The Brooklyn College Library is proud to be among the dozens of libraries and other institution celebrating the heroic life of the Polish resistance emissary, Jan Karski, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth. In recognition of Karski's efforts to alert the world to the atrocities committed by the Nazis prior to and during WW II, the Polish History Museum created this exhibit of 22 panels that tell the story with gripping text and vivid images and has shared the English-language version of the exhibit with us.
The exhibit will run from February 9, 2015 through April 19, 2015 and is open to the public during the hours the library is open. Call ahead if you plan to visit, but are not a member of the Brooklyn College or CUNY community: 718 951 5628.
A program of events surrounding the exhibit is being planned.
This exhibition illustrates Jan Karski's mission of courage during World War II, and his subsequent life and testimony. As an emissary for the Polish Underground state, Jan Karski carried classified information from the Resistance on the ground in occupied Poland to the Polish government-in-exile, first in France and later in England. One of his critical missions was to inform the Allies of the ongoing slaughter of the Jews in occupied Poland. In 1942, in disguise, he twice entered the Warsaw Jewish Ghetto and later penetrated a Nazi transit camp to see Jews being herded to their deaths. With these eyewitness accounts, he traveled under an assumed identity to London and later to Washington where, in July 1943, he met for over one hour with President Roosevelt in the White House to inform him about the on-going genocide. Tragically, the Allies choose not to act on his report. After the war, he became a professor at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service where he taught many future leaders. His wartime memoir Story of a Secret State is a captivating account of his courage and integrity in the midst of unspeakable horror.
The World Knew: Jan Karski's Mission for Humanity is organized by the Jan Karski Educational Foundation. It was created by the Polish History Museum. Funding was provided by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs with additional funding from the National Endowment for Humanities and the Brooklyn College Office of Diversity and Equity Programs, the Brooklyn College School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Brooklyn College Department of Judaic Studies, Tanger Hillel at Brooklyn College, the Holocaust Memorial Committee of Brooklyn and the Harriet and Richard Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and Archives at Queensborough Community College. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition publication do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or other donors.