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 par

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 par

Operating as usual

At dawn on 1 September, 1939, Germany bombed the Polish city of Wielun, a town with no military significance. The aim wa...
09/01/2021

At dawn on 1 September, 1939, Germany bombed the Polish city of Wielun, a town with no military significance. The aim was to sow terror among the civilian population.
For the next 6 years Poland and most of Europe, was plunged into darkness.
Take a moment today to think of the tens of millions lives lost during this hell on earth.
Photo is of, Adam Pingot's great uncle who was 16 years old. This photo was taken in 1944. Zygmunt Sielewicz, survived the war and lived to be 84 years old.
If anyone has photos of World War ll, please feel free to post them in the comments.
Bóg, Honor, Ojczyzna ("God, Honor, Fatherland")

At dawn on 1 September, 1939, Germany bombed the Polish city of Wielun, a town with no military significance. The aim was to sow terror among the civilian population.
For the next 6 years Poland and most of Europe, was plunged into darkness.
Take a moment today to think of the tens of millions lives lost during this hell on earth.
Photo is of, Adam Pingot's great uncle who was 16 years old. This photo was taken in 1944. Zygmunt Sielewicz, survived the war and lived to be 84 years old.
If anyone has photos of World War ll, please feel free to post them in the comments.
Bóg, Honor, Ojczyzna ("God, Honor, Fatherland")

Hope everyone is having a great day!
08/25/2021

Hope everyone is having a great day!

Hope everyone is having a great day!

The Polish javelin thrower Maria Magdalena Andrejczyk auctioned off her silver medal from the Tokyo Olympics for $125,00...
08/20/2021
An Olympian Sold Her Silver Medal To Fund A Boy's Surgery. The Buyer Let Her Keep It

The Polish javelin thrower Maria Magdalena Andrejczyk auctioned off her silver medal from the Tokyo Olympics for $125,000 to help pay for an infant's heart surgery. Then the buyer let her keep it.

https://www.npr.org/2021/08/19/1029380896/toyko-olympics-poland-silver-medal-javelin-auction-infant-heart-surgery?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=npr&utm_medium=social&utm_term=nprnews&fbclid=IwAR0kf4AfBSriKCtOZpFWk59vp-aT3TMGk3jYW9ab_1CtwjH4hM7QzfdFBew

Maria Magdalena Andrejczyk of Poland announced she would sell her medal in the javelin throw to help fund heart surgery for an 8-month-old. A convenience store chain had the winning bid of $125,000.

A bit thank you to everyone that came out to see the Museum. The event turned out better than anticipated!We are having ...
08/16/2021

A bit thank you to everyone that came out to see the Museum. The event turned out better than anticipated!
We are having another event on Oct 3. It's not Smaczne Jablka, but it will be fun!!
Remember, the Museum is back to it's normal operating hours 10am-3pm Mon-Sat!!!

We are busy putting together the final pieces of our Dożynki day celebration.Come join us, tomorrow Sunday August 15. Fr...
08/14/2021

We are busy putting together the final pieces of our Dożynki day celebration.
Come join us, tomorrow Sunday August 15. From 1 to 3 pm.

And remember, starting Monday August 16 your Polish Museum is back to it's regular hours of operation!!!

Reopening Sunday August 15!Join us for a small get together as we celebrate (Dozyinki) harvest fest. Bring fresh fruit o...
08/05/2021

Reopening Sunday August 15!
Join us for a small get together as we celebrate (Dozyinki) harvest fest. Bring fresh fruit of vegetables, if you can.
Start time is 1pm-3pm
After which our Museum will be back to our normal operating hours!

