Jarosław Kłaczkow (Toruń)

The Polish Lutheran press in the Polish lands (19th-21st c.)

Throughout the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century, the number of Protestants in the Polish lands constantly increased. One of the results of this phenomenon was the appearance of numerous press titles. They were published in German, Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, Belarusian, English and Hebrew. It indicates that Protestant ideas spread to all the nations living in the Polish lands. It also belies the commonly held stereotype that only Germans were Protestants. In this text, because of the range of the subject (more than 350 Protestant press titles were published),1 I will focus only on Polish-language publications of the largest branch of Protestantism in the Polish lands, i.e. Lutheranism.

The first Evangelical magazine that came out in this part of Europe was the Lutheran monthly printed in Königsberg, Nowiny o Rozszerzeniu Wiary Chrześcijańskiey (The News of the Expansion of the Christian Faith). It was a variation of the German magazine published there, Missionsblatt. Its debut took place very early, namely in April 1822. It was ahead of its time, and therefore soon afterwards, there was a 13-year break. In the end, the magazine came out at intervals until December 1894. All these years, its ideological face was shaped by Masurian clergymen August Czygan, August Skrodzki, Fryderyk Willimzig, Fryderyk Möller, Fryderyk Off, Maksymilian Krenz, Marcin Gerss, Ernest Trinker and Gustaw Eberhardt.

It was not the only periodical published in the 19th century in the southern part of East Prussia. This was because in those times, it was inhabited by nearly 400 000 Polish-speaking Protestants. Thus they were a natural audience of the religious press market, which was being formed as an element of the modernisation in Europe of that time. It may be surprising that in the Second Reich, which was the German national state, the Polish language was tolerated in the most eastern part of the monarchy. Particularly if one takes into account the anti-Polish policy pursued by Prussia in Greater Poland and Pomerelia. However, East Prussia was unique largely due to religious issues. The Masurian population, predominantly Evangelical, was completely loyal to the Prussian state (the Catholic Warmians took a similar stance). Masurians were separated from Poles from West Prussia or the neighbouring Russian partition above all by the denomination and the border. The latter was also a line of civilisation. Among some of Evangelical Masurians, there appeared a conviction that they were inextricably connected with the Prussian state and that it was necessary for them to enter gradually the circle of the German culture and language. It was reinforced by the religious press published under the auspices of the local land (United Evangelical) Church in the local publishing centres: Ostróda, Szczytno and Pisz.

In an article published in one of such periodicals, Prawdziwy Ewangelik Polski (The Real Polish Evangelical),2 these actions were expressed very aptly. It was written there: “the only thing we have in common with Poles is the language.” Another organ, Polski Przyjaciel Familii (The Polish Friend of Families), added years later: “Masurians, you will do the wisest thing if you abandon this Polish language. What do you need it for if it is only the command of German that will open the doors to the world.”3

In the years 1887-1892, more titles in the spirit of Germanisation began to be published. They were: Nowe Ewangeliczne Głosy (The New Evangelical Voices), edited by the pastor from Małe Jerutki, Friedrich Cludius, and Przyjaciel Ewangeliczny (The Evangelical Friend). In 1894 appeared Polski Przyjaciel Familii (The Polish Friend of Families), edited by the pastor Juliusz Jakub Alexy, and, in 1898 came out Gazeta Mazurska (The Masurian Newspaper). It was also edited by Alexy, who, in his paper, fought a regular battle against the organ of the Masurian national movement – Gazeta Ludowa (The People’s Newspaper). The pastor Alexy’s periodical was distributed free of charge, which indicates that it must have had its own source of funding (it was probably the state resources). It also made it possible to send a variation of this title, Górnik Mazurski w Westfalii i Nadrenii (The Masurian Miner in Westphalia and Rhineland) to Masurian emigrants working in mines and iron and steelworks of the Ruhr Basin. The periodical came out till 17 December 1899. The pastor Alexy had already earlier sent there the periodical Przyjaciel Ewangeliczny (Gazeta polska dla ludu staropruskiego w Westfalii i na Mazurach) [The Evangelical Friend (The Polish Newspaper for the Old Prussian People in Westphalia and Masuria)]. It was published from December 1892 till September 1893.

At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, there appeared one of the most important Germanising periodicals on the publishing market, entitled Pruski Przyjaciel Ludu (The Prussian Friend of the People). It was edited by the pastor Marcin Gerss, and since 1913, his duties were taken over by the pastor Max Skowronnek. The periodical was in part a translation of the German Preussischer Volksfreund. Various thematic supplements were added to the main number, e.g. Ostpreussicher Haus-Kalender für Stadt und Land. Pruski Przyjaciel Ludu ceased to be published in June 1922.

Polish activists from the Kingdom of Poland and from Cieszyn Silesia tried to oppose this tendencies by publishing their own press titles. One of them was, for instance, the initiative of the priests Juliusz Bursche, Karol Kulisz and Franciszek Michejda, who set up a bookshop with a print shop in 1903 in Ostróda and, two years later, began to publish the periodical Goniec Mazurski (The Masurian Messenger). Its existence was very short, as the last number came out in January 1906. An additional factor that weakened the Polish movement was the fact that after the collapse of the magazine, its archive was made public by the local authorities. Then it turned out that Goniec Mazurski owed its short existence only to the subsidies of Franciszek Michejda, Karol Kulisz and Juliusz Bursche. The Prussian authorities gave the message about it to Austrians because the two former clergymen were subjects of Franz Joseph. As a result, both Franciszek Michejda and Karol Kulisz were officially reprimanded by the Evangelical Consistory in Wien. But it did not stop their activity in Masuria, as Franciszek Michejda contributed to the formation of the periodical Mazur (The Masurian) in 1907. It was mainly pastors from Silesia who wrote for it, among others Jerzy Badura, Franciszek, Karol and Oskar Michejda. It was supported by the Superintendent of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in the Kingdom of Poland, Rev. Juliusz Bursche.

Despite various difficulties, including an attempt to arrest its editor, Stanisław Zieliński, the periodical came out till 1920. In the meantime, the editorial team was managed for a short time by Hermann Falkenberg, who tried to orient it towards a German spirit. The Polish side managed to prevent it and, on 23 February 1908, Kazimierz Jaroszyk took over as editor. Under his management, Mazur was published till 2 August 1914. At that time, as a result of war action and the occupation of the southern part of East Prussia by Russians, its publishing was suspended. The break lasted till 31 January 1919. Then the magazine was re-established and included in the propaganda for the incorporation of this area into Poland. The propagandist character was maintained till 11 July 1920, i.e. the day of the plebiscite. The victory of the German side in this voting caused Mazur to stop being published. So the effects of the actions of the Polish side were far from the intended goals.

The last attempt at attracting Masurians to the Polish identity was made in the interwar period, in the fragment of Nidzica District incorporated into the Second Polish Republic, i.e. the Działdowo region. This area was intended by Polish Evangelical activists to be re-Polonised and become an example of a successful integration of Masurians with the Polish nation. In the beginning, this idea was even supported by the state administration, which allowed the key positions in the district to be filled with Polish Evangelicals from Cieszyn Silesia.

