Kazimierz Prószyński was a pioneer of global cinematography. He invented film cameras that eliminated basic problems such as vibrations and image flicker which had made the development of moving pictures challenging. He also made the first films with sound. Born in Warsaw in 1875, he studied in Liège before returning to Warsaw to start the second film studio in Poland. He subsequently worked in Paris, London and the United States before returning to his newly independent homeland in 1919. Prószyński was arrested by the Gestapo on August 25, 1944 and deported into the concentration camp system. He died in March 1945, a few days before the Americans liberated the Mauthausen-Gusen camp. His inventions changed the course of film-making, but he died largely forgotten. Only now is his work beginning to receive the recognition it deserves.
The Stern Foundation aims to foster cooperation between Poles and Americans, in part through promoting the shared history of Poles of all backgrounds and their impact on the development of science, technology and innovation in the United States. The Stern Leadership Academy hopes to nurture human capital in the Three Seas region as a step toward improving relations between Poland and countries with a large Polish diaspora such as the USA and Israel.