Andrzej Sadowski


Helena Gnatowska (1941-1990)


The death has left a very active and dynamic force Assoc. dr hab. Helena Gnatowski, an Institute of Social Sciences, Warsaw University Branch in Bialystok.

Helena Gnatowska was born on 18 April 1941 in Supraślu in the workers' family. At the Pedagogic College in Cracow in 1966 completed historical studies.

She began work as a teacher at the primary school No. 8 in Białystok in 1960.  However, an essential part of working life is linked to the work as an academic teacher.  From 1972 to 1980 initially worked as a lecturer and then as Assistant Professor of Department of Social Sciences at the Medical Academy of Bialystok.  Then, from 1981 took a job at (the Department) Institute of Social Sciences Branch of Warsaw University, first as a lecturer, and most recently as a docent.  In 1986 she directed the Department of Political Science Institute of Social Sciences. She was already a historian specializing in the field of art history, English and science policy.  In total she prepared and published over 50 scientifically- research works in the form of a few independent monographs, the participation in joint publications and articles, trials and scientific studios.  She specialized above all in the labor movement of the first years of People’s Poland.  Above all the following monographs are illustrating it:  “PPR in Białystok province 1944 – 1948.  Development and operations”, (KIW, Warsaw 1979) and "The role of the Polish Workers' Party to the development and implementation of social policy, Polish People's Republic 1942 - 1948" (FUW Publishing Division in Bialystok, Bialystok 1986).

In the scientific work Assoc. Prof. H. Gnatowska valued finding the truth out above all.  These include in times, when in the majority of historical studies shocks and bends of our post-war years were being omitted in their publications, pointed at strikes in Poland already in the first years of the popular power (cf. H. Gnatowska, Strikes in Poland in years 1945 – 47 in the PPR light of the documents, “From the battlefield” 1985, No. 2).

She was a model of organization and diligence.  It was visible particularly when she prepared monographs thought over for the perfection, articles, addresses.  The exceptional diligence and organizing were manifested also during many team undertakings.

From 1986 Assoc. Prof. H. Gnatowska managed the part of the main research pt topic in frames of the Branch:  “The functioning of the state and the political culture of the society”. Research confirms the results of an independent scientific workshop and completes its usefulness and necessity of research work in a team.

Assoc. Prof. H. Gnatowska had a wonderful gift, the ability of establishing interpersonal contacts, which won her many friends and acquaintances. She was characterized by the highest skills and knowledge to students, among which attracted unquestioned authority and respect.

Public functions for Assoc. Prof. H. Gnatowska as the employee the learning wasn't only in the form of publications, scientific and teaching work displayed.  She was a genuine community worker in deepest and best of this word for meaning what in times of the universal collapse of the idea of the commitment to the community was atypical and socially amazingly important.  In the direct and indirect way she contributed to successes and successes of many people.

On 25 February 1990 she died at the height of one's creative powers for the work. She was a man valued by people of all sorts circles and the sense of direction what he/she is marking, that not only a circle of humanities suffered the severe loss of branch of the university of the Warsaw, but the society as a whole Białostocczyzny and of country.


  • Białostocczyzna 1990, nr 19