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May 24, 2024

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Katyn Forest Massacre Commemoration In Jersey City, NJ

By John Czop

JERSEY CITY, NJ – On Sunday afternoon, April 7th, 2024, The Katyn Forrest Massacre Memorial Committee, Inc. held a commemoration of the murder, on Stalin’s orders, of approximately 22,000 Polish Army prisoners of war in Katyn Forest and other killing fields in the Western Soviet Union.  This communist crime without punishment was perpetrated in April 1940, when Hitler and Stalin were allies. Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland in September 1939 and partitioned her out-of-existence.

The commemoration was organized by Mrs. Celina Bozena Urbankowski, who has been serving for many years as vice-president of the Katyn Forest Massacre Memorial Committee, Inc.  Mrs. Urbankowski’s family made leadership contributions to Andrzej Pitynski’s larger-than-life-size bronze sculpture of a Polish cavalry officer stabbed in the back by a Russian bayonet.  Pitynski’s sculpture is a powerful metaphor for Poland’s tragic fate during World War II.  Poland was a victim of the failure of collective security.

At the April 7 commemoration in Exchange Place, Jersey City, patriotic poems in Polish were recited by pupils of Saint Casimir’s Polish School of Saint Casimir’s Roman Catholic Church in Newark, New Jersey  They also performed traditional Polish dances.

Vice-Consul Justyna Gollob-Park represented the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York.  She delivered a speech calling  attention to the importance of commemorating Katyn in the present context of war in Europe perpetrated by Russia against Ukraine.

A moving speech on America and Poland as partners in freedom was delivered by Mr. Zbigniew Herman the Commander of the Polish Army Veterans, who were numerous at the commemoration.

The ARIA CHORUS # 303, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, performed patriotic and religious Polish hymns.

Mr. Krzysztof Nowak is the long serving president of the Katyn Forest Massacre Memorial Committee, Inc. President Nowak succeeded in getting proclamations which commemorate the Katyn Forest Massacre from Jersey City, the United States House of Representatives, and the State of New Jersey.

SReference 24040820080 (Proclamation)

Approximately 200 participated in this moving commemoration of the brutality inflicted on Poland and the Poles during World War II by her authoritarian neighbors as the world again stands on the brink of war.

In photo: Commemoration viewed from the Hudson River side of the Katyn Memorial