Good News 2015-2016 - The Institute of Polish Culture

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The American Institute of Polish Culture | Miami, Florida

The American Institute of Polish Culture, Inc.


rs. Blanka A. Rosenstiel founded the American Institute of Polish Culture (AIPC) in 1972 as a non-profit, tax-exempt Florida Corporation. The aims of the Institute are twofold - first to share with Americans the rich heritage of Poland, which has contributed in so many ways to the history of the U.S., and second, to promote the scientific, educational and artistic contributions of Polish-Americans. For over forty years our endeavors have received support from our members, donors, the enthusiastic participation of other ethnic groups in the community, and the friendly cooperation of the press, all of which have helped to strengthen our leading role in the cultural life of the community, AIPC will continue being a catalyst in promoting knowledge about Poland and Polish-Americans nationwide. Ongoing programs include: Each year, the Harriet Irsay Scholarship, established in 1992, awards ten to fifteen scholarships to talented students. All majors and areas of study are considered and many applicants are of Polish descent. Over the years, AIPC has awarded thousands of dollars in grants to worthy students. In 1998, the Institute spearheaded the establishment of the Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies at the University of Virginia, for research and education and sponsorship of visiting scholars. In 2008, the Chair moved to the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. However, AIPC established the ongoing lecture series at CREEES (Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies) at the University of Virginia in 2005.

AIPC has sponsored hundreds of lectures at educational facilities throughout the years. As a result of four decades of collaboration with Florida International University (FIU) the Lady Blanka Rosenstiel Lecture Series on Poland was established there in Miami in 2010. Lecture themes have included globalization, art, music, politics and economics.

Established 45 years ago, the annual International Polonaise Ball serves as the main fundraiser for the Institute and is attended by guests from around the world. Each year themes explore the cultural ties between Poland and other countries, such as Spain, India, Greece, Japan, Great Britain, Argentina, Brazil, and China. Gold Medal recipients have included President Lech Walesa; Dr. Andrew Schally, Noble Prize laureate in medicine; James Michener, author; Senator Barbara Mikulski; David Ensor, war correspondent and journalist; and Professor Norman Davies, historian.

Film: In 1978, Lady Blanka Rosenstiel established an International Film Festival in Miami and presided over it for two years. A few years later, AIPC presented Polish films, and brought contemporary Polish film-makers and stars to the new For the Love of Film Festival to Miami. Many of the films have won major awards and some were screened for the first time in the U.S.

Art: The Institute has long been a champion of fine and modern Polish and Polish-American art, and has sponsored and organized several solo and group shows. We have also designed an exhibit of history, Perspektywa Polska, which had its inauguration at Duke University in N.C. and traveled nationwide to museums and universities for over 25 years.

Publications: AIPC has translated and published many books including the five volume history of Poland, Saga of a Nation written by Pawel Jasienica and translated by Alexander Jordan, and the rare Accomplished Senator by Wawrzyniec Grzymala Goslicki (1530-1607). Our annual magazine, Good News, is distributed to members and friends, and the Institute houses a library with books in both Polish and English. Publications are also available online,

Board of Directors Officers/Directors Founder, President, Chairman and Chief Executive Blanka A. Rosenstiel Vice President Barbara Cooper Secretary and Treasurer Dr. Jerzy Kyparisis Directors Agnieszka Gray Monika Jablonska-Chodakiewicz Steven Karski Janusz Kozlowski Rose Kruszewski Danuta Kyparisis Teresa Lowenthal Grzegorz Okon Dr. Michel S. Pawlowski Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk Dr. Pat Riley Jaroslaw Rottermund Jacek Schindler Inga Luksza Senis Alex Storozynski Loretta Swit Roza Toroj Executive Director Beata Paszyc Committee Chairmen Fundraising Barbara Cooper Nominating Blanka A. Rosenstiel Polish Studies Chair Dr. Michel S. Pawlowski Scholarship Jaroslaw Rottermund Advisory Board Dr. Horacio Aguirre Hon. Maurice Ferre Mercedes Ferre Dr. Tully Patrowicz

Message from the President

Lady Blanka Rosenstiel

“I, too, thought like many immigrants who landed on these shores, that once one came to America, the country of dreams, justice, equality and freedoms, one had to assimilate fast to become one of the Americans. I am a proud Pole with good knowledge about Polish history, heritage, people and those with a Polish background and their contributions to Western civilization. To my surprise I discovered an almost complete lack of this knowledge in America. So with the assistance of my husband, brother and Mother, I founded The American Institute of Polish Culture, a non-profit that would spread the essential facts of Polish history and culture. I believed that we had to ensure cooperation with other established Polish cultural organizations to present a positive message. Only by recognizing each other, by learning to respect and to be respected, by appreciating and by being appreciated for our cultural background, our heritage, can we learn to live better in today’s world.”

Dear Members and Friends, I spoke these words at a conference in 1973, shortly after The American Institute of Polish Culture was incorporated in Miami. I had no idea, although I fervently hoped, that my freshly hatched seedling would blossom into such a vibrant and involved organization, especially as South Florida in those days was compared to the Wild, Wild West! From the day of incorporation, I and the other dreamers who worked with me were committed to providing a means to significantly help our fellow Polish country men and women gain and keep a sense of pride in what they had accomplished in the new world. I believe that every person who has been involved with the Institute over the years has added a unique perspective, brought a new vision, and contributed greatly to our core mission. I could not be more pleased when thinking of all the wonderful people who I have had the fortune of working with and sharing ideas in building an organization that is able to give so much to so many others who benefited from our many programs and cultural events. These people include members, volunteers, attendees, donors, lecturers, writers, artists, scholars - the list goes on and on. And of course, my staff have always been by my side. For the past 18 years, Beata Paszyc has guided the Institute in her role as Executive Director, and Lynne Schaefer has been with us for 5 years now as Executive Assistant. Much gratitude and thanks to both of them for their focus, upbeat attitudes and creativity. As I reflect back to those early days, it is clear that our dream began with love - for the country of our heritage, for our very unique, special ‘Polish-ness, and for our new home. There is no doubt that love has been the bond so many of us have with each other and for our causes, our desires, and the long-time partnerships we have made. My hopes now are very much the same as they were all those years ago - that the Polish presence in America becomes and stays united and strong, and that we move towards the future with love and respect for what we share and for what we have accomplished. With continued gratitude,

“The spectrum of Love has nine ingredients. Patience, Kindness, Generosity, Humility, Courtesy, Unselfishness, Good Temper, Guilelessness and Sincerity. All these make up the supreme gift - the stature of the perfect man.”

Henry Drummond (1851-1897) Good News


Credits Editor-in-Chief & Publisher: Executive Editor: Assistant Editor: Printed By:


Lady Blanka Rosenstiel Beata Paszyc Lynne Schaefer StationAmerica, Miami, FL

1 Message from the President 3 As Time Goes By... 5 Kosciuszko: A Champion 7 Kosciuszko: A Man Ahead

Proofreading: Barbara Muze Graphic Design: Maciek Fryszer Beata Paszyc

9 Globalization and Power Lynne Schaefer

Front & Back Cover: Created by Maciek Fryszer |

11 Bells of Wilno 12 Harriet Irsay Scholarship 14 Board of Directors Meeting

Contributing Researchers and Writers: Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz, Beata Dzazga, Amy Ellis, Mikolaj Glinski, Dr. Devon Graham, Maria Juczewska, Peter Obst, Beata Paszyc, Dr. Michel S. Pawlowski, Lynne Schaefer, Stephanie Sepulveda, Aleksandra Slabisz, Alex Storozynski, Dr. Markus Thiel, Ewa Thompson, Gregory Witul, Felicity Oldakowska Yost

15 Polish Scouts During WWII

All articles, including Did you know..., not given a by-line were researched and written by:

30 Consular Info

Beata Paszyc Lynne Schaefer

16 Kosciuszko Chair 22 From the Desk of Blanka... 26 Baptism of Poland 31 Consular Gatherings

Student Essays:

Julia Andrejczuk

Konrad Pawelek

Christopher Siuzdak

33 Miami Heats Up


Betty Alvarez

Alex Gort

Beata Paszyc

36 Polish Lectures at UVa

Sources: The following resources were used for research and photos. For a detailed list, please contact our office. Adam Mickiewicz University; American Airlines Arena; The Chopin Foundation of the United States, Inc.; Culture.PL; Embassy of the Republic of Poland; Florida International University; Miami HEAT; Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science; The Fund for American Studies; The Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies at The Institute of World Politics; University of Florida; University of Virginia Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (CREEES); Wikipedia Distribution: The American Institute of Polish Culture, Inc. 1440 79th Street Causeway, Suite 117 Miami, Florida 33141 (305) 864-2349 Co-Sponsored By:

34 AMU to FIU 38 Columbus was Polish Royalty 39 Notes From My Travels 40 Genius of Time 42 Looking Through History 44 BetaMed - Elderly Care 46 Touch of Opera 47 FIU and AMU 48 44th International Polonaise Ball 59 Sienkiewicz-Master of the World 61 Return of the Polish Question 65 Esperanto and Doctor Hopeful 66 Life and Music of Szymanowski 67 Project Amazonas 69 Polish Students at AIPES 70 Polish Parishes of America 73 Our Books on Kindle

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland The Embassy of the Republic of Poland

74 Christmas Cheer 77 Forgotten Treasures 81 Easter Duet and Raffle 84 Last Goodbyes 87 Thanks to Our Donors 93 Volunteers / New Members

2016 Š The American Institute of Polish Culture, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Good News magazine is published by the American Institute of Polish Culture for educational purposes only.


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95 AIPC Membership 96 Delve Into a Book

As Time Goes By...


t is my great pleasure to present to you the 2015-2016 Good News magazine. As you browse through the pages of this new issue, you may notice how many of them have to do with time. The article “Baptism of Poland” takes us back 1,050 years, and a fascinating story about Kosciuszko transports us back to the 19th century as does the article on Nobel laureate, Sienkiewicz. Even recent events such as our lecture series and holiday parties remind us of a specific time and moments passed that are filled with experiences that may have taught us something or given us pleasurable conversations with friends. They all refer to time.

Beata Paszyc Executive Director

“Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.”

This has inspired me to write “A Genius of Time” on page 40 in hopes that we will all stop once in awhile to pay attention to what is most precious, valuable and in meaningful in our lives. To try to manage our time, to prioritize, to find a way every day to do the things we love, and to give more of our time to others. Perhaps it will, in turn, inspire you to give more to organizations like ours through financial support, participation and volunteering. The year 2017 marks the 45th anniversary of The American Institute of Polish Culture, with its many accomplishments and numerous cultural and educational programs that have been presented for over four decades. None of it would have been possible without Lady Blanka’s dedication and passion from the heart for her beloved Poland. She has received countless expressions of appreciation from all over the world for her vision, stewardship, financial support, determination and inspiration. I hope reading the following articles will be like a journey through time, where you can meet fascinating people who indelibly marked time with their life’s work. May all of us be fortunate to mark our time with truly meaningful content of our lives. With love,

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Contact us to learn more about Poland 201-420-9910




s a boy growing up in Brooklyn and Queens there were always portraits of Kosciuszko at the Polish halls my father took me to. Over the years it became obvious that Kosciuszko’s story had never been properly told. So I wrote a book, The Peasant Prince: Thaddeus Kosciuszko and the Age of Revolution, and wrote, directed and produced a documentary film for PBS, Kosciuszko: A Man Ahead of His Time. Now I am finishing a screenplay for a feature film so that movie goers can learn about Kosciuszko, who championed rights for European peasants, African slaves, Jews, Native Americans, women and all who were deprived of their rights. Thanks to a campaign that I and others have led, UNESCO has declared 2017 the year of Kosciuszko, and Poland’s parliament, the Sejm, has voted to declare 2017 the year of Kosciuszko on the bicentennial of his death. In the summer of 1776, Kosciuszko arrived in the United States from Poland, walked into Ben Franklin’s print shop and told the sage of Philadelphia that he was a trained military engineer and wanted to enlist in the Continental Army. After testing the Pole’s abilities and knowledge of geometry, Franklin put Kosciuszko in charge of designing forts to protect Philadelphia from the British navy, which was planning an attack. Kosciuszko soon became the

most popular military strategist in America, and his plan won the Battle of Saratoga – the turning point of the war. Initially, George Washington spelled Kosciuszko’s name eleven different ways, but he grew to trust and appreciate the Pole, telling him, “no one has a higher respect, and veneration of your character than I have.” Washington gave Kosciuszko two pistols and a sword with the Latin engraving: “America cum Vashington suo Amico T. Kosciuconi,” (America and Washington are joined with our friend T. Kosciuszko). Seeing that Kosciuszko was his most talented engineer, Washington put the Pole in charge of “the key to America,” West Point. In the most infamous act of treason in American history, Benedict Arnold would try to sell Kosciuszko’s plans for West Point to the British. The plot failed and Fortress West Point, built by Kosciuszko, would go on to become the United States Military Academy. There are more statues of Thaddeus Kosciuszko in America than any historical figure except for George Washington. Every day millions of New York TV and radio listeners hear about traffic jams on the Kosciuszko Bridge, yet few know about this Revolutionary War hero and champion of human rights.

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Kosciuszko gave his salary from the American Revolution to Thomas Jefferson and told him to buy slaves and free them. He made it a priority and mission to fight for the rights of serfs, slaves, Jews, Native-Americans and women. When Kosciuszko spoke up for Native Americans, Chief Little Turtle gave him a peace pipe/ tomahawk as a sign of appreciation. In 1791, when Poland passed the first democratic Constitution in Europe, Russian, Austrian and Prussian monarchs sent armies to crush this new democracy. Kosciuszko led an army against the invaders to fight for rights for peasants, burghers and Jews. His ally, Berek Joselewicz, formed the first wholly Jewish military unit since biblical times and called Kosciuszko “a messenger from God.” Muslims, along with a black man named Jean Lapierre, traveled to Poland to join Kosciuszko’s multicultural revolution. In his quest for liberty, Kosciuszko worked with George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and the French Revolutionaries while struggling against the tyranny of Russia’s Catherine the Great and France’s Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon called Kosciuszko “the hero of the North,” and Russian Czarina Catherine offered a reward for anyone who could capture him “dead or alive.” Jefferson called Kosciuszko “as pure a son of liberty, as I have ever known.”

Poets also had special words for this Polish hero. John Keats said, “Good Kosciuszko, thy great name alone is a full harvest whence to reap high feeling.” Lord Byron said, “That sound that crashes in the tyrant’s ear – Kosciuszko!” Now I am working to bring this story to the big screen. There are investors in Poland interested in funding the project, but to film the Hollywood blockbuster that this story deserves will cost $50 million. Anyone wishing to invest in this film project can contact me at


On May 5, 1798, Kosciuszko eloquently wrote in his Will that he wanted Thomas Jefferson to liberate slaves, excerpted below. ...I hereby authorise my friend Thomas Jefferson to employ the whole thereof in purchasing Negroes from among his own or any others and giving them Liberty in my name, in giving them en education in trades or othervise...

And in an earlier written version, he also stated: I beg Mr. Jefferson that in the case I should die without will or testament he should bye out of my money So many Negroes and free them, that the restante [remaining] sums should be Sufficient to give them aducation and provide for thier maintenance... each must be married and have 100 Ackres of land, wyth instruments...

Alex Storozynski is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, awarded author and director, and President Emeritus & Vice Chairman of the Board of The Kosciuszko Foundation. He is a recipient of the Lech Walesa Media Award from The American Institute of Polish Culture, and was decorated with Poland’s “Gold Cross of Merit” by former President Lech Kaczynski and the “Officer’s Cross of Merit” of the Republic of Poland by former President Bronislaw Komorowski. He is the former Chairman of the Board of The Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union and a board member of several organizations including The American Polish Advisory Council (APAC), Quinnipiac University’s Central European Institute, and Friends of the American Revolution at West Point. Storozynski’s book, The Peasant Prince: Thaddeus Kosciuszko and the Era of Revolution, won the Fraunces Tavern Book Award, The Templar Military History Award – “Military Order of Saint Louis,” among others. He wrote and directed the recently released movie based upon his book, Kosciuszko: A Man Before His Time. The Polish magazine Przeglad named Mr. Storozynski one of the “100 most influential Poles living abroad.”


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Dr. Maria Krol, Dr. Michael Brillman, Lady Blanka Rosenstiel, Mr. Alex Storozynski, Ms. Christine Caly-Sanchez, Mrs. Beata Paszyc



n Friday, November 6, 2015, the Miami-Florida Jean Monnet Center of Excellence co-sponsored a screening of the film Kosciuszko: A Man Ahead His Time and a discussion with writer and director, Alex Storozynski, who is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, award winning author, director, and President Emeritus and Vice Chairman of the Board of the Kosciuszko Foundation, NYC. Lady Blanka Rosenstiel, the founder of the program and namesake of the lecture series dedicated to bringing the best of Polish culture and arts and science to FIU, was given a special welcome by Dean John Stack from the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs. The lecture began with a brief history of Kosciuszko and his relationship with early American history. “He stood up for black slaves, he stood up for white serfs, he stood up for Jews, and he stood up for women,” said Alex Storozynski about Kosciuszko when introducing the film. The film highlights Kosciuszko’s quest

Mr. Alex Storozynski

for liberty with his American and French allies against the tyranny of King George, Catherine the Great and Napoleon Bonaparte and is based on the book, The Peasant Prince: Thaddeus Kosciuszko and the Age of Revolution written by Storozynski. After the screening, there was time for a discussion and a question and answer session, which gave the audience an opportunity to ask deeper questions related to the movie and the historical development of the events. Storozynski also reflected on Kosciuszko’s influence, his involvement in American history, and connections to the present day. This event was co-sponsored by the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs, the Miami-Florida Jean Monnet Center of Excellence, The American Institute of Polish Culture, the Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Miami, the European Student Association, and the Council for Student Organizations.

Mr. Zygmunt Potocki, Hon. Consul of Poland, Calgary, Lady Blanka Rosenstiel, Mr. Alex Storozynski

Tadeusz Kościuszko

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CONGRATULATIONS Lady Blanka Rosenstiel and The American Institute of Polish Culture Miami, Florida For 45 Years Creating and Presenting Quality Educational and Cultural Events Art, Film and Stage Productions and Hosting the Marvelous Annual International Polonaise Ball Your Successes and Contributions have made a signi�icant impact throughout America and for Polonia! Isabel and Marvin Leibowitz


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Dr. John Stack welcomes President Lech Walesa



t a time when the struggle for democracy around the world continues, Nobel Prize Laureate, Solidarity leader and former Polish President, Lech Wałęsa visited Florida International University to share his message of non-violence and the movement to build a world founded on universal values. Sponsored by the American Institute of Polish Culture and the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs, the event was a highlight of this year’s Blanka Rosenstiel Lecture Series on Poland, a collaboration with FIU that began in 2010 and has brought leading thinkers, politicians, artists and performers to Miami. Held at the Shepard Broad Auditorium, President Walesa drew a large crowd of approximately 500 people including students, faculty, members of the Polish community and the media. It was his second visit to FIU; the first lecture took place in 2011 on the same day that protests forced Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down. Lady Blanka Rosenstiel, the Honorary Consul of Poland and President of the American Institute of Polish Culture, joined John F. Stack, Jr., founding Dean of the Green School, in welcoming the Polish president. In his opening remarks, Dean Stack noted that “the courage of Lech Wałęsa and his followers altered the course of history. The struggles he and his followers faced resonate with what we are

seeing in Eastern Europe today. His message about the transcendent need all people have for freedom is increasingly relevant as we ponder the future of Eastern Europe.” Acknowledging the size of the audience, Wałęsa, who spoke through his interpreter, Katarzyna Zielinski, joked that he “must draw the conclusion that I did not bore you the last time I visited. I hope I will not bore you today so you will allow me to visit again.’’ He then spoke passionately about the challenges facing Eastern Europe and the world today. “Our generation was able to remove many divisions but today new problems have arisen and they are very different,’’ he said. “We must continue to work together to build a foundation of global cooperation.’’ He acknowledged the United States’ responsibility as a super power, and noted that the Internet has become a powerful tool to unite people fighting for freedom. He believes that in today’s globalized world, communist countries will not be able to make progress without opening themselves to political and economic freedom, stating “Whatever happened in the previous era does not fit within new times so far.” Wałęsa remains a renowned advocate for the Polish cause in the international arena, noted Dean Stack. “Lech Wałęsa is a passionate spokesperson for human rights around the world,” Stack said. “He reminds us to be vigilant about the erosion of freedom and civil liberties. As FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg, has said, “‘UniGood News


versities are communities of memory and hope.’ As a community of hope, we are so pleased to have Lech Walesa visit FIU.” Pres. Wałęsa’s mission as the propagator of solidarity has not ended. While traveling the globe, he reminds the world of the Polish example and the non-violent struggle for peace and democracy. “We have before us not just a leader, not just a Nobel Prize winner, but we have a true patriot,” FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg said during Walesa’s first visit. “A patriot who was a man for his times and is a man for all times.” A lively Q&A session and a standing ovation ended a compelling lecture. The lecture was videotaped and can be viewed at ht tp://

Mrs. Katarzyna Zielinski, Pres. Lech Walesa

Amy Ellis - a former newspaper reporter, joined FIU in March 2013 as Communications Manager for the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs. In this role, she oversees all marketing, public relations, media relations, web communications and social media. A native of Boston, Amy grew up in Miami and graduated from the University of Miami with a bachelor’s degree in English and Journalism. She lives in Miami Beach.



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THE BELLS OF WILNO By Dr. Markus Thiel


n March 22, 2016, FIU’s Lady Blanka Rosenstiel Lecture Series on Poland had the pleasure of hosting Professor David Frick from the University of California, Berkeley. His lecture, “The Bells of Wilno: Marking Moments of Significance in an Early Modern City of Many Confessions and Religions,” was about the peaceful coexistence of ethnicities and religions. Prof. Frick provided a detailed and complex picture of social and religious life in an early modern European town, Wilno - today’s Lithuanian capital Vilnius. The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was one of the constituent parts of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Prof. Frick illustrated his talk with centuries-old city maps he put together after extensive research through archival materials. They showed how close the relations between the various ethnic, confessional and religious groups were in this important city. He painted a vivid picture of a town marked by the ringing of the various church bells, different holidays that were publicly celebrated, and the neighborhood interactions of mer-

chants and other citizens. During the lecture, questions about the possibilities and limits of tolerance and acceptance in a multi-ethnic, multi-confessional city were discussed. All who attended left with a detailed picture of the vibrancy of Wilno.

Prof. David Frick holds the Chair of Slavonic Languages and Literatures at the University of California in Berkeley. His research interests concentrate on Poland-Lithuania in the Age of Confessionalisation, Enlightenment in Poland, and urban history with particular focus on Vil-

nius. His many awards include fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to conduct research at the Universities of Bochum and Bonn, a Guggenheim fellowship, and several Fulbright-Hays fellowships to conduct research in Poland and Lithuania. Prof. Frick has published extensively on the history of Eastern Europe and the Baltics. “Kith, Kin, and Neighbors: Communities and Confession in Seventeenth-Century Wilno” (Ithaca 2013) and “Rus’ Restored: Selected Writings of Meletij Smotryc’kyj” (Cambridge 2005) have reached a large international readership. Further important publications include “Wilnianie. Żywoty siedemnastowieczne” (Warsaw 2007) and “Polish Sacred Philology in the Reformation and in the Counter-Reformation” (Berkeley 1989). This event was co-sponsored by the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs, the Miami-Florida Jean Monnet Center of Excellence, the American Institute of Polish Culture, and the Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Poland. It was very well attended by students, faculty and general public.

Dr. Markus Thiel’s research interests are the political sociology of the EU and European Politics more generally, Nationalism & Identity (Politics) and Mixed Methods Research Methodology. He has published several EU-related articles and book chapters at the EU Center of Excellence as well as in Transatlantic Monthly, International Studies Compendium, Journal of Human Rights, Perspectives on European Politics & Society and the Journal of European Integration. His current project, to be published in 2016, focuses on the promotion of rights policies through civil society based on the EU’s Fundamental Rights Charter/Agency. Dr. Thiel earned his Masters at the University of Louisville in Comparative Social Policy, Research Methodology and his PhD at the University of Miami in International Relations, Comparative Politics. Besides his teaching responsibilities at FIU, Dr. Thiel is a director of the Miami Florida Jean Monnet Center of Excellence and of GSIPA’s European & Eurasian Studies Initiative.

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HARRIET IRSAY SCHOLARSHIP “I wanted to give something to people of Polish descent, so they would be able to improve themselves through education. We should help our own people, just like other nations help their students.” Harriet Irsay

About Harriet Irsay

Scholarship History

Mrs. Harriet Irsay, born Jadwiga Pogorzelski, was a member of the American Institute of Polish Culture in Miami, Florida, since its inception in 1972. Soon after that, she joined the Board of Directors where she remained until 2008. In 1992, she established the Harriet Irsay Scholarship Fund as part of the Institute’s ongoing efforts to foster education and culture in America. Irsay, whose family owned the Indianapolis Colts since the 1970’s, funded many charitable causes. This scholarship is a tribute to her Polish roots. The Harriet Irsay Scholarship Fund awards a scholarship to American students, preferably of Polish heritage, who wish to continue their education after high school and through college. With an eye toward the future and the distribution of information regarding Polish culture, history and people, the grants are given to students from a variety of majors and academic disciplines. Since the launch of the program, $300,000 has been awarded to students from all over the country. Mrs. Irsay passed away in July 2008, but her legacy remains with the contributions she made. She is greatly missed and remembered for her generosity.

