During the meeting on November 25th, 2019 Ms. Kelley H. Szany, Vice President of Education and Exhibitions at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center in Skokie, shared her presentation on the Holocaust Museum. It was the first opportunity for dialog between PACIL and the Holocaust Museum.
During the launch of Jack Fairweather’s new book “The Volunteer” at the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago on June 27th, 2019, Mr. Roman Korczak, PACIL Executive Director, met Ms. Szany. Consequently Mr. Niedzinski, President; Mr. Jacek Graca, 2nd VP; and Mr. Roman Korczak visited the Holocaust Museum in Skokie on August 6th, 2019.
Ms. Szany hosted this visit. She provided a personal tour through exhibits and discussed plans for new initiatives in the immediate future. Museum’s exhibits offer the visitor an objective presentation of the Holocaust story and lessons learned. Moving story about John Karski’s is a permanent exhibit in the Museum. Ms. Szany’s initiatives spotlighting Wiktor Pilecki and St. Maximilian Kolbe are among her plans for the immediate future. During this meeting Mr. Niedzinski invited Ms. Szany to share her story about the Museum with members of the PAC-IL.
The following pronounced mention by Ms. Szany is well-represented at the Museum –
“…we cannot teach about the Holocaust without including the narrative of the persecution and genocide committed against the Poles, and without also talking about the Upstanders, like Jan Karski, and others who worked to scream truth to the world about what was happening.”
Below you will also find:
– Link to the article about the meeting in “Dziennik Zwiazkowy” (Polish only)
– Excerpts from the key correspondence between Mr. Niedzinski and Ms. Szany
– “Screen shots” from the presentation on November 25th, 2019
– Photos from the meeting on November 25th, 2019
Link to the article about the meeting in “Dziennik Zwiazkowy”
Written by Ms. Jola Plesiewicz. Photos by Mr. Dariusz Pilka.
[Editor] Translated fragment related to the presentation by Ms. Szany …
“… The special guest of the evening was Kelley Szany, Vice President of Education and Exhibitions at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center located in Skokie. She spoke about the mission of the museum. The museum cultivates the heritage of the Holocaust by honoring the memory of those who died and by teaching universal values to combat hatred, prejudice and indifference. [The museum] carries out its mission by storing collections and souvenirs, organizing exhibitions, implementing educational programs, and taking initiatives to promote the promotion of human rights and the prevention of the crime of genocide.
In the context of the great characters, Kelley Szany spoke about the heroic attitudes of Jan Karski and Captain Witold Pilecki. On January 23, 2020, she invited the Polish community to the museum for an exhibition dedicated to Captain Witold Pilecki. She announced that the museum had undertaken a study of the history of St. Maksymilian Kolbe, which, she hopes, will result in an exhibition in the future.”
Excerpts from the correspondence between Mr. Niedzinski and Ms. Szany
Dear Ms. Shany,
On behalf of the Polish American Congress and our Executive team I would like to thank You for Your very informative and uplifting presentation on Monday November 25th. Over the past two days I have received many positive comments expressing deep appreciation of the objective presentation of the Holocaust story and lessons learned. Polish community is very sensitive to this issue. We understand the need to constantly remind the world about horrific loss of Jewish lives at the hands of German Nazis, since close to three million ethnic Poles also died either at the German concentration camps or fighting German and Soviet invaders during what I call Armageddon of World War ll. Civilized world should not allow this to occur ever again. From Polish perspective we are extremely grateful for the future narrative on Witold Pilecki and data gathering on Father Maximillian Kolbe. Hoping that collaborative effort with Polish School of Father Maximilian Kolbe will help with the data gathering phase. For many it was a pleasant surprise that Skokie Holocaust Museum features John Karski story as a permanent exhibit. Also the Wall of The Just at the entrance to the museum pays tribute to many Poles who risked their lives to save, and house Jews during the many years of this horrific conflict. Many members expressed their desire to visit the Museum. An article dedicated to your presentation will appear in a weekend edition of the Dziennik Związkowy. I will be happy to send You a copy or else You can read a digital version. Forwarding several photos taken during the meeting.
Looking forward to future synergistic collaboration.
Polish American Congress Illinois Division
Dear Michael, Roman, Albert, and Jacek:
Thank you for your kind note, and again for the honor of presenting to PACIL. I truly enjoyed sharing the work and mission of IHMEC, and discussing the ways in which we can continue to strengthen our partnership with the Polish-American community. As I noted in my presentation, we cannot teach about the Holocaust without including the narrative of the persecution and genocide committed against the Poles, and without also talking about the Upstanders, like Jan Karski, and others who worked to scream truth to the world about what was happening.
Kelley H. Szany
Vice President of Education and Exhibitions
Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center
“Screen shots” from the presentation on November 25th, 2019
Photos from the meeting on November 25th, 2019
!!! Happy Birthday !!!