Henryk Świdziński

Henryk Świdziński was born in Strzyżów Lubelski, on September 8, 1904. His father’s name was January and he was a chemist. His mother’s name was Maria Wołłk – Łaniewska. He attended schools in Włocławek and Skierniewice. He passed his GCSE examinations at the Mathematics and Science Junior High School in Kielce in 1922. He studied Geology and Physical Geography at the Philosophy Faculty of the University of Warsaw. Several years later he left for his training course in the Carpathians, where for months he did some geological research on saline formations of the tectonic foreland of the Carpathians. He did PhD in Geology in 1929. A year later he was employed at the Petroleum Engineering Faculty of the Polish Geological Institute. He surveyed the regions of Jasło-Dukla and Gorlice-Grybów, then he created and adjusted to printing a review geological map of the Polish Carpathians, scale 1:200 000. In 1938 he was a director of the cartography room of PGI and editor of the PGI’s cartographical publications.    

In April 1939 he was enlisted and took part in September campaign, after that in October of the same year he returned to Warsaw. During occupation he didn’t leave the Institute, he was still working on the Carpathian formations of the region of Stróże, Krosno and Gorlice. He was not in Warsaw during the rising, in August 1944 together with a group of several employees of the Institute he was taken to the work camp in Saxony. Luckily, he managed to escape to Wrocław and then to Cracow where he heard the news about the liberation. In 1945 he brought back to life the Polish Geological Institute of Cracow. When PGI was one more time relocated to Warsaw, our researcher became the head of the Carpathian Region of the Institute. In spring 1945 he started to give lectures and exercises on the geology of the Polish soils at the Jagiellonian University of Cracow. Two years later he was given a university professor title of the Geological and Measurement Faculty of the University of Science and Technology (AGH) of Cracow. He became professor of the General Geology Department launched in 1951 as an Institution of the Geological Mapping. He was also a Vice Dean of the Geological and Measurement Faculty and a coordinator of the Geology and Exploration Faculty.        

Our scientist was engaged in the classification of the waters of the Carpathians, he worked on their location, genesis and usage. He was a specialist in the Spa geology and was a science expert of the health resort Krynica-Żegiestów – in 1953 under his guidance first specification of the mineral waters of Krynica was made. His experience and initiative made it possible that projects and boreholes were made of ‘Zuber III’ and ‘Zuber IV’, due to which Krynica had more springs of healing waters.    

Henryk Świdziński, apart from scientific posts, held also prominent social and professional posts such as: the Head of the Board of Directors of the Polish Geological Society, a member of the Presiding Board of the Geological Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Science Council of the Geological Institute. For his commitment and perseverance he was presented with an award of the Golden Order of Merit and the Jubilee Medal of the Polish Mining Engineers. He passed away on June 23, 1969, he was buried in the Salwator Cemetery in Cracow.