Category Archives: Poland

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 8th Annual Lady Blanka Rosenstiel Kościuszko Chair Spring Symposium

The Eighth Annual Lady Blanka Rosenstiel Kościuszko Chair Spring Symposium took place on April 7, 2018. Introduced by Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz, six lectures focused on the present situation in Central Europe followed by a more historical perspective on the region. Topics ranged from Russian public diplomacy in Belarus, through Polish public diplomacy in the interwar period, new data on the Katyń Massacre of Polish POWs, mass murder prevention in the Intermarium to March 1968 in Poland. Below, a short summary of the lectures is presented.

1. Russian Lobby in Belarus: Could Belarus be the Next after Ukraine?
Franak Viačorka, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, gave a lecture on the Russian lobby in Belarus. After the occupation of Crimea, Russia began to expand its presence in Belarus. Hundreds of Russia-backed initiatives, formally cultural or educational, or media, emerged. They are driving increasing polarization between pro-Western and pro-Russian Belarusians, which could eventually lead to an open conflict.

2. The Polish Pavilion at the 1939 New York World’s Fair
Mr. Peter J. Obst provided a presentation on the contents, purpose and eventual fate of the Polish Pavilion at the World’s Fair in New York City in 1940. Poland invested a large sum of money into participation in the New York World’s Fair because they wanted to show a true picture of the country as a modern European state, striving for trade contacts. Most of the artwork, artifacts, documentation etc. has been distributed throughout the Western world. Mr. Obst has been working on discovering them and piecing them all together.

3. Wild Bill Donovan, the OSS and the Nuremberg Tribunal
Independent Scholar, Krystyna Piorkowska, provides a lecture on Wild Bill Donovan, the mastermind behind the OSS and modern American Espionage as well as the Nuremberg Tribunal. In 1948, the United States Counter Intelligence Corps investigated the massacre of the Polish POWs that had been captured and held in Katyń. Hundreds of pages of records and coded messages from Katyń were discovered which the Russians had tried to keep covered up. The US CIC and other intelligence agencies continue to work on finding more evidence to unravel the course of events.

4. Application of Historic WWII and Cold War Resistance Experience to Present Day Significance
Dr. Otto Fiala, Resistance Operations Concept Lead (SOCEUR), talked about the concept of resistance and its historic aspects. He provided an overview of SOCEUR and its mission and the lessons learned through the experience of resistance as a way of warfare. For instance, the necessity of pre-conflict agreements and maintaining legitimacy are useful conclusions from the Polish resistance experience during and post WWII. They remain pertinent as evidenced by NATO’s contingency plans regarding the Baltics vis-à-vis Russia.

5. Back to the Future: Genocide Prevention in the Intermarium
Matt O’Brien, chairman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, gave a lecture on genocide prevention in the Intermarium. Both Nazism and Communism used genocide to eliminate factual and potential opposition. Now, the migrant and refugee problem is strongly contested by Russia, while the UN is working to devise prevention methods to make sure the situation does not escalate. New approaches to prevention are necessary to avoid the clash of the Muslim Europe and the Orthodox Christian Europe.

6. The Soviets and March 1968: Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism
Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz, the head of the Kościuszko Chair, provided his viewpoints on the events of March 1968 in Communist Poland. He discussed the difference between the anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism and pointed out that, ultimately, Moscow was sovereign in Warsaw and no policy line was implemented without the Kremlin’s approval. So called “anti-Zionist campaign” occurred within the context of Israel’s drift towards the United States.

Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation’s Centennial Commemoration, Library of Congress, Washington, DC, November 2017.

On November 8, 2017, Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz moderated a panel on “The Failure of Marxism and the Collapse of the Soviet Union” at the Victims of Communism Centennial Commemoration, a three-day conference organized by the The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation to mark the horror of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.

Panelists included Dr. Paul R. Gregory, Hoover Fellow; Dr. Alan Charles Kors, scholar of European intellectual history; and Dr. Russell Roberts, Hoover Fellow and EconTalk podcast. The event took place at the Library of Congress.

