London office of Edward B. earl Raczynski

8, Lennox Gardens, London SW1 - this is the address where Edward Bernard Raczyn-ski, President of Poland in exile, spent 26 years of his life. At this very address, he welcomed official guests, friends and family into his office. This was a place which stayed in many people’s memories. Polish history was also created here. Today, one can find the accurately recreated office in the north wing of the Rogalin palace. This was made possible because the Raczynski family transferred the complete contents of the office to the Raczynski Foundation at the National Museum in Poznan.

Jan Nowak-Jeziorański recalls the London home of Edward B. Raczynski: "To his mod-est apartment… flowed an endless pilgrimage from Poland. Wałęsa visited him, as did three Prime Ministers, government ministers, political activists, writers and art-ists. He welcomed them all with the same simplicity and cordiality." He served the people and the homeland with knowledge and wisdom and balanced judgement.

Despite the loss of his sight, Edward B. Raczynski, worked in his office on a transla-tion, from French, of the memoir of his cousin, Wirydiana Fiszerowa, published in 1975 under the title A tale of my own and other bystanders. His daughters and grand-children also read him newspapers and literature there.

The office is filled with souvenirs: old furniture, family photographs, surviving por-traits of ancestors, and views of the Raczynski residence, including the Palace in Rogalin. Both typical and untypical items can be discovered at the same time, such as the scales on which Edward Raczynski weighed himself daily, which are hidden behind an historic curtain and came originally from the palace in Rogalin; his London address book containing the handwritten phone number of Winston Churchill; and a photo from the signing of the Polish-British treaty on mutual assistance signed by the participants.

The simplicity and modesty of the office takes one by surprise. It is an unusual place, fitting for such an unusual person as Edward B. Raczynski - a man of great stature, devoid of snobbery, vanity and haughtiness, who throughout his life bore witness to wise, loving service to the Homeland and the Nation.

Along with the personal souvenirs belonging to Edward Bernard Raczynski, other memorabilia is exhibited in the vestibule which are associated with his brother, Roger Adam Raczyński, including his diplomatic tailcoat from his time as Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Romania. 

Author: Joanna Nowak