….on May 19, 1674, the Grand Hetman of the Crown(Military Commander in Chief) of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Jan Sobieski, was elected King of Poland. After a period of turnmoil and attacks from various external forces (Turks, Swedes, Tatars, etc.), King Jan III Sobieski ushered in a period of stabilization and normalization in Poland.
After his election as King, some years later, Jan III Sobieski heeded the summons of all of Europe and, as the leader of a joint command of Polish, Austrian, and German troops, led Europe to a decisive victory over the superior Turkish forces at the Battle of Vienna in 1683. Though outnumbered 130,000 to 81,000, Sobieski proved victorious and was hailed as the “Savior of Vienna and Western European Civilization” by many, including the Pope.
And I feel a special “kin” to Sobieski, Not by relation, but by history and geography. When I was in Ukraine in 2011 with my cousins Alicia and Wojtek, and their son Filip, we visited many of the cities and sites that were significant in the live and accomplishments of King Jan III Sobieski. Currently I am reading “Jan Sobieski: The King who Saved Europe” by Militiades Varvounis, an excellent book which is a biography of Sobieski. It brings back so many good memories of the great places I visited in what was then Poland but is now Ukraine. I can’t wait to go back.
I believe there is a lot we can learn today from Polish history. Learn a bit about Sobieski and the history of Poland. It’s a great story!