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Things you might not know about Poland


spiritus 68 | 666  
29 Mar 2007 /  #1
#1 The luxury watch makers Patek Phillipe was co-founded by a Pole, Francois Czapek.

#2 There are more bars per square metre in Krakow than in Manhattan, New York.

#3 Esperanto was invented by a Polish Jew.

#4
FISZ 24 | 2,116  
29 Mar 2007 /  #2
What's up man?!

Thanks for the facts :)
kaka 1 | 142  
29 Mar 2007 /  #3
Marie Sklodowska-curie, and Copernicus were polsih
ArturSzastak 3 | 593  
29 Mar 2007 /  #4
Good facts they never mention in US schools :( I'm teaching people half the time :)

#5 Metal detector was invented by a Pole

#6 Poles invented windhsiled wipers, we couldn't stand the goddamn snow!!!
King Sobieski 2 | 716  
29 Mar 2007 /  #5
Marie Sklodowska-curie, and Copernicus were polsih

Pat Benatar and Belinda Carlisle are Polish.

Alicia Molik the aussie tennis star is also Polish.
pamlarouge 3 | 56  
29 Oct 2007 /  #6
Joseph Conrad was Polish :)
nauczyciel  
30 Oct 2007 /  #7
drivers never stop for people in a crosswalk/zebra
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
30 Oct 2007 /  #8
- whenever you see two Poles, you will hear three opinions.
- walkie-talkie (precursor of cellphone) was invented by a Pole.
roalex 13 | 40  
30 Oct 2007 /  #9
What about vodka man?
Harry  
30 Oct 2007 /  #10
Copernicus were polsih

Well that is a matter of debate, isn't it? He was most certainly ethnically German and there's no evidence he spoke Polish.

Anyway, cotton buds (q-tips) were certainly invented by a Pole.
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
30 Oct 2007 /  #11
He was most certainly ethnically German and there's no evidence he spoke Polish.

He was most certainly ethnically German and there's no evidence he spoke Polish.

His nationality is actually disputed. No certain facts are known about either his father or mother, so let him speak for himself:

Copernicus also oversaw the defense of the castle of Olsztyn (Allenstein) at the head of Royal Polish forces when the town was besieged by the forces of Albrecht Hohenzollern, Grand Master of the Teutonic Order during the Polish-Teutonic War (1519–1521).
Harry  
30 Oct 2007 /  #12
^ Polish-Teutonic war, not Polish-German war.

And if you want to get really picky, the fact that he was born and spent the majority of his life in a place called Prussia.

BTW: Father: Niklas Koppernigk, a merchant and baker from Cracow, who migrated to Torun not later than 1458. He married Barbara Watzenrode, daugther of a wealthy Torun merchant.
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
30 Oct 2007 /  #13
Polish-Teutonic war, not Polish-German war.

And Teutons where who...? (Hint: they used to call themselves "Deutscher Orden")

spent the majority of his life in a place called Prussia.

So was he Prussian? Or (using the same argument - was Joseph Conrad English?

Father: Niklas Koppernigk, a merchant and baker from Cracow, who migrated to Torun not later than 1458. He married Barbara Watzenrode, daugther of a wealthy Torun merchant.

No certain data exists. Some say the father was likely Polish, some say he was possibly a Germanized Pole.
Harry  
30 Oct 2007 /  #14
Quoting: Harry
spent the majority of his life in a place called Prussia.

So was he Prussian? Or (using the same argument - was Joseph Conrad English?

Nice selective quoting there. Let’s see, born in Prussia, spent most of his life in Prussia (by choice) and died in Prussia. Could he be Prussian?

Quoting: Harry
Father: Niklas Koppernigk, a merchant and baker from Cracow, who migrated to Torun not later than 1458. He married Barbara Watzenrode, daugther of a wealthy Torun merchant.

No certain data exists. Some say the father was likely Polish, some say he was possibly a Germanized Pole.

Hmm, we seem to have gone from “no certain facts are known about his father or mother” to "no certain data exists". Would you like to deny that Lucas Watzenrode was Copernicus’ uncle? Or do you just mean that no certain data exists because you don’t like the data which does exist?
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
30 Oct 2007 /  #15
Nice selective quoting there.

Honest mistake. Apologies.

Let’s see, born in Prussia, spent most of his life in Prussia (by choice) and died in Prussia. Could he be Prussian?

Nice selective biography :)

Hmm, we seem to have gone from “no certain facts are known about his father or mother” to "no certain data exists".

Some Polish historians recognize German aspects of his life, some German source recognize Polish aspects of his life. So I'd say that yes, no certain data exists.

Would you like to deny that Lucas Watzenrode was Copernicus’ uncle? Or do you just mean that no certain data exists because you don’t like the data which does exist?

The fact that one of his uncles was German doesn't make him German. If he had Polish uncles too, that fact doesn't make him Polish either.
Harry  
30 Oct 2007 /  #16
The fact that one of his uncles was German doesn't make him German. If he had Polish uncles too, that fact doesn't make him Polish either.

