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Paweł Jasienica

Paweł; (Paul) Jasienica is the pen-name of Leon Lech Beynar (November 10, 1909 - August 19, 1970), a Polish amateur historian. He was born in Simbirsk in Russia as a son of Poles: Mikołaj (Nicholas) and Helena (Helen) Maliszewski. His father was a Russian official. Until the Russian Revolution of 1917 he lived with his family in Russia and the Ukraine. After the Revolution Beynar's family returned to Poland (1920). Leon Beynar a was soldier of the Polish army during the Polish Campaign at the beginning of World War II (September 1939). After the fall of Poland, he was a soldier of the Polish underground resistance army AK (Armia Krajowa - Army in Country) fighting in woods against the Germans. Following the war he a was a member of resistance organization WiN (Wolność i Niepodległość, Freedom and Independence) fighting against the Soviets and Polish communists under the command of Major Zygmunt Szendzielarz (called "Łupaszka"). He took his pseudonym from the name of the place where he had received treatment. Then as a civilian, he worked as a journalist and writer. He was famous for condemning nationalism and for his personal civil courage. There are numerous anecdotes about how he was congratulated for his courage by the censors. These acts led to his being labeled a political dissident, for which he suffered government persecution.

He is famous for many of his popular historical books:

Piast Poland
History of Poland, Xth-XIVth centuries (Piast dynasty)

Jagiellonian Poland
History of Poland, XVth-XVIth centuries (Jagiellonian dynasty)

The Commonwealth of Both Nations, vol. I :
The Silver Age

History of Poland, 1572-1795 (elected kings and "feudal republic")
Most important as a background for thesis presented here.
Translated by Alexander Jordan.

The Commonwealth of Both Nations, vol. II:
Calamity of the Realm

The Commonwealth of Both Nations, vol. III:
Tale of Agony

Thought on Civil War - theoretically about Civil War in France, Bretony
History of brutally pacified guerilla against revolutionary government of France (1793). Really not in Bretony but in Vendée (region south from Nantes).
Based on Wikipedia

Some of his books you can find at

Simplified pronunciation some of Polish letters:
Ł = English W (or L)
SZ = English SH
W = English V
CH = English KH
Ś = English very short SH' (more or less)
Ć = English very short TSCH' (more or less)
J = English Y (like in "key")
I = English EE or E
Y = English Y (like in "lynch")
Generally Polish vowels E, A, I, O, U and Y have different length than English vowels (English vowels have irregular length, on the other hand Polish vowels, the same as in German, Italian or Spanish, have stable length), and thus could be represented using different vowel every time.

So (more or less):
Paweł Jasienica = Pav-aw  Ya-see-nee-tsa
Leon Lech Beynar = Leon  Lekh  Beynar
Mikołaj (Nicholas) = Mee-koh-way
Maliszewski = Ma-lee-shav-skee
Łupaszka = Woo-pash-kah
Wolność i Niepodległość = Vol-no-sh'tch'  e  Nye-pod-leg-wosh'tch'

Last corrections 8 Feb 2005
Slawomir Dzieniszewski

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