Author Archives: liberska

Kościuszko Chair Met the Financial Goals Required to Match the Funds of Our Endowment

In the academic year 2018/2019, Kościuszko Chair met the financial goals required to match the funds of our endowment. We are thankful to all our benefactors and friends for their generous support. We would like to thank in particular Lady Blanka Rosenstiel and the American Institute of Polish Culture for great generosity and unwavering support! We are also grateful to The Tadeusz Ungar Foundation, the Hon. Aldona Woś, Mr. Adam Bąk, Mrs. Ava Polansky-Bąk, Mr. John Niemczyk, Dr. Magdalena Pogonowska, Mr. and Mrs. Władysław Poncet de la Riviere, The Polish American Veterans’ Association (PAVA), Mr. Bogdan Chmielewski and his team of the Polish and Slavic Federal Credit Union, Mr. Jan Małek of PAFERE (The Polish-American Foundation for Economic Research and Education), and many others. We continue to raise funds for our on-going projects as reported. We would also like to thank ourstaff and interns for their help in running the daily activities of the Chair. Your involvement and support enable the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies to inform the American public about Poland and shed positive light on its history and culture.

The Kościuszko Chair Intermarium Lecture Series in the Academic Year 2018/2019

In the academic year 2018/2019, monthly lectures were given as a part of our Intermarium lecture series.

  1. Monte Rosa: Memoir of an Accidental Spy (book presentation)

Mr. Jaroslaw Martyniuk, a former energy economist with the IEA/OECD and a retired sociologist, presented a sweeping panorama of his life from the outbreak of WWII to the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The narrative begins in Ukraine and ends in Paris where he coordinated the work of fifty undercover interviewers engaged in unorthodox research with Soviet visitors in Western Europe, a chapter of Cold War history never before revealed in such remarkable detail. The story includes the author’s narrow escape from Communism, an account of his extended family’s ordeal in the Soviet Gulag, life in post-war Bavaria, thirty years in Chicago and culminates with twelve years in France where he worked for the International Energy Agency and Radio Liberty.

Click here to watch the lecture.

  1. E Pluribus Unum in Ukraine? Reconciling Conflicting National Identity in the Borderland

Mr. James A. Rice, the Legislative Director for U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, discussed the historical roots of the east-west divide in Ukraine, currently being exploited by Putin’s Russia. It will describe the conflicting worldviews and mentalities of eastern and western Ukrainians and suggest how they can be reconciled going forward.

Click here to watch the lecture.

  1. Russian Military History

Mr. Geoffrey Seroka, a graduate student at The Institute of World Politics, has focused his graduate research on Russian/Eurassion affairs. In this lecture, he explored the military history of Russia, going back to pre-imperial times, in order to analyze the Russian Federation’s recent actions toward the United States, NATO, and Europe. Russia has historically viewed war in a different light than the West, and this historical context is vital to determining how to respond to recent belligerent actions.

Click here to watch the lecture.

  1. The League of Militant Godless

Ms. Helen Lamm, a graduate student in Statecraft and International Affairs at The Institute of World Politics specializing in American Foreign Policy has an interest in the politics of post-communism. She focuses on the interplay of religion and politics. She discussed the Soviet antireligious activism and propaganda, taking a look at the “volunteer” activism and analyzing the artistic renderings of religion in Bezbozhnik – the propaganda apparatus of the League of the Militant Godless.

Click here to watch the lecture.

  1. Suki w Zakone: A Criminal Key to Putin’s Russia

Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz discussed how the criminal underworld was coopted by the Bolshevik revolution, how it was tamed and broken by the Soviet state, how it coexisted with it and infiltrated it; how it became transformed in the post-Soviet realm; and how it became second nature of Putin’s system in Russia. Dr. Chodakiewicz stressed the historical continuities of Russia’s criminal underworld which have now infiltrated into the mainstream of its national life.

Click here to watch the lecture.

