Category Archives: News

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.

Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz interviewed by Jewish Daily Forward about Jan Karski

Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz granted an interview about the late Dr. Jan Karski to the largest Jewish newspaper of record in the United States, the Yiddish edition of the Jewish Daily Forward. An English translation is also available online. The interview concerned the failure of the Museum of Polish Jews in Warsaw to invite the relatives of Dr. Karski – the legendary Polish resistance courier who alerted the West about the Holocaust – and the possible reasons behind the omission.

Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz interviewed by Armenian TV

Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz was interviewed by Armenian TV’s Channel 1 on Friday, November 14, about the recent downing of an Armenian military helicopter by Azerbaijan over the territory of Nagorno-Karabagh/Artsakh, a disputed region claimed by Azerbaijan but inhabited by a majority Armenian population. The two post-Soviet successor states fought a war over the status of the province in 1988 – 1994, resulting in an Armenian victory and the creation of the Nagorno-Karabagh (NKR)/Artsakh Republic: a de facto irredentist Armenian state tied to the Republic of Armenia, recognized neither by Azerbaijan nor the UN. Thus, the relations between the two Caucasian nations were generally tense and hostile during the past 20 years, causing international analysts to fear that incidents such as the shooting-down of the Armenian helicopter by Azerbaijan could trigger a renewed armed conflict.

Dr. Chodakiewicz’s interview can be viewed below (see the 0:25 – 2:22 minute segment).

Dr. Chodakiewicz speaks at Florida International University about the Warsaw Uprising

On Thursday, 25 September, Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz delivered a presentation at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Polish insurrection against the Nazi Germans in Warsaw, during which the Polish underground fought the Germans for a total of sixty-three days (1 August – 3 October 1944). Entitled “Warsaw ’44: A Legacy of Sacrifice,” the event was part of the Blanka Rosenstiel Lecture Series on Poland.

The pictures from Dr. Chodakiewicz’s lecture may be viewed here.

Al-Jazeera quotes Prof. Chodakiewicz on Russia’s nuclear missile test

Following his recent Intermarium Series lecture, “Ukraine: The Summer is Over,” Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz was interviewed on Ukraine and relations between post-Soviet Russia and the West by Yaser Alarami, the DC correspondent of Aljazeera Net. Dr. Chodakiewicz’s comments were incorporated into Mr. Alarami’s article, which was published in Arabic. Below are the questions Aljazeera Net asked Dr. Chodakiewicz about America’s position on Russia’s nuclear missile test:

  1. How do you think Washington sees this move? Is it a violation of the weapons of mass destruction agreements with Moscow?

MJC: Of course it is a violation of various agreements, as well as the international consensus. However, the White House will downplay it because to dwell too much on Putin’s brazen moves would underscore Obama’s impotence. It also shows that signing the New Start (Start III) treaty in 2010 was a serious miscalculation. So expect a little bit of noise and no consequences.

  1. Will this experiment push Washington to back off the sanctions imposed on Moscow? 

MJC: The sanctions imposed on the Kremlin for its invasion of Ukraine are rather symbolic. I therefore doubt that the nuclear test will impact Western sanctions. Washington understands that this is simply Moscow flexing its muscles, a part of the Great Game.

 

Please click here to read the article.

Fourth annual Kosciuszko Chair Military Lecture commemorates the Warsaw Uprising

2014 marks the 70th anniversary of the tragic Warsaw Uprising. During this great feat of martial heroism, the Polish anti-Nazi, anti-Communist underground resistance fought the German occupiers of their homeland for sixty-three days — from 1 August to 3 October 1944. Predictably, the Soviet troops on the other side of the river Vistula stood by passively; Stalin hoped to destroy the Polish resistance with Nazi claws. The Western Allies did little more than airdrop some small arms and ammunition, most of which fell into German hands. As a result, the city of Warsaw was almost entirely destroyed, and a significant element of the Polish Home Army slaughtered. In addition, the Germans and their auxiliaries massacred approximately 200,000 civilians as they suppressed the uprising.

Yet, in spite of the toll and the defeat, the Poles generally celebrate the failed Warsaw Rising. In the fourth annual Kościuszko Chair Military Lecture, Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz explained this phenomenon.

In this lecture, given on September 11, 2014 and entitled “The 70th Anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising: Why the Poles Commemorate Defeat,” Dr. Chodakiewicz offered personal experiences along with historical facts in order to indicate that Poles do not solely celebrate defeat but rather, the spirit of freedom within the context of defeat.

– Pawel Styrna and Anjani Shah