Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dr. Chodakiewicz speaks about property restitution in Poland

On Thursday, October 8, Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz – the current holder of the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies – delivered a lecture entitled “Property Restitution: The Case of Poland After the Nazis and Communists.”

During his talk, Dr. Chodakiewicz dispelled many misconceptions about the restitution of property – Jewish property in particular – in Poland and explained the key role of the two totalitarian invaders that destroyed Poland during the Second World War and confiscated both Jewish and Christian property.

Marek Chodakiewicz discusses Poland’s anti-communist insurgency, 1944-1963

During this year’s annual Gen. Walter Jajko Kosciuszko Chair Military Lecture, Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz discussed the various ways in which the underground anti-communist insurgency in Poland fought against Communist forces in the wake of the Second World War, and in later years against the Nazi Germans and Soviet Communists.

Dr. Chodakiewicz highlighted the response strategy used by the Communist Party, most notably the anti-insurgent communist deception and propaganda, an example of which was Andrzej Wajda’s anti-Home-Army film calledAshes and Diamonds (1958). The film was screened after the professor’s talk.

To give historical context to the movie and reveal the true intentions behind the production of the film, which was commissioned by the Communist Party as a propaganda tool, Dr. Chodakiewicz discussed several means of propaganda used by the party. Using the words of Joseph Stalin, “The writer is the engineer of the human soul,” Dr. Chodakiewicz revealed the power of art and film and its ability to manipulate the human soul and mind when used accordingly.

This event was sponsored by the Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies, and took place on September 25, 2015.

The Rising Tide of Third World Refugees and the Plight of NATO’s Southeastern Flank

by Marek Chodakiewicz
from the website of the Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research

The Hungarians and others argue that for economic and cultural reasons they simply cannot accommodate the new comers. The Magyars refuse to succumb to the social engineering schemes of Brussels and prefer their country just the way it is. We should watch the European debate very carefully because it also concerns our own problems on America’s southern border. It is not Nazism to wish to protect the nation’s frontier and to uphold its cultural essence. Patriots defend their countries from all enemies: foreign and domestic.

Hungary and most other Balkan countries are both NATO and EU members. An unprecedented influx of refugees from the Middle East and Africa has put a serious strain on the relationship between the military alliance and the political union. On the one hand, defense considerations necessitate internal and external stability among NATO’s participants. On the other hand, political realities require following the EU’s ideological diktat by the member states. This puts the alliance on a serious collision course with the union.

Brussels’ standing political policy is de facto open borders reflecting Europe’s dominant liberal ideology: multiculturalism. During the summer of 2015 multiculturalism encouraged a wave of migrants from the south. Desperate refugees search for a better life. Their home countries are usually dysfunctional and, at worst, like Syria, torn asunder by war. Until recently, the bulk of them came in a trickle and then spurts via Spain and Italy. The Spaniards and Italians felt overwhelmed by thousands and then tens on thousands. Now, hundreds of thousands are pouring into Europe.

Almost all refuse to stay in the south of the EU. They push north. A general impression is that these refugees have been welfare shopping. A few weeks ago a contingent of them refused to disembark from a ferry in Denmark, which has slashed its welcome benefits by half. When compelled to leave the vessel, they proceeded by foot, bicycle, train, and taxi to Sweden, which has maintained its generous subsidies. For similar reasons, they tend to spurn France in favor of England. London is viewed as more bountiful than Paris. Some travelers are detained by the authorities, including in the infamous “Jungle” camp of Calais. The situation is so dire that the bureaucrats even consider establishing filtration, or intermediate camps for prospective migrants in Niger. That may perhaps attract some sub-Saharan African asylum seekers but others are not fooled. They want their feet planted firmly on EU territory.

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Dr. Chodakiewicz lectures throughout Europe

Zrobione przy użyciu Lumia Selfie

Zrobione przy użyciu Lumia Selfie

At the end of August, Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz returned from a lecture circuit in Europe, which has become an annual Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies tradition. The lecture series was dubbed “The Thoughts of a Free Pole” to emphasize the importance of liberty – i.e. active initiative vs. slavish passivity – in the struggle to overcome communist and post-communist pathologies.

During his three-week tour, Dr. Chodakiewicz spoke in many cities in Poland, including: Warsaw, Łódź (where he discussed post-communist “transformation”), Wrocław, Bełchatów, and Łomża. The holder of the Kościuszko Chair also delivered lectures in London (UK) and Dublin (Ireland), where he discussed the history of Polish-Jewish relations in Poland in 1918 – 1955.