The lecture was preceded by the performance of Russian music on the prima/malaya domra by Mr. Charles Winkler. He was a Department of Defense analyst for more than 30 years, specializing in Soviet, Russian, East European, and Middle Eastern matters, and threat analysis. Now in retirement, he applies his national-security analyst’s perspective and research skills to matters of domestic and foreign affairs.

  1. The Future of the European Union

Mr. László Szabó, M.D. physician, businessman, politician, and diplomat, is the current Hungarian Ambassador. Ambassador Szabó practiced as a transplant surgeon, then shifted to the pharmaceutical industry and held several local and international leadership positions for more than 20 years. The Government of Hungary reached out to him to build the trade pillar of the Ministry until his appointment as Ambassador to the U.S. in July 2017. He presented the political and cultural vision of Central and Eastern Europe, and its implications to the region’s relations with the United States. He discussed the migration crisis, Brexit, and the rise of new political ideas that surround the debate on the future of the European integration.

Click here to watch the lecture.

  1. Belarus Under Putin’s Radar

Mr. Franak Viačorka, the Vice President of the Digital Communication Network, discussed how Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev made it clear to Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenka that Minsk must take steps towards deeper integration between the two countries. Polls have shown that, following the rise of Russian media presence in Belarus, pro-Russian sentiment increased within the society. He explored the questions of what, exactly, the situation in Belarus is and what role Belarusian civil society, the EU, and the U.S. could play in the new paradigm.

Click here to watch the lecture.

  1. The Challenge of Counterintelligence Cultures: The Counterintelligence State from Tsarist Russia and the USSR, to Putin’s Russia, the PRC, Cuba & Venezuela, and Resurgent Militant Islam

Dr. Jack Dziak, a co-founder and President of Dziak Group, Inc. and an Adjunct Professor at the Institute of World Politics, discussed the concept of the counterintelligence state. From counterintelligence cum prevocational style of the Tsarist Okhrana’s near classic penetration operations against its indigenous Marxist revolutionary terrorists; through the long, ugly Soviet secret police period; to the counterintelligence continuities and refinements of former KGB Lt. Col. and now Russian President, Vladimir Putin. He also briefly discussed the PRC counterintelligence state, whose pedigree long antedates that of Russia, the highlight client counterintelligence state systems such as Cuba and Venezuela, and the unsurprising similarities between resurgent militant Islam and the Soviet/Russian counterintelligence state paradigm.

Click here to watch the lecture.

  1. A Journey to the Gulag: Experiencing History Through Virtual Reality

Mr. Štěpán Černoušek, a Fullbright scholar and the head of the Virtual Museum Gulag.Online and the Chairman of the Gulag.cz Association, spoke about the project documenting the Gulag camps and creating VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) experiences for the unique online Gulag museum. Around 20 million people went through the horrors of Soviet labor camps. At least 1.6 million of them died. Among the victims of Soviet repression were also people from European countries and the U.S. Currently, with the exception of the former Perm-36 project, there aren’t any museums in Russia of former Gulag camps from Stalin’s era. However, hundreds of abandoned camps are still hidden away in the Siberian taiga. A small group of enthusiasts visit and document these sites to virtually preserve them to make them accessible to the public through virtual and augmented reality. The lecture began with a documentary from Mr. Černoušek’s expeditions, “A Journey to the Gulag”, after which the presentation of the virtual museum followed.

Click here to watch the lecture.

The 9th Annual Lady Blanka Rosenstiel Kościuszko Chair Spring Symposium

The Ninth Annual Lady Blanka Rosenstiel Kościuszko Chair Spring Symposium took place on April 6, 2019. Introduced by Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz, five lectures focused on the present situation in Central Europe followed by a more historical perspective on the region. Topics ranged from the Polish military under Tsarist Russia, Boris Smyslovski and his role in the Russian counterinsurgency and counterintelligence, the role of women in the Polish National Movement, the Polish involvement in the NKVD, and the backstage of INF Treaty implementation. Below, a short summary of the lectures is presented.

