Summary: “The Śrem Region as the neighbourhood of Chopin’s friends”

By virtue of the decision of the Polish Sejm, the year 2010, in which we celebrated the 200th anniversary of Frédéric Chopin’s birth, was proclaimed as Chopin’s year. There are many towns and cities in Poland which boast of their connections with Chopin, but, according to Henryk F. Nowaczyk, Chopin’s biographer, the Śrem Region is the only place which deserves the name of the “neighbourhood of Chopin’s friends”. Admittedly, the alleged descent of Tekla Justyna Krzyżanowska, Chopin’s mother, from the Krzyżanowski family living in Krzyżanowo near Śrem, is only a legend, not corroborated by research. On the other hand, Frédéric Chopin’s friends and acquaintances included many residents of Śrem and vicinity. These were physician Aleksander Hofman, Chopin’s friend, who shared a flat with him in Paris, Emilia Hofman née Borzęcka, Aleksander’s wife, author of memoirs in which she also mentioned Chopin, Ludwik Śmitkowski, Ludwik and Cezary Plater, Paulina Plater, Ludwik’s daughter and Chopin’s student. After Chopin’s death, Jan and Stanisław Egbert Kożmian from Przylepki near Śrem published his obituary in “Przegląd Poznański”. Lastly, we present Feliks Berdyszak, a sculptor from Argentina and author of the sculpture “Chopin’s dream”, and Alfons Szczerbiński, a forgotten composer from Śrem (his sister Felicjana Szczerbińska ran a girls’ school in Śrem).