Based on Elżbieta Małecka's paper "Jean de Bloch Society 1987-2007", published by Wydawnictwo Śląsk, Katowice 2009.
The Jean de Bloch Society was created on the 11 March 1997. Its founding fathers, who first came up with the idea of creating such organization in 1987, were: Aleksander Bocheński, a distinguished historian, publicist and social activist, the author of "History of Stupidity in Poland" and the "Travels through the History of Polish Industry" Peter van den Dungen, Dutch historian, professor of the Bradford University and Andrzej Werner – lawyer, political scientist and an activist, an experienced member of the Polish diplomacy. Formal registration was preceded by 10 years of preparations, drawing up the organizational formula and participating in conferences and symposiums in order to popularize Bloch's legacy, to reinstate him in the national memory and emphasize values to which he devoted his life and work. We can therefore state that the society was active for 20 years, despite the lack of official registration.
The main objectives of the Society were:
To popularize Jan Bloch's achievements, collect documents pertaining to his activities, protect his legacy and grave.
- To work towards establishing knowledge concerning the capitalist industrial revolution and the achievements of its notable representatives.
- To popularize social virtues and actions: entrepreneurship, civic initiatives, thriftiness, respecting the rules of economic calculation.
- To promote the subject of history and current problems relating to the prevention of war, peaceful resolutions of international conflicts and arbitrage.
- The proposed Statute was prepared by Aleksander Bocheński and edited by prof. Wojciech Łączkowski.
- Elżbieta Małecka, who published a detailed paper on the subject of the Society's activities, distinguishes between 2 phases of its activity.
- The first, between 1987 and 1999, that concentrated on creating the organizational formula and setting programmatic directions. Although the Society hadn't yet acquired legal entity it was very active, and strived to present Bloch's output in the fields of economy, finance, banking, railway, industry, as well as preventing war and promoting international security. Papers and reports on those topics were prepared mostly by Andrzej Werner and Peter van den Dungen. Ewa Leśniewska began working on Bloch's bibliography and Jerzy Waldorff helped extensively in renovating the antique chapel at the Old Powązki Cemetery. In 1987, in the museum in Łęczna (where Bloch's family estate was located) an exhibition was opened, titled: "Jan Gottlieb Bloch – a distinguished Polish industrialist and a world peace activist".
- The second, during which the Society operated according to set regulations and fully developed its operations in Poland and abroad.
Year 1999 marks an important turning point, not only because the Society had finally been registered (Aleksander Bocheński became its honorary patron, Andrzej Werner its chairman and Elżbieta Małecka its secretary). It was also the year of the "Ivan Bloch Commemorative Conference" organized in Petersburg by The Petersburg University and the Dutch Foundation for War Studies in Groeningen, during which Peter van den Dungen and Andrzej Werner finally proved beyond any doubt that Bloch was a Pole, not a Russian, which was the organizers' standpoint.
In the second phase, the Society's activities concentrated on Bloch's pacifist undertakings, which coincided with the important centenaries of that year - the anniversary of the first Hague Conference, the first Polish edition of "The Future of War...", nominating Bloch or the Nobel Peace Prize, his death in January 1902 and opening of The Museum of War and Peace in Lucerne. Most notable were 3 conferences, organized together with the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, devoted to:
- The Hague Conference and the participation of Poles in its achievements and heritage (March 2000).
- The achievements of European peace and international security initiatives (June 2001, on the hundredth anniversary of Bloch's nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize).
- Shaping the new international order.
An exhibition "Jan Bloch – the Polish Military Theorist" was opened in the Central Military Library.
Elżbieta Małecka published a book "Jan Bloch, an extraordinary Varsovian", initiating a series of publications devoted to Bloch and his time. Several articles in the Polish and international media were published by Aleksander Bocheński, Peter van den Dungen, Andrzej Werner, Elżbieta Małecka, Lech Wyszczelski and Paweł Kłudka. Elżbieta Mąłecka finalized Bloch's bibliography, started by Ewa Leśniewska.
From April 2000 "Jan Bloch's International Newsletter" had been published.
Especially active in his efforts to popularize Bloch's heritage around the world was, next to Peter van den Dungen and Andrzej Werner, a Japanese researcher Tchikara Tsuboi, who, apart from numerous articles, worked on Bloch's monograph, collecting data during his two visits to Warsaw.
In 2003 the Society initiated works on a documentary about Jan Bloch and his family, as a part of a well-known series "Famous Warsaw Clans", which was produced by the Regional Television. Stefan Bratkowski, Andrzej Werner and Elżbieta Małecka took an active part in the production of the film.
On the hundredth anniversary of the Museum of War and Peace in Lucerne an exhibition was opened (first in the Central Military Library, then in the Łęczna museum). It was prepared in Switzerland by Walter Troxler. The library presentation was supplemented with materials pertaining to Jan Bloch's life and works. Minister of Defense assumed patronage over the exhibition. It was also accompanied by a scientific session "Joint and national defense in the European Union" organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In September 2005 an International Peace Conference, on the occasion of the 100 anniversary of the XIV International Peace Congress, was organized in Lucerne to commemorate Bloch's pacifist thought. It was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Adam D. Rotfeld and the Polish ambassador to Switzerland Janusz Niesyto. The Society was represented by Peter van den Dungen, Arthur Eyeffinger and Andrzej Werner.
The Society made an attempt to honor those who distinguished themselves in popularizing Jan Bloch's heritage. The award had been granted twice – the former Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Krzysztof Skubiszewski and the former EU minister of foreign affairs Edmund Wallenstein received it in February 2005 in The Hague. In June 2006 it was presented to Adam D. Rotfeld and Krzysztof Szwarc, the Chairman of the Jan Bloch Foundation, created in 2005, with which the Society cooperated closely and coordinated joint tasks.
The Society's undertakings were interrupted by Andrzej Werner's tragic death in October 2007. The ideas and tasks were taken over by the Jan Bloch Foundation which remains active to this day.