  1. For the Entente’s Cause in Tsarist Uniforms: Polish Military Formations in Tsarist Russia During WWI (1914-1918)

Dr. Wojciech Jerzy Muszyński, a scholar for the Institute of National Remembrance in Warsaw and the editor-in-chief of the semi-annual Glaukopis, discussed how Tsarist Russia utilized the Polish military during WWI. The Polish military were not allowed to use their own national symbols to represent their nation and wished to fight for their independence even though they were under Russian control. He further discussed how the Polish military under Russian control were fighting against the Polish under German control. The Polish military was also involved in the Bolshevik revolution and other internal struggles that the Russians had during WWI.

Click here to watch the lecture.

  1. Boris Smyslovski: WWII, White Russian, Counterinsurgency and Counterintelligence

Dr. Sebastian Bojemski, an independent scholar, discussed the life of Boris Smyslovski and his role during WWI and WWII. He fought for the Russian army in WWI, fought against the Bolsheviks, moved to Poland, but then was later recruited to be an army officer for the German military. He fought for the Germans in WWII against the Soviet Union and had his army elevated to the 1st Russian National Army. His whittled-down army settled in Liechtenstein, with some returning to the Soviet Union but never heard again, while others went to exile in Argentina. Smyslovski was able to offer his expertise and knowledge of the Soviet Union to the United States.

Click here to watch the lecture.

  1. Between Politics and Social Work: A Study of Women’s Activities within the Ranks of the Polish National Movement (1919-1939)

Dr. Jolanta Mysiakowska-Muszyńska, a scholar for the Institute of National Remembrance in Warsaw and a deputy editor-in-chief of the semi-annual Glaukopis, wrote a lecture that was presented by Ms. Maria Juczewska, the Associate Director of the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies. She discussed the role of women in the Polish National Movement during the Interwar Period and their contribution to the Polish women’s political enfranchisement. The Polish National Movement benefitted greatly from the support of women at the time, proposing a model of women’s liberation alternative to the one posited by the supporters of socialism.

Click here to watch the lecture.

  1. The Polish Operation of the NKVD: The Victim Tally

Dr. Tomasz Sommer, a Polish writer, journalist and publisher, and editor-in-chief of the weekly magazine Najwyższy CZAS!, discussed the numerical data provided by his research on the Polish Operation of the NKVD – an operation which was a systematic, large-scale extermination of the Poles in the U.S.S.R. between 1937-1938.

  1. The INF Treaty: Adventures in a Late Soviet-Era Town in the Urals

Mr. Charles Winkler, a retired Department of Defense civilian analyst with more than 30 years of experience, discussed his experiences related to the implementation of the INF Treaty, including the reality of late Soviet era in the Russian province as seen with the eyes of an American.

The 11th Annual Kościuszko Chair Conference

On November 3, 2018, Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz opened the 11th Annual Zdzisław Zakrzewski Kościuszko Chair Conference. This year the topics revolved around Polish independence as well as real and potential threats to it. Ms. Maria Juczewska discussed General Haller’s Army’s diplomatic and military contribution to the rebirth of Poland. Mr. Matthew J. O’Brien analyzed the dangers European countries are facing due to their immigration policies. His lecture led to the conclusion that Poland and its neighbors may become the next victims of the immigration crisis. The second part of the conference last fall entailed a unique film screening. Mr. Robert Orlando premiered his documentary The Divine Plan on the extraordinary partnership between the American President, Ronald Reagan, and the Pope, John Paul II, in fighting the Soviet Union. Drawing on the discussions with scholars, politicians, historians, and journalists, Mr. Orlando delved into the religious and political history of the partnership between the Pope and the American President that overthrew communism. The program of the conference entailed the following lectures:

  1. Introduction

Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, Ph.D., the Head of the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies at The Institute of World Politics, introduced the main themes of the conference.

