A NEW MUSEUM OF GEN. KUKLIŃSKI

MAGDALENA KOWALEWSKA

It was a very important moment for this small but such an important museum in the history of Poland, Europe and the world. On Warszawskie Przedmieście, after two months of construction works, the Chamber of Remembrance of General Kukliński was reopened solemnly, and accompanied by the Polish Army and soldiers of NATO stationing in Poland.

He served to independence

The Chief of the Office for the Combatants and Repressed People Jan Józef Kasprzyk thanked the director of the Chamber of Remembrance of General Kukliński, Filip Frąckowiak that he is ‘an excellent and worthy continuator of his father’s work, prof. Józef Szaniawski’. It was thanks to him, a deceased friend and proxy pf Ryszard Kukliński 6 years ago, that in 2006 the aforementioned museum was established. – We are grateful for those 12 years during which the Chamber, sometimes in very difficult conditions, was hosting thousands of young people wanting to get to know the post-war history – said among the others, Kasprzyk. The Chief of the Office for the Combatants and Repressed People compared gen. Kukliński, who had been passing over the Americans secret documents of nuclear attack plans of the USSR into the West of Europe for decades, to such people as Piotr Wysocki, Romuald Traugutt or Józef Piłsudski. – He served to independence knowing that it was the greatest gift which God gave to the nations and countries – he emphasized. – In a post-war dispute and fight for independence of Poland Ryszard Kukliński and his followers were right. Those were right who served to the good in a fight between the good and evil, but those who served to evil were not right. We consider Ryszard Kukliński as a general and a hero, and those who were fighting with him and sentenced him to death, were traitors of the Polish nation and they do not deserve any general’s degrees – added Jan Józef Kasprzyk. He thanked the Chamber of Remembrance of General Kukliński that ‘there has never been a place here for relativization of history.

Jan Józef kasprzyk also honoured Filip Frąckowiak with a medal ‘Pro Patria’. The director of the Chamber of Remembrance of General Kukliński said that he dedicated this distinction to all those who had fought for independence of Poland, and he considered the medal as a distinction for the museum.

Multimedia maps

In the modernized museum one can see personal souvenirs of gen. Kukliński, his uniform, watch, which he received from the chief of the General Staff of the Polish Army, gen. Florian Siwicki, on 13 June, a brick of the wall of the mine ‘Wujek’ – a gift from miners, a rosary which he received from St. John Paul II. On the multimedia screen one can listen to a statement of this first Polish soldier in NATO and also get to know with new Polish, American and Soviet documents. One of the most important buildings of the museum there is a Plan of an offensive operation of the Seaside Front, showing an attack of the Warsaw Pact to the West of Europe.

A detailed graphic elaboration of those nuclear plans of the USSR one can see in the multimedia form now.

The museum was also enlarged by a reconstructed office room of gen. Kukliński. Here the persons of Ronald Reagan and John Paul II are reminded. The room is also going to be a movie hall. A novelty is a kind of the ax of life of the founder of the museum – the late prof. Józef Szaniawski. – To a request of many visitors there is also a showcase with souvenirs of my dad, the last political prisoner of communist Poland – explained Filip Frąckowiak.

A fight for the good of Poland

Ryszard Kukliński was a Polish and American hero, which was reminded in a letter to participants of the ceremony by Mateusz Morawiecki. The Prime Minister emphasized that gen. Kukliński ‘remains one of the most tragic people in our modern history’. He wrote in the letter that ‘solitary mission of passing over the Americans secret plans of the Warsaw Pact was a heroic fight for the good of Poland, a fight undertaken regardless of a personal risk of leaving homeland, the stigma of a traitor and a process of rehabilitation lasting for a decade’.

Ryszard Kukliński was sentenced to death by Polish judges in uniforms of the People’s Polish Army. In the last moment he managed to escape from Poland. He was acquitted and rehabilitated not earlier than in 1997. He was appointed for a degree of the general of a brigade after his death by president Andrzej Duda.

Translated by Aneta Amrozik

Niedziela 26/2018 (1 VII 2018)

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Lidia Dudkiewicz • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl