Polish Cultural Institute & Museum News

Polish Cultural Institute & Museum News The Museum collects, exhibits, interprets & disseminates the heritage of the Kashubian Polish Culture. We want you to know what's happening at the museum!
The Polish Cultural Institute and Museum resides in a three-story building built in 1890 by the Laird-Norton Lumber Company. It is located on the southeast corner of Second and Liberty Streets in Winona, Minnesota. Purchased in 1977 by Rev. Paul J. Breza, it was intended as a museum-storage area for the “Committee for Polish Affairs” – later known as the Polish Heritage Society. Aborted by its parent organization shortly after inception, the Polish Museum’s few remaining volunteers patched, painted, plumbed and plastered a lumber yard office into an appropriate showplace for the history of Winona’s vibrant Kashubian Polish community. The upper floor of the museum houses a “temporary” archive of the Diocese of Winona.The Polish Cultural Institute and Museum also maintains Winona’s Kashubian Polish traditions through events and other initiatives. Smaczne Jablka (Apple Day) is celebrated annually along with recognition of other important holidays. Every summer, the Polish Museum sends two or three Winona high school students to Winona’s sister city of Bytow, Poland for a month, and arranges for two or three Bytow high school students to spend a month in Winona. Volunteers from the Polish Museum perform concerts, make public appearances in the Winona community, and maintain Internet resources dedicated to furthering an appreciation of Kashubian Polish culture.
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HAPPY EASTER, EVERYONE.
04/12/2020

HAPPY EASTER, EVERYONE.

04/12/2020

Unfortunately with the Covid-19 situation, the Museum's Constitution Day dinner, has been canceled.
Stay safe, everyone.

03/20/2020

We are sorry to announce that the Polish Museum, will be closed until April 1 2020, possibly later.
Our Dyngus Day Volunteer appreciation dinner scheduled for April 13 2020 is canceled as well.
Please check kcc2020.org for updates postponements and cancellations pertaining to the year long celebration.
If there are any questions, please email us at [email protected].
Take care everyone and be safe.

Thanks to a Minnesota Historical & Cultural Heritage Grant, we recently migrated our collections database to Collector S...
02/12/2020
Collector Systems

Thanks to a Minnesota Historical & Cultural Heritage Grant, we recently migrated our collections database to Collector Systems, an online cloud-based catalog. Click on this link to browse part of our collection of historic photographs called "Cabinet Cards":: https://gallery.collectorsystems.com/PolishCulturalInstitute/2992

Each photograph contains more information if you click on it!

The Day Poland Stood Still: Memories from the Introduction of Martial Law
12/13/2019
The Day Poland Stood Still: Memories from the Introduction of Martial Law

The Day Poland Stood Still: Memories from the Introduction of Martial Law

On Sunday 13th December 1981 at 6am, Polish radio and TV broadcasted an address by General Wojciech Jaruzelski. Repeated over and over again, it informed Polish citizens that martial law was being introduced. Culture.pl has gathered the memories of various artists from that day. Where they were when...

Polish Cultural Institute & Museum News's cover photo
10/07/2019

Polish Cultural Institute & Museum News's cover photo

10/06/2019

#OnlyInMN Smaczne Jablka Festival in Visit Winona — how do you like Your Apples? 😀🍎🍎👇👇#TastyApples2019

10/06/2019

#OnlyInMN Smaczne Jablka Festival in Visit Winona — how do you like Your Apples? 😀🍎🍎👇👇#TastyApples2019

10/06/2019

#OnlyInMN Smaczne Jablka Festival in Visit Winona how do you like Your Apples? 😀🍎🍎👇👇#TastyApples2019

10/06/2019

#OnlyInMN Smaczne Jablka Festival in Visit Winona — Lorraine demonstrates weaving on the loom — how do you like Your Apples? 😀🍎🍎👇👇#TastyApples2019

10/06/2019

#OnlyInMN Smaczne Jablka Festival in Visit Winona how do you like Your Apples? 😀🍎🍎👇👇#TastyApples2019

10/06/2019

#OnlyInMN Smaczne Jablka Festival in Visit Winona -- how do you like Your Apples? 😀🍎🍎👇👇#TastyApples2019

10/06/2019

#OnlyInMN Smaczne Jablka Festival in Visit Winona -- how do you like Your Apples? 😀🍎🍎👇👇#TastyApples2019

10/06/2019

#OnlyInMN Smaczne Jablka Festival in Visit Winona -- how do you like Your Apples? 😀🍎🍎👇👇#TastyApples2019

10/06/2019

#OnlyInMN Smaczne Jablka Festival in Visit Winona -- how do you like Your Apples? 😀🍎🍎👇👇#TastyApples2019

10/06/2019

Not Only Apples you will find @ Polish American Cultural Institute of Minnesota (PACIM) today in Visit Winona #OnlyInMN #TastyApples2019

10/06/2019

#OnlyInMN Smaczne Jablka Festival in Visit Winona -- how do you like Your Apples? 😀🍎🍎👇👇#TastyApples2019

10/06/2019

#OnlyInMN Smaczne Jablka Festival in Visit Winona -- how do you like Your Apples? 😀🍎🍎👇👇#TastyApples2019

10/06/2019

#OnlyInMN Visit Winona Smaczne Jablka fest in full swing - let us know how do you like Your Apples? 😀🍎🍎👇👇#TastyApples2019

Polish Cultural Institute & Museum News invites you all to Visit Winona #OnlyInMN to experience #TastyApplesFest also kn...
09/28/2019

Polish Cultural Institute & Museum News invites you all to Visit Winona #OnlyInMN to experience #TastyApplesFest also known as the tongue twister #SmaczneJabłka - Sunday, October 6, 10am-4pm
Explore Minnesota Tourism Minnesota Historical Society

Final preparations for Smaczne Jablka! Our, big fest is only 12 days away. Sunday October 6. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
09/24/2019

Final preparations for Smaczne Jablka! Our, big fest is only 12 days away. Sunday October 6. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

09/23/2019
Winona Post

Join us on October 6,2019 for this years event Visit last years Tasty Apple Festival with this video.

It's a question that has racked Winona for years. How do you pronounce "Smaczne Jablka?" The Polish Museum's annual apple festival is one of Winona's biggest celebrations of Polish-American heritage, but how do you say it?

Polish Cultural Institute & Museum News Winona, Minnesota

Production by Nathaniel Nelson
Reporting by Chris Rogers

09/21/2019
Winona Post

Winona Post

It's a question that has racked Winona for years. How do you pronounce "Smaczne Jablka?" The Polish Museum's annual apple festival is one of Winona's biggest celebrations of Polish-American heritage, but how do you say it?

Polish Cultural Institute & Museum News Winona, Minnesota

Production by Nathaniel Nelson
Reporting by Chris Rogers

The former main Polish post office in the Free City of Danzig.  On 1 September 1939, despite being completely surrounded...
09/01/2019

The former main Polish post office in the Free City of Danzig. On 1 September 1939, despite being completely surrounded, around 55 postal workers with a couple of military people held out against attacks from hundreds of Danzig police and SS units for more than 14 hours. Plans for its defence were based (in my opinion) on civil disorder in the Free City and it was supposed to be rescued by the Polish Army within six hours - itself quite an absurd proposition. It only surrendered after fuel oil was pumped into the building which was then set alight. The bad thing is that this need not have happened. The postal workers were not informed by the Polish army that they could not be reached and were thus abandoned to their fate. During the battle, people actually turned up for work and were arrested by the Nazi authorities. Those that were captured were put on trial and judicially murdered - the verdict of this kangaroo court was not overturned until 1995.

The former main Polish post office in the Free City of Danzig. On 1 September 1939, despite being completely surrounded, around 55 postal workers with a couple of military people held out against attacks from hundreds of Danzig police and SS units for more than 14 hours. Plans for its defence were based (in my opinion) on civil disorder in the Free City and it was supposed to be rescued by the Polish Army within six hours - itself quite an absurd proposition. It only surrendered after fuel oil was pumped into the building which was then set alight. The bad thing is that this need not have happened. The postal workers were not informed by the Polish army that they could not be reached and were thus abandoned to their fate. During the battle, people actually turned up for work and were arrested by the Nazi authorities. Those that were captured were put on trial and judicially murdered - the verdict of this kangaroo court was not overturned until 1995.

