Archives for May 2020

Did You Know?

Did you know?   

Every Saturday morning, between (9:15 and 9:30 am) you can listen to our weekly PAC-MI broadcast to Polonia on Polish Varieties Radio Program- in Polish- on WNZK  690 AM in the greater Detroit area, or listen live on the Internet- search under Birach Broadcasting   (WNZK 690 AM)         Zapraszamy!


Proposed Amendment submitted by PAC Division Presidents

The Honorable Robert Menendez
The Honorable James E. Risch
The Honorable Richard Durbin
United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations,
c/o Mr. Damian Murphy, Senior Professional Staff Member Washington, D.C. 20510

Re: Presidents of State Divisions of the Polish American Congress call for amendment of S. Res. 566

We, Presidents of State Divisions of the Polish American Congress, welcome and applaud the idea of a resolution commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the Katyn Massacre, introduced to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by Senators Menendez, Risch, and Durbin on May 7th, 2020, now known as S. Res. 566. We appreciate the effort in bringing attention to the crimes that were committed. This communication is intended to improve and enhance the resolution by an amendment which would also reflect the moral outrage that the Polish American community ascribes to this massacre. It should, furthermore, do justice to victims of the massacre by calling it a genocide.

First, we would like to bring to your attention the wording in the proposed Resolution. It minimizes the gravity and implies a change in the character of the Katyn crime, which we believe needs correction:

“Whereas the Katyn Massacre fits into a larger pattern of Communist governments around the world persecuting their citizens and denying their people freedom, which has resulted in the deaths of up to 100,000,000 people since the Russian Revolution of 1917.” See: .

The Polish officers held as Prisoners-of-War by the Soviet Union were not murdered because “the Communist governments […] persecuted their citizens.” The Katyn victims, as citizens of the Polish nation, were brutally murdered because they valiantly defended their homeland, as Poles, against the Soviet aggression of September 17, 1939. They were not Soviet citizens and the Soviet Union was not their government. They were Soviet Prisoners-of-War, soldiers of the Polish Armed Forces that constituted a part of the Allied Coalition during WWII. They were murdered because they defended their homeland against the Soviet aggression, and remained loyal to Poland to the end.

The Katyn victims do not fit “a larger pattern of Communist government persecuting their citizens and denying their people freedom.” Instead, they fit a larger pattern of similar conduct by Stalinist Russia aimed at destroying the Polish people because of their nationality. This is evidenced by the “Polish Operation” of 1937, Katyn Operation of 1940, and innumerable mass executions and deportations to Siberia with intent of extermination. All those operations were aimed at annihilating the Polish national group as such. The Katyn victims were murdered not because they wanted to overthrow the Soviet government or demanded more freedoms in the Soviet Union, but because they belonged to the Polish national group that the Soviet Union intended to annihilate.

May 18th, 2020

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The current wording in the Resolution implies that the Katyn atrocity was perpetrated for political reasons. Hence, the Katyn crime would not meet the standard of genocide because it was not aimed at any protected national group but merely at political opposition. Such language, contrary to facts, is reminiscent of Russian anti-Katyn policy. The Katyn Execution Order of March 5th, 1940 of the Soviet Politburo states that the officers held as prisoners of war selected for execution are “Polish by nationality.” Accordingly, the Katyn Execution Order itself reveals that it is aimed at the Polish national group. According to the UN Genocide Convention, even if the motives for the atrocity are mixed, the coexistence of motives is no defense if the genocidal motive is present.

It is particularly unfortunate that S.R. 566 is submitted now, at exactly the time when in Tver, Russia – the place where thousands more Polish POWs were executed pursuant to the “Katyn Execution Order” — commemorative plaques for this genocidal act were recently removed.

We certainly do not want, or can agree, to any wording that may imply Soviet historical revisionism, or Putin’s continued attempts at denying, concealing, and distorting the truth about Katyn and the Soviet genocide of the Polish people. The Congress of the United States, the leader of the Free World, must not contribute to such efforts.

In considering this amendment, we urge you, our US Senators, to reflect on the following statement made by Hon. Dennis Kucinich in 2011 (“Kucinich Clause”):

Whereas, Katyn was aimed at eliminating the very idea of Poland, to exterminate the people and the memory of the people. Katyn presents a moral crisis to this day because the moral calculus with respect to Katyn has not been worked out. Katyn represents a marker in human history that has not yet been fully inscribed;

Based on the information noted and the above reasoning, we strongly urge you to consider and include the following statement within the Senate Resolution:

We recognize that the systematic mass murders of the Polish people, conducted pursuant to the order of March 5th, 1940 issued by the Soviet Politburo, raises to the level of the crime of genocide.

The essence of this amendment is to better reflect, on the one hand, the tremendous outrage of the Polish people, including those in the Polish-American community, and at the same time a moral indignation that the Senate itself may express about the Katyn Massacre, by exacting a price on the part of the country which committed these crimes, and to fore-stall Russia’s efforts at historical revisionism. Therefore, we encourage adoption of the amendment.

Respectfully yours,

Ann Bankowski, President
Polish American Congress- Michigan, Inc.

Jerzy Bogdziewicz, President PAC Florida Division, Inc.

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Richard Brzozowski, President
Polish American Congress Long Island Division New York, Inc.

Andrzej Burghardt, President PAC New Jersey Division, Inc.