Since 1992, the Scholarship Committee of the American Institute of Polish Culture has awarded scholarships to over 240 talented American students of Polish descent. Within the last few years, the Institute broadened the scope of majors and other requirements with the intent of reaching a larger population of students. We hope our readers will spread the word about the Scholarship and will continue to sup-

Please help shape the future of students, preferably of Polish descent, by making contributions to the Harriet Irsay Scholarship Fund. Additionally, we are always looking to establish new scholarships. Let us know if you are interested in starting a fund in your name at the Institute. If you would like to be part of the scholarship committee who dedicates its time to reviewing applications and selecting the most worthy students, please contact the AIPC for more information. To contribute to the Scholarship Fund, please see the Contribution Form at the back of this publication.


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port the fund by making financial contributions. Pledges are invaluable in assisting the new generation of Polish-American students. All donations are fully tax deductible. For the academic year 2015/16, AIPC awarded 10 scholarship grants valued at $1,000 each. Recipients were asked to write an article on a Polish-related subject for publication in Good News. You will find a few of these articles in this magazine. Congratulates to all the winners and best wishes as you go forward in your studies, careers and lives.

Scholarship Requirements Fields

Required materials

Must be attending school full-time in the US for studies such as: • Communication • Education • Film • Music • History • International Relations • Journalism • Liberal Arts • Polish Studies • Public Relations • Graduate students in business programs whose thesis is directly related to Poland • Graduate students in all majors whose thesis is on a Polish subject • Scholarships are awarded on a merit basis to full time undergraduates or graduates who are American citizens or permanent residents, preferably of Polish heritage

• Completed application • Original school transcript(s) sent directly from the school (US only) • Detailed resume or CV • An essay “Why I Should Receive the Scholarship” (200-400 words) • An original article written by the applicant on any subject about Poland (up to 700 words) • Three original recommendation letters from teachers or others who are familiar with the academic background and the applicant’s plans for the future. These letters must be originals on letterhead stationery, signed and mailed by the faculty directly to the Institute. No copies, faxes or unsigned letters will be accepted • $10.00 check or money order made out the American Institute of Polish Culture as a non-refundable processing fee

ALL REQUIRED MATERIALS MUST BE IN OUR OFFICES NO LATER THAN JUNE 26TH EACH YEAR - NO EXCEPTIONS PLEASE. The decision will be made by August 9th each year. All applicants will be notified by mail of their status as soon as possible after that date. If you have any questions, please contact our office at 305-864-2349 or write to assistant@ Scholarship applications may be obtained by downloading them from our website at or by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope with a request to: Scholarship Applications, The American Institute of Polish Culture 1440 79th Street Causeway, Suite 117, Miami, FL 33141-3555

Scholarship Recipients “Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” George Washington Carver (1861-1943)

“Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.” Dalai Lama (b. 1935)

Julia Anna Andrejczuk University of Georgia Communication Sciences

Jacek Deptula Saint Michael’s College Media Studies

Mark Gnatowski, Jr. Ohio State University History (Pre-Law)

Natalia Jamro University of Maryland International Business

Kevin Lasek University of California, Berkeley Political Economy

Kamila Orzechowski University of Saint Joseph Chemistry & Pharmacy

Wesley Ostrzycki University of Miami Doctor of Physical Ed

Konrad Pawelek Northeastern Illinois University Music Applied Pedagogy

Christopher F. Siuzdak Catholic University of America Canon Law

Victoria Zukowski University of Pennsylvania Biological Basis of Behavior

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Mr. Steve Karski, Countess Barbara Pagowska Cooper, Lady Blanka Rosenstiel, Dr. Michel Pawlowski



he Board of Directors’ meeting was held on April 7, 2016 at the American Institute of Polish Culture offices. Lady Blanka Rosenstiel welcomed the Board members and thanked everyone for their ongoing support. She also presented the nominations of three new candidates to the board - Ms. Roza Toroj, Mr. Grzegorz Okon and Mr. Alex Storozynski. Each brings a level of professionalism and commitment to the goals of the Institute that will help guide us in the months to come. Mr. Okon serves as the CEO at Source International Corp. and as an IT leader and business analyst. Ms. Toroj is the Director and COO of Source International Corp., responsible for managing the firm’s organizational health and operational business performance. Mr. Storozynski is a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for journalism, an award-winning author, movie director, and President Emeritus & Chairman of the Board of The Kosciuszko Foundation. Each will bring new perspectives, knowledge and experience to the Institute. After the Minutes from the 2015 meeting were approved, Chris Garvin, a financial advisor for UBS who manages the Institute’s special accounts, briefly discussed the financial status of the Institute. He talked about what UBS has accomplished over the prior six months, and how UBS plans to grow the finances for the organization. Mr. Garvin encouraged Board members who did not pay membership dues not only to fulfill this obligation, but to enroll their friends and family as Institute members as well. He reminded everybody that for the last 44 years, Lady Blanka has been the major financial donor for the Institute, and he stressed the key role of members supporting an organization whose mission is to promote Polish heritage.


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Dr. Michel Pawlowski then took the floor and spoke about the importance of Polonia today and the role of AIPC over the past four decades. He encouraged and challenged all the board members to give more and do more for the Institute. He volunteered to be a chairperson for Polish Studies and has been involved in discussions with the University of Virginia. He also made suggestions on how to include more Polish themes for more lectures and events in various educational venues. The Harriet Irsay Scholarship report was presented by Janusz Kozlowski. During the 2015/2016 academic year, 16 applications were received and from the completed applications, 10 students were selected to receive a $1,000 grant. Articles placed in Polish newspapers were very helpful in bringing attention to our scholarship. Mr. Kozlowski commented on the fact that applicants were top-notch contenders for the award and how many of them are involved in Polish communities across the country. Beata Paszyc, Executive Director of AIPC, outlined the projects and activities the Institute presented during 2015 -2016 season. The first topic was the Institute’s largest fundraiser, the International Polonaise Ball. The 44th Annual Ball, celebrating Enchanted with China, was held on February 20, 2016 at the Eden Roc Hotel and was a great success. The distinguished guests, decor, music, entertainment, dancing and food along with the festive and wonderful atmosphere is what makes the Ball so special. Ms. Paszyc thanked the Board members who financially contributed to the Ball’s success; however, she noted that the rising costs of putting on such a high-end, glamorous fundraiser prevents the Institute from making a large profit. She once again challenged the Board to

become more involved by encouraging new sponsors and giving generously, with the goal in mind that the 45thAnnual Ball will double the net funds raised for the Institute’s mission. Ms. Paszyc then talked about the Blanka Rosenstiel Lecture Series on Poland presented at Florida International University in collaboration with the European Studies Program of the School of International and Public Affairs. There were five very well attended and received events presented for the 2015/2016 academic year, including a well attended lecture by President Walesa. There was also the much anticipated ‘exchange’ visits of FIU’s President Rosenberg at A. Mickiewicz University in Poland and AMU’s former President Marciniak’s visit at FIU to foster cooperation between the two universities that was facilitated by AIPC. Ms. Paszyc went on to discuss how fun the past year’s holiday parties were and her hopes that even more guests will attend both the Christmas and Easter gatherings in the coming year. Ms. Paszyc also presented the ongoing functions of the Insti-

tute, such as creating and publishing the Good News, keeping the website current and updated, posting regular updates on Facebook, ensuring that there are volunteers available to staff events when needed, and the importance of increasing new membership while maintaining the Institute’s valued current membership. She explained that our books have been donated during the year, and how this helps keep AIPC in the public eye and is so appreciated by schools, organizations and libraries. And that we now have all books available for purchase on Amazon’s Kindle. In closing, Ms. Paszyc thanked the Board members for all of their help and encouraged them to be as proactive as possible in getting more people involved in the organization. The final agenda item was the selection of the next Ball’s theme, and all were in agreement that a tribute to Polish-American architects and engineers would be great way to focus on the achievement of many Poles in those areas. Lady Blanka adjourned the meeting.



new documentary, Scouts Forever: Friends from WWII to the Present will tell the story of a group of Polish scouts from Grochow, a neighborhood of Warsaw, located at the east bank of the Vistula River. The boys and girls, members of group #22 and #54, went to the same school, most attended the same church, and they all joined the scouts at approximately the same age. In 1939, just after the occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union began, the Polish Scouting Organization decided to go underground and join the Polish resistance movement. For most of the six years of occupation, thousands of scouts all over Poland served as couriers, distributed pamphlets, created anti-invasion tactics, and carried out small sabotages. During the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, many scouts took on high-risk combat operations; unfortunately some of them were arrested and sent to concentration and labor camps while other children were killed. Seventy years later, the survivors of this group, fourteen men and six women all in their nineties, maintain a strong bond of friendship. Under the name of “Szare Szeregi” (Gray Ranks), they get together regularly to carry on the mission of educating new generations of Polish children about the role of Scouts in WWII and to honor those who gave their life for a free Poland. The sixty-minute documentary, in Polish with English subtitles, is being produced and directed by Dianela Urdaneta, owner of Arthavision, a Maryland based multimedia production company. The interviews and visuals were shot on location in Warsaw with the assistance of a Polish crew, and post-production will be facilitated between Warsaw and Washington, DC. In order to have the broadcast quality needed to reach an international audience, this project requires strong financial investment.

The documentary is now in the post-production stage and the team is actively seeking support, monetary as well as in-kind contributions, from people and organizations in Poland and from around the world. Scouts Forever is fiscally sponsored by Women and Film and Video (WIFV0 and private donors can receive tax deduction benefits by donating through their webpage: For more information about the documentary and to donate visit the webpage: You can also watch the fundraising trailer at: For more regular updates follow the documentary at: Facebook: Instagram: @scoutsforeverdoc Twitter: @scoutsdoc

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Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz 8th Symposium

KOSCIUSZKO CHAIR IN 2015-2016 By Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz and Maria Juczewsk a




The academic year 2015-2016 was a busy one for the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies and the Institute of World Politics. We organized the 8th Annual Kościuszko Chair Conference and the 6th Annual Kościuszko Chair Spring Symposium. We would like to express our gratitude to all the benefactors and friends for their generous support as well as to our staff and interns for their hard work. Thank you to 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 and the late Dr. Iwo Pogonowski, Mr. and Mrs. Władysław Poncet de la Riviere, The Polish American Veterans’ Association (PAVA), Mr. Bogdan Chmielewski of the Polish and Slavic Federal Credit Union, Mr. Jan Małek of PAFERE (The Polish-American Foundation for Economic Research and Education), as well as many others. Your interest in our activities and your kind involvement enable the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies to inform the American public about Poland and spread appreciation for its unique history and culture.

Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz

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ll Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz published two books. Poland for the Poles: Who were and are Polish nationalists? (2015) on the history of the Polish national movement and its contemporary developments, and Thoughts of a Free Pole (2016) about the challenges for the Poles and Polish foreign policy in the geopolitical and cultural context of today. ll He also commented regularly on the changing political situation in Poland and Europe, as the Kościuszko Chair (KC) was one of the few institutions trying to explain the intricacies of the Polish political situation in an objective way to the American public. ll Since July 2015, Dr. Chodakiewicz published more than one hundred articles in American and Polish electronic and press publications (Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research [SFPPR], International Research Center, Rzeczpospolita, Do Rzeczy, Tygodnik Solidarność, Glaukopis, Journal of Ukrainian Studies). Major topics included presidential and parliamentary elections in Poland, presidential elections in

the US, constitutional tribunal debate in Poland, developments in the Middle East, Far East, Africa and South America, Islamist terrorism and the Islamic State, Russian information war and disinformation techniques. Mrs. Maria Juczewska, Kościuszko Chair Associate ll Joining KC in November 2015, Mrs. Juczewska’s main interests are geopolitical developments in Central and Eastern Europe. Her recent scholarly contributions have been to the American Thinker regarding the BBC documentary on Pope John Paul II, and for SFPPR, she prepared book reviews and discussed matters relating to the changes of NATO’s structure in Europe and the Warsaw NATO summit in July 2016. Dr. John Lenczowski, IWP Founder, President, and Professor ll In relation to the NATO summit in Warsaw in July 2016, Dr. Lenczowski gave several interviews for Polish TVP as well as for newspapers and other information platforms. He discussed Russia’s approach to policymaking and the latest security threats in Europe. He also spoke about the Smoleńsk plane crash and its political implications. INTERVIEWS While in Poland for the promotion of his books and the Expert Forum before the NATO summit, Dr. Chodakiewicz gave a number of interviews for major TV channels, such as TVP Info, TV Republika, local branches of Polish TV, and Polish internet portals (Polonia Christiana, Fronda). He was also invited to Jan Pospieszalski’s Warto Rozmawiać talk show. 2016 WARSAW NATO SUMMIT In early July, Dr. John Lenczowski and Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz visited Warsaw to attend a variety of events surrounding the NATO Warsaw Summit and the associated Warsaw Summit Experts Forum. In attendance with them were a variety of distinguished political, military, and private sector figures, including Polish President Andrzej Duda; former Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR) General Philip Breedlove (USAF, Ret.); former Secretary of State Madeline Albright; and NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg. Dr. Lenczowski gave a three-part presentation at the Forum. The first segment covered Russia’s so-called “hybrid warfare” strategy. Hybrid warfare is Moscow’s signature approach to sowing discord within NATO and Russia’s near abroad that involves a variety of components such as disinformation, propaganda, information warfare, and the covert use of military forces - both conventional and non-conventional. The second part of the presentation covered the Islamic State and its use of propaganda and attempts to draw Western citizens to the jihad. The third component of the presentation covered what the US and NATO could do to address these situations. Dr. Lenczowski also gave a special presentation on these issues to senior Polish defense officials based on the IWP’s research and his experience at the State Department’s Bureau of European Affairs where he served as a special Soviet affairs adviser to President Ronald Reagan.

THE ANNUAL KOŚCIUSZKO CHAIR MILITARY LECTURE On September 25, 2015, the KC hosted its annual Gen. Walter Jajko Kościuszko Chair Military Lecture. The lecture delivered by Dr. Chodakiewicz was entitled, Ashes for Diamonds: Propaganda and Deception: A case study of Poland’s anti-Communist insurgency, 1944-1963. He discussed the ways in which the underground anti-communist insurgency in Poland fought against Communist forces in the wake of the Second World War as well as against the Nazi Germans and Soviet Communists in later years. Dr. Chodakiewicz highlighted the response strategy used by the Communist Party, most notably anti-insurgent communist deception and propaganda. As an example, he gave Andrzej Wajda’s anti-Home-Army film called Ashes 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 communist party. He proved that the words of Joseph Stalin, “the writer is the engineer of the human soul,” were carefully listened to and abided by. THE EIGHTH ANNUAL KOŚCIUSZKO CHAIR CONFERENCE On November 14th, The Eight Annual Kosciuszko Chair Conference took place. Topics discussed related to the past and to the contemporary reality of the Intermarium as well as its closer and more distant neighbors. “Poland for the Poles!” Recent Research on Christian Nationalism Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz presented his recent research on Christian nationalism in Poland in the interwar period. He pointed to the unique features of this movement as well as its inclusivity. Reflections on Russian Youth and their Perceptions of Reality and the World Mr. Harrison Grady presented a report based on his personal experience of interaction with the youngest generation in Russia - their perceptions and attitudes. China in the Intermarium: The Ukraine and Belarus Connections Dr. Paul Coyer, IWP Research Professor and Contributor to Forbes, discussed the connections of Belarus and Ukraine to China and the increasing interest of these two countries in political and economic contacts with China. Jews and the Polish Underground: A Book to End History? John Armstrong, an independent scholar, reviewed a book on Jews and the Polish Underground. Active Measures and the Smolensk Investigation Dr. Chris J. Cieszewski, University of Georgia Professor, discussed the notion of active measures and gave examples of activities that may be described as active measures used against scholars involved in the Smolensk Investigation. Free Expression in Contemporary Poland Matthew Tyrmand, Deputy Director of American Transparency, com-

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mented on free expression in contemporary Poland as well as the distinct bias in the American press when it comes to discussing Polish affairs. He discussed the mechanisms of influence and personal connections that form opinions in Poland and the US on the developments in the Polish political arena. Grupa Azoty and the Information War Maria Juczewska, IWP, presented a case study of an attempt at a hostile takeover of the largest Polish chemical company by the Russian concern, Acron Group.

themes. It involves disinformation techniques, such as manipulation, reciprocity, analogy, provocation, and signals (sometimes they overlap; often they are case studies in predictability). The ideology, institutions and tools that are used to form and implement strategic communication of the Russian Federation are based on the experiences of Tsarist Russia, Bolshevik Russia and the Soviet Union. These strategic communications target both the Russian population and the elites, as well as the general public of other countries through media portals, agents of influence, manipulated celebrities and mercenaries. Latest revelations from the Soviet secret police archives THE SIXTH ANNUAL KC SPRING SYMPOSIUM Dr. Tomasz Sommer presented the latest historical discoveries regarding the Polish Operation of NKVD from 1937-1938, including the original orThe Sixth Annual Kosciuszko Chair Spring Symposium took place on der 00485, which sanctioned anti-Polish operations. It was found in Kiev April 9, 2016. Six lectures covered varied topics from Vatican diplomacy a year ago and presented at a press conference in Warsaw. The mechaand the life of John Paul II to Russian traditions of deception and denial. nism of genocide of Poles accused of participation in an alleged Polish Below is a short summary of the lectures. military organization, Polska Organizacja Wojskowa, in the Soviet Union was discussed. Approximately 40% of the victims – almost 80,000 Poles Scholars or Friends? Women in John Paul II’s Life – were executed in the Ukraine. In the archives of the SBU (Secret Service Mrs. Juczewska pointed out that the main interest of John Paul II as of the Ukraine) victims’ lists were found as well as detailed information a priest and as a scholar and theologian was marriage and family. His about the places of their burial. What is needed now is archeography, the work with people, both in the youth ministry at the beginning of his career mining of the resources whose number amounts to 10 million pages in the and later with individual scholars, was focused archive of the SBU alone. Naturally, many historion those interests. His friendships with Wanda ans should work on this task. Dr. Sommer wants Poltawska and Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka were to read through as much of the material relating based on scholarly interests and served the purto the anti-Polish operation as he can before the pose of furthering his theological concepts and Ukrainian archives eventually close, which is an the idea of the civilization of life. The journalists imminent threat related to the situation in the who inquire into the Pope’s life tend to be more Ukraine. interested in juicy gossip than the truth, so their The Origins of CIA’s Involvement in Regime revelations need to be approached with a lot of Change and Paramilitary Operations skepticism. Mr. Albert Lulushi talked about the series of coThe Vatican and Its Tradition of Diplomacy: vert paramilitary operations aimed at destabi2,000 Years lizing and overthrowing Soviet satellite governDr. Ewa Sałkiewicz-Munnerlyn discussed how ments in Europe started in 1949 by the CIA. He pontifical diplomacy differs from the secular one, Maria Juczewska Spring Symposium described the CIA’s initial experience in paramilas it is based on custom and a very long tradition itary operations using as a case study its efforts rather than written codes. The diplomats of the Holy See need to be devotto force a regime change in Communist Albania between 1949 and 1954. ed priests and persons characterized by loyalty, coherence, and profound The origins of the Agency were described, aspects of transferability of humanity. The envoys of the Holy See are first and foremost the servants those experiences were discussed, and how Kim Philby’s spying activities of the Word of God and the bearers of the Pope’s words. contributed to the failure of certain operations. Peasant Politics in France and Poland, 1750 to the Present Mr. John Czop tested how the views of Barrington Moore, Jr. on regime THE KOŚCIUSZKO CHAIR INTERMARIUM LECTURE SERIES change, and of Eugen Weber on the process of modernization, fit the cases of France and Poland between 1750 and now. Moore posited a theory Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church, with Paul Coyer, June 2015 on the social origins of dictatorship and democracy. First, a problem of Dr. Paul Coyer, a Forbes foreign policy columnist, discussed his recent how the relationships between landlords and peasants shaped different article entitled (Un)Holy Alliance: Vladimir Putin, The Russian Orthodox paths to modernity in France, Poland and England. Then, the process of Church and Russian Exceptionalism. Dr. Coyer began by noting that it can their gaining national identity in the second half on the 18th century in the be easy to sympathize with the Russian Orthodox Church, which claims to light of Weber’s theory was analyzed. preserve tradition and uphold moral values. He then described the comCounterintelligence as Strategic Communications: Russia’s Tradition plexities and various dimensions of the Church’s involvement with the of Deception and Denial Russian state. Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz spoke about Russian strategic communications. The ‘Besieged Kremlin’: Understanding Moscow’s Worldview, with Virtually all Russian state operations are also counterintelligence operPawel Styrna, June 2015 ations, including strategic messaging/communications. CounterintelliMr. Paweł Styrna discussed the manner in which the post-Soviet Russian gence in the Muscovite tradition means neutralizing all opposition and leadership views the world. The Kremlin sees the US in particular, and the strategic communication is characterized by the number of recurring West and NATO in general, as deeply hostile forces having no greater ob-


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Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz Summer Tour 2015

jective than to encircle, dismember, and destroy Russia – in collaboration with anti-Russian “Fifth Columnists” and “fascists” in the “near abroad.” This is not solely the attitude of the Putin regime, however, but a geopolitical mentality formed over centuries of Russian history. In effect, the paranoid, anti-American post-Soviet “besieged Kremlin” attitude is a synthesis of Muscovite and Soviet Feindbilder [“images of the enemy”]. In his presentation, Mr. Styrna traced the historical roots of Moscow’s Weltanschauung and explained why this understanding is highly relevant today. Social Media and the Warsaw Uprising, with Paweł Rybicki, July 2015 Mr. Rybicki described the importance of social media activity in raising awareness of the history and survivors of the Warsaw Uprising. The knowledge about the Uprising was suppressed in the period of the Cold War and mostly ignored in the period following the collapse of communist rule in Poland. The Warsaw Uprising Museum in Warsaw, built in 2002, proved to be a catalyst for spreading awareness about that event both in Poland and abroad, which has been successful ever since. Propaganda and Deception as Tools of Political Influence in Poland, with Maria Juczewska, September 2015 Poland had just elected a new president, a relatively unknown conservative politician, Andrzej Duda. A parliamentary election scheduled during the Fall promised to return a conservative majority. This lecture addressed media coverage of Poland since the presidential election, and discussed propaganda and deception techniques as well as the biases at work. Property Restitution: The Case of Poland After the Nazis and Communists, with Marek Chodakiewicz, October 2015 Dr. Chodakiewicz dispelled many misconceptions about the restitution of property – Jewish property in particular – in Poland, and he explained the key role of the two totalitarian invaders that destroyed Poland during WWII and confiscated both Jewish and Christian property.

