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International scientific conference „Magna Res Libertas. Towards Independence. On the 100th anniversary of Poland regaining its independence” – Rapperswil, 21–22 June 2018

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of regaining independence by Poland and on the 150th anniversary of erecting the Column of Freedom by Count Władysław Plater at the foot of the Rapperswil castle, the Institute of National Remembrance has organized together with the Polish Museum in Rapperswil an international scientific conference entitled "Magna Res Libertas. Towards Independence "at the Rapperswil castle.

 

 

 

On 21-22 June researchers from France, Germany, Poland, Switzerland and Great Britain are discussing the significance of freedom for Poles and the Swiss, the fate of Poles in Switzerland, their mutual relations, and Polish roads to independence in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The location of the conference is not accidental, as it most fully symbolizes the fate of Poles outside the country during the partitions and two totalitarian regimes, their determination and commitment to the idea of free Poland. On the 100th anniversary of Poland regaining its independence, the conference is a tribute Poles who fought for independent Poland in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, for their unbounded sacrifice in accordance with the motto: God, Honour, Fatherland.  

During the official opening of the conference President of the IPN Dr Jarosław Szarek said:

 Przed 150 laty z inicjatywy hrabiego Władysława Platera polscy emigranci postawili w Rapperswilu Kolumnę Barską, mającą upamiętnić ten wolnościowy zryw z 1768 roku. Wkrótce powstało tu Muzeum Polskie, a Rapperswil stał się miejscem, gdzie trwała pamięć o dziejach Rzeczypospolitej i wykuwały się marzenia o Niepodległej. Wyryty na kolumnie napis Magna res Libertas (Wolność jest rzeczą wielką) podkreśla wagę wolności dla Polaków. Wolność dla nas miała jakże wysoką cenę. W oddalonym od Rapperswilu o ponad tysiąc kilometrów Lwowie, na jednej z kolumn Cmentarza Obrońców Lwowa przetrwał sowiecką dewastację napis Mortui sunt, ut liberi vivamus (Polegli, byśmy wolni żyli). Stojący obok las krzyży ilustruje, ile ta wolność kosztowała, jaką ona dla Polaków ma cenę. Ale aby byli gotowi za niepodległą Polskę ginąć, musiała trwać pamięć i kultura. To wielkie dzieło Muzeum w Raperswilu, a zorganizowanie w tym miejscu przez Instytut Pamięci Narodowej konferencji „Magna res Libertas. Ku Niepodległej” podkreśla znaczenie i wagę jego dorobku. To wyraz wdzięczności dla polskiej emigracji, bez której nie byłoby niepodległej Polski. W setną rocznicę jej odzyskania konferencją w Rapperswilu wznosimy współczesną kolumnę wolności: „Wolny naród dziękuje za wolność”.

 

150 years ago, on the initiative of Count Władysław Plater, Polish emmigrants erected the column of Freedom in Rapperswil, to commemorate the uprising of 1768. Soon, the Polish Museum was established here, and Rapperswil became a place where the memory of the history of the Republic of Poland continued and the dreams of independence were forged. The inscription on the column Magna res Libertas (Freedom is a great thing) emphasizes the significance of freedom for the Poles. Freedom for us had a very high price. In the Lviv, more than a thousand kilometers away from Rapperswil, on one of the columns of the Cemetery of the Defenders of Lviv, the inscription Mortui sunt, ut liberi vivamus (The fallen, let us live free) survived the Soviet devastation. The forest of crosses standing next to it illustrates how much this freedom cost, what price it has for the Poles. Remembrance and culture were the reason why the Poles were ready to die for independence. The cultivation of memory is the great merit of the Museum in Rapperswil, and the conference “Magna Res Libertas” organized here by the IPN emphasizes the importance of its achievements. It is an expression of gratitude for the Polish emigration, without which Poland would not be independent. On the hundredth anniversary of Poland’s regaining independence with the conference in Rapperswil, we are building a contemporary column of freedom: "Free people express their gratitude for freedom."

The Polish Ambassador in Bern Dr Jakub Kumoch expressed his gratefulness for organizing the conference, which would not have been possible without the Institute of National Remembrance. He also stressed the fact that it takes place under the honorary patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland. Poland cares about the memorial sites and monuments of other nations. Similarly in Switzerland, with which Poland has a beautiful common history, the Polish Museum in Rapperswil is being taken care of. He also thanked Anna Buchmann, Director of the museum. The Ambassador stressed that we would be talking about generations of Poles who contributed to the regaining of independence, and pointed to the IPN as a guardian and protector of our memory.

* * *

The conference is organized as part of the Central Research Project of the IPN’s historical research Office entitled „Polish Independence Emigration 1945-1990”. The conference is held under  under the honorary patronage of Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland.

 

On the eve of the conference, the Holy Mass was celebrated. with the participation of the Polish delegation. On the evening preceding the debate, a screening of Rafael Lewandowski's film "Away from the Orchestra" was prepared. It is devoted to the figure of Zygmunt Lubicz Zaleski (1882-1967) - writer, translator, philosopher, critic of literature, art and music. The screening was followed by the conversation with the director.

