AN IMPORTANT PART OF HISTORY: Members of the Polish American community remembered those who suffered in concentration camps and in exile in Siberia at a Mass Aug. 17 at St. Stanislaus Cemetery in Cheektowaga.
photo by Steven Kroczynski
article by Brandon Kilijanski
Thu, Aug 22, 2013
The 16th annual Polish Remembrance Day, held in conjunction with St. Maximilian's feast day, was held at St. Stanislaus Cemetery’s Resurrection Mausoleum on Aug. 17. Rev. Thaddeus Bocianowski celebrated the special Mass in honor of St. Kolbe which was attended by two local Polish survivors of concentration camps from World War II, Roman Malinowski and Joseph Poslinski.
“This is a very important time for us,” said Rev. Bocianowski. “We all came here to St. Stanislaus Cemetery to pay respect to all of those who died in World War II. It’s very important to be here every year.”
Joseph Macielag, a former president of the Western New York Division Polish American Congress, spoke about the importance of the commemoration which he initiated 16 years ago. He spoke about the need to educate the younger generation about how badly Poles suffered during World War II.
Macielag used the analogy of kids who are less than 12 years old who know about the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001, but really do not fully understand what life was like during that time. He said the same is true for the young generation about the concentration camps during World War II.
“Young people don’t understand the magnitude of what happened during World War II, because they didn’t live through it like we did,” said Macielag. “To young people, it’s ancient history. But it’s our job to show them the importance of keeping this celebration alive.”
Malinowski, along with his wife Alicia, and Poslinski brought the offertory gifts to the altar. Next to the altar there was a large portrait photograph of St. Kolbe, and when Malinowski reached the altar, he pulled up his sleeve to show the numbers tattooed on his forearm that are a constant reminder of his time spent at the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Malinowski was at Auschwitz during the same time when St. Kolbe volunteered to take the place of another prisoner, a stranger, who was to be executed at the camp.
“It’s always an emotional time for me,” said Malinowski.
“I’m not sad today,” said Poslinski after Mass. “I like to commemorate all of those who died during the war.”
Dear Members and Friends:
Our Sixteenth annual Polish Remembrance Day observance will take place on Saturday, August 17, at St. Stanislaus Cemetery's Resurrection Mausoleum. The Sacred Eucharistic Liturgy will be celebrated at 12 Noon by Rev. Tadeusz Bocianowski. This annual event reminds us of the terror and horror suffered by those interned and murdered in German Nazi concentration camps as well as those deported to Siberia and held in Stalin's gulags. This commemorative observance being held in conjunction with Saint Maximillian's feast day is in compliance with a resolution passed by the National Polish American Congress seventeen years ago.
Six million Poles (half were Christians. half were Jews) were among the eleven million death camp victims throughout Europe. We will NOT allow the fact that 3 million Christian Poles killed in World War II be forgotten or shunned as nonexistent. They were more than "and others." As Christians, our prayers are for ALL of God's people. Several survivors will be with us at this Mass. September 1 will be seventy-four years when the tragic events initiated by
Nazi Germany began enslaving, raping, murdering and pillaging Poland.
We ask you and anyone else you know to share this one-hour (of your life) with us to pray for our blood brothers and sisters who suffered so heinous a crime whose lives were exterminated because they were Polish. It’s summer, it’s hot, it’s nice to relax, but think of those we honor what they went through.
If you know of any living concentration camp or Siberian survivors in our area, please let me know of them and how they can be reached. Also encourage them to join us if they are physically able.
The attendance at this annual Mass has fallen off since so many participants have died during these past fourteen years. I would hope that those who claim membership in Polish Legacy Project World War II would at least consider to “back fill” as participants since I would think it is incumbent on them to keep these memories alive.
Joseph J. Macieląg
Religious Events Coordinator
Haller Cemetary in Niagara-on-the-Lake
THE ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE TO NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE,
On June 9, 2013 the Polish American Congress, WNY Division part of the International Joint Commission on Camp Kosciuszko Niagara-on-the-Lake participated in the 96th Annual Pilgriminage.
This year’s event was also special as Father Tadeusz Bocianowski Chaplain for the PAC, WNY Division celebrated the Mass. This year’s speaker was Professor Kazimierz Braun and the Vice Marshall was Kazimierz Kawalek both members of the PAC. Also in attendance was National Polish Falcons President Timothy Kuzma.
PAC, Western New York delegation was led by President Richard B. Solecki and Vice President Dina Szymanski. A Chartered bus from Rochester with members of the Polish Falcons made a stop in Western New York to pick up the PAC, WNY delegation at St. John Qualbert’s Church. Over 150 people from Western New York and Rochester were in attendance some came by bus others by car.
As we all know this is a yearly Pilgriminage to Niagara-on-the-Lake to pay respect to the all-volunteer Polish Blue Army also known as Haller’s Blue Army where 26 volunteers are buried. To see so many Polish Veterans; American, Canadian and Polish flags flying was indeed a sight to see. After the ceremony at St. Vincent de Paul R.C. Church we traveled to Polonia Park for a picnic with our Canadian friends.
