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Special Statement from JKEF Regarding the Jan Karski Award

Special Statement from JKEF Regarding the Jan Karski Award

In response to many inquiries, we would like to inform the public that the "The Annual Jan Karski Humanitarian Award” presented by The Polish-Jewish Dialogue Committee, a Polish-American organization in New York, is not bestowed by the Jan Karski Educational Foundation.

“The Spirit of Jan Karski Award” that was established in 2012 by the Jan Karski Educational Foundation and its sister organization in Warsaw, Fundacja Edukacyjna Jana Karskiego, is given to people who act according to Jan Karski’s principles and who promote human rights.

At the same time, we would like to express our concern that The Polish-Jewish Dialogue Committee has decided to bestow the award bearing the name of the heroic emissary upon Dr. Ewa Kurek. We consider this contrary to Professor Karski’s beliefs, who often stressed the difference between the fate of the Jews and Poles during WWII, and that it was only the Jews who were destined to total extermination. 

Dr. Kurek’s controversial statements and publications seem to be going into the opposite direction and have been questioned by historians who research World War II, including Prof. Andrzej Zbikowski, author of Karski, which examines Jan Karski’s life in the context of the Polish Secret State in 1939-45.

“The Spirit of Jan Karski Award” has been given to such distinguished individuals as former US Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, US Senator John McCain, and The New York Times columnist and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner, Nicholas Kristof.

UPDATE: April 10, 2018, 5:00 PM. The event of presenting the "Annual Jan Karski Humanitarian Award" has been canceled.