Europe’s Hypocrisy and the Migrant Crisis, with Benjamin Fricke, October 2015 Mr. Fricke focused on political developments in Germany and contextualized attitudes towards immigration in history. He took a look at the PEGIDA movement in Germany. A divide between post-communist and post-1968 socialization is becoming increasingly apparent in Germany and on the European continent as a whole. Mr. Fricke argued that EU as an ideological post-nation state construct was not designed to cope with a crisis as it is. According to him, it is failed geopolitical, economic and security strategy inside Europe and towards the Middle East and Africa which has triggered the massive influx of migrants and paralyzed European countries and the EU institutions. Lech Walesa in the News: Polish Hero or Communist Informant? and Glory to Heroes: The Commemorations of Poland’s Anti-Nazi and Anti-Communist Insurgents, with Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, March 2016. Dr. Chodakiewicz continued the Intermarium series, with a lecture covering two principal topics. First, he summarized the history of Poland’s period of resistance against Nazi and Soviet repression and aggression. Second, he highlighted how resistance is receiving new attention in Poland, adding that such commemoration is fundamentally good for Polish society, as it helps reinterpret the past along more patriotic and spirited lines as well as resurrect the truth. He concluded his lecture by commenting on the importance of studying history because it gives the appropriate due to those who fought to defend Poland from radical ideologies on both sides. Could NATO Centres of Excellence become a security threat?, with Maria Juczewska, April 2016 Mrs. Juczewska spoke about the security risks posed by NATO Centres of Excellence (COEs). Highly irregular and opaque interactions between

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Standing (l-r) Mr. Witold Dzielski, Mr. Tomasz Szatkowski, Mr. Owen T. Smith, Mr. Marek Ziolkowski, Mr. Sebastian Bojemski, Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz, Mrs. Ava Bak, Mr. Adam Bak, Dr. Mackubin Owens, Mr. John Armstrong, Mrs. Anna Chodakiewicz-Wellisz, Mrs. Maria Juczewska, Mr. Clark Judge, Mr. Bogdan Chmielewski Seated (l-r) Mr. Krzysztof Szczerski, Mr. Paweł Soloch, Amb. Ryszard Schnepf, Mr. Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland, Dr. John Lenczowski, Amb. Aldona Wos, Amb. G. Philip Hughes, Lady Blanka Rosenstiel

COEs and non-NATO partners should be the source of concern for the US. Although COEs are not directly funded by or commanded by NATO, they have access to crucial and sensitive NATO information. She pointed out that the American military partner ought to take pains to ensure that the European COEs are thoroughly accounted for in the entirety of their operations. The History of Bilateral Cooperation between Poland and The United States, Dr. Marek Kawa, July 2016 Dr. Marek Kawa, an expert from Korczak University, lectured on the history of bilateral cooperation between Poland and the US, through the prism of Parliament-Congress cooperation. Dr. Kawa emphasized the importance of this bilateral relationship between representative assemblies in achieving resolutions that helped anchor the US to commit to the welfare of Poland before, during, and after its most turbulent periods. LECTURES OUTSIDE OF IWP Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz Polish-Jewish Relations during the Second World War, London, August 2015 The Jagiellonian Club in London and the Jagiellonian University Polish Research Centre sponsored this fascinating lecture by Prof. Marek Chodakiewicz


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Global Ambitions, Regional Powers: China, ISIS, and Russia; Aircraft Down! Russia’s Strategic Deception in Air Disasters: LOT 1 in Smolensk and MH 17/MAS 17 in Torez; and Our NATO Allies in the East: From Estonia to Turkey, a lecture series for the Strategic Fellows Program, IWP, September 2015. Dr. Chodakiewicz gave a series of lectures on geopolitical issues for the Strategic Fellows Program at IWP. The program is focused on providing company and field grade officers, warrant officers, and senior NCOs a guided introduction to the development of national security at the strategic and federal level. Led by expert scholar-practitioners from the Institute, participants explored key strategic issues through a combination of graduate level lectures and experiential activities in the national capital region. History’s War: The Political Uses of WWII, May 2015 Dr. Chodakiewicz participated in a panel discussion at a conference on History’s War: The Political Uses of WWII. The event was organized by the Center on Global Interests and co-sponsored by JHU – SAIS and Georgetown University. The panelists were tasked with answering two broad questions about the Second World War: What role has the war historically played in Russia and Eastern Europe, and how is it currently defining modern politics?” Dr. Chodakiewicz’s remarks focused on collective and individual memory. He observed that there is no collective memory in the post-Soviet

zone and that includes Poland. There are individual recollections that can coalesce into collective memory only when there is freedom. Under communism, the state employed terror to force a rigid straitjacket in the form of the official narrative upon society. According to this narrative, Stalin liberated and saved Central and Eastern Europe from “Hitlerism.” Those who were not pro-communist and did not agree with the official version were automatically branded as “fascists.” The Reductio at Hitlerum was the rule in this game; thus, in most places, a collective memory began to form only after 1989. This process occurred on several levels, including family, local, national, and regional memories. The great tragedy is that the victorious communists imposed Stalinist phrases, concepts, symbols, and images on everyone else. A collective memory can emerge only when a society frees itself from such a paradigm. In Poland, this process is the most advanced. It is far less advanced in the Third Reich’s former satellite countries or nations that treated collaboration with the Germans as a lesser evil. In all those places, collective memory is going through a series of birth pangs because individual recollections dictate either that a) it was righteous to fight in the ranks of the Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Belarusyn, Ukrainian, Croatian, Hungarian, or another SS national formation, or b) that it was more prudent to bandwagon along with Hitler – like Budapest, Bucharest, or Sofia did – than to suffer Poland’s bloody fate. It will take some time for collective memory to emerge. Patience is key. Polish Freedom and Democratic Traditions in Anglo-Saxon Perspective, November 2015 Dr. Chodakiewicz gave this lecture for the Polish American Business Club and it was held at the Cornell Club in New York. He discussed the matters of freedom and security in the Intermarium both in the historical and the contemporary perspective. Mrs. Maria Juczewska Women in John Paul II’s Life, The Friends of John Paul II Foundation, May 2016 and 74th Annual PIASA Conference, Georgtown University, June 2016 Mrs. Maria Juczewska was invited by The Friends of John Paul II Foundation to give her lecture on Women in John Paul II’s Life at the 2nd Annual St. John Paul II Lecture and Luncheon. The Foundation organizes the lecture annually to celebrate and honor Saint John Paul II’s message and

legacy to all audiences. Mrs. Juczewska also presented this lecture at the PIASA conference at Georgetown University SUMMER LECTURE TOURS IN EUROPE Thoughts of a Free Pole, 2015 In August 2015, Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz made 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-long tour, Dr. Chodakiewicz spoke in many cities in Poland, including: Warsaw, Łódź, Wrocław, Bełchatów, and Łomża. The holder of the KC also delivered lectures in London and Dublin where he discussed the history of Polish-Jewish relations in Poland in 1918 – 1955. Thoughts of a Free Pole, May-June 2016 (Warsaw, Gdańsk, Szczecin, Gorzów Wielkopolski, Białystok, Ostrów Świętokrzyski, London, Glasgow, Dublin, Southhampton) In May 2016, Dr. Chodakiewicz traveled to Europe to promote his two latest books - Thoughts of a Free Pole (2016) about the challenges for the Poles and Polish foreign policy in the geopolitical and cultural context of today, and Poland for the Poles: Who were and are Polish nationalists? (2015) on the history of the Polish national movement and its contemporary developments. Between May 16 - June 6, Dr. Chodakiewicz visited more than 15 cities and participated in a score of engagements. In Warsaw, he gave a number of lectures and interviews for newspapers and radio and TV stations, including TVP 1, TVP Info and TV Republika. He also met his readers at the Warsaw Book Fair and other book events. Dr. Chodakiewicz was also invited by various institutions to give private lectures. In Warsaw, he spoke for Ordo Iuris. For the Institute of National Remembrance in Gdansk, he gave a lecture on the development of Polish national thought. In Szczecin, he delivered a talk on topics related to his two latest books. In Wroclaw, the idea of Intermarium was discussed. In Bialystok, at the invitation of The Podlaski Instytut Rzeczpospolitej Suwerennej and “W dobym TONie” Discussion Club, he analyzed the elite-formation processes after the political transformation in Poland. In Bytom, he met his readers at the book fair again. The promotional tour also involved a stint on the British Isles and Dr. Chodakiewicz met his readers in Dublin, Glasgow and London.

For more information about the Institute of World Politics, the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies, publications and opportunities to donate, please visit their website at

Mrs. Maria Juczewska is a research assistant to the Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies at The Institute of World Politics in Washington D.C. She is also a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis and American Thinker. In her scholarly work, she studies international affairs with special focus on the problems of Central and Eastern Europe. Having graduated from English Language and Interpreting studies in Poland, Mrs. Juczewska is a certified interpreter and translator, which led to her internship in the European Parliament in Brussels. She has worked in different European countries, specializing not only in translation, but in marketing and communication. She is also a graduate of Tertio Millenio seminar on the free society founded to deepen the dialog on Catholic social doctrine.

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FROM THE DESK OF BLANK A... By Lady Blank a Rosenstiel

I want to share some of the beautiful moments I experienced in 2016.


n May I went to Poland for three weeks, and since my last visit there in November, 2014, I found it to be greatly improved. While driving from Ciechocinek to Warsaw, where I was staying at a spa, I was amazed at the neatness and beauty of the lush, green landscape. Trees in the orchards were in full bloom, the charming country homes and farms were freshly painted, and there were hundreds of windmills. It was Spring! What a serene scene. What a feeling of tranquility.

Mrs. Krystyna Platta, Countess Jadwiga Krasicka, Lady Blanka, Mr. Slawomir Platta


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Ms. Julia Van de Water, President of English Speaking Union, Lady Blanka

Mastro Grzegorz Nowak

Ms. Ewa Mitera and Lady Blanka at the Inauguration of the new President of UM

Prof. Marian Pospieszalski, Lady Blanka, Ms. Ewa Mitera

Mr and Ms. Karolina Pawłowska, Lady Blanka, Ms. Magdalena Trębińska

University of Miami President Julio Frenk, Lady Blanka, Dean Roni Avissar of Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

During the drive, what I found most amazing were the soundproof walls made of glass that ran along the roads for miles, permitting one to see the beauty of the lands without obstruction...views that ended at faraway horizons. Poland is basically a flat country from the Baltic Sea to the Karpatian Mountains, so you can truly see never-ending panoramic views. The city of Warsaw was another wonderful surprise. It was so clean, an energetic metropolis filled with flowers and trees and happy faces everywhere. I stayed with my friends, the Mitera family, at their home in Szczeniowka about 13 miles from Warsaw, but every day we went to the city for shopping and visiting family and friends. It was great seeing the stores filled with beautiful items and all the elegant people strolling the avenues. Good News


Senator Anna Marie Anders, Lady Blanka, Countess Jolanta Mycielska at Bristol Hotel, Warsaw

Poland always gives me a renewed appreciation of the finer things in life - the omnipresent culture, artistic events, concerts, fine cuisine and fascinating people made my stay unforgettable. I had the pleasure of dining at the famous Bristol Hotel with Countess Jolanta Mycielska, Senator Anna Maria Anders and Ewa Mitera. I also had lunch with Mr. Krzysztof Porowski and Mr. Piotr Gulczynski, the former President of Lech Walesa Institute. When I returned to the U.S., I immediately prepared for my annual road trip to my farm in Charlottesville, VA for the sum-

Ms. Monika Chodakiewcz, Dr. Marek Chodakiewcz, Mr. Thomas R. Elliott, Mrs. Jayne “Penny” Elliot

mer. This year I especially enjoyed the endless flow of guests, trips to Washington, D.C., and all the fun parties. Most pleasant were the singing evenings with guitar accompaniment and piano performances on my terrace with a view of the lake. But all vacations must come to an end and I am now back in Miami with the Insti-

Lady Blanka with Mr. Andrzej Bytnar

Mrs. Anaide Govaert


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Horses on the Virginia farm

tute and the Chopin Foundation. We have an exciting winter season prepared, with recitals, concerts, lectures, and of course, the Annual 45th International Polonaise Ball. I invite you to participate and hope to see you at all the upcoming events.

Mr. Waldemar Demori, Ms. Danuta Dabrowska, Mr. Morissay, Ms. Urszula Demori, Countess Jadwiga Krasicka, Mr. Wojciech Bukalski

Mr. John & Mrs. Yvonne Waterson, Lady Blanka, Dr. Phil Williams III, Mrs. Claire Collett

Mr. Christian Joskowiak, Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz, Lady Blanka, Mr. Robert Joskowiak, Mr. Patrick Misiewicz

Blandemar Farm Lake

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Introduction of Christianity, a painting by Jan Matejko from 1889 , depicts Mieszko I on the right leaning against the cross with the sword in his hand; on the left is Saint Adalbert baptizing Mieszko’s brother Ścibor. Is it how the Baptism looked? / Wikimedia Commons



he introduction of Christianity to Poland is symbolically linked to the founding of the Polish state and is also the first firm date in the history of Poland. But while the event enabled Poland to enter the realm of Western Latin civilization and become a fixed part of it, as well as its farthest outpost, its true impact and the reasons that led to it are complex and surprising. With the christening of its first ruler, Mieszko, Poland symbolically entered into the orbit of Western civilization, and its name appeared for the first time in the annals of Medieval historians. The year 966 is precisely the moment when the historical memory of Poles starts. Other, earlier records of Poland belong to the domain of unverifiable fantasy – like the mythical father of all Poles - Lech, King Popiel (who was eaten by mice) or Piast, the founder of the dynasty that bred Mieszko. In other words, it is with the baptism of Mieszko that Poland


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leaves the realm of its undocumented mythical Slavic past and becomes a crucial element in the stream of ‘universal’ Western history. Polish history can be complicated, making it sometimes difficult to tell what’s really going.

When did it happen? What do we know about this seminal event? While much earlier Polish history rests in the realm of historical obscurity, the date 966 shines relatively bright in the surrounding darkness. The date comes up in an early Medieval chronicle (Rocznik Kapituły Krakowskiej) and reads exactly ‘DCCCCLXVI Mesco dux Polonie baptizatur’ (‘966 - Mesco, the duke of Poland, is baptised’). Most historians today generally agree with this date; in fact, they even ventured an exact date – 14 April, 966.

Where did it take place? We don’t know precisely where the baptism of Mieszko took place. The most likely answer is that the ceremony took place in Poznań on the river island called Ostrów Tumski. Archaeologists point to the little Church of Saint Mary the Virgin in Summo. We also don’t know who was present at the ceremony. The Christian official in charge of the affair could have been Jordan, a monk from Germany or Italy who later became the first bishop of Poland, while the godfather was probably the father of Mieszko’s wife, Czech King Boleslaus. A baptism should end with the baptised getting a new Christian name. The conjectures made by historians suggest that Mieszko was baptised either Michael or Dagobert. This latter hypothesis Portraits of Mieszko and Dobrawa by Jan Matejko / Wikimedia Commons (along with the mysterious document Dagome iudex, dating back to 991) have even provoked speculation as to the possible Norman origins of the first Polish ruler. While this theory plary moral attitude and perseverance that led Mieszko to adopt has since been generally discarded, Mieszko’s background is still Christianity. As Gallus Anonim, the author of the earliest Polish subject to discussion. history, writes ‘...she wouldn’t share a bed with Mieszko until he had adopted Christian mores.’ The truth, however, may be more Who was Mieszko? political. Marriages in those days played a role similar to politiLikely born in the 920s, Mieszko was born to Siemomysł, a ruler cal treaties. By wedding Dobrava, the daughter of Boleslaus I the of the Piast dynasty, a family belonging to the local Slavic tribe Cruel of the Přemyslid dynasty, Mieszko entered a political union of Polans, with Gniezno in Wielkopolska as their possible family with the ruler of another powerful Slavic kingdom. seat. In the course of the late 9th and 10th centuries, the family was able to subjugate the majority of the Wielkopolska (Greater The birth of the nation Poland) region. Historians connect these early military successes Seen in this light, the baptism itself becomes an event of key of the Piast dynasty with the new concept of his military retinue, political importance. It was also no accident that Mieszko decided a quasi-army called drużyna, whose soldier members were paid to adopt Christianity through Czech mediation. The Czech kingregular wages rather than sharing war booty. dom had an early tradition of Christianity (it was Christianized in the late 9th century) and close ties with the German Reich, of A love story? which it was a part. By adopting Christianity from a fellow SlavThe popular version of the christening of Poland – as related in ic and a quasi-equal ruler, and not the German emperor, Mieszko Medieval chronicles – links the baptism of Mieszko with the influwas shunning the auspices of the German Reich, which could have ence of his wife Dobrava, a Czech princess and a devout Christian. meant potential political subjugation. According to this romantic and uplifting tale, it was her exem-

Mieszko I crashes the pagan idols, as imagined by Polish 19th century artist Jan Kazimierz Wilczyński (Album Wileńskie, 1835) / Wikimedia CC

Christianisation or die? The Capture of the Wends (1866) by Wojciech Gerson shows a scene from the so-called Wendish Crusade from the 12th century. Wends were Polabian Slavs who refused to adopt Christianity. Today most historians agree that without Christianisation, Poland (or this early incarnation of Poland) wouldn’t have survived. Even without venturing into the realm of alternative history, one can reasonably assume that adopting Christianity meant also that the Slavic tribe of Polans avoided the fate of many other tribes and ethnicities of the region which rejected Christianity and are now just names in history books. This pertains particularly to the once powerful Western Slavic tribe of the Veleti (Polabian Slavs, like Polans belonging to the so-called Lechite tribe) inhabiting the areas of today’s Eastern Germany, or Prussians who once lived Good News


across vast and inaccessible areas ranging from Lithuania to the Masurian lakes.

goes for the organization of the Church (whose structures and officials were used in pursuing administrative goals), administrative system and diplomacy, which all functioned in a country which was now an equal part of the sphere of Christian Europe.

The first Polish saint Very soon Poland adopted the role of preacher of the gospel to pagan tribes. Performing missionary activities meant sometimes encountering violence. The martyr...and expansion ing of Saint Adalbert of This allowed for the imPrague (997), which ocpressive expansion of the curred while he was on state ruled by the Piasts. a mission to the Prussians While at the time of his in Pomerania, was an elebaptism Mieszko ruled ment of this process. The over a territory that was death of Adalbert, who limited to Wielkopolsbecame the first Polish ka, Kuyavia and parts of saint (Święty Wojciech), Mazovia, the kingdom at was used by the Polish The son of Mieszko I, Bolesław I of Poland sticks frontier poles in Elbe and Saale - a fact that some 950 his death in 992 included king Boleslaus to raise years later was picked by Communist propaganda working out the new borders for Poland following World Silesia, Małopolska (with War 2, image from Album Wileńskie of Jan Kazimierz Wilczyński / photo: his prestige as a Christian Kraków), and possibly ruler. Following the ConPomerania. The territorigress of Gniezno in 1000, the town became the seat of the first Polal expansion was continued during the aggressive reign of Mieszish archdiocese, independent from Christian centers in Germany. ko’s son, Boleslaus the Brave, with expansion towards the west and the border on the Oder River and incursions as far east as Kiev. The rise of Western civilization... At the height of his rule, Poland stretched from the Oder to GroThe baptism of Mieszko meant bringing to Poland the entirety dy Czerwieńskie. The expansion was accompanied by symbolical of Western Latin civilization, with its Christian stone architecgestures of political recognition, like the Congress of Gniezno ture, Roman law, and education. Mieszko’s grandson and the third of 1000 during which Boleslaus met with Otto III and was likely ruler of the dynasty, Mieszko II, was already thoroughly educated. pledged the king’s crown. This eventually materialized shortly – he studied not only Latin but also Greek. Much in the fashion of before his death in 1025 when Boleslaus was crowned, becoming the German Otton court, the Piasts deemed education as indisthe first king of Poland. pensable for ruling a European kingdom. All of this is naturally unimaginable without the earlier Baptism of a Slavic duke called Mieszko and the subsequent Christianiza...and eventual organization... tion of Poland. But more importantly, the christening was instrumental in facilitating the internal reforms needed in such a young state. This Republished with permission from

Mikołaj Gliński graduated from the Institute of Polish Culture (IKP) at Warsaw University, where he wrote his Masters in literature and history. He is a long-serving author for the English section at, where he specializes in these topics, as well as languages, his personal passion.


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ince Poland joined the EU in 2004, many regulations and laws have been changed and amended; some of these changes relate to the application procedure for passports and visas. All Embassy and Consulate personnel are mandated to rotate location every 4 years, which means that a new Ambassador, Consul General and staff represent their country. This year a new Consul General was appointed, Zygmunt Matynia, who is now in Washington DC. A new Ambassador of Poland to the US, Piotr Wilczek, was also appointed. Effective June 2009, there is a requirement to appear in person before the Consul General to submit one’s passport application since fingerprints are collected for the biometric database, which can only be done through Consulate Generals. However, in order to assist Polish citizens, the Consulate General in Washington, D.C. schedules visits of Consuls who are able to receive applicants in other states and cities in their jurisdiction, including the Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Miami. Consuls came to Miami during 2015 and 2016 so Polish citizens could apply for passports during their visits. Consul Ewa Pietrasienska and Julia Konowrocka came to Florida in March and December of 2015, and in October 2016, new Consuls Barbara Goralczyk and Jaroslaw Goralczyk were in Miami. To make an appointment, applicants must contact the Consulate General in Washington, D.C. All of the information about passport applications for Polish citizens is available on the Polish version of the Embassy’s website:

“The ultimate necessity is the summoning of the mind and will to do their duty” Ignacy Jan Paderewski


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Ms. Julia Konowrocka, Consul Ewa Pietrasienska

Consul Barbara Goralczyk, Consul Jaroslaw Goralczyk



he Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Poland participates in Consular Corps meetings in Miami. These gatherings are an excellent platform for Consuls from all over the world, as well as local business leaders and government officials, to talk about issues pertaining to consular activities and multinational collaborations. Speakers representing US government, local and state authorities, scientists, educators and representatives of various businesses and organizations provide important information in the areas of their expertise. Some of the captivating speakers have included George Piro, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI who spoke on terrorism and preventive measures; Diane J. Sabation, Director Field Operations, Miami Field Office, US Customs and Border Protection; Michael Zinner, MD, FACS, CEO and Executive Medical Director, Baptist Health, Miami Cancer Institute; and President of the University of Miami, Julio Frenk M.D., M.P.H., PH.D. On April 7, 2016, Mayor Tomas Regalado of the City of Miami, with inspiration from his wife, Ana Christina, invited all Consuls to the second “This is Miami” Forum at the Miami City Hall. Attendees also included Horacio Stuart Aguirre, Ambassador at the Mayor’s Office; the City of Miami Management Team; District ACADEMIA - Charter Schools and Miami Dade College; and many leaders from the numerous communities. Guests had the opportunity to watch videos about new city growth of cosmopolitan Miami and had a chance to meet with the representatives of agencies and offices who were on the panel, as well as Consuls from many countries. These meetings are a wonderful occasion for Poland to be part of the energetic international community represented in Miami. Throughout the year there are also many diplomatic, commercial, cultural and social functions in which the Honorary Consulate participates and promotes Poland and Polonia in South Florida and the US.

Mrs. Beata Paszyc, Hon. Vice Consul of Poland, Dr. Julio Frenk, President of Univ. of Miami

Mr. Manuel Molina, Hon. Consul of Belgium, Mrs. Christine Caly Sanchez

Mrs. Cami Green Hofstadter Consul of Finland, Mrs. Alejandra Collarte, Univ. of Miami

Mr. Nabil Achkar, Consular Corps Secretary Ms. Anaise Manuel, Consul of Haiti

Mrs. Beata Paszyc, Hon. Vice Consul of Poland, Mr. Brian Keeley, Hon. Consul General St. Kitts and Nevis

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The Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Poland was established in October 1998. Honorary Consul Lady Blanka Rosenstiel and her deputy, Honorary Vice Consul Beata Paszyc, provide information and perform consular services free of charge. Although, the Honorary Consulate cannot by law issue, sign or verify any documents, it provides general information and serves as a helping hand to the Consulate General in Washington, DC. The recent changes in the law require that all passport applications MUST be submitted in person at the Consulates General in the appropriate territorial jurisdiction. However, the Consulate General in Washington, D.C. organizes trips to different locations including Miami, FL to enable Polish citizens to submit passport applications in person closer to their residence. The locations, dates and times are provided at the Embassy’s website (Polish version only): Foreigners traveling to Poland who require a Schengen visa can also find all the information on the website and need to apply in person in Washington, DC (See special VIS announcement on the next page). All documents are processed at the consular offices serving the state of residence in conformity with their territorial jurisdiction. Please refer to the list of Polish Consulates in the US. The Embassy’s of the Republic of Poland motto: “To

serve Poland – to build Europe – to understand the world”

Consular Division of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in WASHINGTON, D.C. Head of Consular Division Zygmunt Matynia 2224 Wyoming Avenue N.W. Washington, D.C. 20008-3992 phone (202) 499-1700 fax (202) 328-2152 e-mail: The Consular Division in Washington D.C. serves residents of Alabama, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Puerto Rico, American Virgin Islands and other US overseas territories. Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA Consul General Mariusz Brymora 12400 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 555, Los Angeles, CA 90025 phone (310) 442-8500 fax (310) 442-8515 e-mail: Consulate General in Los Angeles serves residents of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming. Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York, NEW YORK Consul General Maciej Gołubiewski 233 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016 phone (646) 237-2100, fax (646) 237-2105 e-mail: Consulate General in New York serves residents of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont. Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago, ILLINOIS Consul General Piotr Janicki 1530 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60610 phone (312) 337-8166 fax (312) 337-7841 e-mail: Consulate General in Chicago serves residents of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin.


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he American Institute of Polish Culture’s collaboration with the Miami Heat basketball team is a success! October 7, 2015 was another fantastic Polish Night at the American Airlines Arena and Polish fans cheered Marcin Gortat of the Washington Wizards in a game against the Miami Heat. And since October is Polish Heritage month, we were able to present a few “extras” during the evening. At a break, the folk dance group Jedliniok, from the Life Sciences University of Wroclaw in Poland, twirled around the court in colorful 19th century costumes (Kontusz) to the tunes of the mazur. “It was an unbelievable experience for the dancers to perform for the 20,000 people in attendance,” said Mr. Henryk Brzezick, Director of Jedliniok. The group tours the world presenting various regional and national folk dances of Poland, but Miami will stand out in their memories. The beautiful music of Chopin was also played during the breaks and AIPC’s logo was illuminated on the big court screen, eliciting loud applause from the Polish fans and giving our organization great visibility in the community. Those same fans, proudly wearing Poland’s colors with their white and red jerseys, hats and scarves, met with Gortat, a Polish national who plays center for the Wizards, after the game. He graciously took pictures with them and the dancers and signed several autographs. The Polish Night with Miami Heat is also a fundraising opportunity for us. Every time our friends and members buy specially discounted tickets for the game, the Miami Heat donates part of the proceeds to the Institute. This past year we received a $690 check from the Miami Heat!

AIPC also facilitated a similar program for kids to meet the players of the Miami Heat on behalf of the local non-profit organization, “Life Sports Fitness,” that promotes sports among the school kids. All the coaches from this great organization also attended Polish Night. It is a cross marketing effort that benefits non-profits who are making a difference. The Polish Nights are a wonderful experience. Many thanks go to Miami Heat’s Briana Harris, Group Sales Manager, for collaborating with the Institute in making these evenings full of sportsmanship and unforgettable fun.

Marcin Gortat with fans from Poland

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Sitting President of FIU Mark Rosenberg, President of AMU Bronislaw Marciniak Standing: Dr. Rebecca Friedman, Mrs. Chrisitne Caly-Sanchez, Dr. Alpesh Patel, Beata Paszyc, Hon. Vice Consul of Poland, Dr. Meredith Newman, Dean John Stack



ronislaw Marciniak, the President of Adam Mickiewicz University (AMU) in Poznan, Poland was invited by President Mark Rosenberg to visit Florida International University (FIU) in Miami. The primary reason for his visit was to discuss a collaboration and exchange between the two universities. On May 22, 2016, President Marciniak had a chance to take a scenic tour of Miami followed by an elegant dinner at Lady Blanka’s residence. The evening was full of interesting conversations and ideas for collaborative work, and was an opportunity for faculty from FIU to meet on a more personal level with President Marciniak. Although he is a chemist by profession, he showed his artistic quality when he sat at the grand piano and played a lovely medley of songs that the Polish speaking guest sang with delight.


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May 23rd started early in the morning for the official part of the visit. The President toured FIU’s Madique Campus including the Frost Museum, Prima Casa, and Graham Center, the student hub. A luncheon was then served at the Regan house, the office and residence of President Rosenberg, and was followed by a series of meetings with Dean John Stack, Provost Meredith Newman, Dr. Rebecca Freidman, Mrs. Birgitta Rausch-Montoto and Prof. Stan Wnuk. Beata Paszyc of AIPC was invited by President Rosenberg’s office to participate in the meetings. Discussion centered on the main areas of collaboration and what steps were needed to ensure the ideas are put into motion. It was a very fruitful and productive visit in an atmosphere of mutual understanding and friendship.

