Profesor Sławomir Kalembka (1936–2009)
Proffessor Sławomir Kalembka (1936–2009)
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Prof. dr hab. Sławomir Kalembka, outstanding historian specialising in the 19th century, died on 12 October 2009 after a short illness. Throughout all his life he was associated with Toruń, Nicolas Copernicus University (NCU), where he was a professor, prorector, and rector in the years 1990–1993. He was born in Vilnius on 8 June 1936. He came from an educated family with the working class background, which evinced strong patriotic traditions and the negative attitude towards the communist system. After the war, the family moved to Gdańsk, where Professor Kalembka went to school. After passing the secondary school-leaving examinations he studied history in Toruń. He graduated in 1958. On 1 January he started his scientific and didactic work at NCU, where he went on working until his death. It was only in the years 1999–2001 that his main workplace was the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn. He obtained his PhD in Toruń (1964), where he also got his habilitation degree in 1976. As a NCU employee he was appointed associate professor (1988) and full professor (1991). The considerable academic achievements of Sławomir Kalembka refer to a few thematic areas. The first and the basic subject is the history of the Great Emigration, particularly its left, democratic wing. Professor Kalembka dealt with the subject thanks to Professor Witold Łukaszewicz. The second subject was the history of Poland and general history in the 19th century, which includes the history of the Polish and foreign press. The remaining research areas are not so extended and are of secondary importance. Professor dealt with the history of Toruń, Pomerelia, and two Prussian provinces – West Prussia and East Prussia in the 19th century. Other research areas concern the military history of the 19th century, the history of Vilnius, the Vilnius land and the so-called north-eastern Kresy (Borderlands). Professor Kalembka is the author of about 520 works, a dozen of which are books and several dozen of which are scientific articles or extensive chapters in joint publications. Scientifically, the most outstanding works of Professor Kalembka were written in the first quarter of his scientific activity (until 1990); his most eminent research achievement was his PhD thesis (about Polish Democratic Society) and his habilitation thesis (about the press of the democratic wing of the Great Emigration). He was also an experienced academic teacher. He promoted 416 master’s degrees and 15 PhD degrees. Apart from the strictly scientific activity, Professor Kalembka educated Polish society about the problem of Kresy – the Vilnius and Lithuanian Borderlands, understood as the heritage after the Great Duchy of Lithuania. Professor Kalembka was one of the main founders and activists of the Society of Lovers of Vilnius and the Vilnius Land. In the years 1989–1998 he was the President of the Society.
Polish historiography after 1945 Nicolas Copernicus University the history of the Great Emigration Great Polish national uprisings Polish political thought of the 19th century the history of Polish science in the People’s Republic of Poland the history of Polish science after 1989 Polish-Lithuanian relations after 1939
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