The Kosciuszko Foundation Philadelphia Chapter
Newsletter No. 4
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  Quo Vadis 
Newsletter of the KF Philly Chapter  •  October 2016  •  Issue No. 4
Pamiętamy!  We remember! 
Every fall it seems fitting to remember the heroism of the Polish nation during the days of World War II and their tenacious rebuilding of their capital from what was a virtual sea of ashes. 
In September of 1939, Poland was invaded by both the Nazis and the Soviets and October 2, 1944 marks the tragic end of the Warsaw Uprising following 5 brutal years under German occupation.
During the war, Warsaw was gradually destroyed with 10% of its buildings already having been demolished by the Luftwaffe during the Nazi invasion in 1939. The devastation continued throughout the war at the hands of the German occupation forces and during Soviet bombings in 1941. The demolition of the Warsaw Ghetto by the Germans in 1943 saw the destruction of the entire northern district of the city. The final point of destruction occurred during and after the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. Approximately 25% of the city was destroyed during the insurgency and in an act of retaliation against the rebellion, Hitler ordered the city’s complete destruction. In consultation with special engineers, German forces methodically looted and then razed building by building what remained of the city. Between 85-90% of the city was obliterated, and a majority of its population was killed. The destruction was greater than that caused by the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Incredibly, though Warsaw was a “City of Ruins” at the war’s end (click here), the Polish people would not let their capital city die. In 1945 the Biuro Odbudowy Stolicy (BOS) was formed and, even though no modern city had ever been rebuild after such complete destruction, over the next 7 years a replica of old Warsaw was constructed. Salvaged bricks and fragments of architectural details were used to reconstruct the old city, and thousands of Warsaw’s citizens returned to help in the rebuilding. Using 22 paintings of city streets done by the Venetian artist Bernardo Bellotto, court painter to the king of Poland in 1768, Poles transformed their ruined city into what is now a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site.
This incredible logistical task was undertaken in a country that was economically and structurally devastated by the war and which, unlike France, Germany and other Western European countries, was not part of a Marshall Plan (officially the European Recovery Program). The only source of financing came from people’s donations to the Social Fund for the Rebuilding of the Capital (SFOS), Poland’s institution concerned with financing the reconstruction effort.

Following documentary evidence submitted by the Polish government, in 2011 UNESCO, recognized the Archives of BOS (the Book of the States) as one of the most valuable examples of human documentary heritage and entered them onto the prestigious "Memory of the World" list. The international community stated:
The reconstruction of Warsaw the capital city of Poland, in the years 1945-1953, was an outstanding achievement by architects, conservators, artists and workers, and also a meaningful social phenomenon. As a result of the rebuilding, Warsaw, a city doomed to disappear and suffering programmed destruction for ideological and political reasons in times of Nazi occupation, became the symbol of an “invincible city”.
Recent Events
Pulaski Day Parade 

Every year, since 1936, the Pulaski Day parade has honored the Polish patriot known as Father of the American Calvary and the Philadelphia chapter has participated enthusiastically in the festivities. This year’s parade on October 2 included “the resurrected Kosciuszko” represented by board member, Casey Palowitch who appeared in uniform. Casey proved to be a hit in his finery and was asked by several people to pose with them for pictures.

We would like to have had greater representation at the parade, as it provides a way to keep the contributions of Poles to the U.S. visible and underscores the part played by Polish heroes to the advancement of the American nation. It also provides a way to express our unity as Polish Americans.

Gloria Artis Medal awarded to a renowned Polish Poster Collector 

Deputy Prime Minister of Poland and Minister of Culture Piotr Gliński awarded Gloria Artis medal posthumously to a renowned Polish Poster collector Dr. Frank Fox of Lower Merion. The award was accepted by his son Julian Fox. The ceremony took place at the Kościuszko House in downtown Philadelphia and was attended by members of the KF Philadelphia Chapter, Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia and the Jagiellonian Society. Dr. Frank Fox Polish Poster collection is housed at the Drexel University.

The Museum of the American Revolution

Philadelphia’s newest museum, located two blocks away from Independence Hall and across the street from Carpenter’s Hall, is on schedule to open in April of 2017. The Museum of the American Revolution will tell the dramatic story of the founding of the United States and will include permanent and temporary exhibit galleries, theaters, and education spaces. The Kosciuszko Foundation, Philadelphia Chapter is mounting a concentrated effort to ascertain that the contributions and sacrifices of Thaddeus Kosciuszko and Casimir Pulaski are recognized in the permanent exhibit of the museum.

The Kościuszko Way

More than 400 signatures have been collected in support of a petition to create the  “Kosciuszko Way”. This new moniker would extend along the 3rd Street from the Kosciuszko House at 3rd & Pine  streets to just dedicated new Museum of American Revolution at 3rd & Chestnut streets. “Kosciuszko Way” would slice through the heart of historical Society Hill neighborhood and National Park Service grounds of the Independence Mall and, if successful,  it will be a powerful statement in the center of historic Philadelphia. The petition will be presented to Mayor Jim Kenney and the city council for their consideration.