In order to speed Polonising activities up, the members of the Association of Polish Evangelicals (Zrzeszenie Ewangelików Polaków), the Right Reverend Juliusz Bursche, Emilia Sukertowa-Biedrawina and Jerzy Kurnatowski (the president of the association) decided to publish a press organ. The above-mentioned association became its publisher, though in Działdowo it was known as the Society of Friends of Evangelical Masuria (Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Mazur Ewangelickich). By using such a neutral name, it was meant to attract the local Evangelical population that did not have a sense of Polish national identity.

On 3 December 1922 appeared the first number of Gazeta Mazurska and the following was written on the first page: “Brothers Masurians, you are a part of the Evangelical society in Poland . . . In Poland, there are hundreds of thousands of such Evangelicals as you. All of them should maintain a spiritual connection with each other. This periodical is meant to provide them with such a connection.4 Its inauguration took place in the Masurian People’s Centre (Mazurski Dom Ludowy) and the participants included the Pomeranian Voivode Jan Brejski, a Masurian activist Adolf Szymański and the chairman of the Association of Polish Evangelicals (Zrzeszenie Ewangelików Polaków) Jerzy Kurnatowski.5 It showed what importance the state authorities attached to this enterprise. This was so because their activities in this area of Masuria were closely observed across the border, both by the German authorities and by Masurians living there.

The post of the editor was taken up by a Polish Lutheran clergyman, Rev. Feliks Gloeh. He came from Warszawa and did not know the local realities and to what extent Masurians were attached to their United Evangelical Church. Gloeh believed that it would be easy to convince the local population to abandon the “German” United Church and to join the “Polish” Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession. Therefore the content of the periodical in the initial years was marked mainly by attacks on the local United Church and accusing it of Germanising the Masurian population. Similar views were propagated by Rev. Ewald Lodwich, who came from Polesia. He founded an Evangelical-Augsburg congregation in Działdowo, joined mainly by immigrant Polish Evangelicals. But it was intended by its founder to attract Masurians in the first place.

These actions were to no avail as the local Evangelicals were strongly attached both to the United Evangelical Church (which they treated as their native church) and its local leader, superindentent Ernst Barczewski.6 The crisis of relations between immigrant Polish Evangelicals and local people was noticed in Warszawa. It resulted in the dismissal of Rev. Ewald Lodwich from his post in Działdowo and in the change of the editor of Gazeta Mazurska. This position was taken over by Emilia Sukertowa-Biedrawina on 1 April 1923.

Under her management, Gazeta Mazurska was transformed into a weekly in 1925. Four years later, the paper was lengthened from four to eight pages and the following supplements were introduced: Nasz Światek (Our Little World) for children and Nasz Świat (Our World) for teenagers.7 The periodical published commissioned works as well. It also published Michał Kajka’s poems (Pieśni mazurskie [Masurian Songs]), short stories by Karol Małłek (Jutrznia Mazurska na Gody [Masurian Christmas Matins]) and by Adolf Szymański (Mazurzy Prus Wschodnich przed zagładą [The Masurians in East Prussia Before the Extermination). Gazeta... often referred to the past as well, cultivating it and intending to strike a chord with an average conservative Masurian. Also a number of publications about the history of Masuria, Krzyżacy (The Teutonic Knights) by Henryk Sienkiewicz and Biblioteczka Gospodarza (Farmer’s Library) were published. The editor of the magazine contributed also to the opening of the Masurian Museum in Działdowo. Thanks to the endeavours of the periodical appeared also a fragment of Adolf Szymański’s doctoral dissertation The Masurians in East Prussia Before the Extermination (the original title Die wirtschaftliche Lage der Masuren in Ostpreussen).

Gazeta Mazurska was printed in Warszawa throughout the period of publication. From there, it was sent to the Działdowo region and illegally to East Prussia. The latter activity took place thanks to the support from the state authorities, which slightly subsidised the printing and distribution of the paper. The periodical received definitely greater financial assistance from Evangelical businessmen from Warszawa. This situation lasted until Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in Germany. The intention of normalising the contacts with the new government in Germany (it was commonly believed that, as they came from Bavaria, they would direct their political interests to the south of Europe) caused Gazeta Mazurska to be sacrificed on the altar of this policy. Moreover, further attempts at the re-Polonisation of Masurians were considered pointless and their emigration to the Reich was supported. Finally, under pressure from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the periodical ceased to appear in April 1933. As the future showed, this decision was final and it was not attempted to set up magazines aimed at convincing Masurians to assume Polish identity any more. It was also an admission of the ultimate defeat in the Polish-German struggle for Masurians’ souls. In that time, a similar failure befell the Polish movement in East Prussia, where the periodical Mazurski Przyjaciel Ludu (The Masurian Friend of the People) was published under the patronage of the Masurian Union (Zjednoczenie Mazurskie). In 1928, the editor of Mazurski Przyjaciel Ludu, Robert Macht, quit the Polish movement definitively and went over to the German side. The periodical was published till 1939 (in July 1935, there appeared the German title Mazurischer Volksfreund as well) and it was edited only by German and Masurian clergymen of German national identity (Paul Hensel, Fryderyk Sender, Alfred Jeziorowski, Kurt Skowronnek). It was the most spectacular defeat of Poland in Masuria in the interwar period.8

Fate was kinder to press organs published by local gromadkarstwo milieus. It was a community and peasant trend in the United Evangelical Church. It did not involve the Church hierarchy and tried to arouse the religious life among the common people. It also intended Masurians to preserve Polish as their everyday and Church language. It opposed the actions of the authorities of the United Evangelical Church, which was interested in a quick Germanisation of the Masurian population. Thus the actions of the gromadkarstwo activists went, as it were, hand in hand with the Polish national interest. Therefore among people who supported this press with their articles, there were both Lutheran (Karol Kotula, Zygmunt Michelis, Edward Wende) and Calvinist (Emil Jelinek, Kazimierz Ostachiewicz) Polish clergymen. The most important periodical of the gromadkarstwo movement was Głos Ewangelijny (The Evangelical Voice), published in Szczytno since 1927. The post of its editor was taken up by a famous religious activist and preacher, Reinhold Barcz. Under the nameplate, there was a motto from the Old Testament: “At evening time there shall be light.” This quote fully conveyed the difficult situation of the Polish movement in Masuria in the interwar period and its deeply diasporic nature. In order to reach a wider range of Masurians, who were being Germanised quickly, the last two pages of the periodical were printed in German. The most important articles were written in two languages. Thanks to the subsidies of the Union of Poles in Germany (Związek Polaków w Niemczech), the periodical survived till July 1939.

Another region of the Polish lands that did not belong to the Commonwealth before the partitions but had Polish Evangelical population was Silesia.

Polish press publications were printed for the Polish-speaking population in Lower Silesia already in the 19th century, as near Międzybórz (Syców District), there were numerous villages inhabited by Evangelical Polish-speaking people. The main national activity among them was conducted by Rev. Jerzy Badura, a pastor from Cieszyn Silesia. In this period, he was a pastor in Międzybórz. In 1884, he began printing the first Evangelical periodical in this region, Nowiny Szląskie (The Silesian News). The weekly was created under the auspices of a famous Polish Evangelical activist from Kalisz, Alfons Parczewski. Under pressure from the Consistory in Wrocław, Rev. Jerzy Badura quickly gave up the position of the editor. He was replaced by Antoni Bederski, then by Karol Baum, S. Grygier, W. Osuszkiewicz and finally by M. Hubiński. Rev. Jerzy Badura’s successors continued the line of the periodical created by him, publishing numerous articles about religion, history and politics. In 1887, the name of the periodical was changed to Nowiny (The News). It did not take hold among the local Evangelical population without Polish national identity either and in June 1891, it ceased to be published.

