PAC Michigan Quarterly General Membership Meeting

PAC Michigan Quarterly General Membership Meeting will be held Monday, September 17, at 7:00 pm.  Location: PAC-MI headquarters (11333 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck, MI).

PAC Presents 20012 Scholarship Recipients

On Thursday, August 9, PAC-Michigan Scholarship Fund held its annual Scholarship Award Dinner during which this year’s recipients of the PAC Scholarships were presented. The event was held at the “Krakus” Restaurant in Detroit.
The presentation was conducted by Wallace Ozog, the chairman of the PAC Scholarship Fund and Mariusz Szajnert, the President of the PAC-Michigan Division.
Initially, all the recipients were to receive $500 each, but thanks to generosity of Ray and Susanne Okonski, the amount was doubled. Ray Okonski is a well-known philanthropist and a supporter of many Polonian organizations’ scholarship programs. PAC was lucky enough to receive matching $500 for each recipients.
The following are the 2012 Polish American Congress of Michigan Scholarship Fund Recipients: Evan Tylenda, Felicia Adamczyk, Angela Tarnogórska, Matthew Piecyk, Victoria Bujny, Ewa Jabłecki, Evelina Kutyma, Ewa Bieciuk, Piotr Buniewicz, Michael Chruściel, Katherine Dziuba, Michał Hałoń, Marcin Jabłecki.
Representatives of many Polonian organizations were also present to show their support of the scholarship program. Traditionally, representatives of PAC Federal Credit Union came to present their monetary contribution to the fund.
Since its inception, PAC Scholarship Fund has awarded 243 students (so far) for a total of $195,900.

PAC Michigan Quarterly General Membership Meeting

Monday, June 4, 7:00 pm – PAC Michigan Headquarters, 11333 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck, MI

US President Barack Obama’s Letter to Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski

US President Barack Obama has written a letter to the Polish president expressing “regret” for an inadvertent verbal gaffe that caused a storm of controversy inPoland.  Obama on Tuesday, May 29, used the expression “a Polish death camp” while honoring a Polish World War II resistance hero rather than wording that would have made clear that he meant a death camp that Nazi Germany operated on Polish soil during its wartime occupation of Poland.

 Text of a letter written by President Barack Obama to Polish President:

His Excellency

Bronisław Komorowski

President of theRepublicofPoland

Warsaw

 

Dear Mr. President:

 

Thank you for your letter of May 30.  I was proud to honor Jan Karski with the Medal of Freedom, our nation’s highest civilian honor.  My decision to do so was a reflection of the high esteem in which the American people hold not only a great Polish patriot, but the extraordinary sacrifices of the Polish people during the Nazi occupation of the Second World War.

In referring to “a Polish death camp” rather than “a Nazi death camp in German-occupiedPoland,” I inadvertently used a phrase that has caused many Poles anguish over the years and thatPolandhas rightly campaigned to eliminate from public discourse around the world.  I regret the error and agree that this moment is an opportunity to ensure that this and future generations know the truth.

As we all know, the Polish people suffered terribly under the brutal Nazi occupation during World War II.  In pursuit of their goals of destroying the Polish nation and Polish culture and exterminating European Jewry, the Nazis killed some six million Polish citizens, including three million Polish Jews during the Holocaust.  The bravery of Poles in the underground resistance is one of history’s great stories of heroism and courage.

Moreover, there simply were no “Polish death camps.”  The killing centers at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Belzec, Treblinka, and elsewhere in occupiedPolandwere built and operated by the Nazi regime.  In contrast, many Poles risked their lives – and gave their lives – to save Jews from the Holocaust.

That is why I paid tribute to Polish victims of the Holocaust during my visit to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in April.  It is why I was honored to pay my respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Monument to the Heroes of the Ghetto during my visit to Warsawlast year.  And it is why, during the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau in 2010, I commended the government and people ofPoland for preserving a place of such pain in order to promote remembrance and learning for the world.

I know well the bonds of friendship between our two countries.  I was proud to welcome you to the NATO Summit in my hometown ofChicago, which is home to the largest Polish community in the world outside ofWarsaw.  As President, I have worked with you to strengthen the enduring ties between our nations so that our alliance is stronger that is has ever been.

Polandis one of America’s strongest and closest allies.  We stand united in facing the challenges of the 21st century inEurope and around the world, and I am confident that, working together, we ensure that the unbreakable bonds of friendship and solidarity between us will only grow stronger in the days and years ahead.

Sincerely,

Barack Obama

“No Greater Ally” Author Awarded by Poland’s Government

koskodanDuring a reception held Wednesday November 9, 2011 at the Polish Consulate in Chicago, Kenneth Koskodan was decorated with “The Knights Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland”.

Koskodan, author of the highly acclaimed “No Greater Ally: The Untold Story of Poland’s Forces in World War II”, received the decoration from Consul General Zygmunt Matynia for his “extraordinary contribution to promoting Polish history in the United States”.  In attendance were representatives from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office, as well as diplomats from Haiti and the Netherlands.

“No Greater Ally” is a comprehensive overview of Poland’s often ignored and maligned military contributions to the Allied war effort during the Second World War.  Poland fought alone against both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939 and continued to fight throughout the war becoming the fourth largest Allied military of the war.  Polish forces played critical roles in the Battle of Britain, Tobruk, Normandy, Monte Cassino, Leningrad and Berlin.

The book chronicles Poland’s participation in all these battles highlighted with never before published firsthand accounts from veterans. Told in a truly unique heart wrenching style, “No Greater Ally” captures the inspiring stories of human endurance and the unbreakable spirit of the people of Poland tracing the plight of dozens of Veterans who fought throughout the war and suffered horribly at the hands of the Soviet and Nazi occupiers.  The book also contains never before seen photographs.

“I am humbled”, Koskodan said in a brief address after receiving the ward.   He added, “This really is for those veterans who fought for freedom and who trusted me to tell their stories.  I hope I have honored them.”

The initial Hardcover edition sold out in North America in just over one year following its release in June 2009.  The paperback edition was released in February 2011.  A Polish language edition was scheduled for release in November 2011 and an “E Book” Kindle edition is due to be released on December 20, 2011.

Ken Koskodan was born in Detroit and currently lives in Grand Blanc, MI.  He is a graduate of Michigan State University and currently works in the petro-chemicals industry.