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Zygmunt Gorgolewski- the architect of the Opera House in Lwów


Chris R 1 | 34
25 May 2013 #1
Zygmunt Gorgolewski was born in Solec Kujawsk near Poznań. He studied architecture at the Royal Academy of Construction in Berlin. Although it is not clear where he received his primary education. Obviously, he was quite Polish, and apparently served on my boards which selected plans for various projects in Polish speaking lands in the three partitions. However, in Lwów the locals are told only that he was a German, despite the fact that he later relocated there and died there. His design for the Opera House in Lwów was quite innovative as it called for channeling the Pełtew river underground, directly below the Opera House, and using a solid concrete foundation for the first time in Europe.

Considering that the Ukrainians continue to complain that in the Second Polish Republic, the Poles closed Ukrainian speaking gymnasiums and abolished teaching Ukrainian literature at the University of Lwów, (and use this as an explanation for ethnic violence in Wołyń), how relevant is Gorgolewski's need to learn German to study architecture?

Are Poles more adaptable at learning Germanic languages than Ukrainians are at learning Polish, a similar Slavic language, or is this just a poor excuse for the ethnic violence that happened in WWII?
jon357 67 | 16,655
25 May 2013 #2
Are Poles more adaptable at learning Germanic languages than Ukrainians are at learning Polish, a similar Slavic language, or is this just a poor excuse for the ethnic violence that happened in WWII?

Probably in part a case of it being a very good school of architecture with an international reputation, but mostly because it was in the capital of his country. He did quite a lot in Germany, including the parts that had been Poland. He also worked abroad, and Lwow at that time was of course part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

It's never good to try and make tawdry and revisionist political points about events decades after someone's death where none exist. Most of us have better things to do.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,161
25 May 2013 #3
Considering that the Ukainians continue to complain that in the Second Polish Republic, the Poles closed Ukrainian speaking gymnasiums and abolished teaching Ukrainian literature at the University of Lwów

What these two things have in common ? Nothing in my opinion.
jon357 67 | 16,655
25 May 2013 #4
Very true.

If I hadn't got called away from my PC, I'd have mentioned that he also did a very considerable amount of distinguished work for the Polish aristocracy, including at Kornik.
Ironside 50 | 11,108
25 May 2013 #5
Are Poles more adaptable at learning Germanic languages than Ukrainians are at learning Polish, a similar Slavic language, or is this just a poor excuse for the ethnic violence that happened in WWII?

Just an excuse that one is obvious.
OP Chris R 1 | 34
25 May 2013 #6
What these two things have in common ? Nothing in my opinion.

Their argument is that because they were unable to be educated in Ukrainian, that they were unable to compete with Poles in jobs requiring an education, since education was only in Polish. In contrast, Gorgolewski was an ethnic Pole who was required to learn German to study and then excelled in his field. Yet, in Ukriane he is labeled simply a German who was part of the Germanification of Galicia.

It's never good to try and make tawdry and revisionist political points about events decades after someone's death where none exist. Most of us have better things to do.

If Gorgolewski could be educated in German and excel, certainly Ukrainians could be educated in Polish and achieve in the Second Polish Republic. My friend's grandfather would be considered Ukrainian, and he learned in Polish and became an engineer. Those who didn't want an education, simply complained about the language and were fertile ground for subversion of the Polish state. I have met many people who have completed advanced degrees in a second language. It didn't stop them from achieving. It is not surprising that many modern Ukrainians don't want to discuss Gorgolewski's education and ethnicity since it undermines their criticisms of Poland.