Reception at Lady Blanka’s

Dr. Stanislaw Wnuk, Dr. Meredith Newman, Mrs. Elzbieta Wnuk, President Bronislaw Marciniak

President Mark Rosenberg, Lady Blanka Rosenstiel, President Bronislaw Marciniak

Dr. Rebecca Friedman, Dr. Meredith Newman, Mrs. Beata Paszyc, President Bronislaw Marciniak, Lady Blanka Rosenstiel, President Mark Rosenberg, Dr. John Stack, Mrs. Anna Pietraszek, Mrs. Elzbieta Wnuk, Dr. Stanislaw Wnuk, Mrs. Christine Caly-Sanchez, Mr. Louis Sanchez

Mr. Louis Sanchez, Mrs. Christine Caly-Sanchez, Mrs. Anna Pietraszek

Dr. John Stack, President Bronislaw Marciniak, President Mark Rosenberg

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THE POLISH LECTURE SERIES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA By Dr. Michel S. Pawlowski Member of the Board of Directors and Polish Studies Chair, AIPC


he University of Virginia’s Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (CREEES) again offered a collection of high-quality lectures in its Polish Lecture Series. Endowed through the kind generosity of Lady Blanka Rosenstiel and the American Institute of Polish Culture, and run by CREEES in consultation with Associate Professor Dariusz Tolczyk of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Corcoran Department of History. The Series sponsors a variety of Polishthemed talks that expose American students and the Central Virginia community to the riches of Polish culture, history, and politics, and gives the University of Virginia the ability to invite leading North American and European scholars in all areas relating to Polonia and Poland. The Peasant Prince1

integrity by receiving the Order of Cincinnatus from General George Washington. The Society of the Cincinnati, an organization in the United States and France was founded in 1783, to preserve the ideals and fellowship of the Revolutionary War officers who fought for American independence. General Washington was elected the first President General of the Society. After the American Revolutionary War, Thaddeus Kosciuszko led a Polish uprising against the Russian Empire. He was such an inspiration that Thomas Jefferson called him, “as pure a son of liberty, as I have ever known.” In his will, Kosciuszko bequeathed his property for the emancipation and education of African-American slaves and named Jefferson the executor, but after he died, Jefferson walked away from this obligation. Kosciuszko’s Will was never

On April 7, 2016, the Spring Lecture series sponsored by the American Institute of Polish Culture (AIPC) at the University of Virginia (UVA), founded by President Thomas Jefferson, opened with a riveting film and lecture with questions and answers on Kosciuszko, A Man Ahead of His Time. Alex Storozynski, President Emeritus & Vice Chairman of the Board of The Kosciuszko Foundation, produced and directed the film based upon his book, The Peasant Prince. Thaddeus Kosciuszko and the Age of Revolution. His film was originally featured on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) in October 2015. It is important to point out that Alex Storozynski is also a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, an editorial board Dr. Michel S. Pawlowski, Pastor Marilu J. Thomas, Mr. Alex Storozynski, member at the New York Daily News, the Prof. Dariusz Tolczyk, Prof. Jeffrey Rossman founding editor of amNew York, and a former city editor and contributing editor to The New York Sun. AIPC was enacted. Mr. Storozynski’s discussion as well as the film brought all very pleased to showcase Mr. Storozynski’s work as part of the UVA of the above to light, especially Kosciuszko’s concern for the plight of Polish Lecture Series. the slaves and his contributions to America’s war for independence Professor Dariusz Tolczyk introduced Alex Storozynski to the from Britain. packed auditorium of students, faculty, community members and Alex Storozynski was thrilled with the interest and reception visitors from Monticello. All attendees intently watched and listened given him by the UVA community. He pointed out that Kosciuszko to the film and the lecture, and a lively question and answer session was a very important aspect of both Polish and American history; followed. Mr. Storozynski also signed copies of his book. he is an example to all of humanity. Besides his memorable The film and Mr. Storozynski’s discussion focused on the fact military service and his stand on abolishing slavery, Kosciuszko that Thaddeus Kosciuszko fought in the American Revolution and also supported the establishment of a military academy for the for independence and was recognized for his courage, valor and U.S., which exists today at West Point. General George Washington considered West Point to be the most important strategic position in America and personally selected Thaddeus Kosciuszko in 1776 1 In addition to the Film/Discussion/Lecture, supplementary historical information was included to design its fortifications.2 Today there is a monument dedicated from UVA publicity flyer on “Kosciuszko: A Man Ahead of His Time;” “Order of Cincinnatus” [Wikipedia]; “West Point History”,; “Thomas Jefferson” [Wikipedia]; “The Peasant Prince/Thaddeus Kosciuszko and the Age of Revolution,” Alex Storozynski, St. Martins Press, 2010.


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Kosciuszko never learned that the Military Academy he so vigorously promoted for years would be placed in the fortress that he built to fight the American Revolutionary War at West Point.


to Thaddeus Kosciuszko at West Point. The U.S. owes much to Kościuszko for his leadership and actions that favorably impacted its future and history. There was a true close bond between Thomas Jefferson and Kosciuszko, so much so that Jefferson often wore the fur coat given him by Kosciuszko and even posed in it for his official portrait as President and for his statue (the Jefferson Memorial). Jefferson told Kosciuszko he would reserve a space for the Pole to be buried beside him. As the founder of UVA, Jefferson initially proposed his University in a letter to Joseph Priestley in 1800 and, in 1819, the 76-yearold Jefferson founded the University of Virginia and purchased the location. He organized the state legislative campaign for its charter, and was the principal designer of the buildings, planned the university’s curriculum, and served as the first rector upon its opening. Each academic unit, called a pavilion, was designed with a two-story temple front, while the library “Rotunda” was modeled on the Roman Pantheon. Jefferson referred to the university’s grounds as the “Academical Village” and we he died in 1826, most of his extensive library was bequeathed to the UVA. Katyn and the Future of Public History in Poland3

On April 22, 2016, Piotr H. Kosicki, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Maryland, gave a stunning lecture sponsored by AIPC at the UVA campus in Charlottesville, VA. Entitled, More than a Metonym: Katyn and the Future of Public History in Poland, it was attended by a full room of students and local residents seeking In addition to the Lecture, supplementary historical information was included from J.K. Zawodny, “Death In The Forest, The Story of the Katyn Forest Massacre” University of Notre Dame Press, 1962. and “2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash” on Wikipedia.


Prof. Piotr H. Kosicki

knowledge about the diverse historical events that have plagued Polish history. The lecture traced the events from the Katyn massacre during World War II to the recent 2010 tragic plane crash of the Polish government enroute to Smolensk. Smolensk is close to Katyn where Stalin’s regime massacred 15,000 Polish POW’s (among them 800 Doctors of medicine) and creating the largest mass grave of murdered Polish officers in history. Both events wiped out the best and brightest of Polish leadership, military and intelligentsia. On April 10, 2010, a Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft of the Polish Air Force crashed near the city of Smolensk, Russia, killing all 96 people on board. Among the victims were the President of Poland, Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria; the former President of Poland in exile, Ryszard Kaczorowski; the chief of the Polish General Staff and other senior Polish military officers; the President of the National Bank of Poland; 18 members of the Polish Parliament; senior members of the Polish clergy; and relatives of victims of the Katyn massacre. The group was arriving from Warsaw to attend an event marking the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre, which happened approximately 12 miles west of Smolensk in a remote area. The Prisoners of War were murdered because it was the policy of the Soviet government at the time that their destruction guaranteed elimination forever of a considerable segment of the hostile military and professional elite of Poland, thus creating a leaderless vacuum into which Soviet-groomed men could move in the future. This type of strategy occurred particularly in the period of 1945-1956 per some historians, who maintain that according to the N.K.V.D. evaluation, the prisoners could not be induced to adopt pro-Soviet attitudes. Later, at the highest level of policy making, an order was issued to “liquidate” the prisoners. The plane crash and World War II events are very similar. The word metonym means “word as a substitute for another…use of the name of one thing for that of another associated with or suggested by it.” Both events represent a stripping of cultural heritage and history – essentially wiping out the best and brightest leadership. Both events are significant tragedies in Poland’s centuries long history, and it is both telling and ironic that both events took place on Russian soil. Recently there have been factual Polish and Russian official reports of the incident - what took place and the cause of the fatal air crash. Nonetheless, conspiracy theories still flourish and continue to circulate.

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Columbus was Polish Royalty Manuel Rosa has done an outstanding job of debunking the 'official' Genoa peasant weaver Cristoforo Colombo myth. He does this with extensive documentation. DAVID SCHMIT, JULY 25, 2016

This fine book sifts the BS from the facts in the history of the man we still call Columbus, though he never used that name. DARRELL KASTIN, JULY 6, 2016

This book, without a doubt, is one of the best to captivate me in a very long time. Manuel Rosa makes an exceptionally strong case for those who still insist on believing otherwise. MICHELE DOUCETTE, JUNE 27, 2016

Author Manuel Rosa is a PortugueseAmerican historian, who has devoted all of his time to researching the life of the Discoverer of America. Mr. Rosa traveled to the Dominican Republic, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Lithuania, Poland and many other places in his search for the historical truth. After 25 years of coninuous work, 6 published books and hundereds of lectures, he is presenting the most complete study, the first in the English language: “Columbus the untold Story”.

After more than half a millenium, it’s time you discovered who the real Columbus was 38

Order your copy today at Good News

NOTES FROM MY TR AVELS By Lady Blank a Rosenstiel


uring my visit to Poland in May 2016, I had the pleasure of meeting several interesting people. Poland always gives me a renewed appreciation of the finer things in life. The omnipresent culture, artistic events, concerts, fine cuisine and fascinating people made my stay in Poland unforgettable. Barbara Wachowicz, whom I have known for decades, is one of those fascinating people. She is a well-recognized biographer of great Poles and author of stories about 1944 Warsaw Uprising. She has degrees in journalism and the history of film theory. She is an avid patriot and an active propagator of everything that encompasses Polish accomplishments. Unfortunately, for those who do not speak Polish, you cannot appreciate her beautifully written stories about so many Polish authors, including Mickiewicz, Slowacki, Sienkiewicz (Nobel for Literature), Zeromski and Kosciuszko. However, for the Polish speakers, I hope to interest you in some of her masterpieces:

I had the pleasure of hearing her speak with such passion and enthusiasm that it melted my heart. I admire her for continuing to spread knowledge about Poland not only in her country but also in the USA. For her outstanding efforts she has been awarded the Order of Polonia Restituta and the Education 21 Century Award, the “Polish Nobel,” for promoting Christian culture, patriotism and the beauty of Polish language. The American Biographical Institute dedicated The 2008 Great Women of the 21st Century to her. I wish there were more women like Barbara.

Barbara Wachowicz



uthor Manuel Rosa spent 20 years researching the puzzling life of Christopher Columbus through countless archives around the world. His interest was sparked by many unexplainable paradoxes - how could a simple uneducated weaver marry into one of the most distinguished families of his time? Or how could a man who was supposedly unfamiliar with navigating the sea manage to sail around the world intact? Schoolbooks teach that Columbus was a poor Italian from a Genoese family, but over the centuries there have been claims that he was a native of Greece, Spain, France, or Scotland, or was possibly Jewish. Now Mr. Rosa has presented the theory that Columbus is an enigma with a much more complicated personal and professional life than history has told, including the possibility that he was of Polish royal heritage. Mr. Rosa’s books, published in Polish, Portuguese, Lithuaniun and now

available in English in hardcover, paperback and online versions, have garnered international media attention and inspired dialogue amongst scholars, historians and educators. “Our whole understanding of Christopher Columbus has for 500 years been

based on misinformation. We couldn’t solve the mystery because we were looking for the wrong man, following lies that were spread intentionally to hide his true identity,” Mr. Rosa told The Daily Telegraph. Good News


A Genius of Time By Beata Paszyc


n a recent PBS series, Genius, Professor Stephen Hawking challenged a group of volunteers to think like the greatest geniuses in history and solve some of humanity’s most enduring questions. The first episode pondered the question of whether time travel is possible. What amazed me in this program the most was that time is not linear. To a humanistic mind like mine, this concept was shocking, too alien for me to comprehend immediately, so I listened intently to Hawking’s explanation, which was illustrated by an experiment conducted by non-scientists. I thought of time as a time line, a straight line that you have marked with a “0” which is now, the present moment. You can mark the future, as time will unfold straight forward 10 minutes from now, a month or a year, and it can go back 5 years, 30 years, or a century. I always thought it looks like this: 5 years ago


5 years in the future

Hawking explained that, in fact, time is not linear because it has another dimension which is attached to it permanently like Super Glue. This other dimension is space. I will spare you the details of the experiment (yet I encourage you to watch this fascinating series on PBS), but I realize now that whenever you talk, think or reminisce about something from the past, TIME is not isolated - it is always associated with the PLACE you were when something happened, where you did something or your memory of an event. It hap-

pened on a specific street, city, home, restaurant, anywhere in the world, and that place is finite and can be named. Close your eyes and imagine the time you went on an exotic vacation. You can name the time and place. Or try to recollect your first kiss. Again, time and place. Simply put, time cannot happen without identifying a place.


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I have used this revelation as an introduction for an even bigger question - why is time always on our minds nowadays? I want to examine why it is that, for many of us, we claim that we DO NOT HAVE TIME in almost every conversation. I am hoping to give guidance on how to have time on your side and how to use it wisely. It seems we should be in charge of time, manage it well, and have quality vs. quantities of it. Accepting that time and space are interconnected and cannot be separated, it is counterproductive to focus on a lack of time itself; instead we should enhance the content of the time we experience. Let me illustrate it with an example. When you go on vacation, you visit charming new places, you meet lovely people, have fresh experiences, tastes, and emotions, all of which fill your days and create a sense of well-being and provide wonderful memories. It seems time stretches, that you have been at this exotic place with all these wonderful people and a day can feel like a week. Right? Or when you are involved with a project at school or work or enjoying your hobby which you embrace with passion and devotion. Time slows down and you loose yourself and forget time and space because you are enjoying and relishing every moment. When you are in love, how does it feel? Time does not count; you find time to be with your loved one, create a new reality for you both, and what counts are not minutes but emotionally charged particles that fill the air and your hearts with joy, fulfillment and overwhelming love. With all of these scenarios, we have slowed down time. Yet, perhaps in the age of instant gratification where messages can travel in nano-seconds and what could be productive ‘me’ time, we choose instead to spend it on trying to absorb too much information hammering us from TV, the world wide web, Facebook, Twitter and on and on. We carry mobile phones with us and can manage our personal and professional lives with a touch of a finger at any moment of every day. We call them smart phones, but what would be a smart thing to do is to turn them off and put them away, from time to time. Saying that we have no time is a fallacy and a self-created mindset. We chose to divert our energy and spend it on things that in the long run do not matter. One day, as I was obsessed with running around, doing some errands, cleaning the house, etc., a friend asked me, “Do you think that on your deathbed you will regret not having more time to do these things?”

I thought this question was a bit morbid but true. Certainly, on our death bed we will not regret the fact that we did not watch more TV or spent more time cleaning or more time at work writing emails, but we might regret not doing more meaningful things, like helping and serving others, volunteering, spending time with loved ones, family and friends, seeing the world, or teaching our fellow human beings how to be kind, thoughtful and enjoy each moment to the fullest. In 2013 the Huffington Post published an article, “The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying,” based on a book of the same title by a palliative nurse who recorded the most common regrets of terminal patients: 1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. 2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. 3. I wish I had the courage to express my feelings. 4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. 5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. These are very enlightening emotions, and should be strong motivations to really embrace our lives fully while we are living, not when our lives are winding down. To achieve that and to tame time in your life, I offer some tips that can put you on track and keep time on your side. One of the first things we have to change is stop believing we have no time, but realize that we do have a lot of time on our hands. The 15 hours we stay awake during the day translates to 900 minutes and 54,000 seconds. When resting we take 12-20 breaths a minute, so in a 15-hour day we have breathed in and out 18,000 times! This is an impressive number and multiplied by weeks, months, years - you do have a lot of time. But it is finite. With that in mind, it helps to be mindful to slow down. Try to be present in everything you do and not rush through moments. If you are in a hurry, being frantic and nervous will not change the distance you need to get to your car, but will only make you more anxious. Have you ever rushed out the house, and looked for the keys, couldn’t find them, and in such a frenzy, you lost an additional 5-10 minutes? But if you slowed down, took deep breaths, and thought calmly about when you saw those keys last, chances are you will find them right away. How about when you are walking the dog and are on the phone at the same time? You don’t even notice where you are walking nor do you see the surroundings. Many of the things you do daily are not truly experienced by you. As if on an autopilot. Instead of always rushing or being distracted from everything around you, just walk, notice the trees, breathe the air, pay attention to the details, relish the moment. Now you are managing your time with purpose. Structure your time both at work and in your personal life. When our time is not structured, we often spend it on meaningless stuff, doing things unnecessary, without much care or focus. Structuring your time— even your leisure time—has been proven to make you more motivated, focused, and happier because it gives you a direction and a purpose. It is totally counterintuitive, but when you have an intention behind your actions, you will feel much more creative, efficient and happier (even if that purpose is to do nothing for couple of hours!).

Make a list of where you might be wasting your time. Keep a diary of your daily activities and analyze where you are not productive and determine if what you do matches your priorities. For example, you want to spend time exercising or have more time with your family, but instead you spend it surfing the web or watching TV. Having a list will help you get rid of the things that are not serving your goals and dreams. When you track your time during the day, how you fill your space is laid out in front of you, and it also helps you see what activities increase or decrease your effectiveness. Less is more. Ask yourself if you are doing too much. Remove the activities that are not beneficial to your goals; you can only do so many things within a day. It is so much better to select those activities that are really meaningful to you and focus on them. Spread them out over the day and skip superficial activities. Less really is more. Think of what matters the most to you. We all have different priorities in life. For some it maybe their career while for others it is volunteering or building a rewarding family life. Take a moment to think about what you really, truly care the most about and then devote as much of your time to that as possible. It seems like simple advice, yet few of us actually do it. Most of us wing our way through each day not realizing that mindfully spending our time could produce much more meaningful results. Have you ever heard of the 80/20 rule? It is believed that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. So you have to find those highly effective things that work the most in your life and remove the low energy ones. For example, an average adult spends 4 hours a day watching TV. If you live to be 80 you would have spent 10 years watching television! Just imagine if you substituted the passive watching of TV for learning a language, taking up dancing, going back to school, volunteering, meditating or spending more valuable time with your loved ones. You would have had 10 more meaningful and productive years. Invest the time in high energy activities and they will bring you the best return of your life. You will achieve fulfillment. Think of time and space as one concept, full of content that is dear to your heart and you too will become a Genius of Time. Create your life to your delight. Each day have a little bit of time and space just for you; relax, meditate, soak in a warm bath, read what fascinates you, take a mindful walk, have a heart-to-heart just with you and just for YOU.

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Pope Pius X celebrates First Holy Communion Window at St. John Kanty Church in Buffalo, NY.


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rom the 1870s through the 1920s Polish immigrants built opulent houses of worship as an expression of their faith in the New World. Although they could fund the construction of the buildings, flourishes like murals and stained glass would often have to be put off until more money could be raised. By the end of the First World War, Polish American parishes across the Eastern seaboard finally had the finances to afford stained glass, they just needed an artist. They found one in a fellow Polish American. Joseph C. Mazur was born March 17, 1897 in Buffalo, NY’s Polish east side. His earliest art education came from the Felician Sisters who taught at St. Adalbert’s parochial school. Upon graduating high school with a scholarship, Mazur enrolled in the Albright Art School. He studied painting at the hands of Urquhart Wilcox , where he soon excelled, winning awards and recognition. Mazur took time out to serve in the Navy during WWI, and upon his return to civilian life, he attended the Art Students League in New York City. To make a living while in Manhattan, Joe began working with local stained glass studios. Besides paying him for his designs, they provided him a free education in the history, techniques, and process of stained glass. Before long, Joe was producing his own small windows for mausoleums and churches. When he finished his studies, Mazur returned to Buffalo and soon received a commission to create a window depicting the Resurrection for Grace Episcopal Church. He was also hired to create murals for the St. Stanislaus parish. When the window was completed at Grace Episcopal, it was praised and well received, but when his murals were unveiled at St. Stanislaus they were not only celebrated by the parish but by the press as well. Suddenly Joe was in great demand and had a stack of mural contracts from across Polonia. It would be a few more years before Mazur could return to stained glass - in 1931 he was commissioned by the Polish American architect, Joseph Fronczak, to fully decorate the new St. Barbara’s in Lackawanna, NY. Joe crafted a set of 14 side windows of popular Roman Catholic saints, and for the large choir window he used exclusively Polish saints and holies including Bl. Bronisl-

X Piotr Skarga Window formerly at St. Barbara Church in Lackawanna, NY.

awa, Bl. Wincenty Kadłubek and Piotr Skarga. Mazur would work with Fronczak again in 1936 on the new Polish Union of the United States of North America building in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Choosing a secular subject, Mazur created a personification of the reborn Poland. For the next 30 years Mazur would create windows for Our Lady of Czestochowa in North Tonawanda, NY, St. Hedwig in Trenton, NJ, St. John Kanty in Buffalo, NY and other churches along America’s rust belt. On April 23, 1970 Joseph Mazur passed away. In his 50 years as a stained glass artist, he produced over 200 windows for churches, clubs, private homes, and cemeteries in nine states.

David Urquhart Wilcox (American, 1874-1941) painter, illustrator, teacher, stage and theatre designer, lecturer and inventor. Wilcox was primarily known for his oil and watercolor paintings of landscapes, portraits, figurative work, Black/African American culture, western themes, genre, animal portraiture, as well as pen and ink drawings, illustrations, lithographs, WWI and graphic posters, monotypes, theatre design and stage effects. []


The Reborn Poland at the Polish Union of the United States of North America building in Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Gregory Witul is a South Carolina-based historian whose focus is art and ethnic communities. Educated at the University at Buffalo and Niagara University, Mr. Witul received national acclaim after his 2007 discovery of the missing Maria Sklodowska Curie stained glass medallion, and coordinated its return to the University at Buffalo. Since then, Witul has written a book on the stained glass of the Buffalo Polish American parish, Corpus Christi, as well as a number of scholarly articles on stained glass and Polish America. He currently writes a weekly column, “Babcia’s Closet,” for the Polish American newspaper, Am-Pol Eagle, which covers items from Polonia’s past, and also writes the “Polonia Places” column for the monthly Polish American Journal which explores the historic locations of Polish America.