  1. Saved from Overseas: Contribution of the General Haller’s Army to the Independence of Poland 

Mrs. Maria Juczewska, an Associate Director of the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies, gave a lecture commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Poland’s regaining independence. One of the factors that greatly contributed to the rebirth of Poland was the support of General Haller’s Army, created on the American soil. The lecture discusses the Army’s diplomatic and military contribution to Polish independence.

Click here to watch the lecture.

  1. Radical Islam and Resettlement Jihad: Are Poland and Its Neighbors the Next Potential Victims?

Mr. Matthew J. O’Brien, the Director of Research at the Federation for American Immigration Reform, explained how the nations of Europe are rapidly becoming the victims of their unnecessarily generous immigration. He further analyzed their – possibly too broad – concepts of religious freedom and unwillingness to defend Judeo-Christian culture from Islamic encroachment. In the conclusion he posited a question whether Poland and its neighbors would be the next casualties of this disturbing trend.

Click here to watch the lecture.

  1. The Divine Plan – a feature film presentation

Mr. Robert Orlando, an author and filmmaker, took viewers behind the scenes of a partnership that changed the world between the American President, Ronald Reagan, and the Pope, John Paul II. Told in part as a graphic thriller, this highly stylized motion picture film pushed beyond the bounds of conventional documentary-making, reviving and revising the history of the Cold War.

Click here to watch the Q&A.

West Point Cadets’ Visit 2019

On April 2019, The Institute of World Politics (IWP) hosted two groups of cadets from the United States Military Academy at West Point. On April 5th, the West Point Kościuszko Squadron made its annual visit to IWP, led by Col. Steve Olejasz and Professor Larry Mansour. On April 9th, a second group of three West Point cadets visited IWP, led by Dr. David Gioe, Assistant Professor at West Point and History Fellow at the Army Cyber Institute. Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz gave a lecture about US/NATO joint activities with Polish Armed Forces at both visits. The West Point Cadets’ Visits are co-sponsored by the Kościuszko Chair yearly.

Professor Marek Chodakiewicz Receives The Sentinel of National Remembrance Award of Do Rzeczy Magazine for 2018

On November 6, 2018, Professor Marek Chodakiewicz received The Sentinel of National Remembrance Award of Do Rzeczy Magazine for 2018.

The award is granted to individuals particularly involved in the discovery, preservation, and promotion of the memory of Poland’s past. This year, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the rebirth of Poland in 1918, the award committee decided to honor persons who have been the most committed to sustaining Polish historical and cultural continuity, which allows Poland to foster its sense of national pride. Professor Chodakiewicz was awarded in the “creative minds” category for his scholarly and journalistic activity.

At the splendid Sentinel of National Remembrance Gala Evening held at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Professor Chodakiewicz was introduced with the following words: “He has been working for the Polish cause outside of Poland for many years – he has persuaded the undecided, he has taught the unknowing, he has gained new allies for Poland. He has consistently used the force of arguments rather than the argument of force. …A renowned expert in the field of Polish-Jewish relations, the history of communism, the history of conservative thought, and the latest history of Poland, Professor Marek Chodakiewicz is an ardent commentator of the present who – drawing from the past – does not hesitate to point to the Poles’ possible paths into the future.”

Although he was not able to receive the award in person, a video of his remarks was shown at the gala.

The 8th Annual Kościuszko Chair Military Lecture

On September 12, 2018, the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies hosted its annual Gen. Walter Jajko Kościuszko Chair Military Lecture. The lecture was entitled “Russian Military History” and was presented by Mr. Geoffrey Seroka, a graduate student at The Institute of World Politics. It explored the military history of Russia, going back to pre-imperial times, in order to analyze the Russian Federation’s recent actions toward the United States, NATO, and Europe. Russia has historically viewed war in a different light than the West, and this historical context is vital to determining how to respond to recent belligerent actions. The lecture was based on Mr. Seroka’s graduate research in Russian/Eurasian affairs.

