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Waclaw Jan Kroczek, DMD [Polish: Wacław Jan Kroczek] (born 17 June 1991) Polish scientist and social activist; known for his research on longevity. Administrator and Correspondent for Poland and the Nordic Countries at the Gerontology Research Group (since 2013). Founder of the World Supercentenarian Forum. Bureaucrat at the Gerontology Wiki.

Biography and scientific activity

Waclaw Jan Kroczek was born in Tarnowskie Gory [Polish: Tarnowskie Góry], Silesia, Poland, on 17 June 1991. He is a graduate of the Stanisław Staszic High School in Tarnowskie Gory. He previously graduated from Nicolaus Copernicus Elementary School in Tarnowskie Gory and the Junior High School of the Social Educational Society in Bytom. In 2015, he graduated from the Medical University of Silesia - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry in Zabrze. In 2013, he became the Polish correspondent of Gerontology Research Group (www.grg.org) an international non-profit scientific organization dealing with biogerontology and human longevity. The primary goal of this institution is research into gerontology to delay the aging process of organisms. It also deals with age authentication of the oldest people in the world, including supercentenarians. Between the years 2015-2018 he was the administrative assistant, and in 2018 he became one of the administrators of this scientific institution. His interests include the population of semi-super-centenarians in Poland (over 105 years), aspects of senior care, social policy and the socioeconomic situation of older people.

Participant of many domestic and foreign scientific conferences. In 2016, he won the first prize in a public health session held at Gdańsk 24th International Student Scientific Conference, for his work "The emergence of supercentenarians in Poland and the study of human longevity". He participated in conferences organized by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Copenhagen, Denmark (2015) Tallinn, Estonia (2016) Rostock, Germany, (2017) and Paris, France (2019). He proved the existence of the population of supercentenarians (people over 110 years of age) in modern Poland. By 2023, he described 30 such cases. He visited and interviewed fourteen supercentenarians in Poland, including Aleksandra Dranka of Harklowa (1903-2014), Jadwiga Szubartowicz of Lublin (1905-2017) and Tekla Juniewicz of Gliwice (1906-2022), Czeslawa Lasiewicz of Monki [Pol. Mońki] (1907-2018), Irena Smialowska of Legionowo (1908-2019), Antonina Partyka of Bojadla [Pol. Bojadła] (1908-2020), Stanislaw Kowalski of Swidnica [Pol. Świdnica] (1910-2022), Emilia Borchert of Warsaw (1910-2020), Wanda Szajowska of Kraków (1911-2022) Agnieszka Strzalka of Kolonia Sol [Pol. Kolonia Sól] (1912-2022), Jadwiga Żak-Stewart of Łódź (1912-present), Irena Sila-Nowicka of Warsaw (1913-2023), Anna Gawlowska of Czerwionka-Leszczyny (1913-present), and Helena Michalik ,(1914-present) of Kazimierza Wielka. In cooperation with the closest family and through the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Lwów, he reached the original birth record of Tekla Juniewicz, proving her status as the oldest Polish woman in modern history and the first who crossed the barrier of 112 and 113 years in Polish history. In 2014-2015, he participated in an international scientific team's travels to Verbania, Piedmont, Italy, where they met and interviewed several times the oldest living European at the time and the last surviving person in the world born before 1900, Emma Morano (1899-2017). In 2017, he travelled to Sprockhoevel, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, where he twice met and interviewed Mathilde Mange (1906-2019), who later became the first German woman who reached the age of 113. He lectured at the University of the Third Age. He is a regular columnist for Gazeta Senior, a nationwide magazine devoted to the social issues of the elderly. In 2018 he took part in a competition organized by the MEP Jerzy Buzek "(Un)ordinary women - unusual stories. Silesian women on the 100th anniversary of independence", in which he brought closer the figure of Stefania Zacharska (1906-2016), a well-deserved teacher from Tarnowskie Góry, who lived to 109 years and was also one of the oldest Polish women. Based on his experience, he hypothesized that the secret to longevity, which supercentenarians state independently of each other, is, among others, the resistance to stress, optimism, strong family ties and Scandinavian moderation, the golden mean.

Wacław Jan Kroczek also cooperated with Guinness World Records to validate of two candidates for the title of World's Oldest Man from Poland: Alexander Imich of New York, USA (1903-2014) and Israel Kristal of Haifa, Israel (1903-2017). Due to the discovery of sufficiently strong evidence from the archives that meet modern age validation standards, compiled in the monograph "Supercentenarians" by the Belgian demographer Dr. Michel Poulain, the Guinness World Records officially recognized both (Alexander Imich in 2014, Israel Kristal in 2016) as the oldest living men in the world in their time. He appeared many times in various domestic and foreign media in connection with important events and reports from the niche of longevity.

On Dec. 10, 2020, there was published the new monograph by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research entitled "Exceptional Lifespans", for which Kroczek authored and/or co-authored three chapters: Centenarians, Semi-supercentenarians and the Emergence of Supercentenarians in Poland, Validation of 113-Year Old Israel Kristal as the World’s Oldest Man, Age 115+ in the USA: An Update.

On Apr. 14, 2021, he visited Stanislaw Kowalski on his 111th birthday, the first man in Poland who turned 110 years of age, becoming the first male supercentenarian in Poland. On June 10, 2022, he visited Tekla Juniewicz on her 116th birthday - the first validated 116-year old supercentenarian living north to the 50th parallel.

