You are cordially invited to the premiere of the
12th Annual Kosciuszko Chair Spring Symposium
in honor of Lady Blanka Rosenstiel
by the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies and the Center for Intermarium Studies.
Premieres via Facebook
Friday, April 22nd, 2022
War in Ukraine: Geopolitical Implications for Europe and the United States
with Dr. Lucja Cannon
About the lecture: Analysis of far reaching effects that the war in Ukraine is having on foreign policies of Western Europe, mainly Germany, and Eastern Europe, mainly Poland, and the increasing distance between the two. Repercussions for European integration and the position of the United States are also explored.
About the speaker: Dr. Lucja Swiatkowski Cannon is a strategist, expert and author on Eastern Europe, Russia and US-East European relations. She has a BA, M.Phil. and Ph.D. in international relations and Russian/East European studies from Columbia University.
Channeling Stalin: Unscrambling Russian Propaganda in Ukraine
with Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz
About the lecture: In Ukraine, Russia has presently redeployed a trusty Soviet propaganda trope: “liberation from Nazism.” This narrative is, of course, mendacious. Yet, every lie contains a kernel of truth. Our objective here is to extract it and put it in its proper context. We shall consider “liberation” and “Nazism” separately.
“Liberation from Nazism” is a standard Soviet cliche originating in the Second World War. However, Moscow also lustily employed it during the crushing of the Polish Poznan uprising in June 1956, the Hungarian insurrection in November 1956, and the Czechoslovak upheaval in August 1968.
In fact, throughout its history, the USSR justified its imperialist aggression invariably in terms of bringing “liberty” and annihilating evil. Usually, the target was “fascism/Nazism/Hitlerism” but there were derivatives such as “imperialism,” “oppression,” and so forth. Often the Soviets would refer to their actions as “rendering fraternal assistance.”
All those propaganda threads are present today in the war in Ukraine. A more sophisticated iteration of “liberation from Nazism” focuses on the Western public, while its cruder form targets domestic, Russian audiences.
About the speaker: Dr. Chodakiewicz holds the Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies at The Institute of World Politics and leads IWP’s Center for Intermarium Studies. At IWP, he also serves as a Professor of History and teaches courses on Contemporary Politics and Diplomacy, Geography and Strategy, Mass Murder Prevention in Failed and Failing States, Russian Politics and Foreign Policy, and The European Union.
He is the author of Intermarium: The Land Between the Black and Baltic Seas and numerous other books and articles. He holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University and has previously taught at the University of Virginia and Loyola Marymount University.
Hitler’s Eastern Dream: Its Origins and Consequences
with Joseph Poprzeczny
About the lecture: This talk will provide a broad overview of Germanic expansion into Eastern Europe which provides the historic background to Hitler’s Eastern Dream.
About the speaker: Joseph Poprzeczny holds a Master of Arts degree in history from the University of Western Australia, where he also majored in Economics.
He has been a part-time tutor (American and Soviet Politics), 1971-1972, at the University of Western Australia; full-time Teaching Fellow (British and Chinese Economic History), 1973-1975, Monash University, Melbourne; and part-time tutor (South-East Asian history course), 1982, Murdoch University, Perth.
He has worked for various federal politicians as an electoral officer and researcher. This eventually led him to become a journalist with various State and national publications before he retired in 2015.
In 2004, his book, Hitler’s Man in the East, Odilo Globocnik, was published in America. He is currently working on two other unconnected research projects.
The Current Discussions on the Rule of Law in Poland – In Light of Changes in the Judiciary after 1989
with Dr. Marcin Romanowski
About the lecture: Since 2015, the United Right (Zjednoczona Prawica) has won the presidential and parliamentary elections twice, gaining a majority that allows for self-rule. The reforms, in particular in the area of the judiciary, met with fierce resistance from liberal and post-communist opposition parties and judges from higher courts. The central institutions of the European Union (the Commission, the EU Parliament, and the CJEU) are also involved in the dispute, interfering – in the opinion of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal – with the constitutional competencies of the EU Member States in a way that goes beyond scope of the competences conferred upon the EU by its Members in the Treaties.
However, the real source of the aggressive opposition to judicial reforms is the fact that the Polish judiciary has not been transformed since 1989 when communism has officially fallen in Poland. As a result of the so-called “Round Table,” agreements were made in 1989 between a part of the opposition and the communist party, leaving the judiciary unchanged, becoming a de facto guarantee of the status quo for post-communist interest groups. Since 2015, Poland has been struggling with many unresolved problems from the communist era. Settlements with the past were implemented after 1989 to a very small extent, which influenced and still affects the quality of political, social, and academic life, and media, making Poland a country of “late post-communism.” The judiciary, the reform of which is under dispute, is one of the most important areas of this “late post-communism.” The lecture will present the causes of contemporary disputes over the Polish rule of law.
About the speaker: Dr. Romanowski is an assistant professor at the Department of Theory and Philosophy of Law of the Faculty of Law and Administration within the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw. He has a doctoral degree in law from the Faculty of Law and Administration at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun.
The main areas of his research interest are the law of settlement with the past lawlessness in countries, the natural law and the non-positivist concepts of law, the theory of European and global law, and legal anthropology and its applications in the creation and application of the law.
During his professional career, Dr. Romanowski was the Director of the Institute of Justice (2016-2019), an expert of the parliamentary investigative commission to investigate allegations of corruption cases disclosed in the media during work on the amendment of the Broadcasting Act (2003-2004) and a co-author of the report prepared by this commission and, in the years 2005-2007 and 2015-2019, advisor to the Minister of Justice. Since 2019, he has served as Poland’s Deputy Minister of Justice.
The American Rescue of Poland Through Danzig in 1919
with Nick Siekierski
About the lecture: In early 1919, newly reborn Poland was virtually a landlocked country. Border conflicts caused by the geopolitical earthquake of World War I had brought international trade to a standstill. The only hope for economic relief and humanitarian aid to the war-ravaged nation was access to the Baltic sea through German-controlled Danzig. In the late winter of 1919, the small Mission to Danzig, led by the first chief of the American Relief Administration in Poland, Colonel William R. Grove, and the versatile Chief Delegate of the Polish Government, Mieczysław Jałowiecki, would play an indispensable role in opening Poland’s economy to the world, before the decisive showdown with Bolshevik Russia in 1920.
About the speaker: Nicholas Siekierski earned his Ph.D. at the Tadeusz Manteuffel Institute of History at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. His dissertation, “Operations of the American Relief Administration in Poland, 1919-1922,” tells the story America’s critical role in the early history of the Second Polish Republic. Dr. Siekierski is also a translator, most recently of 485 Days at Majdanek, the memoir of concentration camp survivor Jerzy Kwiatkowski, published last year by the Hoover Institution. It was the subject of a presentation at last year’s Kościuszko Chair Spring Symposium at IWP.
Polish-Ukrainian Relations, Past and Present: Some Thoughts
with Peter Stachura
About the lecture: The current crisis in Ukraine has understandably evoked not only world-wide sympathy for the appalling plight of the Ukrainian people but also admiration for the magnanimous Polish response to the consequent mass exodus of refugees. These developments, however, serve to obscure the complex historical reality of Polish-Ukrainian relations in the modern era. This presentation offers an objective and impartial assessment of a generally tense and often violent symbiosis.
About the speaker: Peter Stachura held a Personal Chair in Modern European History at the University of Stirling (UK), where he was also Director of The Centre for Research in Polish History. He is now Director of the independent Research Centre for Modern Polish History and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, London. Professor Stachura has published extensively in his primary research specialisms of Weimar Germany and the Second Polish Republic.