First on 2 May 1657, and then on the same day of the same month in 1915, came the Swedish Deluge and the Great War. In the fortunes of war and political reshuffles, ordinary people, civilians and soldiers fell, as did their town – Gorlice – which has had to rise from ruin so many times.
One of the most important battles of the World War I took place near Gorlice. “If I were to state which days in my professional life were the most important to me, these were the 2nd and 3rd of May 1915, when from atop the hills west of Gorlice I saw defeated Russian troops in retreat.” These are the words of the then Chief of General Staff of the Austro-Hungarian army, Field Marshal Franz Conrad von Hotzendorf.
An artillery shell, engraved and stylized into a vase, is characteristic of so-called trench art. Such objects — not necessarily of utilitarian function — were made by soldiers with artistic talents for themselves or to order. Often, objects of this type were created in free time in the trenches, during breaks in fighting, or only after military service had ended.
What is this medal made of? It seems as if it was made of brass, from some artillery shell? From that distant war? And what beautiful curves Skinny Emma has: a heavy 305 millimetres howitzer from the Škoda factory. It’s a bit like a clockwork mechanism and a steam machine to boot. Because, in those days, even killing machines incorporated beauty and grace. So much that you wanted to touch them. Hence the female names: Fat Bertha or our Emma.
The glass necessity money issued by Galicyjskie Akcyjne Zakłady Górnicze [Galician Mining Stock Company] in Siersza. The reverse is smooth; there is a convex inscription on the obverse: “1 KGR MIESA WOLÓWEGO Z. S.” [“1 KG OF BEEF Z. S.”], denoting the value of the blue coin back then.
After the outbreak of World War I, Roman Florer received an assignment as an observer on the Serbian and Italian front in the 4th Aviation Squadron. At the turn of 1914 and 1915, he was sent to the Wiener Neustadt pilots' course. After completing the course, he returned to the front as a pilot in the 27th Aviation Squadron.
This plaque, like many similar ones in Galicia, was prepared in order to raise funds to support the widows and orphans of soldiers fighting during World War I. This manner of collecting money became popular during World War I. This was related to the financial burden that fell on the Austrian government. The reason for this was mainly the costs associated with the increasing number of wounded and victims.
16 August 1915 marked the first anniversary of establishing the Supreme National Committee, which exercised political and organizational supervision over the Polish Legions. On that day, the Column of the Legions was unveiled in front of St. Mary’s Basilica in the Main Market Square in Kraków.
Kraków was to become an important hub for water transport. The idea came to light in 1901, when the Vienna State Council adopted the so-called the Koerber Act (from the name of the Austrian Prime Minister Ernst von Koerber, initiator of its adoption). The venture had a huge budget (1 billion kroner); it assumed the construction of new waterways...
A shirt with a mandarin collar and long sleeves, sewn from red satinet. The rectangular front part is decorated with a black embroidered border featuring a recurring star motif. A fastening on the side, along the front part. The exhibit shown is a shirt of a Russian POW from 1916, given to the Museum by Adam Wrzosek (a physician, anthropologist, medicine historian and professor of the Jagiellonian University).
Commemorative badge for former soldiers of the Polish Legions, and later the Polish Auxiliary Corps, interned in 1918. Made of silver plated tombac, in the shape of an eagle with the badge of II Brigade of the Polish Legions on the chest. Oval with...
Badge in the shape of Latin cross. On the obverse is shown eagle in crown and inscription above: “HONOR OF HEROS WHO DIED FOR POLAND”.
The Polish Aviation Society was founded on 11 December 1916 in Warsaw, the day the society's statute was submitted to the Provisional Council of State in Warsaw. The first meeting (organizational) took place on 1 February 1917 in Warsaw. From 26 February to 15 May 1917, the society ran flight courses, which were completed by 73 students.