Rev. Jerzy Badura was still involved very actively in the national cause, writing for periodicals outside Lower Silesia. His texts were to be found in Ewangielik (The Evangelical), Przyjaciel Ludu (The Friend of the People), both of which were published in Cieszyn Silesia but were distributed in Lower Silesia as well, and in the Masurian Gazeta Ludowa (The People’s Newspaper). Apart from Jerzy Badura, among other famous activists and journalists, there were pastors from Congress Poland, namely Edmund Schultz, Juliusz Bursche, and the lawyer Jakub Glassa. As far as Cieszyn Silesia is concerned, the greatest services to the development of the Polish Protestant press were rendered by the priests Franciszek Michejda, Karol Kulisz, Jerzy Kubaczka and Jan Boruta. The activists from Congress Poland, loyal inheritors of the ideology of Polish Evangelicalism, believed that it was necessary to win over the local Evangelical population from Silesia and Masuria in order to build a strong Evangelical Church. Similar views were held by Polish activists from Cieszyn Silesia (before 1914 called Austrian Silesia). It was only there that, thanks to the involvement of the local Evangelical clergy, it was fully managed to convince the Silesians to return to the Polish identity permanently. A considerable part of the local population professed Lutheranism since the Reformation. Because of the relative liberalism of the Austrian authorities (resulting not from good intentions but simply from the weakness of the structures of the state), since the mid-19th century, Polish national identity began to develop among the local people. Thus the ideology of “Polish Evangelicalism” created by a clergyman from Warszawa, Rev. Leopold Otto, was well received. Otto set up the first Polish-Evangelical periodical in Cieszyn Silesia as well. It was Zwiastun Ewangeliczny (The Evangelical Herald), which he transferred from Warszawa. It came out in Cieszyn from 1866 till 1875. No wonder that after Rev. L. Otto’s return to Warszawa, the conference of pastors of Cieszyn Silesia decided to set up a local Polish Evangelical periodical. It was Ewangielik – pismo poświęcone zbudowaniu, nauce i wiadomościom kościelnym, wydawane w imieniu pastorów senioratu sląskiego (The Evangelical – the Magazine Dedicated to Edification, Education and Church News, Published on the Behalf of the Pastors of the Silesian Diocese), which appeared since 19 November 1876. Its founder and editor was a pastor from Ligotka Kameralna (then Cieszyn District), Rev. Jerzy Heczko.9 Apart from him, the imprint included the name of Jan Śliwka from Cieszyn. However, the majority of the material was prepared by the parish pastor in Nawsie, Rev. Franciszek Michejda. With time, he also became the main advocate of the Polish national movement in Cieszyn Silesia. Gradually, he also took on the burden of publishing Polish Church press.10 He was its main columnist, sometimes writing under the following pseudonyms: Franciszek Nawiejski (pseudonym derived from the name of his parish in Nawsie), Jurek spod Czantorii (Jurek from around Czantoria), Stożek (Czantoria and Stożek are names of mountains in Cieszyn Silesia).

When Ewangelik (the name was modernised in 1877) ceased to be published for financial reasons on 25 December 1877, several years later, he set up a new organ entitled Przyjaciel Ludu (The Friend of the People). The publisher of this magazine was the People’s Evangelical Education Society (Towarzystwo Ewangelickiej Oświaty Ludowej), existing since 1881. The first number was published on 4 January 1885. The periodical was written in a definitely Polish-Evangelical and missionary spirit. It was expressed in a text in the number from September 1885: “It is through us that the light of the Gospel . . . should shine among our Polish nation. We should be good Evangelicals but also Poles with all our hearts. Our faith came from Germany but has been preserved not by the German language but by the native Evangelical writing.”11 He abided clearly by this position more than ten years later as well. In 1909, he wrote: “In order to fulfil our vocation properly, two things are necessary: that we be good Poles and good Evangelicals. That we be good Poles, preserving faithfully our nationality and loving our nation, because, if we are not Poles, there will be no Polish Evangelical Church; if we are not faithful children of the nation, the nation will not consider the Evangelical Church to be familiar and their native one.”12

The national character of Przyjaciel Ludu went hand in hand with a mission and community message. In number 1 from the year 1885, it was expressed as follows: “Przyjaciel Ludu wants to be a periodical for the people. So it will not be a theological periodical for scholars. Professing the faith of our forefathers, rooted in the word of God and the teachings of our Evangelical Church, Przyjaciel Ludu wants to strengthen and harden the faith of our people, to cultivate the piety and the Evangelical way of life among them, to familiarise them with and encourage them in all matters in which the faith should prove effective through love and which should grace, as the fruits of the Gospel, our Evangelical Church, as well as to contribute as far as it is able to building the Kingdom of God among all our people.”13

The local pastors participated actively in the editing of the paper, among others: Jan Boruta, Bogusław Jerzy Heczko, Jerzy Janik, Karol Kulisz, Karol Michejda, Jan Stonawski.14 The periodical placed particular emphasis on the propagation of the idea of Polish Evangelicalism. This concept was not restrained even by the change of the title and of the editor as on 9 December 1909, Rev. Franciszek Michejda resigned from the post of the editor and since 1 January 1910, the magazine appeared under the title Poseł Ewangelicki (The Evangelical Envoy).15 The post of the editor was taken over by Rev. Jan Stonawski (formally, he was the responsible editor and publisher only since 25 January 1913).16 In order to offer a wider range of publications, another paper, Słowo Żywota (The Word of Life), was set up. Since then, sociopolitical subjects remained the domain of Poseł Ewangelicki and topics related to religion and community were characteristic of Słowo Żywota, published by Rev. Karol Kulisz in Ligotka Kameralna. The latter became the organ of the Christian Community (Społeczność Chrześcijańska). Edited for a long time by the bishop of the Silesian diocese, Rev. Karol Kulisz, it was taken over by the secretary of this organisation, Rev. Andrzej Cymorek, in the middle of the 1920s. One of the first moves of the new editor was to change the title of the paper. Since 1925, it was entitled Głosy Kościelne (The Church Voices) and was published till the outbreak of the war. It fought a very original battle for the reader, for example, printing slogans encouraging to buy the periodical: “Let those who want to arouse the religious spirit among the people support out newspaper Głosy Kościelne,” “Evangelical! Read the good periodical carefully, pay for subscription and recommend it to others,” “Three requests to our readers in the New Year: Stay with Głosy Kościelne, Recruit for Głosy Kościelne, Pray for Głosy Kościelne.”17 By contrast, Poseł Ewangelicki remained on the publishing market throughout the interwar period. In March 1933, it was transferred to Ustroń, where the position of the editor was taken by Rev. Paweł Nikodem. When he resigned in 1937, Rev. Otton Kubaczka took over as editor and the Silesian Group of the Association of Pastors became the publisher.