For an additional video of Dr. Chodakiewicz’s lecture in Warsaw, please click here.

To watch an interview with Dr. Chodakiewicz about nuclear weapons and the Intermarium, please click here.

Zrobione przy użyciu Lumia Selfie

Zrobione przy użyciu Lumia Selfie

Poland’s role in the European refugee crisis

In his “Eastern Europe’s Crisis of Shame” (September 13, Princeton’s sociologist Jan Tomasz Gross chastised Eastern European nations, Poland in particular, for failing to address the current Middle Eastern refugee crisis properly. According to him, Poland has rejected the migrants. To provide a moral dimension and a historical context to contemporary developments, Gross opined that “the Poles… actually killed more Jews than Germans during the war.” Neither his historical musings nor his understanding of the current crisis square with the facts.

A New York newspaper has asked Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz to comment:

Jan Tomasz Gross writes nonsense. However, he does regurgitate a thesis that has enjoyed a long currency among a few Jewish ethnonationalist historians. For example, Reuben Ainsztein stated some years ago that “during the [Warsaw 1944] uprising Polish fascists killed most likely more Jews than Germans.” (See his Jewish Resistance in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe, London 1974).

Let’s see.  During the Warsaw Rising the Germans and their allies lost about 10,000 casualties. Thus, according to Ainsztein, the Polish Home Army (AK) must have killed over 10,000 Jews. Gross’s methodology is similarly unsound as it is based upon a spurious estimate that the Polish peasants killed allegedly 200,000 Jews during the war.

Further, such shoddy “scholarship” co-exists hand in glove with poor command of current affairs in Europe. Gross claims that Poland and other Eastern and Central European countries have refused to take refugees and, thus, “have revealed themselves to be intolerant, illiberal, xenophobic, and incapable of remembering the spirit of solidarity that carried them to freedom a quarter-century ago.” This is untrue. The Poles have welcomed refugees. According to the New York Times (30 May 2015), there are at least 400,000 Ukrainian war fugitives in Poland. Additional hundreds of thousands of migrants rotate through Poland for seasonal work to return home afterwards. What does the rest of Europe do for them?

As far as the Middle Eastern and African refugees are concerned,

  1. According to the Dublin Regulation (no. 604/2013), the first EU country to accept a migrant is responsible for his processing, maintenance, and settlement. Since most of them cross into Greece, Athens should take care of them.
  2. It is true that other nations should accept the refugees, in particular wealthy Arab states, including Saudi Arabia. They can afford it, and they should help their co-religionists in the first place.
  3. One could also suggest that Israel take them for humanitarian and logistical reasons. The Jewish state abuts Syria and has a long history of aid to foreign people in times of crisis (e.g., in Haiti). Perhaps a moral argument can be made that history dictates that Israel should render assistance to those in need since the Jewish people often had to count on others for help.

Moral blackmail with alleged Polish mass murders on the Jewish people is as morally flawed as endeavors to force Israel to settle Syrian refugees with a vicious propaganda campaign comparing Israeli policy toward the Palestinians to the Nazi measures against the Jews.

The case of J.T. Gross shows the frightful collapse of scholarly standards in the humanities and social sciences at a formerly prime institution of learning. Shame on Princeton.

Marek Jan Chodakiewicz

Refugee Crisis

Refugee crisis 2

refugee crisis 3

Prof. Paul Goble on the Intermarium and Poland’s new president

In his recent “Window on Eurasia” blog post, Prof. Paul Goble, emphasized the importance of the first foreign trip made by Poland’s newly-elected center-right president, Andrzej Duda, to the Baltic nation of Estonia.

According to Prof. Goble, this signals a return to Poland’s traditional neo-Jagiellonian foreign policy aiming to integrate the nations of Central and Eastern Europe (the Intermarium) into a geopolitical bloc that could constitute the counterweight to Russian and German power in the region. He has also mentioned Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz’s trail-blazing monograph, Intermarium: The Land between the Black and Baltic Seas (Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2012).

By Going to Tallinn on August 23, Poland’s Duda Begins Forming Intermarium
-Paul Goble

By going to Tallinn rather than Berlin on his first foreign trip and by doing so on August 23rd, the anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact that led to the occupation of Poland and the Baltic countries, Polish President Andrzej Duda has taken a major step toward the formation of an alliance of the countries in between Germany and Russia.

To continue reading this article please visit Prof. Goble’s blog.

