Helena Paderewska: Memoirs

Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy [The State Publishing Institute] published a book Helena Paderewska: Wspomnienia 1910-1920 [Helena Paderewska: Memoirs, 1910-1920], edited by Maciej Siekierski and translated by Ludmiła Bachurska.

‘Helena Paderewska (1856-1934) was, just like her husband, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, no ordinary person. Historians have not paid her adequate attention, and yet she was undoubtedly one of the most outstanding Polish women of her generation. For almost 40 years, she remained not only Paderewski's life companion and his closest partner in the struggle for the independence of Poland, but also was an independent social activist, undertaking actions on a scale previously unknown in Poland. In the spring of 1920, Helena wrote down her memories from 1910–1920, which was probably the most important decade in the life and activity of Paderewscy. The memoirs, which were discovered a few years ago in the collection held by the Hoover Institution in California, are a chronicle of her husband's efforts to draw the attention of the West to Poland, organize a strong Polish party in the US, and develop a successful campaign for the independence of Poland.'

Maciej Siekierski is curator of the European Collections at the Hoover Institution Archives and a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. He received an MA in history in 1971, candidate in philosophy in 1975, and a PhD in history in 1984, all from the University of California, Berkeley. He holds an MLS degree from San Jose State University.

He is the compiler of Polish Independent Publications: Guide to the Collection in the Hoover Institution Archives (Hoover Institution Press, 1999). He edited Wiktor Sukiennicki's two-volume East Central Europe during World War I: From Foreign Domination to National Independence (East European Monographs, 1984). Siekierski's doctoral dissertation, Landed Wealth in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania: The Economic Affairs of Prince Nicholas Christopher Radziwill, was published by the Polish Academy of Science in 'Acta Baltico-Slavica', vols. 20–21, 1992–93. Siekierski's most recent book is I Saw the Angel of Death: Experiences of Polish Jews Deported to the USSR during World War II (Warsaw, 2006).

Siekierski is a member of the American Historical Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, and the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America.


Published Date: 22.07.2015
Published by: Justyna Szombara