FIRST HISTORIAN OF POLONIA AS A SAILOR, POLISH FALCON (SOKÓL) AND POET
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October 2005 will mark the 70th anniversary of the Archives and Museum of The Polish Roman Catholic Union of America. Its first curator Mieczyslaw Haiman (1888-1949) - was a person with a remarkable biography: an immigrant from Galicia, sailor, traveler and globetrotter, poet and journalist, writer and historian of the Diaspora, archivist and librarian. Despite his huge contribution towards Polish community in US he is slowly slipping into oblivion. The authoress, currently preparing a first biography of Haiman sheds some light on his previously unknown multicultural roots, family history and difficulties in obtaining an education. She discovers that his father - Wilhelm Haimann, an officer of Austrian army based in Zloczów near Lvov, was of German descent and that his mother Zuzanna Korcz Ziólkowska was born into a Polish noble family. Long before Haiman has become a distinguished historian of Polonia, he traveled around the world working as a sailor. After migrating to US in 1913 his hard work did not prevent him from joining various Polish associations - like The Polish Falcons of America - and writing patriotic poems under an alias Nie-Tersytes. In his fruitful life Haiman worked as a journalist, writer, historian, founder and coordinator of the Polish Museum of America, along with its 'Annals of the Polish Roman-Catholic Union Archives and Museum', Polish-American Historical Association and 'Polish American Studies'. He is the author of about 20 books and many groundbreaking publications on Polish pioneers in America. Among many awards he was given 'Polonia Restituta' and one of the highest awards in Polish literary world: 'Wawrzyn Polskiej Akademii Literatury' (Laurel of the Polish Academy of Letters).
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