About Poland and the Poles

Zdzisław (Richard) Zakrzewski (1919 – 2013) was a Polish-American optical engineer, philanthropist, banker, a veteran of Poland’s defensive struggle in September 1939 and the Battle of Narvik, and a social and political activist – a true polymath and hero. Mr. Zakrzewski was also a great friend of The Institute of World Politics and a generous supporter of the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies. We are thus making available a PDF of his book, O Polsce i Polakach [About Poland and the Poles] (Warsaw: Ronin, 1996), in which Mr. Zakrzewski reflected on the past, present, and future of his homeland and the meaning of “Polishness” in an increasingly dynamic and constantly evolving world.

For short biographies of Mr. Zakrzewski please see Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz’s “In Memoriam” article and an English-language Wikipedia entry dedicated to him.

Please click here to download his book: O Polsce i Polakach – Zakrzewski

Paul Coyer discusses Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church

On June 9, Dr. Paul Coyer, a Forbes foreign policy columnist, delivered an Intermarium Series lecture at The Institute of World Politics entitled “Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church.” The lecture, which was sponsored by IWP’s Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies, focused on a recent article by the speaker, entitled “(Un)Holy Alliance: Vladimir Putin, The Russian Orthodox Church and Russian Exceptionalism.”

Dr. Coyer began by noting that it can be easy to sympathize with the Russian Orthodox Church, which claims to preserve tradition and uphold moral values. He then described the complexities and various dimensions of the Church’s involvement with the Russian state.

Orthodoxy is not viewed by Russians in the same way that religion is widely viewed in the West. For example, Dr. Coyer noted, 30 percent of respondents in Russia who self-identified as Orthodox simultaneously also identified as atheists. Dr. Coyer explained that Orthodoxy in post-Soviet Russia is a matter of culture and identity, not necessarily the belief in a Supreme Being.

In addition, the speaker described Vladimir Putin’s attempts to increase the strength of the Russian Orthodox Church, with over 20,000 churches being built from 2000 onwards. He argued that this resurgence in the Church’s strength added to Russian exceptionalism and nationalism. Russia has an advantage in its citizens’ mindsets, in that they are more fiercely dedicated to their homeland. By contrast, a 2015 Pew Research Center poll found that Europeans overwhelmingly would not be willing to fight for their countries.

Dr. Coyer maintained that, even without Putin, the conflict between Russia and the West will not fade away. One of the reasons is that culture, including that of Russian Orthodoxy, is at stake. He asserted that a serious confrontation of the West with Russia is increasingly likely.

Dr. Coyer covers international affairs, with a focus on Eurasia, in his Forbes column. He has spent time in academia, having graduate degrees from Yale University and the London School of Economics. His PhD, from the LSE, was on Sino-American relations and diplomatic history. From 2007-2013, he was a visiting scholar at the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and he served as a visiting lecturer on Chinese foreign policy and Sino-American relations at the University of Florence, Italy, in 2011 and 2012. He has lived and worked in several locations around the world, including Shanghai, where he did macro-economic research on China’s development and edited a book on the Shanghai stock exchange that was jointly published by JPMorgan and the South China Morning Post, and in Hong Kong, where he did a brief stint in banking for Deutsche Bank.

Kosciuszko Chair researcher reviews “The Devils’ Alliance: Hitler’s Pact with Stalin, 1939-1941

A review of The Devils’ Alliance: Hitler’s Pact with Stalin, 1939-1941 by IWP student and researcher for the Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies Pawel Styrna was published by the Selous Foundatino for Public Policy Research.  A portion of his review appears below, and the full version can be found here

image00Recalling the Disaster of the Nazi-Soviet Pact – Part of a Long Geopolitical History
-Pawel Styrna

On the night of August 22-23, 1939, in Moscow, leaders of two of the most evil totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century — the Third German Reich and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics — signed the Nazi-Soviet Pact, also known as the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact. Officially a “non-aggression” pact, the Hitler-Stalin agreement was a Machiavellian partition of Poland and Central and Eastern Europe (i.e. the Intermarium) between the Germans and the Soviets, the former claiming western-central Poland and Lithuania, and the latter seizing eastern Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, and a slice of eastern Romania (Bessarabia). The two sides swapped central Poland for Lithuania a month later, after destroying Poland. Stalin thus gave Hitler — who was uneasy about the prospect of a two-front war — the “green light” to invade Poland and thereby launch the Second World War.

