To our Fellow Americans,
On Thursday, May 14th the Executive Committee of the POLISH AMERICAN CONGRESS UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED a Resolution to make a maximal effort to enact S. Res. 566. This first-rate 80th Anniversary Katyń Commemorative Resolution ends with a paragraph that informs our fellow Americans that President Vladimir Putin, against the facts, recently claimed Poland started World War II, with the unmistakable implication that the Polish prisoners of war killed by Stalin’s NKVD at Katyń were war criminals.
Recently, the President of the Polish American Congress Downstate New York Division, Mr. Andrew Kaminski, Esq., reported, on this Forum, that Russian officials recently removed plaques that commemorated the Katyń Forest Massacre. This is the reason we must phone our United States Senators and ask them to co-sponsor S.Res. 566, the 80th Anniversary Katyń Forest Massacre Commemorative Resolution. The world needs to know the truth about Katyń.
I need to clarify who took the initiative to ask the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to draft S. Res. 566. Mrs. Maria Szonert-Binienda drafted a proposed 80th Anniversary Katyń Forest Massacre Commemorative Resolution which Mr. Andrzej Burghardt delivered to the District Office of Senator Robert Menendez in early March 2020. Mrs. Szonert-Binienda is the top official of her foundation, the Libra Institute and a member of the Coalition of Polish Americans. Mrs. Szonert-Binienda is NOT a member of the Polish American Congress and she supports repeal of S.Res. 447, now Public Law 115/171., which is contrary to Polish American Congress policy. Mr. Burghardt presented the proposed resolution to Senator Menendez’s Newark, New Jersey, District Office, as Vice-President of the Coalition of Polish Americans and as President of the POLISH AMERICAN CONGRESS, New Jersey Division.
A paragraph on Katyń as an example of genocide appeared in the Burghardt/Szonert-Binienda proposed resolution, but Mr. Damian Murphy, Senior Staff, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who is responsible for drafting this Committee’s resolutions, told Mr. John Czop, in a lengthy phone conversation on Monday, April 28th, that the inclusion of the paragraph on Katyń as genocide will NOT be approved by the Senators who serve on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Genocide is a word coined by Raphael Lemkin in his 1944 book Europe under Axis Rule. The United Nations 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide EXCLUDES killing political opponents from the definition of genocide. The United Nations Organization defined genocide and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee declines to name Katyń a genocide because it does NOT fit the United Nations Organization’s definition.
In a phone conversation of Tuesday, April 28th, Mr. Burghardt explained to Mr. Czop that S. Res. 566, without the paragraph on genocide is worthless, because Mrs. Szonert-Binienda is demanding that the Senate declare Katyń a genocide to promote her project to repeal S. Res.447. This is her first step in her goal of establishing an Office of Polonicide Issues in the State Department, just as there is an Office of Holocaust Issues, so the persecution and mass murder of Poles during World War II achieves parity with the Judeocide.
In that same phone conversation, Mr. Czop, explained to Mr. Burghardt that Mrs. Szonert-Binienda’s project is contrary to the policy of the POLISH AMERICAN CONGRESS which works for the redressment of this issue by enacting a Congressional Resolution. This resolution is based on the STATEMENT OF POLAND AND THE POLES DURING WORLD WAR II, which was approved by acclamation on September 17th, 2016 by the Council of National Directors.
Moreover, the effort to repeal S.Res. 447 involves viewing the United States and NATO as more dangerous to Poland’s sovereignty than Putin’s Kremlin. This was the message of the street demonstrations of March 30th, 2019 organized by Mr. Edward Jesman who ignored my order NOT to display Polish American Congress banners at these events to promote repeal of S. Res. 447, which is contrary to POLISH AMERICAN CONGRESS POLICY.
In June 2019, at the time of President Andrzej Duda’s visit to the White House, Secretary Tim Kuzma and I represented the Polish American Congress at a rally where we delivered speeches to greet Poland’s President and to support the importance of NATO for a free and sovereign Poland. Demonstrators calling for repeal of S.Res. 447, who see NATO as a threat to Poland, gathered nearby in a counter-rally. Poland in NATO is POLISH AMERICAN CONGRESS policy.
This is why I appeal to all Polish American Congress State Division Presidents promptly to post on this web site the names and / or the number of their members who have complied with Vice-President Bajdek’s Legislative Alert to support S.Res. 566. We need to compare Polish American Congress members’ phone calls to the Washington, DC offices of their United States Senators with the totals collected by the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from the Washington, DC offices of Senators who represent the 19 States where we have Divisions. If these Senators do not receive enough phone calls, S.Res. 566 will NOT be enacted.
Please post on your State Divisions’ web sites the following message: At your earliest convenience, please phone at their Washington, DC offices, the two United States Senators who represent your State, provide your name and address and ask your Senator to co-sponsor S. Res. 566. Next, contact the president of your Polish American Congress Division and let her/him know that you phoned your two Senators. The president of the Division should post on this forum the names and/or the number of members of the Division who have complied. Please post information that a POLISH AMERICAN CONGRESS member phoned her/his United States Senators as soon as you receive this information so the POLISH AMERICAN CONGRESS National Office may have a running record of calls made.
With your help, the enactment of S.Res. 566 will make members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee mindful that the Poles were victims of persecution and mass murder by the totalitarian countries, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union that started World War II in Europe by invading Poland. In the near future, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to consider the State Department’s Office of Holocaust Issues Report on Compliance with the Terezin Declaration by all 47 countries, including Poland, which signed this protocol. In this political context, our Senators need to remember that Poland was a victim — this is why S.Res. 566 must be enacted with your help.
Let’s make a difference!
Thank you for your assistance in this urgent matter.
Frank J. Spula