Jan Czochralski was born on 23 October 1885 in Kcynia in the Pałuki region, which was then under Prussian domination. He was the 8th child of the Polish craftsmen Franciszek Czochralski and his wife Marta from the Suchomski family. The Czochralski’s had been carpenters for many generations. Thus it is not surprising that Jan loved both hard work and the native land.
In accordance with the wish of his father, Jan completed teachers’ seminar in Kcynia. He was already interested in chemistry during his school days. However, even though he had passed his matriculation, he did not accept his matriculation certificate because he had gotten poor grades. Lack of this document closed the road to teaching, higher education and a scientific career. Thus, he left for Krotoszyn to work in a drugstore and to study into chemistry on his own. He promised his parents that he would return to Kcynia when he became famous.