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Furtek Collection

Mr. Furtek in his capacity as a notary public helped many Polish Americans in the United States. Among others, he dealt with legal issues of displaced persons being sponsored to live in the United States, and issues facing heirs living in the United States who had claim to land in post-war Poland. A large percentage of the papers deal with sponsoring family members living in Poland that wished to immigrate to the United States. The cases were especially difficult when we consider that Poland in the second half of the 1940s was a land in utter chaos with prewar legal and legislative systems absent or not operational. Choose a section on the right to began exploring.


The Solidarity movement which originated in GdaƄsk in 1980 sparked nationwide strikes and halted the Polish economy. In response, the Polish government, led by Wojciech Jaruzelski introduced Martial Law on 13 December 1981 which delegalized Solidarity, imprisoned its many leaders, halted the liberalizing trends and reaffirmed its commitment to Communism and its close ties to the Soviet Union. 

The clergy of the Roman Catholic church took upon itself the role of a mediator and its doors became a place of solace, compassion and comfort. 

Blue Army

Ignacy Paderewski traveled around the United States in his capacity as a Polish dignitary during World War I to rally support for Poland's cause. He was a well loved pianist having toured the United States extensively in his previous visits. Throughout 1916 and 1917, he encouraged Polish Americans to volunteer to fight in Europe.

Some 24,000 Polish Americans were equipped by the French and fought under the command of General Haller. Due to the French uniforms, they were known as the Blue Army.

This collection includes a number of postcards from a mass in the field and a presentation of arms. There are also papers of Jozef Olsztynski who was a volunteer and they include his mobilization and discharge papers.

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Pulaski Decanter

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