On behalf of the PAC, WNY Division thank you to everyone for your continued support.
Prof. Kazimierz Braun (representing PAC) addresses crowd at the Cenotaph in Niagara-on-the-Lake
Participants from L --> R: Rick Mazella (Nat'l VP, PACWNY), Dick Solecki (President, PACWNY), Tim Kuzma (President, Polish Falcons of America), Dina Szymanski (VP, PACWNY), Kazimierz Kawalec (Parade Vice Marshall)
Participants from L --> R: Barbara Frankiewicz (Chopin Singing Society), Mark Rivard (PACWNY), Dina Szymanski (VP, PACWNY), Terry Rivard (PACWNY), Mary Solecki (PACWNY)
Polish American Congress, WNY Division
General Membership Meeting - March 21, 2013
The Polish American Congress, WNY Division held it’s General Membership Meeting on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at St. Stanislaus Marian Hall. The meeting was called to order by Richard B. Solecki, President PAC, WNY Division at 7:00 p.m.
Guest speaker was Dr. Anna Mazurkiewicz, Professor of Polish Studies at the University of Buffalo. Dr. Mazurkiewicz is Assistant Professor at the History Institute of Gdansk. She received her Ph.D. in History for the University of Gdansk, Poland. Dr. Mazurkiewicz delivered a lecture on Post World War II activities of Stefan and Zofia Korbonski. There were over 50 PAC members in attendance.
Left to right:
Stephen Flor Nat. Director, Andrew Kucharski Treasurer, Richard Solecki President, Adeline Wujcikowski Recording Secretary, Barbara Solecki-Fenski Correspondence Secretary, Dr. Anna Mazurkiewicz, Dina Szymanski Vice President, Richard Mazella Nat. VP Membership, James Lawicki Board member, missing from photo Mira Szramel Board Member.
WNY first Polish-American Happy Hour set for Feb. 1
The Polish-American Congress, Western New York Division (PACWNY) is sponsoring Western New York’s first Polish-American “Happy Hour”on Fri., Feb. 1 at Flappy’s Greyside Grille and Pub, 5700 Transit Road, West Seneca from 6 to 8 p.m.
Event organizer and PAC Director, Jim Lawicki, commented, “These types of Happy Hour events have been taking place throughout the country with great success. They have taken place in cities like New York City, Chicago, Boston, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles just to name a few. Provided Western New York’s strong Polish community it just seemed like a natural that there should be a Polish-American Happy Hour here too, he added. Lawicki said, “Traditionally these events have been geared toward young working professionals, however, we welcome everyone and anyone that enjoys Polish culture, likes to socialize and network with like-minded individuals.” The event will feature Wardynski kielbasa, pizza, wings, salad, beer, wine, pop, and juice. Ample off street parking, elevator service, and wide screen T.V.s will be available. There will also be Polish music and Polish beer available. DJ Red/White, Greg Nowacki, will spin Polish tunes throughout the evening. The charge of admission to the Polish-American Happy Hour is $20 for members of the Polish-American Congress and $25 for non-members.
For addiional information or reservations please contact either Jim Lawicki at (716 ) 864-6110 or Rick Mazella at (716) 598-5869.
Attention all members - please note that individual membership fees have gone up for the year 2013 to $50 per member. Please take appropriate action when submitting your renewal applications. Thank you!
Polish American Congress leaders and Am-Pol Eagle staff served up the summertime food at the first Polish American Congress - Am-Pol Eagle Picnic. In the photo at right, from left to right, are: Am-Pol Eagle owner Renee Harzewski, publisher Roger Puchalski, PAC Picnic chairperson Mira Szramel, PAC President Richard Solecki, picnic chairpersons Dina Szymanski and Barbara Solecki-Fenski with Rev. Thaddeus Bocianowski. There was plenty of sunshine, fellowship and food.
POLISH AMERICAN CONGRESS, WNY DIVISION/ AM-POL EAGLE PICNIC
CHEEKTOWAGA TOWN PARK AUGUST 18, 2013
The Polish American Congress, WNY Division would like to thank all of Polonia who attended our first Am-Pol Eagle/Polish American Congress picnic on Sunday, August 18, 2013.
It was a fun filled afternoon for all being able to relax in the sun, being able to talk with old friends and make new ones. Officers and Board members of the Polish American Congress along with members of the Am-Pol Eagle served the food at the picnic.
We would like to thank NY State Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak for helping secure the shelters in Cheektowaga Town Park. Thank you for your continued support of the Polish American Congress. Also we would like to acknowledge Senator Patrick Gallivan, Senator Timothy Kennedy and Legislator John Mills for their donation without your support this event would have not been a success.
There are a lot of people who helped make this event a success; first we would like to thank the businesses who supported us including Redlinski Meats, Polish Villa, Sahlen’s, Cohen’s Bakery, Tops, and Wegmans.
