Letter from Władysław Tatarkiewicz written 13.05.1949
Dear esteemed colleague. I myself said a long time ago – before you raised this issue – that the secretariat of the Commission is not a suitable position for you, even though I would never say that this is a ‘trivial’ position: the secretary nearly always means more to the functioning of the institution than the chairman, especially in this case, when the chairman is on the move. However, it worried me that you made your decision during my absence, because otherwise we would have discussed the situation a bit more thoroughly. The matter is not straightforward, since, while the Commission has many collaborators, very few are in Cracow. I am afraid that I hastened this decision with my last letter, in which I asked your colleague to set up the May and June meetings; however, I did it ‒ first, because after all I didn’t want to do it without your knowledge, and ‒ second, it was only in this way that I could rest assured, since, as is well known, the Polish Academy of Learning’s office isn’t one of those that can be relied upon without reservation. I hope that you’ll be able to come down to Sławkowska at some point on your way from the University to Biskupia and that it won’t take up too much of your time.
In any case, I would be grateful if you wouldn’t mind maintaining your position until my arrival, as otherwise this would create an undesirable ‘interregnum’. When I’m in Cracow in June, we’ll discuss the issue not only of the Secretariat, but also of the chairmanship. I have no doubt that the right thing will be for me to step down, and for you to take my place. If our colleague Birkenmajer, who obviously is not interested in the Commission at all, were to resign, I would return to the position of deputy chairman that I previously occupied.
I attach my best regards