After the incorporation of Zaolzie, on 22 October 1938, Poseł Ewangelicki was merged with Ewangelik, which appeared there since 1925, into a weekly entitled Ewangelicki Poseł Cieszyński (The Evangelical Cieszyn Envoy). The position of the editor was taken over by Rev. Emanuel Tlołka from Český Těšín.

Publications which enjoyed great popularity among the Polish Evangelical population in Cieszyn Silesia were various yearly calendars. Their publication was initiated by Paweł Stalmach, who printed the first annual of Kalendarz Cieszyński dla katolików i ewangelików (Cieszyn Calendar for Catholics and Evangelicals) in 1857. However, in the following years, the paths of Evangelicals and Catholics diverged, so Lutherans began to publish their own calendars only. The first annual of Kalendarz Ewangelicki (The Evangelical Calendar) came out in 1882 in Nawsie.18 Its publisher was the People’s Evangelical Education Society. The first editor was the pastor Rev. Franciszek Michejda. The calendar appeared continuously until 1938 (since 1920, it was distributed on the Czech side of the border as well). After the division of Cieszyn Silesia on 28 July 1920, the calendar for the Polish part of the Cieszyn region was printed in Cieszyn and then in Ustroń. The situation remained unchanged on both sides till 1938, when, after the incorporation of Zaolzie into Poland in 1939, the shared Nasz Kalendarz Ewangelicki (Our Evangelical Calendar) came out. Its publisher was the People’s Evangelical Education Society in West Cieszyn.19

However, the most important press publication in the history of Polish Protestant publications is Zwiastun Ewangeliczny (The Evangelical Herald). It is the longest published magazine in the Polish lands as it has come out, with short intervals, since 15 January 1863 up until today. Its debut on the press market took place in a difficult period in the history of Poland, i.e. the time of the preparations for the January Uprising. Moreover, the periodical and its editor fell victim to repression after the uprising. Namely, Rev. Leopold Otto was forced to leave Warszawa and go outside the territory of the Russian partition. He settled in Cieszyn, where he resumed the publication of Zwiastun Ewangeliczny. In 1876, the periodical and its author returned to Warszawa.

Just as before, the objective of Zwiastun Ewangeliczny was to propagate the idea of Polish Evangelicalism. The articles published in this periodical referred also to the times of the Polish reformation, with the purpose of transplanting the ideas of that time to the contemporary ground. It was so because it was intended to acquaint readers, as Rev. L. Otto wrote in the first number, with “the past and the present of the Evangelical Church in Poland.” The editor enlisted the cooperation of a well-known publishing company Gebethner i Wolff, which undertook to publish the magazine, which was loss-making from the outset. It was no longer possible after Rev. Otto’s death in 1882. Petrus Wilhelm Angerstein, a pastor from Łódź, managed to publish only three more numbers. The idea of re-establishing Zwiastun Ewangeliczny was taken up only in 1897 by a young clergyman, Rev. Juliusz Bursche. In this time, his church career gained momentum, and as a result, he took up the prestigious post of the second pastor of the Warszawa parish. Bursche was an advocate of the idea of “Polish Evangelicalism.” What he supported in particular was the idea of creating a strong Polish Evangelical Church. In order to achieve it, he needed a press organ – the best medium of social communication at that time. On 31 January 1898, he re-established Zwiastun Ewangeliczny. Apart from Juliusz Bursche, among clergymen involved in the work on the biweekly were also Rev. Edmund Schultz and: Aleksander Schoeneich from Lublin, Jan Stanisław Fabian, Oskar Ernst, Hugo Wosch, and Rudolf Gundlach. Managed by Juliusz Bursche, the paper was a publishing success. Originally, it had a circulation of 1200 copies, and already at the end of 1898, the circulation was increased by another 300 copies. In the following years, the periodical grew steadily more popular. As Rev. Edmund Schultz wrote down meticulously in 1902, the number of subscribers exceeded two thousand.

In 1905, Bursche was elected as the head of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession and resigned from the post of the editor. His duties related to Zwiastun... were taken over by his closest collaborator, a pastor from Lublin, Rev. A. Schoeneich. Also Rev. Jan Stanisław Fabian worked with him and enriched the periodical with his articles. However, it did not last long because in 1907, Juliusz Bursche returned to the post of publisher. The periodical came out under his auspices till the outbreak of World War I.

In the middle of July 1921, Zwiastun Ewangeliczny was re-established. However, it did not refer in the subtitle to the one from before the “Great War,” but to Ewangelik (The Evangelical), a periodical published in the years 1919–1921 in Warszawa. It was manifested by maintaining the numbering in accordance with this paper. In the subtitle, the editorial team informed the reader that Zwiastun... was “an organ of Polish Evangelicals” and several months later – “an organ of Evangelical cooperatives.” A reference to Leopold Otto’s periodical was made only in June 1924, when the date of the foundation of the paper appeared in the subtitle. Since the beginning of 1924, the only publisher and editor was Zygmunt Michelis. He was a very strong personality, not without a large dose of megalomania and excessive ambitions. From the beginning, he competed for the influence on the press and church market against his fellow clergyman and at the same time, the editor of an Evangelical paper, Rev. Feliks Gloeh. This conflict smouldered throughout the interwar period, seriously weakening the influence and significance of the Polish press of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession. But the start of Zwiastun... was promising. In the first number, Z. Michelis declared i.a.:

“We will make every effort so that the spirit of the father of the contemporary Polish Evangelicalism, the late Rev. Otto’s ardent love for Zwiastun, the spirit of the Rt Rev. J. Bursche’s steadfast faithfulness to Zwiastun and the spirit of A. Rondthaler’s respect for someone else’s and love for his own Ewangelik enliven the columns of our Zwiastun Ewangeliczny as well. We wish to herald “an Evangelical spirit, a spirit of Christ’s love, which reaches beyond the borders and lists of particular Churches and denominations.”20

As the president of the Evangelical Bank21 and the second pastor of the Warszawa parish, he gained an opportunity to develop the periodical and transformed it into his personal organ. The format and the number of pages were increased. Moreover, the editor managed to attract a large circle of collaborators, the most important being Rev. Aleksander Schoeneich. Apart from him, the collaborators writing for Zwiastun... included among others the famous Calvinist author Paweł Hulka-Laskowski and Rev. Ewald Lodwich (using the pseudonyms: Adam Kaszubski, Wojski, “Pustelnik”).22

Zwiastun Ewangeliczny, originally a religious-social paper, with time became a secular organ emphasising the political-ideological factor and propagating a remarkably aggressive character in the spirit of so-called Polish Evangelicalism. The symbol of this transformation was the change of the title to Zwiastun Ewangelicki on 16 April 1939. In the new magazine, Church issues receded into the background. However, in order to compensate for the lack of them, since January 1939, a theological-biblical monthly began to be published as a supplement under the previous title. The post of its editor was taken up by Rev. Zygmunt Michelis. Each number contained collections of sermons and Bible discussions for the given period of the liturgical year. The last number came out on 3 September 1939. Throughout World War II, no Lutheran Polish-language publications were printed in the occupied lands of the Second Polish Republic.