Thank you to all who donated so generously to our Chinese Auction – including Officers and Board Members of the PAC, WNY Division, Am-Pol Eagle, Polish Villa, Russell’s, Cameleon, Millennium Hotel, Market in the Square.
A lot of hard work, energy and team work went into making this event a success.
Once again thank you to everyone who came out to show their support for the Am-Pol Eagle/ Polish American Congress.
Dear Members and Friends:
The Polish American Congress, WNY Division along with the Am-Pol Eagle are planning a picnic for Sunday – August 18, 2013 which will be held at Cheektowaga Town Park on Harlem Road. Shelters #1 and #2 courtesy of NYS Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak.
We cordially invite you, your friends and family to join us at this the beginning of an annual event.
Polish American Congress was founded in 1944 in Buffalo, New York – the “City of Good Neighbors”. The Polish American Congress, WNY Division is the “umbrella” organization for Polish American organizations/individuals. In our fair City we have about 250,000 Polish Americans.
Am-Pol Eagle the area’s only Polish-American Newspaper has always been there for the Community. Every week they publish our stories, run our press releases. We are encouraging all Polish American organizations to support this event. Proceeds from this event will go to benefit the Am-Pol Eagle and the Polish American Congress, WNY Division.
Date: Sunday – August 18, 2013
Time: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: Cheektowaga Town Park
Shelters #1 and #2
Tickets are $15.00 a person, $25.00 a couple. Children 12 and under free. Ticket price includes hamburgers, hot dogs, salads, desserts, and beverages. Food will be served from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. There will be entertainment and a Chinese Auction. We would like to thank the following vendors for their donations: Redlinski Meats, Sahlen Hot Dogs, Polish Villa, and Al Cohen’s Bakery. A complete list of donations will be posted on our website.
Kindly make your reservations by August 9, 2013 by completing the enclosed order blank. Mira Szramel and Barbara Solecki-Fenski are chairpersons. You can contact Mira Szramel @ 903-3242, Barbara Solecki-Fenski @ 681-0629 or Dina Szymanski Vice President PAC, WNY Division at 432-7664 for further details.
Richard B. Solecki - President, PAC WNY Div
Bernadine (Dina) Szymanski - VP, PAC WNY Div
POLISH AMERICAN CONGRESS, WNY DIVISION
MEMORIAL DAY MAY 27, 2013
…REMEMBERING THOSE WHO HAVE SERVED…
A Memorial Day Mass was held on May 27, 2013 at St. Stanislaus Mausoleum celebrated by Father Bocianowski. Janusz Nieduzak, Commander of SPK 33 after the Mass led the Polish Veterans in procession to the Polish Veterans Plot to pay tribute to the deceased Polish Veterans.
Richard B. Solecki, President of the Polish American Congress, WNY Division welcomed everyone and spoke about the Polish Veterans buried at this small site. We salute them, respect them and cherish their memories and values. Commander Janusz Nieduzak made his remarks honoring the Polish Veterans. Commander Nieduzak along with the Polish Veterans then saluted in memoriam of those who died. More than 100 people were in attendance for the ceremony.
The Polish American Congress, WNY Division are the caretakers of the Polish Veterans Plot at St. Stanislaus Cemetery. Under the direction of Dina Szymanski, Vice President Polish American, WNY Division – planted flowers, placed both American and Polish flags at the gravesites.
Polish Veterans remembering those who have served.
PAC, WNY Division getting PVP ready for Memorial Day 2013.
Left to right: Dina Szymanski, VP PAC, WNY Division, Barbara Solecki-Fenski Correspondence Secretary, Mary Solecki, Joseph Wilk, and Jozefa Solecka. Absent from the photo: Richard B. Solecki – President PAC, WNY.
Polish Veterans Plot Monument @ St. Stanislaus Cemetery
PAC WNY recommends the following:
It Started With Patton
Teresa Leska’s Story - A Memoir
Torn from her mother’s arms when she was fourteen years of age, Teresa Leska endured Nazi imprisonment. A political hostage for two years, her voice leads the reader through her memories as a slave into her new life reinvented in freedom.
By Amy E. Zajac
Available at Amazon.com
In Paperback or a Kindle Version
Remembering Cardinal Glemp
Richard B. Solecki - PAC WNY President
For close to 30 years. I have maintained a close friendship with Cardinal Jozef Glemp. Having learned of his recent death, I am grateful to have known this great man. He was a leader of the Catholic Church in Poland, leading the nation peacefully through martial law and communism.
He was a supporter of Lech Walesa and the Solidarity Movement. As Primate of Poland, he played a very active role in ending communism in Poland.
On over 30 visits to Poland, I always stopped on Midowa St., in downtown Warsaw, to pay a visit to my friend, having tea with him in the beautiful gardens of his residence. My last visit with him was just last summer when I took my mother and two sisters to London, England and Poland. While in Warsaw, we again exchanged pleasantries and had a chance to visit.
He was especially pleased to meet my mother Jozefa, who shared her experiences of World War II. Upon leaving, he gave us his blessings and a rosary to my mother. May my dear friend rest in peace.