I am preparing a video presentation of this subject

Alan Heath's History Page
08/06/2019

Alan Heath's History Page

12 August 1944. On the day that Nazi forces stop the butchery of the Wola district in western Warsaw in which at least 40,000 people were murdered, SS forces of the 2nd Battalion of SS Panzergrenadier Regiment 35 of 16th SS Panzergrenadier Division Reichsführer-SS, commanded by SS-Hauptsturmführer Anton Galler, murdered the 560 inhabitants of Sant'Anna di Stazzema in Tuscany.

The divisional commander, Max Simon (photo), was sentenced to death for the massacre of 770 people in nearby Marzabotto which took place seven weeks later. He served nine years and was released.

At the time the German courts were uninterested in trying him for hanging three German civilians in April 1945 in Bavaria. One had been found guilty by Simon of disrupting the war effort by throwing weapons into a duck poind. He was sentenced to hang and asked for two village elders to confirm the sentence. When they refused, he killed them too.

Before the war, Simon had been kommandant of the Sachsenburg concentration camp near Chemnitz. It was here that coloured badges were used for the first time to denote the prisoners' 'crime'.

In 2005 Italy tried in absentia ten former SS men and gave them life sentences. Germany refused to hand them over.

In 2012, Germany dropped investigations into the unit that committed this massacre due to what it cited as lack of evidence of individual guilt, no doubt to the relief of the eight accused who were still alive.

Embassy of Poland, Washington DC
06/04/2019

Embassy of Poland, Washington DC

#OnThisDay in 1917 the Polish Army in France was officially formed during #WWI. Around 20,000 Poles from the United States joined the Polish “Blue Army,” led by General Józef Haller, to fight for Poland’s independence. #PLUS100Together

The Women of Polish Independence
05/28/2019
The Women of Polish Independence

The Women of Polish Independence

During the era Poland was partitioned, these forgotten heroines fought a double war: for their country’s independence and their own empancipation.

10 Unusual & Inspiring Libraries in Poland
05/09/2019
10 Unusual & Inspiring Libraries in Poland

10 Unusual & Inspiring Libraries in Poland

Originally meant just for storing scrolls, with time libraries assumed the role of vaults protecting invaluable volumes. Nowadays, they also aspire to be public-oriented culture-promoting centres. Culture.pl presents the 10 most ingenious and boldest examples of library design in contemporary Poland...

Address

102 Liberty St
Winona, MN
55987

General information

Kashubian Capital of America Note: This essay represents only the extremely unofficial opinion of the webmaster. Winona, Minnesota proudly claims the distinction of being the Kashubian Capital of America. Winona has never been a purely Kashubian settlement, as were its contemporary settlements in Renfrew County, Ontario and Portage County, Wisconsin. But Winona’s Kashubian community quickly grew larger than these other two communities. The 1900 US Census placed Winona’s population at 19,714 people. At about the same time, Hieronim Derdowski – editor of Winona’s Polish-language newspaper Wiarus – estimated Winona’s Polish population at 5000 people, with 4,000 being of Kashubian descent. Granted, Chicago’s Kashubian parish of Saint Josaphat claimed a membership of 5,000 parishioners in 1902. But Chicago’s Kashubians were but a fraction of its Polish community. By contrast, Winona’s Kashubian Poles made up 20% of Winona’s population, and 80% of its Polish community. Moreover, Winona’s Kashubian community was already playing an important part in Winona’s society by 1900. From the 1870s on, Kashubian Americans like Teofil Jakob Sikorski and Jozef Milanowski had served Winona and Winona County as aldermen, school commissioners, county commissioners and even as Minnesota state representatives. First-time visitors to Winona could not help but notice the most prominent item of the city’s skyline – the church of Saint Stanislaus Kostka, erected in 1894-1895 by the Kashubian community. The newspaper Wiarus and its (sometimes) notorious editor Derdowski were known throughout Polonia – that is, the Polish immigrant community in North America . Nowhere in Polonia had a Kashubian immigrant community established itself to such an extent, not even in Chicago. But just how Kashubian did the immigrants consider themselves in 1900? Even before the Civil War, Winonans had referred to them as “Polaks” and “Polanders.” The Kashubians’ neighborhood was originally known as “Warsaw.” After the parish of Saint Stanislaus Kostka was established in 1871, it was staffed with priests who spoke “good Polish,” not Kashubian. The parish school educated its students in “good Polish,” and Derdowski prided himself on having taught his Kashubian readers “good Polish.” As Polish immigration from all three partitions of Poland picked up speed after 1870, the concept of Polonia as a Polish nation within the America became more and more popular. Instead of the grinding poverty which had forced Kashubians to seek a better life in America, they could now embrace nearly a millenium of glorious Polish history and high culture extending from Mieszko the First to Tadeusz Kosciuszko. Their Kashubian accents and vocabulary still remained, but in all other respects Winona’s Kashubian immigrants had become essentially Polish. This “Polonization” of Winona’s Kashubian community was unavoidable. Nor, despite the Kashubians’ resistance to Polonization in the old country, was it a bad thing in the new country. Hieronim Derdowski himself had stated, even before emigrating to the United States, that “there is no Kashubia without Poland and no Poland without Kashubia.” The Kashubian culture had no greater admirer than Derdowski, who was in fact Kashubia’s first published poet. Still, Derdowski recognized that the Kashubians themselves had never constituted a nation by themselves, and never would. Therefore he believed that the Kashubians’ destiny was as a part of a reunited Polish nation. Like many other Polish intellectuals living in the United States, he placed the highest priority upon working toward Polish reunification. In changing over from an isolated Kashubian settlement to an important outpost of American Polonia, Winona’s Kashubian Polish community was following the trajectory set out by its greatest and most famous member, Hieronim Derdowski.

