Topics of coins

100th Anniversary of Stefan Batory Junior and Senior High School in Warsaw

Stefan Batory Junior High School in Warsaw was founded on 1 September 1918 with the resurgent Poland in mind. The school’s goal was encapsulated in these words: “…so that its students always bear in mind the highest standards of deep civil thought, empowered action and the majesty of the Polish State.” The task has been fulfilled – Batory has come to symbolise high academic achievement and deep commitment to the struggle for freedom of the home country. That is why this year’s anniversary’s motto is: “Batory – 100 years for Independent Poland.” It was for Poland that poet Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński wrote and perished (graduated in 1939). It was for Poland that Jan Rodowicz “Anoda” (graduated in 1941) – one of the thirty Batory alumni – cavaliers of the War Order of Virtuti Militari, studied and died.

The coin emphasises the school’s twofold contribution to Poland’s history. The academic achievements of the alumni and the significance of education for the functioning of a modern state are symbolised by an open book and a fragment of the school anthem “We are marching in a parade” (lyrics by Stanisław Młodożeniec, music by Witold Lutosławski, graduated in 1931).

The protagonists of the novel Stones for the Rampart remind us that more than three hundred students of Batory lost their lives on almost all the fronts of WWII. Many of them were members of the 23rd Warsaw Scouting Team, the famous “Pomarańczarnia” (Orangery), inseparably associated with Batory until now. “Zośka”, “Rudy” and “Alek” (all graduated in 1939) continue to inspire young people today. “Alek” painted the first anchors of Fighting Poland in 1942. They can be seen today on the pedestals scattered around the school premises.

The Batory building alludes to the palatial architecture style of the turn of the 17th century. The background of the reverse of the coin features the pattern of the polychromy from the assembly hall, which was given back its pre-war look on the occasion of the anniversary. The badge with three teeth awarded to every graduate is a reference to the coat of arms of the Batory family.

Marcin Miros