His uncle was German (or Prussian anyway) and so was his mother and so were all of his maternal grandparents. Thorn council kept quite good records of their citizens.

You mean that no conclusive proof exists, certain data most definitely exists.

So let's recap: he's known to have had a Prussian mother and grandparents; we are not completely sure where his father was from but know that he chose to live in Prussia; he himself was born in Prussia, chose to live most of his life there despite being able to live in both Krakow and Italy, and died in Prussia; we know he spoke German but there's no evidence he spoke Polish. At best he's an ethnically German Pole!
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
30 Oct 2007 /  #17
he's known to have had a Prussian mother and grandparents;

Yes, if your mother is of certain ethnicity then naturally, at least two of your grandparents are of the same ethnicity.

we are not completely sure where his father was from but know that he chose to live in Prussia

We know he was a merchant from Cracow, who moved to Prussia. Died when Copernicus was about 10.

he himself was born in Prussia, chose to live most of his life there despite being able to live in both Krakow and Italy

That part of Prussia was under Polish crown, so technically he lived within Polish territories.

and died in Prussia

That is irrelevant

we know he spoke German but there's no evidence he spoke Polish.

His main language of communication was Latin (was he a Roman?)
Despite his fluency in German, he did defend Olsztyn against Germans. He also did not accept Protestantism, but instead remained loyal to his Catholic superiors and the King of Poland

At best he's an ethnically German Pole!

Or at worst.
Harry  
30 Oct 2007 /  #18
We know he was a merchant from Cracow, who moved to Prussia. Died when Copernicus was about 10.

Do we? I thought you said that there are no certain facts about his father.

Let's put it this way: if he lived today he would probably not qualify for a Polish passport (doesn't speak the language) but would certainly get a German one.
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
30 Oct 2007 /  #19
Let's put it this way: if he lived today he would probably not qualify for a Polish passport (doesn't speak the language) but would certainly get a German one.

Copernicus was born in Royal Prussia, i.e. under Polish jurisdiction. Polish citizneship is based on ius sanguinis and ius soli. Therefore he would get a Polish passport.
plk123 8 | 4,150  
30 Oct 2007 /  #20
Pat Benatar and Belinda Carlisle are Polish.

Alicia Molik the aussie tennis star is also Polish.

Martha Stewart and George Burns too.
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
30 Oct 2007 /  #21
Barbara Piasecka Johnson (Johnson & Johnson)
Harry  
30 Oct 2007 /  #22
Copernicus was born in Royal Prussia, i.e. under Polish jurisdiction. Polish citizneship is based on ius sanguinis and ius soli. Therefore he would get a Polish passport.

Polish citizenship is not in the slightest bit based on jus soli. A child born in Poland to parents who are not Polish has no right to a Polish passport unless it would otherwise be stateless. So even if we agree that Royal Prussia was actually part of Poland (which is a bit of a stretch, would you like to claim that another well-known Prussian, Field Marshall Hinderburg, is also a Pole?), merely being born on Polish soil would not have given Copernicus Polish citizenship.

Would he qualify under jus sanguinis? Probably not. As you have said before, we know little about his father's early years. However we do know that he accepted public office in another country (Royal Prussia) and before 1951 that automatically resulted in loss of Polish nationality. As his father took office before Nic Junior was born, he did not have a Polish father because his father's Polish citizenship had been taken away. What about his mother's line? Well her parents were not Polish: Lucas Watzenrode the Elder was the child of a German trader and his wife was named Katharina von Rüdiger, not the most Polish of names, if they were not the children of Polish citizens (they were not) and they had not naturalised as Polish citizens (they had not), Barbara was not Polish.

Of course, we could agree that Royal Prussia was in fact Poland and because Copernicus lived there he could have applied for a Polish passport as a naturalised citizen. Well, he could if there was any evidence that he spoke Polish. There isn't, and knowledge of Polish is a requirement for naturalising. Oops.

Of course, with a German mother he would have got a German passport without any problem....
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
30 Oct 2007 /  #23
@Harry,

well, let's see what his German contemporaries thought about our little topic:

Even the otherwise
conciliatory Melanchthon felt called upon to passionately discount the new
theory only shortly after Rheticus' return in October 1541:

Many hold it for an excellent idea to praise such an absurd matter, like that sarmatic
[Pollock] Astronomer, who moves the earth and lets the sun stand still.119

The word "sarmatic" was equivalent to Polish/Polack at the time.

Doesn't seem like Germans were willing to recognize the "Pollock" as one of their own, does it?

source is here: archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/volltextserver/volltexte/2003/3254/pdf/PSDissertation.pdf (Page 117)
plk123 8 | 4,150  
30 Oct 2007 /  #24
Doesn't seem like Germans were willing to recognize the "Pollock" as one of their own, does it?

pownd! lol
krysia 23 | 3,057  
30 Oct 2007 /  #25
1. The population of Poland is 39 million.

