A memorial on wheels to Professor Jerzy Samp

Professor Jerzy Samp became the next patron of a tram in Gdańsk. The ceremony of naming an outstanding citizen of Gdańsk, professor of the University of Gdańsk, traditionally took place at the tram terminus in Chełm. - 'According to my Dad, trams with patrons were monuments on wheels. Today, my Dad has such a monument and may it last as long as possible,' said Christian Samp, the Professor's son, during the ceremony.

The ceremony was attended by members of the Professor's family, the authorities of Gdańsk, authorities and scientists from the University of Gdańsk, as well as representatives of the Kashubian-Pomeranian Association, which initiated the event together with the Public Transport Authority in Gdańsk.

The tradition of naming trams with patrons - people of merit for Gdańsk's history - has been going on in Gdańsk for over 10 years. - 'What every space - city, university, house - has in common are the people who create the history of the place, name the unnamed and find the forgotten. For Gdańsk and Pomerania, but also for the University of Gdańsk, such a person was the late Professor Jerzy Samp,'- said, prof. dr hab. Piotr Stepnowski, Rector of the University of Gdańsk.

Professor Jerzy Samp, a literature historian, writer, lecturer at the University of Gdańsk, and above all, a great lover of Gdańsk, was the author of many publications popularising Kashubian-Pomeranian issues, and Gdańsk in particular. He published forty books.

He came from a Gdańsk family, grew up in Orunia, and graduated from the University of Gdańsk with a degree in Polish philology, where he later became a lecturer. In 1982 he was awarded a doctorate, in 1992 a post-doctoral degree, and his habilitation thesis was on Gdańsk in travel reports from the years 1772-1918. Since 1994 he was the head of the Pomeranian Studies Department at the UG. He also taught at the University of Bremen, at the Ostsee Akademie Lübeck-Travemünde and the University of Ottawa.

It is now six years since the untimely passing of Professor Jerzy Samp. - 'His entire adult life was associated with our Alma Mater. He brought up generations of young people who fell in love with Gdańsk while listening to his colourful stories about the city, Pomerania, and people who made a lasting mark on history,' - added the Rector of UG. Although he did not meet the Professor personally, he emphasised that in the opinion of those who knew him, he was a patient, kind and broad-minded man. - 'I regret that he passed away so soon and that today he cannot serve our changing University and city with his advice and wisdom,' he added.

Andrzej Stelmasiewicz, Councillor of the City of Gdańsk, emphasised not only Professor Samp's knowledge and competencies, but especially his gift of sharing them. - 'In this field his merits are invaluable,' he added. Representatives of the Kashubian-Pomeranian Association were also present at the ceremony, recalling his special interest in the Kashubian region. - 'He always pointed to Gdańsk as the fairytale capital of Kashubia,' they recalled.

The memories of Christian Samp, Professor's son, were very moving. During the ceremony, he recalled his family's stories about the years of Professor's travelling by tram to Oliwa to the University, and also about his holiday trips to Stogi and the song his father invented about Orunia and the tram.

Photo: Arek Smykowski/Press Team UG
Ewa K.Cichocka / Press Team UG