Click here to watch the lecture.

The Kościuszko Chair Intermarium Lecture Series 2018/2019

In the academic year 2018/2019, monthly lectures were given as a part of our Intermarium lecture series.

  1. Monte Rosa: Memoir of an Accidental Spy (book presentation)

Mr. Jaroslaw Martyniuk, a former energy economist with the IEA/OECD and a retired sociologist, presented a sweeping panorama of his life from the outbreak of WWII to the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The narrative begins in Ukraine and ends in Paris where he coordinated the work of fifty undercover interviewers engaged in unorthodox research with Soviet visitors in Western Europe, a chapter of Cold War history never before revealed in such remarkable detail. The story includes the author’s narrow escape from Communism, an account of his extended family’s ordeal in the Soviet Gulag, life in post-war Bavaria, thirty years in Chicago and culminates with twelve years in France where he worked for the International Energy Agency and Radio Liberty.

  1. E Pluribus Unum in Ukraine? Reconciling Conflicting National Identity in the Borderland

Mr. James A. Rice, the Legislative Director for U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, discussed the historical roots of the east-west divide in Ukraine, currently being exploited by Putin’s Russia. It will describe the conflicting worldviews and mentalities of eastern and western Ukrainians and suggest how they can be reconciled going forward.

  1. Russian Military History

Mr. Geoffrey Seroka, a graduate student at The Institute of World Politics, has focused his graduate research on Russian/Eurassion affairs. In this lecture, he explored the military history of Russia, going back to pre-imperial times, in order to analyze the Russian Federation’s recent actions toward the United States, NATO, and Europe. Russia has historically viewed war in a different light than the West, and this historical context is vital to determining how to respond to recent belligerent actions.

  1. The League of Militant Godless

Ms. Helen Lamm, a graduate student in Statecraft and International Affairs at The Institute of World Politics specializing in American Foreign Policy has an interest in the politics of post-communism. She focuses on the interplay of religion and politics. She discussed the Soviet antireligious activism and propaganda, taking a look at the “volunteer” activism and analyzing the artistic renderings of religion in Bezbozhnik – the propaganda apparatus of the League of the Militant Godless.

  1. Suki w Zakone: A Criminal Key to Putin’s Russia

Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz discussed how the criminal underworld was coopted by the Bolshevik revolution, how it was tamed and broken by the Soviet state, how it coexisted with it and infiltrated it; how it became transformed in the post-Soviet realm; and how it became second nature of Putin’s system in Russia. Dr. Chodakiewicz stressed the historical continuities of Russia’s criminal underworld which have now infiltrated into the mainstream of its national life.

The lecture was preceded by the performance of Russian music on the prima/malaya domra by Mr. Charles Winkler. He was a Department of Defense analyst for more than 30 years, specializing in Soviet, Russian, East European, and Middle Eastern matters, and threat analysis. Now in retirement, he applies his national-security analyst’s perspective and research skills to matters of domestic and foreign affairs.

  1. The Future of the European Union

Mr. László Szabó, M.D. physician, businessman, politician, and diplomat, is the current Hungarian Ambassador. Ambassador Szabó practiced as a transplant surgeon, then shifted to the pharmaceutical industry and held several local and international leadership positions for more than 20 years. The Government of Hungary reached out to him to build the trade pillar of the Ministry until his appointment as Ambassador to the U.S. in July 2017. He presented the political and cultural vision of Central and Eastern Europe, and its implications to the region’s relations with the United States. He discussed the migration crisis, Brexit, and the rise of new political ideas that surround the debate on the future of the European integration.

  1. Belarus Under Putin’s Radar

Mr. Franak Viačorka, the Vice President of the Digital Communication Network, discussed how Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev made it clear to Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenka that Minsk must take steps towards deeper integration between the two countries. Polls have shown that, following the rise of Russian media presence in Belarus, pro-Russian sentiment increased within the society. He explored the questions of what, exactly, the situation in Belarus is and what role Belarusian civil society, the EU, and the U.S. could play in the new paradigm.

