Talk:Bruno Abakanowicz

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Correction needed?[edit]

Halibutt, can you correct the Polish Wikipedia article? I think it claims that Encyclopedia Britannica calls him Lithuanian. Dr. Dan 02:54, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Encyclopedia Britannica mentions him in passing as a "Lithuanian mathematician". At this point this brief mention is the only evidence to support calling him a Lithuanian. Surely it ought to be possible to find more. Shouldn't there also be a Lithuanian name to which the article needs to be moved? I almost tried to generate one, but I held myself back at the last moment. Balcer 03:01, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Surely it ought to be possible to find more, but surely the Encyclopedia Britannica remains a weighty source in the English language. But not enough to make him Lithuanian, whether he was or not. Am I right?

If EB devoted an article to him and stated he was Lithuanian, that would be hard to argue with (though with Copernicus it is not enough, apparently). But mentions in passing are less convincing. Anyway, there is plenty of evidence that he spoke and wrote in Polish. Let's see some actual evidence of his Lithuanian nationality before we switch all categories etc. Could you at least find some pages via Google that call him a Lithuanian and go into some detail about his connection to that nationality? What was his Lithuanian name? That would be a good start. Balcer 16:23, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

At this point, we need to examine all of the evidence. I am against turning this article into another three-ringed Circus. I also want to remind all concerned that I speak Polish well, Lithuanian decently, German acceptably, and Russian very basically (menus, street signs, simple conversations and such). Ergo, linguistic ability is not the best litmus test for nationality. Just the same, I am acquainted with many Lithuanians (especially older ones), who speak Polish fluently. I am not acquainted, however with virtually any Poles who could speak Lithuanian (met a few in Punsk, ale pod czterymi odczami, said they were actually Lithuanian). Whether I ever get this point across to you all or not, Lithuanians could often speak Polish very well. They also spoke Lithuanian, their native tongue. During the Soviet occupation, larger numbers of Lithuanians were forced by circumstances to learn Russian and could speak it, read it, write it, very well too. They also spoke Lithuanian, their native tongue. Only the smallest number of persons of non-Lithuanian heritage could speak Lithuanian. Here in my home town of Chicago, this distinction is dramatically demonstrated in the church cornerstones and cemeteries of Polish and Lithuanian parishes. Many were established prior to these nations regaining their independance in 1918, and the upheavals that followed. Let's examine this one with an open mind together, and see if a consensus can be agreed upon. Dr. Dan 18:58, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Let me outline my main objection to using a passing mention in EB as the only reason to set a man's nationality. Encyclopedia Britannica articles are written by experts in the field to which the article belongs. Abakanowicz is briefly mentioned in the article about the integraph, which is a mathematical instrument, hence the author is almost certainly an expert in the relevant branch of mathematics, but most likely not an expert in the ethnographic history of Eastern Europe. I can easily imagine that during the writing of the article the author simply looked up Abakanowicz's birthplace as currently located in Lithuania and without further ado called him a Lithuanian, without even being aware of the complex issues associated with doing that.
Anyway, EB is not holy writ, and a recent study showed that its accuracy is comparable to that of ... Wikipedia. So, in the interests of accuracy, let us find some more reliable evidence before we give Abakanowicz his new nationality. Balcer 19:10, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

If you want to knock EB, that's your business. Please don't knock Wikipedia. That's not only not cool (to use the youngsters' vernacular), but unnecessary. It has enough detractors as it is. And I'm not one of them. BTW, a man's birthplace is very significant in determining his ethnicity. Granted there are plenty of exceptions, especially in imperialistic and colonial adventures. Generally speaking however, birthplaces have a lot of weight in such matters. BTW, is anyone out there able to tell us when and if, there was a "Polish Emmigration" to Lithuania from the time of Jogaila until the final Partition of Poland and Lithuania of the PLC? Dr. Dan 19:49, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

You completely misunderstood. The Nature study to which I am referring to was actually a huge boost to Wikipedia, since it showed that its accuracy was comparable to the most "serious" encyclopedia that EB is considered to be. EB was outraged by the result and even took out newspaper ads protesting it. Anyway, check out this BBC news story and our Encyclopedia Britannica article. The moral is though that EB is a source like any other, and it needs to be crosschecked.
At this point, all I am asking for is a bit more solid sourcing than a passing mention in an EB article about mathematics. If Abakanowicz is well known as a Lithuanian (in Lithuania at least), that should definitely be mentioned in the article. But so far the evidence for that is thin. Balcer 20:21, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Yes Balcer, I agree the evidence is thin at the moment. But brace yourself! Meanwhile my question was meant seriously. Is there a known Polish migration to Lithuania, especially in appreciable numbers, between 1385 and 1800? Dr. Dan 20:29, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

