Polish Toledo Home Page     

for Toledo Polonians

A fantastic Best Selling Novel
in the grand romantic style

Sequel to the above Novel

Highly Recommended for Polish Kitchens Everywhere

Once the largest Empire in Europe with the greatest cavalry the world had ever known

You saw the Movie
The book is better

Some notable blog entries regarding Polishness:

Poland's Foreign Policy

Constructing polishness

Anti-Polishness in America


Get Your Polishness Polished
Suggested Video and Reading Materials

Start by checking out the Toledo - Lucas County Library

Your Polish ancestors like mine probably arrived in America late in the game. The earliest entirely Polish settlement in the new world was was established in 1855 in Panna Maria (meaning Virgin Mary), Texas. Even earlier before the Mayflower arrived at Plymouth Rock, Poles were industrial laborers at Jamestown in 1608.

Most of our families arrived on these shores in the late 19th to early 20th century. But, your Polishness in really in high gear if you're familiar with the knowledge that a Pole cruised around the East Coast from Labrador to the Chesapeake Bay 16 years before Columbus accidentally tripped over some small Carribean Islands looking for a western sea passage to China.

The fabled sailor Jan z Kolno1 (John from Kolno) was the commander of a ship sailing under the flag of the Danish Crown. He was most likely an educated Kashubian Pole and his exploits are chronicled in "The Kaszubs before Vienna" by Polish poet Hieronim Derdowski:

I Jaś Kielna śweiętego
    tędzim beł wiarusem
Co w Ameryce bywoł jesz
    przed Koląbusem,
I tak liczne rozmnożełw
   niej kaszubscie plemnię,
Że tu druge ju mąmę
   obiecaną zemnię.
Johnnie from sacred Kolno
    was a sturdy guard's name
Who went to America before
    Columbus came,
And so abundantly propagated
    the Kashubian band,
That we now have here our
    Second promised land.

Given the extraordinary contributions and sacrifices by Poles in helping make America great including revolutionary war heroes Generals Pułaski and Kosciuszko, you might be stimulated to learn more about our culture that for whatever reason has just been brushed aside in today's world.

To more fully explore and appreciate your heritage a list of materials handily available for check-out at the Toledo-Lucas County Library is presented. Viewing and reading the materials listed ought to open your eyes to the more complete meaning of Polishness.

Polish Related Materials in Catalog
at Toledo - Lucas County Library

A beginners assortment list recommended by Kutyłowski - Put your library card to use

History & Culture [various media]
DVD Poland: We've Caught God by the Arm 31 minutes: Breaking the strangle of Communist rule. Solidarity. Newsreel footage and some behind the scenes capture of true Polish grit and stubborn determination.
Poland James A. Michener's classic read by Robert Vaughn (the guy you might remember from the TV show Man From UNCLE) A novel interlaced between fiction and fact of the struggle for farm unions contemporary with the Solidarity movement weaved in context with the Nazi occupation vis-a-vis Communist domination.
VCR Poland: 1000 Years of History & Culture 4 Segments all about a half-hour long from the creation of the Polish state in 966 through the Romantic & Modern period (1796 - 1945)If you have A.D.D. it will be tough to get through in one sitting. Since it's segmented one portion a day is suggested. Jam packed with a mountain of facts if you remember half of the stuff you're smarter than me.
VCR Mazowsze: is the nicest 40 minutes: The National Song & Dance Ensemble's only TV performance restored from 1971 Communist era television style. Absolute precision folk dancing and June Taylor type overhead shots to see the kaleidoscope effects of synchronized movements.
Book A Question of Honor Polish soldier fights for freedom of other nations, but dies only for Poland. -- Gen. Stanislaw Maczek. Through history and specifically the Kosciuszko Squadron in the Battle of Britain -- Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. -- Winston Churchill
VCR Polish genealogy Tracing Polish roots.
VCR Polish in Toledo In the WGTE-TV collection of Cornerstones. A short history of Toledo Polonia.
Cinema [both Polish & American Productions]
Polish Film
Ashes and Diamonds
Drama, Historical
Portrait of a young Polish nationalist assassin who, when World War II ends, finds himself living uncertainly, moving from echoing bars to seedy hotel rooms, finding comfort in a girl and crazy jokes. Director: Legendary Oscar winner Andrzej Wajda.
American Film
Polish Wedding
Sometimes the further you stray, the closer you are to home. Large Polish-American family from Detroit which is run with an iron fist by a gorgeous, middle-aged matriarch, Jadzia, with a more than she can handle daughter.
American Film
Inland Empire
By director Davis Lynch of Mulholland Drive & Twin Peaks fame. Half English, half Polish language absurdia.
Polish Film
Bez konca [No End]
Widow of a Solidarity lawyer after connecting a colleague from Antek's past with the prisoner's wife, a series of mysterious signals make Ulla believe that Antek's ghost is warning her about the man chosen to replace him.
American Film

You Kill Me
Frank (Ben Kingsley), an alcoholic Polish mob hitman from Buffalo sent to "dry out" in San Francisco is challenged in bizarre ways.
American Film

The Pianist
Polanski's film based on the memoirs of Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish Jew, who was a brilliant pianist who managed to escape and lived for years in the ruins of Warsaw, hiding from the Nazis.
American Film

Sophie's choice
Set in post-World War II Brooklyn, Sophie, a Polish Catholic beauty who survived Auschwitz, her lover, Nathan, and Stingo, a would-be writer discover the captivating and moving truths that each harbors.
Polish Film

Przypadek [Blind chance]
Witek catches or misses his train--giving him three different futures. Whether as an idealistic Communist Party member, an ambivalent dissident or a devoted doctor and husband, the young Pole's destiny is shaped by a troubled present poised to engulf him.
Polish Film

Man of Marble
Polish equivalent of Citizen Kane.
Polish Film

Ogniem i mieczem [With fire and sword]
Based on the novel by Henryck Sienkiewicz, the historical background is the 17th century. Poland was the largest, the most democratic, and the most tolerant country in Europe. However, the tragic civil war brought about the gradual decline of the once glorious republic...

The library's collection is more extensive than the list above and you're encouraged to explore all its offerings. Drop by a branch and have the librarian help you compile your own list based on your interests.

Free Google book on-line: "Polish-Americans" Second, Revised Edition. You can read the book on-line as a preview, meaning not all of the 298 pages are posted. The Preface in its entirety and the selected highlights are informative all the same.

"Polish-American Folklore" is another free book preview.

Polish is not the easiest language to learn but these are some of the best courses


1. The Polish historian and cartographer Joachim Lelewel (1786 - 1861) was the first to gather all the available mentions of Johannes Scolnus (Nortic version of name). He claimed that Jan z Kolna (English: John of Kolno) was Polish and that the sailor was the navigator of the Danish fleet. There are also mentions of a Joannis de Colno who studied at the Krakow Academy in 1455, and of the Colno or Cholno family of merchants and sailors living in Gdansk.

The first to mention Johannes Scolnus as the discoverer of Labrador (Terra Laboratoris) and the area of present-day Boston was Francisco López de Gómara in his Historia general de las Indias y conquista de Mexico (1552).



A thousand years of Polish
History & Culture

A terrific reference for every Polish-American home

Throw away that can of Spaghetti-O's and start eating Polish

Read this book, then stop by Stanley's Market


Short Menu

PolishToledo Home Page
Go Back One Page
Pol-Am Events
Polish Music & Polkas
Uniquely Polish
Polish Shopping Mall
Melodies of Poland
LaGrange St. News
Toledo-Poznan Alliance
Pol-Am Concert Band
Toledo Area Polka Society