Dr. Chodakiewicz covered the topic of the failure of Marxism in a recent piece for the Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research, entitled “Marxism’s Failure Tripped the USSR.”

On November 12, 2016, The Ninth Annual Kościuszko Chair Conference took place. Topics covered a number of problems related to Poland’s past and presence, such as the Jewish autonomy in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, rigged elections in January 1947, energy and cyber security in the EU as well as the reasons for emigration of the youngest generation of Poles in the 21st century.

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The program of the conference entailed the following five lectures:
The Energy Outlook – United States, Europe, and Poland
Mr. Adam Sieminski, U.S. Department of Energy, discussed the international energy outlook and challenges to energy security in the United States and in Europe.
Paradise of the Jews in Towns and Cities of Poland-Lithuania 1300-1795
Mr. Michael V. Szpindor Watson, George Mason University Ph.D. Candidate, elaborated on the disagreement between whether the Jews were treated better in royal or private noble towns. He analyzed where peace was best fostered, comparing the two types of towns.
The Foundational Lie of Communist Poland: The January 1947 Elections
Mr. John Armstrong, an independent scholar, discussed the January 1947 Elections that changed the course of Polish history after WWII.
Greed or Exasperation? The Reasons for the Latest Wave of Polish Emigration
Mrs. Maria Juczewska, Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies, analyzed complex reasons for the massive emigration of young Poles at the beginning of the 21st century.
Russian School of Cybernetics and Present Day Threats: Continuity and Development
Mr. Piotr Trąbinski, an IWP M.A. candidate, discussed the development and the recent phenomena in Russian cybernetics.

Dr. Chodakiewicz participated in “The Polish State and the Polonia” conference in Poland in November 2016

Dr. Chodakiewicz visited Poland between November 4 and November 9 in relation to a conference organized by Solidarni 2010 association and sponsored by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The conference entitled The Polish State and the Polonia focused on the role of Polish Diaspora in the world and their contacts with the Polish government. Dr. Chodakiewicz called for a professionalization of the relationship between emigre Poles and the Warsaw government, stressing the importance of first-hand knowledge possessed by Polonia in shaping foreign affairs.


This visit was an opportunity for scholarly activity as well. At the request of the Institute of National Remembrance [IPN], Dr. Chodakiewicz participated in a debate about the massacre in Jedwabne, based upon the monograph by Dr. Chodakiewicz published in 2005, The Massacre in Jedwabne, July 10, 1941: Before, During, After. In the debate, he stressed the necessity of historical research based on facts, aimed at discovering the truth, that is the logocentric method – as opposed to conclusions based on uninformed assumptions about the realities of the past.

Another important aspect of the visit was the promotion of the Polish translation of the Intermarium – just published as Międzymorze. First, on Novemeber 4, Dr. Chodakiewicz participated in a round table of experts discussing recent challenges for the historic policy of Poland and the Intermarium region. On Novemeber 7, in turn, Dr. Chodakiewicz participated in a meeting with the students of Warsaw University entitled Intermarium – back to the future.

Dr. Chodakiewicz devoted time also to working with Dr. Tomasz Sommer, IWP’s non-resident research fellow, on the anti-Polish operation of the NKVD project, in particular a documentary on the topic.

Last but not least, Dr. Chodakiewicz was providing a running commentary on US presidential elections for four radio and two TV stations as well as numerous internet news outlets and platforms, including wolnosc24.pl, on the electoral night.

Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz was one of the speakers at the Project Gray Symposium on Russian Engagement in the Gray Zone

Project Gray is a collaborative study of the Gray Zone – the space between war and peace – where competitive interactions that fall short of a formal state of war, and which are characterized by ambiguity and uncertainty about relevant policy and legal frameworks, are undertaken by state and non-state actors.

