The First Polish Republic (1569-1795).
Modern Europe’s first democracy was Poland
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New York, N.Y. .. Chet Szarejko, Vice President of the Downstate N.Y. Division of the Polish American Congress (left), and Division President Frank Milewski present Poland’s Consul General in New York, Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka, with a copy of the newly published book, “Poland the First Democracy in Modern Europe.”
The presentation was made at this year’s observance of Polish Independence Day, November 11th, at the Polish Consulate on Madison Avenue and E. 37th Street
in Manhattan. The City of New York recently renamed that location as “Jan Karski Corner.”
The book is a one-volume history of the development of democracy and international law in medieval and early modern Europe and is divided in English and Polish language segments. The Polish American Congress plans to distribute it to Polish Supplementary (Saturday) Schools in the Downstate area to give their students a perspective of Polish history long overlooked.
The Polish American Congress has a special interest in this book since it was written by Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski who has been an advisor to the PAC’s Holocaust Documentation Committee for more than a decade, according to Milewski.
“The Golden Age of Poland” during the Renaissance occurred when Poland-Lithuania, the largest state within Western Christianity, was the most tolerant in Europe and had the most advanced citizen’s rights, Pogonowski notes.
This Golden Age was embodied in the First Polish Republic (1569-1795).
He chronologically shows how “Poland Saved Jews from Extinction” and how the country became a safe haven for the Jews being expelled from the other countries of Europe.
Pogonowski then shows how Poland became more than merely a safe haven by displaying a Jewish Parliamentary Government Chart that reveals just how
much self-rule Poland granted the expelled Jews she so warmly welcomed.
Jewish immigrants, persecuted in the west, were permitted to settle and prosper in all parts of Poland, beginning in 1264. They were allowed to
elect their own elders and to administer their own affairs. This was the rebirth of the Jewish people in the Polish Commonwealth.
The autonomy of the Jews was strengthened when the Jewish Supreme Tribunal was established in 1530 in Lublin (and) had jurisdiction over the entire European Jewry.
A Jewish National Parliament, patterned after the Polish Parliament, exercised Jewish autonomy from 1592 to 1764 and was unique in the history of the Jewish diaspora.
The facts show Poland has an honorable and admirable national history.
But it has been misrepresented and slandered the past two centuries by the anti-Polish propaganda of two World Wars and the arrogance and disdain of foreign powers responsible for Poland’s partitions, occupations and oppression, according to PAC President Milewski.