„Energiczna pedagogika” Karoliny Lanckorońskiej. Organizacja studiów dla żołnierzy 2. Korpusu we Włoszech w latach 1945–1947
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Karolina Lanckorońska’s „“Energetic Pedagogy”. The Setting-up of University Courses for the Soldiers of the 2nd Corps in Italy in the Years 1945–1947Karolina Lanckorońska, who came from an old aristocratic family, owed her “energetic pedagogy” and her fascination with Italian art to her father Karol Lanckoroński, the Grand Steward at the Habsburg court, and a renowned patron of the arts. It was not a coincidence that Italy was a permanent element of her biography. She came here many a time before the II World War to pursue her academic interests and to gather materials to her doctoral dissertation on the art of Michelangelo and later to her post-doctoral thesis. At that time, she was a frequent visitor to the Roman salon of her very distant relation Roffredo Caetani, grandson to the renowned “Emir” Wacław Rzewuski. It was to Roffredo Caetani and his close friends that she owed the saving of her life in Stanisławów and later in Ravensbrück. Following the dramatic war experiences and her subsequent short stay in Switzerland, she came to Italy in 1945 where in the summer of this year she joined the II Polish Corps. At that time, she was 47. In view of the uncertain future, and after consulting general Władysław Anders, she decided to make it possible for Polish soldiers to study at Italian universities, among others in Rome, Bologna and Turin. Thanks to a favourable attitude of the Italian Ministry of Education as well as that of the local university professors, and the strenuous efforts of Karolina Lanckorońska, in February 1946 a record number of 1280 student-soldiers from the II Corps enrolled in Italian universities (the register with the personal details of the students is currently available in the Archives of the Polish Institute and in the General Sikorski Museum in London). Together with Prof. Henryk Paszkiewicz, Karolina Lanckorońska acted as the academic supervisor to the Polish soldier-students. Together, they had to overcome numerous hurdles, associated among others with a lack of high school leaving certificates. In these difficult moments, it was Prof. Enrico Damiani, an expert on Polish literature, who had played an immense role and had helped to solve problems. On 22 May 1946, the British Minister of Foreign Affairs Ernest Bevin declared in the House of Commons that the II Corps which constituted a part of the British army, would be transferred to Great Britain and transformed into the Polish Adjustment and Placement Corps. A week later, general Anders informed the soldiers of the decision of the British government. In the autumn of 1946, the II Corps had left Italy, but thanks to the efforts of the command of the II Corps, as well as of the academic supervisors, the most advanced group of near-graduates (180 students) were allowed to remain in Italy. On 31 July 1947, a farewell ceremony organised on the occasion of the graduation of the first Polish studentsoldiers had been organised.In the year 1996, there appeared a book entitled The Polish Soldier Students in Italy. 1945–1947 (London) written by Roman Lewicki, one of the soldier-graduates of the Faculty of Law at the University of Rome; the publication had been supported by Karolina Lanckorońska.
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