Category Archives: Intermarium

Sixth Annual Kosciuszko Chair Spring Symposium is coming!

You are cordially invited to the Sixth Annual Kosciuszko Chair Spring Symposium that is going to take place on April 9th, 2016.

The program and location of the Symposium may be found here:

http://www.iwp.edu/events/detail/kosciuszko-chair-spring-symposium-4

Dr. Chodakiewicz discusses freedom and security of the Intermarium region at the Cornell Club

On November 21 2015, Dr. Chodakiewicz has given a lecture entitled Polish Freedom and Democratic Traditions in Anglo-Saxon Perspective for the Polish American Business Club. The event was held at the Cornell Club in New York and discussed the matters of freedom and security in the Intermarium both in the historical and the contemporary perspective.

The lecture may be watched here:

Questions from the audience are here:

Dr. Chodakiewicz reviews “The Rise and Fall of Belarusian Nationalism, 1906-1931” by Per Anders Rudling

According to Professor Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, Per Anders Rudling’s The Rise and Fall of Belarusian Nationalism, 1906-1931 (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015) is seriously flawed both as far as its intellectual framework and understanding of subtle nature of the identity of the people inhabiting Belorussian lands. More in-depth research and less analytical bias stripped of leftist ideological prejudice should fix the problem. A version of the review was published as “Scholarship of Imagination,” East/West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies, vol. 2, no. 3 (2015), posted at http://www.ewjus.com/

The full review is also available here: Scholarship-of-Imagination-May2015

 

Eighth Annual Kosciuszko Chair Conference

On Saturday, November 14th, The Eight Annual Kosciuszko Chair Conference took place. Topics discussed a number of questions related to the past and the contemporary reality of the Intermarium as well as its closer and more distant neighbors.

Topics and speakers included:

“Poland for the Poles!” Recent Research on Christian Nationalism
Marek Jan Chodakiewicz
Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies, IWP

Reflections on Russian Youth and their Perceptions of Reality and the World
Harrison Grady

China in the Intermarium: The Ukraine and Belarus Connections
Dr. Paul Coyer
IWP Research Professor, Contributor to Forbes

Jews and the Polish Underground: A Book to End History?
John Armstrong
Independent Scholar

Active Measures and the Smolensk Investigation
Dr. Chris J. Cieszewski
Professor, University of Georgia

Free Expression in Contemporary Poland
Matthew Tyrmand
Deputy Director, American Transparency

Grupa Azoty and the Information War
Maria Juczewska
Student, IWP

Dr. Chodakiewicz speaks at SAIS about “the political uses of WWII”

On the morning of Thursday, May 7, Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz participated in a panel discussion at a conference on “History’s War: The Political Uses of WWII.”  The event was organized by the “realist” Center on Global Interests and co-sponsored by JHU – SAIS and Georgetown University.

The panelists were tasked with answering two broad questions about the Second World War:  “As Europe celebrates the 70th anniversary of Allied victory, the Ukrainian crisis and the broader reemergence of nationalism have increasingly politicized the war’s narrative. What role has the war historically played in Russia and Eastern Europe, and how is it currently defining modern politics?”

The video of the entire conference can be found below. To read Dr. Chodakiewicz’s remarks, which focused on collective and individual memory, continue below.

There is no collective memory in the post-Soviet zone, and that includes Poland. There are individual recollections. Individual recollections can coalesce into collective memory only when there is freedom. Under communism, the state employed terror to force upon society a rigid straitjacket in the form of the official narrative. According to this narrative, Stalin liberated and saved Central and Eastern Europe from “Hitlerism.” Those who were not pro-communist and did not agree with the official version were automatically branded as “fascists.” The Reductio at Hitlerum was the rule in this game.

Thus, in most places, a collective memory began to commence to form only after 1989. This process occurred on several levels, including: family, local, national, and regional memories.

