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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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:
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 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.
Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz gave two lectures for the Polish and Slavic Credit Union about the necessity of involvement on the part of Polish Americans and the perspectives for the American Poles in the American political life.
Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz participated in a briefing for the US Army War College, Class of 2018, organized at IWP, elaborating on the Contingency Planning for the Intermarium in the event of a Russian invasion.
In this academic year 2017/2018, monthly lectures were given as a part of our Intermarium lecture series.
1. Propaganda, paranoia, and the public interest
Dr. Caitlin Schindler, Research Professor at the Institute of World Politics, spoke about propaganda which is once again a subject of US public interest and debate, arguably since the onset pf the Cold War in the 1950s. America must develop a measure approach towards propaganda in order to avoid succumbing to continued foreign influence.
2. Russian Policy in its Neighborhood
Ambassador Temuri Yakobashvili (Ambassador of Georgia to the U.S), co-Founder and President of the New International Leadership Institute, provided insight into the Russian policy in its “neighborhood.” The fact that Russia has never been a nation state created a number of identity issues for the Russians. Meanwhile, Russia’s foreign policy has been consistent for many decades; getting access to the warm seas, especially the Mediterranean, means that they must first occupy their neighboring countries which align the warm sea coasts.
3. Which Orthodox Church in Ukraine? Kirill and Filaret in the Donbas.
Geoffrey Seroka, a student of IWP, gave a lecture on Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church. Patriarch Kirill has been openly criticizing the Ukrainian government and the Maidan movement. Those ties between political authority and religious authority have been causing tension in Ukraine. With the frozen conflict continuing, larger churches, like the Roman Catholic Church, start to be more vocal in their support for the Ukrainian Orthodox church, which adds to the overall political pressure in the region.
4. How Does the War with Iran Benefit Russia?
Brandon Weichert, a former Congressional staffer and the founder of The Weichert Report, goes into detail on how war with Iran benefits Russia. He first remarked that Russia with their economy tethered to the petro-economy is less of a threat to the U.S at present because of the low global price of oil. Meanwhile, the Islamic Republic of Iran strives for nuclear weapons to solidify its growing regional hegemony in the Middle East. Should it obtain them, it would destabilize the already precarious regional order. That is why the Trump Administration is committed to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear arms at all costs – risking even a potential war with the Islamic Republic. If conflict with Iran were to erupt, Iran’s long-time strategic partner, the Russian Federation, would benefit disproportionately.
5. Novorossiya or Intermarium? The Fight for Donbass
Jarrod McDowell, IWP class of 2017, presented a short lecture on the fight for Donbass. He deciphered the definitions of Novorossiya and Intermarium as well as provided the history and components of both. The war in Donbass began in 2014 and is still ongoing.
6. Slovenian War of Independence: Another Perspective
Tibor Babic, an international political science graduate (Vienna, Austria, and Washington, DC), discussed how Slovenia became an autonomous and sovereign state independent from Yugoslavia in 1991. He contrasted historical facts with emotional interpretations during the war and immediately after its end.
7. The Many Myths of Marxism
As chairman of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, Dr. Lee Edwards has long studied communism and is considered one of the nation’s leading authorities on the victims and crimes of Communism, past and present. Rarely in history has a political movement and its leaders promised more and produced less than Communism and its notorious dictators, Lenin, Stalin and Mao.
8. Russian Lobby in Belarus: Could Belarus be 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, educational or media, emerged. They increase polarization between pro-Western and pro-Russian Belarusians, which could lead to open conflict in the future.
Lectures outside of IWP
On November 4, 2017, speaking shortly after the bicentennial of General Thaddeus Kościuszko’s death, Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz opened the 10th Annual Zdzisław Zakrzewski Kościuszko Chair Conference. This year the topics focused on Russian foreign policy and Polish history. The second session examined Poland’s history, from the golden years of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth to the tragedies and travails of Poland during the Second World War. At the end of the conference, Dr. Tomasz Sommer premiered his groundbreaking documentary on the Anti-Polish Operation of the NKVD: Shoot the Poles. Drawing on hitherto unknown NKVD documents, Dr. Sommer pieced together the democide of nearly 200,000 Poles living within the Soviet Union in 1937 and 1938. The screening of the film was made possible thanks to the generosity of the Bak Foundation.
The program of the conference entailed the following lectures:
1. Introduction – Bicentenary of Gen. Thaddeus Kościuszko’s death
Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, Ph.D., the Head of the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies at The Institute of World Politics, briefly discussed the part our patron played in the US history.
2. Is Russia at War with the U.S?
Mr. David Satter affiliated with the Hudson Institute and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) discussed Russia’s road to dictatorship and terror under Yeltsin and Putin and how it led to Russia’s interference in U.S. internal affairs.
3. Russian active measures in cyberspace and their implications for the international community
Mr. Piotr Trąbińsk, a law graduate from the University of Warsaw with extensive experience in international banking, and a student of IWP, explained how technological advancement of 21st century gave Russia a new perspective and capabilities to project its power within the sphere of foreign relations and cyberspace. His presentation reviewed the way in which active measures were deployed in the past and how they are applied in the digital context at present.
4. Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth – The United States before The United States?
Mrs. Maria Juczewska, an Associate Director of the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies, analyzed in what way the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth resembled the United States of America in the pre-modern era. Similarities between the two political entities were presented, pointing to analogies between the two systems of government and the thoughts and attitudes that spawned them.
5. Forced migrations in Poland after 1944
Professor Jakub Isański, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, spoke on mass migrations, which began in the Polish lands already in 1944 and lasted until the end of the 50s. Their effect was the displacement of more than a dozen million people into unfamiliar, alien lands. The lecture focused on the excerpts of the migrants’ diaries from the corpus of over one thousand works, digitized and subjected to qualitative analysis.
6. Shoot the Poles: US premiere of the documentary on the Anti-Polish Operation of NKVD
by Dr. Tomasz Sommer, a Polish writer, journalist, publisher, and Editor-in-chief of the Najwyższy CZAS! weekly. He is one of the foremost Polish experts focusing on the Polish aspects of Stalinism, in particular the Polish Operation of NKVD. His is the first documentary about the Anti-Polish Operation of NKVD in the years 1937-38. The operation was a planned genocide of the Poles living in USSR shortly before the start of World War II. Organized extermination of 200,000 Poles has remained a secret for decades – until recently.
From October 27 to 28, Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz participated in the 2nd Oskar Halecki Symposium in Ottawa, Canada.
The conference gathered to commemorate Canada’s 150th anniversary and simultaneously to reflect on the contributions of Polish Canadians to today’s Canada.
Dr. Chodakiewicz delivered the keynote address, examining the relationship between Canada, the United States, and Poland and the Intermarium. Dr. Chodakiewicz focused on Canada and the US as heirs and guardians of the Western Civilization also on the European continent, pointing to the future challenges crystallizing on the horizon. At the end of the conference, Dr. Chodakiewicz returned to the podium to deliver a few parting remarks in tandem with an exhibition of Canada’s role in the rebirth of Poland.