The ceremonious opening of Józef Rotblat Square

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The ceremonious opening of Józefa Rotblata Square. Fot. R.Motyl
The ceremonious opening of Józefa Rotblata Square. Fot. R.Motyl

The lawn on the corner of Smocza and Nowolipki St. is now called Józef Rotblat Square, named after a Nobel prize winner from Warsaw, an outstanding physicist and the leader of Pugwash, scientists’ pacifist movement. It is a symbolic place, as until 1943, this was a site of a tenement house where the scientist spent his childhood and early adulthood.

On 30 August 2018, the Warsaw City Council adopted Resolution No. LXXIII/2038/2018 on giving the name of “Józef Rotblat Square” to the green area located in the Wola district, on the south-western side of the intersection of Nowolipki and Smocza St. On 31 October 2018, two months after making the decision, a ceremony of naming the square after the Nobel Peace Prize winner was held, featuring the representatives of local authorities, his family, friends and Warsaw residents.

We are restoring the memory of Józef Rotblat – a humble Varsovian and a great scientist. He came from a poor and large family, which is why he deserves respect for his determination to gain knowledge. He worked during the day, and studied in the evenings. He defended his PhD thesis at the University of Warsaw, one year before the outbreak of the War. His studies in Warsaw and the qualifications he gained opened up further scientific career paths in the west. He was the first scientist to resign from working on the atomic bomb for moral reasons. After the War, he decided to use his invention in medicine, and became one of the pioneers in research on radiation,” recalled Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, Mayor of Warsaw, during the celebration.