I am not qualified to answer this. Balcer 20:34, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Maybe someone else is. Balcer, at some time your family emmigrated to Poland from the Czech lands? I don't believe there was a massive emmigration of Czechs to Poland, nor any appreciable emmigration of Poles to Lithuania. Is anyone qualified to answer this question? Frankly, I don't think there is any evidence supporting this hypothesis. Just me? Dr. Dan 21:52, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes there was. The Kingdom of Poland was quite overpopulated at several points in time and there was a major influx of Polish people in many places. For instance the very name of Masuria is derived not from the original Baltic inhabitants, but from the Masovian settlers to arrive there. After the union a large number of Poles filled the gap in cities of the GDL created by the Turkic invasions (hence for instance Ruthenian and Polish, but not really Lithuanian burghers there). As to the Bohemians, there were at least three major waves of immigration. The last of them happened in 17th century, among its descendants are inhabitants of two towns in Greater Poland who still continue the Czech traditions. //Halibutt 01:10, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
As to his nationality, we could of course call him a Russian engineer, but no doubt he'd be soon moved to the name of Brunonas Abdankas-Abakanevičius anyway... //Halibutt 01:14, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Also, I added a request for citation in the statement on his part in the January Uprising. While children did take part in many armed conflicts, he was only 10 or so when the Uprising started... //Halibutt 13:36, 18 September 2006 (UTC)


Halibutt, don't start this over in your typical "cause dissension" style. As I told Balcer, I would prefer not to turn this into the typical three-ringed Circus that's been the case elsewhere. It can be examined without the "cute" innuendo that you accuse everybody else of injecting into these discussions, and have already started to do so here. Just the facts, please. And slow down your deletion of proposed stubs. When this is over, there may be a need for the category: Lithuanian mathematicians, with Bruno included. Perhaps you deleted the proposed stub because you doubt that there are any Lithuanian mathematicians? Try to take the high road on this one. Dr. Dan 14:06, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Per Wikipedia:Stub, a new stub category should contain between 100 and 300 entries. Somehow, I doubt one would find over 100 notable Lithuanian mathematicians, so Halibutt was right to remove that empty stub category, unlikely to be ever created, which was very unsightly anyway (with its red link and all). Balcer 14:18, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Dr. Dan, making explicit what Polish Wikipedia says in the lead was a low blow. That kind of point belongs in the discussion, not in the article lead. Are you serious about making this a good article, or is this just another round of your fight with Polish Wikipedians? One more move like this, and my involvement in any discussion with you is over. Balcer 15:37, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Sorry you are calling my edit a low blow, I thought it pertinent. Let's not start this up all over again. What would be so terrible, if it turns out that Abankanowicz was a Lithuanian. Not the end of the world! Nor a slur against Poland's national integrity! Not a cause for a duel! Not a cause for Renata or Halibutt to return! That's their business, and personally I think it's unfortunate they left (you can bet Halibutt will be around inspite of his departure), but people are free to do as they wish. I thank God, I come from a free country, and I too, can come and go as I please on WP. So can you! As much as I enjoy interacting with you, if you choose to end any discussion with me, Bon chance. Dr. Dan 03:06, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
I have no problem with any nationality, and I certainly do not exclude the possibility that Abaknowicz was in fact Lithuanian (more power to him). I do find it distasteful if any Wikipedian, in a blind desire to promote his pet issue, seizes on the briefest possible mention in Encyclopedia Britannica of a certain otherwise completely unverified fact, to build an entire edifice upon it (that edifice here being the Lithuanian nationality of Abakanowicz). This to me is simply a sad abandonment of critical judgement and reason to stroke one's own nationalist ego, and it truly pains me to see it. If Abakanowicz is indeed a famous Lithuanian, there should be countless ways to demonstrate this, without stooping to this level of "proof". Balcer 03:49, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Don't feel I'm stooping to any level, other than stating a reality expressed on Polish WP, sourced by EB. No blind desire, no pet issue, but forced to challenge the same old arguments fighting information that does not fit into their weltanshauung of things. Dr. Dan 04:07, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Maybe we are on a different wavelength concerning the level of accuracy that Wikipedia should aspire to. Let me check by asking a simple question. If you were writing a Wikipedia article related to medicine, would you include some fact or claim solely because it was mentioned in passing in one sentence on EB, or would you crosscheck with other sources? Balcer 04:17, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
An interesting biographical note: [1]. //Halibutt 09:22, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, interesting indeed. BTW, obviously there was no need for Dr. Dan to rejoice, afterall. No need to welcome you back, as you really never left us, po prostu. Dr. Dan 13:02, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

