Polish-Americans of New Jersey Organize a Rally to Protest Against the Removal of the Katyn Forest Massacre Memorial in Jersey City
When: Saturday, May 12th 2018 at 1:00 p.m.
Where:280 Grove St., in front of the City Hall in Jersey City, NJ
Who: The Katyn Forest Massacre Memorial Committee (KFMMC) and Polish-American organizations from the State of New Jersey.
The removal of the Katyn Forest Massacre Memorial was unexpectedly and arbitrarily decided upon by the Mayor of Jersey City, Steven Fulop, and the community learned about it by means of an abrupt Tweet. The monument has been located at Exchange Place in Jersey City since its erection in 1991, and this location was voted on in a resolution of the Municipal Council of Jersey City at its session on April 13th, 1989. A legal action has been initiated by the Polish-American community to prevent the removal of the Memorial, which was necessary because Mayor Fulop refused to communicate on the matter.
This powerful bronze sculpture, the work of artist Andrzej Pitynski, evokes the brutality of Communism by commemorating the Mass Murder, on the orders of Joseph Stalin, of approximately 22,000 Polish Prisoners of War. The victims included Polish citizens of all ethnic groups and various religious denominations, who lived in Poland in 1939. Chief Rabbi Steinberg of the Polish Army was among Stalin's victims at Katyn, together with over 400 other Polish Jews, who died fighting the Nazi-Soviet Alliance. Soon after it was unveiled, the Katyn Memorial was re-dedicated to those killed or wounded while serving in the United Sates Armed Forces during World War II. After the September 11th, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, when the Jersey Promenade saw the disembarkation of people ferried from Manhattan, the Katyn Memorial was also re-dedicated to the 9/11 victims. By his decision to remove the Memorial, Mayor Fulop displays his insensitivity and disrespect for each and every one of these fallen heroes and POW's. The Memorial is a manifestation in remembrance for future generations, to never again allow such oppressive, villainous totalitarian systems to exist.
KFMMC has organized a rally to express the public desire to save the Katyn Forest Massacre Memorial in Jersey City. All are cordially invited to attend the rally, to show your support for the cause of preserving the Katyn Forest Massacre Memorial in its location at 2 Exchange Place in Jersey City for future generations.
In May 2010 the Kosciuszko Foundation held a bipartisan Katyn Conference and Photo Exhibit at the Library of Congress. Diplomats, historians and high ranking members of the US Congress & Senate took part in the conference. Check out some of the video recordings HERE
Please do not move the Katyn Memorial. Don't besmirch the souls of genocide victims.
I’ve tweeted about
it but for the record I’ll be lecturing on the OSS, “Wild Bill” Donovan, Katyn
and the Nuremberg Tribunal as well as the unknown 1948 CIC investigation of
Katyn and the 12th Nuremberg Trial at the Institute of World
Annual Kosciuszko Chair Spring Symposium
You are cordially invited to the eighth annual
Lady Blanka Rosenstiel
Kosciuszko Chair Spring Symposium
Saturday, April 7th
The Institute of World Politics 1521 16th Street NW Washington, DC 20036
This event is sponsored by the Kosciuszko Chair of Polish
Speakers and Topics:
- Introduction Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz, Kosciuszko
Chair of Polish Studies 1:10 PM - Russian Lobby in Belarus: Could Belarus be the Next
after Ukraine? Russia actively expands its presence in Belarus. Kremlin-sponsored
digital media, cultural centers, think tanks, Cossacks paramilitary
groupings aimed to form pro-Russian-lobby in Belarus and push anti-western and
anti-Ukrainian message. How efficient are they and what is the effective
policy to counter them? Franak Viacorka, Editor of New Media Radio, Free Europe / Radio
- The Missing Polish Perspective in the Western Media Much
has been written about Poland since the last parliamentary elections, from
forests, to pipelines and the judiciary, but surprisingly little is being
published from Poland’s own perspective. Before the imbalance of voices can be
addressed, we need to ponder what exactly is being heard in the West and what
is being lost — and why. Anna Wellisz, White
House Writers Group
2:30 PM - The Polish Pavilion at the 1939 New York World’s Fair A presentation on the contents, purpose and eventual fate of the
Polish Pavilion at the 1939-40 "Building the World of Tomorrow"
World's Fair in New York City. Speaker is conducting a continuing search for
documents and artifacts from the pavilion. Peter J. Obst, Poles in America Foundation, Philadelphia
– 3:30 PM
- Wild Bill Donovan, the OSS and the Nuremberg Tribunal In
1948, the US Counter Intelligence Corps investigated the Katyn Massacre of
Polish POWs and collected several hundred pages of material. This coincided
with the period when the last of the US prosecuted War Crimes' Trials occurred
– the one which dealt with the role of the Wehrmacht. However, the materials
collected by the CIC have never been publicly discussed. The lecture shall
analyze the novel material. Krystyna Piorkowska, Independent
PM -Application of Historic WWII and Cold War Resistance Experience to Present
Day Significance The
lecture discusses how the resistance experience, including the Polish
resistance during WWII, is being put to use in contemporary conditions. Dr. Otto Fiala, SOCEUR
Break 4:50 – 4:55 PM
- Back to the Future: Genocide Prevention in the Intermarium As
the land between the Black and Baltic Seas finds itself squeezed between a sea
of Middle Eastern migrants
flooding a culturally anemic Europe and a
Putin-driven resurgence in populist Pan-Slavism, could the genocidal
World War II be repeated?