The revival of Polish Lutheran magazines took place only in 1946.23 The annual Kalendarz Ewangelicki was re-established then. Also a serial paper referring to the tradition of Zwiastun Ewangeliczny debuted in Bytom under quite an unfortunate title, Strażnica Ewangeliczna (The Evangelical Watchtower). The post of the editor was taken up by the Rt Rev. Juliusz Bursche’s grandson, Rev. Henryk Wegener-Wojnowski.24 The circulation of the magazine in 1947 was 7 000 copies.25 It was also then that the magazine began to be published every two weeks.

Just as in the interwar period, the periodical remained formally independent of the Church authorities in respect of organisation and finances. It also avoided commenting current political events. However, the ever increasing Stalinisation of Poland in the beginning of the 1950s crushed this relative independence definitively. On 27 July, the President of the Council of Ministers issued a regulation obliging all editorial teams to distribute their publications through the State Book and Press Distribution Company “Ruch” (Państwowe Przedsiębiorstwo Kolportażowe “Ruch”). Having no choice, Strażnica Ewangeliczna complied with this regulation on 1 January 1951. The authorities more and more often interfered in the content of the paper as well, e.g. in September 1951, they forbade it to print Rev. Andrzej Wantuła’s article on the Koellings.26

After Rev. Karol Kotula and Rev. Zygmunt Michelis took power over the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in November 1951, it became one of priorities to give a new face to Strażnica Ewangeliczna. “Wydawnictwo Strażnicy Ewangelicznej” (The Publisher of Strażnica Ewangeliczna) was closed down and the Press-Publishing Office attached to the General Council of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession was formed. On 18 March 1952, the Consistory passed a special resolution whereby the running of the periodical and book publications was given over to the press-publishing office of the General Council of the Church with its seat in Bydgoszcz as of 1 April. It meant that Rev. Waldemar Preiss took the helm as far as editing was concerned. At the same time, Rev. Henryk Wegener-Wojnowski was ordered to close down the periodical and the related publications as of 31 March 1952.27

In 1953, the editor and the place of publication of Strażnica Ewangeliczna changed. The administration and editing team were moved to Warszawa and the post of the editor was taken up by Henryk Wencel. But it was not the end of the problems of the periodical. In 1954, it faced great financial difficulties. They appeared as a result of the insufficient and constantly decreasing number of subscribers and of its political involvement. This problem was raised at the meeting of bishops on 14 October 1953 by Rev. Paweł Nikodem. He declared publicly that members of his parish in Ustroń did not want Strażnica Ewangeliczna as it was commonly believed to be a political periodical. In his opinion, it was necessary to change the policy. In February 1954, Henryk Wencel quit as the editor and the running of the periodical was taken over by the former editor of Zwiastun Ewangeliczny, Zygmunt Michelis. He acted as the editor-in-chief until 12 September 1958. Only then, the Consistory at a session with the General Council of the Church passed a resolution whereby the duties of the administrative manager of the periodical were to be taken over by Edward Głowacki as of 1 October 1960.28

The great wave of hope brought by the Polish October of 1956 encouraged a discussion on the further development of Protestant publications. On 12 May 1957, it was discussed during the Church Synod. It was resolved to order the Publishing Committee of the Synod to develop an organisation scheme of a new administrative unit. It was supposed to be the Cooperative “Wydawnictwo Ewangelickie” (The Evangelical Publishing Company), which was to function on the pattern of analogous publishing companies of other Churches in Poland. The main aim of this new institution was to publish Strażnica Ewangeliczna. The periodical was to be transformed into a weekly and contain a supplement for children once a month. Moreover, the Cooperative “Wydawnictwo Ewangelickie” was supposed to create departments publishing religion and pre-confirmation education textbooks as well as postils, prayer books, meditations, song books, Evangelical fiction and belles-lettres. In order to put it into practice, apart from funds, plenty of authors were needed. Thus the Publishing Committee of the Synod was ordered to enlist the cooperation of scholars and translators. Moreover, the Committee was supposed to develop a long-term publishing plan together with the managers of the future Cooperative. In order to achieve these goals, obviously financial means were needed, and it was intended to look for them both at home and abroad.29 However, it proved impossible to obtain them and consequently, the plans have not been carried out.

The main organ of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession was published under the title Strażnica Ewangeliczna till the end of 1960. However, the social reception of this name was unambiguous (it was associated with a magazine published by Jehovah’s Witnesses), so it was decided that it should be changed. It was discussed in the periodical already since 1958.30 Since number 6 from 16–30 March 1959, the periodical had a new subtitle: “Organ urzędowy Kościoła Ewangelicko-Augsburgskiego” (The Official Organ of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession). It was the 300th number published after the war. The change of the name on 1 January 1961 cannot have been accidental and was meant as a reference to the tradition of Lutheran magazines in the Polish lands as 1963 marked the 100th anniversary of the inauguration of Zwiastun Ewangeliczny. Thus it was decided to revert to this name, keeping only the first element of the old title.31 This decision was taken by the General Church Council on 27 November 1960. The first number under the new title appeared on 1 January 1961. It had also the subtitle “Pismo religijno-kościelne. „Organ urzędowy Kościoła Ewangelicko-Augsburgskiego” (A Religion and Church Periodical. The Official Organ of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession). Also the statute of the publishing company,32 which was in force since 1 January 1961 as well, was changed. The preparations for the changes in the publishing company began several months earlier. During the meeting of bishops on 3 February 1960, it was decided that Edward Głowacki would take up the post of the administrator of Strażnica Ewangeliczna and of the administrative director in the Consistory.33 Also the issues related to the functioning of the periodical, edited already by Irena Heintze, were discussed. From her report, it appeared that apart from the current publishing of the periodical, the publishing company was going to print numerous studies, e.g.: Historie biblijne dla domu i szkoły (Biblical Stories for Home and School) and Postylle (Postils) written by Rev. Paweł Sikora.

However, in the 1960s, Zwiastun was still criticised by lay readers and by clergymen. They called for a change of content of this religious publication. In February 1966, it began to be said that the Church authorities were about to change the composition of the editorial team. The Rt Rev. Karol Kotula was supposed to leave it and be replaced by Rev. Waldemar Press Junior, the curate of the Rt Rev. Andrzej Wantuła. In fact, Irena Heintze resigned from the post of the editor of the periodical on 31 July 1967. She informed Bishop of the Cieszyn diocese, Rev. Adam Wegert, about it. She justified her decision by claiming that she was discriminated against by the Rt Rev. Andrzej Wantuła and the Denomination Office. In her opinion, the office complained about the content of Zwiastun, considering it to be unpopular and almost useless.34

Rev. Tadeusz Wojak became the new director of the “Zwiastun” Publishing Company. And as of 31 December 1967, Rev. Jan Karpecki quit as the editor of the supplement “Przyjaciel Dziatek” (The Friend of Children) and was replaced by Helena Bujok from Cieszyn.