The Poles had the easiest job because – from the beginning to the end – they knew that they had two enemies: Hitler and Stalin. After the war, however, the communists did not allow them to remember the war this way. For example, in 1943, the seventeen-year-old Marian Bobolewski (Nom de guerre “Góral” [Mountain Man]) escaped from a German forced labor camp. He joined the National Armed Forces underground resistance outfit. The teenager then fought against the Germans and the communists in the Lublin region. He was arrested by the NKVD in October 1944. His Soviet interrogator crushed his eye with a swift, well-aimed kick in the head. This is how “Góral” recounted it to me: “After the liberation, the Soviets captured me and gouged my eye out.” I replied: “Sir, how can you speak of ‘liberation’? Liberation means the bringing of freedom, and the Red Army brought enslavement. Through the sheer force of inertia, the Red Army pushed the Germans out of Poland by attacking westward. They did not come here to liberate the Poles or the Jews or anybody else, but to enslave all and subordinate them to totalitarian communist domination. Only captive minds can call that a liberation!” Mr. Bobolewski could only weep in response.

The great tragedy is that the victorious communists imposed Stalinist phrases, concepts, symbols, and images on everyone else. A collective memory can emerge only when a society frees itself from such a paradigm. In Poland, this process is the most advanced. It is far less advanced in the Third Reich’s former satellite countries or nations that treated collaboration with the Germans as a lesser evil. In all those places, collective memory is going through a series of birth pangs because individual recollections dictate either that: a) it was righteous to fight in the ranks of the Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Belarusyn, Ukrainian, Croatian, Hungarian, or another SS national formation, or b) that it was more prudent to bandwagon along with Hitler – like Budapest, Bucharest, or Sofia did – than to suffer Poland’s bloody fate.

It will take some time for collective memory to emerge. Patience is the word.

Between Russia and NATO: Security Challenges in Central and Eastern Europe

IWP holds Fifth Annual Kościuszko Chair Spring Symposium

On Saturday, April 25, the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies – currently held by Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz – hosted its Fifth Annual Spring Symposium: “Between Russia and NATO: Security Challenges in Central and Eastern Europe.” This year’s event was held at the Ritz Carlton in Pentagon City, just across the river from Washington, D.C. The conference was made possible through the generosity of Mr. Jan M. Małek and the Polish-American Foundation for Economic Education and Development (Polsko-Amerykańska Fundacja Edukacji i Rozwoju Ekonomicznego, PAFERE).

The symposium consisted of six panels and was moderated by Dr. Sebastian Gorka of IWP, who also delivered two presentations and the closing remarks.

Dr. Gorka’s first talk addressed “U.S. Interests in Central/Eastern Europe.”

The panel on “Foreign and Defense Policies of Central and Eastern Europe” consisted of lectures by Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz and Mr. Žygimantas Pavilionis, the Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania. Dr. Chodakiewicz emphasized that the Intermarium has suffered from a lack of unity and called for solidarity between the nations of Central and Eastern Europe. Ambassador Pavilionis spoke about what he sees as insufficient US engagement in the region, including the woefully inadequate nature of US public diplomacy and broadcasting in the region.

Dr. Ariel Cohen and Dr. Łucja Świątkowska-Cannon addressed the “Strategic Implications of Economic and Energy Conditions in Central/Eastern Europe,” both pointing out that such impediments as onerous regulations and heavy taxation (“gas tax Sepuku,” in the words of Dr. Cohen) constitute serious obstacles delaying the ability of such countries as Poland and Ukraine to exploit fully their large shale gas deposits, thereby gaining energy independence.