O’Brien, Federation for American Immigration Reform
5:35 PM -The Soviets and March 1968: Antisemitism and Antizionism
The lecture will focus on the international aspect of the
Anti-Jewish campaign organized by the Polish United
Workers' Party (PZPR) in
March 1968 in the Polish People's Republic.
Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz, Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies
General confusion exists
on the issue of the Nuremberg Tribunal which dealt with the major war criminals
and the matter of the Katyn Massacre.Why
was the USSR which was allowed to bring charges against Germany? Why did the Western
Allies take a passive position in this matter?
What was the position
of the Chief US Prosecutor, Justice Jackson not only on the issue of Katyn but
of the Nuremberg Tribunal? What reports did he receive on the matter of Katyn?
Finally, why did the
US Counterintelligence Corps in Austria research the issue of Katyn in 1948?
These and other issues will be discussed on February 27, 2018 at 6:00PM in my Polish-language
lecture at the
Pilsudski Institute in
138 Greenpoint Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11122
information or to RSVP contact 212 505 9077
On January 30th
an article entitled “Poland’s Holocaust Denial and Anti-Semitism Run Far Deeper….”
appeared in The Tablet. Unfortunately,
the article is written from a clearly biased and prejudiced viewpoint – strong terms,
but necessary when facts are misrepresented.
Among them were the assertion that at the Museum at Majdanek Zyklon B is
described as a disinfecting agent and that the history of Jewish victims was
spokesperson of the Museum at Majdanek, Agnieszka Kowalczyk-Nowak has sent a
letter to the Editor – enclosed is a copy.
It is regrettable
that The Tablet did not fact check the article and instead ran to publish material
which significantly diminishes the positive opinion that The Tablet has worked
To Alana Newhouse
Dear Ms. Newhouse,
I am writing with
reference to the article “Poland’s Holocaust Denial and Anti-Semitism Run Far
Deeper Than Just Its Latest Controversial Law” by Benjamin Gladstone that was
published at tabletmag.com on January 30. Much to our
indignation, we have found there some untrue and misleading information
concerning the exhibitions and activities of the State Museum at Majdanek. Let
me list them below:
Majdanek, we learned from our tour guide about the gradual replacement of the
Jewish survivors’ testimonies that were once displayed at the camp with
non-Jewish Polish testimonies – The State Museum at Majdanek did not
remove any Jewish testimonies. In fact, lately, we installed plaques with
testimonies by former prisoners, including Jewish survivors. The texts are in
Polish, English and Hebrew.
2.The plaque in the biggest gas chamber, which
had once described its use in the mass murder of innocent Jews, had also been
replaced with a new sign claiming that the lethal Zyklon B poison was dropped
into the Auschwitz-style chamber merely to disinfect clothing – There is a plaque in gas chambers that
reads: “The bunker with gas chambers. In these chambers poison gases were used
to murder the prisoners. Carbon monoxide was supplied through metal pipes . . .
prisoners were also killed with Zyklon B, which was poured through an opening
in the ceiling. Most of the gas chamber victims were Jews (mainly women,
children and the elderly).” Again, the texts are in Polish, English and Hebrew.
3.Meanwhile, the Majdanek site administration
had dramatically reduced its estimates of how many Jews were murdered in that
camp – 15 years ago,
our historians, based on thorough historical research and new documents, revised
the overall number of the Majdanek victims, not only the Jewish ones.
4.Thus the administration of the Majdanek site,
over time, seems to have moved toward the erasure of Jewish experiences and the
distinctly Jewish history of the Holocaust – This sentence is entirely untrue. On a regular basis we
hold lectures, provide educational activities or publish books on the Holocaust
(just browse through our website).
