Bronislaw Geremek

Biography of Bronislaw Geremek

Professor Bronisław Geremek(born Benjamin Lewertow on March 6, 1932 in Warsaw, died July 13, 2008 in Lubień, Poland), was a Polish social historian and politician.

Geremek was born in Warsaw on March 6, 1932. His father, a fur merchant, was murdered in Auschwitz. His mother and he were smuggled out of the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943 and were sheltered by Stefan Geremek. Geremek later married Bronisław's mother and Bronisław was further raised in a Roman Catholic tradition. In his adult life he considered himself neither a Jew nor a Catholic. His grandfather was a maggid, his brother Jerry, living in New York is a Jew and his sons living in Poland are Roman Catholics.

In 1954 Bronisław Geremek graduated from the Faculty of History at the Warsaw University, and in 1956–1958 he completed postgraduate studies at the École pratique des hautes études in Paris. He completed his PhD in 1960 and in 1972 he was granted a postdoctoral degree at the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN). In 1989 he was appointed associate professor.

The chief domain of Geremek's scholarly work was research on the history of culture and medieval society. His scholarly achievements included numerous articles and lectures, as well as ten books, which have been translated into ten languages. His doctoral thesis (1960) concerned the labour market in medieval Paris, including prostitution. His postdoctoral thesis (1972) concerned underworld groups in medieval Paris.

Almost the whole of Geremek's scholarly career was connected with the Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences, where he worked from 1955 to 1985. However, from 1960 to 1965 he was a lecturer at the Sorbonne in Paris and the manager of the Polish Culture Centre of that university. Geremek was given honorary degrees by the University of Bologna, Utrecht University, the Sorbonne, Columbia University and Jagiellonian University in Kraków. In 1992 he was designated visiting professor at the Collège de France. He was a member of Academia Europea, the PEN Club, the Société Européenne de Culture, fellow of Collegium Invisibile and numerous other societies and associations.

He was a longtime professor and Chairholder of the Chair of European Civilisation at the College of Europe until his death. Updates

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