Bogdan Białek’s Journey across the United States

A two-week USA trip of Bogdan Białek, President of the Jan Karski Society, ended few days ago. The time spent there was filled out with numerous and talks about Kielce, the Society’s activities and special screenings of the ‘Bogdan’s Journey’ documentary held in New York, Phoenix and Los Angeles.

In New York, after the screening at the New School for Social Research, a meeting with the audience was held during which Bigdan Białek spoke with Professor Elżbieta Matynia, lecturer at and head of the Transregional Centre for Democratic Studies at the New School. The next screening and another meeting with intensive discussion with the audience took place in the main seat of the Arizona Jewish Historical Society in Phoenix. The participants of the debate included, apart from the main hero of the film, Anna Cichopek-Gajraj, professor at the Arizona State University and professor Björn Krondorfer, head of the Martin-Springer Institute at Northern Arizona. Flagstaff was the next stage of the journey. There, Bogdan Białek together with professor Dorota Głowacka  (University of King’s College in Cabada) and professor Björn Krondorfer, met with students of the local university. At the end of the journey, Białek was joined by the filmmakers of ‘Bogdan’s Journey’, namely Lawrence Loewinger and Michał Jaskulski.Together they participated in a seminar with students from Los Angeles. There, at the prestigious Pomona College, a screening of the film and a panel discussion were held. The next screening and another discussion took place at the Jesuit university in San Jose in California. Finally, Bogdan Białek visited Chicago.

Huge interest that the activities of the Jan Karski Society and the engagement Bogdan Bałek arouse overseas indicates that the Kielce way of dealing with difficult memory of the pogrom of 1946 is seen as a universal experience that can be an inspiration for every human being.