We mark Holocaust Remembrance Days.
Currently, there are a few exhibitions presented at the Museum which are
devoted only to the Holocaust victims, including:
“They Arrived at the Ghetto... And Went into the Unknown...” presenting various
aspects and circumstances of the extermination of Jews carried out within the
framework of “Aktion Reinhardt,”
“Districts of Extermination. Ghettos for Jews in German-occupied Lublin,”
“Drawings on the Scraps of Life. The Extermination of Jews in the Lublin Region
in the Józef Richter's Sketches” opened on 3 November 2017 when the Museum
marks the anniversary of action “Erntefest” – mass shooting of over 18 thousand
Jews that was carried out by Germans at Majdanek on 3 November 1943.
With reference to the
above, we demand you to correct all the unreliable information in the
article. We place great value to the accuracy, including the information
about the history of the Majdanek camp and activities of the Museum provided by
the tour guides. It is of great importance to us to explain why the guide
allegedly told about the plaques. We hope Mr. Benjamin Gladstone will help us
in this matter. We will be grateful for all information concerning the guide.
Jestem Żydem a Polska jest moją Ojczyzną.... I am a Jew and Poland is my
these words of Artur Szyk perfectly illustrate his mutually inclusive
identities which infused his art for four decades.
As many of you know
the Artur Szyk exhibit at the New York Historical Society will be opening on
September 15, 2017 and will continue through January 21, 2018. Although this is
not a large exhibit, it will give you a clear idea of some aspects of his work.
Artur Szyk was
extremely well known during his lifetime - not only for his illumination of the
Statut of Kalisz or the Book of Esther - but also for his caricatures of Hitler
and Mussolini. He also prepared a number of illustrations which appeared in
the Polish Pavilion at the New York World's Fair of 1939.
However, this artist,
who had fought by using his art from 1919 through 1945 - is completely unknown
(except for specialists or Jewish scholars) in contemporary Poland and barely
known in the United States. There are four reasons for this
1- His service in the
Polish Army during the Polish Bolshevik War of1919-1920 - vide his
2- His service to
Inter-war Poland - both creating illustrations of Piłsudski and the work for
the Polish Pavilion (among others)
3- The fact that
in the period of 1939-1941, i.e. while the Soviet Union was allied with Germany
- he depicted Stalin in that role vide the following depictions of Stalin and
(There was a series of
illustrations showing Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini and Petain. The second illustration in this group is
entitled Poland Greets Her Good Neighbors)
4- The fact that he
allied himself with the Polish Government in Exile in London and was sent by
them to the US to continue his anti-Hitler work in the US
5- The fact that he
did not return to Poland after the war
6- The fact that he
supported the creation of the State of Israel
all led to knowledge
about him being suppressed in Poland - to the extent that even the director of
Muzeum Dworku Paderewskiego did not know that the Paderewski Illustration in
the museum was by Szyk (this in 2015!!!)
brochure - in both English and Polish, prepared by the Piłsudski Institute and
Krystyna Piórkowska will be available at various Polish and Polonia
organizations in the New York area - including
the Consulate General of the
Republic of Poland
the Polish Cultural Institute
the Kosciuszko Foundation (both
New York and Washington,DC locations)
at St. Stanislaus B&M
as well as the Piłsudski
Institute in America.
Feel free to stop by
any of these locations after September 14th to pick up a copy.... or check at
your local Polonia organization to see if they have a copy available.
Do visit the exhibit
and to read the brochure which will serve to introduce Artur Szyk.
Irving Ungar, curator of the exhibit.
Consulate General of
Poland - Madison Avenue and 37th Street (Jan Karski Corner)
Institute - 60 East 42nd Street Suite 3000
- 15 East 65th Street
St. Stanislaus Church
- 101 East 7th Street
Piłsudski Institute of
America - 138 Greenpoint Avenue Brooklyn
Piotr Wandycz, a premier historian of contemporary Polish
and Central European history and a true scholar and gentleman, died on
Saturday, July 29 in Hamden, CT.
His funeral will take place at 10:00AM on Tuesday, August 1
at St. Rita’s Church in Hamden.
Born in Kraków and his early years were spent in Lwów, he
completed his studies in post-war London and came to the United States. Professor Wandycz taught at Indiana
University and the transferred to Yale University.