The symposium took place on October 19-20, 2016. A joint endeavor of the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, the Special Operations Center of Excellence and the National Defense University, the Symposium brought scholars, research institutes, practitioners and other interested parties to discuss Russia’s role in today’s Gray Zone environment. It presented Russian engagement in the Zone, analyzing all the Russian activities that support its military effort to advance the strategic aims of this country.

Dr. Chodakiewicz was one of the participants of The Round Table Discussion on Russian Propaganda in the Media as an Element of Global Strategy and the Effectiveness of Strategic Communication. His lecture briefly characterized the nature of contemporary Russian strategic communication.  Then, it analyzed its most salient features illustrated with examples.

Gray Zone Challenges require a collaborative effort between the military, the interagency, academia and research institutions to provide a flexible and agile response sufficient to meet the changing character of war. To address these conflicts, the U.S. organization as well as the intellectual and institutional models to operate successfully in the Gray Zone need to evolve. Through a series of events with academic, government and military partners, and other interested parties, Project Gray attempts to analyze regional and trans-national conflicts, find solutions and develop best practices to operate in the middle ground between war and peace. The Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies of the Institute of World Politics is proud to be a part of that important work.

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Dr. Chodakiewicz discussed Polish strategic messaging at a debate in Krosno, in Poland

At the end of October 2016, Professor Marek Chodakiewicz visited Poland to participate in a debate on strategic communication and creation of positive image of Poland abroad. Held on October 23, the debate in Krosno was a part of larger event – Festival Siedmiu Kultur [The Festival of Seven Cultures]. The aim of the festival is to promote multicultural Polish tradition, which was born when people of various ethnicities interacted and lived together in peace for centuries, first in the lands of The Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania and, later, in Poland.

The question of Polish strategic communication was discussed by renowned historians – Professor Piotr Wilczek (Warsaw University), Professor Andrzej Nowak (Jagiellonian University), and Professor Marek Chodakiewicz (Institute of World Politics, Washington USA). Professor Chodakiewicz focused on the popular image of Poland in the West. He pointed to the importance of strategic messaging and promotion of Polish culture and noble tradition, according to the best practices of the interwar period. The debate was moderated by Professor Krzysztof Koehler of Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw.

http://festiwal7kultur.pl/timeline_day/krosno-2016/

Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz joined the prestigious 40th Writers’ Workshop as a speaker

Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz was invited to give a lecture at the prestigious 40th Writers’ Workshop, which took place in Washington D.C. on September 25, 2016. The Workshop’s topic this year was immigration. In his lecture, Intermarium, the Land between the Black and Baltic Seas, Dr. Chodakiewicz discussed the characteristics of the migrant crisis in various parts of Europe as well as possible American response to it.

He began his analysis from the history of the Intermarium region and its crucial role for the stability of Europe and world peace. He stressed Intermarium’s Christian identity dating back to 966 A.D. as well as its unique democratic tradition. Peoples inhabiting Intermarium have developed an original form of government – an elective monarchy, in which 1 million people had the right to participate in the political process. This level of political freedom was reached by other countries of the world only in the 19th (U.S., the UK) and 20th century. This political system, known as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, is responsible for the countries of Intermarium being somehow culturally different from the countries of Western Europe. Their strong republican and individualistic tradition makes them more akin to the Unites States of America.

Historical part of the lecture provided background information allowing to understand different approaches to immigration in the Western Europe and in the Intermarium region. By virtue of its cultural identity, stronger individualism and stronger beliefs, as well as a worse economic situation, the countries of Intermarium are less interesting a location for the migrants. However, the migrant crisis still results in the destabilization of the whole continent. With Russia pushing for the reintegration of what it believes to be its sphere of influence, the situation of Europe becomes more and more unpredictable. Therefore, it would be good for the United States to monitor the situation in the region and support those European allies, which are the most similar to the United States in terms of absolute values and democratic tradition.

Europe, including the Intermarium, needs America’s leadership. This concerns not only defense issues via NATO, but also the Old Continent’s immigration crisis. If the United States solves its own immigration problems, this also can serve as a paradigm for its European NATO allies about the ways to address theirs.

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: