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
Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz explained the external and internal reasons of the anti-Jewish campaign organized in Poland by the Communist party in March 1968.
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.
On Tuesday, March 27, 2018, The Institute of World Politics (IWP) hosted a commemoration panel on Dr. Russell Kirk, an intellectual, a conservative pioneer, and a great champion of Poland. The panel included IWP Professor, Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz, Dr. Lee Edwards, a distinguished fellow in conservative thought at The Heritage Foundation and a former IWP Professor, and Matthew J. O’Brien, the Director of Research at the Federation for American Immigration Reform and an IWP student. The panel discussed the life and work of Dr. Kirk and how his work continues to impact society today.
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.
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.”
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.
On October 10, 2017, the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies hosted its annual Gen. Walter Jajko Kościuszko Chair Military Lecture. The lecture was entitled “Reconnaissance on the Eastern Front in WWI” and was presented by Captain Andrew Harris, the IWP valedictorian of 2017 and an active duty Military Intelligence Officer.
At a special ceremony preceding the lecture, representatives of the Polish and Slavic Federal Credit Union (PSFCU) presented a $150,000 gift to the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies. IWP President and Founder Dr. John Lenczowski thanked the PSFCU for its generosity and explained how the funds would be used to further the important mission of the Kosciuszko Chair, Center for Intermarium Studies, and of IWP.
Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz gave a keynote address on the importance of public diplomacy, lobbying, and involvement of Polish Americans in the political life of America.