Post Eagle Newspaper


May 18, 2024

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Fate of Katyn Memorial:
Open Letter From The PAC
To The Jersey City Council

Dear Members of the Jersey City Council:

The Katyń Forest Massacre Memorial Committee has been, for nearly thirty years, a member organization of the Polish American Congress’s (PAC) New Jersey Division. Organized in Buffalo, New York, in 1944, the PAC’s purpose was to persuade President Franklin D. Roosevelt to require the Soviet Union’s Dictator Joseph Stalin to promise to restore Poland, which fought Nazi Germany from start-to-finish during World War II, within her borders of September 1,1939.

Today, the PAC’S mission is to persuade official governmental and public opinion that a strong a truly sovereign Poland protects United States national security interests and promotes the American values of political freedom and free enterprise in East Central Europe.  The PAC is an umbrella, or supra-organization, whose membership includes individuals and leading Polish American associations and represents over 10 million Polish Americans throughout our country.

Andrzej Pityński’s Katyń Monument at Exchange Place is a powerful statue that affirms and presents to the public the continuing relevance of the PAC’S mission.  Moreover, Mr. Frank J. Spula, national president of the PAC, recently wrote to Mayor Steven Fulop to request a full and complete statement of all the facts, especially the costs, involved in relocating Pitynski’s magnificent bronze statue, in order to prepare a plausible plan with specific information to ensure a safe and secure future for the Katyń Monument.

These sensible requirements are NOT fulfilled by Ord. 18-057, which calls for the re-location of the Katyn Monument.  Ordinance 18-057 is vague.  This is why I ask you to vote against it upon its second reading at the Jersey City Council Meeting on Wednesday 13 June 2018.

Ordinance 18-057 should, but does NOT, include explanations of how much it will cost to move the Monument. This omission makes it impossible for you to decide on the costs versus the benefits of moving the Katyn Monument. At recent City Council Meetings, numerous Jersey City taxpayers have asked how much will it cost to move the Katyn Monument.  A Jersey City taxpayer who spoke at the 23 May City Council meeting, Ms. Jeanne Daly, received strong applause when she suggested that money to move the Katyn monument could be better spent on other projects of immediate and direct benefit to needy Jersey City residents.

Moreover, I encourage you to be sure that you have from official Jersey City Departments, and especially the Department of Engineering, precise answers to the costs and benefits of moving the Katyn Monument.  I participated in the Monday 4 June 2018 meeting, from 12:00 noon until 1:30 p.m., at the Jersey City Engineering Department, 13-15 Linden Ave.  Mr. David Juzmeski, P.E., P.P. participated in this meeting at the request of the Katyn Forest Massacre Memorial Committee.  In answer to this writer’s question, he said that he needs more specific information on how and where the Katyn Monument may be re-located BEFORE he can advise the Katyn Forest Massacre Memorial Committee on the soundness of Jersey City’s plan.

More information also is required about The Exchange Place Alliance Special Improvement District, a not-for-profit corporation established at the initiative of Mayor Fulop, which first proposed removing Pityński’s Monument from Exchange Place.  Why were no members of the Jersey City Council serving in this organization?  This writer read the sketchy Minutes of the Exchange Place Alliance Special Improvement District, which leave unanswered many important questions.

I strongly encourage you to be sure that you have plausible answers to how and precisely where, at the foot of York Street, the Katyń monument may be re-located and how much this will cost so you may make a well informed decision.  Ordinance 18-057 does NOT include this important information.  Therefore, it would be most prudent for the Jersey City Council to vote against Ordinance 18-057 upon its second reading scheduled for Wednesday 13 June 2018 at the Jersey City Council Meeting.

John Czop
Director of Policy Planning
National Office
Polish American Congress
1612 K Street, NW., Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20006