Reopening Sunday, August 15! We will be hosting a small get together at the Annex building. The Feast of Assumption is h...
08/05/2021

Reopening Sunday, August 15! We will be hosting a small get together at the Annex building.
The Feast of Assumption is happening from 1pm to 3pm.
Bring fresh fruit or vegetables!
Open to all!!
Displaying a few of the items that were donated during 2020/2021

Poland suffers the distinction of having the fewest doctors per capita in the entire EU after Cyprus — with just 2.4 doc...
07/30/2021
Polish hospitals shutting down as doctors head for the exits

Poland suffers the distinction of having the fewest doctors per capita in the entire EU after Cyprus — with just 2.4 doctors per every 1,000 Poles, well below the EU’s average of 3.7, according to 2017 data from the World Bank.

https://www.politico.eu/article/polish-hospitals-shutting-down-as-doctors-head-to-the-exits-coronavirus-budget-shortages/

Starved budgets and doctor shortages are hampering health care across the country.

What are the biggest don'ts in Poland? Is there anything you should avoid doing while on your holiday in Warsaw, Kraków ...
07/05/2021
5 things you should never do in Poland – Customs – Careers in Poland

What are the biggest don'ts in Poland? Is there anything you should avoid doing while on your holiday in Warsaw, Kraków or Gdańsk? Take a look at this piece of advice to make your stay even more enjoyable!😂

https://www.careersinpoland.com/article/customs/5-things-you-should-never-do-in-poland

The biggest don'ts in Poland - do you know them all? Is there anything you should avoid doing while on your holiday in Warsaw, Kraków or Gdańsk? Take a look at our list and make sure you are ready for your holiday in Poland!

06/25/2021
Poland’s government said Tuesday it has evidence linking a recent cyber attack on thousands of email and social media ac...
06/23/2021
Polish intelligence agencies link cyberattack to Russia

Poland’s government said Tuesday it has evidence linking a recent cyber attack on thousands of email and social media accounts of politicians, public figures and other Poles to Russia’s secret services.

https://apnews.com/article/europe-russia-intelligence-agencies-technology-government-and-politics-261df587ec9f93e781be8203a083eea1

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's government said Tuesday it has evidence linking a recent cyber attack on thousands of email and social media accounts of politicians, public figures and other Poles to Russia’s secret services.

Beginning June 19, 2021, U.S. citizens and residents traveling via international air traffic are re-granted authorizatio...
06/19/2021
Changes regarding travel restrictions to Poland - Poland in US - Gov.pl website

Beginning June 19, 2021, U.S. citizens and residents traveling via international air traffic are re-granted authorization to enter Poland.

https://www.gov.pl/web/usa-en/changes-regarding-travel-restrictions-to-poland?fbclid=IwAR0OK_tzt1DWerX5eaQj-yLtZV8lQIJF4cd35HRxsAbpr1y7ygrwKpgA3Aw

Beginning June 19, 2021, U.S. citizens and residents traveling via international air traffic are re-granted authorization to enter Poland.

Thousands of Belarusian escaping a political crackdown by President Alexander Lukashenko have fled to neighboring Poland...
06/18/2021
Poland becomes haven for Belarusians fleeing crackdown

Thousands of Belarusian escaping a political crackdown by President Alexander Lukashenko have fled to neighboring Poland in the past year, but their long-term future there is uncertain.

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/poland-becomes-haven-belarusians-fleeing-crackdown-2021-06-18/

Thousands of Belarusians escaping a political crackdown by President Alexander Lukashenko have fled to neighbouring Poland in the past year, but their long-term future there is uncertain.

The speaker of Poland's parliament says lawmakers will hold a closed-door session with the country's prime minister to d...
06/15/2021
Polish lawmakers to hold closed-door session on cyberattacks

The speaker of Poland's parliament says lawmakers will hold a closed-door session with the country's prime minister to discuss a number of cyber-attacks on Polish government officials.

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/polish-pm-seeks-secret-parliament-session-cyberattacks-78283758

The speaker of Poland's parliament says lawmakers will hold a closed-door session with the country's prime minister to discuss a number of cyberattacks on Polish government officials

You never know who you'll run into at the Polish Museum. I unlocked the back door, and as soon as I walked in this guy z...
06/10/2021

You never know who you'll run into at the Polish Museum. I unlocked the back door, and as soon as I walked in this guy zoomed past my face. I grabbed a Polish Museum tee-shirt, wrapped him up and dropped him off on a nearby tree. No bats or employees were harmed in the making of this post!