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etaMed was established 15 years ago as the premier specialist in providing long-term care in a patient’s home. It operates through 84 branches in 11 provinces and employs approximately 3,000 people, including nurses, doctors, rehabilitation specialists and non-medical personnel.Beata Drzazga, President, talks about what BetaMed does and how it is changing elderly care. The in-home care is what distinguishes you from the competition, because usually the patient must go to a medical facility for care. Our aim has never been to stand out from the competition; however, we are one of the first companies to have developed in this area. We offer comprehensive care within the frame of the National Health Fund (NHF). Over the years the number of our patients kept growing along with a rapid growth in the market for in-home services, which continues today. In my opinion, this is the optimal form of health care, particularly from the patient’s point of view. The primary advantage is the fact that the patient remains in a familiar environment - at home - which is a big plus on the treatment process. It is also reflected in the budget of the NHF; the Fund pays less for home care compared with the rates paid for hospitalization. This practice has also been successful in other parts of Europe. You mentioned that home care is provided under a contract with the NHF. How many patients are you able to help under this contract? Under its current contract with the NHF, BetaMed offers permanent care to some 4,000 patients. Of course, the demand is much greater; the number of the elderly is growing every year and Poland must deal with the reality of the situation. There are some private initiatives, like mine, within the NHF which can help in this regard. There tends to be a belief that home care provided by private persons is subject to some additional payments, but it is not true. All expenses are financed by the NHF. This is truly a wonderful opportunity to better the lives of so many people. Does the BetaMed Medical Active Care Clinic also operate under a contract with the NHF? Yes. Our clinic has a floor space of some 8,000 square meters with approximately 100 beds. Right now the contract with the NHF only covers 25 people. The next floor is a private ward with 26 beds. We also have a mechanical ventilation nursing home for children from all over Poland who are constantly kept under respirators which operates within the NHF. This has been a very good solution for opening up hospital beds. When patients no longer have to remain in an intensive care unit, they are moved to our facility, thereby releasing beds for hospital patients who do need them. We also have a similar ward for adult patients on respirators that also operates per a contract with the NHF. These options give families of patients a choice - they can either take patients home where we provide care, medical equipment (i.e., a respirator), an anesthesiologist, nurse and physiotherapist or, if the patient’s condition is more severe, they can stay at the clinic. It seems that BetaMed pays a lot of attention to the elderly. That is correct; we specialize in providing care to the elderly. I have a degree in Geriatric Nursing, so this is an area of medical care that is close to my heart. I am fortunate in that I employ people with excellent qualifications who know how to work well with older people. We want each patient to feel that we see them as individuals and that they are important to us. Good News

Beata Drzazga

Unfortunately, there is still a shortage of nursing homes in Poland. This is due to the fact that the refund rate is very low and maintaining the appropriate conditions, quality of services and rehabilitation, and employing skilled personnel costs a lot. Even the rate we receive for standard private non-refundable care is too low, but it can still make a dent in the finances of a pensioner. Money is, as is the case everywhere, the crux of the problem. Those who pay health insurance contributions all their lives would like to receive care from the State free of charge, but the contracts offered by the State are few and far between. And of course not everyone can afford private nursing homes, and still others can wait on long lists for space for one to two years. Nonetheless, and despite financial issues, I continue to put an emphasis on quality. BetaMed has mobile furniture and equipment for the utilization of disposable products. We do as much as we can to ensure that our patients do not feel that they are staying at a hospital, but are recuperating at home or in a sanatorium. We have also purchased modern equipment to help facilitate the work of our personnel, such as lifters or bed-tubs. For example, moving patients connected to a respirator for bathing is quite difficult. In Poland there is no ongoing geriatric care, although there is a dearth of geriatric specialists and geriatric wards. Is this the source of your increased focus on the aging population? Yes, Poland could do with more in the field of geriatrics. I believe that every patient aged 65+ should be diagnosed by a geriatrician to see whether they are taking too much or too little medication,

if there are any harmful side effects and so on. After diagnosis, the patient should then have a choice of where to be treated. If there is no family, they can be provided with social care and the support and guidance in making the best decisions for themselves. Certainly easy access to geriatricians should be available, because they are the ones who specialize in treating and diagnosing the elderly. One must remember that at more advanced ages, our bodies react differently to the same drugs than someone thirty years younger. The main problem of the elderly is that they suffer from many concurrent illnesses and have a different specialist for each issue. Then each physician prescribes drugs appropriate for the treatment of a particular issue or disease. Eventually what can happen is that patients show symptoms not associated with illnesses but with drugs interactions. Therefore, it makes sense in these situations that a geriatrician is consulted who will oversee the whole body health of the patient, not just focus on specific issues. I believe that the number of health care facilities looking after older people should be increased, but ideally the solution would be to offer longterm home care with geriatric consultation. You are a strong advocate and supporter of older people staying physically and mentally active. I believe that those who retire do truly benefit from staying active as long as possible, even if they begin to suffer the effects of illnesses. In the case of care provided by a nursing home, great attention should be paid to ensuring that patients remain active. They must not be confined to their bed nor parked in front of a television. Hence my idea of providing such people with facilities that have medically trained personnel on hand where they can engage in various healthy activities. There should be many “clubs” where, depending on the patient’s condition, there is a lot of movement and social interaction such as dancing, singing and participating in physical therapy or rehabilitation classes. I encourage relationships and contacts among my elderly patients with seniors in the outside world. It shows them that people their age can be active, effective and remain sufficiently healthy. Patients approach this way of living ambitiously and with a positive attitude, and seeing active people inspires them to want to be and feel like that too. Of course this group of patients includes those with dementia and who are seriously ill, but we work gently with them to improve their quality of life as well. Everyone benefits. I would like to point out a paradox here. Children of aging parents want them to live in the best possible conditions and may provide outside help with cooking, cleaning and managing daily life even if their parents could do it themselves. As a result, the elderly just sit in front of the television set, and in many cases, become very bored. Ultimately we may be unintentionally harming them. I am working hard to change the mindset of middle-aged children so that they understand why it is crucial that their parents stay active. BetaMed offers a variety of services that their parents can use. They can choose between stays of just a few hours or spend the whole day. They can exercise, interact with others, participate in lectures about diet, diabetes prevention and other issues relevant

to them, be involved in live performances with school children and so on. BetaMed gives the elderly the same opportunities that are regular fitness and social activities of younger peoples’ lives. We encourage them to leave the house to avoid inadvertently becoming victims of their children’s over-protectiveness and we provide places dedicated to them where they can just have a good time with other people in their peer group. Until recently the prevailing view was that retirement was meant to be spent sitting and relaxing, not doing much of anything. However being active and involved can be very restful and refreshing, whereas watching television is non-active and passive. Inactivity has bad health consequences; it is keeping active that keeps us vibrant and relevant! You mentioned BetaMed branches in 11 provinces. Are there plans to expand operations abroad? Absolutely. I formed a company in Las Vegas – BetaMed International. I have been meeting with Americans in Nevada during the last two years after they visited Poland as part of several trade missions a few years before and came to my clinic. They were fascinated by the idea, quality of service, and most importantly by our approach to each patient - we address them by their first name and treat them like family. I was very happy when the government of Nevada organized a week-long trade mission especially for me in July 2016. During my visit I was introduced to various government institutions, entrepreneurs and hospitals. A representative from the Governor’s office said that he would like to see such care, love and tenderness for patients to be offered in Las Vegas, and he wished us every success in achieving its goals there. As a result, BetaMed International opened on July 7, 2016. Nevada wants to have more collaboration with businesses from Poland and is oriented towards development and economic growth. That is why it offers excellent opportunities for new initiatives and strongly supports entrepreneurs who want to work in cooperation with Nevada. Anyone who decides to open a facility of this type must have medical experience, a big heart, lots of empathy and realize that this is hard and often harrowing work. We often have problems with making the ends meet financially, but the happiness in the eyes of patients is such a wonderful reward for our labors. You are also very active outside your occupation. You love fashion and have your own salon. I wanted to do something entirely different to avoid professional burnout. The kind of work BetaMed does can be very tough and I encounter very unpleasant situations on a daily basis. Contact with sick patients day after day does leave a mark. Fashion is a refuge for me, and I also like to dance and travel although I have very little time for such activities. I enjoy learning and hope to complete my doctorate soon. I am very proud of my education, and feel that as the world continues to develop, we all have to adjust in order to keep up. This is why I continue to expand my knowledge in various disciplines. But ultimately my love and attention are primarily focused on BetaMed in Poland and BetaMed International in America.

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F Mrs. Raquel and Mr. Zbigniew Jarosz

Ms. Sylwia von Walls, Mr. Gregory Spiess, Lady Blanka, Ms. Agnieszka Rehlis, Mrs. Maryna Lechowa, Mrs. Viola Kruszelnicki


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riends and members of The American Institute of Polish Culture and the Chopin Foundation were treated to an operatic recital by Polish mezzo soprano, Agnieszka Rehlis, on April 10, 2016 at the Steinway Piano Gallery in Coral Gables. Ms. Rehlis was in Miami as a cast member for the limited run engagement of the dynamic and moving Polish opera, The Passenger, at the Florida Grand Opera. The Institute and Foundation arranged a private performance for Polonia and music lovers in South Florida; it was a special event and wonderful way to spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon. What a very special Spring afternoon with friends!


T Dr. Meredith Newman, Prof. Bronislaw Marciniak, President AMU

here is a friendship brewing between Florida International University (FIU) in Miami and Adam Mickiewicz University (AMU) in Poznan, Poland. This past June 2016, FIU’s Office of the Provost sent two representatives to Poland -- Vice Provost for Faculty and Global Affairs, Dr. Meredith Newman, and Faculty Fellow, Dr. Rebecca Friedman -- to build bridges between the institutions and continue the work initiated by FIU’s Mark Rosenberg during his Presidential visit to Poznan in the summer of 2015. During their two-day whirlwind visit, Drs. Newman and Friedman engaged in discussions with AMU’s outgoing and incoming rectors, Rector Prof. Bronislaw Marciniak and Rector Prof. Andrzej Lesicki. The culmination of the collaborative discussions in the grand quarters of the rector’s offices in central Poznan was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two institutions. This MOU serves as an intent to strengthen ties on a multitude of levels. Some of the specific outcomes include an anticipated follow-up visit with numerous members of the AMU leadership to FIU this November; a postdoctoral visit of AMU’s Dr. Dominika Narozna, who would like to visit FIU later this academic year and to work with FIU’s Department of Journalism and Media; and a Choir Exchange, which will be finalized during the AMU visit this fall. This is only the beginning! Good things lie ahead. ADVERTISEMENT

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The 44th international polonaise ball Enchanted with Ancient China

Lady Blanka Rosenstiel, Ms. Loretta Swit, President Lech Walesa, Dr. Michel S. Pawlowski, Mrs. Dorota Schnepf, Ambassador Ryszard Schnepf




he Ballroom at the Eden Roc Hotel, enchantingly bedecked with large, vibrant bouquets on every table and soft, twinkling lights illuminating symbols of Poland and China, could have easily been a scene from the red carpet fanfare of the Oscars. Ladies wearing luxurious gowns and dazzling jewels moved gracefully under red lanterns, escorted by distinguished gentlemen sporting elegant tuxedos and regalia. This beautiful crowd were the guests at the 44th International Polonaise Ball in Miami Beach. Each year The American Institute of Polish Culture (AIPC) organizes this grand gala under the auspices of the Ambassador of Poland. The weekend long event brings prominent and accomplished

people from all over the world. This year’s theme, Enchanted by Ancient China, showcased the culture and traditions of China and the contributions Poles made in the history of this nation. Among the honored guests were former President of Poland, Nobel Peace Prize winner and legendary Solidarity Leader, Lech Walesa; the Ambassador of Poland, His Excellency Ryszard Schnepf with his lovely wife, Dorota; Miami’s Archbishop Thomas Wenski; and the American actress, Loretta Swit. The Ball commenced with emcee, Alex Storozynski, a Pulitzer Prize recipient for journalism and Chairperson of the Kosciuszko Foundation in NY, introducing the dancers for the stately Polonaise.

Mayor Tomas Regalado, Ambassador Ryszard Schnepf

Ms. Ana J. Brajnovic, Lady Blanka Rosenstiel

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Ms. Cynthia Hudson, President Lech Walesa

Mr. Jerzy Kedziora, Lady Blanka Rosenstiel

Mr. & Mrs. Paul and Teresa Lowenthal with children Patrick, Luccia, Francesca

Father Richard Vigoa and Archbishop Thomas Wenski with guests

Lady Blanka Rosenstiel, Dr. Pat Riley

President Lech Walesa with Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Alex Storozynski

Dr. John Stack, Ms. Loretta Swit, The Honorable Marek Pienkowski, MD, Lady Blanka Rosenstiel, Mrs. Teresa Lowenthal, Mr. Paul Lowenthal, Dr. Patricia Riley, Mrs. Roza Toroj, Mr. Grzegorz Okon

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Mrs. Isabella Karaszewski, Mr. Jan Karaszewski

Ms. Loretta Swit, Count Joseph Mikolaj Rej

Ms. Jolanta Barelkowska, Ms. Sophie Petiard

Then Ambassador Schnepf welcomed everyone and opened the awards program by bestowing the prestigious Amicus Polonaie upon the Mayor of the City of Miami, Tomas Regalado, for promoting cooperation between Poland and the US and his lifelong pursuit of liberty for all countries and citizens. Alex Storozynski presented President Walesa with the Kosciuszko Foundation Award for excellence, and emphasized how much we owe to Solidarity and its leader for opening the door to democracy and freedom, not only in Poland but all of Europe. President Lecha Walesa conferred the Lech Walesa Media Award upon Cynthia Hudson, General Manager and VP of CNN Espanol. Ms. Hudson was deeply moved by this recognition and said that the role of Poland’s transformation to democracy is now the model for many Latin American countries. The Gold Medal, the highest recognition given by APIC, went to internationally renowned artist, Jerzy Kedziora, whose whimsical and gravitydefying balancing sculptures adorn major cities such as Berlin, Dubai and Miami. Lady Blanka also gave a Special Recognition to Ana Brajnovic, the director of Filary Club in Poland, whose mission is to empower young Polish girls and teach them solid values to live by. After a delicious dinner with an Asian twist, special entertainment was provided by the New Century Dance Company. The dancers in traditional Chinese garments moved on stage with much grace and liveliness, coquettishly twirling umbrellas

Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Leibowitz

Ms. Eva Ovejero, Dr. Damian Valenzuela

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Mr. Jacek Trus, Ms. Alicja Schoonover, Mr. Michal Komorowski, Father Andrzej Rudnicki, Mr. Patrick Misiewicz

Mr. Dominic Cieslak, Ms. Margaret Turner, Ms. Veronica Cieslak, Mr. Alejandro Solis Clavero

Mr. Marco Vicenzio, Ms. Marisa Azaret, Mr. Bertrandt Kirszbaum, Ms. Isabel Bucaram, Ms. Cynthia Hudson, Mr. Robert Hernandez

Ms. Marie Lucille Baccini, Ms. Juliana Chichmanian-Delpy, Ms. Anaide Govaert, Ms. Chantal Gerbe

Ms. Ana J. Brajnovic, Ms. Malgorzata Korczynia-Pistolla, Ms. Sylwia Sieprawski

Ms. Lynne Schaefer, Mrs. Beata Paszyc, Lady Blanka Rosenstiel, Mrs. Jadwiga Gewert, Mrs. Barbara Muze

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Seated (l-r): Ms. Francesca Lowenthal, Ms. Deni Kolev, Ms. Olivia Ceavers, Ms. Luccia Lowenthal, Ms. Agi Mesterhazy. Standing (l-r) Mr. Victor Angelo, Mr. Patrick Lowenthal, Mr. Nikki Ceavers, Mr. James Ceavers Mr. Robert Hassan

Seated (l-r): Ms. Rosemarie Banich, Mrs. Teresa Lowenthal, Mr. Paul Lowenthal, Mr. James Ceavers. Standing (l-r): Mr. Gustavo Gutierrez, Ms. Lili Jimenez, Mr. Henry Angelo III, Mrs. Mary Ceavers

Seated (l-r) Dr. Pedro Botta, Dean John Stack, Mrs. Barbara Anderson, Ms. Natalie Swatowski, Mr. David Skipp Standing (l-r) Dr. Rebecca Friedman, Mr. Rolando Ramirez, Mr. Paul Landrum, Mrs. Karen Landrum, Dr. Markus Thiel, Mr. Bill Anderson, Ms. Nancy Stack Savoie

Seated (l-r) Ms. Joyce Hine, Mr. Albert Slugocki Standing (l-r) Ms. Nina Mlodzinska de Rovira, Mr. Kazimierz Korzeb, Mrs. Eva Korzeb, Ms. Marilyn Leiter, Dr. John Chojnacki

Seated (l-r) Ms. Ralitsa Mileva, Mr. Alex Storozynski Standing (l-r) Ms. Lynne Schaefer, Mr. David Hudgens, Mrs. Beata Paszyc, Mr. Artur Zielinski, Mrs. Katarzyna Zielinski, Mrs. Aneta Kulesza Mestrinelli, Mrs. Jadwiga Gewert, Mrs. Joanna Wiela


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and snapping fans with precision. Later they concluded the artistic portion of the Ball with an intricate ribbon dance, and good luck lions joyfully postured on stage while martial arts warriors performed fluid and complex moves. The Polish Folk Dance Company from New York in richly hued traditional costumes also performed a lively Mazur. Soon the entire dance floor filled with people moving rhythmically to the music of a 10-piece orchestra. There were light waltzes and pretty foxtrots, and the energizing rhythms of salsa and merengue so popular in Miami, as well as a DJ spinning current hits and favorite dance tunes. As camera flashes flared, guests from around the world including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Scotland danced the night away!

Mr. Benjamin Laroux, Mrs. Juliet Laroux, Mr. and Mrs. Kazimierz Korzeb

Mr. Tadeusz Jedynak with guests from Chicago and Poland

Mr. Alex Storozynski, Ms. Alma Kadragic, Mr. Leszek Kawczyk TVP, Mr. Zygmunt Staszewski

Mrs. Ana Cristina Regalado, Mayor Tomas Regalado, Lady Blanka Rosenstiel, Ms. Gabriela Miezaniec, Mr. Jerzy Kedziora

Latin American Invest Company with Dr. Damian Valenzuela

Seated (l-r) Mrs. Maria Teresa Carrizo Sliva, Mrs. Maria Juczewska, Ms. Christy Popwell, Dr. Patricia Riley, Baron Jason Psaltides Standing (l-r) Mr. Alberto Sliva, Dr. Michel S. Pawlowski

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Mrs. Wieslawa and Honorable Zygmunt Potocki Hon. Consul of Poland in Calgary Mr. Ignacio Guerrero, Mrs. Anna Lukaszek Guerrero, Ms. Kasia Cieslik, Mr. Kevin Kenner


Seated (l-r) Ms. Veronica Cieslak, Ms. Margaret Turner, Mrs. Malgorzata Misztal, Mr. Jacek Misztal Standing (l-r) Mr. Dominik Cieslak, Baron Doktor von Gelt, Ms. Sylwia von Walls

Standing: Drs. Laura & Andrew Styperek Seated: Mrs. Julia Gessner, Dr. Janina Styperek with friends

Mr. Benjamin Laroux, Mrs. Juliet Laroux, Mr. Zbigniew Waczynski

Standing (l-r) Mr.Michał Antczak, Mr. Mariusz Bernatowicz, Mr. Bogdan Romaniuk, Mr. Grzegorz Fryc, Mr. Andrzej Grzyb, Mr. Michał Lisiecki, Mr.Roch Kolodziej, Mr. Rafal Wieczynski; Seated: Mr. Leszek Krawczyk TVP

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Seated (l-r) Mrs. Raquel Jarosz, Mr. Zbigniew Jarosz, Mr. and Mrs. Dajnowski, Ms. Claudia Lang Standing (l-r) Dr. Juan Contreras

Seated (l-r) Mr. Michael Antczak with guest Honorable Zygmunt Potocki, Hon. Stan Borucki Standing (l-r) Mr. Michal Komorowski, Mr. Jacek Trus, Father Andrzej Rudnicki, Ms. Sarah Okon

Seated (l-r) Mr. Alexander Lubanski, Ms. Marta Lefik, Ms. Katarzyna Zak, Dr. Ada Bojko Standing (l-r) Mr. Patrick Misiewicz, Mr. Peter Nowak, Mr. Jaroslaw Borek, Count Joseph Mikolaj Rej Jr, Ms. Agnieszka Piotrowicz, Mr. Mariusz Chrobak

Mr. Anthony Kang, Ms. Diane Feng

Standing (l-r) Mr. Walter Nauyoks, Mrs. Isa Leibowitz, Mr. Marvin Leibowitz, Ms. Robin Swann, Mrs. Ruby Bacardi, Mr. Scott McGuire

Dr. Pat Riley, Baron Jason Psaltides

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Ambassador Ryszard Schnepf, Mrs. Dorota Schnept, Mr. Ludwik Wnękowicz

Director General, Philip Wang, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, President Lech Walesa, Lady Blanka, Mrs. Meili Wang

President Lech Walesa, Mr. Zbigniew Jarosz

Countess Barbara Pagowska Cooper, President Lech Walesa

Mr. Stan Bogucki, Ret. Hon. Consul of Poland in Alaska, Dr. Zbigniew Wojciechowski, Hon. Consul of Poland in Texas, Mr. Jerzy Kedziora, Dr. Marek Pienkowski, Hon. Consul of Poland in Tennessee, President Lech Walesa, Dr. Thaddeus Radzilowski, Lady Blanka Rosenstiel, Loretta Swit, Ambassador Ryszard Schnepf, Ms. Ana Brajnovic, Dr. Alma Kadragic, Mr. Mieczyslaw Wachowski

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Mrs. Beata Paszyc, Archbishop Thomas Wenski, Nel Velez-Paszyc

Mr. Tadeusz Jedynak, Dr. Jerome Zwierzycki, President Lech Walesa, Mrs. Patricia Zwierzycki

President Lech Walesa, Mr. Alex Storozynski

Dr. Irena Siemiginowski, Mr. Jerzy Siemiginowski, Ms. Eva Kordos

Mr. Jan Karaszewski, Lady Blanka, Mrs. Izabella Karaszewska

Presiden Lech Walesa, Dr. Basil Mangra

Ms. Hedy Ringger, Ms. Jolanta Bak, Mrs. Jadwiga Gewert, Mrs. Iga Henderson, Mr. Marek

Polish American Folk Dance Company

58 Chojnacki, Ms. Ela Piotrovsky, Ms. Krystyna Cieplak, Mr. Ralph Piotrovsky



hrough his writing and social engagement, he aroused national consciousness, taught pride in Polish culture, a love for the motherland and the ability to make sacrifices,” said Polish Senators in December, 2015 when proclaiming 2016 as the Year of Henryk Sienkiewicz, and thus paying homage to the great novelist and Pole who died one hundred years ago. The Senate also said, “...his writing promoted traditional values and patriotism - he was and still is an ambassador of Poland.” Henryk Adam Aleksander Pius Sienkiewicz is considered one of Poland’s most renowned writers. He is also the first author from Poland to receive a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1905 for “his outstanding merits as an epic writer.” The international success of Henryk Sienkiewicz’s writing is embodied in Quo Vadis, a sweeping narrative about love, ambition and religious conflict set during the time of the ancient Roman emperor – Nero. First published in 1884, the novel was a world-wide best seller a success that is every writer’s dream. It has been translated into over 50 languages and made into a movie a number of times, including the 1951 Hollywood version (with a cast of 60,000 actors) which received eight Academy Awards nominations and global acclaim. The instantaneous success of Quo Vadis contributed to the decision of the Swedish Royal Academy to award Henryk Sienkiewicz their highest prize, but it was all the achievements throughout his life that earned him the Nobel Prize. One such achievement, The Trilogy, brought him great popularity in Poland. Consisting of three historical novels - With Fire and

Sword, The Deluge and Sir Michael - it tells the story of the 17th century Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, a time of upheaval and battles, and most likely the biggest political turmoil in the history of the Polish state. Although Poland miraculously survived, it was a period of attacks from the North by the Swedes, by the Turks from the South, and relentless internal revolts from the Cossacks. But The Trilogy was not just a novel based on historical events; it was, above all, a story with a captivating plot and meticulously drawn characters. Each chapter of the first book was published consecutively in newspapers and readers waited for the next issues, the same way people now wait for new episodes of most popular TV series. No other book had ever created such overwhelming interest in the entire country. It was read by the rich and the poor, by ethnic Poles and minorities. Historians say that in small towns people would line up waiting for the newspapers to be delivered or they would gather in groups to listen to someone read the new episode aloud. They even wrote letters to Sienkiewicz with suggestions about how he should continue their favorite characters’ stories. Despite the wide recognition in his later life, Henryk Sienkiewicz’s beginnings were rather humble. He was born on May 5, 1846 in Podlasie, a very rural region of eastern Poland; his family were impoverished Polish nobility. As a child he loved roaming the countryside, becoming familiar with the simple life and the language of the peasantry, which was later evident in some of his writing. When he was in his teens, his family moved to Warsaw

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and settled in a tenement house in the Praga district of the city, then under Russian administration. It was there that young Sienkiewicz went to middle school and later pursued his studies at the university. He took a job as a tutor at the age of 19 to offset his finances, while also devoting time to write. His first book is thought to be Ofiara (“Sacrifice”), but it was most likely destroyed by him. Sienkiewicz went on to work as a journalist for various national newspapers and magazines - Przegląd Tygodniowy, The Illustrated Weekly, Gazeta Polska and Niwa - often signing his pieces with the pen name “Litwos.” In 1876, as a reporter for The Polish Gazette, he was sent to the US, staying in New York and later in California, and writing about the American way of life and the people. His articles included several about the Native Americans who were bringing to an end their fight for freedom. Some speculate that the picturesque American Wild West inspired him to a certain extent when he was crafting the heroes and their adventures in The Trilogy. While in America, he also wrote about the life of Polish Americans, including the rising star of the theatre, Helena Modrzejewska, who performed on various stages on the West Coast. When Sienkiewicz finally returned to Poland in 1879, he continued working as a journalist and began to produce fiction. He penned short stories such as The Lighthouse Keeper (“Latarnik”), now considered one of the best Polish short stories, and longer pieces like The Trilogy. While his earlier works show an influence of the philosophical theory of Positivism and focused on the poverty of peasants, the life of schoolchildren and emigrants, and contained criticism of the invading powers, he soon developed an interest in historical novels. In the late 1880s he traveled to Istanbul, Spain and Africa. The last leg of his journey resulted in Letters from Africa, first published in a newspaper called The Word and then published as a book in 1893. The period at the turn of the century was very prolific for Sienkiewicz, when he wrote bestsellers such as the Teutonic Knights, a historical novel about the Battle of Grunwald, and the Polish victory over the Germans, Without Dogma and Children of the Soil. He was the most popular writer in Poland and enjoyed fame in Germany, France, Russia and the English speaking countries as well. Quo Vadis was the best selling book in France in 1900, while

in the US it sold 800,000 copies. Many of his books and short stories were made into plays, operas and movies, he inspired painters to portray his characters, and other writers and poets wrote about him. Streets, squares, schools and parks were named after him, and institutions of learning proudly bore his name. To this day, Poland has three museums devoted to his life and work - one in Oblegorek, another in the village Wola Okrzejska where he was born and the third in Poznan. Books by Henryk Sienkiewicz are now on mandatory reading lists in schools and continue to be a staple in readers’ home libraries. Sienkiewicz used his international fame and the impact he had through his writing to influence his fellow countrymen and women, and to promote the fight for freedom. Poland at that time didn’t exist as an independent country, as it was divided among Russia, Austria and Prussia. He often spoke critically about the invaders, for example, criticizing the Germans for forcing the Polish minority to speak German. He supported school children in Wrzesnia who rebelled the banning of the Polish language and advocated Polish autonomy within the Russian Empire. He never stopped believing in Poland and its strength to survive. When receiving the Nobel Prize, he said that the award was of special value to him as a “son of Poland. She was pronounced dead, yet here is proof that she lives on. She was pronounced defeated, and yet here is proof that she is victorious.” Henryk Sienkiewicz died in 1916, barely two years before Poland became independent after 123 years of partitions. Many critics say that it was thanks to the love of his homeland and the political vision he passed on to the nation through his mastery of words that Poles had even more determination to fight successfully for the freedom of their land in World War I. Aleksandra Slabisz works as a journalist for Nowy Dziennik and as freelance writer for publications in Poland and New York. She is a graduate of Catholic University of Lublin and Seton Hall University in New Jersey, where she studied English and International Relations, respectively. Her writing focuses on issues relevant to the U.S., such as politics and the Polish American community.



