The Society

The Jan Karski Society was established in 2005 as a kind of continuation of the ‘Memory – Dialogue – Reconciliation’ Civic Association, which was formed in order to prepare the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Kielce Pogrom in 1996. Its origins are also associated with the initiative of naming the Integrated Middle School in Kielce after Jan Karski. That was when a group of Kielce citizens concluded that the hero would be a good guide in the process of facing the difficult past of the city and spreading the ideas of tolerance, openness, and meeting with the Other.

The Society is a group of approximately 30 people moved by the idea of Jan Karski who would repeat that “making a better world is possible, making relentless effort to this end is necessary and neglecting changes as well as indifference to evil is a crime and a sin”. The Statute of the Society states that the purpose of the organization is:

1. Promoting attitudes of openness and respect for individuals and groups of different ethnic, national, religious or cultural identification. 2. Combating all forms of anti-Semitism, anti-Polish attitudes, xenophobia and other attitudes that undermine human dignity. 3. Taking actions to preserve Polish national heritage – monitoring and stigmatization of all cases of its violation.The Statute of the Jan Karski Society

In 2015, when we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Society, the Institute for the Culture of Encounter and Dialogue was established. Since that moment, the Society has also had its own seat in the building at 7 Planty Street in Kielce, in the building which witnessed the tragic events of 1946. During its opening Bogdan Białek, the initiator and, from the beginning, the president of the Society said:

The Society does not want to fight with anyone and anything, it does not want to confront anything – the purpose of our action is love. As far as we can, despite being wounded, imperfect, or limited at times. We know that tolerance is much, much too little in the process of creation.Bogdan Białek