Each and every soldier who fought for the nation was someone’s son, someone’s brother, someone’s lover and someone’s fat...
05/31/2021

Each and every soldier who fought for the nation was someone’s son, someone’s brother, someone’s lover and someone’s father. Memorial Day is the opportunity to know our history and offer prayers and thanks, to our men and women in uniform.

Each and every soldier who fought for the nation was someone’s son, someone’s brother, someone’s lover and someone’s father. Memorial Day is the opportunity to know our history and offer prayers and thanks, to our men and women in uniform.

Poland is no longer Europe’s “green island” of growth, as it was during the 2008 financial crisis when it was the only c...
05/28/2021
Why is Poland's economy emerging so strongly from the pandemic? A comparison with the UK

Poland is no longer Europe’s “green island” of growth, as it was during the 2008 financial crisis when it was the only country not to fall into recession. Yet its economy has managed to avoid the pandemic-induced troubles brewing in western Europe.

https://notesfrompoland.com/2021/04/27/why-is-polands-economy-emerging-so-strongly-from-the-pandemic-a-comparison-with-the-uk/

Poland's economy appears to have managed to avoid the pandemic-induced troubles brewing in western Europe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utc2yGNgEWo"Kaszuba Remus" Did anyone know this film existed? The spoken language in the...
05/14/2021
Kaszuba Remus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utc2yGNgEWo

"Kaszuba Remus" Did anyone know this film existed? The spoken language in the film is Kashubian, with Polish subtitles.

Film fabularny zrealizowany przez fundację "Aby chciało się chcieć" na podstawie kaszubskiej epopei "Życie i przygody Remusa" A. Majkowskiego.
Główni autorzy filmu:
Piotr Zatoń
Ewelina Karczewska
Iwona Ewa Klinger
Piotr Emanuel Dorosz
Jerzy Gorzko, Janusz Mamelski
Maria Sochoń-Błaszczyk
Sulisława Borowska
Odtwórcy głównych ról:
Maksymilian Pluto-Prądzyński, Rajmund "Mundek" Knitter, Jovanna Czerkas, Iwona Ewa Klinger, Bartosz Stachowiak, Karolina Niemczyk, Piotr Marcholewski, Jowita Niemczyk-Szyszka, Stanisław Szyca, Karol Baranowski
Współproducenci:
Muzeum Kaszubski Park Etnograficzny im. T. i I. Gulgowskich we Wdzydzach Kiszewskich
Kaszubski Uniwersytet Ludowy
Produkcja filmu została dofinansowana z Europejskiego Funduszu Rolnego na Rzecz Rozwoju Obszarów Wiejskich: Europa inwestująca w obszary wiejskie.

Film fabularny zrealizowany przez fundację "Aby chciało się chcieć" na podstawie kaszubskiej epopei "Życie i przygody Remusa" A. Majkowskiego.Główni autorzy ...

Poland’s prime minister says he’s given instructions for the government to buy a house in France where the Nobel-winning...
05/14/2021
Poland wants to buy Marie Curie's vacation house in France

Poland’s prime minister says he’s given instructions for the government to buy a house in France where the Nobel-winning scientist couple Marie Sklodowska-Curie and Pierre Curie spent holidays and weekends from 1904-1906.

https://apnews.com/article/poland-europe-france-business-travel-98e9593b2c293a8a730e9bb157691bb7

SAINT-REMY-LES-CHEVREUSE, France (AP) — Poland’s prime minister says he’s given instructions for the government to buy a house in France where the Nobel-winning scientist couple Marie Sklodowska-Curie and Pierre Curie spent holidays and weekends from 1904-1906...

Victory in Europe Day marks May 8th 1945, on which day the second world war Allies formally accepted an unconditional su...
05/08/2021
Victory in Europe Day: Time of Celebration, Reflection

Victory in Europe Day marks May 8th 1945, on which day the second world war Allies formally accepted an unconditional surrender by the armed forces of Germany and the end of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich, after six years of the bloodiest conflict in human history. https://www.defense.gov/Experience/VE-Day/

The United States joins other nations in celebrating V-E Day, the official surrender of N**i Germany on May 8, 1945, marking the end of the war in Europe during World War II.

