Waclaw Jan Kroczek [Polish: Wacław Jan Kroczek] (born 17 June 1991) Polish physician, social activist, and scientist; known for his research on longevity. Administrator at the Gerontology Research Group.
Biography and scientific activity
Waclaw Jan Kroczek was born in Tarnowskie Gory [Polish: Tarnowskie Góry], Silesia, Poland, on 17 June 1991. He is a graduate of the Stanisław Staszic High School in Tarnowskie Gory. He previously graduated from Nicolaus Copernicus Elementary School in Tarnowskie Gory and the Junior High School of the Social Educational Society in Bytom. In 2015, he graduated from the Medical University of Silesia - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry in Zabrze. In 2013, he became the Polish correspondent of Gerontology Research Group (www.grg.org) an international non-profit scientific organization dealing with biogerontology and human longevity. The primary goal of this institution is research into gerontology to delay the aging process of organisms. It also deals with age authentication of the oldest people in the world, including supercentenarians. Between the years 2015-2018 he was the administrative assistant, and in 2018 he became one of the administrators of this scientific institution. His interests include the population of semi-super-centenarians in Poland (over 105 years), aspects of senior care, social policy and the socioeconomic situation of older people.
Participant of many domestic and foreign scientific conferences. In 2016, he won the first prize in a public health session held at Gdańsk 24th International Student Scientific Conference, for his work "The emergence of supercentenarians in Poland and the study of human longevity". He participated in conferences organized by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Copenhagen, Denmark (2015) Tallinn, Estonia (2016) Rostock, Germany, (2017) and Paris, France (2019). He proved the existence of the population of supercentenarians (people over 110 years of age) in modern Poland. By 2019, he described 17 such cases, and all these people were women. He visited and interviewed six of them, including Aleksandra Dranka of Harklowa (1903-2014), Jadwiga Szubartowicz of Lublin (1905-2017) and Tekla Juniewicz of Gliwice (1906-present), Czeslawa Lasiewicz of Monki [Pol. Mońki] (1907-2018), Irena Smialowska of Legionowo (1908-2019), Antonina Partyka of Bojadla [Pol. Bojadła] (1908-2020), and Stanislaw Kowalski of Swidnica [Pol. Świdnica]. In cooperation with the closest family and through the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Lwów, he reached the original birth record of Tekla Juniewicz, proving her status as the oldest Polish woman in modern history and the first who crossed the barrier of 112 and 113 years in Polish history. In 2014-2015, he participated in an international scientific team's travels to Verbania, Piedmont, Italy, where they met and interviewed several times the oldest living European at the time and the last surviving person in the world born before 1900, Emma Morano (1899-2017). In 2017, he travelled to Sprockhoevel, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, where he twice met and interviewed Mathilde Mange (1906-2019), who later became the first German woman who reached the age of 113. He lectured at the University of the Third Age. He is a regular columnist for Gazeta Senior, a nationwide magazine devoted to the social issues of the elderly. In 2018 he took part in a competition organized by the MEP Jerzy Buzek "(Un)ordinary women - unusual stories. Silesian women on the 100th anniversary of independence", in which he brought closer the figure of Stefania Zacharska (1906-2016), a well-deserved teacher from Tarnowskie Góry, who lived to 109 years and was also one of the oldest Polish women. Based on his experience, he hypothesized that the secret to longevity, which supercentenarians state independently of each other, is, among others, the resistance to stress, optimism, strong family ties and Scandinavian moderation, the golden mean.
Wacław Jan Kroczek also cooperated with Guinness World Records to validate of two candidates for the title of World's Oldest Man from Poland: Alexander Imich of New York, USA (1903-2014) and Israel Kristal of Haifa, Israel (1903-2017). Due to the discovery of sufficiently strong evidence from the archives that meet modern age validation standards, compiled in the monograph "Supercentenarians" by the Belgian demographer Dr. Michel Poulain, the Guinness World Records officially recognized both (Alexander Imich in 2014, Israel Kristal in 2016) as the oldest living men in the world in their time. He appeared many times in various domestic and foreign media in connection with important events and reports from the niche of longevity.
On Dec. 10, 2020, there was published the new monograph by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research entitled "Exceptional Lifespans", for which Kroczek authored and/or co-authored three chapters: Centenarians, Semi-supercentenarians and the Emergence of Supercentenarians in Poland, Validation of 113-Year Old Israel Kristal as the World’s Oldest Man, Age 115+ in the USA: An Update.