Europe has moved past nationalism and has returned to a more multicultural view of European history. Academic honesty requires giving credit to people for their accomplishments, but such honesty is not present in modern nationalist Ukraine. Modern Ukraine remains stuck in a nationalist state of mind that masks a massive inferiority complex. (Perhaps because the former Galician areas and cities like Lwow are actually scenes of massive ethnic cleansing, which no one wants to address.) Not surprisingly, Ukraine remains economically backward since political leaders play to nationalism while ignoring its economic problems and lack of competition. As Ukraine attempts to move closer to Europe, there is nothing tawdry or revisionist to address a disturbing Ukrainian nationalism that erects statues to a man Poles, Jews, and Russians consider a war criminal, puts the portrait of a tower where Nazis executed 1,160 Jews on the back of its 200 grivna note, and otherwise fails to address its troubled past.
Ironside 50 | 11,108
25 May 2013 #7
It's never good to try and make tawdry and revisionist political points

You may not care about that but I don't care about your remarks.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,456
25 May 2013 #8
Ukrainians

For what it's worth, relations between Poles and Ukrainians are just fine nowadays. No need for foreigners to interfere.

We all know what happened in Lwów, we all know what happened in WW2 - how about just leaving it be and focus on how great relations are nowadays between the people?
jon357 67 | 16,655
25 May 2013 #9
f Gorgolewski could be educated in German and excel, certainly Ukrainians could be educated in Polish and achieve in the Second Polish Republic

No. they didn't want to be part of it, Just as Poles didn't want the partitions.

You conveniently forget that even decades before Gorgolewski was born the Poles had had more time to get used to the partitions than the II Republic even existed for. Perhaps it it had lasted a few decades longer we'd have seen an honourable uprising by the Ukrainians.

For what it's worth, relations between Poles and Ukrainians are just fine nowadays. No need for foreigners to interfere.

We all know what happened in Lwów, we all know what happened in WW2 - how about just leaving it be and focus on how great relations are nowadays between the people?

Spot on. We don't post polemics about Chris's country's relations with Cuba.
Ironside 50 | 11,108
25 May 2013 #10
You conveniently forget that even decades before Gorgolewski was born the Poles had had more time to get used to the partitions than the II Republic even existed for. Perhaps it it had lasted a few decades longer we'd have seen an honourable uprising by the Ukrainians.

Do you need some time out to think over what you have typed above? Would you care to take it back before I comment on this?

Spot on. We don't post polemics about Chris's country's relations with Cuba.

That would be off-topic on PF anyway.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,456
25 May 2013 #11
I believe there is a rule about "no blanket statements".

Are Poles more adaptable at learning Germanic languages than Ukrainians are at learning Polish, a similar Slavic language, or is this just a poor excuse for the ethnic violence that happened in WWII?

Seems to me that this rule has been broken.
Ironside 50 | 11,108
25 May 2013 #12
Do you need some time out to think over what you have typed above? Would you care to take it back before I comment on this?

I take it you don't.
Are you saying that partitions civilized Poles and are you at the same time saying that Ukrainians should remain for a few decades as Polish colony for them to act civilized?

Old good imperialist Jon, soon you will talk about white's man burden.lol
jon357 67 | 16,655
26 May 2013 #13
partitions civilized Poles

Read it carefully. Use a dictionary.
Ironside 50 | 11,108
26 May 2013 #14
I did. So come again. Use a common sense.
OP Chris R 1 | 34
26 May 2013 #15
No. they didn't want to be part of it, Just as Poles didn't want the partitions.

Enough Ruthenians were happy enough in Galicia and later Poland. The Ukrainian nationalists never conducted a plebiscite on the issue, and the Communists just made a sham out of things to the point that educated Ruthenians fled from them to the German side.

You conveniently forget that even decades before Gorgolewski was born the Poles had had more time to get used to the partitions than the II Republic even existed for. Perhaps it it had lasted a few decades longer we'd have seen an honourable uprising by the Ukrainians.

The point here, which you missed, is that Galicia was the best part of the partitions to live. That is why Gorgolewski and other "Germans" moved here. Ruthenians were never a majority in Galicia, nor in the former Galician Polish voivods as a whole. Wołyń was the problem area, and it was handled poorly as was the entire issue of Ukraine in the Treaty of Riga.

... relations between Poles and Ukrainians are just fine nowadays. No need for foreigners to interfere.
We all know what happened in Lwów, we all know what happened in WW2 - how about just leaving it be and focus on how great relations are nowadays between the people?

