Exhibition “Ludwik Hirszfeld – Polish researcher of blood types” and screening of the movie “Mensch”

The Polish Academy of Sciences Scientific Center in Paris in cooperation with Institut Polonais de Paris would like to invite you to an evening devoted to the life and achievements of Ludwik Hirszfeld, an eminent 20th century Polish bacteriologist and immunologist, who was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1950 for his explanation of the phenomenon of serological conflict between mother and foetus.

Ludwik Hirszfeld’s achievements are numerous: the foundation of the science of blood groups; the determination of blood groups (0, A, B, AB), subsequently adopted at supranational level; the determination of the Rh factor; the discovery of the cause of serological conflict; and the creation of a new scientific field – seroanthropology. Furthermore, without Hirszfeld’s research and commitment, transfusionology and blood donation would not have developed in Poland. However, these achievements are not often associated with the name of the Polish scientist.

Ludwik Hirszfeld repeatedly held high positions and participated in or had a decisive influence on the establishment and shape of numerous institutions. Among other things, he was the main founder and first director of the Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

In listing Ludwik Hirszfeld’s achievements, it is impossible to omit the scientific activities of his wife. Hanna Hirszfeld was an outstanding physician and scientist with no less scientific achievements and accomplishments than her husband. She carried out research together with Ludwik Hirszfeld in the field of blood groups and their inheritance, but also independently, taking up mainly the subject of paediatrics.

Please register your participation in the event via e-mail: secretariat@paris.pan.pl


Ludwik Hirszfeld could share his life story with several people. His experiences mirror the history of the first half of the 20th century. The protagonist of the film “Mensch” kept reinventing himself despite the events that ravaged his life and accomplishments. He was a doctor, a scientist, an idealist – a forgotten hero known worldwide more than in Poland. A scientist specializing in blood, which the world divided into “better” and “worse” blood types. He made tough decisions, swam against the current, believing in a better world. A cosmopolitan who could have pursued his scientific career in Switzerland but chose Poland. He could have taught in America just after the war but returned to Poland. His experiences in the Warsaw Ghetto are poignant. The marriage of Ludwik Hirszfeld and his wife Hanna may have been the most crucial decision of his life. “Mensch” is the first full-length film about Ludwik Hirszfeld. It includes previously unreleased archival materials and statements from leading Polish, American, German, Swiss, and Serbian scientists. The film’s narrative is built on dramatizations, transporting us into the reality in which Hirszfeld lived – multiple realities, as “our” Hirszfeld was truly a citizen of the world. The film does not deify his biography. Hirszfeld was not, and is not, a monument. He was intimately connected with people, living and working for them. Ludwik Hirszfeld – Mensch.

The exhibition Ludwik Hirszfeld – Polish Researcher of Blood Types will be on display from 28 May to 30 August 2024 from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm., 2:00 pm. to 4:30 pm. at the Polish Academy of Sciences Scientific Center in Paris (74 rue Lauriston). The exhibition will be available in three languages: Polish, French and English. Admission is free.


28 May 2024 - 30 Aug 2024


18:00 - 21:00