Thursday, July 22, 2010

Profile: Marie Curie

The first woman to be inducted into the French Academy? Marguerite Perey in 1962, half a century after Curie's attempt. The first Jew? Hmmm...

Curie was suggested by Brian from Japan.


  1. It is almost Marie Curie was of Jewish ancestry, though this was whitewashed and denied and still is. The claim is that The family were deposed royalty --to account for the fact that they were all highly educated and were musicians, lawyers, doctors, professors, etc., comding from a country region, Piotrkow Gubernia that was Jewish, and where non-Jews were not education. Deposed royalty was a common cover for Jewish people sliding through to become Catholics and escape pogroms and intense anti-Semitism in Poland. In Warsaw Marie Curie was born on Freta Street in the heart of Warsaw's Jewish Ghetto -- across the street from the synagogue. When the family moved they continued to stay in the Warsaw Ghetto. The name Sklowdoska is found in the Jewish Geneology website in Jewish cemeteries in Piotrkow Gubernia. Marie's second name, Salomea, was after her paternal Grandmother, whose maiden name was Salmea Sagtynska(f), Sagtynski(m). This surname also is found abundantly in Jewish cemetery records of the region. These records exist prior to the Nazi destruction of everything Jewish in Poland.
    In the second home in which Marie grew up, the father, who'd lost his professorship at the University of Poland, ran what in all probability was a Yeshiva where boys boarded. Marie had to give up her bed for one of the boys. Marie and all her siblings complained of the boys' studying in the house very loudly -- seeming to study in a sing-song manner. This of course appears to be Yeshiva students chanting as they learned. There is much more evidence for her Jewish forebears, although Marie, though raised Catholic, abandoned the faith at a very young age -- when her mother and sister died. She curiously found no solace in her church and declared herself an agnostic
    and sometimes an athiest early on. This is a fascinating topic. Her reluctance to declare her true ethnicity in the age of Freud and Einstein, who was her personal friend, is of some interest.

    1. Dear Anonymous, this is fascinating! Could you possibly direct me to your historical sources? I'd love to know more. Best, Rebecca