Polish Heritage Society

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August 22-24, 2014-  2014 Dozynki Festival

-  Friday:
-  Freddie Z and his accordion will open Friday at 12 pm.  
-  Friday evening will feature the always entertaining Pan Franek and Zosia's Polka Towners

-  Saturday:
-  Kids program in the afternoon, including visits from the Pulaski Queen and Court with a large twister game.  A sock monkey will lead the kids in some games and dancing.  Child ID kits will be handed out all weekend, and sno-cones for the kids.  
-  The evening will feature all time favorite Gerry Kaminski's Polka Network and family friendly Box On

-  Sunday:
-  We will have the Busia Contest and the high energy Diddle Styx Polka Band

IN DARKNESS (2011 film)

Grand Rapids Art Museum Auditorium

August 24, 2014 at 1pm

In Darkness is a dramatization of a factual rescue of Jewish refugees during World War II in German-occupied Polish city Lwów (Lemberg in German, L'viv in Ukrainian). For over a year, a Polish Catholic sewer maintenance worker and burglar, Leopold Socha – along with his friend and coworker Szczepek Wróblewski – hid and cared for a group of hunted Polish Jews who had escaped the massacres and deportations during the liquidation of the Lwów Ghetto, at first helping them in exchange for daily payment, but then continuing to do so long after the Jews' money had run out and aiding them had become ever more dangerous.

The Jewish ghetto had been established in 1941, and the Nazis decided to liquidate it in June 1943. The Soviets took over Lwów city in July 1944, by which point Socha's small band made up approximately 10 of the less than 1,000 surviving Jews in the city. Socha's and Wróblewski's actions, and those of their wives, would earn them all recognition as Righteous Among the Nations recipients.

The film is FREE to all Dozynki Festival attendees.

Check out our EVENTS page for more details, vendors, food, etc.


From the Desk of our President, Andy Budnick

The Polish Heritage Society was honored to award the Citizen of the Year Award to Msgr. Edward Hankiewicz. Msgr. Hankiewicz has been one of our most loyal and generous supporters. Monsignor was ordained in Rome by Pope John Paul II. He served as pastor of Sacred Heart Church for 17 years and is now at St. Mary’s in Lowell. He is continually seeking ways to promote Polish Heritage and was instrumental in starting our Matka Boska Zeilna Mass. He is a dear friend to the Society and we are honored to name him Polish Citizen of the Year for 2013.

Andy Budnick
President of Polish Heritage Society



Dr. Barbara Rylko-Bauer, a medical anthropologist and long-term Grand Rapids resident, has published a new book: A Polish Doctor in the Nazi Camps: My Mother’s Memories of Imprisonment, Immigration, and a Life Remade (University of Oklahoma Press, 2014).

Jadwiga Lenartowicz Rylko was a young Polish Catholic physician in Lodz at the start of World War II. Suspected of resistance activities, she was arrested in January 1944. For the next fifteen months, she endured three Nazi concentration camps and a forty-two-day death march, spending part of this time working as a prisoner-doctor to Jewish slave laborers. In this book, Rylko-Bauer recounts her mother’s life against the backdrop of twentieth century history—from her childhood and medical training, through her wartime experiences, to her struggles to create a new life as an immigrant to the U.S.  She lived in Detroit, Michigan from 1950 to 1984, and spent the last 26 years of her life in Grand Rapids, where she died in 2010, at the age of 100 years.

The book has 28 photos, 4 maps—and historical notes and a bibliography (for those interested in more information). While grounded in scholarship, it is written to appeal to a broad audience. It is listed at $26.95 for hard cover and is available at Barnes & Noble and on Amazon. 






The Polish American Credo

Thanks to one of our members, we received this Polish-American Credo.  Click here to check it out!


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