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Senator Mikulski Announces Senate Passage
Of Resolution Honoring Polish Hero
And Holocaust Survivor, Jan Karski

As Co-Chair of Senate Caucus on Poland, Mikulski resolution celebrates the 100th anniversary of Jan Karski’s birth on April 24, 1914

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) Friday, December 5, 2014 , Co-Chair of the Senate Caucus on Poland, today announced Senate passage of her bipartisan resolution celebrating the centennial year of the birth of Jan Karski. The resolution was introduced by Senator Mikulski together with Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.).

 

“One hundred years after his birth, I’m so proud my colleagues have joined me in honoring the courageous life and lasting legacy of Mr. Karski, a truly honorable Polish American, celebrating the 100th anniversary of his birth” Senator Mikulski said. “Throughout his life, Jan Karski remained committed to providing global awareness of the atrocities committed during the Holocaust.”

Jan Karski served in the Polish diplomatic core before enlisting in the military, serving in the Polish army when German soldiers invaded in 1939. He was subsequently captured and sent to a prisoner camp. In 1940, he fled to Warsaw and joined the Polish underground resistance movement. Jan Karski came to the United States in 1943, and met with President Roosevelt to describe the horrors of the Nazi genocide. He became an American citizen in 1953. He earned a Ph.D. from Georgetown University, and went on to teach at Georgetown’s Edmund A. Washington School of Foreign Service. In 2012, President Obama posthumously awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Senator Mikulski’s statement submitted for the Congressional record follows:

“Mr. President, today, I join with my colleague, Mr. Kirk, in introducing a resolution honoring the heroic life of Jan Karski.

“Jan Karski was born in Lodz, Poland, on April 24, 1914. He began his life of service in the Polish diplomatic service before he enlisted in the military, serving in the Polish army when German soldiers invaded Poland in 1939. He was subsequently captured and sent to a prisoner camp.

“In 1940, Jan Karski fled to Warsaw and joined the Polish underground resistance movement, where he served as a courier delivering messages detailing the horrific brutality of the Nazis to the Polish government-in-exile. Mr. Karski played a key role in providing some of the first eye-witness accounts of the Holocaust to governments of other nations. In July of 1943, Mr. Karski came to the U.S. and met with President Roosevelt to describe the horrors of the Nazi genocide he had witnessed. He became a U.S. citizen in 1954.

“Throughout his life, Jan Karski remained committed to providing global awareness of the atrocities committed during the Holocaust. After World War II, Mr. Karski became a student at Georgetown University, where he earned a Ph.D. in 1952. He went on to teach, calling on his own experiences, at Georgetown’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service for 35 years until he retired in 1984.

“Jan Karski has been honored on multiple occasions for his courageous efforts to open the world’s eyes to the atrocities of the Holocaust. In 2012, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and more recently, the Parliament of the Republic of Poland designated 2014 as “The Year of Jan Karski.”

“One hundred years after his birth, I ask my colleagues to join me in honoring the courageous life and lasting legacy of Mr. Karski, a truly honorable Polish American, by celebrating the centennial year of Jan Karski’s birth.”