Spot on. We don't post polemics about Chris's country's relations with Cuba.

Really, you two should just head your own advice then.

Poland didn't follow the U.K.'s model in Ireland of attempting to end the Gaelic language. Should I continue that comparison?

Spot on, indeed!

How are Poland's relations with Cuba relevant to this discussion?

jon357:
It's never good to try and make tawdry and revisionist political points

You may not care about that but I don't care about your remarks.

I am sure many here might consider many of Jon's comments on other topics tawdry. Such subjective comments are hardy useful for furthering discussion of this topic.
Ironside 50 | 11,108
27 May 2013 #16
I would appreciate if people with a next to none knowledge about Ukrainian -Polish interactions would restrain from jumping to conclusions. Those conclusion are more often than not wrong.
jon357 67 | 16,655
27 May 2013 #17
Unfortunately for a reader who might mistakenly take your post seriously, the matter is far from one-sided.
Ironside 50 | 11,108
27 May 2013 #18
Your attempt to insult me ones again miserably failed. Interactions per definition are not one sided. Are you by that cryptic post admitting that your knowledge of Ukrainian and Polish interactions are not sufficient to make definite judgment on the subject?
OP Chris R 1 | 34
27 May 2013 #19
Are you by that cryptic post admitting that your knowledge of Ukrainian and Polish interactions are not sufficient to make definite judgment on the subject?

Iron Man,

I can only conclude that he is trolling and trying to hijack the thread to discussing Poland's relations with Cuba, and is suggesting that an independent Ukraine was entitled to take territory from Poles, Hungarians, Romanians, where it was the ethnic minority, while assisting the Nazis in the Holocaust by bullets of the Jewish population. He does this despite the fact that his country, the United Kingdom, was hostile to Pilsudski's plan of separating Ukraine and Belarus from Russia, and then continues to suggest that by discussing modern Ukraine's sanitizing of the ethnic cleansing of Lwów by referring to its most prominent architect as a "German" I am hostile to Ukraine's independence.

This is a clear attempt to hijack a thread, and a clear ad hominem attack which has no relevance to our discussion, but it is all he has to offer.

Therefore, he is best ignored.
Harry
27 May 2013 #20
an independent Ukraine was entitled to take territory from Poles, Hungarians, Romanians, where it was the ethnic minority

Which of course would be entirely unlike what Poland herself had been up to in the interbellum period.
jon357 67 | 16,655
27 May 2013 #21
.

Poland's relations with Cuba

WTF?

an independent Ukraine was entitled to take territory from Poles, Hungarians, Romanians,

Any nation is entitled to self-determination.

Your own country, the US, took quite a bit of territory from the original inhabitants?
OP Chris R 1 | 34
28 May 2013 #22
[Allow me to recite the population of Lwów from the 1931 Polish Census:

Population of Lwów, 1931 (by first language)
Polish: 198,200 (63.5%)
Yiddish or Hebrew: 75,300 (24.1%)
Ukrainian or Ruthenian: 35,100 (11.2%)
German: 2,500 (0.8%)
Russian: 500 (0.2%)
Other denominations: 600 (0.2%)
Total: 312,200

Population of Lwów, 1931 (by religion)
Roman Catholic: 157,500 (50.4%)
Judaism: 99,600 (31.9%)
Greek Catholic: 49,800 (16.0%)
Protestant: 3,600 (1.2%)
Orthodox: 1,100 (0.4%)
Other denominations: 600 (0.2%)
Total: 312,200

Source: 1931 Polish census

There was no Wilsonian free determination of peoples in Lwów or the greater Galician region in September 1939 or thereafter. The point of the thread is the refusal of the beneficiaries of ETHNIC CLEANSING in the modern Ukrainian state to admit or acknowledge the cultural contributions of the Polish people there.