The collaborators of the periodical included Lutheran clergymen from home and abroad, i.a., Rev. Paweł Roman from Olbrachcice (Zaolzie) and Rev. Alfred Bieta, working in London.35 At the end of 1971, the “Zwiastun” Publishing Company decided that the subtitle would be changed as of 1 January 1972. The previous subtitle “Organ urzędowy Kościoła Ewangelicko-Augsburgskiego” (The Official Organ of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession) was to be changed to: “Ewangelickie Pismo Religijno-Społeczne” (An Evangelical Religious and Social Periodical) with a note in the imprint: “Publisher: the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in the People’s Republic of Poland.”36

However, everybody were aware of the insufficient range of publications offered by the Church. There was even a debate concerning this subject in the Denomination Office. The participants included the Rt Rev. Andrzej Wantuła, the chairman of the Synod Department, Edward Głowacki, the director of the “Zwiastun” Publishing Company, Rev. Tadeusz Wojak, and the deputy director of the Denomination Office, Tadeusz Dusik. The assembled agreed that the publishing “mission offensive,” announced during the conference of pastors, was unlikely given the decrease in the number of the faithful.37 However, such attempts were made, mainly meeting the wishes of the activists from Dzięgielów.38 As a result, on 16 February 1973, the General Office of Publications received a letter from the director,  Rev. Tadeusz Wojak. In this letter, the director of the “Zwiastun” Publishing Company asked for a permit for the publishing of a four-page mission supplement appearing every quarter.39

At that time, the activists from Dzięgielów proposed their own idea for the further functioning of Zwiastun as well. They assumed that the cause of the crisis of Zwiastun was the fact that allegedly it became a secular periodical. It was necessary to change its content in the first place and then the circulation, which was to amount to around 15 000 copies. Also the size of the paper was to increase to 24 pages. It was also considered a good way of promotion to set up a quarterly adapted to suit the needs of the Evangelical intelligentsia. However, these changes were impossible to make without the support of the Denomination Office, which was to issue a permit for better paper and the increase in circulation.40

These plans were not carried out, so in 1973, an idea of publishing so-called Zeszyty Luterańskie (Lutheran Notebooks) was proposed. The decision concerning this was made by the Consistory during its meeting on 13 September 1973. On 29 November 1973, the opinion of the Consistory was supported by the delegates of the conference of pastors of the Warszawa diocese, as it was then that the Rt Rev. Ryszard Trenkler presented questions sent by the “Zwiastun” Publishing Company. They concerned ways of creating the new periodical and issues to be addressed in it. During the discussion, the pastors came to a conclusion that Zeszyty Luterańskie (it was a working name, its final form remained open) should contain scientific and popular scientific articles. It was to concern religion and to be written by famous personalities from the Lutheran world. Zeszyty was also intended to contain articles reprinted from foreign Lutheran press translated into Polish. Everything was supposed to be taken care of by the editor-in-chief and the editorial meeting. After the discussion, the following pastors offered to collaborate: the Rt Rev. Ryszard Trenkler, the President of the Christian Academy of Theology Rev. Woldemar Gastpary, Rev. Jan Polok, Rev. Dr. Jerzy Gryniakow and Rev. Henryk Czembor.

However, the idea was not put into practice. The fiasco of the idea of Zeszyty Luterańskie was caused mainly by financial problems of the publishing company. Since 1973, it faced great difficulties, and was even forced to request subsidies for the current activity from the Lutheran World Federation.

Since January 1983, the periodical had the subtitle “Ewangelickie czasopismo religijne” (The Evangelical Religious Magazine) and still was published with the supplement Przyjaciel Dzieci (The Friend of Children).

In this publishing form, the periodical survived till the end of the communist system in Poland.

In this period, Polish Lutheran publications appeared in exile as well. Their editors were clergymen and lay activists working abroad. Lutherans had rich traditions there as well. Namely, already on the eve of the 20th century, the first of such publications debuted in North America. At this time, numerous Polish emigrants, including Lutherans, came to the USA and Canada.

At the beginning of the 20th century, there were around twelve thousand Polish Lutherans. They found themselves among people of different nationality. Moreover, they did not have a sufficient number of their own clergymen.41 Therefore, they were exposed to quick assimilation, which one of Polish pastors, Franciszek Sattelmeier from the parish in Scranton, tried to prevent. In December 1906, he began to publish the periodical Kościół Reformacyjny w Ameryce (The Reformation Church in America). Rev. Stanisław Młotkowski from Chicago was in charge of the editing. The group of collaborators included, among others, Rev. August Agather, Luis A. Linn, Kazimierz Mikulski and Jan Dawidowski. The magazine was also sent to the Polish lands, mainly to the Kingdom of Poland and to Galicia. However, due to increasing financial difficulties, in December 1909, the periodical ceased to appear.

They re-established their own press title when there was a new wave of emigration during World War II. In the spring of 1945, Poseł Ewangelicki (The Evangelical Envoy), originally printed on a duplicating machine, began to be distributed among the soldiers of the II Corps. The post of the editor was taken up by the Evangelical chaplain, Rev. Władysław Fierla. After the evacuation of the soldiers to the British Isles, the editing team moved to London. In 1952, the periodical adopted the subtitle “Organ Polskiego Kościoła Ewangelicko-Augsburskiego na Obczyźnie” (The Organ of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Exile). The press title appeared till December 2005. The editor was Rev. Fierla, till his death in 1995, and then his widow Helena Fierla.

In the parish of St. John in Toronto, Canada, since 1957, there was published a periodical entitled Biuletyn kościelny (The Church Bulletin) with the subtitle: “Miesięcznik polskiego zboru ewangelicko-augsburskiego przy Kościele Św. Pawła” (A Monthly of the Polish Congregation of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession Attached to St. Paul’s Church). Its editor was Leopold Szarzec. Also Rev. Ludwik Rucki and Karol Kornas contributed to the periodical.

Another initiative in exile was the social-cultural quarterly Szkice i Dialog (Sketches and Dialogue). It was published since 1980 in Stockholm. The periodical had the subtitle: “Braterstwo – Tolerancja – Oświata. Kwartalnik społeczno-kulturalny” (Brotherhood – Tolerance – Education. A Social-Cultural Quarterly). The post of the editor was taken up by an emigrant from Poland, Stanisław Siostrzonek, and the formal publisher was the Polish Evangelical Institute in Stockholm.

Along with political changes, a new and the latest stage of development of Polish Lutheran press has begun.

Already in 1989, lay Lutheran activists from the Polish Evangelical Association, which had been re-established several years earlier, undertook to publish a new Evangelical periodical. It was entitled Słowo i Myśl. Przegląd Ewangelicki (Word and Thought. An Evangelical Review) with the subtitle “Pismo społeczno-kulturalne” (A Social and Cultural Magazine). The first number appeared in February 1989. The editorial team was based in Łódź and the post of the editor-in-chief was taken up by Zofia Wojciechowska.42

In 1991, the publishing of the official organ of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession, Zwiastun, was moved to Bielsko-Biała, where the Augustana publishing complex had been built. Moreover, the two-part name Zwiastun Ewangelicki was adopted again and Rev. Jerzy Below became its editor.