 Six volunteers for the Kościuszko House are currently awaiting approvals of their background checks which will be followed by training by the U. S. National Park Services to revitalize the Kosciuszko House in Philadelphia on 3rd and Pine Street. The project is a joint cooperative of the KF Philadelphia Chapter and Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia.


Science and the Contributions of Polish Scientists

Margaret Zaleska will be starting a new series in the newsletter devoted to the achievement and life stories of eminent scholars of Polish origin and ancestry who have achieved recognition in the USA. You can find many of their names at  the "Kosciuszko Foundation Collegium of Eminent Scientists" established by The Kosciuszko Foundation in recognition of their accomplishments and contributions to scientific research and medicine.

Future Events 
The Fourth Polish Cultural Salon will be held on October 23, 2016. 

The  Salons have proved to be extremely popular and attendance has consistently been over 60 people. However, only few homes can accommodate that number of guests. While we are trying to keep costs of attendance down, and at the same time avoid burdening the same people who were gracious enough to host previous salons in their homes, the board members are actively exploring solutions that will allow us to host everyone who wishes to attend without incurring high costs for rental of space. The Fourth Salon will take place at Wanda and Brian’s Mohr apartment in Center City where only 35 guests may be comfortable. Invitations by email (eVITE) will be send this week to all active members of the KF Philadelphia Chapter and the responses will be honored at “first come, first serve” base. Please accept our apology for the limited number of guests that could attend this particular Salon and if you are able and willing to host about 60-70 guests at your home at future Salon, please let us know!! 

The Salon theme will be the story of  Cichociemni  (The Silent Unseen) who were the elite special-operations paratroops of the Polish Army in exile, created in Great Britain during World War II to operate in occupied Poland. Altogether, 316 Polish soldiers were parachuted into Poland until December 1944. Serving in the Home Army (AK), Cichociemni became the elite of the Fighting Poland (Polska Walcząca). This year marks the 75th anniversary  of the first plane drop of Cichociemni in the occupied Poland.

The presenter will be Philadelphia Chapter KF Board Member Wanda Mohr.  Wanda (Trojanowska) Mohr Ph.D., daughter of the late Czeslaw Trojanowski of Pinsk and Janina Grzybowska of Warsaw, was born in 1946 in a refugee camp at Haren, Germany. Her father fought in the early days of World War II at Modlin as an officer in the Polish army and was captured by the Nazis and was imprisoned at Działdowo. He escaped and made his way back to Eastern Poland where he and his family were deported by the Soviets to Kazakhstan. Following the liberation of Poles from the Soviet wildernesses, he joined General Anders’ army in Persia and was asked and agreed to become a Cichociemny. Czeslaw’s code name was Litwos, after his hero Henryk Sienkiewicz. His specialty was sabotage, propaganda, and munitions. He was awarded the Virtuti Militari and the Krzyż Walecznych for his bravery and patriotism. Wanda’s parents were insurgents during the Warsaw Uprising and were married while prisoners of war at the POW camp Pruszków.

PLEASE SAVE THE DATE for The KF Philadelphia Chapter, Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia and Jagiellonian Law Society joint Christmas Gala which will be held on December 3, 2016 at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club, Lafayette Hill, PA.
Proverb Corner
Polish proverbs are short and frequently metaphorical expressions of popular wisdom from all Polish speaking parts of the world. A few examples below are from the collection of Joel Stern.
 Reguła prosta, ze aż osłupia: kto się wymądrza, ten się wygłupia
A rule so simple that it's astounding: someone who plays the smart Aleck makes a fool of himself
 Lepiej dawać niż brać, twierdzi bokser
It's better to give than receive, says the boxer

Do trzydziestu lat czlowek żeni sie sam, po trzydziestu latach ludzie go żenią, a po czterdziestu żeni diabeł
Before the age of thirty a person gets married on his own, after thirty, people marry him off and after forty the devil finds him someone to marry
Call for Contributions and Contributors

Our newsletter welcomes contributions, comments and news from our members and friends, as well as from collaborating organizations. American Polonia in Philadelphia area is composed of many ambitious wayfarers. Several of us have traveled to interesting places around the globe in the past year and we welcome you to share your impressions with us. Please consider writing a small article about your trip to our newsletter so we can enjoy your experience vicariously, be inspired by your journeys, and ignite our own wanderlust. Send contributions to: or
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Join the Kosciuszko Foundation!

For more information about the KF Philadelphia Chapter, or if you would like to become a  Kosciuszko Foundation member and join us on our celebration of all things Polish, please visit the website: We welcome you.

Philadelphia Chapter Board
Yolanta Roman

Miron Wolnicki
1st Vice President

Peter Obst
2nd Vice President

Wanda Mohr
Recording Secretary

Vincent Rospond
Corresponding Secretary

Marcia Wolnicki
Board Members:
Ela Bochenek
Marie Hejnosz
Casey Polowitch
Monica Polowy-Winter
Charles Pydych
Kris Walski
Maria Werner-Wasik
Hanna Wewiora
Teresa Wojcik
Margaret Zaleska
Andre Zlotnicki

Quo Vadis Editors:
Wanda Mohr
Margaret Zaleska
Copyright © 2016 The Kosciuszko Foundation Philadelphia Chapter, All rights reserved.

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