ANNOUNCEMENT: THE American Center of Polish Culture founded by Dr. Kaya Mirecka-Ploss IN WASHINGTON, D.C. HAS ANNOUNCED THE 2003 WINNER OF THE JAN KARSKI AWARD OF VALOR AND COURAGE.
On the 23 October in Washington Irena Sendler was awarded the Jan Karski Prize “For Courage and Heart” which is granted by the American Centre of Polish Culture.
Many eminent personalities were present at the ceremony held in Georgetown University where Jan Karski was a lecturing professor.
Dr Kaya Mirecka-Ploss, executive director of the Centre, entertained the guests for lunch in a delightfully decorated hall.
Ms Jolanta Kwaśniewska speaking to the gathered guests remarked: “We live in difficult times fraught with great dangers, but these are beautiful times since such persons as Irena Sendler are among us”.
Those present at the ceremony included professor Zbigniew Brzeziński, president Carter’s national security adviser, who reminded that Poland was the only country in Europe where hiding Jews was punished by death, Daniel Fried – director for Europe and Eurasia in the National Security Council and Jeanne Kirkpatrick – US ambassador to the United Nations.
Norman Conard and his pupils Kathleen Meora, Sabrina Coons and Megan Stewart were welcomed enthusiastically for it was their “Irena Sendler Project” which resulted in the heroic deeds of the winner of the prize becoming known throughout the world. The children who survived thanks to Irena Sendler were represented by Stefania Seltzer of the USA – chairperson of the World Federation of Children of the Holocaust, Renata Skotnicka-Zajdman of Canada and Elżbieta Ficowska – chairperson of the Association of Children of the Holocaust in Poland. It was the latter that was honoured to receive the prize in the name of Irena Sendler.