“Karski was the first Pole I ever met in my life. He was a devoted professor and a humble individual, who believed in the truth and justice” explained former US Ambassador to Poland Stephen Mull.
The documentary illustrates the story of Jan Karski, a man who risked his life in order to inform the West about Nazi Germany’s extermination of the Jews. Karski was an emissary of the Polish Underground State, sent into the Warsaw Ghetto to personally witness what the Jewish people were enduring during the “Final Solution.” His objective was then to tell the world what the Jewish people were experiencing. However Western leaders, “the Lords of Humanity” allowed Karski’s message to fall on deaf ears.
Karski’s mission was appreciated only many years after the war. In recognition of his work for humanity President Barack Obama posthumously awarded Jan Karski in 2012 with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest American award for civilians.
The modern day message of Jan Karski’s mission was underlined by the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Washington, DC Ryszard Schnepf: “Karski would not have been able to do, what he did, had he not been a man who embodied such principles as tolerance, justice, and humanity. Today we must continue to teach about this true hero.”
Preceding the film screening, Georgetown University Professor Robert Lieber and Rev. Dennis McManus – who is also the director of the Jan Karski Institute for Holocaust Education – recalled the memory of Professor Jan Karski. Also present during the film screening were director Sławomir Grünberg, producer Dariusz Jabłonski and screenwriter Katka Reszke.
The film will be screened in the United States starting in late November. The movie premiered in Poland in April 23, in the days before what would have been Jan Karski’s 101 birthday. The first screening outside of Poland took place in Jerusalem, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of establishing Poland-Israel relations. The screening in Israel was organized by the Polish Cultural Institute in Tel Aviv together with Yad Vashem and World Jewish Congress.
Source: The Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington, DC, Press Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of Poland
Photo © M. Stefański /the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington, DC