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 Ignace Jan Paderewski

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Ignace Jan Paderewski

  • Birth 18 Nov 1860 Lezachow, Podkarpackie, Poland
  • Death 29 Jun 1941 New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
  • Burial Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland
  • Memorial ID 2909

Composer, Polish Statesman. He was a renowned composer, famed pianist, and a great Polish statesman. 1940 found him an unwilling exile in America from his native country which had been overun by the Nazis. Born in the village of Kurylowka, Podolia, Poland. He studied at the Warsaw musical Institute. He served in the Polish government prior to his exile. Upon his death at the age of eighty of purely old age symptoms in New York, his body began a strange odyssey before reaching its final resting place. While Poland remained under German occupation, the composer's remains could not be returned for burial. A funeral mass was held at St. Patrick's Cathedral before 4,500 inside with 35,000 outside unable to enter. Statesmen and leaders from the political field as well as world musical figures attended. FDR upon hearing of the predicament involved with his burial offered a temporary repose at Arlington Cemetery in the grotto beneath The Mast of the U.S.S. Maine. His remains were transported to Arlington where a funeral service was held in the Memorial Amphitheater. Afterwards the casket was conveyed to the base of the Mast of the Maine where it remained for some 53 years. The Cold War began and Paderewski's body remained at Arlington a hostage. The casket was viewed and blessed by then Archbishop of Krakow, Karol Woytyla (Pope John Paul) who was on a visit to the U.S. in 1969. Finally the communist rule of Poland was discarded and Lech Welesa became the prime minister. Through him, the composers wishes were fulfilled and his remains were returned to Poland in 1992. Thousands of Poles greeted his return culminating in a funeral mass at the Basilica of The Cathedral of St. John, Warsaw, with President George Bush as well as representatives from many European countries in attendance. Bush spoke briefly during the mass and with the culmination of the festivities, Ignace Paderewski was finally home fifty three years after his death. The great polish statesman was interred in a lower level crypt the burial place of other high ranking Polish patriots and church bishops. However, his heart remained in America enshrined at the church of Our Lady of Czestochowa located in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Years before, he wrote in his memoirs, "America, the country of my heart, my second home".


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 12 May 1998
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2909
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Ignace Jan Paderewski (18 Nov 1860–29 Jun 1941), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2909, citing Saint John's Archcathedral, Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland ; Maintained by Find A Grave .