On March 12, Polish President Andrzej Duda and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk are meeting the US President, Joe Biden in Washington, DC on the 25th anniversary of Poland’s accession to NATO in 1999.

Addressing the Polish nation on Monday evening, the Polish President said that, ‘’Joining NATO is one of Poland’s greatest achievements in modern history.”

The Polish-American diaspora is a powerful voice advocating for Polish interests in the US. Ten million Americans of Polish heritage is a force to be reckoned with.

Yet the role of the Polish-American diaspora in helping Ukraine is sometimes overlooked or minimized. In reference to my earlier piece which may inadvertently have given a false impression that the Polish-American diaspora is reluctant to help Ukraine, I wish to set the record straight.

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While there are fringe groups in the diaspora, such as the one mentioned in my earlier article, that want to appease Russia because they are afraid that Russia is going to resort to nuclear weapons, they have a negligible impact on Polish and American policymakers.

The vast majority of Poles abroad know that Russia understands only strength and resolve. Any kind of appeasement policy towards Russia is doomed to fail. “Negotiating” with Russia at this stage will only give Russia time to rearm itself and deal a merciless blow to diplomatic efforts of any kind.

Polish history makes it clear.

The Katyń Memorial at Exchange Place in Jersey City, New Jersey, is a bronze statue created by Polish-American sculptor Andrzej Pitynski. It depicts a bound and gagged Polish soldier with a bayoneted rifle impaled through his back – a tragic reminder of the fate of thousands of Polish Army Officers killed by Soviet forces on March 5, 1940, in the Katyń massacre.

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The monument is a testament to the historical awareness of the Polish-American diaspora when it comes to Russia – be it tsarist, Soviet or under Vladimir Putin. They need no reminder what Russia is: a terrorist state that wants to enslave, exploit, expel and exterminate any nation too weak to defend itself.

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Supporting Ukraine is a matter of Polish national interest. The Polish-American diaspora understands that perfectly. Here I’d like to add information received from some of its leaders in response to my previous article.

There are two key Polish-American diaspora organizations actively engaged in supporting Ukraine: The Polish American Congress and The Kosciuszko Foundation.

Since the outset of the conflict in Ukraine, both of these organizations have been at the forefront of support efforts, advocating for Ukraine's sovereignty and rallying the Polish-American community and broader public behind Ukraine's cause.

The Polish American Congress, a key voice for Polish Americans, has not only shown unwavering support for Ukraine but has also been instrumental in mobilizing resources and political support.

Frank Spula, the President of the Polish American Congress has appealed to the Republican Speaker of the House Mike Johnson on Feb. 14to support the Ukraine aid bill: “It’s vital for the United States to honor its obligations and continue supporting Ukraine.”

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Mr. Spula urged Speaker Johnson to use his influence to persuade his colleagues in the Republican Party to continue supporting Ukraine. “If they don’t do that, it’s going to embolden Vladimir Putin to attack neighboring countries, including Poland, that has been a good neighbor of Ukraine since the beginning of the war.”

The Kosciuszko Foundation, an institution dedicated to promoting Polish culture and academic excellence, has actively been involved in supporting Ukraine through various initiatives, including public statements, fundraising, and awareness campaigns.

The Kosciuszko Foundation has expressed gratitude to President Joe Biden for his support of NATO, Poland, and Ukraine’s independence.

Marek Skulimowski, President of the Kosciuszko Foundation, and Alex Storozynski, Chairman of its Board of Trustees have written the following in the letter to the US President:

“As Polish-Americans, we thank you for your commitment to NATO, Poland and Ukrainian independence. We hope the visit of Poland’s President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Donald Tusk will help strengthen this bond.”

The letter addressed to the American leader was released ahead of the visit of Poland’s President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Donald Tusk to the White House.

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There is no doubt that the Polish-American diaspora will continue to support Ukraine. When Ukraine is strong, Russian terror and slaughter can’t reach beyond its borders. A fringe group mentioned in my earlier article, the group claiming to speak for ten million Americans of Polish heritage, won’t break the Polish-American resolve to support Ukraine.

The views expressed in this opinion article are the author’s and not necessarily those of Kyiv Post.

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Comments ( 1)

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Coach John
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An important fact missing from this article is the importance of the Polish-American vote in the 2024 U.S. Presidential election.
America's leader is not elected by popular vote, he will be elected by a majority of the Electoral College - 538 delegates spread out over the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Many states on America's coasts will go for Biden, while a wide swath of Great Plains and Southern states will be voting for Trump. That leaves a small collection of about 7 to 9 states determining the winner.
Three states - Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, make up what is called 'The Blue Wall' - a moniker for these evenly split states that have historically been a harbinger for election success in the presidential race. In 2016 Trump won those three states, and he won the election. In 2020 Biden won those same three states and won the presidency. The election will be determined by this 'Blue Wall.'
What is intriguing is that Wisconsin has the highest percentage of Polish American population, making up 8.15% of the state's population. Michigan is second with 7.82% of the state's population, identifying as Polish. Pennsylvania is fifth in the country (5.86%).
It stands to reason that Poles who support Ukraine, and who have family members and friends in these three American states, should reach out to them and remind them how important their vote is this coming November.

John
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@Coach John, Very insightful. Good research. Thanks!

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