Skip to main content

Ignacy Jan Paderewski – virtuoso and statesman

Ignacy Jan Paderewski – outstanding pianist and composer. A virtuoso, whose patriotism and hope for Poland’s independence sparked President Woodrow Wilson’s interest in the cause. Is Paderewski’s political and social activity inspiring for the younger generations?  

On 12 February 2018 another (VIII) meeting of the Civil Society Debate Club was held, this time around regarding Ignacy Jan Paderewski. We organized the meeting in close cooperation with Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Poland and the US Embassy in Poland. Our special guest for the night was Professor John Radzilowski from the University of Alaska Southeast (USA).

During the first part of the debate, Professor Radzilowski presented Paderewski’s activities in the US, his role in forming President Wilson’s approach to the Polish question and his personal engagement in organizing humanitarian aid for Poland at the time. Professor Radzilowski also spoke about Herbert Hoover’s influence on the Polish-American relations (who acted as advisor to the President).

We had the chance to learn of Paderewski’s considerable influence on the American general public. Owing to Paderewski’s personal abilities and efforts, the Polish fight for independence suddenly became an important public issue for the American society resulting in Paderewski’s new personal friendships (with John Rockefeller and Mark Twain) but also in the inclusion of Poland’s independence in the FourteenPoints by Woodrow Wilson.

As per our usual formula – there also was a time for interesting questions coming from the attendees of the debate. Thank you for your interest and join us the next time around.