Meanwhile, just as in a similar situation in the interwar period, other independent Lutheran periodicals began to appear, e.g. Gazeta Ewangelicka (The Evangelical Newspaper), published in the years 1997–2002, and Ewangelik Pszczyński (The Pszczyna Evangelical). The process of activisation of particular Lutheran communities was visible on the level of particular parishes as well. As a result, there was a real abundance of parish newspapers, e.g. Ewangelik Pszczyński, Informator Parafii Ewangelicko-Augsburskiej św. Trójcy w Warszawie (The Newsletter of the Holy Trinity Parish of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Warszawa), Informator parafii ewangelicko-augsburskiej w Poznaniu (The Newsletter of the Parish of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poznań), Informator parafialny (The Parish Newsletter) in Mikołów, Nasza Gazetka (Our Newspaper) in Goleszów, Ewangelik. Informator diecezjalny (The Evangelical. The Diocese Newsletter), Bielski Syjon (The Zion of Bielsko-Biała), Luteranin Toruński (The Toruń Lutheran) or Rybak (The Fisherman) in Radom and Kielce.

Then some of them were transformed into printed publications, e.g. Ewangelik Pszczyński,43 Luteranin (The Lutheran) (the periodical of the Evangelical parish in Wisła), and Ewangelik (The Evangelical) in Katowice. The latter, edited by Jan Szturc, became a quarterly with interests going beyond the borders of the diocese. A collection of interviews which appeared in the periodical in the years 2003–2008, published separately, became something of a summary of his activity as the editor.44 Meanwhile, in the diocese of Pomerania and Greater Poland, since 1992, there was published a periodical entitled Diaspora, and then in 2007, Gdański Rocznik Ewangelicki (The Gdańsk Evangelical Annual) began to appear. In 2004, the Wrocław diocese began to publish a periodical entitled Rocznik Diecezjalny (The Diocesan Annual). Meanwhile, in the Masurian diocese, the magazine Kartki Mazurskie. Biuletyn Mazurskiego Towarzystwa Ewangelickiego (The Masurian Pages. The Bulletin of the Masurian Evangelical Society) was published in print since 1999 and on the Internet only since 2004.45

Also Evangelical soldiers serving in the Polish Army have been given their press organ. In order to meet their needs, the magazine Wiara i Mundur (The Faith and the Uniform) began to be published in January 2008. The first editor was Rev. Marcin Hintz. The needs of people seeking rather theological discussions have been met by Przegląd Ewangelicki (The Evangelical Review) published in Bielsko. Similar issues are addressed in the periodicals from Dzięgielów: Warto (Worth) and Blisko (Close).46

The Lutheran diaspora is ten times smaller today than it was in the period of its greatest demographic development (before 1939). Nonetheless, apparently, after 1989, certain processes leading to its coming to the fore have begun to occur again. And again, just as for hundreds of years, it is being expressed through the written word.

1 The author elaborates on the subject in the monograph Protestanckie wydawnictwa prasowe na ziemiach polskich w XIX i pierwszej połowie XX w. (Protestant Press Publications in the Polish Lands in the 19th Century and in the First Half of the 20th Century) (Toruń 2010).

2 The issues raised in the magazine are also addressed in G. Gzella, „Prawdziwy Ewangielik Polski”- mazurskie „pismo dla ludu” (1859-1860) (Prawdziwy Ewangelik Polski – a Masurian “magazine for the people” (1859–1860)) in: “Komunikaty Mazursko-Warmińskie,” 1990, no. 1- 4.

3 The quotes were published by R. Otello, Problemy narodowościowe w Kościele ewangelickim na Mazurach w latach 1918-1945 (The Nationality Problems in the Evangelical Church in Masuria in the Years 1918-1945), ed. G. Jasiński, Olsztyn 2003, p. 31.

4 Gazeta Mazurska, no. 1, 3.12.1922.

5 E. Sukertowa-Biedrawina, Kulisy wydawnicze „Gazety Mazurskiej” i „Kalendarza dla Mazurów” (The Secrets of the Publication of “Gazeta Mazurska” and “Kalendarz dla Mazurów” [The Calendar for Masurians]), “Komunikaty Mazursko-Warmińskie,” no. 3, Olsztyn 1965, p. 384; idem, Dawno a niedawno. Wspomnienia (Long and not long ago. Memories), Olsztyn 1965, p. 59; Strażnica Ewangeliczna, no. 20, 31.10.1955, p. 299–300.

6 W. Wrzesiński, Kwestia mazurska na Działdowszczyźnie w latach 1920–1939 (The Masurian Issue in the Działdowo Region in the Years 1920–1939), “Komunikaty Mazursko-Warmińskie,” no. 3, Olsztyn 1959, p. 271–272; P. Bystrzycki, Działdowszczyzna w latach II Rzeczypospolitej. Życie społeczno-polityczne (The Działdowo Region in the Years of the Second Polish Republic. The Sociopolitical Life), Olsztyn 1997, p. 225.

7 M. Odachowski, Prasa powiatu działdowskiego (1920–1939). Przegląd informacyjno-bibliograficzny (The Press of Działdowo district. An Informational-Bibliographical Review), “Kwartalnik Historii Prasy Polskiej,” vol. XXIX, fasc. 3–4, Warszawa 1990, p. 45–46.

8 W. Wrzesiński, Polski ruch narodowy w Niemczech w latach 1922-1939 (The Polish National Movement in Germany in the Years 1922-1939), Toruń 2005, p. 219-220.

9 W. Gastpary, Polskie czasopisma ewangelickie aż do II wojny światowej (Polish Evangelical Magazines Until World War II), “Rocznik Teologiczny,” XVII, fasc. 1, Warszawa 1975, p. 92–93; G. Kubica-Heller, Luteranie na Śląsku Cieszyńskim. Studium historyczno-socjologiczne (Lutherans in Cieszyn Silesia. A historical-sociological study), Bielsko-Biała 1996, p. 41.

10 More on the subject, cf. A. Buzek, Dzieje polskiej prasy kościelnej ewangelickiej na Śląsku (The History of the Evangelical Church Press in Silesia), [in:] W służbie Ojczyzny i Kościoła. Księga pamiątkowa dla uczczenia pracy duszpasterskiej księdza seniora Feliksa Gloeha, Naczelnego Kapelana WP (Serving the Homeland and the Church. A Commemorative Book Honouring the Pastoral Work of the Right Reverend Feliks Gloeh, Chaplain General of the Polish Army), Warszawa 1938; St. Zahradnik, Czasopiśmiennictwo w języku polskim na terenach Czechosłowacji w latach 1848–1938 (Polish-language Periodicals in the Czechoslovakian Lands in the Years 1848–1938), Opole 1989, p. 66–68;T. Konik, Czasopisma ks. Franciszka Michejdy (Periodicals of Rev. Franciszek Michejda), [in:] O większą sprawę. Ks. Franciszek Michejda (1848–1921) (For a Greater Cause. Rev. Franciszek Michejda (1848–1921)), ed. E. Miszewska, B. Michejda-Pinno, J. Michejda, Katowice 2003, p. 92–95.

11 Przyjaciel Ludu, no 17, 6.09.1885, p. 132.

12 Przyjaciel Ludu, no. 1, Jan 1909, p. 4.

13 Przyjaciel Ludu, no. 1, 4.01.1885, p. 1–2.

14 W. Gastpary, Polskie czasopisma..., p. 93.

15 M. Michalska, Religijność na pograniczu. Polacy na Zaolziu (Religiousness in the Borderland. Poles in Zaolzie), Český Těšín 2006, p. 147.