He was mentor to a number of scholars, including Professor
Anna Cienciała, who completed her doctoral thesis under his guidance. He authored over a dozen books and some four
Professor Wandycz was a member of many scholarly
organizations, had received various awards, and a number of honorary doctorates
from celebrated institutions – including the Sorbonne and the Uniwersytet
He also received the Krzyż Komandorski z Gwiazdą Orderu
Odrodzenia Polski (Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta) – his achievements were such that even the Polonia Restituta does not fully recognize them.
Published on the six-month anniversary of Franciszek Herzog’s
In 2012, shortly after my discovery in the US National
Archives, of the coded letters sent from Oflag 64, I spoke with an Associated
Press reporter working on the story of the declassified files. He wanted to see a copy of these materials,
and so I went to the AP offices near Hudson Yards in New York. During the course of our meeting he mentioned
that the AP was also speaking to the son of one of the Katyń victims. Little did I know that this was Franciszek
Herzog, who had for years been actively been involved in the Związek Harcerstwa
Polskiego (ZHP - Polish Scouting) in the United States, and was one of its
Many members of Polonia in the United States were aware of
Franciszek Herzog’s engagement in Scouting, almost none, however, were aware of
his link to Katyń or more specifically of his attempts to have the US
government publicly confirm Soviet responsibility….
Franciszek Herzog, Jr. was the son of Captain Franciszek
Upon the invasion of Poland by the Soviet Union on September 17, 1939,
the Soviets began accumulating information about these prisoners as well as
their families. Thus, the prisoners were
allowed to write letters to their families, and received responses from
them. In this manner, the Soviets
garnered the home addresses of the prisoner’s families… As a result, on several days, in the early
morning hours of late winter and early spring of 1940, NKVD officers arrived at
the homes of these families and informed them that they had two hours to
prepare for travel. These families,
consisting of women and children, as well as some elderly men and women, were
loaded into boxcars and travelled into the depths of the USSR – to various of
the Soviet ‘stans’ where they were offloaded, either in kolkhozes or in open
fields. They were then told they were to
work as lumberjacks (one can just imagine these women wielding handsaws) or in
the fields. In most cases, they first
shared a room with locals (if there were any) and then built peat sod huts,
which were half submerged in the ground.
These were the conditions that faced Franciszek Herzog’s
mother and her children. His mother did
not survive this period and young Franciszek, together with his older sibling,
managed to join the group of orphans whom the Polish delegates had located at
various orphanages throughout the Soviet Union, and others who had arrived at
Jangi Jul on their own. These children
as well as mothers with children were then transported out of the Soviet Union
across the Caspian Sea to Pahlevi, Iran and dispersed throughout the world
(Kenya, Rhodesia, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Mexico were some of
the nations were these refugee women and children were sent) and one small
group of children was hosted by a Maharajah in India. One of the members of this last group was
His route then led to the Middle East and Great Britain,
where he completed his studies and having immigrated to the United States, he
settled in Connecticut.
As readers, you are now asking – “why is Franciszek Herzog important enough to
write about and why is he a singular Child of Katyń…”
By 1990 Gorbachev had delivered what was referred to as File
No. 1, and which had lain in the safe of the Communist Party Secretary in
Moscow since 1940. That file contained
the document signed by all the Party Presidium members and which condemned the
Katyń, Ostashkov and Starobielsk prisoners to death.
The fact is, that the United States clearly knew that the
Soviets had committed the crime. The Madden Committee had reached that
conclusion based on its hearings in 1951 and 1952.
As a naturalized citizen of the USA, Franciszek Herzog
believed that he had the right to demand accountability from the President of
the United States and the Department of State for the actions and statements of
the Government of the United States.
Although there were any number of children and widows of Katyń victims
residing in the US, none of them felt confident enough to demand such
Franciszek Herzog did demand accountability, and the letters
he sent to the Department of State over a period of months remained unanswered,
until he wrote a final letter in which he advised the Department that he was now
including Senator Dodd of Connecticut in the correspondence. At that point, the Department of State did
proceed to prepare a flimsy response stating it had not been clear who had
committed the Massacre.
These documents – both Franciszek Herzog’s letters demanding
an apology from the Department of State to the Families of the Katyń Victims as
well as the quasi-throttled response with its weak excuses were part of the
material declassified (yes, his letters were classified) and the Associated
Press included this as the lead to its story on this declassification and
The main photograph in the story was a closeup of Franciszek
Herzog holding a photo of his father next to his face appeared in thousands of newspapers throughout the world.
Although Franciszek Herzog’s efforts to have the US confirm Soviet
guilt were never acknowledged by the Polish government – during his lifetime, they were acknowledged after his death. He was awarded the Officers Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland for his efforts in propagating the truth about Katyn and for his work with Polish Scouting in the US.