iPoland is a grassroots initiative dedicated to commemorating Poles who fought, suffered or died during World War Two and in the postwar era of Soviet occupation.
Our first project is the international conference “Poland First to Fight!“ in Washington, D.C. which marks the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War Two. The conference is projected to hold in the autumn of 2019, November 18-20, 2019 to bring together wider layers of academics and research scholars in World War Two studies. It is organized by leading Polish historians and groups of Polish diaspora, mainly from the USA. The iPoland website is entirely devoted to the conference.
However, “Poland First to Fight!“ is not a conventional scientific symposium, but rather a gathering of war veterans, top historians, politicians, filmmakers, journalists and artists who will both inform the public about events that took place between 1939-1945 and commemorate Polish heroes and victims, both ethnic Poles and Polish Jews, of one of the most terrible genocides in human history. The initiative is also a response to a growing anti-Polonism and distortion of Poland’s history. It is a matter of fact and accuracy as well as historical justice to acknowledge that of all countries occupied by Nazi Germany, Poland lost the highest percentage of her population (nearly 20 percent!), and most of the country’s infrastructure was destroyed.
On the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War Two, we want to pay tribute to our Polish fathers & mothers, grandfathers & grandmothers who suffered and died during the Second World War, and to those who fought bravely alongside the Allies on all war fronts, from Monte Cassino, through Narvik, to Breda and Wilhelmshaven, in the Battle of Britain and in Tobruk. We also want to pay tribute to the Polish government-in-exile in London which organized the biggest underground state and army in occupied Europe; to three Polish mathematicians who broke the Enigma codes; to the founders of Żegota, the only state organization which rescued Polish Jews in occupied Poland; to Witold Pilecki, the only Auschwitz volunteer who wrote the first comprehensive Allied intelligence report on the notorious German death camp and the extermination of Poles and Jews; to Jan Karski, a Polish World War Two resistance-movement soldier and later a professor at Georgetown University, who informed president Roosevelt about Germany’s destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto and about German extermination camps that were murdering Jews, ethnic Poles, and other nationalities; to Polish diplomats in Switzerland who forged fake Latin American passports to save Jews in occupied Poland, Germany and the Netherlands; and to many others who are not mentioned here.
Finally, we would like to draw attention to the problems arising from distorting the World War Two history by mainstream media, politicians and people of culture. The biased media reports, historically false phrases like “Polish death camps”, baseless and offensive accusations of Poland’s complicity in the Holocaust, or even extremely disrespectful insinuations like calling Polish people “Nazis” (see Guy Verhofstadt, Member of the European Parliament) mislead the public and are detrimental to sound policymaking.
We, the descendants of Polish World War Two victims owe it our parents and grandparents to reveal Poland’s WWII history so long hidden behind the Iron Curtain.
Numerous renowned historians, politicians, diplomats, NGO activists and journalists together with Polish World War Two survivors from all over the world will tell their story. The conference will also give an opportunity for networking. We will invite filmmakers, film sponsors and representatives of organizations dealing with the history of the Second World War.
We hope you will join our conference and learn more about Poland and her tragic history, and commemorate 6 million Polish victims and the heroes who fought against Hitler and Stalin.