FYI Lithuanian name of Ukmergė - Wilkemirgene is first metioned in 1225, in German chronicles so quit stalking.--Lokyz 10:07, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Yup, Dan, I never even intended to leave Wikipedia. No idea where did you get that impression from.
Lokyz, the town was renamed to Ukmerge in 1918 or 1919. Until then even the Lithuanian name was different (Vilkmerge or Wilkmerge). So, Abakanowicz was not born in Ukmerge since the name did not exist back then. Similarly, if a person was born in 1830 in St. Petersburg, should we say she or he was born in Leningrad? //Halibutt 19:52, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Nope, Hali, never said you intended to leave WP. But you referred to some nonsense that I would be rejoicing, because you agreed to leave the Polish-Lithuanian scene. Wasn't planning to rejoice, and you weren't planning to leave. Or did I get it wrong? Now to business, since you disagree about the name of the town he was born in (and you're right, btw), do you disagree that he was born in Lithuania too? Dr. Dan 13:03, 20 September 2006 (UTC) p.s. Similarly, if a person was born in 1943 in Rahmel, should we say she or he was born in Rumia?

Thank you Balcer, although I'd use another one term - not state, but nation. It did exist until let's say 1907 (until thye major clashes between nationalists outshadowed heritage that became exchainging coin), an if Halibutt insists - let it be, 1918.--Lokyz 21:29, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Halibitu, do you want to review all of the post-partitions szlachta as Rusian-Polish? I do agree, let's begin with Pilsudski. --Lokyz 21:35, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Request for sources[edit]

We need an end to this silliness. Could the Lithuanian editors in this dispute cite any sources at all besides the brief encyclopedia mention that point to Bruno Abakanowicz being a Lithuanian? Of course English language scholarly references would be the best, but even Lithuanian sources would be welcome. The current sourcing given as justification for including him in the Lithuanian categories is just not good enough.

Believe me, if there is backing for recognizing Abakanowicz as a Lithuanian, that will make me very happy, as at least we will have one entry in Lithuanian mathematicians and inventors categories, and I hate empty categories. But the current tactic of pinning the whole claim on one minimal mention in Encyclopedia Britannia borders on childishness. Wikipedia should aspire to a higher standard of sourcing and referencing. In an effort to label somebody as a Lithuanian, are all standards to be abandoned? I hope not.Balcer 21:36, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Ok, her's my opinion:
  1. AFAIK, and as his name (and sources given a bit earlier suggests he was neither Lithuanian neither Polish in his ethnicity,and rather is someone who deserved heritage of former GDL (one of the rare Tatarian kind, brouht to protect Vytautas, and still loyal to remains of Lithuanian state heritage.
  2. City name wher he has been born might be/is still disputable
  3. Former Republic of Two nations clearly denotes two different statehood tradition, although similar culture is not disputable
  4. A nationality in 19th century was not defined by former(current) statehood, unless someone had another preferences
  5. A language used to communicate with other educated people does not denote someone's nationality: because I'm absolutely sure he wrote his major works wether in French (lingua franca used even by Sienkiewicz) or some form of Polish - another ligua franca used in all former lands of GDL and Krown.
  6. I still think he was more matematician than used excercise in politics--Lokyz 21:54, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
I personally am not very concerned how we name the city, or how we specify which state it used to belong to. I also agree with your points about nationality not being defined by language or statehood etc. However, I do not agree with trying to guess what his name suggests, or speculations about whether he remained loyal to Lithuanian state heritage. This might all be true, but we must find sources for it. Remember WP:NOR.
So, at this point let me make a very simple request: could one of the Lithuanian editors please let us know what Lithuanian sources say about Abakanowicz? What does the main Lithuanian encyclopedia say about him? Are there any resources available online which describe the Lithuanian point of view concerning his nationality? That will establish some basic ground rules for this discussion. If it can be shown that major Lithuanian sources consider him a Lithuanian, we leave the Lithuanian categories, otherwise we will have to reconsider seriously whether they are valid. Balcer 00:26, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Let me make a simple request to you, Balcer. Your suggestions will be honored and investigated. Leave it at that. In the meantime, let's skip original research or any intelligent deduction out of our argument too. Otherwise we'd be forced to ask how is it possible that all of the contributions in the humanities and sciences out of Lithuania were from Poles? And that the people we are dealing with that were born in Lithuania, were actually Poles or Russians who ended up there as a result of migration, and were able to improve mankind as a result. Ironically, so many famous Poles came out of Lithuania, that it's another reason to be glad they migrated there. More power to Poland. Dr. Dan 01:56, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

