• Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland


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  • 24 November 2014

    On November 20, Consulate General of Poland in New York City hosted a reception to commemorate Jan Karski.

    The event celebrated the third anniversary of the Jan Karski Award, a year of Jan Karski in Poland commemoration and anniversary of the Jan Karski Educational Foundation. The recipient of the 2014 Spirit of Jan Karski Award is John McCain.


    Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka, Consul General of the Republic of Poland in New York officially opened the event in the residence of  De Lamar, home of the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland. The event was attended by the Polish First Lady Anna Komorowska, Ambassador of Poland to the United States Ryszard Schnepf, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary – Permanent Representative of the Republic of Poland to the United Nations in New York Bogusław Winid, congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), members of the Board of Directors and Board of Advisors of the Jan Karski Educational Foundation and Sigmund Rolat, a Distinguished Benefactor of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, one of the first donors to the institution.


    Ambassador Ryszard Schnepf was the first to take the floor after the official opening. He stressed the significance of the Year of Jan Karski, especially in promotion  of the humanitarian legacy of Jan Karski.


    Then Ms. Wanda Urbanska, President of the Jan Karski Educational Foundation extended her gratitude to Consul General Ewa Junczuk-Ziomecka for  all the yearsof supporting the Jan Karski Educational Foundation and her achievements in disseminating the message of Jan Karski.


    “Ewa, on behalf of the foundation, on behalf of the Polish, Jewish and American communities here in New York, we sincerely appreciate all you do, and all you have done, to preserve and promote the legacy of Jan Karski. We're counting on you to continue your work in Poland,” said Wanda Urbanska.


    Carolyn Maloney, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, who spoke afterwards mentioned her recent trip to Poland and the celebration of the opening of the POLIN Museum. In her speech she recalled the words of President Bronisław Komorowski during the museum’s opening, stressing the importance of the Museum for the narration of the history of Poland.


    “Because it is not possible to tell the history of Poland, without telling the history of Jews,” said Maloney.


    The main point of the evening was honoring John McCain with the Spirit of Jan Karski award. This renowned award was presented by Andrzej Rojek, Chairman of the Board of the Jan Karski Educational Foundation. Andrzej Rojek recalled the military service of John McCain in Vietnam, and his imprisonment in the Hoa Loa Prison, nicknamed the "Hanoi Hilton.”


    “Like Jan Karski, Senator McCain endured torture and like Karski he refused to cave in to the demands of his captors. Elected to the House of Representatives in 1982 and the U.S. Senate in 1986, he was the Republican presidential nominee in the 2008. He is a proponent of diplomacy but also an advocate of military intervention when diplomacy fails,”  Andrzej Rojek said.


    Senator John McCain, who was not able to participate in the event in person, prepared a video acceptance speech, in which he extended his gratitude to the Foundation for the prestigious award.




    “Since the Senate is in session, I am deeply sorry, I cannot be with you tonight for this important occasion. But I would like to take this opportunity to speak with you about Jan Karski, an extraordinary man, who risked his life to tell the world of the conditions in Nazi-occupied Poland during the World War II, and atrocities perpetrated against the Jews,” said John McCain.


    “His story must not be forgotten. Too often the world has failed to prevent mass atrocities. Stories like Jan Karski’s are a remainder of those atrocities that we did not stop, and the lives we did not save,” said Senator McCain and added that we should fight with prejudice and speak up against injustice.


    McCain also spoke about the political situation in Ukraine, Syria and Iran. “This is the price we’ve paid for choosing silence and remaining disengaged. When decisive action could have made a difference (…)

    “This is the lesson we must learn from Karski’s legacy,” added McCain.


    “We must always be willing to stand up for people, who share our values, because it is right. And because we have an interest in shaping conditions of the world, that allow our citizens to live in peace and freedom at home,” said Senator McCain.


    Following the award ceremony, Wanda Urbanska introduced The Ester Rachel Kaminska and Ida Kaminska State Jewish Theater and invited guests to participate in the Silent Auction of the remarkable works of Polish artists.


    “In order to continue our work, to expand our work, to make Jan Karski a household name in America, to get students and others to read his book and to learn about his mission on behalf of the Polish Underground and on behalf of humanity, we need your help. We need you to like Karski – step up – refuse to be bystanders, to assume others will do the work,” Wanda Urbanska said. “Now we do know about Karski and we invite you to be a messenger for truth, a messenger for Karski,” she added.  



    200 guests attend to that special annual event
    200 guests attend to that special annual event (2)
    Amb Ryszard Schnepf, First Lady Anna Komorowska a
    Amb Ryszard Schnepf, General Consul Ewa Junczyk Z
    Andrzej Rojek, The Jan Karski Educational Foundat
    First Lady of Poland Anna Komorowska was honoured
    President of the Jan Karski Educational Foundatio
    RepCarolyn Maloney Amb Ryszard Schnepf and Consul
    Senator John McCain thanked by commemorate video
    Silent Auction
    Spirit of Jan Karski Award 2014
    Spirit of Jan Karski Award 2014 (2)
    The Ester Rachel Kamińska and Ida Kamińska State
    Zelman Mlotek and Consul General Ewa Junczyk Ziom

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