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Maciej Giertych - biography

Maciej Giertych was born on March 24th, 1936 in Warsaw, Poland.  His father, J?drzej Giertych, served in the fight against the Bolsheviks as a seventeen-year-old volunteer.  In 1920, he fought in five defensive battles and was wounded in the Battle of Warsaw.  In September 1939, he served, as an officer of the reserve, in defending the Hel Peninsula.  He was captured by the Germans. While he was recaptured after several escapes, he eventually endured captivity until his liberation by American troops.  J?drzej Giertych returned to active service in the navy stationed in London.  As the war ended, he secretly returned to Poland, as a courier of the government in exile, and retreated back to London with his family.

Maciej Giertych was born on March 24th, 1936 in Warsaw, Poland. 

His father, J?drzej Giertych, served in the fight against the Bolsheviks as a seventeen-year-old volunteer.  In 1920, he fought in five defensive battles and was wounded in the Battle of Warsaw.  In September 1939, he served, as an officer of the reserve, in defending the Hel Peninsula.  He was captured by the Germans. While he was recaptured after several escapes, he eventually endured captivity until his liberation by American troops.  J?drzej Giertych returned to active service in the navy stationed in London.  As the war ended, he secretly returned to Poland, as a courier of the government in exile, and retreated back to London with his family.

Maciej Giertych was nine when he left Poland with his parents during the aftermath of the Second World War. He was a witness to the total destruction of his hometown Warsaw by the Germans after the termination of all military activity.

He received a bachelor's and master's degree at Oxford University after which he was awarded scholarships to spend his next four years as a graduate student at the University of Toronto.  Maciej Giertych defended his PhD thesis in 1962 at which point he returned to Poland and began research at the Institute of Dendrology of the Polish Academy of Sciences. In 1970, he obtained his habilitation degree in forest genetics at the Pozna? Agricultural Academy. In 1981, he was nominated associate professor and in 1989 became a tenured professor in forestry.

He has lectured as a visiting professor in population genetics at the University of Toru? (1976-1993), and in forest genetics at the Faculty of Forestry in Pozna? (1966-1969/1996-2001), the Faculty of Forestry in Warsaw (1969 - 1990), and the Faculty of Forestry in Kraków (1998 - 2001).

Since 1970, he serves on the Forest Sciences Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences and for a third term, on the Forestry Council of the Minister of Environment. He is a scientific council member of the Forest Gene Bank in Kostrzyca, the Institute of Dendrology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Bia?obok Arboretum in Syców, and the Forestry and Wood Products Committee of the Pozna? Division of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Maciej Giertych has served on the editorial board of Silvae Genetica 1973-2001 and the Annals of Forest Science 1990-2001.  As an active member of the International Union of Forest Research Organisations (IUFRO), he has chaired a working party, served as a deputy and subject group leader, and represented Poland at the IUFRO International Council during the congresses in Liubljana 1986, Montreal 1990, Berlin 1992, and Tampere 1995. He has attended all but one of the IUFRO congresses since Munich 1967.  He has also attended the 1st and 3rd FAO World Consultations on Forest Tree Breeding in Stockholm (1963) and in Canberra (1977). 

While attending various international meetings and accompanying excursions, he had the opportunity to visit forests in Australia, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Lithuania, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, the Ukraine, the UK, and the USA.

He is intimately acquainted with the forests of Poland as well as the author of 230 scientific papers and four books in the field of forest tree genetics and tree physiology.

While growing up in the United Kingdom, he was active as a member of the Polish émigré Scouts and eventually became its district commissioner.  He was also a Scout troop leader at the Henley school for Polish boys.  He was an active member in the Polish Students Club at Oxford University and later, at the University of Toronto as a graduate student. He had also set up a weekend Polish language school for Polish children in Oxford at which he taught. He wrote extensively for Polish émigré publications.

After he returned to Poland, he secretly distributed Polish-émigré right wing and conservative literature. He located unpublished historiosophical works by Feliks Koneczny and typed them after which his father, J?drzej Giertych, ultimately published them in London.  He also contributed in Catholic magazines such as Przewodnik Katolicki (Catholic Guide) and Rycerz Niepokalanej.(Knight of the Immaculate).  He has edited the monthly S?owo Narodowe (National Word) from 1986 to 1990 and since 1993, he publishes the quarterly Opoka w Kraju (http://ciemnogrod.net/owk). He has authored several books on political issues such as Zagro?enia duchowe (Michalineum 1993), Dmowski czy Pi?sudski? (Nortom 1995), Nie przemog?! (Nortom 1995, 2nd ed. 1997), I tak nie przemog?! (Nortom 2000), and Z nadziej? w przysz?o??! (Ars Politica 2005).

Between 1986 and 1990, he served as a member and vice-chairman of the Roman Catholic Primatical Council of Cardinal Glemp, the Primate of Poland. 

He accepted an invitation to participate in the Consultative Council of the Chairman of the State as a spokesman for the opposition to the Communist regime and served on that panel from 1986 to1989.

On the invitation of Pope John Paul II, he participated as a lay observer in the Synod of Bishops in Rome on the role of the laity in the Church in October 1987.

Since 1990, he has been politically active in the reactivated National Party, a pre-World War II conservative party. He has served as the Chairman of its Supreme Council (1990-2002).  He was elected to the parliament (Sejm) in Poland from the party list of the League of Polish Families in 2001.  He has served as a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources, and Forestry.  He was delegated to the Council of Europe, the Central European Initiative, and as an observer to the European Parliament.

In June 2004, he was elected to the European Parliament.

Maciej Giertych is married to Antonina nee Jachnik and they have four children and twelve grandchildren.





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