Anniversaries & holidays

120. Anniversary of the death of Hipolit Wawelberg

Plansza komiksowa, w kolorach czarnym i białym. Przedstawia historię o Jacku, współczesnym chłopcu poznającym historię bankiera Hipolita Wawelberga
fot. Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich

On the anniversary of his death, we would like to remind you of Hipolit Wawelberg, while encouraging you to use the "Jewish Warsaw" educational platform. It presents the city while telling about its Jewish inhabitants: contemporary Varsovians and historical figures.

One of the platform's components are nine comic strip novellas 'Stories and Sketches'. 'Stories and Sketches' are works intended for downolading from the platform as 10-page files (9 boards) or for frame-by-frame online viewing along with multimedia references, including comments and contextual materials. Each biographical story is focused on a specific event from the life of a hero or heroine, while showing a particular historical moment, important for the history of the city, society, Polish Jews. 

One of comics is story about Jacek, a contemporary boy becoming familiar with the story of the banquer Hipolit Wawelberg (1843–1901), well-known for his broad social activity and, in parallel, the story of Icek who achieved social advance thanks to Wawelberg’s philanthropic projects (story inspired by, inter alia, visual documentation collected in the Shalom Foundation’s project ‘And I Can Still See Their Faces…’) The story contains an oneiric motif: the realities of Jacek’s and Icek’s lives overlap when Jacek sees Icek’s pre-war life (when he lies faint at Kolonia Wawelberga, a housing estate in the Warsaw district of Wola funded by the banker). 

The board printed for the POLIN collection closes the novella. It reminds the viewer of the grave of Wawelberg, located at the Jewish cemetery at Okopowa Street in Warsaw and preserved to the present day.

More about Hipolit Wawelberg >>

The scripts to the 'Stories and Sketches' were written by Monika Powalisz (who also created, in 2011, together with six female cartoonists, a short story about the Jewish Warsaw, Golden Bees, boards from that comic book can be also found in the POLIN collection); the person behind the graphic layer was Jacek Michalski, an artist from Bydgoszcz, one of the most important creators of the Polish comic-book scene as early as in the 1980s and 1990s, and author of numerous historical comic books in the twenty-first century).

Jacek Michalski drew directly on a tablet, not on paper; hence, it is a total of nine art printouts of boards from the project that have been included in POLIN’s collection, one from each novella. They are signed by the scriptwriter and the cartoonist. It is the quality of the print and the fact they are signed that determine the uniqueness of those exhibits.