The Contributions of Ignacy Jan Paderewski

Lucyna me Roman Rick flippedThis past weekend I was honored to be a guest of the Polish American Congress of Arizona at the lovely 41st Polish Heritage Ball. The musical program honored three Polish composers: Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Henryk Wieniawski and Michal Kleofas Oginski. In honor of Polish heritage month I’ll highlight the contributions of Ignacy Jan Paderewski who I’m most familiar with.

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Record that Personal History now – Before It’s Too Late.

0175454-R1-E013You should write a book. Five prophetic words that sound so simple. They are not. Trust me. I propose that everyone reading this knows at least one person, even if it’s just themselves, who could say – “I/you should write a book.” Reword that thought to “your story is worth remembering” and the meaning changes slightly.  Go ahead. Buy that video or voice recorder, make time and get the story.

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A 1943 Rescue of Danish Jews on Rosh Hashanah

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY Sören BILLING (FILES) This 1943 photo shows a boat carrying people during the escape across the Oresound of some of 7,000 Danish Jews who fled to safety in neighbouring Sweden as Denmark three years after the German Nazi invasion. As Denmark commemorates the heroic rescue of the vast majority of its Jewish population during World War II, the country faces difficult questions over its relationship with Nazi Germany. AFP PHOTO / SCANPIX DENMARK +++ DENMARK OUTIn honor of the Jewish New Year, I located a great story of a daring rescue that occurred on Rosh Hashanah in 1943. The Germans occupying Denmark planned a mass round-up of the country’s 7,800 Jews on the Jewish holiday. They planned to capture the Jews as they gathered in their homes and synagogues, most of whom were in Copenhagen. Instead, the Danish underground got word of the planned action in advance and coordinated a massive rescue operation. In one night fishermen ferried nearly 7,000 Danish Jews to safety in neutral Sweden. Denmark remains the only European country to save almost all of its Jews.

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The Teardrop Memorial to 9/11 Stands Nearly Forgotten

TearsofgriefbayonneThe “Teardrop Memorial to 9/11” stands across the bay from the former World Trade Center in Bayonne, New Jersey. Of the nearly 700 recorded memorials built to remember the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2011, one of the largest stands so forgotten its existence is questioned on snopes.com. The massive monument was a gift from President Vladimir Putin and the people of Russia in 2005 in honor of the victims of terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in 1993 and in 2001.    Continue reading