Wiesław Gołębiewski, President PAC Florida Western Division, Inc.

Edward Jeśman, President
Polish American Congress of Southern California, Inc.

James L. Ławicki II, President
Polish American Congress Western New York Division Inc

Andrzej Prokopczuk, President
Polish American Congress, Northern California Division, Inc.

Bozena Urbankowska, President
PAC New Jersey Northern Division, Inc.

Marek Waniołka, President PAC Missouri Division, Inc.

Wiesław Wierzbowski, President
PAC Massachusetts Eastern Division, Inc.

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Senate Resolution 566


Legislative Alert!


11333 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck, MI 48212

Telephone: (313) 365-9400, E-mail:

May 26, 2020

Dear PAC-MI Member/Delegate,

I write to you with an urgent request from PAC National President Spula, as well as from myself as Division President. There is a resolution being considered by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senate Resolution 566 (, commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the Katyn Massacre. Initially the resolution will go to a sub-committee, most likely the Sub-Committee on Europe and Security Cooperation. Following a favorable vote there, it will be sent back to the full committee for a vote. The next step would be its presentation to the full Senate (100 members) for a vote.  We are being urged by the PAC national office to telephone our Senators and appeal to them to vote to pass this resolution bill.

Now, our 2 Michigan senators are not on the above-mentioned committees, but just the same we want to inform them of the resolution’s importance to the Polish American community, which Polish American Congress represents, and strongly urge them for the bill’s passage, at the time it comes up for a vote by the full house. The PAC divisions, that have representation on the committees, are currently being asked now to call their Senators with this urgent request (see attached list).

The initial resolution was brought to Senator Menendez, who serves on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, by the New Jersey Division of PAC. He agreed to be one of its sponsors. What ensued, after this submission, was a resubmission and reformulation of the resolution’s wording by the national PAC Executive Committee, which quite a number of national directors and Division presidents found unacceptable. There continue to be ardent discussions on the National Directors Forum on this matter. The original wording of the resolution stated that the Katyn Massacre was a genocidal act by the Soviets against the Polish nation. The current resolution removed genocide from its wording, in hopes that it would strengthen the chances of the resolution’s passage.

What followed was a proposal of an amendment to Resolution 566 submitted to Senator Menendez’s office. It was signed by eleven PAC Division presidents (see amendment attached), encouraging an improved version of Resolution 566. This amendment brings attention to, and gives reasoning why, the Katyn crimes were genocidal for the Polish nation. You can view the two attached document texts indicating where the wording was changed. These division Presidents, as well as many of the National Directors, are of the strong opinion that we need to express and bring attention to our moral outrage in regard to the Katyn Massacre and to inform and persuade our Senators, with compelling arguments, why it was a genocidal act. This stance is particularly significant at a time when Putin’s Russia is actively revising WWII history.

By presenting this amendment, we do not strive to diminish Resolution 566, but rather to bring attention to the truth behind Stalin’s order to murder Polish citizens, for the very reason of who they were.

  • In calling our Senators (Sen. Stabenow at 202-2904-2822; Sen. Peters at 202-224-6221) you may follow this script to record your message:  After providing your name and address, say: “As one of the Senator’s Polish American voting constituents, I personally ask for his / her vote for passage of Resolution 566, the Menendez-Risch-Durbin Resolution titled: “Commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the Katyń Massacre.”  I also strongly urge that you review and consider to pass the amendment to this resolution which further enlightens as to the significance of the crimes perpetrated on the Polish nation.

It is in the interest of our organization and community that we express our stance and be heard. Please make this call and inform our two senators as to the importance of these matters and the need for favorable passage of Resolution 566, hopefully with the amendment to its text as was suggested. President Spula wants Division Presidents to report to him who of our membership made calls to their Senators. While I do not agree with this course, I welcome anyone letting me know if they made the call.

On behalf of the Michigan Division, I will be both emailing and mailing letters to our two Michigan senators with information as to the Resolution, along with the Amendment document and two additional links. (;

Please review the Resolution (link above) and Amendment document (text attached) , and kindly express your opinion to our Senators. As a community we truly need to practice being heard where it counts.

We will keep you further informed as to this situation. We plan to have information on our division website:

Wishing you a safe and healthy summer. Hope to be able to meet at our September quarterly meeting.


Ann Bankowski, President

Polish American Congress- Michigan



Notice! ~ Quarterly General Membership Meeting Canceled for June 1, 2020

Dear Members and Delegates,

Although our June quarterly meeting was to scheduled for Monday evening, June 1, 2020, due to the continuing restrictions related to Covid 19, and our office being closed, we are postponing the quarterly general membership meeting to September 14 at 7:00pm at the PAC-MI Headquarters. We plan to send you more update this summer as to upcoming plans and events. Please check the division website periodically as well:

We hope to be able to open the office for services soon. We do come in to check office mail and voice mail messages.

Just a reminder to organizations and individual members who have not sent in their division membership dues for 2020, kindly remit as soon as you are able . We have heard back from many of you, but not all as yet. I understand that this unexpected pandemic situation has created problems for many. (Please make checks to: PAC-MI; and send to: 11333 Jos. Campau Hamtramck, MI 48212)

Anticipating our getting back on track very soon and wishing you a safe and healthy summer,

Ann Bankowski, President

Polish American Congress-MichiganQuaterQ