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[Col. 70]

Those Who Glorified the Name of Our Town (cont.)

Dr. Lew Kowarski

Dr. Lew Kowarski

        Doctor of Engineering, Lew Kowarski, was a famous French physicist and engineer. He was the son of Natan of Svintsyan (grandchild of Asher Kovarsky).
        Lew was born in 1907 in Petersburg (Leningrad). He graduated from the high school in Vilna. He studied in various institutes of higher learning: in Belgium at G.A.N.D. [*] and in France in Leon and Paris. He received his degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Leon and received his doctorate in physics from the University of Paris.
        During the years from 1937-1940, Lew Kowarski worked as the chief assistant to Professor Joliot-Curie, the most famous physicist in France.
        With the defeat of France by the Nazis, this citizen of our city became a world hero. He took a very courageous step involving great personal risk. Lew saved all the patents and the heavy water that were in French hands and transferred them, with great difficulty involving crossing mountains and borders, to [safety in] England. At this time, this was the only quantity [of heavy water] in the entire world, and this material is well known for its great importance in atomic research.
        As a result of his courage, he prevented the risk of having secrets of this research leak out to the Nazis, and it is possible that this changed the fortune of the world forever.
        These details are given for the first time by Margaret Gowing in the official report that is based on official documents. She was the administrator of the archives of the Department of Atomic Energy in Britain. In her book Britain and Atomic Energy:1939-45 (published at the end of 1964), she describes Britain's struggle to use the atom in times of war, and among other things, she released details about the scientist Lew Kowarski, who occupies an important place in this historical event. (The information was known before but unofficially.)
        In England, Lew Kowarski joined the “DZ'YR” [**] as chief scientist/officer working in the British Department of Scientific and Industrial Nuclear Engineering Research. His contribution is greater than anyone else's in this area in the world to date. In addition, without this historical fact of saving the research and the heavy water, etc., it is possible that the atomic bomb would not have been ready until after the war.
        Doctor of Engineering Lew Kowarski, was awarded the Medal of Excellence by the French government, making him a Knight of the Legion of Honor and giving him the position of head of the Department of Nuclear Engineering in the Department of Atomic Energy in France. He was responsible for building the first two French nuclear reactors (designing the building and the layout of the lab.)
        Lew was [also] in charge of building the first Canadian reactor “tshmk” when he was at the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research in Montreal (1945) and in Cambridge, England (DZ'YR).
        Dr. Kowarski wrote much about nuclear subjects including nuclear physics, the physics of reactors, technology of reactors, and about the organization of nuclear research. He was also a member of The American Society of Nuclear Scientists and belonged to the American Physics Society.
        He was the scientist/administrator of the French delegation to the European Organization for Nuclear Research Commission of Nuclear Energy, or CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland.


* The initials of the name of the school. Trans. Back

** DZ'YR is a device used to detect radioactivity. Trans. Back

Yosef Polonski

Yosef Polonski

        Engineer Yosef Polonski, the son of a rabbi [who served] in the holy city of Svintsyan [from] 1922-32, was born in 1913 and graduated from high school in Svintsyan, after which his family moved to Libau, Latvia, where his father, Manus Iser, became the chief rabbi. At that time, Yosef moved to France to study in the Technical Institute in Grenoble.
        As an engineer, he worked at the top levels of the service for radio signals in the French Company, Thompson-Hussin. Now he is the chief technician and administrator of the television department of the French radio company. This department does research, builds and plans television and radio facilities (studios, receiving equipment, Hertz equipment) commercial, and military television as it involves radar.
        Y. Polonski was a member of the advisory committee of the French Electronic and Radio-electric company. He was in charge of the television courses and of the Electronic Institute in Grenoble.
        He was excited about all the questions in cellular biology, and he devoted some of his time to developing electronic tools which combine biological sciences and electronics.
        In the year 1958, he published a detailed article on the functions of living cells and electronics in cybernetics. He also wrote 2 papers for the Danish Academy of Sciences about the electronics of DNA in the major molecules of genetic chromosomes.
        Mr. Y. Polonski was also a member of the International Federation for Medical Electronics and President of the Department of Biological and Medical Electronics in the French company Electronics and Radio and Electricity.

Ze'ev Reznick

Ze'ev Reznick
        Professor Ze'ev (Bill) Reznick was born in Chicago, the son of Raphael ben Ze'ev Reznick of Svintsyan. He studied at Purdue University and at the University of Michigan. He taught in the Technical Institute of Illinois in the United States.
        National loyalty comes naturally to the people of our city and is inherited by their children.
        Israel's getting its independence encouraged him to immigrate to Israel. He immediately joined the academic staff of the Technion [*] in order to share with his people his wide knowledge of chemical engineering and his many years of experience. Young engineering students who graduated from the Technion tell about it. They worked with him in the field of chemistry in the laboratories of Haifa and the Weitzman Institute of Rekhovot.
        Ze'ev Reznick was appointed vice-president of the Technion in Haifa and Dean of the Faculty of Chemical Engineering. He is still Vice-President in Charge of Research.
        He was recently appointed to teach in the new Faculty of Chemical Engineering that was established by the Wolfson Foundation –– as a special gift to Israel.

* In Haifa. Trans. Back

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