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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.

Briefing for the US Army War College, Class of 2018, IWP, May 2018.

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.

The Kościuszko Chair Intermarium Lecture Series 2017/2018

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

The Zdzisław R. Zakrzewski 10th Annual Kościuszko Chair Conference

MJC_10thAnnualZdzislawZakrzewskiConferenceOn 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.

Intermarium: US and Canada’s Role, 2nd Oskar Halecki Symposium, Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Canada, October 2017.

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.