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274 KUCZALSKA-REINSCHMIT (Reinschmidt), Paulina Jadwiga (1859–1921) Polish feminist, publicist and editor; founder (1907) and activist of the Związek Równouprawnienia Kobiet Polskich (Union of Equal Rights for Polish Women); co-founder (1899) of the Unia (Union), the Polish section of the Alliance universelle des femmes. Literary pseudonyms: ‘PK,’ ‘PKR,’ ‘PRT,’ ‘PR.’ and ‘R.’ Paulina Kuczalska-Reinschmit was born on 15 January 1859 in Warsaw, into a noble family. She grew up in the country , on estates in the Ukraine (Kośkowice in Volhynia and Bereźniaki). After the death of her father (date unknown), she moved to Warsaw with her mother and sister Helena (1854–1927, a pioneer of women’s physical education). Here, the family settled and the girls received secondary education at a private girls’ boarding school. From an early age, Paulina was raised in a patriotic spirit under the strong influence of her mother, Ewelina Porczyńska born Jastrzębiec (data unknown), who belonged to Narcyza Żmichowska’s emancipation circle: ‘The Enthusiasts.’ Initially, there were little signs that Kuczalska—who was short in stature, physically weak and suffered from chronic asthma and a heart condition—would become a leading personality of the early twentieth-century Polish women’s movement. Set to become a wealthy noblewoman on the Polish eastern frontier, her unhappy marriage in 1879 to a private clerk, Stanisław Reinschmit (Reinschmidt), was to change her life. Reinschmit squandered what was left of Kuczalska’s family wealth and—as a result of his dissipated lifestyle—infected his wife with venereal disease, leading to complications (loss of an eye) from which Kuczalska suffered greatly. The only child from the marriage, a son Leon (later a publicist), was brought up by Stanisław Kuczalski. With the help of her family, Kuczalska went to Geneva to study the natural sciences (1885–1887), which she continued to study in Brussels (1887–1889). While studying abroad, she first joined the life of the Polish émigré community, later establishing contacts with the women’s emancipation movement developing in Western Europe. Together with Maria Szeliga-Loevy, Kuczalska attended the Second International Women’s Congress in Paris (1889). During these early activist years, Kuczalska-Reinschmit divided her time between po- 275 litical journalism and organizational work for the women’s movement in the Polish territories . In 1881, she made her writing debut in the Warsaw periodical Echo (Response), later (1884–1887) writing for the progressive women’s magazine Świt (Dawn). By the end of the 1880s, she had established a collaborative partnership with the biggest Polish daily, the Kurier Warszawski (Warsaw courier), in which she continued to publish until the end of her life. By the 1890s, she was publishing in the progressive periodicals Prawda (Truth), Głos (Voice) and Przegląd Tygodniowy (Weekly review); later in Ogniwo (Link), Nowa Gazeta (New gazette) and Kurier Codzienny (Daily courier). The future direction of Kuczalska-Reinschmit’s work was influenced strongly by the Women’s Congress held in Paris, 25–30 June 1889, which she attended as VicePresident of the section on “Women’s work and organizations” and where she delivered a talk on the social and political situation of women in the Polish territories. In Paris she became acquainted with numerous activists of the European women’s movement and later maintained correspondence with such illustrious personalities as Marie Deraismes, Lina Morgenstern and Anita Augsburg. Upon her return to Poland, Kuczalska-Rein-schmit and another Paris Congress participant, Aleksandra Koryci- ńska, established the Unia (Union) in Warsaw: the Polish section of the Alliance universelle des femmes (founded by Maria Szeliga-Loevy in 1889). The Unia was the first Polish organization to be affiliated with the Alliance and although it only existed until 1892, it provided the women’s movement in the Polish territories with a strong impetus resulting, among other things, in the establishment of the first Polish feminist journal, Ster (Helm). Up until the mid-1890s, Paulina Kuczalska-Reinschmit was ideologically influenced by Warsaw Positivism, a peculiar variety of Central European liberalism which espoused , among other things, women’s civil rights, the development of women’s activities in a wide range of professional fields and modern education for girls. The most far-reaching principle of this group of publicists was that university education be made available to women. Kuczalska-Reinschmit was closer to the more radical faction of the Warsaw Positivists, especially in matters relating to women, as shown by her column on women’s issues entitled E pur si muove (Yet...


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