On Apr. 14, 2021, he visited Stanislaw Kowalski on his 111th birthday, the first man in Poland who turned 110 years of age, becoming the first male supercentenarian in Poland.
Waclaw Jan Kroczek ran in the 2019 Polish Parliamentary election, starting from the Left and finished 4th on the list in the 29th Electoral District (Gliwice), receiving 2175 votes.
Earlier on, he supported the new political project of Spring [Polish: Wiosna] centre-left and pro-european party led by Robert Biedroń, the first openly LGBT member of the Polish parliament.
In July 2020, together with the young activists from Silesia, he actively protested against the introduction of so called "LGBT-free zone" in the city of Bytom. The protest proved to be successful, as the city council members vote was undecisive and the petition was not proceeded.
Starting from October 2020, he participated in the nationwide protests against the verdict of the Constitutional Court, which withdrew Polish women from the right to a safe termination of pregnancy in the event of severe and irreversible damage to the fetus.
He is currently a member of the Tarnowskie Góry Śródmieście-Centrum District Council in the cadency 2018-2023.
In January 2021, he founded the structures of Federation of Young Socialdemocrats (Federacja Młodych Socjaldemokratów) in Tarnowskie Góry district. Soon after, the team collected over 1100 signs for the petition to name the newly built roundabout as Women Right's Roundabout (Polish: Rondo Praw Kobiet).
In April 2021, he created a Facebook fundraiser for charity commitee "Love Does Not Exclude" (Miłość Nie Wyklucza), which raised 1000 PLN for billboard action in support for education and sensitivization of the discriminated LGBT youth, who often lack acceptance among their parents and closests. In May 2021, he appealed to the anti-vaccine picnic not to underestimate the danger of COVID-19 and to wear protective masks and make a responsible decision to take a vaccine.
In June 2021, the Federation of Young Socialdemocrats supported the action of free hemp signs' collection (Wolne Konopie).
- "Validated Living Worldwide Supercentenarians 112+, Living and Recently Deceased: February 2019", Rejuvenation Research. February 2019 (co-worked with Robert Douglas Young)
- "Validated Living Worldwide Supercentenarians 112+, Living and Recently Deceased: January 2020", Rejuvenation Research. January 2020 (co-worked with Robert Douglas Young)
- Gazeta Senior; May 2018 „Najstarsi Polacy” http://www.gazetasenior.pl/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Gazeta-Senior_wydanie-maj-2018.pdf2
- Gazeta Senior; June 2018: „Polska rekordzistka – Tekla Juniewicz” http://www.gazetasenior.pl/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Gazeta-Senior_wydanie-czerwiec-2018.pdf
- Gazeta Senior; August 2019: "Tekla Juniewicz, najstarsza Polka, ukończyła 113 lat" http://www.gazetasenior.pl/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Gazeta-Senior-wydanie-wrzesie%C5%84-2019.pdf
- Gazeta Senior; November 2019: "Antonina Partyka, 111. urodziny" https://www.gazetasenior.pl/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Gazeta-Senior-listopad-2019.pdf
- Gazeta Senior; May 2020: "Emilia Brączyk - Podwójna patriotka; historia semisuperstulatki." https://www.gazetasenior.pl/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Gazeta-Senior-maj-2020.pdf
- Gazeta Senior; November 2020; "Najstarszy mężczyzna na świecie - nieznana historia Alexandra Imicha." https://www.gazetasenior.pl/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Gazeta-Senior-listopad-2020.pdf
- Springer; Exceptional Lifespans, Dec. 2020, "Centenarians, Semi-supercentenarians and the Emergence of Supercentenarians in Poland" https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-49970-9_11
- Springer; Exceptional Lifespans, Dec. 2020, "Validation of 113-Year Old Israel Kristal as the World’s Oldest Man" (co-worked with Robert Douglas Young) https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-49970-9_20
- Springer; Exceptional Lifespans, Dec. 2020, "Age 115+ in the USA: An Update" (co-worked with Robert Douglas Young ) https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-49970-9_22
- "Gerontology Research Group" http://grg.org/
- "Guinness World Records" http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/
- "Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research" http://www.demogr.mpg.de/
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