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VMs: Re: nationality [was: Hieronymus Bosch...]
Thank you for the history lesson. Very interesting. It would be nice to know
more about Wilfrid's family and backround.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Rafal T. Prinke" <rafalp@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, February 24, 2004 11:39 AM
Subject: VMs: nationality [was: Hieronymus Bosch...]
> Denis wrote:
> > > Does this mean Wilfrid's family was of Lithuanian rather
> > > than Polish extraction? I've always understood that he himself
> > > was a Pole. Is this correct?
> and Dana replied:
> > I am not sure whether or not this has been determined conclusively.
> > Voynich
> > appears to have been very protective of his immediate Family, not
> > wishing to
> > disclose his relatives and early life. This is understandable
> > considering
> > his political inclinations. As Rafal states he was from Kaunas, though
> > he
> > may have had family living in Poland as well. The extent of his
> > "nobility"
> > is questionable. His father was apparently at one point a petty officer.
> Not quite true. Some history first: in 1385 the personal union
> of the Kingdom of Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania started
> the process of uniting the two countries, completed in 1569
> since when they became one country with two provinces.
> Lithuanian and Ruthenian nobility was "adopted" by Polish nobility
> into their armorial clans in 1413 and during the following
> centuries the ruling class of the eastern province became
> gradually polonized, adopting the Polish language and customs.
> There were also internal migrations from overpopulated
> Western Poland to underpopulated Lithuania and Ruthenia, where
> land owners were granted various privileges. So in the 19th c.
> it was difficult to say who was Polish and who was Lithuanian
> in the area. The greatest Polish romantic epic poem starts
> with the words: "Lithuania, my mother country!" (recently
> made into a great movie by Andrzej Wajda, nominated to
> Oscar a year or two ago).
> We know that Wojnicz himself stated that he was Polish
> on entering the USA. But it does not contradict the fact
> that he came from Lithuania. He later lived in central
> Poland and was imprisoned in Warsaw.
> Concerning his nobility - it is not questionable at all.
> Polish nobility was quite unlike British or Western
> European. The class was much more numerous - estimated
> at 10% of the population (and more in some areas).
> Some of them lived at the level of peasants (or even lower,
> if different areas are compared). The only difference
> being that they could own land (even though some did not)
> and had the right to vote.
> Best regards,
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