Prof. Dr. Halina Szulc
DAAD Scholarship 1958
In 1958, 40 years to the day before the opening of the DAAD Office in Warsaw, the geographer Halina Szulc received a letter stating she had been awarded a scholarship for a stay in Germany. Speaking after her retirement, she was still astonished that she received a visa for a study visit to Germany in the middle of the Cold War.
In 1958 I was the first Polish DAAD scholarship holder to travel to Germany.
In 1958, one day after passing the viva for her doctorate, Halina Szulc travelled to Münster to complete part of her research stay there, before visiting Göttingen, Münster and Kiel. The expert on historical settlements had done research on villages around Wrocław for her doctoral thesis and she actually wanted to publish it in German too. However, after her return to Poland she was prohibited from doing that and was also not allowed to participate in conferences abroad for seven years.
Later, Szulc, whose German great-grandfather had emigrated to Poland at the beginning of the 19th century, repeatedly travelled to Germany as a professor at the Polish Academy of Sciences. In 1982, she was invited to give a series of lectures at the geography departments of the universities of Göttingen, Mainz, Freiburg, Tübingen and Würzburg as well as at the history department of the University of Bonn.
The geographer, who was born in 1924, crowned her life's work in 2002 by publishing a major historical atlas of rural settlements in Poland – in Polish, English and German. In September 2003 – as a member of working group for genetic settlement research in Central Europe – she presented the atlas to a conference of the working group in Greifswald.
Halina Szulc died in Warsaw in 2012.