Zbigniew Pelczynski (1925-2021)

The College regrets the passing of former Senior Common Room member Zbigniew Pelczynski. He attended Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre seminars regularly and dined at Guest Table afterwards. 

The Times wrote in its obituary:

‘As a politics don at Pembroke College, Oxford, in the early 1960s, Zbigniew Pelczynski had the opportunity to meet many distinguished visitors. One was Harold Macmillan, the prime minister and chancellor of the university, who visited the college to open a new quad.

Pelczynski found himself alone with him and asked about the recent “night of long knives”, when Macmillan had sacked a third of his cabinet. He was a politics don, after all. A bored prime minister ignored the question and asked his questioner to mind his glass of wine while he went for a lavatory break. He did not return. A crushed Pelczynski was later told that Macmillan would almost certainly have stuck around for the conversation if only he had known about Pelczynski’s experience of fighting as a partisan in the Polish uprising in Warsaw in September 1944.’

External Links: 

Obituary in The Times