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Lieutenant Colonel Jan Kowalewski Award | Edition #1

Tue, 04/02/2019 - 10:26
Lieutenant Colonel Jan Kowalewski Award | Edition #1

Dr. Karol Nawrocki, Director of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk and Prof. Jacek Namieśnik, PhD, Rector of the Gdańsk University of Technology are honoured to announce the start of the reception of applications for Lieutenant Colonel Jan Kowalewski Award.

The Lieutenant Colonel Jan Kowalewski Award is a cyclical, international and interdisciplinary event. This year's inauguration of the Award will celebrate the national celebrations of the 80th Anniversary of the Outbreak of World War II. 

A diploma, a specially designed statuette, and a  financial reward will be offered to four people representing various fields of knowledge and professions, who, with the power of their intellect and the acquired knowledge and skills, act for the common good in accordance with the Award motto, Reason Before Power.
Higher education institutions, scientific institutes, cultural institutions and members of the Competition Jury may submit their candidates for the Award.

"International reflection on the power of human intellect set within  the context of the events of the first half of the 20th century, including the Second World War is still much needed today. On the one hand, the 20th century was the age when  scientists from totalitarian countries used science as an effective tool for conquering the world, spreading terror and mass extermination. On the other hand, many other scientists, including Lieutenant Colonel Jan Kowalewski, devoted the power of their minds to conquer this overwhelming evil. „With this award, we wish to appreciate talented people from Poland and the world who are engaged in building a better future and reflecting on the past”,  Dr. Karol Nawrocki, Director of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk emphasizes.
„We are primarily looking for people with above-average abilities and unorthodox mindset, who use these features in the service of others. We care about appreciation of everyday heroes, whose activities are overlooked and who, through their actions and discoveries, strive to make the world a better place. So a winner can be anybody acting for the common good – an inventor, a doctor, a naturalist or a social activist, not neccessarily a scientist or a scholar”, he adds. The Awards Gala ceremony will take place on 28th September 2019 at the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk.

Although often overlooked in history books and perhaps overshadowed by great commanders of the times of war, the Patron of the Award, Lieutenant Colonel Jan Kowalewski, the Polish officer deserves our utmost praise. By employing his acute intellect, he pursued the good cause, often changing the surrounding reality in spite of the severe limitations ha had to face daily. 

Colonel Jan Kowalski was the founder of the Polish radio intelligence service. During the 1919-1921 war with the Bolsheviks he broke a number of Soviet ciphers which enabled the Polish command to reach strategic decisions that secure numerous victories, including in the Battle of Warsaw. For his merits  he was awarded the V class Virtuti Militari Cross. 

In the 1921 Third Silesian Uprising he was the head of the intelligence service of the insurgent units. In the interwar period he served as a military attaché in Moscow and Bucharest. After Poland’s defeat in 1939 he aided Polish refugees in Romania. He then created a Polish intelligence centre in Lisbon, Portugal. His intelligence operations almost changed the course of  the entire WWII. After the war, unable to return to Poland, he remained in exile.

Without doubt, Lieutenant Colonel Jan Kowalewski is a fascinating personality. He was a man of many talents: a mathematician and a cryptologist, a graduate of a school of commerce and chemistry studies, and an expert in several languages. As an officer of the Polish Army, he took part in three great conflicts taking place in the Republic of Poland in the first half of the twentieth century. On numerous occassions, in the servive for his Homeland, his operations were proof that the power of mind and detailed technical knowledge could prevail over brute force.

„By co-organizing a competition named after him, the Gdansk University of Technology wishes to contribute to the promotion of the attitudes personified by an outstanding person – Lieutenant-Colonel Jan Kowalewski. I believe that Lieutenant Colonel Jan Kowalewski can inspire not only new generations of engineers, but also all those who hold dear the welfare of Poland and its inhabitants”, says Prof. Jacek Namieśnik, Rector of the Gdańsk University of Technology.

The Museum will accept applications in two categories: 

"Poland for the World"

This category is for contestants of Polish nationality whose achievements shift the boundaries of cognition and open new research perspectives contributing to the civilisation and cultural progress of our Homeland, shaping its positive image, and strengthening our national pride by taking up the most ambitious challenges of today's world.


"World for Poland"  

This category is for contestants from outside of Poland, whose innovative activities, achievements and creativity bring benefits to Poland and the Polish nation.
To give equal chances to both experienced researchers, enthusiasts, scientists and activists, as well as to young, ambitious people, so far unrecognized by a wider public, awards will be granted in each of these categories in the following age groups: 

up to 35 years old 

over 35 years old.

The winners of the vote will be selected by an international pabel of experts composed of representatives of the world of science, historians, researchers and publicists, as well as a relative of the Prize's patron. The  Award Chapter is composed of: Prof. Jacek Namieśnik, PhD (Rector of the Gdańsk University of Technology), Karol Nawrocki, PhD (Director of the Second World War Museum in Gdańsk), Prof. Tadeusz Wolsza, PhD (Chairman of the Museum Council at the Ministry of Internal Affairs), Prof. Jerzy Grzywacz (President of the Pomeranian Region of the World Union of Home Army Soldiers, member of the Museum Council), Hugo Kowalewski-Ferreira (grandson of Lt. Col. Jan Kowalewski), Prof. Stanisław Radwański (sculptor, rector of the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk in 1990-1996), Prof. Tomasz Szubrycht (Rear Admiral, Rector - Commander of the Naval Academy in Gdynia), Prof. Jerzy Kowalewski-Ferreira (grandson of Lieutenant Colonel Jan Kowalewski), prof. Stanisław Filipek (chemist, scholar of Japanese), Piotr Gursztyn (Editor, Communication Director of Polish Television), Thierry Hubscher (Director of Memorial de Verdun), Prof. Dr. Oleksandr Lysenko (Head of the Department of World War II History at the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences).
Applications deadline is 1st June 2019

AWARD REGULATIONS and APPLICATION FORM can be found in the links below.
A correctly completed application form, together with a set of necessary attachments,  should be delivered to the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk (pl. Władysława Bartoszewskiego 1, 80-862 Gdańsk) with the note Kowalewski Prize or sent by e-mail to the following address: no later than by June 1st, 2019. Please note that the date of receipt of the application shall be regarded as binding, regardless of whether it has been sent by regular post or by e-mail.
Candidates are now invited to submit their applications.