16 Ibid., p. 93–94.

17 Głosy Kościelne, no. 8, 12.09.1925, p. 7; ibid., no. 4, 18.07.1925, p. 8; ibid., no. 1, 9.01.1926, p. 8; ibid., no. 28, 20.07.1929, p. 28.

18 M. Michalska, op. cit., p. 152.

19 Głos Ewangelicki, no. 14, 2.04.1933, p. 7; Strażnica Ewangeliczna, no. 17, 15.09.1948, p. 11; S. Zahradnik, Prasa ewangelicka na Śląsku Cieszyńskim do 1939 roku (The Evangelical Press in Cieszyn Silesia until 1939), [in:] “Evangelický Kalendár / Kalendarz Ewangelicki” 1984, Český Těšín 1984, p. 86, 95–96; M. Michalska, op. cit., p. 147–149.

20 Zwiastun Ewangeliczny, no. 1, 4.09.1921, p. 1.

21 Zwiastun Ewangeliczny, no. 1, 1.01.1922, p. 2.

22 W. Gastpary, Polskie... (Polish...), p. 103–107.

23 This problem was elaborated on in: J. Kłaczkow, Kościół Ewangelicko-Augsburski w Polsce w latach 1945-1975 (The Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland in the Years 1945-1975), Toruń 2010, p. 454-467. These conclusions concerning the situation of the Lutheran press in those years are an abbreviated version of these findings.

24 O. Kiec, Die Protestantischen Kirchen in Polen unter kommunistischer Herrschaft. Die Phase der Errichtung der kommunistischen Herrschaft 1945–1949, in: Zwischen den Mühlsteinen. Protestantische Kirchen in der Phase der Errichtung der kommunistichen Herrschaft im östlichen Europa, ed. P. Maser, J. H. Schjørring, Erlangen 2002, p. 165–166.

25 K. Urban, Wyznaniowa prasa nierzymskokatolicka w Polsce Ludowej (The Non-Roman Catholic Religious Press in the People’s Republic of Poland), [in:] Zeszyty Prasoznawcze, XXI, no. 1 (83), Kraków 1980, p. 66; this issue is also addressed in J. Szturc, Polskie czasopisma protestanckie w latach 1945-1988 (Polish Protestant Magazines in the Years 1945-1988), in: Studia i Dokumenty Ekumeniczne 1994, no. 2, p. 149-167.

26 The Archive of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession (Archiwum Kościoła Ewangelicko-Augsburskiego, AKEA), a letter from Rev. Henryk Wegener-Wojnowski to the Rt Rev. Jan Szeruda of 15 June 1951, unnumbered folio.

27 Ibid., The Resolution of the Consistory of 18 March 1952 concerning Strażnica Ewangeliczna, unnumbered folio; a letter from the Consistory of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession to Rev. Henryk Wegener-Wojnowski of 20 March 1952, unnumbered folio.

28 Ibid., a letter from the president of the Consistory, Brunon Umgelter, to Edward Głowacki of 20.09.1958, unnumbered folio.

29 AKEA, Resolution of the Synod of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession of 12.05.1957, unnumbered folio.

30 Strażnica Ewangeliczna no. 13, 1-15.07.1958, p. 203.

31 About the issues addressed in Zwiastun (The Herald) and other Evangelical periodicals in the interwar period cf. M. Wojciechowski, Nationalsozialistische Religionspolitik und der Kirchenkampf in Deutschland in Jahren 1933–1939 im Urteil der polnischen Kirchenpresse,[in:] Religionspolitik in Deutschland. Von der Frühen Neuzeit bis zur Gegenwart, ed. A. Doering-Manteuffel, K. Nowak, Stuttgart 1999.

32 The Central Archives of Modern Records (Archiwum Akt Nowych; AAN), the Denomination Office (Urząd do Spraw Wyznań; UdSW), catalogue no. 138/144, a letter of 28.10.1960 from the Rt Rev. Andrzej Wantuła to the Denomination Office with the agenda of the General Church Council on 27.11.1960, f. 11; AKEA, a letter from the president of the Consistory, Brunon Umgelter, to the Denomination Office of 6.12.1960, unnumbered folio.

33 IPN BU 01283/1545, an extract from the shorthand notes of the discussion, made by the source “Baranowski,” of 27.03.1960. (Strictly confidential, single copy), f. 63.

34 IPN Ka 001/1102, vol. 2, Ministry of Internal Affairs Warszawa, report based on information provided by Secret Collaborator code-named “Wacław” of 30.03.1967, f. 59.

35 AAN, UdSW, catalogue no. 131/241, a letter from the “Zwiastun” publishing company to the Denomination Office of 2.12.1971, f. 80.

36 Ibid., a letter from the “Zwiastun” Publishing Company to the Denomination Office of 23.11.1971, f. 94.

37 AAN, UdSW, catalogue no. 131/241, a note of a conversation of Rev. Wojak with the deputy director of the Denomination Office Tadeusz Dusik, f. 91.

38 AKEA, Zwiastun, a letter from Karol Hławiczka to the editor of Zwiastun of 26.11.1972 r, unnumbered folio.

39 Ibid., a letter from the director of the “Zwiastun” Publishing Company to the General Office of Publications of 16.02.1973, unnumbered folio.

40 AAN, UdSW, catalogue no. 131/241, a note of a conversation of Rev. Wojak with the deputy director of the Denomination Office Tadeusz Dusik, f. 91.

41 This issue is elaborated on in: J. Kłaczkow, Polska emigracja protestancka w krajach anglosaskich w XIX i XX wieku (The Polish Protestant Immigrant Community in Anglo-Saxon Countries in the 19th and 20th Centuries), in: Dzieje Najnowsze  XXXIX, no. 4, 2007, p. 149-163; idem, Protestanckie wydawnictwa prasowe na ziemiach polskich w XIX i pierwszej połowie XX w. (Protestant Press publications in the Polish Lands in the 19th Century and in the First Half of the 20th Century),Toruń 2008, p. 60-61.

42 J. Szturc, Stowarzyszenia społeczne w polskim luteranizmie. Ujęcie historyczne (Social Associations in the Polish Lutheranism. A Historical Perspective),in: Kościoły luterańskie na ziemiach polskich (XVI-XX w.) (Lutheran Churches in the Polish Lands (the 16th-20th c.), ed. J. Kłaczkow. Toruń 2012 (forthcoming), p. 27 of the typescript.

43 In 2001, Bibliografia zawartości „Ewangelika Pszczyńskiego” za lata 1992-1997 (The Bibliography of the Content of “Ewangelik Pszczyński” in the Years 1992–1997) prepared by Jadwiga Badura was even published.

44 J. Szturc, Rozmowy z ewangelikami początku wieku (Conversations with Evangelicals from the Beginning of the Century), Katowice 2008.

45 W. Bertman, A. Sokół, Książka i prasa ewangelicka w Polsce po 1989 r. Zarys zagadnienia i stan badań (The Evangelical Book and Press after 1989 in Poland. An Outline of the Issue and the State of Research), [in:] “Toruńskie Studia Bibliologiczne” 2011, no. 1 (6), p. 115.

46 Ibid., p. 112.