PROFESOR TADEUSZ MANTEUFFEL I INSTYTUT HISTORYCZNY UNIWERSYTETU WARSZAWSKIEGO. ŚRODOWISKO KSZTAŁCĄCE I WYCHOWAWCZE W LATACH PIĘĆDZIESIĄTYCH XX WIEKU
Professor Tadeusz Manteuffel and the Historical Institute of the Warsaw University People, training and educational circles in the 50s of the 20th century
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The Historical Institute of the Warsaw University was established in the 30s of the 20th century out of 7 colleges teaching history at the University’s Liberal Arts Department, in order to facilitate education of history teachers in secondary schools within so-called free school. The creator of the Institute was an eminent historian and university teacher – Marceli Handelsman. After damages of the 2nd World War, the Institute was re-created with much effort by Tadeusz Manteuffel (1902–1970), Handelsman’s disciple and friend, outstanding archivist, mediaevalist and creator of the Warsaw and national historical circles. Manteuffel’s associates were his colleagues and friends from the resistance movement, connected with the Office of Information and Propaganda of the Headquarters of the Home Army, as well as lecturers and disciples of a history section organised by Manteuffel at an Underground Warsaw University during German occupation. Didactic-scientific staff of the Institute was very carefully assembled by Manteuffel: i.a., Aleksander Gieysztor, Stefan Kieniewicz, Stanisław Herbst, Janusz Woliński, Władysław Tomkiewicz, as well as the ones of the Library and the Deans Office of the History Department. Manteuffel expanded the formula and tasks of the Institute of History and created an institution of educational and scientific character, opened for the whole historical circle, and propagating historical knowledge in co-operation with teachers. Despite huge obstacles after the war, the Institute introduced an experimental, modern training programme and set up a system of education for historians. Manteuffel was the author of the concept. He tried to combine the necessity to train history teachers with a high scientific level of studies. The programme was later introduced in all Polish universities. Manteuffel performed many functions at universities and was an authority in the historical circles. He took great care to maintain international contacts, skillfully and with diplomatic talent defended the Institute against vulgarization of education and science in time of Stalinism. He was a reliable, brave man and a great organiser. Talented and kind, although demanding, even sometimes gruff supervisor and academic teacher. Loyal to his colleagues, associates and students. Even at the beginning of the 50s, he managed to maintain an atmosphere of order and security in the Institute of History of the Warsaw University. When The Polish Academy of Sciences was created, Tadeusz Manteuffel organized and headed its Institute of History, which became a research centre on a national scale. In 1955, while maintaining his didactic activity at the University, he handed over the management of the Institute of History to Aleksander Gieysztor.
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