KOSCIUSZKO ASSOCIATION COMMITTEE OF POLISH SCHOLARS IN AMERICA
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The overriding goal of the association which functioned in the years 1940-1942 was to find possibilities of employment for Polish scientists at American universities during the Second World War and to present their output to the American society. It was intended to serve the future independent Poland in reconstructing the academia, decimated by the German and Soviet occupants. The task of consolidating the community of Polish scholars was undertaken by prominent representatives of Polish science, a majority of them members of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences, who reached the USA in different ways. They drew from the experience of those who had already been staying there for a long time, above all from the expertise of Stefan Mierzwa, the executive secretary of the Kosciuszko Foundation. The names of renowned Polish scholars, now forgotten in Poland, are worth recalling, particularly on 400th anniversary of the arrival of Poles in America. The founders of the association were among others: Wojciech Swietoslawski, Oskar Halecki, Jan Kucharzewski, Waclaw Lednicki, Bronislaw Malinowski, Rafal Taubenschlag and Stefan Mierzwa. The launching of the Polish Scientific Institute in America, which offered better opportunities and was financed by the government of the Republic of Poland in Exile resulted in the transition of the most active members to the Institute. It was not viable for two organizations of similar profile to exist side by side as the number of Polish scholars in the USA was rather slim. However, the association charted the major directions of activity of the newly created Institute.
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