I am somewhat puzzled how to respond to this. Are you suggesting that I really think that "all of the contributions in the humanities and sciences out of Lithuania were from Poles"? I assure you that I do not think that, and if I ever need to reassure myself over this, I can always check out List of Lithuanians (yes, I know, some people there have been "fought over", but only a small minority, I hope). Also, do you believe that human families, over a few generations, cannot change over from one culture to another, starting out as Lithuanians and eventually becoming Poles (or the other way around)? I think it is certainly possible, hence immigration is not required to have native "Poles from Lithuania", so to speak. One certain proof of this must be the case of Gabriel Narutowicz and Stanislovas Narutavičius. Balcer 02:19, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Lithuanian encyclopedia (interwar one) short mentions him as a son of 1863 insurgent form Kaunas, who was sent to Siberia. No nationality is mentioned.
As for Tatar - this is not speculation, only information form a link provided by Halibutt a bit earlier

[2] - let me cite: "Bruno Abakanowicz pochodził ze starego rodu tatarskiego herbu Abdank osiadłego przed kilkoma wiekami na Litwie. Twierdził, że naprawdę nazywa się Abak-Chanowicz,"--Lokyz 10:22, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Lokyz, as to your recent revert: do you really need a source for the date of the partitions of Poland? You claim that the area was annexed by Russia in 1852. I'd rather say that it was annexed by Russia in 1795. Do you need a source for that? //Halibutt 10:55, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, was it a part of Russia at 1852 or not? I didn't write "being annexed at the time". If you do not like wording we may freely return to "at the time a part of the Russian Empire". As for PLC and GDL, well - I've shown you citation of Baranauskas - it is contemporary POV to the legacy PLC [3] stating that it was never part of Poland. I thought you might be interested. And one short remark - Litwins in this context are all citizens of GDL, not only ethnic Lithuanians. And of course, you do understand, that it is not a citation of "some guy, known only to Lithuanians"--Lokyz 11:16, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the sources. His Tatar ancestry is very interesting and we should incorporate it into the article. It is interesting that the Lithuanian encyclopedia does not mention his nationality explicitly. I am not sure how to interpret this though, because Polish PWN or Wiem do not mention it explicitly either, as that is their standard practice when writing about Poles. Could the Lithuanian Encyclopedia be following a similar approach? Anyway, is there any modern, online Lithuanian encyclopedia that we could consult here?
I guess the outcome of this discussion will revolve around the definition of Lithuanian that we agree on. Do we define this identity primarily by language and self-definition, or do we count anyone "rooted in the traditions" of the Lithuanian part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, however we define that? Balcer 12:43, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps if you apply the same definition you use to define Pole, and agree upon, you'll have your answer. And you'll avoid original research. I'm sure you can appreciate this in light of many Poles being denied their birthright by the Austro-Hungarians, Germans, and Russians until Poland regained its independence, and the ability to freely express its history. Please think about it. Dr. Dan 13:11, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
I appreciate the problem you are referring to, but I am also aware that after the Partitions millions of Poles (or more generally citizens of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth) decided to become Russians, Austrians and Germans, hence the large number of Polish sounding surnames in those countries. I respect the choice these people made, and I would not force the Polish nationality on them posthumously, especially if the culture switch occured some generations back. In that light, I think the only way to count someone as a Pole during the Partitions, at least for the purposes of Wikipedia with its NPOV policy, would be to count only those who self-defined themselves as Poles in their writings and statements, or who belonged to clearly Polish organisations.Balcer 13:32, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm? So using this logic a simple Polish peasant, living and farming near Krakau, during the partitions might actually not be Polish? Dr. Dan 13:47, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Are we going to have articles about individual Polish peasants? I don't see a problem here. Furthermore, peasants only started to identify themselves as Poles (and not simply "locals") in a gradual process, so yes, we cannot assume anything about a peasant living near Krakow, Lublin or Warsaw during those times. Balcer 13:49, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Well, it is actually difficult to determine this language vs tradition case. There were a lot of "polish speaking Lithuanians", as they described themselves in 19th century, and some tension between "Koroniarzy" and "Litwins" did exist for a long time. Believe me, I do not have an intension to steal someone's identity be it Polish or Lithuanian and change it by force. Although I just wanted to point out, that at this period of time linguistical national identity was not completely formed (and was used mostly by nationalists of both sides), and both forms did coexist for some time. So to say, he was speaking Polish - hence he was Polish is not necessary right. At the time Polish language was widely used by many ethnic Lithuanians, including already mentioned Baranauskas, as an "international" language (lingva franca) or "fathers" language, while Lithuanian was still used for all his life as "mothers" language.
And again I think in this case we have too little information about his choice of nationality, to decide it at a glance. And of course, this mentioning in EB is a bit confusing.
And the most confusing part is this separation - Lithuanian in traditional sense of a citizen of GDL, and ethnic Lithuanian, that's why so many pikes are broken nowadays, and some consensus is needed. Halibutt and Piotrus suggestion to use Polish-Lithuanian is only partial solution, IMO, although it did really help unload lots of unnecessary tension.--Lokyz 14:11, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
I appreciate the points you are making. However, Abakanowicz was born in 1852 and his adult years fall into the period 1870-1900 which is fairly late into the Partitions. I am not entirely convinced whether the concept of the "traditional citizen of the GDL or PLC", which no doubt would be valid for the first half of the 19th century, really has that much usefulness 70 to 100 years after the Commonwealth's demise. Please correct me if you think I am wrong. Anyway, it is certain that by 1900 many people identified themselves as fully Lithuanian or fully Polish, rejecting any identification with the Commonwealth which by then was dead for 100 years. So, it remains to determine which category Abakanowicz fit himself into, or whether he even cared about the issue.
Anyway, at this point I am fine with leaving in the Lithuanian categories, though I would remove this direct mention of Encyclopedia Britannica, which sounds awkward and is only confusing, as you said. It remains to be decided how to nicely explain his nationality, with reference to the Tatar roots.Balcer 14:38, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Balcer, I strongly disagree that the Encyclopedia Britannica entry is awkward. Nothing POV about it either. You've expressed your displeasure regarding it, and amazingly called it's inclusion a low blow. You also expressed an opinion of how the "mathematician" who wrote the article probably made a mistake. I think it's more your opinion than the EB author's. Dr. Dan 14:47, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

