The Marie Curie-Sklodowska Institute in Warsaw, in 1945 and 1947, Reconstruction

Title

The Marie Curie-Sklodowska Institute in Warsaw, in 1945 and 1947, Reconstruction

Subject

Polish science and medicine, Reconstruction, Warsaw

Description

Marie Curie, with friends family, and governmental support, was able to set up the Radium Institute in Warsaw. "A prominent group of American women, close friends of Madame Curie and devoted to the cause of America's fight against cancer, donated one gram of radium to the Institute. Thus Poland was able to take up her own large-scale fight against scourge of this mankind." The Institute was a hospital, lab, and library, but was closed and then partially destroyed during the war. The hospital continued operating until August 1944, the Warsaw Uprising. The Gestapo sought the radium that was hidden in the building, (1 gram hidden, 720 mg was handed over to the Germans). After the Warsaw Uprising, the Germans destroyed the building, killed the staff and patients (or moved them to Concentration Camps) and moved expensive equipment like X-rays back to Germany. The director was able to bribe a few German soldiers and rescue the radium amidst the ruins. After the war, the statue of Marie-Curie, like that of Copernicus, was left intact underneath the rubble. The Institute was restored with the aid of UNRRA resources. The photograph on the left was taken in 1945, the image on the right was taken in 1947.

Creator

Alex Chen

Source

Poland of Today, April, 1947 Issue. p. 12-13.

Date

1932-1947

Type

Photograph

Files

Marie Curie Institute.jpg

Citation

Alex Chen, “The Marie Curie-Sklodowska Institute in Warsaw, in 1945 and 1947, Reconstruction,” Mapping Cultural Space Across Eurasia, accessed December 8, 2022, https://eurasia.omeka.fas.harvard.edu/items/show/891.

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