The Polish American Historical Association invites you all to join us at a webinar that features talks by Dr. Anna Mazurkiewicz and Iwona Flis, who will both present their ongoing research projects. The virtual event will take place on Saturday, February 13, 11:00 AM EST/17:00 Warsaw. The event is free and open to all!
All attendees must register: https://umich.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEvdeGuqzgtHtEiPMD7RTLX74iqifuuODrS
Iwona Flis (University of Gdańsk)
Community Archives as a Way to Manifest Identity and Preserve One's Heritage. The Case of Polish Migrants of the World War II Diaspora in North America.
The paper examines the significance of Polish World War II Diaspora community archives in North America. Community archives serve as an important means to preserve Polish heritage abroad. This paper is a preliminary survey of such collections. It addresses the following questions: Which segments of the post-World War II community is well (or relatively well) represented in these archives? Who and what is left out? Which records may disappear in the nearest future? What we can do to preserve them? Geographical and organization-related perspectives will be taken into account. Efforts undertaken so far to preserve the diaspora's documentation, including ordinary people's legacies, as well as the outcomes of these efforts and lessons learnt, will also be discussed.
Anna Mazurkiewicz (University of Gdańsk)
Working for President Kennedy. The Story of a Polish American Deputy Chief of Protocol.
While U.S. President John F. Kennedy is often remembered for appointing John A. Gronouski to his cabinet, thus far Polish American historians seem to have not noticed the man who served in the White House as Deputy Chief of Protocol – William J. Tonesk. Born to a family of Polish immigrants in Schenectady New York, Tonesk proudly admitted his roots and – as underscored by the Polish-language press in the U.S. – maintained contacts with the Polish American community and its organizations. Serving under Angier Biddle Duke he carried out duties ranging from coordinating visits by foreign officials to realizing president's private requests, eventually having the gruesome duty of coordinating preparations for the funeral of the assassinated leader. Based on both official and private archives, press accounts and oral histories this talk is intended to revive the memory of a Polish American official in the White House.