2. The six biggest cities in Poland are Warsaw, Lodz, Krakow, Wroclaw, Poznan, and Gdansk

3. The highest point in Poland is Rysy in the Tatra Mountains (2,499m)

4. The coldest part of Poland is in the the North-East and the warmest is in the South-west.

5. The most popular name for a dog in Poland is Burek (meaning a brownish-grey colour)!

6. Poland is the the ninth biggest country in Europe and it shares frontiers with seven countries: Russia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Germany.

7. Poland's capitals have been Gniezno, Poznan, Krakow and Warsaw. Lublin has twice served as Poland's temporary capital, after both the First and Second World Wars.

8. Geographically, Poland is not in the Eastern Europe. It is in the very centre of Europe.

9. In Poland most Poles consider their name day (in Polish: "imieniny") more important than their birthdays. People with the same day celebrate on the same day each year.

10. The national symbol of Poland is the White tailed Eagle.
plk123 8 | 4,150  
30 Oct 2007 /  #26
also poland has a sea coast, mountains, area below sea level, a desert and a lakes region; it also home to the prehistoric horse Tarpan (the pure bread ones are extinct though) and the European Bison.
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
31 Oct 2007 /  #27
- Lutheran Church in Swidnica is the largest wooden church in Europe. It can accomodate 7500 persons (3000 of them can be seated)

- St. Mary's Basilica (Kosciol Mariacki) is the largest brick church in the world.

- Kraków's Stare Miasto (Rynek) is the largest medieval town square of any European city

- Poland used the following curency names in its history: denar, grosz, dukat, talar, tynt, szeląg, marka polska (Polish Mark) , złoty.

- According to Polish census of 2002 there were 1215 Polish women over the age of 100.

- Polish astronomer, Johannes Hevelius (1611-1687) published the earliest exact maps of the moon.

- The name "Poland" (in Polish "Polska") comes from the name of the tribe "Polanie", who used to inhabit the western part of today's country. It used to mean: people living in open fields.

- now commonly used Polish word "kobieta" (woman) was a pejorative term in the 17th and 18th centuries. Correct words were: białogłowa, pani, niewiasta, dama, dzieweczka, panna, or (humorously) podwika.

- Fortifications around West Point (the Oldest American Military Academy) were designed by Tadeusz Kościuszko.

- Polish King Stefan Batory, never spoke Polish. He communicated in Sejm (Polish Parliament) in Latin.

- The first Constitution in Europe was adopted in Poland on May, 3. 1791 in Warsaw.
Harry  
31 Oct 2007 /  #28
^ That list seems to be missing Zvi Hirsch Kalischer, author of Derishat Zion and one of the founders of Zionism. Despite being born in what is now Poland (i.e. Poznan) and spending almost all of his life in what is now Poland (i.e. Torun), he is almost always referred to as a German rabbi. I wonder why that might be....
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
31 Oct 2007 /  #29
Perhaps that's because both Poznan (Ger. Posen) and Torun (Ger. Thorn) were technically in Prussia at the time?
Harry  
31 Oct 2007 /  #30
So he is German. OK.

But Marie Curie was born in Imperial Russia (Vistulan Country to be exact) and never lived in Poland. So she must be Russian. And Chopin was born in the Duchy of Warsaw, which was part of the French Empire, so he must be French. Or is he Russian because he lived most of his life in Russia?

Doesn't seem like Germans were willing to recognize the "Pollock" as one of their own, does it?

Wow! A German speaking about somebody he doesn't like and wants to call that person a Pole instead of a German. Who would have thought that was possible! Unfortunately, your translation appears to be at odds with that of other people. Hermann Kesten (Copernicus and His World, NY: 1945, p.309) and Will Durant (The Reformation, vol. 6, The Story of Civilization, 1967, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1957, p. 859) both quote Melanchthon as saying "Prussian".

But instead of just listening to other people's opinions, let's look at the facts:
Name at birth: Niclas Kopernik, not Mikołaj as Poles say, Copernicus never signed his name with an M, always with an N.
Father: Niclas Kopernik, the family name can be traced to the town of Koppernigk near Neisse in Silesia. Birth place not known. Not a Polish citizen at the time of Copernicus' birth.

Mother: German. Like her parents.
Birthplace: Thorun, Prussia.
Name when at Krakow university: Nicolaus Nicolai de Thorunia, not Mikołaj
At Bologna university he joined the German school especially established by the Vatican to educate German clergy, the "Natio Germanorum".
There is no evidence that he spoke Polish, lots of evidence that he spoke German.
In his memorandum on coin reform in Prussia he wrote about Prussia as "Us".
On several occasions he called himself "Prussian".

I'm not seeing a lot of reasons here to call him a Pole.

I'll sum up your argument: Copernicus is Polish because he was born in a place which is historically Prussian but was at the time under Polish jurisdiction at the time of his birth and because his father might have been Polish (because he might have been born in Poland but we don't know for sure where he was born). By that same logical Marie Curie is Russian: she was born in a place which at the time (1867) was under Russian jurisdiction and both her father and mother were also born in what at the time (1832 and 1834) under Russian jurisdiction so they were Russian too.

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