The Secret Identity of Christopher Columbus

Manuel Rosa at the Columbus Day event at the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences. (Photo by Aleksandra Slabisz via Nowy Dziennik)

Manuel Rosa at the Columbus Day event at the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences. (Photo by Aleksandra Slabisz via Nowy Dziennik)

Christopher Columbus was not a simple wool-weaver from Genoa, as is commonly believed. He was a son of a Polish king and a Portuguese noblewoman the king met when on secret exile. Such is the thesis of Manuel Rosa, who has spent the last 23 years researching the life and history of the Discoverer of America.

In the time he has devoted to the search and analysis of historical documents, letters and all other kinds of records devoted to the life of Christopher Columbus – found in Portugal, Spain, the Dominican Republic and Poland – Portuguese-American researcher Manual Rosa has managed to unearth unknown facts. Among others, Mr. Rosa discovered that Columbus never used Italian, even in letters addressed to his brothers, which according to the researcher indicates that he was not Italian; if Columbus had been a simple peasant, as the history books portray him, he wouldn’t have had as much access to several monarchs.

According to Mr. Rosa’s research, all indicates that Christopher Columbus was “a son of a Portuguese noblewoman and a mysterious Henrique Alemao.” The latter was no other than Polish King Wladyslaw III, who didn’t die at the battle of Varna in 1444, as is commonly believed. According to Manuel Rosa, King Wladyslaw III sought exile on the Portuguese island of Madeira, where he settled down with a Portuguese wife and kept his true identity secret.

(Image via Nowy Dziennik)

(Image via Nowy Dziennik)

The vast research and studies Mr. Rosa devoted to the life of Christopher Columbus resulted in the publication of five books, first in Portuguese in 2006, then in Spanish, Lithuanian and Polish (“Kolumb. Historia nieznana,” 2012). The Polish edition of the book sold 5,000 copies.

Mr. Rosa also talked about the Polish and Portuguese roots of Christopher Columbus in New York on Oct. 13, the day observed as Columbus Day, at an event at the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences (PIASA) and organized by the Polish-American Business Club with the support of PIASA and the Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union.

“I read the book two years ago and I am glad I could come to the event to meet the author in person,” said Tom Naklicki, one of the participants at the Monday event. “I highly recommend the book to everybody. It reads well and contains a lot of facts unknown to the Polish reader. I am not fully convinced as to the revelation that Columbus is an offspring of King Wladyslaw III, however, the first part of the book is extremely convincing,” Mr. Naklicki added.

His theory about the Polish-Portuguese roots of Christopher Columbus could be confirmed by DNA testing. However the test is very costly and requires gathering a sizable group of experts. Another problem that Mr. Rosa faces is opposition from many historians, who have been contradicting his theories. “Many historians discounted my work without taking the trouble to open the book, read it and analyze the evidence I provide,” said Mr. Rosa. “If they think I am wrong, I want them to tell me where I am wrong,” he added.

“These are the problems facing everybody who uncovers the truth these days. Poles know how it is. It took so many years to unearth the story about the Katyn massacre. Here we are talking about a story from over 500 years,” said another participant at the event, Grzegorz Fryc. “He [Mr. Rosa] has set out on a very noble yet extremely difficult mission. If he succeeds, history will have to be rewritten,” he added.

“It is extremely hard to interpret such distant history. However, I believe that sooner or later, the truth comes out. Poles know it the best. It will take a lot of open-minded people and scientists, who will take time to read and analyze Mr. Rosa’s research and assess it objectively,” said Paulina Kusiak, who thought that Mr. Rosa’s presentation at PIASA was “eye opening and incredible”.

Many who attended the event were impressed by Mr. Rosa’s research. “It was an immensely interesting presentation. Mr. Rosa knows what he is talking about, he has everything logically laid out and supported with huge knowledge. He has read 3,000 books on the topic and it shows,” Mr. Fryc added.

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