On January 23, 2023, Waclaw Jan Kroczek founded the World Supercentenarian Forum, a new community intended to be welcoming and inclusive place for discussions on healthy senility, human longevity and the world's oldest people, while respecting the scientific integrity, ethics, and principles.

On January 30, 2023, he travelled to Łódź, Łódź Voivodeship, where he met and interviewed supercentenarian Jadwiga Żak-Stewart.

On February 27, 2023, he met and interviewed Colonel Kazimierz Klimczak, who was then the oldest living man in Poland and the oldest living 1939 September campaign veteran, as well as the oldest living 1944 Warsaw Uprising veteran.

On March 12, 2023, he met and interviewed Irena Sila-Nowicka who is wife of the late Wladyslaw Sila-Nowicki, a notable figure for Poland's 20th century.

On June 6, 2023, he participated in Anna Gawlowska's 110th birthday, recognizing her in the name of the GRG as the second supercentenarian in the history of Silesia Voivodeship.

On Aug. 15, 2023, he has taken the role of the GRG Correspondent for the Nordic Countries (including Denmark, its autonomous regions: Faroe Islands and Greenland, Sweden, and Norway).

Political activity

Waclaw Jan Kroczek ran in the 2019 Polish Parliamentary election, starting from the Left and finished 4th on the list in the 29th Electoral District (Gliwice), receiving 2175 votes.[1]

Kroczek2019a

Waclaw Jan Kroczek in September 2019.

Earlier on, he supported the new political project of Spring [Polish: Wiosna] centre-left and pro-european party led by Robert Biedroń, the first openly LGBT member of the Polish parliament.

In July 2020, together with the young activists from Silesia, he actively protested against the introduction of so called "LGBT-free zone" in the city of Bytom. The protest proved to be successful, as the city council members vote was undecisive and the petition was not proceeded.

Starting from October 2020, he participated in the nationwide protests against the verdict of the Constitutional Court, which withdrew Polish women from the right to a safe termination of pregnancy in the event of severe and irreversible damage to the fetus.

He is currently a member of the Tarnowskie Góry Śródmieście-Centrum District Council in the cadency 2018-2023.

In January 2021, he founded the structures of Federation of Young Socialdemocrats (Federacja Młodych Socjaldemokratów) in Tarnowskie Góry district. Soon after, the team collected over 1100 signs for the petition to name the newly built roundabout as Women Right's Roundabout (Polish: Rondo Praw Kobiet). In April 2021, he created a Facebook fundraiser for charity commitee "Love Does Not Exclude" (Miłość Nie Wyklucza), which raised 1000 PLN for billboard action in support for education and sensitivization of the discriminated LGBT youth, who often lack acceptance among their parents and closests. In May 2021, he appealed to the anti-vaccine picnic not to underestimate the danger of COVID-19 and to wear protective masks and make a responsible decision to take a vaccine.

In June 2021, the Federation of Young Socialdemocrats supported the action of free hemp signs' collection (Wolne Konopie). In August 2021, he organized the first equality picnic in Tarnowskie Góry (I Tarnogórski Piknik Równości), which was the first equality rights' event in the history of Tarnowskie Góry. In September 2021, he gave the civic name for the newly built roundabout in Tarnowskie Góry "Rondo Praw Kobiet" - Pol. Women Rights Roundabout. He took part in the first equality march in Bielsko-Biała. Then, he organized the first equality picnic in Gliwice (I Gliwicki Piknik Równości), and the first equality picnic in Bytom (I Bytomski Piknik Równości). He took part in protests against the bad treatment of refugees on the Polish-Belarussian border.

On January 29, 2022, Kroczek was unanimously elected chairman for the Left party county council in Tarnowskie Góry County, receiving full support from both local factions of the Left, namely, Democratic Left Allance (Sojusz Lewicy Demokratycznej) and Spring (Wiosna).

Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he has been organising help for Ukrainian refugees arriving to Poland. In March 2022, he collected up to 600 signs for the petition to establish a new twin-towns partnership between Tarnowskie Góry and Ivano-Frankivsk in Ukraine. In June 2022, the pride month, he organized another Equality Picnic in Gliwice, the home town of Tekla Juniewicz. Later on in September 2022 he organized the second edition of Equality Picnic in Tarnowskie Góry. In July 2023 the Third edition of Gliwice Equality Picnic took place in Gliwice.

He supports the extension of the offer of dental medical services from the National Health Fund so that they do not become the domain of exclusive goods, but generally available and financed from the state budget of basic medical services.

In September 2023, he has been announced a candidate in the 2023 Polish Parliamentary election on behalf of the Third Way electoral committee. In the election, he received 1483 votes, including 645 in his home town of Tarnowskie Góry. In February 2024, he was elected as a candidate for city council and mayor of Tarnowskie Góry from the same committee for the 2024 Polish Local election. In the election, he received, respectively, 256 and 1127 votes.

Waclaw Jan Kroczek electoral history
Year Committee Party affiliation Election Electoral district Result
2019 Local committee none Tarnowskie Góry Central District Council - 95
2019 KW Sojusz Lewicy Demokratycznej none Sejm IX cadency Nr 29 2,175
2023 KKW Trzecia Droga Polska 2050 Szymona Hołowni Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe none Sejm X cadency Nr 29 1,483
2024 KKW Trzecia Droga Polska 2050 Szymona Hołowni Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe none Tarnowskie Góry City Council Nr 1 256
2024 KKW Trzecia Droga Polska 2050 Szymona Hołowni Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe none Tarnowskie Góry mayor - 1,127

Publications

External links

References

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