  1. The Challenge of Counterintelligence Cultures: The Counterintelligence State from Tsarist Russia and the USSR, to Putin’s Russia, the PRC, Cuba & Venezuela, and Resurgent Militant Islam

Dr. Jack Dziak, a co-founder and President of Dziak Group, Inc. and an Adjunct Professor at the Institute of World Politics, discussed the concept of the counterintelligence state. From counterintelligence cum prevocational style of the Tsarist Okhrana’s near classic penetration operations against its indigenous Marxist revolutionary terrorists; through the long, ugly Soviet secret police period; to the counterintelligence continuities and refinements of former KGB Lt. Col. and now Russian President, Vladimir Putin. He also briefly discussed the PRC counterintelligence state, whose pedigree long antedates that of Russia, the highlight client counterintelligence state systems such as Cuba and Venezuela, and the unsurprising similarities between resurgent militant Islam and the Soviet/Russian counterintelligence state paradigm.

  1. A Journey to the Gulag: Experiencing History Through Virtual Reality

Mr. Štěpán Černoušek, a Fullbright scholar and the head of the Virtual Museum Gulag.Online and the Chairman of the Gulag.cz Association, spoke about the project documenting the Gulag camps and creating VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) experiences for the unique online Gulag museum. Around 20 million people went through the horrors of Soviet labor camps. At least 1.6 million of them died. Among the victims of Soviet repression were also people from European countries and the U.S. Currently, with the exception of the former Perm-36 project, there aren’t any museums in Russia of former Gulag camps from Stalin’s era. However, hundreds of abandoned camps are still hidden away in the Siberian taiga. A small group of enthusiasts visit and document these sites to virtually preserve them to make them accessible to the public through virtual and augmented reality. The lecture began with a documentary from Mr. Černoušek’s expeditions, “A Journey to the Gulag”, after which the presentation of the virtual museum followed.

The Academic Year 2017/2018

SONY DSCThe academic year 2017-2018 was truly busy for Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies, the Center for Intermarium Studies, and the Institute of World Politics. Dr. Chodakiewicz has been invited to join boards of several prestigious institutions and periodicals in the U.S. and in Poland. He travelled extensively as a guest speaker at American and Polish-American events. He was awarded a prestigious Wybitny Polak w USA Award [Outstanding Pole in the USA Award] in the field of science. We successfully continued our expanded speaker series on Poland and the Intermarium Region. We organized the 10th Annual Zdzisław Zakrzewski Kościuszko Chair Conference and the 8th Annual Lady Blanka Rosenstiel Kościuszko Chair Spring Symposium. We followed and commented on the political developments in Poland explaining the rationale behind the Polish foreign policy to the American reader. Dr. Chodakiewicz was interviewed as well by the Polish radio and TV programs in relation to American political life.

We are thankful to all our benefactors and friends for their generous support. We would like to thank Lady Blanka Rosenstiel and the American Institute of Polish Culture, The Tadeusz Ungar Foundation, the Hon. Aldona Woś, Mr. Adam Bąk, Mrs. Ava Polansky-Bąk, Mr. John Niemczyk, Dr. Magdalena Pogonowska, Mr. and Mrs. Władysław Poncet de la Riviere, The Polish American Veterans’ Association (PAVA), Mr. Bogdan Chmielewski and his team of the Polish and Slavic Federal Credit Union, Mr. Jan Małek of PAFERE (The Polish-American Foundation for Economic Research and Education), and many others. We also appreciate the efforts our staff and interns in running the daily business of the Chair.

Your interest and your continuous involvement enable the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies to inform the American public about Poland and shed positive light on its history and culture. This kind of public diplomacy is more and more needed these days.