The panel on “Russian Foreign Policy and Military Developments in Central and Eastern Europe” consisted of four lectures. Prof. Andrzej Nowak from the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland, provided a historical survey of imperialist continuities in Russian, Soviet, and post-Soviet thought. Dr. Jack Dziak spoke about Spetsnaz operations, active measures, and the “new hybrid warfare,” which — as he pointed out — was by no means “new.” The real problem was that the US government closed down the means we had at our disposal to counter these threats during the Cold War right after the Soviet implosion. Mr. Chris Zawitkowski focused on post-Soviet Russia’s military doctrine, which continues to view the US and NATO as its main “enemies.” Dr. Phillip Petersen of the Potomac Foundation, in turn, explained the nature of the post-Soviet “new hybrid warfare,” which the Russians call simply “new generation warfare.”  Dr. Petersen’s PowerPoint presentation can be found here: Download file Petersen, New Generation Warfare

During the “NATO and Central and Eastern Europe” Dr. Phillip Karber (Potomac Foundation) emphasized the highly intensive nature of Moscow’s proxy war in the Donbas and offered practical policy advice on how to most effectively help the Ukrainians defend themselves. Shifting towards first things, Prof. Joseph Wood’s presentation anchored our understanding of America’s role in NATO in natural law and transcendental moral values.

The final panel, “U.S. Foreign Policy Options,” featured the speeches of Dr. John Lenczowski and Dr. Sebastian Gorka.

Dr. Chodakiewicz participates in Russia collaborative analysis event at Johns Hopkins

Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz – who is the current holder of the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies, and a recognized expert on Central and Eastern Europe (i.e. the Intermarium region) – participated in a two-day (March 23 and 24, 2015) Asymmetric Operations Working Group (AOWP) collaborative analysis at the Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, MD. The topic of the analytical conference was “Assessing Russia’s Influence in the Baltic States.” The participants included US Army officers, academics, think-tank experts, and diplomats.

During the exercise, which consisted of the assessment of eight different hypotheses which might explain post-Soviet Russian behavior in the Intermarium, Dr. Chodakiewicz made several points.

He clarified that while Moscow may view itself as a “besieged fortress,” and therefore perceive its own aggressive moves as “defensive,” it is in reality acting offensively to reintegrate the post-Soviet zone under its own hegemony.

To the question of whether the Kremlin’s main aim is power retention or territorial expansion, Dr. Chodakiewicz responded that the two are not mutually exclusive: one must first capture and maintain power to implement one’s expansionist goals.

When the discussion shifted to the Russian-speaking minorities in the Baltic states – and their likely role as a pro-Moscow Fifth Column if/once the Kremlin decides to unleash the “Donbas separatist” proxy invasion scenario against Estonia, Latvia, and/or Lithuania – Dr. Chodakiewicz pointed out that it would be most accurate to refer to the “Russian minority” as a post-Soviet minority, adding that the alleged “discrimination of ethnic Russians” in the Baltics is primarily the anger of a previously privileged post-colonial elite with a suddenly “uppity” native population wishing to reestablish independent statehood (how dare they?).

Another problem was how to counter Russia’s propaganda offensive, to which Dr. Chodakiewicz proposed a three-pronged approach consisting of: public media, private media, and a supervised army of volunteer counter-trolls on the Russian internet.

He concluded that “Moscow’s influence is dangerous but elastic – sometimes waxing and sometimes waning – and therefore opportunistic and always ready to pounce.” In this context, he added, the local Central and Eastern European leaders most threatened by the Kremlin’s aggression want the US government to make its intentions in the region clear and unequivocal: if they feel they cannot rely on Washington to help defend them against Moscow, they will be tempted to bandwagon with Russia, and that would mean the loss of US allies in the Intermarium.

Dr. Chodakiewicz delivers Intermarium Lecture on Belarus, Ukraine, and Hungary

On Tuesday, December 2, Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz — Professor of History at IWP and the current holder of the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies — delivered a lecture on the “Intermarium in song, thought, and action: Belarus, Ukraine, and Hungary.”

The event was part of the Kościuszko Chair’s ongoing Intermarium Lecture Series, which commenced in 2011. During the presentation, Dr. Chodakiewicz addressed the accusations that are often levied against the government of Viktor Orban in Hungary. He also spoke about the nostalgia for the Polish-Lithuanian-Ruthenian Commonwealth and support for greater cooperation among the nations of the Intermarium in Belarus and Ukraine.