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In the first quarter of 2016 even persons uninterested in Poland have likely noted a series of unfavorable articles about that country in English and German media. With breathtaking frankness, the cause of media attention was suggested by George Soros in a NYRB interview on February 11, 2016.


hile ostensibly lamenting the weakening of the European Union (caused by Muslim migration, Greek financial crisis, and tensions between EU and Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine), Soros displayed considerable agitation when the interviewer mentioned the East Central European countries that are not the source of EU troubles. What seems to bother Soros is the mid-2015 presidential and parliamentary election in Poland and its aftermath: the defeat of the liberal-leftist Civic Platform Party and victory of the traditionalist Law and Justice Party. “Poland is one of the most ethnically and religiously homogeneous countries in Europe,” says Soros with wistful disapproval. He supports Brussels’ efforts to force Poland and

Hungary to accept from Germany a Brussels-appointed contingent of Muslims. But the new government in Poland and, earlier, the conservative Hungarian government have refused to obey. Soros smoothly articulates a series of insinuations: “Kaczyński [head of the victorious Law and Justice Party in Poland] was successful in painting him [the Muslim immigrant] as the devil. . . he is a canny politician and he chose migration as the central issue of his campaign.” Two untruths are present in this insinuation. First, Mr. Kaczyński did not run for any office whatever and he kept out of sight during the campaign. Second, the issue of Muslim migration was a non-issue in the election, because Poles have had more urgent matters on the agenda. Why did con-

servatives win in 2015? Because, 25 years after communism fell, salaries in Poland are still less than one-third of what they are in Holland or Germany. Because of two-digit unemployment during the eight-year tenure of the liberal Civic Platform. Because two million young people left Poland in search of work in recent years. Because two-thirds of enterprises that manufacture Polish exports are in foreign hands, and profits go abroad instead of into workers’ salaries. Because three-fourths of Polish newspapers are owned by German media companies. Because the Smolensk air catastrophe of 2010 (in which President of Poland and 95 members of the elite perished) was never properly investigated. Because the Civic Platform government promoted those responsible for the tragic flight instead of firing them. Because the black boxes and remnants of the plane are still in Russia, and the Civic Platform government did not consider it fit to ask NATO allies for help in investigating the catastrophe—instead, it ceded the investigation to Russian officials. Because the liberal government stopped the vetting of former communist officials and retained them in their previous positions. Poles voted the way they did because they were fed up with the government that in their opinion served the interests of Brussels and Berlin. The issue of migrants was marginal, and if Mr. Soros does not know it, it is not for a lack of available information. In Mr. Soros’s view, Kaczyński and Orbán “seek to exploit a mix of ethnic and religious nationalism in order to perpetuate themselves in power.” The absurdity of this statement is palpable to anyone who knows the poverty and the spirit of service that characterize Mr. Kaczyński’s biography. Mr. Soros’s vision of the world implies that weaker countries are obstacles to the well-being of the stronger ones, and action must be taken to correct this. Such action used to be called imperialism, but EU leaders renamed it “European solidarity.” Poland and other East Central European nations are supposed to pay for the German mistake of inviting worldwide immigration to Europe without Good News


“If reason ruled the world would history even exist?” Ryszard Kapuściński

consulting other EU members. Mr. Soros does not blame Germany. He blames Poland. “Germany,” he says, “is going to have a Polish problem.” But shouldn’t humanitarian consideration play a role? Chancellor Merkel’s willkommen was surely a gesture of human solidarity, perhaps a kind of expiation for Germany’s role in the twentieth century? Not if you look at the figures. In 1992, Germany’s population stood at 79 million. A quarter-century later, before the Muslim influx, it was under 81 million, with the population growth rate being minus 0.2 and immigration rate at 1.24 per 1,000, and with mother’s mean age at birth being 29.2 years (CIA World Factbook data). In other words, in spite of decades of steady influx of immigrants, German population has not grown much, and prospects are even grimmer with fertility being 1.44 births per woman. Germany is badly in need of people to work in its factories and care for its aging population. “Germany,” Soros continues, “needs Poland to protect it from Russia.” Given Poland’s relative weakness vis-à-vis both Germany or Russia, this translates into “Germany needs Poland as a buffer state between itself and Russia.” What does it mean to be a buffer state? It means that decisions about issues vital for the country are made outside that country. This is precisely what the Polish people tried to prevent by voting for Law and Justice. The 2015 election signaled that Polish citizens are possessed of a strong identity and reject the idea of being a buffer state. It is unlikely that a representative of the tiny conservative media in Poland will be given a chance to respond in American media to Mr. Soros’s insinuations. With rare exceptions, only representatives of the neo-Marxist and other leftist media in Poland have access to the opinion-making American periodicals. Mr. Soros finances the Batory Foundation, one of the largest and most influential foundations in Poland. Opinions such as Mr. Soros’s tend to solidify into “factoids,” which in turn breed annoyance with the uncooperative Polish government and willingness to assist those who would like to see that government removed from power by any means. “Is Poland a failing democracy?” asks the portal Politico in a recent article. A concatenation of such suggestions creates an image of the country ready for some major action by EU. In the meantime in Poland, the new parliament started passing bills. One of the first addressed Poland’s catastrophic depopulation problem: on the average, Polish women bear only 1.33 children. The parliament decided to give to parents of each second and subsequent child five hundred zloties (ca. 120 dollars) tax-free, to encourage more births. In 2014, median wage in Poland was 2359 zloties, or less than six hundred dollars per month. The “five hundred zloties bill” was voted in quickly. While the opposition accused the government of “discriminating” against families with one child only, the majority of society welcomed the promise of financial relief. Speaking of things financial, the Law and Justice Party is not a run-of-the-mill conservative party as envisaged by Western po62

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litical analysts. It is conservative in morals and many of its members proclaim attachment to Poland’s Christian heritage. But it also believes in the state’s obligation to take care of citizenry impoverished by consecutive looting by foreign armies and by the communist economy. Unlike the societies where wealth has accumulated for generations, Polish society is unfamiliar with the concept of financial inheritance. Poles do not have substantial savings, securities, or other property. The vast majority still live “from paycheck to paycheck.” They have minimal savings because salaries are barely sufficient to pay the bills. If they had not received a monthly salary, a vast majority of them would starve within a few weeks. This explains the conservative party’s readiness to promise financial assistance to families, to lower retirement age, and continue universal medical care. This concern with the fate of the common man allows the opposition to claim that Law and Justice is in fact a socialist party, whereas the party of the oligarchs is progressive and advanced. The pretext to start an attempt to get rid of the democratically elected government and parliament was soon found in the judiciary. Days before it left office, the defeated government appointed five new judges to the Constitutional Court, or the assembly of 15 judges whose task is to make sure that government decisions are in agreement with the Constitution. The appointment itself was unconventional, as it prevented the new government from having a say about 14 out of 15 judges (14 have been appointed by Civic Platform government, and only one by Law and Justice). It should be noted that the Constitutional Court was created by General Wojciech Jaruzelski during martial law in the 1980s, and its presumed task was to be the last bastion of defense for the communist government, should the parliament vote in an anticommunist bill. Long story short, Prime Minister Beata Szydło refused to publish in government records the Constitutional Court’s decision to accredit these judges. The Parliament supports her stance. In December 2015, Poland’s new foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski was so sure of the legal propriety of these actions that he invited to Poland the Venice Commission (an EU organ assessing the legality of contestable cases). The Venice Commission was expected to end the spat by declaring the Polish government in the right. It has not. The opposition seized the opportunity and made of it an international issue. It began to organize marches and protests, the largest of them on May 7, 2016––according to police records, it had between 30,000 and 45,000 participants. Demonstrations are held not just against the Prime Minister’s decision, but against the Parliament and the democratic system that engendered it. In an Orwellian way, posters carried during these marches claim that they are “marches for democracy.” World public opinion has been mobilized to help bring the recalcitrant government to heel. The May 7 demonstration was held under the mendacious slogan that the present government wants Poland to leave the European Union and that it would soon start arresting people. No place on earth has been left untouched by propaganda. On Sunday April 16, Canber-

ra Times (sic!) reported that “the Polish community of Canberra” demonstrated against the ruling Law and Justice Party that allegedly intends to introduce a total ban on abortions. A partial ban on abortions has been enshrined in Polish law since 1993. In an unprecedented way, members of the European Parliament who also are members of the Civic Platform lodged a complaint with the European Commission and the European Parliament concerning their own government. Allegedly, the Constitution was broken by the government that refused to publish in a government periodical the decision of the Constitutional Court concerning the controversial judges. On April 13, 2016, the European Parliament voted in disfavor of Poland. The vote is not binding and carries no legal consequences, but it creates a troubling precedent and gives Brussels a pretext to pronounce what the Polish parliament can and cannot do. The tactics used in the opposition campaign resemble advice given by the Marxist “community organizer” Saul Alinsky in hisManual for Radicals. According to Alinsky, to win political battles one must attack from all sides, do so continuously, and hit the enemy where he least expects. One must “keep the pressure on and never let up.” Upon coming to power the Law and Justice government changed the directorship of state-owned media, but this was a drop in the bucket. The most popular TV channels, internet sites, newspapers and other periodicals remain in the hands of those hostile to the ruling party. Gazeta Wyborcza, once a Solidarity organ, is now a voice

for postcommunist interests, defending the showcase “successes” and opposing deep reforms that promise real economic benefits. Adam Michnik, once a voice for freedom, became a voice for its opposite: submission to postcommunist engineering. Thus there are plenty of media outlets in Poland to distribute anti-government rhetoric and produce stringers for Western journalists who do not speak Polish but report from Poland for the respectable Western newspapers and portals. “Ridicule is the most powerful weapon,” notes Alinsky. What in Poland is called “the industry of contempt” (przemysł pogardy) has been successfully activated. Just as the late President Kaczyński was ridiculed by his left-leaning enemies, so is his surviving twin brother Jarosław Kaczyński an object of contemptuous comparisons and epithets. “Go after people and not the institutions,” Alinsky advises: in addition to Kaczyński, President Duda and his wife are relentlessly ridiculed in the media that, I repeat, are either strongly leftist or foreign-owned, or both. These media question not only the decision concerning the judges, but the entire political status quo in Poland, creating a false impression that something went wrong in the process of democratic selection of leaders and the 2015 election was a monumental mistake. On April 14, 2016, President Duda delivered a speech on the occasion of 1050th anniversary of the baptism of Poland (996). Opposition member Ryszard Petru criticized it as backward and unacceptable, a loser’s speech; the implication was that President Duda should be ousted from office as soon as Good News


“Every beginning is only a sequel, after all, and the book of events is always open halfway through.” Wisława Szymborska

possible. The voices from Brussels and Berlin provide sympathetic support for this kind of wanton criticism. The atmosphere is being created of an urgent need to replace the present government with one from the ranks of the opposition. Suggestions of approaching totalitarianism are frequent: banners carried during the May 7 demonstration warned that arrests would soon begin, that democracy ceased to function in Poland and dictatorship has set in. Media noise and cacophony of accusatory statements, gestures, actions create an impression that the opposition is big and powerful, and that it has momentum. “Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have,” advises Alinsky. One might ask why the European Parliament chose to occupy itself with such a relatively trivial matter as to whether the Polish Parliament acted according to the Constitution in appointing and refusing to appoint the judges, and what procedures should be observed in the country’s highest legislative body. In my opinion, a good amount of the hostility directed at Jarosław Kaczyński, President Duda, Prime Minister Szydło, and the party that brought them to power, is grounded, if only subconsciously, in the hostility to Poland as the last “backwardly Catholic” country in Europe that tries to assert itself as a sovereign state between two countries with hegemonic ambitions: Germany and Russia. EU was founded on principles deriving from the Enlightenment rather than from Europe’s Christian tradition, whereas Poland is trying to preserve its Christian continuity. Furthermore, the fact that after the two world wars Germany ceded so much land to Poland must breed resentment toward Poles in quite a few Germans: hence their approval of the opposition whose record in accommodating German interests has been positive. Finally, Russian leaders look with disapproval at the present Polish government’s efforts to return to the 2010 Smolensk crash and initiate a proper investigation. They would prefer that Poland said nothing about the crash and its aftermath. Not to speak of the grim historical record of Polish-Russian relations. Thus the sources of conflict are ideological, and the issue of judges is only a pretext. The new parliament and government act out their vision of what is good for the country and the world, keeping in mind the principle of subsidiarity. The European leaders wish to remake Poland into an entity resembling secular societies of Western Europe. Brussels bureaucrats are uninterested in Polish identi-

ty and culture; they are interested in the social engineering project they have embraced. They want everyone else to embrace it. They allowed Hungary, enfant terrible of EU, to go its conservative way, but Poland is four times larger that Hungary and might provide a bad example to other EU states if allowed to proceed along the conservative path. Polish society must be reeducated and forced into the Procrustean bed of progressivism; Gazeta Wyborcza has been working on it for decades, and it is assisted in this task by the German-owned media. This desire to engineer an ideal society according to Enlightenment precepts is the root cause of the present disagreement between Poland and EU bureaucrats. So far, the Polish government is holding firm, being aware that it got a mandate to institute reforms and pass new laws, but one wonders how long can it withstand the pressure from individuals and institutions armed in strategies and tactics proven effective elsewhere. Some European politicians share George Soros’s view that Poland’s place is to be a Russian or German satellite, a buffer state providing workforce reserves and serving as a dumping place for otherwise unmarketable goods produced in Germany. The big players in Europe and America have long laughed off the role of Poland as a bastion of Christianity in Europe. The Venice Commission visit confirmed the persistence of the view that, in the former French President Chirac’s words, Poland should learn how to keep quiet and allow its more powerful neighbors to decide the course of events. This is different from G.K. Chesterton’s opinion that a strong Poland is necessary for the proper balance of power on the European continent. The present EU and world public opinion intervention in Polish internal affairs is an ongoing tale. It plays into the hands of those who would like to see Poland fail and the German-Russian alliance solidify its grip on Europe. For a small fraction of Polish society, life would be much better if Poland consented to be a joint fiefdom of Germany and Russia. A good percentage of Germans and Russians would probably endorse it as well. However, such an alliance guarantees unrest in non-Germanic Central Europe, for Poland and other countries of the region are unlikely to willingly return to semi-colonial status. Not to speak of the lessons learned from history: the German-Russian alliance has a record of which neither country can be proud.

Ewa Thompson is a Research Professor of Slavic Studies at Rice University. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Warsaw and her doctorate from Vanderbilt University. She has written five book, about fifty scholarly articles, and hundreds of other articles and reviews, many of which have been translated into Polish, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Russian, Italian, Croatian, Czech, Hungarian, and Chinese. Her articles have been published in Slavic Review, Slavic and European Journal, Modern Age, Teksty Drugie and other periodicals. Ms. Thompson has consulted for the National Endowment for the Humanities, U.S. Department of Education, and other institutions and foundations, and is the Editor of Sarmatian Review, an academic tri-quarterly on non-Germanic Central and Eastern Europe.


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By Julia Andrejczuk


olish is my first spoken language, so it is no longer a surprise to me when a single word may have seventeen different forms (depending on gender too, of course), when I need to change a plural form of a word for each number, or when a word has five consecutive consonants. These types of complex lingual factors, among many others, explain why Polish is a very difficult language to learn, often stopping foreigners in their tracks (chrząszcz, dzień dobry, pięść – to name a few “scary” words); it remains the official language of only Poland. While it may not be the most popular language, many people do not know about another lingual feat that is rooted in Poland. In 1887, a Polish linguist and physician from Białystok named Dr. Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof first introduced his “politically neutral,” international language—Esperanto. Raised to be very family-oriented, I have spent almost every single summer in Białystok, Poland visiting grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and the rest of my giant, crazy family. I thought I had seen and experienced almost everything my parents’ beautiful hometown had to offer, but then I passed by a monument which I had never noticed before: “Ludwik Zamenhof, 1859-1917.” Unable to recall learning about this historical figure in Polish school, I decided to question my grandfather – the “history genius” – and do some of my own research about him, and I was pleasantly intrigued by what I learned.

In the late-nineteenth century, Białystok was under the Russian partition and dominated by Yiddish-speaking Jews, Catholic Poles, Belarusians, and other smaller groups. A lack of a unifying factor, such as one common language, led to many disputes within this diverse population. In order to bridge the gap of misunderstanding, Zamenhof set out to create an international language. With the pseudonym “Doktor Esperanto,” or “Doctor Hopeful,” Zamenhof published Lingvo Internacia (Dr. Esperanto’s International Language), hoping the simple grammatical rules and the phonetic qualities would facilitate intergroup communication and bring about peace and tolerance. Unfortunately, the language ultimately died off and Zamenhof publicly announced his abandonment of the movement in 1912. Since Esperanto’s mechanics are mainly of Indo-European origin, the language did not gain international acceptance because non-Indo Europeans were unable to grasp it quickly. Nevertheless, the artificial language was taught in many countries and made a mark on the world. People admired Zamenhof’s accomplishments and he received many honors - streets, parks, bridges, and even a planet are in his name.




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arol Szymanowski is recognized as one of the greatest Polish composer of his time. His music and life has been a focus of research and publication throughout his life and after his death in 1937. What draws many researchers to Szymanowski is his liberation of Polish music from the classical western style and his transformation of modern Western European music into Polish culture. The year 1795 brought the final partition of Poland between Prussia, Austria and Russia. In the early 1800s, a series of uprisings against the oppressors led to further censorship and a campaign of denationalization leading to closure of the Warsaw Conservatoire of Music ten years after its foundation. By the late 19th century, Polish music was a victim of social political pressure. Coming from a noble family, Szymanowski grew up in a vibrant artistic and cultural environment. He received his first piano education from his father at the age of seven, and his earliest compositions date to 8 or 9 years of age; however none of the early works have survived. In 1897 he began his studies at the local music conservatoire under the direction of Gustaw Neuhaus, a close friend of the family. In 1901 he left for Warsaw to study composition with Zygmunt Nosowski at the Warsaw Conservatoire. By that time he had composed numerous songs, piano and orchestral works. Szymanowski aspired to develop a compositional style similar to that of the leading European composers of the day. However, as Poland was still under the notion of 19th century nationalization, this was met with constant opposition from the musical critics. His music has been organized by researchers into three periods. The first period, dated 1905- 1913, shows the influence of Frederic Chopin and Richard Strauss in his compositions. The compositional highlights of this period are the Op. 1 Preludes. In 1914 he traveled to Italy, Sicily and Africa, which is recognized as his second period. He drew inspiration from Impressionists such as Debussy and Ravel, and the oriental and an-

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tiquity cultures encountered during his travels. A great example of the second period is the Opera King Roger which takes place in Sicily during the 12th century. The third and final period dates from 1920-1937 during which he developed a new nationalistic style based on the structure of Polish folk music. These culminating works are the religious work, Stabatt Matter, and the ballet Harnasie which finds its origin in the Polish highlands. The work Stabatt Matter was created over a period of many years; Szymanowski himself recognized it as his best work in achieving what he always strived for - that is, his individual style. The premieres of the ballet Harnasie in Prague and Paris were great successes, however the following year found Szymanowski with financial problems piling up and the decline of his health. After many misdiagnosis, he was transferred to the sanatorium for tuberculosis in Lausanne. On Easter Sunday, March 29, 1937, he died at the age of 55, and his heart was placed in the Holy Cross church in Warsaw . Along with many dignitaries, a crowd of thousands filled the streets and accompanied the funeral procession. He was laid to rest in Krakow’s Monastery Crypt of Merit. After WWII, The music of Karol Szymanowski, although acknowledged for its folkloristic melodies, was underrated and faded from the Polish stage. Despite this, his works were occasionally included in concert programs. The year 2007 was proclaimed the year of Karol Szymanowski by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Poland. It was the occasion of the 70th anniversary of his death and the 125th anniversary of his birth. His instrumental compositions slowly began to gain recognition throughout the world. Szymanowski is recognized as bridging the gap between the anachronistic styles of 19th century Polish music and the work of inter-war composers. He cleared the way for young composers and the high standards for which he set for himself have served to challenge and inspire them.


The church and everything in it was destroyed during the Warsaw Uprising in WWll.

PROJECT AMAZONAS Dedicated to the People and Environment of the Amazon: Working to Ensure the Future through Conservation, Research, Education, Medical Care and Sustainable Development.

Project Amazonas, Inc. was founded in 1994 by Albert Slugocki, a Polish born American and a longtime friend of The American Institute of Polish Culture. His 2013 autobiography, The Autumn Man, was reviewed in the Institute’s 2013-14 Good News magazine and an interview, A Life in Service to Others, about his wonderful work in the Peruvian Amazon ran in the 2014-15 edition of Good News. Project Amazonas Mission Statement Project Amazonas is a Peruvian/USA nonprofit, non-sectarian, and non-political organization dedicated to humanitarian, conservation, and educational activities. We are dedicated to improving the lives of the indigenous and other peoples living in remote areas of the Peruvian Amazon through regular and sustained medical programs, as well as through community level education and sustainable development initiatives. Project Amazonas is actively conserving the biological

resources of the Amazon in rainforest reserves with the cooperation of local communities to be used to promote ecological and ethnological research and education activities by Peruvian and foreign scientists and students.

President Devon Graham, PhD Dr. Devon Graham has been involved with Project Amazonas since 1994 when he served as the Scientific Director. After completing his doctoral studies in biology from Miami University in 1996, he became the President of Project Amazonas. He consults and counsels several green and eco organizations around the world as well as provides field training in Amazon agricultural systems, coordinating rainforest exhibits, publishing numerous papers on biological interests, and lecturing at conferences around the world. When taking stewardship of Project Amazonas, Dr. Graham implemented an even stronger direction for the organization’s humanitarian efforts by increasing medical attention, and for saving, studying and providing custodial protection the Peruvian Amazon rainforest. Over the years, the organization has gained recognition within America’s academia and is highly regarded as a template of how to be successful in bettering the lives of the people, flora and fauna of the Peruvian rainforest.

Listed below are a few of the accomplishments and dreams for the future of Project Amazonas. Accomplishments »» Medical care provision expanded from a few 100 patients in remote river communities in the late 1990’s to over 15,000 annually today. »» Hosting and coordination of 8-10 academic groups annually (ranging from middle school to graduate and professional courses). »» Support of Peruvian student and young scientist research at Project Amazonas field stations (ranging from 10-25 persons/year) through agreements with Peruvian educational and research institutions. »» Hosting of 100’s of volunteers from all professions over the past years. »» Reforestation of degraded lands with over 4000 tree seedlings planted and maintained or distributed. Dreams for the Future »» Build a steel hull medical service boat to our specifications providing minor surgery and dental capabilities and including a pharmacy and lab. This would enable us to increase medical services to even more remote communities where the need is great. »» Expand protected lands at our reserves, build additional laboratories, and support more Peruvian research. »» Hire a medical coordinator and also a volunteer coordinator in Peru. »» Improve our grant-writing and fundraising capabilities. »» Develop ties with additional medical schools and academic institutions worldwide.

“Our primary objective is nothing less than improving the lives of Amazon residents while conserving the biological riches and functionality of the Amazon rainforest.”

Dr. Devon Graham

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Join Lady Blanka Rosenstiel in




With The Fund for American Studies

This scholarship fund, created by Lady Blanka Rosenstiel, provides funding for college students from Poland to attend the American Institute on Political and Economic Systems (AIPES) in Prague, Czech Republic each summer. The premier leadership program, sponsored by The Fund for American Studies, is designed to explore the political, economic and cultural issues of the world as it grows under democratic principles. AIPES embodies diversity and culture as its cornerstone to educating future leaders. Make a contribution today, and provide a student from Poland with an unparalleled educational experience. Contact Ed Turner 800-741-6964 or to contribute to the Lady Blanka Rosenstiel Scholarship Fund today! Goodat News 68 Visit to learn about all of the programs sponsored by The Fund for American Studies.



ady Blanka Rosenstiel has been sponsoring Polish students attending the American Institute on Political and Economic Systems (AIPES) since 1999. So far, forty-three Polish students have benefited from this great academic and cultural experience and have received scholarship support from this generous program. AIPES was launched in 1993 by The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) in Washington, DC in partnership with Charles University. The program now takes place each summer in Prague, Czech Republic. It was the first international program organized by TFAS, which continues to host other programs around the world for students in the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America. TFAS welcomed six Polish representatives to AIPES 2016 this summer - Lukasz Czekaj, Marcin Kozak, Piotr Krajweski, Maria Magierska, Pawel Piwowar, and Maciej Urbaniak. These students were among the 105 students from 36 countries at AIPES. They attended classes on conflict management, political philosophy, political economy, democracies in transition, and ethics and society. The AIPES students also attended guest lectures from various notable figures who have had a substantial influence over post-communist Europe, including the former Foreign and Finance Ministers of Slovakia, the Press Officer from NATO, and the AIPES 2016 Freedom Award Guest Lecturer, the Hon. Mikheil Saakashvili, former President of the Republic of Georgia. The students are highly active in Poland, especially with the Freedom and Entrepreneurship Foundation founded by AIPES alumnus, Jacek Spendel. Each student embraces the ideas of classical liberal economics and remain engaged in Poland and abroad.

