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Sunday, July 24, 2022

Katyn Monument enclosed with a chain link fence ... in America


 We constantly hear about unprecedented actions against the memory of Polish victims of Soviet barbarism in Russia and Belarus. Russians removed Polish symbols from the Katyn(*) Cemetery. The Belarusian regime went even farther by removing both graves and monuments on their territory. Now, we hear that the Katyn Monument in NEW JERSEY is facing similar dangers. 

Local groups with evident commercial and political interests are pushing forward with a plan that obstructs the monument's view and restricts the public's access to it. Their planned removal of the decorative apron not only defiles the integrity of the artistic vision of Andrzej Pitynski, the monument's creator but also threatens the monument's structural integrity and stability. The removal of the apron was irresponsibly approved by the Jersey City Planning Board without any structural calculations or requisite discussion. If the worst scenario is realized and the monument shifts to one side, however minimal it might be, the city will be forced to condemn it because it would threaten public safety. Also, the lack of proper ingress and egress raises public safety concerns.

But that's not all.

A 7-foot-high physical and visual barrier is to be installed on its three sides, permanently restricting all gatherings and ceremonies formerly held in front of the monument while facing east over the Hudson River to the New York City skyline. This barrier design is a blatant assault and insult to the Polish community, the memory of those murdered in the Katyn Forest, and the lives lost in the 9/11 tragedy. Equally egregious, this obstruction defiles Andrzej Pitynski's artistic vision and intent.

We were informed that on July 16, 2022, the monument was suddenly enclosed with a chain link fence erected without publicly-announced justification or the required permits.

Let us hope it is not a result of Putin's long reach because it does look like a part of the campaign against the memory of Polish victims of Soviet Russia.

Anybody who wants to help can contact the Polish American Strategic Initiative (PASI). 

- Based on an email from PASI.

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(*) Katyn is a rural locality in the Smolensky District of Smolensk Oblast, Russia, located approximately 20 kilometers to the west of Smolensk, the administrative center of the oblast. It is also a site of KATYN MASSACRE, a series of mass executions of 22,000 Polish military officers and intelligentsia prisoners of war carried out by the NKVD in April and May 1940. Though the killings also occurred in the Kalinin and Kharkiv prisons and elsewhere, the massacre is named after the Katyn Forest, where some of the mass graves were first discovered by German forces.

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