Why Do They Fear Him?
The second in the series of QUO VADIS? conferences for potential American Polonian leaders, who currently are students and young professionals, took place at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) in New Britain, Connecticut 2-4 August 2013. Professor Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, holder of the Kosciuszko Chair in Polish Studies at the Institute of World Politics (IWP) in Washington, DC, was invited by the CCSU student organizers to deliver a lecture at this QUO VADIS? conference.
Then Professor Chodakiewicz was disinvited. Insiders say that Professor M.B. Biskupski, Professor of History at CCSU and president of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America, ordered the student organizing committee to renege on their invitation to Professor Chodakiewicz.
Readers recall that QUO VADIS? conferences also are held in Canada and several other countries where Polonians are numerous. The ardent Polish youths, the future leaders of lobbies for Poland and the Poles in countries with a large Polonia, come to QUO VADIS? conferences for reliable information and sound interpretations of contemporary Polish politics and society. They need to consider what future political actions they should initiate in the countries where they live and work based on an accurate estimate of Poland’s present political context. Our future leaders are sophisticated youths who are not duped by the propaganda of success retailed by the leadership of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America (PIASA).
The leadership of these academic, educational and cultural organizations, ostensibly devoted to free competition in the market place of ideas, fear Professor Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, present incumbent and first holder of the only partially endowed Kosciuszko Chair in Polish Studies at the Institute of World Politics (IWP) in Washington, DC. Readers recall that Lady Blanka A. Rosenstiel’s American Institute of Polish Culture, Miami, Florida, donated $1 million to the $2 million Kosciuszko Chair. The Adam M. Bak Foundation’s generous leadership gifts contributed a substantial part of the remaining $1 million which must be raised to complete the endowment of the $2 million Kosciuszko Chair. Visit IWP’s web site to see how you can help to complete the Kosciuszko Chair’s endowment and to learn about the achievements of Professor Chodakiewicz.
To date, this writer has NOT been able to reach Professor Biskupski. Professor Chodakiewicz suspects that he was disinvited because he is a traditional historian. This writer agrees, and adds that Professor Chodakiewicz challenges the propaganda of success, which PIASA propagates. Moreover, unlike the post-modernist publications of Professor Jan Tomasz Gross, Professor Chodakiewicz’s books and articles are marked by adherence to traditional standards: intellectual honesty, presentation of documentation for and against the thesis which the historian is investigating/testing, and verification of facts.
There are at least two sides to every story. This writer hopes to hear from Professor Biskupski before describing how Professor Chodakiewicz challenges the propaganda of success by telling the truth about contemporary Polish history. Perhaps Professor Chodakiewicz was disinvited for other reasons?
By John Czop