AIPES 2016 Polish Students

They are pursuing careers rooted in assisting their homeland to become an even more active player in the future of Europe. The Fund for American Studies wishes to thank The American Institute of Polish Culture, especially Lady Blanka Rosenstiel, for continued support of Polish students attending AIPES. We are proud of all of our Polish alumni and we hope that the future leaders of Poland will continue to attend AIPES thanks to the generosity of our longtime supporters. ADVERTISEMENT

The graphic novel Karski’s Mission: To Stop the Holocaust (Jan Karski Educational Foundation, 2015) is based on the true story of Jan Karski (1914-2000), a Polish Catholic and member of the Polish Underground during World War II, who risked his life to carry his eyewitness account of the ongoing slaughter of the Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland to Allied leaders. The fast-paced narration by Dr. Rafael Medoff and engaging illustrations by Dean Motter will appeal especially to middle, high school and college students, as well as to those who want to expand their knowledge about the legendary emissary, the Holocaust and European history. The book is available in English and Polish. For more information about the graphic novel and to order, please contact Bozena U. Zaremba at Karski’s Mission: To Stop the Holocaust was published by the Jan Karski Educational Foundation. It was underwritten by the Jan Karski Educational Foundation, Fundacja Edukacyjna Jana Karskiego and The Association of Friends of the Polish History Museum. Additional funding for the Polish edition was provided by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.




s waves of newcomers transplanted their lives into the American environment, religion emerged as the lifeblood of these immigrant communities. A symbiotic relationship between faith and culture was (and, arguably, continues to be) particularly strong in the Polish-American community. In the early modern period, the menacing presence of Protestant Prussians to the west and Orthodox Russians to the east of Poland’s ever-shifting borders yielded a robust religious system. The kulturkampf of Bismarck in the late nineteenth century, which sought to subordinate the Church to the state and to accelerate the denationalization of Poles, ensured that Polishness and Catholicity would be inextricably intermingled, well-demarcated, clearly-articulated, and intensely safeguarded. Tsarist attempts at the Russification of eastern Poland likewise resulted in faith and culture becoming interpenetrated. The intimate link between faith and culture became ingrained in Poles and Polish-Americans. Though faith was central to the self-understanding of countless immigrants, most [modern historiography] paid no attention to religion. Historiographical lines of inquiry discounted, neglected, or entirely excluded religiosity. The explanation as to why historians tended to push religiosity to the periphery of the profession is open to speculation. Robert Orsi maintains that a “foundational split” between the material and the spiritual, which was associated with the Protestant Reformation and gained greater currency by the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, predetermined which areas and questions historians pursued. Moreover, scholars generally presupposed that religious and ethnic groups would ultimately become similar—an orientation quintessentially expressed in Israel Zangwill’s play The Melting Pot. Compounded with the then-popular secularization thesis which held that the advancement of modernity would necessarily extinguish faith and all its practical implications, academicians overlooked religious adherence, pious devotions, and the canonical structures of parishes. Historiography, in dialogue with allied disciplines and with the pioneering work of thinkers such as Robert Orsi, has been able to recalibrate its horizon of questions and methodologies. Immigrant groups, lived religion, and the related juridical dimensions of religion are once again respectable topics of investigation in the mainstream of academia. Indeed, significant demographic shifts and recent socio-religious changes in the United States have cast the limelight on ethnically-affiliated parishes and parochial life. It seems fitting, therefore, to devote some reflection to the organizing principle of Catholic parishes in the US. The number of parishes in America reached its zenith in the last decade of the twentieth century with a total of 19,620 canonically-erected parishes. According to canon law, a parish can be established under one of two headings (though the two

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The National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Doylestown, PA

are not necessarily mutually exclusive) - “territorial” or “personal.” Canon 518 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law states, “As a general rule a parish is to be territorial, that is, one which includes all the Christian faithful of a certain territory. When it is expedient, however, personal parishes are to be established determined by reason of rite, language, or nationality of the Christian faithful of some territory, or even some other reason.” In comparison to the Johanno-Pauline Code of 1983, the preceding Pio-Benedictine Code of 1917 also acknowledged the possibility and legitimacy of erecting non-territorial parishes for people of various linguistic or ethnic backgrounds, but it forbade the erection of new non-territorial parishes without an apostolic indult. The 1917 Code treats personal parishes in canon 216 §4, “Parishes based on diversity of the language or nationality of the faithful found in the same city or territory cannot be constituted without special apostolic indult, nor can familial or personal parishes; as to those already constituted, nothing is to change without consulting the Apostolic See.” The bishop in the 1917 Code did not enjoy the same level of freedom to act without the approval of higher authorities as he does in the 1983 Code. The turning point came in 1966 when Paul VI’s motu proprio Ecclesiae sanctae required only that the bishop hear the views of the presbyteral council before he acts. Ironically, personal parishes were far more common in the past even though ecclesiastical law now gives a diocesan bishop much more latitude in establishing such parishes. Many Polish-American parishes were erected as personal parishes, but in recent years many of these were suppressed because they were too porous in terms of membership and deemed unsustainable. Within a relatively short span of less than twenty-five years from its height, the net count of total parishes in the US has declined by 2,137 (or 10.89%) to number 17,483 in the year 2014.

So-called personal parishes have taken the brunt of parish closings; the number of personal parishes has waned. The traditional focus on territoriality has experienced revitalization and uncontested dominance since 1966. In an increasingly pluralistic and globalized society, the bishops generally direct all the faithful having domicile in a given location to one parish because such an arrangement provides an opportunity for increasing mutual understanding and cordial interaction between ethnicities or other groupings of people. A territorial parish has the potential to allow parishioners to hone their intercultural competency in a society which prizes diversity; and it also appears to have longer-term viability. Moreover, the post-colonial milieu does not lend itself to demarcation along linguistic or ethnic lines. A movement known as Cahenslyism which gained currency in the 1880s by demanding “the establishment of ethnic dioceses and the division of the church in America into a number of quasi-independent organizations along ethno-linguistic lines” is unthinkable today. Today, the motto “unity in diversity” is prized at the macroscopic and the microscopic levels. The definitional canon on parishes in the 1983 Code of Canon Law affirms elements of interpersonal relationships and spiritual bonds to a greater degree than ecclesiastical law has ever done in

the past. The renewed post-conciliar ecclesiology endeavors to ensure that the parish is not reduced to merely an administrative subdivision of a given diocese or to a playing field of unhealthy competition which divides people. The implementation of the ecclesiology of the Second Vatican Council and the 1983 Code of Canon Law has not fully taken advantage of the tools offered therein to promote and perpetuate a strong alliance between faith and culture. For the past several decades, any given parish has been home to an increasingly diverse group of families. But the quest to form and sustain vibrant and dynamic communities of faith—with a faith that imbues the surrounding culture and permeates the lived experience of the people—remains to be achieved in the twenty-first century environment of the United States. Given that “history is the memory of the future,” scholars and ecclesiastical leaders need to examine with greater attention and depth the lessons learned from successful (and unsuccessful) ethnic parishes of generations past. The fact that parishes in Poland have weathered the tsunami of secularization relatively well suggests that many valuable insights are to be derived from Polish and Polish-American parishes.

Did you know.... ...that over 45 churches in America were built in what is referred to as the Polish Cathedral style? Thanks to emigrating Poles who settled in sizeable cities such as Chicago, Milwaukee and Grand Rapids and were able to develop tight Polonia communities, these Catholic churches were, and many still remain, some of the grandest and most elaborate structures in the US. The Polish Cathedral style is not a specific architectural movement nor do all the churches have the same overall look, quality of finishes or general floor plan. No, what the newly transplanted Poles desired in their places of worship was a continuity of historical touches found throughout Europe over the centuries, particularly the 16 th and 17th centuries when Poland was the greatest and largest unified country in Europe. In building these churches, there was a inclination towards decorations from the Renaissance era, along with examples found in Eclecticism and other popular and ornate movements. What stands a Polish Cathedral church apart from other Catholic churches are some very distinctive features: + Large amounts of religious ornamentation both inside and out, with a heavy emphasis on statues and imagery of saints;

+ Monumental in size compared to churches built by other groups of immigrants and communities; the sheer scale of many of them dwarf buildings that have risen up around them to this day; + The majesty of the interiors with soaring beautifully decorated vaulted ceilings, countless apses and heavily adorned stained glass windows. In addition, each church has dominant architectural features from different eras of history, and each reflects the aspirations and dreams of

the Polish residents in the specific neighborhood in which they were built. For example, of the 18 Polish Cathedral churches in Chicago, 2 are Neoclassical, 3 are Gothic, 4 are Baroque, 5 are Renaissance, 1 is Renaissance Revival, 2 are Romanesque with a Byzantine flair, and 1 is pure Romanesque! These grand edifices of worship are now a largely forgotten contribution of the early Polish immigrants in America and yet they still stand as a testament of proud people who wanted their history to shine in their new homeland.

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45 Best Wishes to

The American Institute of Polish Culture

Celebrating 45 Anniversary th


Polish and Other European Specialty and Gourmet Foods 72

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Thanks to her IT skills and a willingness to help, Ewa Mitera scanned all of AIPC’s books and placed them on for Kindle readers to purchase. Ms. Mitera graduated from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland with a Master of Science in Design and Digital Media, earned a Masters of Fine Arts from European Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, and a Master of Art History from the University of Warsaw. Her paintings have been exhibited at many shows, competitions and galleries throughout Poland and Scotland, and in 2016 in Palm Beach, Florida. She currently lives in Poland.

Mrs. Inga Senis, Ms. Ewa Mitera, Mr. Stanislaw Rej, Ms. Jolanta Dussaud, Mr. Patrick Misiewicz at Palm Beach exhibit of Ms. Mitera’s work

Ms. Ewa Mitera, Lady Blanka

Our Books Now on Kindle!


he American Institute of Polish Culture has just published many of its educational and historical books on Kindle at, including those that have been unavailable to purchase for a long time. For a nominal fee, you can now download the story of Maria Sklodowska-Curie, read about the Polish heroes of Jamestown, America’s first settlement and many others. Give the gift of knowledge to your friends and family, and treat yourself. E-books are an excellent gift idea for graduates, students, and for anyone who loves to read. And Kindle books are

easily accessible - they can be read on a smart phone, iPhone, tablet, iPad, or a computer. Go to our website at and click on the links provided to find AIPC’s Kindle books at Amazon (or you can purchase a hard copy of most of them if actually holding a book is more to your liking). All sale proceeds will go right back into helping us continue offering the great educational and cultural events we have been presenting for nearly 45 years. Please share this exciting news with your friends and family!

Selected Tales by Henryk Sienkiewicz

Polish Contributions to Latin American Culture by E.S. Urbanski

Constitution of Poland and of the United States by Joseph Kasperek-Obst

Conrad and His Contemporaries by J.H. Retinger

True Heroes of Jamestown by Arthur Leonard Waldo

Calamity of the Realm

Madame Curie-Daughter of Poland by Robert Woznicki

Jagiellonian Poland by Pawel Jasienica

The Tale of An Agony

Introduction to Poland by Olgierd Budrewicz, illus. by Jerzy Flisak

The Piast Poland by Pawel Jasienica

The Silver Age

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CHRISTMAS CHEER Our gaily decorated office welcomed friends, members and many new faces - over 90 guests - for our annual holiday party held on December 17, 2015. We all caught up with each other, made new contacts, snapped pictures, nibbled on hors d’oeuvres and listened to a wonderful selection of piano music. Mr. Zbigniew Slabicki graciously bartended for a few hours, and Mrs. Beata Paszyc of AIPC and Mrs. Jadwiga Gewert of the Chopin Foundation talked about what had happened in 2015 and what was planned for 2016. Then it was time for entertainment.

Guests enjoyed an opening performance by Nel Velez-Paszyc who played a sweet “Silent Night,” which introduced a few rounds of caroling led by Lady Blanka Rosenstiel with Mrs. Barbara Muze on piano. Then renowned pianist and the 1990 winner of the International Chopin Competition, Mr. Kevin Kenner, played two charming and lively pieces, followed with a moving performance from Mr. Emanuele Viscuso. It was a melodic and fun party - a perfect way to spread Christmas cheer.

Mr. George Berberian, Ms. Rosa-Rita Gonzales, Mr. Ariel Garcia,Lady Blanka Rosenstiel, Ms. Urszula Zolnierski, Ms. Eldris de la Torre

Mrs. Barbara Nowak, Maestro Grzegorz Nowak


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Mr. Gregory Ivy, Mrs. Sandra Ivy, Ms. Alicja Schoonover

Mrs. Barbara Cooper, Mrs. Agnieszka Gray

Mr. Patrick Misiewicz, Lady Blanka Rosenstiel, Mr. Bronislaw Bajcar, Mr. Grzegorz Okon

Mr. Richard Lubman, Ms. Katarzyna Cieslik, Mr. Kevin Kenner

Ms. Lynne Schaefer, Nel Velez-Paszyc

Mr. Krzysztof Plucienniczak, Dr. Jerzy Wrobel, Mrs. Ludmilla Wrobel, Mrs. Inga Luksza-Senis

Mrs. Elzbieta Piotrovsky, Mrs. Jadwiga Gewert

Mr. Dabrowski, Lady Blanka Rosenstiel, Dr. Michel S. Pawlowski, Mrs. Zofia Dabrowska

Mrs. Anna Slabicki, Mrs. Róża Toroj

Lady Blanka Rosenstiel, Mrs. Anna Pietraszko, Mr. Józef Miehle

Mrs. Renata Ryan, Ms. Iga Henderson

Mrs. Jean Duda, Dr. Norbert Duda

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n 1939 the Polish Republic was ready to celebrate its twentieth anniversary. One opportunity to do so, and show the accomplishments of the reconstituted Polish state, was to take part in the World’s Fair slated to open that year in New York. The pavilion planned for the New York World’s Fair was designed by a committee that consisted of a select group of Poland’s finest artists and architects. Their aim was to present Poland as a modern country with a long history, a people who had a place within the fraternity of nations. Chosen as Commissioner General to manage the pavilion exhibit was Stephen deRopp, who already had extensive experience from his directorship of the annual Poznan Trade Fair. The pavilion, built on Flushing Meadows, was a very fine example of early twentieth century modernistic architecture. A separate building housing a Polish-cuisine restaurant, where waitresses in folk costume served customers, flanked the pavilion. In front was a spectacular 142 foot lattice tower covered with shield-like crests, suggesting a medieval fortress. Pools ran alongside to form a symbolic moat. This imposing facade served as a backdrop to an equestrian statue of Poland’s warrior-king, Wladyslaw Jagiełło. The fact that under Jagiełło’s leadership, Lithuanian and Polish forces dealt a decisive blow to the encroaching power of the Teutonic Knights in 1410 was not lost on the German visitors to the fair. Within, the latest and brightest of Poland’s technological achievements were displayed to fit into the fair’s World of Tomorrow theme. No effort was spared in providing the best examples among Poland’s industrial products and inventions. Notable among these were two scale models of steam locomotives that reflected current Polish production. They were meticulously crafted and each was a tour-de-force of the model-maker’s art with every rivet, valve and gear faithfully rendered. An article in The New York Times from May 19, 1939 waxed poetic in describing some of the industrial, cultural and historical displays of the pavilion. The participation of Kosciuszko and Pulaski in the American Revolutionary War was mentioned, as well as the statistic that 5 million Americans were of Polish background. Chief among the historically themed exhibits in the Hall of Honor within the pavilion were seven paintings that portrayed pivotal scenes from Polish history. These were 4 x 6.5 foot tempera paintings on wood, executed in a pre-Raphaelite style that was reminiscent of medieval painting. They were a group project commissioned by the Polish government from the Brotherhood of St. Luke, a group of artists assembled by Tadeusz Pruszkowski in Kazimierz on the Vistula. The artists were Boleslaw Cybis, Bernard Frydrysiak, Jan Gotard, Aleksander Jedrzejewski, Eliasz Kanarek, Jeremi Kubicki, Antoni Michalak, Stefan Pluzanski, Janusz Podoski and Jan Zamoyski. Each worked at his own specialty in painting,

whether it was faces, costume, background, architecture, nature and so on. All signed the finished works. The subject matter portrayed was as follows: 1.

Boleslaw the Brave Greeting Otto III on his Pilgrimage to the Shrine of St. Adalbert at Gniezno, 1000 AD


The Baptism of Lithuania, 1386 AD


Granting of the Charter of Jedlnia, 1430 AD


The Act of Union at Lublin, 1569 AD


The Warsaw Confederation, 1573 AD


The Relief of Vienna, 1683 AD


The May 3rd Constitution, 1791 AD

When the pavilion opened in May 1939, these seven works were quickly acknowledged as jewels of the exhibit. Then in September of the same year Germany invaded Poland from the west and the Soviet Union from the east. Over the next five years Polish museums, galleries and private holdings collections would be looted and destroyed as armies swept across the face of Europe. In 1944 the entire contents of the national library, thousands of volumes collected over hundreds of years, would go up in smoke during the Warsaw Uprising. In these circumstances Commissioner deRopp was cut off from his funding but managed to keep the exhibit going using income from the restaurant, donations and good will. He mounted an exhibit showing the outrages done to Poland by the invaders. Anna Obst, who escaped during the invasion and made her way to New York, went to the fair. “The first pavilion [we saw] was the Polish one and I had tears in my eyes for our dear Poland was no more,” she wrote in her journal. To meet expenses, deRopp sold some of the fixtures, objects d’art, and furnishings both privately and at auction. The Polish Museum in Chicago acquired a large collection of art and artifacts for $23,000. While this seems a modest sum, it translates into $336,728 in 2016 dollars. Probably the most impressive item in the collection, one among many, is the large stained glass window, “Poland Reborn,” depicting a figure of a woman “Polonia” holding a sword and a sheaf of grain. The figure is surrounded by small panels depicting Polish people at work and city coats of arms. At the top is a small depiction of “Our Lady of Ostra Brama,” and on the bottom are panels dedicated to the Polish armed forces. This and other items may be viewed in the main hall of the museum. Good News



Though attempts were made to save the magnificent fifty-meter lattice-work tower that was at the entrance to the Polish exhibit, the effort failed and it was sold for scrap. The pavilion and most of the other buildings at the fair were demolished. Poland would not again present at an international World’s Fair until 1992. Stephen de Ropp worked hard to place the large sculptures in locations where they would be appreciated. King Jagiełło from the front of the pavilion was relocated to New York’s Central Park thanks to Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia (where it is currently undergoing conservation). Casimir Pulaski’s statue was placed in Wyandotte, Michigan. The Pilsudski Institute in New York acquired the gun-metal figure of its namesake. The Kosciuszko Foundation in New York has an exquisite wall hanging of armorial crests and at Philadelphia’s Polish Cultural Center one can admire several of the exhibit tables that have beautifully carved eagles as legs. A finely cast bell, decorated with figures of Polish saints and heroes, found a home in the steeple of Holy Name Church in Stamford, Connecticut. Recently this bell has been taken down for cleaning. The bell was originally purchased for $6,600 dollars and dedicated on December 6, 1942 by Bishop Henry J. O’Brien of Hartford, CT. Fr. Francis M. Władasz, pastor of the Most Holy Name of Jesus parish in Stamford, CT, wrote the following for a booklet published at the time. ‘Our Polish bell, the so-called Bell of Liberation, was cast in 1939 in Przemyśl by the firm of Ludwik Felczyński and Co., and was 78

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sent by the Polish government to the World’s Fair in New York. After much negotiation with the commission headed by Stephen de Ropp, it was purchased by the Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish. The bell is 14 feet in circumference, has a diameter of over 5 and a half feet and is 5 feet high. It is made of a quantity of bronze, of which 25 percent is tin and antimony, weighing 4,500 pounds. At the very top of the bell there are six cast figures in the form of busts: St. Wojciech (Adalbert), St. Jacek (Hyacinth) Odrowąz, St. Kazimierz (Casimir), St. Stanislaw Kostka, St. Andrzej (Andrew) Bobola, and St. Jan Kanty (John Cantius). Each figure is seven inches tall. The bell is covered by beautiful bas-reliefs executed by Alexander Borawski, one of Poland’s greatest artist sculptors. The decorations include the crests of cities, such as Wilno, Krzemieniec, Toruń, Cieszyn, Lwów, Poznań, Warszawa, and Kraków. Among these crests are the sculpted faces of Romuald Tragutt, Józef Piłsudski, Kazimierz Pułaski, Tadeusz Kościuszko, Adam Mickiewicz, Józef Chłopicki, Henryk Dąbrowski, and Prince Józef Poniatowski. Above is a relief of Queen Jadwiga with unbraided hair and a great crown on her head. Alongside her stand Polish legionaries and scythe-wielding peasants. There is a motto “Poland has not yet perished.” Further on is a portrait of Our Lady of Częstochowa with mothers and children seeking her protection. This is followed by the words “Mother do not abandon us.” In a word, on this bell one can read the entire history of our beloved Poland.

In the center of the bell are cast the words “Bell of the Struggle for Liberation” followed by the words of Maria Konopnicka: O pójdź Korono, zraniono Orlico, Pójdź staro Litwo, z spętana pogonią, I ty lwia Rusi, i Ty niewolnico, Pójdź serce z sercem, a dłoń złączyć z dłonią.

[O come Crown-land, the wounded Eagle, Come old Lithuania, with your bound chasseur, and you Lion of Ruthenia, and you a slave, come join heart to heart, and hand in hand.] On the other side of the bell is Kasper Miaskowski’s poem: Gotuj się jeno Ojczyźnie do sprawy, Będąc potomkiem bądź i dziedzic prawy; Domowej sławy.

[Get ready, to support the nation’s cause, Being a descendant, then be the rightful heir, of your Homeland’s Glory.]’ Actually Fr. Władasz was a bit off on his interpretation. The female figure is NOT Queen Jadwiga, it is “Polonia” (the female embodiment of the spirit of Poland). Her hands are chained to two stakes on which are perched, vulture-like, the eagles of Russia, Prussia and Austria. The figures of soldiers relate to the Polish Legions - Pilsudski’s, Poniatowski’s and Dabrowski’s. There are two children flanking Polonia - a girl holds a book with the year 1918 on it and a boy reaches for a junior-sized sword. At Polonia’s feet is a broken wheel with the words “Jeszcze Polska nie zgineła! [Poland has not yet perished]. The wheel is an obvious reference to Piast the Wheelwright, legendary founder of the first Polish Royal Dynasty. There are all kinds of nasty little animals - snake, lizard, wolf, bear, etc. - on the lower tier of the bell. The upper end of the bell is encircled with thorns. It is currently on exhibit in front of the church and will be eventually mounted on an open frame so that both its sound and sculptural values can be appreciated. In time Stephen deRopp managed to distribute or otherwise dispose of the entire contents of the pavilion. Despite an announcement that listed some of the art objects for sale, he rejected offers from Brazilian collectors and held on to the seven historical paintings that were produced especially for the pavilion exhibit by the Brotherhood of St. Luke Painters in Kazimierz on

the Vistula. Not until the early 1950s would he donate the seven paintings and four tapestries to Le Moyne College where he was employed as a lecturer. In 1981, then college President, Fr. Frank Haig SJ, placed them on display in the newly completed library. They remain there to this day and are available for public viewing. Fr. Haig was so inspired by these paintings, he read Polish history and traveled to Poland to study at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. In Poland there is a lot of interest in the society and cultural scene of the Second Republic. Polish Television made a documentary about the Brotherhood of St. Luke painters. A well illustrated, bi-lingual and award-winning book about Poland’s participation in the 1939 World’s Fair “Pawilon Polski na nowojorskiej wystawie światowej (1939-1940) i jego dalsze dzieje” [The Polish Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair (1939-1940) and its subsequent fate] by Krystyna Nowakowska has been published. Ted Mirecki produced the English language text. Fortunately, under the current president Dr. Linda LeMura, Le Moyne College is starting a review of its policy, seeking to expand exposure given to the seven Polish historical paintings. An advisory committee is being formed which includes members of the Polish-American community. Exhibiting the paintings outside of the college campus would bring welcome attention not only to the art and to Polish history but also to LeMoyne College which has faithfully stewarded them for over 50 years.

Peter J. Obst, born in Poznan, Poland, worked as a software engineer in the U.S. after earning a B.S. in Commerce and Engineering at Drexel University in Philadelphia and an M.A. in Central and Eastern European Studies from LaSalle University. However, his love of Poland and its people have given him the career of his heart. Among his numerous accomplishments, Peter has written articles that appear in publications across the globe, he researches and translates books here and abroad, designs and maintains websites for several PolishAmerican organizations, lectures at universities, and is a consultant for museums and historical societies. He is also dedicated to ensuring that prominent Poles and key events generated by Poles in the US are commemorated with statues, plaques and markers. In 2001 Peter was awarded the Cavalier’s Cross of the Order of Merit by decree of the President of Poland, and the Eagle of the Polish Senate in 2009.

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Mr. Justin Moss, Mr. Carlton Ford

Mrs. Barbara Stephens, Mrs. Carol Sadowski, Mrs.Jadwiga Gewert with guests

Mr. Grzegorz Oksinski, Ms. Allison Abbott

We celebrated the Easter holiday in our offices on Thursday afternoon, March 31, 2016 with the Chopin Foundation and dozens of our members and friends. It was a special party because two very talented singers from the Florida Grand Opera in Miami performed a duet and aria in Polish, with a piano accompanist, from FGO’s upcoming production of the riveting masterpiece, The Passenger. Everyone in attendance was mesmerized by the beautiful voices soaring throughout our offices as though we were all in a concert hall. And many of those who understand Polish were moved to tears. AIPC worked with FGO to promote this powerful American premier based on the true experiences of a Polish woman in Auschwitz during WWII. We also had our first ever raffle, including tickets to this wonderful opera, a signed Rafal Olbinski poster, several CD’s from the national Chopin Competition and a signed copy of the dynamic non-fiction book, A Question of Honor, written by our Gold Medal winners, Lynne Olson and Stanley Cloud. What a very special Spring afternoon with friends!

