Legislative Alert!


11333 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck, MI 48212

Telephone: (313) 365-9400, E-mail: office@pacmi.org

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 (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/116/sres566/text), 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. (http://www.librainstitute.org/ARTICLES/Lukaszewski-Statement.html;http://www.librainstitute.org/ARTICLES/Witomila-Wolk-Jezierska-list.html

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: pacmi.org.

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