You are cordially invited to the premiere of:
The 14th Annual Kościuszko Chair Conference
by the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies and the Center for Intermarium Studies

Premieres via Facebook
Thursday, November 11th, 2021
5:00 PM ET

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The Massacre in Jedwabne Revisited

About the lecture: On July 10, 1941, the Germans burned alive most of the Jewish population of Jedwabne in north-eastern Poland. Some of the local Christians assisted in the crime but the nature of their exact involvement and deeds remains obscure. In fact, recently declassified documents suggest it was more negligible than some scholars argued before. However, we shall not know the precise details of the crime and the exact perpetrators without an exhumation and further forensic study of the victims.

Dr. Chodakiewicz will discuss new evidence and present a documentary collection he co-edited: over 2,000 pages of newly accessible evidence of the crime.

About the speaker: Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz holds The Kosciuszko Chair in 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 Geography and Strategy, Contemporary Politics and Diplomacy, Russian Politics and Foreign Policy, and Mass Murder Prevention in Failed and Failing States. 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.

 

The Forgotten Battlefield? September 1939 and the History of World War II

About the lecture: Dr. Radzilowski will discuss the Invasion of Poland in 1939 by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union and the seemingly deliberate amnesia about the campaign that persisted for almost 80 years. He will examine Poland’s defensive strategy and its successes and failures and why historians have failed so often to understand the campaign’s importance. He will draw on recent scholarship on the topic as well as comparisons with another campaign that is similarly misremembered, the Sino-Japanese War that began in 1937. Lastly, Dr. Radzikowski will examine the role of Cold War politics and efforts of Western countries to save face after their inadequate response to the threats of totalitarianism in the 1930s and 1940s in shaping popular perceptions of these campaigns.

About the speaker: Dr. John Radzilowski has taught history, art history, and geography at University of Alaska Southeast on the Ketchikan campus since 2007. Prior to moving to Alaska, he taught history courses at the University of St. Thomas, Hamline University, and Anoka-Ramsey College in Minnesota. Dr. Radzilowski also served as assistant project director at Center for Nations in Transition, at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota where he helped design and administer USAID and State Department-sponsored training programs for business, economics, and political science faculty and NGO leaders in Ukraine and east central Europe.

Dr. Radzilowski’s research and teaching interests are wide-ranging and diverse: immigration and ethnicity, military history, war and genocide, the impact of technology on the history and geography of the Great Plains and Midwest, local and regional studies, and the history of Poland, Russia, Ukraine, and central and eastern Europe.

 

Uncle Władek – One Katyn Family Story: Major Władysław Julian Siemek, Geographer (1897 – 1940)

About the lecture: This lecture will focus on the forgotten human aspect of the 1940 Katyń massacre of Polish officers by the NKVD. Dr. Alexander Jabłoński will discuss the life of one Polish officer – Major Władysław Julian Siemek, a staff member of the highly regarded pre-war military institution, the Military Geographical Institute (Wojskowy Instytut Geograficzny) in Warsaw, Poland. More than 30% of its staff perished during WWII, with the majority killed in Katyń forest.

About the speaker: Alexander M. Jabłoński received his BSc & MS in civil engineering at the Technical University of Cracow, Poland (1970), MS in mechanics and materials engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago (1982) and PhD in structural dynamics at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada (1989).

He has more than 50 years of experience in various fields of engineering, and reconnaissance projects, project management and strategy planning. He worked as an engineer in Poland, Finland, Norway, Germany, and in the USA. Since 1992, he has been working as Research Scientist, Research Engineer and Manager in Canadian Public Service. He was one of Managers of the Space Plan Task Force (SPTF) for the development of the Long-Term Space Plan III for Canada (1999-2009). Currently, he is working at the David Florida Laboratory, Canadian Space Agency in Ottawa. He is also an Adjunct Research Professor at the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Carleton University in Ottawa. He is Fellow of CASI, Associate Fellow of AIAA, Member of Aerospace Division of ASCE, and recipient of various engineering and scientific awards.

Since his early life in Poland, he has studied the Polish and world history for decades. He writes historical essays and presentations, especially on the modern history of Poland including the World War II and the postwar era of the Soviet occupation. Currently he serves as President of the Oskar Halecki Institute in Canada and as a member of the Program Council of the newly established Institute of the Heritage of the National Thought in Warsaw, Poland.

 

Strategic Defense Against Communism: The case of Cardinal Wyszynski (1901 – 1981)

About the lecture: Prof. Grzegorz Kucharczyk will summarize the analysis of communism provided by the Cardinal Wyszyński, Primate of Poland. Shortly before WWII, Rev. Stefan Wyszynski pointed to the destructive role played by Western intellectuals infatuated with communism, calling them “strange people.” In 1934, Stefan Wyszynski first drew attention to a new strategy of the international communist movement, which aimed its efforts at intelligentsia as a class very much prone to fall into this trap. More than thirty years later, in 1967, Cardinal Wyszyński warned against “a new type of communism reflected in the youth revolution.” As the Primate of Poland, Cardinal Wyszynski not only correctly analyzed communism but also knew what means were to be employed to achieve victory against this ungodly ideology. This victory was to be achieved over long distances, and therefore, strategic perspective was very much needed. In 1981, the Cardinal said, “When you go to war, and we are in a war, you have to use binoculars.” The latter, in the form of the Great Novena and the Millennial celebration of 1966, was efficiently used by the blessed Cardinal Wyszyński.

About the speaker: Grzegorz Kucharczyk is a professor at the Institute of History, Polish Academy of Sciences, at the Gorzow Academy of Jacob of Paradyz and in the Center for Totalitarian Studies at the Pilecki Institute. His main research fields include: history of Germany (particularly Prussia) in the 19th and the 20th century, history of anti-Catholicism, and the history of Polish political thought.

 

The Evolution of Active Measures and Disinformation

About the lecture: It was initially believed that active measures would disintegrate and disappear with the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, it has become evident that active measures have not disappeared, but rather have only largely transferred to the digital domain. The term active measures was coined in the 1920’s; however, Russia has practiced these political warfare tactics for centuries. Through all this time the message has stayed the same, Russia hopes to sow divisions between societies and allies, but ultimately wants citizens to lose hope in liberal democracies. The end goal is to make the world a safer place for Putin’s authoritarian regime. Through analyzing active measures that have taken place in both the near abroad nations and the United States from the Cold War years until today, it becomes evident that active measures have not disappeared, but rather have only evolved in their technique and form.

About the speaker: Ms. Agnes Tycner recently graduated from The Institute of World Politics with a master’s degree in Statecraft and International Affairs with a specialization in Russia and Central/Eastern Europe. She will be working for the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation starting January as a Research Fellow in Polish Studies. Agnes also plans to continue her education by attending law school.

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