Partisans, Priests, Teachers and »Evolutionists of Freedom«

Polish Award Ceremony | Photo: Körber-Stiftung
Polish Award Ceremony | Photo: Körber-Stiftung

On 27 October, the History Meeting House in Warsaw hosted the award ceremony of the 20th Polish history competition. More than 50 students displayed their eight awarded entries to the competition project »Historia bliska« organised by the KARTA Center. Due to the Polish history competition’s focus on communication and multimedia, the audience enjoyed highly professional films, podcasts and multimedia presentations with insights and results of the students’ historical investigations about Polish history of the 20th century.

This year the general theme of the competition "Close History - undiscovered, untold, unheard ..." focusing on local history and family has been supplemented by a subtitle associated with the upcoming anniversary of the centenary of Polish independence »Struggle, work, persistence ... People and Exploits for the Independence 1918-2018«.

189 students accepted the challenges and handed in 50 entries. Eight projects were awarded by the jury who was represented by Artur Józwik (Director of KARTA), Marcin Wilkowski (Warsaw University) and Iwona Krzysztofek (Fundacia BGK) at the award ceremony. In addition, ten teams of authors received distinctions, in the form of sets of books, sent to their school libraries after the ceremony. All awarded works will be available on the portal of the competition.

The festive ceremony was opened by Zbigniew Gluza, President and Founder of the KARTA Centre and also a member of the jury from the beginning of the competition, who in his speech looked back on the 20 years of this successful competition project in Poland. Until today, more than 8,000 research works from young Polish students have come out of  the different competitions which, Gluza stressed, form itself a local history collection within the archive of the KARTA Center. He emphasises outstanding discoveries that were made by students throughout the last decades, including proving evidence for crimes, and he also mentioned the broad impact the competition had on intergenerational dialogue among different generations in Poland.

Alicja Wancerz-Gluza, coordinator of the competition from the very start, led the audience through the two hours ceremony. The eight best entries were appreciated by the jury, followed by presentations of excerpts from the different works and short interviews with the students. The first prize was awarded to a group of six students from Międzyrzec Podlaski who explored the activities of a militant anticommunist group who was active in the years 1944 to 1956 that consisted of young students. The second prize was won by four students who portrayed the activities of a Polish charismatic priest supporting the local community during the hopelessness of »martial law« in the early 1980s, interpreting his sermons as a source. A third prize each was handed over for a students’ movie portraying a former director of their school and his commitment to Polish independence in the 1920s and the development of modern pedagogy and education.

Katja Fausser, Managing Director of EUSTORY, invited the Polish prize winners to continue and take an active part in upcoming cross-border activities for students from all different European countries that are organised by the EUSTORY International Office.

The award ceremony has been streamed and is available online.

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