No one here, other than the individual attempting to hijack the thread, has suggested in any way that Ukraine as a nation should not exist, contrary to the position taken by the governments of France and the United Kingdom in 1920-1921. Attempts to hijack the thread to discuss straw man arguments about the right of Ukraine to exist, Cuba, a poster's alleged nationality or status in Poland, are irrelevant to the topic of the thread, and, therefore, thread hijacking, and/or "not related to Poland or Polish people in any way."

Respectfully,

Chris R.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,456
28 May 2013 #23
Source: 1931 Polish census

Which was notoriously known to be rigged.

ETHNIC CLEANSING

Ethnic cleansing? I don't think so. For a start, you're trying to apply modern day terminology to history, and secondly, there are still plenty of Poles there. I've been to Polish church services in small villages in Ukraine. Have you?

to admit or acknowledge the cultural contributions of the Polish people there.

Show me one Pole that admits the contributions of Ukranians to life there between the wars?
jon357 67 | 16,655
28 May 2013 #24
The point of the thread is the refusal of the beneficiaries of ETHNIC CLEANSING/

Now can you think of any other countries in Central and Eastern Europe that have benefited from that?

refusal of the ... modern Ukrainian state to admit or acknowledge the cultural contributions of the Polish people there

I wonder if any other countries in Central and Eastern Europe refuse 'to admit or acknowledge the cultural contributions' of states whose territories they were once part of?

One odd thing about this whole thread is that there's very little about the architect's works. I feel disappointed. Perhaps the OP isn't a 'koneser'.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,456
28 May 2013 #25
Now can you think of any other countries in Central and Eastern Europe that have benefited from that?

Hmm. Was there a country that went from being a melting pot to being nearly ethnically 100% homogeneous and flourished in terms of stability as a result?
Ironside 50 | 11,108
28 May 2013 #26
Which was notoriously known to be rigged.

which was notoriously claimed to be rigged. In fact nothing can be further from the truth.

Ethnic cleansing? I don't think so

Well you are using that term whenever it suit you, yet you refuse the same right to others.
Also there is no doubt that UPA with their ideology have been involved in an attempt on an ethnic cleansing.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,456
28 May 2013 #27
which was notoriously claimed to be rigged. In fact nothing can be further from the truth.

Really?

Oh dear, Ironside. You really should brush up on your history.

Also there is no doubt that UPA with their ideology have been involved in an attempt on an ethnic cleansing.

Attempting is one thing, but the Poles certainly succeeded!
OP Chris R 1 | 34
28 May 2013 #28
Also there is no doubt that UPA with their ideology have been involved in an attempt on an ethnic cleansing.

By definition:

The crimes committed during an ethnic cleansing is similar to that of genocide, but while genocide includes complete extermination of the target group as the stated goal, ethnic cleansing may involve murder only to the point of mobilizing the target group out of the territory.

This certainly describes what happened to ethnic Poles in Galicia, regardless if there are still a few left in some places. Who was "Polish" and who was "Ukrainian/Ruthenian" was a difficult matter since they had intermarried for 600 years. What was too beautiful to destroy they simply claimed was actually if not "Ukrainian" then something other than Polish culture, thus "German".

Thank you for returning us to our topic of discussion.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,456
28 May 2013 #29
This certainly describes what happened to ethnic Poles in Galicia, regardless if there are still a few left in some places. Who was "Polish" and who was "Ukrainian/Ruthenian" was a difficult matter since they had intermarried for 600 years.

And also certainly describes what happened to the ethnic Germans in Poland.

As for "few" - as I recall, there are over 140k according to the Census, and by one measure, over 800,000. Not exactly a few. And even the Soviet Census of 59 gave a number of well over 350k.

One has to wonder why you, a non-Pole, feels the need to stir up tension on here in regards to Ukraine.
jon357 67 | 16,655
28 May 2013 #30
Thank you for returning us to our topic of discussion.

I thought the topic of discussion was:

: Zygmunt Gorgolewski- the architect of the Opera House in Lwów

What do you think of the remodelling work he did at Kornik?


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