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Biography & Autobiography Personal Memoirs

The Polish Memoirs of William John Rose

edited by Daniel Stone

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Dec 1975
Personal Memoirs, Political, Historical
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Dec 1975
    List Price

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WILLIAM ROSE (1885-1968) learned the Polish language and became an enthusiast of Polish culture under unusual circumstances; at the outbreak of the First World War the young scholar from Minnedosa, Manitoba, found himself trapped in Europe behind enemy line. He was restricted to the village of Ligotka in Silesia. In the last days of the war he made a dramatic escape to Paris and attended the Paris Peace Conference as a representative of nationalist groups in Poland. After the war he returned to Poland to help organize the YMCA movement and was very active in other social work. He took his doctorate in 1926 at Cracow University.


By 1928, when he returned to North America to teach, he was a well-known specialist on Poland. He began teaching at Dartmouth College, NH, and in 1935 was invited to the University of London’s School of Slavonic Studies, which he headed from 1939 to 1950. On his retirement he returned to Canada, helped to establish the Department of Slavonic Studies at the University of British Columbia, and was elected the first honourary president of the Canadian Association of Slavists in 1955.


Professor Rose’s recollections of those parts of his varied and interesting career which deal with Central Europe and Slavonic Studies are gathered together in this book. The memoirs are a unique record – of Central European life in the war and post-war years and of the development of Slavonic Studies in Britain and North America.

About the author

Daniel Stone teaches Polish and East European history at the University of Winnipeg. He is author of The Polish-Lithuanian State, 1386-1795.

Daniel Stone's profile page