You are wrong. I only called your specific reference to the Polish Wikipedia statement a low blow. As you well know, Wikipedia and its sister projects cannot cite themselves as references, so your inclusion was put there only to score a debating point, and we have the talk page for that.
As this whole discussion is showing, calling Abakanowicz simply a "Lithuanian mathematician" is a great oversimplification, and hence wrong. It follows that the author of the EB article made a mistake, or at least a mental shortcut, by oversimplifying the issue of his nationality, though of course we cannot blame him much because a brief encyclopedia entry related to mathematics cannot contain an extended discussion about nationalities. We, on the other hand, who are writing an article devoted to Abakanowicz, and do not face length restrictions, can avoid these difficulties. We do not have to parrot EB's oversimplification here. Balcer 14:55, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Trust me, GDL traditions were preserved in many families until 1863, after that they began to diminish, but there are reminders to be found up until WWII. There are examples of Tadas Ivanauskas, Michał Römer and the group of historians at Stefan Batory university, although they were quite minority at the time.
Main distinction and distance between nationalists and traditionalists emerged somewhere around 1880, and was completely finished on the verge of centuries. In 1863 uprisal there still was this "for our and your freedom" slogan that didn't had any note of nationalism.
And saying that this mention in EB is confusing, I for sure didn't mean to remove it. It simply means, that there are some sources to prove his Lithuanian connections, and even provided not by Lithuanian POV'ed nationalists.
And Balcer - you've just entered WP:NOR territory, by deciding what was or was not editor of EB thinking, assuming what he did know or what he didn't --Lokyz 15:02, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Strictly speaking WP:NOR applies to articles only, not to talk pages, but I see your point. The direct quote of EB reference in the lead is inappropriate, and sounds awkward anyway. We can shift it to a footnote, if you like, once we rewrite the lead so that it incorporates some of the points in this discussion. I can't emphasize it enough: a brief, passing mention of Abakanowicz's nationality in a brief EB article on the subject of mathematics should not be put on a pedestal. Try to understand that it is self defeating from your point of view. Sure, some people who are impressed with Encyclopedia Britannica will read this and accept what it says unquestioningly. But others, like me, will read it, maybe check the relevant EB entry and come away with the conviction that somebody is desperate to assign Abakanowicz the Lithuanian nationality based on this flimsy mention, and not be convinced at all. It's your choice how you want to play it, I will certainly not fight revert wars over keeping the explicit mention of EB. Balcer 15:16, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
And you have enough facts to decide his nationality by the fact that he spoke Polish and French, and was of Lithuanian Tatar origin, and was a friend with Sienkewicz. Does this prove anything? Barely: I do also speak Polish, have friends and even relatives in Poland, even read Sienkiewicz - does this make me Polish?
Removing direct reference from authoritative source is hm, problematic, because any mentions of nationality in any encyclopedia are flimsy, i.e. unexplained in details. Does this make a problem?
A sidenote: does EB mention it's article editors? it would help a bit. --Lokyz 15:21, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Well, he wrote for Polish literary journals, which did not have too many non-Poles writing for them. But I agree, additional sources in support of his Polish nationality should be provided. And hopefully they will be, as this discussion is ongoing.
As for Encyclopedia Britannica, it is certainly not considered the "must-include" authoritative reference on Wikipedia, as I know from personal experience. In a long debate over whether to call Copernicus a Polish astronomer the argument that this term should be used because EB uses it in the first sentence of its article about him was not accepted. Now, could I fight revert wars to include in the lead of that article: "EB calls Copernicus a Polish astronomer"? Sure I could. But I won't because: 1. it would make me look foolish 2. it's not accepted by the community 3. if someone wants Britannica's point of view, they can read Britannica, not Wikipedia.
I think EB names the editors who write major articles, but I am not sure about brief entries. Balcer 15:26, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Baranauskas also wrote poetry in Polish. Even Smetona did write into Polish newspapers. --Lokyz 15:30, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Good point, which is why I said that more evidence is still needed. Still, we have a bit of a problem. Ideally, we would find some writing of Abakanowicz where he unambiguously calls himself a Lithuanian, a Pole, or a Frenchman, and that would be the end of the story. If we don't find such a passage, what do we do? What would be considered good enough evidence to assign him exclusively to any of these nationalities? Or do we simply make a case that he should be considered Polish-Lithuanian-French, and maybe Russian? Just list the arguments for each, and that would be the end of it. But rational, intelligent arguments (backed by references of course so we don't violate WP:NOR), not the somewhat childish and unconvincing "because Britannica sez so". Balcer 16:04, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
It is interesting to note how things degenerate over time. Encyclopedia Britannica 1911 edition has a beautiful, comprehensive article on mechanical integrators and related matters (here). In it, it mentions Abdank-Abakakoniwcz without specifying his nationality. The current EB edition has a short joke of an article a few sentences long. Then again, I guess mechanical integrators are no longer on the leading edge of technology, like they were in those days. Balcer 16:55, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Finally, something solid. Bruno Abdank Abakanowicz has his own entry in the Polish Biographical Dictionary (in fact, given his name, he was the first name in volume I, see Now this is not a proof of anything yet, since that dictionary does not contain only Poles, but also non-Poles active in Poland, but it should be a treasure trove of information about him. Does anyone participating in this discussion have an easy access to this dictionary? My university may have only an abridged version, but I will check. Balcer 17:11, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Jewish descent?[edit]