In Poland, the concept of 'Jakoś to będzie' is acting without worrying about the consequences. It’s reaching for the imp...
05/07/2021
The Polish phrase that will help you through tough times

In Poland, the concept of 'Jakoś to będzie' is acting without worrying about the consequences. It’s reaching for the impossible. It’s taking risks, and not being afraid.

http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20171107-the-polish-phrase-that-will-help-you-through-tough-times?fbclid=IwAR01eJOvCHCFoAkE8D5AIJzGnxMCQQ2Dvep42MGMNV8p-VpE4-KO1--Zldc

In Poland, the concept of 'Jakoś to będzie' is acting without worrying about the consequences. It’s reaching for the impossible. It’s taking risks, and not being afraid.

03/25/2021

Winona was known as the 'Kashubian Capital of America'

Much of the history of the city's Kashubian-Polish community is preserved in its Polish museum.

Written By: Thomas Weber | 7:30 am, Mar. 22, 2021

The Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka in Winona. (Contributed photo)
In Winona, though, “Kashube” has long been a badge of honor. For it is immigrants from Kashubia who settled in Winona, and who by 1900 made the city Minnesota’s largest Polish community.

We tend to think of Minnesota as a state settled primarily by Norwegian, Swedish and German immigrants. You know, “Uff da,” Lena and Ole, and all that.

But in a corner of frontier-era southeastern Minnesota, the language of the street and home was the little-known Kashubian dialect, which is somewhat related to Polish. Today, Winona still honors that Kashubian culture with the excellent Polish Cultural Institute and Museum.

Kashubia? Never heard of it, you say?

Not surprising, given that Kashubia is a small region of northwestern Poland that for a long time was governed and dominated by Prussia. The distinctive language and culture of the region were suppressed, and residents were forced to learn German. Understandably, as soon as they had the wherewithal, Kashubes joined the Polish diaspora in America.

Kashubes and their Polish cousins began settling in the Winona area and on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River in the 1850s. It was the state’s first Polish community, according to John Radzilowski’s study, “Poles in Minnesota.” The initial families bore names such as Felchowski, Kiedrowski, Kukowski, Pelowski and Reszka.

Soon, others followed, first to farm in the surrounding valleys, then to work in the sawmills, packing plants and warehouses of Winona. It was backbreaking work, but there was money to be made — more money than most immigrants could ever imagine.

By 1900, 5,000 Poles, mostly Kashubes, lived in Winona. The Winona neighborhood where many of these newcomers settled was known as “Warsaw,” and Winona was proclaimed the “Kashubian Capital of America.”

The proud Kashubes didn’t necessarily identify as Poles, and many clung to their dialect and customs. Soon, though, the two groups joined together to found two Catholic churches in Winona.

Then, as Winona’s Polish community grew and prospered, the Kashubes and Poles dug deep into their savings and came up with the funds to build the amazing Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka, which could seat 1,800 parishioners, and had a 170-foot-high white dome that could be seen from the tops of the surrounding river bluffs. The new church was dedicated on Thanksgiving Day 1895. It is still there today, a landmark of Winona.

For decades into the mid-20th century, Polish culture dominated life for a good portion of Winona’s citizens. There were Polish fraternal organizations, Polish sports teams, and a Polish-language newspaper.

Along the way, though, the Kashubian language was nearly lost, as Polish and English took precedence. When a language is lost, a culture goes with it.

That philosophy was in part the impetus for the Rev. Paul Breza to form the Polish museum in Winona, where the history of the city’s Kashubian-Polish community is preserved. The museum, fittingly enough, is located in what was once the office building of a lumber yard where so many of these immigrants worked.

The museum is currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, but when it reopens, Kashubian pride will once again be on full display.

Thomas Weber is a former Post Bulletin reporter who enjoys writing about local history.

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 10am - 3pm
Tuesday 10am - 3pm
Wednesday 10am - 3pm
Thursday 10am - 3pm
Friday 10am - 3pm
Saturday 10am - 3pm

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.