Known as prisoner number 4859 at the Auschwitz concentration camp, Witold Pilecki voluntarily got himself arrested to be sent to the camp, so that he could start an anti-Nazi resistance movement. He set up the underground campaign ZOW and was eventually able to escape. Nevertheless, he was executed by communists.
Adam Mickiewicz was a Polish poet, dramatist, essayist, and political activist. He was a major figure in Polish Romanticism and considered one of Poland's "Three Bards." He has long been regarded as Poland's national poet and is often compared to Byron and Goethe. The vast majority of his work is available only in Polish and has been reprinted numerous times.
Nobel Prize-winning Polish-American poet Czesław Miłosz, known for the iconic Poem of Frozen Time, had made a lucky escape during the German invasion of Poland but had gone back using fake documents to be with his wife, Janina. He later became a Polish diplomat and also taught in the US.
Israeli poet and partisan leader Abba Kovner was the first person to publicly state in his manifesto that Adolf Hitler was planning to persecute the Jews of Europe. His campaign against the Germans made him join the Israeli army. His life and times have been elaborated in The Fall of a Sparrow.
Aušrinė Armonaitė is a Lithuanian politician and the current Minister for Economy and Innovation. Since 2019, she has been serving as the chairperson of the popular Freedom Party. Aušrinė Armonaitė previously served as a member of the conservative-liberal political party, Liberal Movement.
Marijonas Mikutavičius is a Lithuanian musician, singer, songwriter, TV journalist, talk show host, and comedian. Best known for his song Trys Milijonai, Marijonas Mikutavičius is a popular singer who represented Lithuania in the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest as part of LT United.
Ingrida Šimonytė is a Lithuanian economist and politician. She is the current Prime Minister of Lithuania. An influential politician, Šimonytė also served as the Minister of Finance from 7 July 2009 to 13 December 2012. In 2019 and 2020, Ingrida Šimonytė was named Delfi Women of the Year.
Polish military commander Jan Karol Chodkiewicz is remembered for his exploits against the Swedes and the Turks. He once demolished a Swedish army 4 times larger than his own. He died in the battle of Khotyn, or Chocim, after successfully defending it against the Turks, fighting a huge army.
Ignacy Domeyko was a Polish geologist, educator, and mineralogist. He is credited with founding one of Chile's oldest public universities, the University of Santiago, Chile (Usach). After the Polish–Russian War 1830–31, he settled in Chile where he made significant contributions to the study of Chile's geology, geography, and mineralogy. Ignacy Domeyko’s observations helped shape Chile's labor movement.
Starting his career as a journalist, Artūras Zuokas later stepped into the scene of Lithuanian politics. He chairs the Lithuanian Freedom Union and has served as the mayor of Vilnius. He has also previously been associated with businesses related to real estate, retail, and electronic sales.
Kazimira Prunskienė scripted history when she became Lithuania’s first prime minister after the country’s independence from the USSR. Associated with the Communist Party, the Popular Peasants Union, and the People's Party, she has also taught economics and penned several books. She is known for her focus on women’s participation in politics.
Former Lithuanian judge Neringa Venckienė was part of the 11th Seimas of Lithuania. The Way of Courage party leader was in the middle of a huge controversy regarding the custody of her brother’s daughter, who was apparently molested in a case that led to the murders of several people.
Piotr Skarga was a Polish Jesuit, hagiographer, polemicist, and preacher. He played a major role in Poland's Counter-Reformation of Catholic Church in response to the spread of Protestantism in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Also a prolific writer, Piotr Skarga's work The Lives of the Saints was counted among the most popular Polish language books for several centuries.
Joachim Lelewel was a Polish historian, bibliographer, geographer, politician, and polyglot. He is credited with co-founding the Democratic Society for Unity and Brotherhood of All Peoples along with Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx in 1847. Joachim Lelewel is also credited with strongly influencing the Russian revolutionary anarchist Mikhail Bakunin.
German physician Johann Peter Frank is remembered for his pathbreaking ideas on public health. Though he initially studied theology, he later switched to medicine. He had been a court physician, a councillor, and a professor. He was one of the first to suggest international monitoring of health issues.
Lithuanian television-personality and politician Arūnas Valinskas created famous television shows and reality-competition shows and has hosted several shows and concerts. As a politician, he founded National Resurrection Party in 2008 which later merged to Liberal and Centre Union in 2011. He was elected to Seimas in 2008 and served as Speaker of the Seimas from November 2008 to September 2009.
Artūras Paulauskas is a Lithuanian politician best known for his service as the Acting President of Lithuania in 2004. A popular politician, Paulauskas also served as the Minister of Environment from January 2008 to December 2008.
Aušra Maldeikienė is a Lithuanian politician, political economist, teacher, lecturer, publicist, and author. Having served as the Vilnius City Councilor and Member of the Seimas between 2015 and 2019, Maldeikienė was elected as a Member of the European Parliament in 2019.
Juozas Budraitis is a Lithuanian actor best known for his performance in the 1977 Soviet drama film Wounded Game, which was screened at the 30th Cannes Film Festival. Juozas Budraitis achieved international fame, when he appeared in the finale of the popular American period drama TV miniseries, The Queen's Gambit.
Irena Degutienė, member of Homeland Union, served as Minister for Social Security and Labour, twice as acting Prime Minister of Lithuania and as First Deputy Speaker of the Seimas. She then became the first woman to hold-office as Speaker of the Seimas. Thereafter she served as Deputy Speaker of the Seimas. She is implicated in the MG Baltic bribery scandal.
Polish author and editor Jerzy Putrament initially worked as a journalist and was later arrested for his communist activities. Best known for his political and war novels such as At the Crossroads and Bołdyn, he also served as the Polish ambassador to Switzerland and France, and as a member of the parliament.
Polish scholar, teacher, administrator and Jesuit priest Tadeusz Brzozowski was the first world-wide general of the restored Society of Jesus. When Pope Pius VII restored the Society of Jesus across the globe, he elected Brzozowski as the twentieth Superior General of the Society of Jesus. Brzozowski translated Claude-Adrien Nonnotte’s work Dictionnaire philosophique de la religion into Polish.
Arūnas Matelis is a Lithuanian documentary filmmaker and one of the most important members of the European Film Academy. He is credited with founding Nominum, one of Lithuania's first independent film production companies. Over the course of his career, Arūnas Matelis has won several prestigious awards, including the Lithuanian National Prize in 2005.