Date –18 February 2018 (2pm to 4pm)
Location – Fountaindale Public Library District – 300 W. Briarcliff Road. Bolingbrook, IL 60440
Attendance at the library is free and open to members and non-members. The presentation will also be offered as a free Webinar to members. To defray costs, non-members will be charged a $10 fee.
Webinar registration for members and non-members can be made by clicking here. Mail-in registrations will not be accepted.
Guest Speaker – Paul S. Valasek
Topic – Haller’s Polish Army in France
Topic Summary – An in-depth discussion of this fighting force of over 23,000 men with origins in Pittsburgh, recruited from North America, trained by the Canadians, outfitted by the French, to serve alongside the French Army in World War I and later to establish Poland’s eastern borders in the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-1920.
Bio – Paul S. Valasek is a three-time graduate of Loyola University of Chicago, earning his Doctorate in Dentistry in 1984. Born and raised in Chicago, he and his wife Andrea have always been interested in their ancestries and where their families came from in Europe. Paul’s first of numerous trips to Europe was in 1974 with his immigrant grandfather Joseph Valasek, a major turning point in his life. Dr. Valasek has written numerous articles for genealogical publications, as well as being an international lecturer. He completed his first book, Haller’s Polish Army in France (2006) which makes available long lost and obscure material detailing the formation of this fighting force of over 23,000 Polish Americans in World War I and the subsequent Polish Soviet War of 1919-1921. He also has the most complete database of the army with over 3 million facts accumulated to date.
Formal participation in genealogy began with his Presidency of the Polish Genealogical Society of America (PGSA), founder and treasurer/editor of the Czech and Slovak American Genealogical Society of Illinois (CSAGSI), founding member of the Moravian Historical Society, and a founding member of the popular Polish American website, www.PolishRoots.org. He has also served as a Director and Second Vice-president on the Illinois State Genealogical Society’s Board as well as sitting for multiple terms on the board of the Polish Museum of America. He has served as Vice-president and editor for the Czechoslovak Heritage Museum of Illinois and as a Board Director of the Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International, (CGSI).