A video of his remarks can be found below.

IWP hosts the Seventh Annual Kosciuszko Chair Conference

On Saturday, November 8, 2014, IWP hosted the Seventh Annual Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies Conference. The event addressed the general theme of “Issues in the History and Current Affairs of Poland and Central and Eastern Europe,” and was dedicated to the memory of the late Brigadier General Walter/Władysław Jajko, USAF (1937 – 2014). Following a moment of silence for Gen. Jajko, the introductory remarks were delivered by Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, the holder of the Kościuszko Chair and Professor of History at IWP.

The conference commenced with a lecture entitled “The Female Dialectical Pawn: ‘Women’s Lib’ Soviet-style,” by Ms. Emily Butler, doctoral student at Catholic University of America. Ms. Butler pointed out that many feminist-oriented liberal scholars in the West continue to perpetuate communist propaganda by claiming that the Soviets liberated and empowered women. She debunked these assertions by demonstrating that not only did women serve merely as useful pawns in the Bolsheviks’ revolutionary agenda, but that the Soviet communist system inflicted great suffering on the women they claimed to be “liberating.”

Dr. Tomasz Sommer discussed “The Polish Operation of the NKVD: New Findings.”  He is the editor-in-chief of the conservative-libertarian weekly, Najwyższy Czas!, and the author of Rozstrzelać Polaków [Shoot the Poles], the first monograph on the “Polish Operation” of the NKVD and has just published another book on the subject. He argued that this genocidal ethnic cleansing of the Poles by the Soviets should not be viewed as simply another NKVD “national operation.” In the case of the “Polish Operation,” the Soviet secret police targeted not only those who identified as Poles, but also Soviet citizens of Polish descent who claimed a different identity. Even Polish communists and Jews born in Poland found themselves in the crosshairs of Stalin and his henchmen, who perceived Poles in ethno-racist and deterministic terms: as inherently anti-Soviet and incapable of loyalty to Moscow.

Delivering a presentation on “Remembering Jan Karski,” Ms. Carol L. Harrison shared photos she took of Dr. Karski and recalled her memories of the legendary Polish underground courier who warned the U.S. government about the German-implemented Holocaust in his native Poland. Ms. Harrison is the owner of Carol Harrison/Fine Art Photography + Design and recently published an album of her photographs of Dr. Karski, which she took at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, of which she is a graduate.

Mr. Paweł Styrna, historian and Kościuszko Chair research assistant, lectured on “Choosing the Lesser Evil: Polish Geopolitical Dilemmas during the First World War.” His paper focused on the competing Polish “foreign policies” during a time when Poland did not exist as a state, but was partitioned between three powerful empires: Russia, Austria, and Germany. During the First World War, Polish patriots striving to restore their country’s independence were split into the anti-German camp, favoring an alliance with Russia and the Entente, and the anti-Russian camp, supporting the Central Powers against Russia. These geopolitical dilemmas have a long history in Poland and remain relevant.

“The Counterintelligence Service of the Polish Underground National Armed Forces (NSZ) during the Second World War” was the subject of a presentation by Mr. Sebastian Bojemski, a scholar of the Polish anti-Nazi, anti-Soviet underground and the director of PRacownia, a Warsaw-based public relations firm. Mr. Bojemski pointed out the professionalism of the underground National Armed Forces’ intelligence and counterintelligence cells and dispelled many of the black myths about the NSZ, which was much-maligned by the communists.

The conference concluded with an analysis of a current topic by Mr. Vilen Khlgatyan, an alumnus of IWP and Vice-Chairman of Political Developments Research Center (PDRC), a think tank based in Yerevan, Armenia. Speaking about “Ukraine: One Year Later,” he argued that Ukraine finds itself in a much worse situation economically than before the Maidan rising and that the EU is the biggest culprit responsible for the current crisis.

The papers presented during the conference will be published in the upcoming first issue of Nihil Novi, a scholarly peer-reviewed annual journal which the Kościuszko Chair intends to launch in December.