A former resident of the prestigious Eötvös Collegium boarding school of Budapest, Wacław Felczak was a researcher on Polish-Hungarian relations. Based in Budapest, Felczak functioned as an organizer of the secret courier service between Warsaw and the Polish government-in-exile during the Second World War. By means of his clandestine activity he contributed to the exchange of information and orders, and also provided financial support to the resistance in occupied Poland.
After the war he was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment by the Communist authorities. He was released under an amnesty in the fall of 1956, subsequently becoming a researcher of the Institute of History of the Jagiellonian University. From the 1970s onwards he paid regular visits to Hungary, offering lectures to small groups of students.
The establishment of the Wacław Felczak Foundation was announced by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, a former mentee of the professor, at a memorial conference that took place in 2016 in Krakow commemorating the centenary of Felczak’s birth. The Hungarian and the Polish side decided to establish two institutions dedicated to the memory of the late professor, based in Budapest and Warsaw respectively. The Foundation aims to strengthen traditional Hungarian-Polish friendship and collaboration, particularly by supporting educational campaigns, university programs and academic activities, as well as by offering unique community experiences to the youth.
The Foundation came into being in 2018, launching its first open tenders, establishing grants and awarding targeted financial support. The Foundation is governed by a five-member Board of Trustees, chaired by dr. Karol Biernacki, director of the Csongrád County Archives of the Hungarian National Archives and honorary consul of the Republic of Poland to Szeged.