Nel Velez-Paszyc

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Mrs. Lisa Seite, Mr. Peter Seite, Ms. Iga Henderson

Ms. Lynne Schaefer, Mrs. Elzbieta Piotrovsky, Mr. Patrick Misiewicz with guest

Mrs. Kazimiera Bulski, Mr. Stanley Bulski

Mrs. Eva Dominguez, Ms. Marian Dominguez

Opera Singers

Mr. Zbigniew Slabicki, Mr. Grzegorz Okon

Ms. Mirian Rodriguez with mother

Ms. Jolanta Bak, Ms. Hedwig Ringger, Ms. Jadwiga Garbacik

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Kinga Eva Plich Founder & President PREMIER International Business Club

PREMIER International Business Club jest polską organizacją z siedzibą w Wielkiej Brytanii, stworzoną dla ambitnych, odpowiedzialnych i przedsiębiorczych osób działających w Polsce oraz za granicą. Gromadząc sprawdzone rozwiązania, nowoczesne technologie, wieloletnie kontakty biznesowe z uznanymi i odnoszącymi sukcesy polskimi przedsiębiorcami, mentorami, autorami oraz trenerami, została stworzona unikalna w skali światowej organizacja, której celem jest zbudowanie silnej polskiej społeczności biznesowej na świecie.


NETWORKING BRANDING Motywujemy i inspirujemy do działania. Prowadzisz biznes w Polsce lub za granicą? Dołącz do nas!

The Last Goodbyes PROFESSOR IWO POGONOWSKI By Marek Jan Chodakiewicz


orn on September 3, 1921 in Lwów, Poland, Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski died on July 21, 2016 in Sarasota, FL. He was a true Renaissance man: a man of letters, an oil industry engineer, an elegant equestrian, an avid narrator, a gentleman farmer, an academic teacher, an eclectic architect, a multifarious artist, a multi-tongued linguist, and an accomplished historian. He was born in a family of Polish Catholic intelligentsia of noble origin. His father was a barrister and a diplomat with two doctorates in law and Slavic literature, and his mother was a painter, sculptor, and pianist. Historically, many Pogonowski men served in the military, and during the struggles for Poland’s rebirth in 1918-1921, some of them perished, including his two paternal uncles. This heroic legacy was imprinted on Iwo since childhood. Barely eighteen when the Germany and the Soviets invaded Poland in September 1939, he volunteered for the army and participated in the struggle. In December 1939, he attempted to escape to the West to fight but was caught by the Germans and incarcerated in Tarnów. In June 1940, along with other Polish Christian political prisoners, he was dispatched with the first transport to a newly opened German death camp at Auschwitz. At that time, the facility lacked room to incarcerate more prisoners and after an agonizingly long wait at the railhead, Pogonowski’s train car was dispatched to the German death camp at Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg near Berlin. He entered the hellish universe of inhumanity to emerge from it victorious in sprit but broken in body. He survived, among other things, a death commando and a death march, the former by learning how to walk in his sleep. At the end, he barely escaped an execution by the SS to be liberated by the Americans in April 1945. “I survived by being myself. I acted swiftly and with compassion. At one moment during the death march I heard a German order, ‘All guards and soldiers jump to the left’. I immediately understood that all the prisoners remaining on the right side of the road would be shot to death. I grabbed the hands of two other prisoners and jumped to the ditch pulling the other two with me. This allowed us to dodge the gunfire and survive.” Iwo saved more lives of fellow prisoners, including a Jew, and he participated in a camp resistance to sabotage the Nazi war machine. After his liberation, Iwo learned that his father barely survived a Gestapo prison in Poland; his aunt, Dr. Maria Pogonowska, perished in a Soviet goal in Lwów; his cousin, Janusz Pogonowsk,i was executed in Auschwitz; and his teenage brother was killed


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fighting in the insurgent ranks in the Warsaw Rising in August 1944. His house was leveled by German bombs and all of the family property was lost. His homeland was targeted both by the Nazis and Communists; the latter were becoming stronger and continuing the terror of the former against the Christian elites. Iwo wisely decided against returning to Soviet-occupied Poland. This young survivor wanted to join the Free Polish Forces in the West, but the military preferred for him to recuperate and then to study. Accordingly, he enrolled at St. Ignatius University at Antwerp (now University of Antwerp) in Belgium. Despite good grades, after two years and destitute, the political émigré was forced to quit school and leave for Venezuela, where he worked as a draftsman. In 1949 he was stricken by polio and paralyzed, but through sheer will he began to walk again. The following year Pogonowski immigrated to the United States, sponsored by his acquaintances with writer Clarence Pendelton and Senator William Fulbright . He enrolled at the University of Tennessee where he earned his BS and MS in Civil and in Mechanical Engineering. While at school, Iwo supported himself with various jobs, including teaching descriptive geometry. After graduating in 1955, he was hired by the Shell Oil company to work as a structural engineer in New Orleans, LA. Later he moved to Houston, Texas to work for Texaco’s Research and Development department. During this productive time in his life, he invented the triple-legged drilling platform which was virtually impervious from tipping during storms and hurricanes.

In 1957, after a 17-year absence, he went back to Poland to visit his parents and to marry a young physician, Magdalena Czarnek. Subsequently their marriage lasted for 59 happy years. BY 1972 he was teaching oil and oceanic engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) at Blacksburg, VA, where he moved with his wife and their daughter, Dorota. Simultaneously, Iwo pursued his passion in the humanities, most particularly as it pertained to Poland and its culture and history. His crowning achievement was a three volume Unabridged Polish-English Dictionary, and the abridged paperback dictionary proved to be a bestseller and was published in at least five editions. It greatly assisted successive waves of Polish immigrants to Anglophone countries into the 21st century. Pogonowski published Poland: A Historical Atlas with a multitude of maps and copious annotations in 1987, and Jews in Poland: Rise of the Jews as a Nation from Congressus Judaicus in 1993. His work was enthusiastically endorsed by his high school friend, Professor Richard Pipes , and by Professor Zbigniew Brzeziński. A stalwart proponent of Jewish-Christian reconciliation and a close friend of the famous Jan Karski, Pogonowski threw himself into every historical controversy with a gusto. He insisted that the truth was obtainable and it was his scholarly duty to make it public. He was a dissident and more often than not a controversial voice on critical issues such as the massacres in Jedwabne and Kielce. Patience was not one of his virtues and the speed of his brilliant mind left almost everyone behind. His penchant for Occam’s razor simplifications was legendary as was his resilience.

“I learned to be swift in Sachsenhausen; that’s how you survived,” he often exclaimed. He often befuddled or shocked mere mortals, and shocking people was his forte. Most stories drew on his horrific war-time experiences and most were not fit to print in popular venues. Along with his wife, Iwo Pogonowski was a staunch supporter of the Kościuszko Chair in Polish Studies at the Institute of World Politics. They hosted many students and sponsored many projects. In 2010, he received a silver medal from Spoleczna Fundacja Pamieci Narodu Polskiego for Polonia Mater Nostra Est. He also received a gold medal from the American Institute of Polish Culture Inc. in 2014 in Miami for achievements in engineering and promoting Polish history. The Institute published many of his historically factual essays and articles over the years in their annual Good News magazine. He is survived by his wife Magdalena, daughter Dorota and her husband John Henne, grandchildren Ewa and Kristopher who, along with his stalwart friends, grieve their loss tremendously. 1. Both gentlemen were very active and vocal advocates in American civil rights issues and causes. 2. Richard Edgar Pipes (born July 11, 1923) is a Polish-American academic who specializes in Russian history, particularly with respect to the Soviet Union, who espoused a strong anti-communist point of view throughout his career. He was the director of Harvard’s Russian Research Center from 1968 to 1973 and is now Baird Professor Emeritus of History at Harvard University. 3. Occam’s razor is a logical principle attributed to the mediaeval philosopher William of Occam (or Ockham). It states that one should not make more assumptions than the minimum needed. It underlies all scientific modeling and theory building.



ountess Astrid de Grabowski Dewart was born in Poland and grew up near Krakow with her parents, Count Joseph Oksza Werszowiec de Konopnica Grabowski and Baroness Anna Nieczuja-Jurkiewicz, and her siblings Christopher and Daisy. When the war started in 1939, the family was forced to split up. Astrid and Daisy joined their mother and father, a reserve officer, in a Hungarian military camp where Astrid was put in charge of her sister. Thanks to Astrid’s remarkable powers of persuasion and talent for foraging, the sisters survived. Christopher joined Bomber Squadron 301, the Polish wing of the British Royal Air Force. Within months, and just ahead of the German invasion of Hungary, the exiled Polish gov-

ernment in London ordered the family to relocate to Yugoslavia, and once again they were at risk. In 1941, when the Germans invaded Yugoslavia, Astrid married a French Military Attaché and remained in Belgrade. Her parents and sister, however, were forced to move to the Middle East. Her father joined the British Royal Engineer Corps and her mother joined the British Red Cross, but eventually they were demobilized and left stateless. Several years later Astrid settled in Paris where she directed the beauty salon at Charles of the Ritz. In 1965 Astrid moved to Fort Lauderdale, where she remarried and became a well-respected designer of exquisite gowns. Her creations adorned many of the social set throughout South Florida - Palm Good News


Beach and Boca Raton fetes and at galas in Miami. She was also a successful interior designer, redoing the cabins for Eastern Airlines. In 1967 Astrid purchased Al Capone’s house because of its beautiful location and the challenge it presented - it had no windows and only one door! She spent months sleeping on a mattress on the floor while workers rebuilt the manse to her specifications. The result was a showcase property on the New River in Broward County where Astrid hosted legendary receptions. Her door was always generously open to an international circle of friends and family.

In 2012, Astrid and Daisy published their brother’s account of his 1959 solo voyage across the Atlantic in his twenty-five-foot sloop - Casting Off. A Solo Atlantic Voyage. Chris disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle in 1964. Astrid was a dear friend of The American Institute of Polish Culture and served on the Board of Directors. She attended several International Polonaise Balls, and her charm and elegance graced numerous educational and cultural events over the years. Astrid is survived by several family members including her sister Daisy de Grabowski Richardson, two sons and a grandson. She will be missed.


ory presented by Pope John Paul II. He was also a long member of The American Institute of Polish Culture and their Gold Medal recipient in 2006. Władysław was a very good friend of our Embassy and his life personified what love and dedication to one’s homeland should be. We mourn the passing of a great man, who leaves behind an incredible legacy. Our sincerest condolences to his wife Sandra and entire family. Farewell, Władysław. Goodbye to a true hero and a true friend.


ładysław Zachariasiewicz, a veteran of World War II, GULAG survivor, longtime community activist, renowned member of Polonia and devoted patriot passed away on September 22, 2016 at the age of 104. Mr. Zachariasiewicz was born on November 7, 1911 in Kraków and graduated from Jagiellonian University with a law degree. In September 1939 he fought in the Defense of Poland, but was captured by Soviet forces and sent to a GULAG in the Archangelsk region. Released from captivity after the Sikorski-Mayski Agreement, he became an official of the Polish government tasked with assisting Poles who were being released from Soviet captivity. He was subsequently arrested by the Soviet NKVD and held for several difficult months. Exiled from the USSR, Władysław was sent at the behest of the Polish government in exile to Constantinople, London and later Rome to care for Polish soldiers serving in General Anders’ II Polish Corps. In 1948 he emigrated to the United States, where he continued his involvement on behalf of Polish causes and cared for Polish refugees. Numerous Polish-American organizations benefited immensely from his dedication and leadership, including the National Council of Polish Cultural Clubs, the Polish American Congress and the Pulaski Parade Committee to name a few. Mr. Zachariasiewicz was elected to the Board of Directors of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty and was personally appointed by the Holy Father to the Board of Directors of the John Paul II Foundation. He has remained active in the World League of Poles Abroad and was this renowned prewar organization’s last surviving member. Throughout the course of his successful career in the US, which included over a decade as Special Assistant to the Postmaster General, Władysław never ceased to care for his homeland and his compatriots. He was a leader in the Polish-American community and active until the end of his life. His many awards include the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta and Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Saint Greg-


Good News

from the Embassy of Poland, Washington D.C

THE CIRCLE OF GIVING “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” Author unknown


personal favorite of Lady Blanka, this quote is a simple yet eloquent sentiment for a life of giving back. It is a truth that Lady Blanka has striven to live by and it clearly defines what she envisioned for the American Institute of Polish Culture when it was founded in 1972. The numerous educational and cultural programs presenting new ideas and scholarship that the Institute has offered for over four decades stand as a testament to a lifelong commitment in giving that lifts others up and brings untold benefits to thousands of people. But the Institute’s mission could not have been achieved without the truly generous support of friends and members who opened their hearts and never thought twice about giving. Their contributions have ensured that AIPC can continue with current programs and events, and to develop new ones that enrich lives. Programs such as the Blanka Rosenstiel Lecture

Series on Poland at FIU and Polish Luxury Series at University of Virginia, the Kosciuszko Chair at IWP, the publications and special projects, and the Harriet Irsay Scholarship Fund continue to flourish, and are made possible by our largest fundraiser, the annual International Polonaise Ball, and membership dues and donations received from around the world. Another way to contribute is through an individual’s estate planning. Once a family’s needs have been taken care of in a will, a thoughtful bequest to the Institute would be deeply appreciated. Bequests are critically important to AIPC; they provide a source of support that is not subject to fluctuations in the economy and are essential to the future of our work. Bequests come from individuals whose belief in what we do has always been integral to our success. By creating an endless circle of giving, we all leave a legacy of hope, passion and love for future generations.

THANKS TO OUR DONORS.... ...for opening your hearts and never thinking twice about giving. Your generosity makes it possible for us to continue with our current programs and to develop new ones that enrich lives, such as the International Polonaise Ball, Blanka Rosenstiel Lecture Series on Poland at FIU, publication and special project funds, as well as the Harriet Irsay Scholarship Fund. We are truly grateful. Thank you!

Donors in 2015 - 2016 Mrs. Ruby Bacardi Ms. Jolanta Bak Mr. & Mrs. Ellsworth Benson III Mr. Dominik Cieslak Mr. William W. Cooke Countess Barbara Pagowska Cooper Ms. Teresa Dabrowska Mr. Irving Fourcand Mr. & Mrs. Keith Gray Mr. & Mrs. Amadeo Guazzini Ms. Briana Harris Ms. Iga Henderson Mrs. Rachel Jaski Mr. Jay Jaski Mr. Brian Kiedrowski Mr. Janusz & Dr. Maria Kozlowski Mr. Rafael Leonor Mr. & Mrs. Janine Lennox Mr. & Mrs. Paul Lowenthal

Mr. Arkadiusz Nagiec Mrs. Henrietta Nowakowski Dr. & Mrs. Rafael Ornaf Dr. Michel S. Pawlowski Hon. Consul Marek Pienkowski, MD Ms. Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk Mr. & Mrs. Marek Raczkowski Mr. Paul Radomski Count Joseph Mikolaj Rej Dr. Pat Riley Mr. & Mrs. Jan Romer Ms. Alicja Schoonover Dr. Damian Valenzuela Mr. & Mrs. Henry Williams III

Other Donors Ansin Foundation Cardio-Care, Inc. Clientele Florida International University Gray and Sons Jewelry Keratin Complex Latin American Invest Corp. Notorious Pink Rosé Southern Audio Visual Southern Glazers’s Wines & Spirits StationAmerica Taipei Economic and Cultural Offices Miami Toroso Investments

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CHOPIN FOUNDATION OF THE UNITED STATES Member, National Music Council, International Federation of Chopin Societies


ith a Taste

w Celebrating the 40th Anniversary


are proud to announce that 2017 will mark the organization’s 40th anniversary! Since 1977 we have devoted our work to fulfilling the mission to support young American pianists. In that time we have successully presented nine National Chopin Piano Competitions and helped hundreds of young pianists Jadwiga “Viga” Gewert financially and professionally. Executive Director The Foundation’s activities have also brought Chopin’s music to delighted audiences. The Chopin for All Free Concert Series, which is unique to South Florida, has provided public concert opportunities for dozens of young outstanding pianists. This in turn has helped them achieve wider recognition. The Chopin Salon Concerts present masters of the piano in the elegant setting of the La Gorce Country Club and help us cultivate new members.

Chopin Salon Concert Series

of Poland


Our Scholarship Program for Young American Pianists has been helping piano students perfect their interpretations of Chopin’s music, thereby preparing them for the next Chopin Competitions in Miami and in Warsaw. The young Americans we support have been winning awards in Warsaw and at other important piano competitions worldwide. All of this has been possible thanks to the vision of Lady Blanka Rosenstiel supported by the generosity of those who share her passion. For this we are immensely grateful. Four regional Chopin Councils carry out our mission in their respective areas with music festivals and Young Pianists Competitions. For details, please visit their websites. • San Francisco ( • Seattle ( • Los Angeles ( • Virginia ( Please visit to find out more about all of our programs.

4 pm • La Gorce Country Club 5685 Alton Road • Miami Beach, Florida

November 20, 2016

Janusz Olejniczak

Acclaimed pianist and juror of the International Chopin Competition, Mr. Olejniczak has also recorded soundtracks to a number of films on Frederic Chopin, including the Oscar winner, The Pianist by Roman Polanski. Presented by Gray & Sons Jewelers

January 15, 2017

Katarzyna Popowa-Zydron

Head of the Jury of the 2015 International Chopin Competition, Ms. Zydron is a renowned concert pianist and respected teacher. Presented by Dr. Carlos J. and Mrs. Dominguez

March 26, 2017

Marek Drewnowski

Known internationally for his remarkable skills as a pianist and conductor, Mr. Drewnowski was a protégé of Leonard Bernstein. Presented by the Louis Leibowitz Charitable Trust


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Salon Concerts & wine reception are FREE for Chopin Members. Non-Members are also welcome: $50 (concert + reception) Elegant buffet dinner optional: $60 (wine & tip included) Cocktail Attire Requested

RSVP REQUIRED: 305-868-0624 •

Chopin for All

FREE Concert Series

Presented by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits


Broward County Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale

Sundays at 3 pm

Granada Presbyterian Church, 950 University Drive, Coral Gables

November 12 & 13, 2016

Drew Petersen

A laureate of the 2015 Leeds International Piano Competition

December 3 & 4, 2016

Rachel Kudo and Marina Radiushina, piano solo & duo

Chopin Silver Medalist teams up with local renowned concert artist

January 21 & 22, 2017

Eric Lu, piano and Ariel Horowitz, violin International Chopin laureate is joined by outstanding young violinist February 18 & 19, 2017

Krzysztof Ksiazek - Poland

Winner of the 2015 National Chopin Competition of Poland

March 11 & 12, 2017

Anna Miernik - Poland

An award winning young exchange pianist from Poland

April 22 & 23, 2017

Young Pianists Concerts

Selected local piano students in an All-Chopin program

May 20 & 21, 2017

Chopin for All Concerts are FREE! No tickets required. Seating on a first come first served basis.

Reed Tetzloff

An outstanding young American pianist

Chopin at Key Biscayne

February 26, 2017 • 5 pm

Key Biscayne Community Center

10 Village Green Way, Key Biscayne, Florida

Free Admission - Artist TBA

In partnership with the Village of Key Biscayne

Pianos for all programs generously provided by (305) 868-0624 Good News



Did you know.... ...that a Polish astronomer published the earliest known exact map of the Moon and his wife was considered the first female astronomer? Jan Heweliusz (16111687) was a brewer and the mayor of Danzig (now Gdańsk), but it was as an astronomer that he gained a respected reputation and national renown. He had an avid fascination with the heavens, so much so that he erected an observatory in 1641 and with a keen understanding of engineering, he built more complex and precise telescopes that were far better than what was then available. Royalty from all over Poland visited his projects and gave him the financial means to continue in his cutting edge work. During the years of solar observation, Heweliusz theorized that twelve astral bodies revolved around the sun in parabolic paths (routes of projectiles affected by gravity) and he also described ten new constellations, seven of which are recognized by astronomers today. He named stars, comets and constellations and, as a master engraver, created his greatest work, Selenographia, an atlas of the Moon which earned him the moniker, “the founder of lunar topography.” Heweliusz also detailed and illustrated his heavenly findings in a self-published guide, Firmamentum Sociescianum, which is still considered an invaluable resource in the study of the skies. His second wife, Elisabeth, helped him throughout the years and became a very adept astronomer in her own right.

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Did you know.... ...that Max Factor was founded by a Pole? In 1909, Maksyilian Faktorowicz (1877-1938), a Polish-Jewish cosmetician from Zduńska Wola, Congress Poland, started a movie make-up company he named Max Factor. His breakthrough techniques to enhance a starlet’s features and hair, and make them look wonderful on film, became the standards of how make-up (a phrase he popularized) should be applied. He also gave many of his famous clients a signature look that

was copied by women throughout the world, such as Clara Bow’s heart shaped lips and Jean Harlow’s plantinum blonde hair. By 1935, he turned his years of experience and expertise into an international retail cosmetic industry that became hugely successful and it is still booming today. Max Factor & Company was owned by several generations of the family until it was sold in 1973 for $500 million, and then purchased by Procter & Gamble in 1991.



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olunteers are the backbone of many non-profit organizations and events, and their dedication, skills and generous donation of their time are beyond measure and essential to the success of AIPC. We hope you will consider becoming a volunteer for us. Typical duties include proofreading our publications, preparations for the Annual International Polonaise Ball, promoting Institute activities and events, recruiting new members and students for the scholarship program, and archiving documents and other materials. Volunteers are welcome to use the Institute’s library and other educational resources. Maria Blacha Mariusz Chrobak Jadwiga Gewert Jan Karaszewski Michal Komorowski Janusz Kozlowski Claudia Lang Aneta Kulesza Mestrinelli Patrick Misiewicz Ewa Mitera Barbara Muze Grzegorz Nowak Sarah Okon Grzegorz Okon Ela Piotrovsky Alicja Schoonover Zbigniew Slabicki Alex Storozynski Jacek Trus Joanna Wiela

September 2015 - November 2016

e welcome our new members, appreciate their support and sincerely hope that they enjoy the events and publications of the American Institute of Polish Culture in Miami. We are always ready to embrace new ideas and projects, and continue to sponsor, organize and produce new events. But we do need all of our members’ help. We ask that you encourage family members, friends and colleagues to join AIPC. And students (up to 30 years of age) get a free membership! If each member brought at least five new members into the Institute, there’s no doubt we could expand our scope of works throughout America even more!

Ms. Ruby Bacardi Mr. Thomas Bertorelli Ms. Anna Bielawska Ms. Diana Chlebek Mr. Kazimierz “Casey” Chlebek Ms. Michelle Chlebek Countess Barbara Pagowska Cooper Countess Brigitte Cooper Countess Janelle Cooper Mrs. Stephanie Cupp Mrs. Zofia Dabrowska Ms. Anna Filochowski Mr. William Paul Hogge Ms. Melissa Houghton Ms. Aleksandra Jasieniecka Ms. Alma Kadragic Ms. Olivia Klenn Mr. Roch Kolodziej Ms. Eva Krzewinski Ms. Kamila Bazylia Kudelska

Please call if you would like to donate some of your free time. We would love to see you! Contact: (305) 864-2349 or

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” G.K. Chesterton

Mr. James Lawicki Rev. Philip S. Majka Ms. Maria Moskal Mr. Roger Krol Mroczek Mrs. Henrietta Nowakowski Mr. & Mrs. Grzegorz Okon Mr. Paul Radomski Count Joseph Mikolaj Rej, Jr. Ms. Julia Sarata Mr. Zbigniew Slabicki Ms. Julia Sudol Ms. Natalie Swatowski Mr. Jacek Trus Ms. Kasia Wiech Ms. Katrina Wioncek Mr. James Wysocki Ms. Victoria Zukowski

And to all members.... We are especially honored to have many long-time members who, throughout the years, have helped us grow the Institute into a respected resource for Polish history and culture in the U.S. and abroad. Your dedication to our mission, participation in events, and ongoing interest in our publications is greatly appreciated and we thank you all for being part of our past and part of our future.

...thank you!

Sponsor m e m b ers hi p for you r f ri ends and fa m i l y for a yea r! Good News


Sons of the White Eagle in the American Civil War Divided Poles in a Divided Nation

Mark F. Bielski An historian who lives in New Orleans, Mark is a director at Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours and the Ambrose Institute, where he is involved in business and educational development, historical guiding, lecturing and itinerary design for tours that primarily involve World War II and the American Civil War. Being of Polish descent, he knows the language and has traveled extensively in Poland and throughout Europe. He has a Ph.D. in History from the University of Birmingham (England), and an M.A. and B.A. in English from Georgetown and Tulane Universities, respectively. His career has involved academics, history and journalism, and he is a member of the American Historical Association and the Society for Military History.

This book describes nine transplanted Poles who participated in the Civil War. They span three generations and are connected by culture, nationality and adherence to their principles and ideals. The common thread that runs through their lives—the Polish White Eagle—is that they came from a country that had basically disintegrated at the end of the previous century, yet they carried the concepts of freedom they inherited from their forefathers to the New World to which they immigrated. Once in America the pre-war political feuds, ferocious ensuing battles, captures, prison camp escapes and privations of war—often in the words of the soldiers themselves—are fully described. More highly trained in warfare than their American brethren—and certainly more inured to struggles for nationhood— the Poles made a more significant contribution to Civil war combat than is usually described. The first group had fought in the 1830 war for freedom from the Russian Empire. The European revolutionary struggles of the 1840's molded the next generation. The two of the youngest generation came of age just as the Civil War began, entered military service as enlisted men and finished as officers. Of the group, four sided with the North and four with the South, and the other began in the Confederate cavalry and finished fighting for the Union side. All but one came from aristocratic backgrounds. In a war commonly categorized as a "brother against brother," a struggle between two American regions, history has not devoted a great deal of attention to the participation of Poles, and foreigners in general. These men fought with a belief in European democratic liberalism. Whether for the North to keep a Union together or to form a new nation from the Southern states, they held to their ideals, and in America's own greatest conflict continued to fight for their beliefs.

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Sons of the White Eagle in the American Civil War: Divided Poles in a Divided Nation Author Mark Bielski June 2016 Casemate Publishers Illustration 16 pp photos 9781612003580 312pp $32.95 610/853-9131 Available everywhere fine books are sold For more information contact Carrie Williamson at 504-258-1662

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