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.

Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation’s Centennial Commemoration, Library of Congress, Washington, DC, November 2017.

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.”

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.

The 7th Annual Kościuszko Chair Military Lecture

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.


On November 12, 2016, The Ninth Annual Kościuszko Chair Conference took place. Topics covered a number of problems related to Poland’s past and presence, such as the Jewish autonomy in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, rigged elections in January 1947, energy and cyber security in the EU as well as the reasons for emigration of the youngest generation of Poles in the 21st century.


The program of the conference entailed the following five lectures:
The Energy Outlook – United States, Europe, and Poland
Mr. Adam Sieminski, U.S. Department of Energy, discussed the international energy outlook and challenges to energy security in the United States and in Europe.
Paradise of the Jews in Towns and Cities of Poland-Lithuania 1300-1795
Mr. Michael V. Szpindor Watson, George Mason University Ph.D. Candidate, elaborated on the disagreement between whether the Jews were treated better in royal or private noble towns. He analyzed where peace was best fostered, comparing the two types of towns.
The Foundational Lie of Communist Poland: The January 1947 Elections
Mr. John Armstrong, an independent scholar, discussed the January 1947 Elections that changed the course of Polish history after WWII.
Greed or Exasperation? The Reasons for the Latest Wave of Polish Emigration
Mrs. Maria Juczewska, Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies, analyzed complex reasons for the massive emigration of young Poles at the beginning of the 21st century.
Russian School of Cybernetics and Present Day Threats: Continuity and Development
Mr. Piotr Trąbinski, an IWP M.A. candidate, discussed the development and the recent phenomena in Russian cybernetics.