Helena Paderewska

Helena Paderewska

Memoirs, 1910–1920

Memoir by: Helena Paderewska   Editor: Maciej Siekierski
ISBN: 978-0-8179-1864-4
Publication Date: 10/1/2015

An international adventure for freedom

These memoirs of Helena Paderewska, wife of the celebrated pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski, tell the story of her husband’s grassroots efforts to influence the course of history for their native Poland after World War I. She tells how, using his personal fame and charisma, Paderewski gained access to the top political leadership of France, Britain, and the United States and became an eloquent spokesman for the then-occupied country of his birth.

As well as being the story of an exceptionally talented self-made man who accomplished his boyhood dream of freedom and independence for his homeland, these memoirs are also one of the few examples of a woman’s look at the world of international politics during the Great War and its immediate aftermath. As Paderewski’s devoted wife and collaborator, Helena facilitated and accompanied virtually his every move and was one of only several women, among hundreds of men, in the Hall of Mirrors when the Versailles treaty was signed.

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Helena Paderewska

Helena Paderewska was born Helena Rosen in 1856 in Warsaw, the daughter of a Polish father and a Greek mother. In addition to collaborating on her husband’s accomplishments, she founded and directed the Polish White Cross, which enlisted almost twenty thousand members’ bringing assistance to victims of war, a humanitarian and patriotic effort on a scale previously unknown.

Maciej Siekierski

Maciej Siekierski is curator of European Collections at the Hoover Institution Library and Archives in Stanford, California. A specialist on Poland and Eastern Europe, he has been a member of the staff since 1984, with principal responsibility for acquiring European archival materials.

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List of Maps and Illustrations        vii
Foreword by Norman Davies        xi
Editor's Acknowledgements        xv
Editor's Introduction        xvii

One | Husband, Artist Patriot        1
Two | July 1910-July 1914        11
Three | July 1914-January 1915        27
Four | January-April 1915        41
Five | April-September 1915        53
Six | September 1915-June 1916        71
Seven | July 1916-July 1917        83
Eight | 1917        99
Nine | 1917-1918        111
Ten | December 1918-January 1919        123
Eleven | January 1919        135
Twelve | January 1919-March 1919        145
Thirteen | April 1919-July 1919        155
Fourteen | July 1919-February 1920        169

Editor's Epilogue        173
The Paderewskis' Timeline, 1910-1920        175
Guide to Names        181
About the Author        199
About the Editor        201
Index        203
[Illustrations follow page 52 and page 172]

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