these booklets and practicing this craft, readers should be ready to display their creations by next Easter.
Polish Traditions: They are brought to light with a list of 1000 Polish Proverbs. The book is bilingual with the Polish and English translations side-by-side. It is organized by key word, with the proverbs listed by English subject. Readers may be able to find some of the proverbs that were passed down from their grandparents or great-grandparents and learn to say them in Polish or translate them to English.
THE 2010 DONATIONS
The three books by subject, with titles, authors and descriptions are as follows:
Guidebook of Poland: “Poland - Complete Guide”, written by Aleksandra Gorska, Monika Karolczuk and Roman Marcinek, c 2009.
As noted in the book’s introduction, “The guidebook material is arranged according to historical regions of Poland, which do not always coincide with the present-day provinces. The reader will find here descriptions of large towns and tiny hamlets, austere ancient castles, impregnable fortresses, resplendent aristocratic residences, cosy manor houses, old watermills and windmills, peasants’ houses in open-air museums, medieval abbeys, magnificent cathedrals, wooden churches, synagogues and even mosques.”
It has over 1,000 photos, with Polish history, art and architecture in the beginning of the book, before each region is explored in detail in pictures and descriptions.
Contemporary Poland: “Poland”, text by Renata Grunwald-Kopec and photos by Christian Parma, c 2009.
This book is for the person who wants a brief overview of Poland. It starts off with almanac type information about the country, a brief history and then Poland’s geography. The remainder of the book gives information about all 16 VOIVODSHIPS (province-regions) in present-day Poland, with numerous pictures throughout the book.
Polish Culture: “Poland – Home of a Thousand Year Old Nation”, text by Janusz L. Dobesz and photos by Adam Bujak, c 2007.
This book is broken out by subject, starting out with a history of the country, and continues with 14 additional chapters about various subjects and also has many beautiful photos. The subjects are as follows: Home of a Thousand Year Nation; Caves, Towns and Castles; Wawel; Palaces; Manors; Regions; Urban Diversity; House of a Worker; Market Squares; Warsaw; Cracow of the 19th and 20th Century; Cloisters; Jasna Gora; Cemeteries; and finally, House of God.
THE 2011 DONATIONS
To promote interest in Polish heritage by Fall River, Massachusetts area residents who are of Polish ancestry, The Polish-American Citizens Club of Tadeusz Kosciuszko donated two books to the Fall River Public Library recently. This donation will allow interested residents to learn more about how the subject of “Poland” fits in to the history of the United States.
One of the books is about Tadeusz Kosciuszko, Polish Patriot and Military Engineer in the Revolutionary War. It is written by Alex Storozynski and is entitled “The Peasant Prince”. It utilizes new original sources about Kosciuszko not mentioned in other books. The author elaborates about how Kosciuszko’s engineering knowledge was used several times during the war to prevent attacks against American forces. The most well known example is his defensive works at West Point that made a direct attack by the British too difficult. It mentions in greater detail than other books, of his actions taken during the war and gives a more complete picture of his accomplishments. It also delves into his personal life more than previous books that were written about him.
The second book is about how Poland was portrayed in the movies during World War II. It is written by M.B.B. Biskupski and is entitled “Hollywood’s War with POLAND 1939-1945”. It is about the negative portrayal of Poland and Polish people in movies during the war years and the reasons behind it. The fact that Poland was invaded by the Soviet Union early in the war and the Soviets later became an ally of the United States caused problems on how to publicly address it. The decision was made to portray Poland in a negative light in movies and the author delves into the reasons behind the negative portrayal of Poland.
Polish-Americans in the Fall River (South Coast) area of Massachusetts can learn more about how a Polish person “Kosciuszko” helped America become independent from Great Britain and how political decisions were made during World War II that negatively affected public opinion about Poland and its many contributions made in winning that war.