What resulted was a de facto alliance of almost two-years that helped both the Nazis and the Bolsheviks achieve many of their aggressive and blood-thirsty aims. Of course, this Machiavellian arrangement collapsed when one party (the Germans) attacked the other (the Soviets) on June 22, 1941, but — as British historian Roger Moorhouse emphasizes in his most-aptly-titled Devils’ Alliance — the destructive effects of the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact were by no means voided and reversed: the extermination of the Polish and Baltic elites and the defeat of France remained faits accomplis, and the Soviets continued to claim the lands they had gobbled up under the “devils’ alliance.” Unfortunately, few in the West appreciate the pact’s significance.

It was precisely to correct this gaping discrepancy that Moorhouse wrote The Devils’ Alliance, publishing his monograph during the 75th anniversary of the German-Soviet partition of the Intermarium. As the author points out: “Except in Poland and the Baltic states, the pact is simply not part of our collective narrative of World War II. (…) Our ignorance of the subject is surprising. (…) the pact remains largely unknown-passed over often in a single paragraph, dismissed as a dubious anomaly, a footnote to a wider history. It is instructive, for example, that almost all of the recent popular histories of World War II published in Britain give it scant attention.”

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Dr. Chodakiewicz interviewed about Russia by PHC’s Intelligencer

Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz – the current holder of the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies and IWP professor of history – has been interviewed by Patrick Henry College’s Intelligencer journal (Spring 2015). We are reproducing the text of the interview below:

  1. (Intelligencer) What are Russia’s strategic mindset and motivations and what lens should we use to interpret Russia’s actions?

Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz (MJC): The Kremlin’s strategic objective is to restore the Empire. History is the lens to interpret Moscow’s actions.

  1. If Russian citizens genuinely feel threatened by the West, as you said at the US Army Europe Senior Leaders Forum last month, how can the West work to build solidarity with the Russian populace (and thus undermine Russian propaganda)?

MJC: In a short run, this can be done by deploying counterpropaganda: overt and covert. Public diplomacy should be the best tool here. Setting up a Russian language TV station is a must. There should also be a cyber propaganda offensive. Social media need to be mobilized.  In the long run, we must set up a strategic goal. This entails rigorous analysis of the situation. First, is it desirable for the US to “build solidarity with the Russian” population? If yes, then how? The only way to do so is when they are convinced that they prefer someone else than the current denizens of the Kremlin. That means we would have to support a viable alternative and help with a regime change.

  1. Do the Russian people have concerns about the West and Western culture that are legitimate?

MJC: Sure. The excesses of the counter-cultural revolution that the 1960s spawned in the US generate legitimate fears all over the world, not only in Russia. Must Marxism-lesbianism be obligatory everywhere?

  1. How can Patrick Henry College students, as Westerners and as Christians, critique the problems of the current Western worldview without reinforcing anti-Western sentiment in Russia and elsewhere?

MJC: That’s easy. Stop depicting counter-cultural pathologies currently dominant in the West, including post-modernism and deconstruction, as the Western mainstream. The counter-culture has successfully sold itself as being “Western,” and that seriously damages America’s image as a decent nation.

  1. Is it credible to consider Russia a conventional military threat to Western Europe when their military spending is much lower than the combined spending of NATO nations (even absent the United States) and the area they have to defend is much larger? What about the unconventional military threat?

MJC: By “their” you mean “its” – love the mother tongue. Yes, it is credible to consider Russia as a conventional military threat. First, Russia’s military budget is a state secret, so how do you know what they spend? Second, combined spending of NATO nations basically means that America pays for everyone else in the alliance. Others hardly contribute what they should, if they do at all. Third, and most importantly, I do not see the will of any NATO member states to face Russia unless the United States stands on the front line. Fourth, Russia very much has the will to use force to take out whatever obstacles it deems necessary to get its way.

As far as the unconventional military threat, if you are referring to nuclear war, Russia is the only country in the world that can destroy the United States because the Kremlin inherited the Soviet Union’s nuclear arsenal. If by the unconventional military threat you mean irregular warfare, or special operations, Moscow is extremely apt at it and must be considered extremely dangerous. It specializes in active measures, or all dirty tricks of political warfare short of violence, and covert action, including paramilitary operations. We are light years behind the Russian Federation in such capabilities.

  1. Since the end of the Cold War, there seems to be a noticeable lack of a worldwide big-picture “grand strategy” employed by the United States. Should the United States have a grand strategy, and what should it focus on?

MJC: The US pursued a grand strategy briefly during the 1980s; earlier it just cravenly pursued détente. America must have a grand strategy and it should focus on perpetuating our supremacy in the world. It should be based on the idea of free trade and cooperation with the likeminded, providing strong leadership to attract as many as possible to our banners, and propagandizing for a decent civilization which, for me, is inexorably tied to Christianity.