• Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

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  • 23 August 2014

    Over 30 enthusiasts of Harley-Davidson motorcycles from Milan and its environs came to the city’s Garden of the Righteous to commemorate Jan Karski. The event took place near the tree dedicated to this legendary messenger. Poland’s Consulate General supported the initiative.

    Italian Harley-Davidson enthusiasts from Harley Owners Group met with members of Warsaw Chapter Poland in Milan. For five days, the Polish riders have been travelling from Warsaw to Angers, France, along the trail of Jan Karski’s first courier mission to the Polish Government in Exile. The itinerary includes Kosice, Ljubljana, Milan and Angers. In each of these cities, the Harley lovers introduce people to the story of Jan Karski. Polish embassies and consulates support the project.

    The expedition is a joint initiative by Lodz’s Marek Edelman Dialogue Centre and Warsaw Chapter Poland. The organisers want to commemorate the Year of Jan Karski and his 100th birthday.


    Poland’s Consulate General in Milan helped organise the meeting in the Garden of the Righteous (Parco Monte Stella), where trees bearing memorial plaques dedicated to Jan Karski and Marek Edelman are planted next to each other. Marek Edelman was the co-founder of the Jewish Combat Organisation and one the leaders of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.


    Photo Grzegorz Kołacz/Konsulat Generalny RP w Mediolanie

    Maciej Sankowski, the expedition’s captain, and Zuzanna Schnepf-Kołacz, Poland’s Deputy Consul in Milan, welcomed the event’s participants. The deputy consul thanked organisers and participants of the event, and she delivered a brief lecture about Jan Karski. Each of the participants received a catalogue about the exhibition dedicated to Jan Karski organised by Poland’s Consulate General in Milan in cooperation with the Museum of the History of Polish Jews last year. Maciej Sankowski spoke about the messenger’s first mission, invited Italian Harley-Davidson riders to visit Poland and announced the screening of Sławomir Grünberg’s short film about Jan Karski titled Karski and Lords of Humanity. A great commemorative parade along the streets of Milan was the final point of the event’s agenda.


    Jan Karski was the first to tell the world about the Holocaust. During World War II, he was a secret messenger of the Polish Underground State and of the Polish Government in Exile. In 1942, he set out on a mission which involved meeting representatives of the Allies, including the US President, and telling them about the German terror in Poland. Sadly, his interlocutors did not take steps to prevent tragedy in occupied Poland.


    Newsweek, an American weekly, placed Jan Karski among the most eminent personalities of the 20th century and described his war mission as one of the moral milestones of our civilisation. During World War II, Karski was decorated with the Virtuti Military Cross, the Home Army Cross, the Righteous among the Nations Medal, as well as the highest Polish and American civil decorations: the Order of the White Eagle that he received from President Lech Wałęsa in 1995, and the Medal of Freedom that he was awarded posthumously by President Barack Obama in May 2012. Jan Karski was also awarded many honorary doctorates and citizenships.


    Read more about Jan Karski and the jubilee celebrations at:


    MFA Press Office


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