Antoni Szymański 1881-1942

He was born on 27 October 1881 in Praszka in the Wieluń District and graduated from the Seminary in Włocławek. Subsequently, he travelled to Belgium where he studied philosophy and social sciences. From 1908 to 1918, he lectured at the Seminary in Włocławek and was the editor of Atenaum Kapłańskie [“Priest’s Atheneum”]. From 1918, he taught social policy, ethics and the history of social Catholicism at the Catholic University of Lublin. In 1919, he obtained a postdoctoral degree in Christian social science at the Jagiellonian University. He performed numerous functions at the Catholic University of Lublin: he was Dean of the Faculty of Canon Law (1920–1921), Deputy Vice-Chancellor (1922–1926), Dean of the Faculty of Law and Socio-Economic Sciences, and finally Vice-Chancellor (1933–1942). He was also active as the editor of the monthly Prąd [“Current”] and a social activist (in 1928, he founded the Society for Christian Knowledge, from 1931 he was Chair of the Association of Polish Catholic Intelligentsia, organiser of “Renewal” Social Weeks in Lublin, from 1934 Chair of the Social Council affiliated by the Primate of Poland, initiator of the Scholarly Society of the Catholic University of Lublin); he was the patron of lectures for the clergy on ecclesiastical social thought which were held at the Catholic University of Lublin; after the outbreak of World War II, he organised aid for refugees, but in November 1939 he himself was arrested and imprisoned in Lublin. After being released, he lived in the presbytery in Bełżyce, directing the underground University and organising help for its staff. Author of numerous books on subjects which coincided with his research interests (Studia i szkice społeczne [“Social studies and sketches”], Polityka społeczna [“Social policy”], Bolszewizm jako prąd kulturowy i cywilizacyjny [“Bolshevism as a cultural and civilisational current”], Ekonomika i etyka [“Economics and ethics”], Zagadnienia społeczne [“Social issues”]). He died on 9 October 1942 in Bełżyce.


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