Prof. dr Antoni Łaszkiewicz - wybitny mineralog polski

Anna Langier-Kuźniarowa



The article has been written in commemoration of Professor Antoni Łaszkiewicz, a many-years' researcher of the Geological Institute in Warsaw and co-editor of "Kwartalnik Geologiczny" in the years 1957 - 1964. Professor Łaszkiewicz was born on September 28, 1904 at Zakatały in the Caucasus. He completed the secondary school in Warsaw and then studied crystallography, mineralogy and petrography at the Philosophical Faculty of Warsaw University. On February 1, 1929 he obtained a PhD and in 1931 he was granted a research scholarship and worked with V. Goldschmidt in Heidelberg and P. Niggli in Zurich. Professor Łaszkiewicz worked at Warsaw University until 1949, except for the period of world war II. He fought in the September 1939 campaign and then went to Wilno where he lectured in crystallography at Stefan Batory University. In those years he was an active member of the Refugee Relief Committee and he also worked in the Road Management of the Lithuanian Republic. When the Germans captured Wilno, Professor Łaszkiewicz returned to Warsaw where he became engaged in the underground movement and taught at underground university and polytechnic courses. He took part in 1944 Warsaw uprising.

After the war, Professor Łaszkiewicz worked at Warsaw University as an associate professor and, since 1946, as a professor. The years 1949-1955 Professor Łaszkiewicz spent in prison; he was accused of clandestine activities. He was then released and rehabilitated. From 1955 until his retirement in 1972, Professor Łaszkiewicz worked at the Geological Institute in Warsaw; since 1956 he was the head of the Department of Petrography and Geochemistry, which he himself organized and which was later transformed into the Department of Mineralogy and Petrography. In the years 1963 - 1970 Professor Łaszkiewicz directed at the same time the Mineralogy and Petrography Section of the Museum of Earth of the Polish Academy of Sciences and was editor of the journal "Prace Muzeum Ziemi". He was an active member of numerous scientific associations.

Research works of Professor Łaszkiewicz concentrated mainly on regional mineralogy of Poland. Among other things, he found out that Polish mineral deposits contain rich material for morphological investigations (cerusite, asurite, pyrite, sulfur and others). He showed that bipyramidal outline of quartz crystals also. occurs in products 'of low-temperature crystallization and, therefore contrary to the widespread views - it cannot .be used as a criterion for high-temperature origin. He discovered new localities of many minerals which have great significance for genetic interpretations. Professor Łaszkiewicz also studied geometric and optical properties of Polish minerals and structure of crystals (minerals and . synthetic compounds), analysed with the use of X-ray techniques. He conducted methodological-works in the area of structural X-ray photography (he modified the Laue's method) and optical methods in petrographic studies and he published over 120 works within the fields of crystallography, mineralogy and petrography. He also acted in the field of popularization of science, museum management. and was the author of several highly valued textbooks of crystallography and mineralogy.

Professor Łaszkiewicz had great merits in the formation of young research workers. Under his auspices numerous doctoral theses were prepared and habilitation treatises completed.

Apart from the recognition of his research activities, Professor Łaszkiewicz made his name as an outstanding stamp collector. He published over 170 works on this subject. was an expert in this field and a honorary member of many foreign and international philatelistic societies.

Professor Łaszkiewicz was a man of honour, a great patriot, an outstanding scientist and a person of great spiritual, intellectual and moral strength.

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