Thursday, March 30, 2017
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Polonia in the USA

400 Years of Polish Immigrants To America

WASHINGTON, D.C. // It seemed like a good idea at the time, and turned out to be an excellent one when it was finally brought to fruition. Counselor Mariusz Brymora -  Chief of the Culture, Press and Public Relations Office here at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland - wanted to undertake a commemorative project to celebrate Polish immigration to America that began with the first Poles who arrived in the new English settlement of Jamestown, Virginia in 1608.

Encouraged by Ambassador Robert Kupiecki, Brymora teamed up with Professor James S. Pula, of Purdue University, to write their book "400 Years Of Polish Immigrants In America, 1608-2008." The resulting large format album was published in 2008 to coincide with the 400th Anniversary of Jamestown, whose Polish contingent of the settlers represented the vanguard of all the Polonia in America today.

Read more: 400 Years of Polish Immigrants To America


Malgorzata Szum - Polish Culture New Face

     WASHINGTON, D.C. // Malgorzata Szum arrived here from Poland in August, 2009 in the immediate wake of her predecessor, Mariusz Brymora, who was elevated in the Foreign Ministry and reposted to Warsaw. Without pausing a single heartbeat, she immersed herself in the extensive and onerous responsibilities and duties involved with being the Head of the Culture, Press and Public Relations Office at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland.

Read more: Malgorzata Szum - Polish Culture New Face


'Katyn' Author Allen Paul Decorated

WASHINGTON, D.C.  It was a very proud moment for Allen Paul - author of "Katyn: The Untold Story of Stalin's Polish Massacre" (1991/2007) - when Ambassador Robert Kupiecki invested him with the gleaming Commander's Cross, Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, here on April 2, 2009 at Poland's embassy before a large gathering of family, friends and Polonia.

Allen Paul thanked Ambassador Kupiecki for his glowing and extensive introduction, and Poland and all Poles for the high honor they bestowed upon him. With no direct connection to Poland, Paul said that he authored the book because he is a reporter at heart and recognized Katyn as a most tragic story that needed to be told again - but this time in a personal, humanizing manner.

In his somber tome, Paul painstakingly examines Stalin's infamous act of genocide whereby he ordered his Soviet NKVD to murder over 15,000 captive Polish Army officers, officials, professionals and intelligentcia in the Katyn Forest, near Smolensk, Belorussia in the spring of 1940, early on in WWII. Scholarly research in recent years has now placed the presently known number of the select Polish victims at approximately 22,000.

Read more: 'Katyn' Author Allen Paul Decorated


Polish Tracks in Alaska

Foreign crewmen have been common on the ships of most nations down through the centuries. Russia was no exception. Men of varied backgrounds manned her ships, including Poles.

Poles were among the crews of Vitus Bering, himself a Dane, and Alexei Chirikov, that discovered Alaska for the Russians in 1741. Research has identified the names of Poles in the ships' logs. Translated from the Latinized Russian are surnames such as Wielkopolski (Velikopolski), Buczowski (Butzovski), and Kozmian (Kozmin). And Jan Kozyrewski was a consultant to the Bering expeditions. Before Bering, ships under the command of Dmitry Pawlecki, a Polish Russian, in 1732 sailed the strait between Siberia and America and supposedly saw the shores of Alaska.

Read more: Polish Tracks in Alaska


R.Okreglak, B.Buda and C.Tomaszewski awarded at Polish Embassy

WASHINGTON, D.C. Orders of Merit Awarded. Three Maryland residents were formally recognized here on August 26, 2009 at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland. Pictured above, starting left, is Ryszard Okreglak wearing the neck-ribboned Commander's Cross, with Bozena Buda and Carla Tomaszewski both pinned with the Knight's Cross. Ambassador Robert Kupiecki (right) personally bestowed the honors after the reading of the three individually detailed proclamations officially issued by the Honorable Lech Kaczynski, President of Poland. 

Medals of merit - Okreglak, Buda, Tomaszewslki

Bozena Buda, Ryszard Okreglak and Carla Tomaszewski

Read more: R.Okreglak, B.Buda and C.Tomaszewski awarded at Polish Embassy


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