 

PROGRAMME
21 JUNE – THURSDAY:
9.00–10.00 Official opening of the conference and welcoming our guests
 President of the Institute of  National Remembrance Dr Jarosław Szarek
 President of the Society of Friends of the Polish Museum in Rapperswil Marek Wieruszewski
 Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Bern Dr Jakub Kumoch
OPENING LECTURES
10.00–10.30 Prof. Dr André Holenstein (Bern University) – The myth and reality of Swiss freedom
10.30–11.00 Prof. Dr hab. Andrzej Nowak (Jagiellonian University, Kraków; the Council of the Institute of National Remembrance, Warsaw) – Independence: layers of experience and horizons of expectations in Polish political thought of the nineteenth century
11.00–11.30 Prof. Dr hab. Włodzimierz Suleja (Institute of National Remembrance, Warsaw) – The Polish gene of freedom
11.30–12.00 Prof. Kazimierz Piotr Zaleski (Historical and Literary Society, Polish Library, Paris) – Historical and Literary Society in Paris
12.00–12.30 Discussion
13.00–14.00 Dinner

THE SOURCES OF INDEPENDENCE
Part 1 moderated by Prof. Dr German Ritz

14.00–14.20 Prof. Dr hab. Włodzimierz Bolecki (Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw) – Twentieth century as the eighteenth century. Biographical stories of Wacław Berent
  14.20–14.40  Dr Peter Rassek (Carl von Ossietzky University, Oldenburg) – Through diplomacy towards independence: the Prussian politics of Hôtel Lambert on the eve of the revolution of 1848
14.40–15.00 Prof. Maria Delaperrière (National Institute of Oriental Languages and Cultures, Paris ) – Pilgrimage towards freedom as a motif of Polish nineteenth century literature
15.00–15.20 PD Dr Tobias Weger (Carl von Ossietzky University, Oldenburg) – Joachim Lelewel, Giuseppe Mazzini and Heinrich Heine – freedom ideas in “Young Europe”
15.20–15.40 Discussion
  15.40 – 16.00 Break
  
Part 2 moderated by Prof. Dr hab. Marek Kornat

  16.00–16.20 Prof. Dr hab. Zdzisław Pietrzyk (Jagiellonian Library, Kraków) – The idea of freedom, the Column of Freedom. Around the letters of Józef Ignacy Kraszewski and Władysław Plater
16.20–16.40 Prof. Dr hab. Halina Florkowska-Francič (Jagiellonian University, Kraków) – The activity of Polish patriots in Switzerland in the years 1864-1914
  16.40–17.00 Dr Peter Collmer (Zurich University) – Switzerland as a country of asylum for political refugees until World War I
  17.00–17.20 Discussion
  17.20–17.40 Prof. Dr German Ritz (Zurich University) – Switzerland in the letters of Positivists - a political meeting with Switzerland and a lesson in politics for Poland
  17.40–18.00 Prof. Dr Phil. Rudolf Jaworski (Chrystian Albrecht University, Kiel) – From oppression to independence, about the visualization of "Polonia" in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century
  18.00–18.20 Dr hab. Danuta Jastrzębska-Golonka ( Kazimierz Wielki University, Bydgoszcz) – Swiss reminiscences and motifs of independence in the work of Polish writers at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries - on the example of selected works by Maria Konopnicka
  18.20 –18.40 Discussion
  20.00  Gala dinner
  
22 JUNE – FRIDAY:
 
BUILDING INDEPENDENCE
Part 3 moderated by Prof. Dr hab. Andrzej Nowak
    9.00–9.20 Dr Jürg Stüssi-Lauterburg (Library at Guisanplatz, formerly the Confederate Military Library,   Bern) – White-red and red-white: The observations of J. Franz Ludwig von Erlach in Poland and their significance for Swiss military history
  9.20–9.40 Dr hab. Piotr Bednarz (Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin) – The vision of an independent Polish state in the eyes of the Swiss during the First World War
9.40–10.00 Dr Małgorzata Misiak (Wrocław University, Wrocław) – The language of the Fathers of  Independence
  10.00–10.20 Break
  10.20–10.40 Prof. Dr hab. Marek Kornat (Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw) – Switzerland in the concepts and actions of diplomacy of the Reborn Poland 1918-1939
10.40–11.00 Prof. Dr hab. Andrzej Marek Brzeziński (Łódź University,Łódź) - Oskar Halecki's ideas regarding the Rapperswil Museum and its role in Polish-Swiss relations (1920-1927)
  11.00–11.20 Discussion
  12.00–13.00 Dinner
  
  
  
  Part 4 moderated by Prof. Dr hab. Włodzimierz Suleja
  13.00–13.20 Dr Jakub Kumoch (Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Bern) – Aleksander Ładoś and the actions of the Bernese Group to save the victims of the Holocaust
13.20–13.40 Prof. Dr hab. Tadeusz Wolsza (Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences; the Council of the Institute of National Remembrance) – International Medical Commission in Katyn in 1943. François Naville - an indomitable doctor from Geneva
  13.40–14.00 Dr Jurg Stadelmann (Office for history and events, Lucerne ) – Between nostalgia and selectively-comfortable perception. Proceeding with the memory of Polish soldiers interned in Switzerland in 1940-1945
  14.00–14.20 Discussion
Part 5 moderated by Prof. Dr hab. Włodzimierz Bolecki
  14.20–14.40 Prof. Dr hab. Rafał Habielski (Warsaw University) – Polish intellectuals in Switzerland after the Second World War
  14.40–15.00 Dr Nina Taylor-Terlecka (Oxford University) – The Independence movement in London : inspiration and idea
  15.00–15.20 Dr Witold Zahorski (Polish Library, Paris)– From the Polish presence in Italy
  15.20. –15.40 Dr hab. Piotr Kardela (Institute of National Remembrance, Białystok) – The idea of freedom among Poles in the United States after Second World War
  15.40–16.00 Dr Małgorzata Ptasińska (Institute of National Remembrance, Warsaw) – The independence campaign of Poles in Switzerland after the Second World War
  16.00–16.20 Discussion
  
  16.30–17.30 Visiting the Polish Museum in Rapperswil
  18.00–19.00 Performance of the Vivat Youth Orchestra from Sieraków near Poznań
  20.00 Dinner

 

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