Many discussions concerning this persons nationality have been held. Nevertheless, regarding his surname and a significant Jewish minority in Ukmergė at that time, may his Jewish origin be considered as well? (it is a mere assumption, however) Iulius 19:36, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Sure. Sources would be nice though. Balcer 19:37, 20 September 2006 (UTC)


Due to the fact that documents of that time see in him a Russian, i added him to the Russian category to. Nevertheless, due to the fact that his nationality is desputed i havent deleted the other once. No Free Nickname Left 16:47, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

More on "Nonsense"[edit]

For the benefit of Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus, I have to agree that my edit was inadvertently "nonsense", and your reverting it was appropriate. I hope that you agree that the entire premise is also nonsense. Therefore I have deleted all of it. Dr. Dan (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 06:28, 21 November 2007 (UTC)


Would like to request a citation from presented sources to support assertion that Also, the origin of his lastname is in a Polish szlachta. M.K. (talk) 11:38, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

A. Boniecki, Herbarz polski, t. 1, Warszawa 1899, s. 17. and S. Uruski, Rodzina. Herbarz szlachty polskiej, t. 1, Warszawa 1904, s. 1.
And I hope editors here are intelligent enough to realize that a person may be of more than one ethnic background.radek (talk) 18:37, 20 September 2008 (UTC)