Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski

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Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski
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Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski (born 3 September 1921 in Lwów, Poland; died 21 July 2016) was a writer and inventor with 50 patents to his credit; a civil and industrial engineer by profession, educated in Poland, Belgium and United States. He is also a non-fiction writer on Polish and European history, author of historical atlases, and lexicographer.

Dictionaries that Pogonowski has compiled include the 1990 Polish-English, English-Polish Standard Dictionary, reprinted in 1993, 1994 and 1997.

After the invasion of Poland in World War II, in December 1939 Pogonowski, aged 18, left Warsaw, Poland with the intention of joining the Polish Armed Forces in the West. He was arrested in Dukla by the German authorities on suspicion of aiming to join the resistance. He was moved between prisons and camps for five years thereafter. Interned at the Krosno, Jasło, and Tarnów prisons among others, he was sent with 500 prisoners to Auschwitz, and from there to Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen several months later. He survived the camps, and was liberated on May 2, 1945. Pogonowski summarized his horrific experiences at the German concentration camps in a three-page article popularized by Richard C. Lukas in his Out of the Inferno. In 1954 he graduated in Civil Engineering at the Catholic University: Institute Superieur de Commerce in Antwerp. He moved to the United States and in the following years worked as project engineer in the oil industry.

Historian and lexicographer

Pogonowski has published an illustrated history of Poland (2000), historical atlases of Poland, and a work on Polish heraldry (2002). His book Poland. An Illustrated History (Hippocrene 2008) was reviewed in The Slavic and East European Journal (2010, vol. 54, no. 1), by Professor Tony H. Lin of the University of California, Berkeley. Lin concluded that, although "not detailed enough for scholars to use as a reference" the book "makes a strong case for anyone that has doubts about Poland's significance in Europe".

Pogonowski's historical work has been praised by M.K. Dziewanowski, whose review of Jews in Poland calls the book a "pioneering attempt [to] 'encompass' Jews within the Polish discourse, a rarity in American scholarship and in the discourse about Jews." Critics and political opponents of his approach to controversial Polish-Jewish aspects of World War II history include Wrobel, and Milewska. Michlic believes him to represent the ethnonationalist trend in historiography.

His journalistic work includes broadcasts for the Polish Radio Maryja and columns for its sister publication, Nasz Dziennik (Our Daily). He has also written columns in the Polish-American biweekly, Gwiazda Polarna.

Pogonowski has compiled several Polish-English, English-Polish dictionaries which have appeared since 1981, including his Unabridged Polish-English Dictionary (3 volumes, New York, Hippocrene Books, 1997; some 100,000 entries) and his Polish-English, English-Polish Standard Dictionary (1985, reprinted 1993, 1994 and 1997).


  • Practical Polish-English Dictionary, Hippocrene Books, 1981.
  • Polish-English, English-Polish Standard Dictionary, Hippocrene Books, 1985.
  • Compact Polish-English Dictionary, Hippocrene Books, 1985.
  • Polish Phrasebook and Dictionary: Complete Phonetics for English Speakers, 103 pp., 1991.
  • Unabridged Polish-English Dictionary, 3 volumes, New York, Hippocrene Books, 1997.
  • Poland: A Historical Atlas, revised edition, New York, Hippocrene Books, 1989.
  • The Jews in Poland: A Documentary History; the Rise of [the] Jews as a Nation from Congressus Judaicus in Poland to the Knesset in Israel, New York, Hippocrene Books, 1993.
  • Świat po amerykańsku, Fundacja 'Nasza Przyszłość', 2004.
  • Heraldyka – Heraldry, CD-ROM, published by Juliusz Ostrowski, 2002.
  • Poland: An Illustrated History, Hippocrene Books, 2000 (recommended by Norman Davies and Zbigniew Brzeziński).[13]
  • Jews in Poland: A Documentary History, New York, Hippocrene Books, 1998.
  • Historyczny Atlas Polski (A Historical Atlas of Poland), Wydawnictwo Baran i Suszczyński, 1995.
  • Poland: A Historical Atlas, New York, Hippocrene Books, 1987.
  • Hegemonia – On US Foreign Policy, Poznań, WERS, 2008.
  • The First Democracy in Modern Europe: Million Free Citizens in Poland during the Renaissance, 2010 (E-Book).


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        01.09.1939 | Invasion of Poland

        The Invasion of Poland, also known as the September Campaign or 1939 Defensive War (Polish: Kampania wrześniowa or Wojna obronna 1939 roku) in Poland and the Poland Campaign (German: Polenfeldzug) or Fall Weiß (Case White) in Germany, was an invasion of Poland by Germany, the Soviet Union, and a small Slovak contingent that marked the beginning of World War II in Europe. The German invasion began on 1 September 1939, one week after the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, while the Soviet invasion commenced on 17 September following the Molotov-Tōgō agreement which terminated the Russian and Japanese hostilities (Nomonhan incident) in the east on 16 September. The campaign ended on 6 October with Germany and the Soviet Union dividing and annexing the whole of Poland.

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