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 15:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 15:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 15:00
Thursday 10:00 - 15:00
Friday 10:00 - 15:00
Saturday 10:00 - 15:00

Telephone

(507) 454-3431

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Comments

I am proud to say that I just joined the Polish Cultural Institute and Museum. I look forward to visiting the Museum in Winona soon. In the meantime, please take care and stay safe everyone who works there. My very best to Father Breza. Ray
I am hoping to learn more about the Kashubian history. However, I am confused. I realize that the Kashubs are part of Poland now, Have a history with Germany, but always were essentially a separate nationality unfortunately without a country for many, many years. Why is your Museum that states it is it's mission to keep Kashubian culture alive called the Polish Cultural Institute & Museum? Which is it? Kashubs without a country or Polish....or even German?
https://www.polishcenterofwisconsin.org/assets/Flyers/2019/Auschwitz%20Exhibit%202019%20Flyer%201.pdf
Hello! I’ve started a FB group for the Kaszubowski family (and related surnames). I know there are a lot of us in Wisconsin and Minnesota! If you are interested in this family line and research, please join. Thanks!
I was very glad to see that my novel, The Fourth Courier, a spy thriller set in Poland at the end of the Cold War, is featured in the literature section of the Polish Cultural Institute of London's monthly newsletter. I thought I would share it with other Polish organizations. Thank you for your consideration. Here's a link:
krampus night is coming up on December 5th.
My wife and I visited the museum on Oct. 19, 2018. We were extremely impressed with the exhibits and the tour we were given. My great-grandmother, Josephine Zywicki, was born in Winona in 1885 to John and Anna (Jaczkowska) Zywicki. I am anxious to visit again to see if there is any information about them in the genealogy archives.
http://thenowypolskishow.co.uk/lobby-zydowskie-w-usa-cz-1 Posłuchaj, oceń sam, Wypowiedz się.......S447, HR 1226 zagrożeniem dla praworządności.
http://thenowypolskishow.co.uk/lobby-zydowskie-w-usa-cz-1 Posłuchaj, oceń sam, Wypowiedz się.......S447, HR 1226 zagrożeniem dla praworządności.
A new book on Polish spirituality--Check it out: http://actapublications.com/seasons-of-the-slavic-soul/
Over the past 20 years Doctor Kielbasa has made their mark in polka history in Minnesota & the upper Midwest region, playing some of the largest polka festivals around (Twin Cities Polish Festival, Wisconsin Dells Polka Festival, Minnesota State Fair, etc). And, maybe most importantly, their trademark black "Doctor Kielbasa" t-shirts can be seen at polka/polish festivals everywhere, as the fans love them! Here is the first track off of the band's third album, recorded in 2007 on Sunshine Records. Enjoy! Song: Gather 'round the Bandstand Polka Band: Doctor Kielbasa Album: Tastes Like Chicken