The Kościuszko Chair Intermarium Lecture Series 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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

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.

https://www.iwp.edu/news_publications/detail/united-states-army-war-college-students-visit-iwp-for-seminar-with-iwp-faculty

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 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.