Hipolit Wawelberg, one of the greatest philanthropists from the late nineteenth century, was born in Warsaw in 1844. His father Henryk is an example of a Polish self-made man; he went from a poor iron warehouse worker to a financier with considerable wealth. Hipolit wanted to become an engineer. He graduated from the 3rd Mathematical Junior High School (it was located in the Kazimierzowski Palace) and was to go to university when the January Uprising broke out. The boy took an active part in it. After the fall of the uprising, to protect his son from persecution, Henry sent him to study finance in Berlin. Hipolit completed internships at the City of London, Berlin and Paris. There he made contacts that would pay off in the future. After graduation, he was employed at his father's bank. He ran a branch of the Wawelberg Financial House in St. Petersburg. He made the bank one of the largest in Russia and many times exceeded the bank in Warsaw. Hipolit himself became one of the richest citizens of the Congress Poland. He could afford a lot. He bought a residence in Tsarskoye Selo, thus becoming a neighbor of the Tsar of Russia himself.
fot. Jacek Poremba