I recently had the privilege of participating in a book promotion for the biography of Kazimierz Skarżynski, the Secretary General of the Polish Red Cross during World War II (one of the few, relatively autonomous, Polish organizations during the German occupation) and the author of the first report on the Katyń Massacre.
The event took place in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland on October 2, 2015, and was attended by about 80 people, including the Head of the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, the General Director of the State Archives and the President of the Institute of National Remembrance.
Though the focus of the event was a tribute to Skarżyński, the author of the biography, Dr. Jolanta Adamska, asked me to say a few words about Herbert Hoover, since his tremendous role in Polish history is largely forgotten. Hoover was honorary chairman of the Commission for Polish Relief, which provided aid to Poles at the beginning of World War II in cooperation with the American Red Cross at the time that Skarżyński led the Polish Red Cross.
The presentation that I gave lasted just over ten minutes and was well-received by the audience members, some of whom spoke to me afterwards and said they had no idea about Herbert Hoover’s work on Poland’s behalf. It’s an additional motivator for me as I write my PhD dissertation to tell the story of American aid to Poland and remind people of this epic undertaking, the memory of which is important both for Polish and American history and current relations between these allies.
I am grateful to Dr. Maciej Siekierski and Mrs. Małgorzata Szudelska for helping me translate the text into Polish. The English text is available as a PDF here: (Herbert Hoover and Poland) and the Polish text is here: (Herbert Hoover i Polska). I also recorded the presentation on my trusty iPhone 6+ and you can listen to the audio (in Polish) below:
Here is an article (in English) about the event:
And several more (in Polish):