Jan Karski Day

05 Mar 2014 8:28 PM | Anonymous

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced legislation today that will name April 24, 2014 "Jan Karski Day" in America, celebrating the legacy of the famous emissary from the Polish Underground during World War II who was among the first to provide eyewitness testimony to Allied leaders about the Holocaust in occupied Poland. Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-IL), Majority Whip and a Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) are the original co-sponsors of the resolution.



"We are overjoyed that the United States Senate has chosen to honor Jan Karski by designating his one-hundredth birthday as Jan Karski Day," says Andrzej Rojek, chairman of the Jan Karski Educational Foundation, which was actively involved in this initiative. "We note that in the spirit of Jan Karski, this was a bi-partisan effort. Thank you, Senators Menendez, Durbin and Kirk for your leadership. It is the vision of our foundation that groups and communities -- Republicans and Democrats, Christians and Jews -- work together to build bridges of trust to make our world a better, and safer, place." 

Jan Karski was born in Łodz, Poland on April 24, 1914, the youngest of eight children in a Roman Catholic family. He was a reserve officer in the Polish Armed Forces when the country was attacked in September 1939 first by the German Nazis and later by the Soviet Russians. His war memoir, Story of a Secret State, was published to great acclaim in 1944, and re-issued in 2013 by Georgetown University Press as a classic of war literature. After the war, Karski became a naturalized American. In 1994, he was made an honorary citizen of Israel. President Barack Obama decorated Karski with a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom in May 2012.

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