Katyń Memorial (Jersey City)

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Katyń Memorial
This is a memorial, located in Jersey City, New Jersey, commemorating the Katyn massacre of 1940- Eleanor Lang is the photographer- 2013-11-11 14-15.jpg
Katyń Memorial in Jersey City
ArtistAndrzej Pitynski
Year1991 (1991)
MediumBronze sculpture
SubjectKatyn massacre
Dimensions10 m (34 ft)
LocationJersey City, New Jersey
Coordinates40°42′58″N 74°01′59″W / 40.71611°N 74.03306°W / 40.71611; -74.03306Coordinates: 40°42′58″N 74°01′59″W / 40.71611°N 74.03306°W / 40.71611; -74.03306

The Katyń Memorial is dedicated to the victims of the Katyn massacre in 1940. Created by Polish-American sculptor Andrzej Pitynski, the memorial stands at Exchange Place in Jersey City, New Jersey, United States near the mouth of the Hudson River along the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway.

Unveiled in June 1991[1] a 34 feet (10 meters) tall bronze statue of a soldier, gagged and bound, impaled in the back by a bayoneted rifle, stands atop a granite base containing Katyn soil. It commemorates the massacre of over twenty thousand of Polish POWs by order of Joseph Stalin in April and May 1940 after Soviet Union troops had invaded eastern Poland. The event came after the partition of Poland between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia resulting in the occupation of the nation during World War II. The eastside of the pediment has a bronze relief depicting the starvation of Poles deported in a mass ethnic cleansing program imposed on over a million Polish citizens, carried out by the Soviet occupying authorities who sent them in cattle trucks to Siberia. Many never returned.

Plaque commemorating victims of September 11 attacks[edit]

After the September 11 attacks a plaque was unveiled on the front side of the pediment, saying:

NEVER FORGET! PRAY FOR ALL THE INNOCENT VICTIMS AND HEROES WHO DIED IN THE TERRORIST ATTACK ON AMERICA SEPTEMBER 11, 2001[2]

The unveiling ceremony took place on September 12, 2004.[3][4][5][6]

Relocation controversy[edit]

Park proposal[edit]

In April of 2018, it was announced that there were plans to remove the memorial as Exchange Place was to be made into a park.[7] Mike DeMarco, chair of the Exchange Place Special Improvement District was quoted by The Jersey Journal as being in favor of the removal calling the statue was "politically incorrect" and "I don't think the statue's appropriate for a major metropolitan area ... [The monument is] a little gruesome ... I can't imagine how many mothers go by and have to explain it to their children."[8] In a tactical move in November the maor withdrew his support of the plan.[9]

Opposition[edit]

Following opposition by Polish-Americans and Polish officials, this plan has now been rescinded and it has been agreed that the monument will be relocated 200 feet away but will remain on the waterfront in a location that is both dignified and practical.[10] Andrzej Duda, the President of Poland, visited the monument, and had a brief exchange with Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop about the relocation of the monument on 16 May 2018.[11][12]

The proposed site is a matter of controversy.[13][14] The inability of the city council to resolve the matter will likely lead to a city-wide referendum.[15][16]

Polish president visit[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stoltzfus, Duane (June 6, 1991). "Statue Erected as Memorial to Katyn Massacre". The Record (Bergen County, NJ).
  2. ^ "Katyn 9/11 Memorial". flickr.com. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  3. ^ "Uroczystość odsłonięcia Tablicy Pamiątkowej wmurowanej w cokół Pomnika Katyńskiego w Jersey City w Stanie New Jersey - seria zdjęć wykonana w dniu 12 września 2004". polishamericancongressnj.org. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  4. ^ "Polish president to be remembered tonight at Jersey City vigil". nj.com. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  5. ^ "Polish president is killed in plane crash in Russia". nj.com. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  6. ^ "N.J. Polish community mourns loss of president, leaders". nj.com. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  7. ^ http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2018/04/critics_slam_plan_to_move_statue_dedicated_to_vict.html
  8. ^ http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2018/04/critics_slam_plan_to_move_statue_dedicated_to_vict.html
  9. ^ https://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2018/11/new_plan_would_halt_polish_statue_vote_keep_statue.html
  10. ^ Rojas, Rick (May 11, 2018). "Jersey City Argues Over a Statue, and Politicians in Poland Weigh In". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  11. ^ https://www.nj.com/expo/erry-2018/05/7ef18d98452544/index.html#incart_m-rpt-2
  12. ^ "Polish president meets with mayor on statue removal dispute". The Associated Press. May 16, 2018.
  13. ^ http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2018/05/polish-americans_rally_against_plan_to_move_wwii_m.html#incart_2box_nj-homepage-featured
  14. ^ http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2018/05/chorus_of_boos_meet_officials_at_unveiling_of_plan.html#incart_m-rpt-2
  15. ^ https://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2018/09/jersey_city_council_punts_on_polish_statue_sending.html
  16. ^ https://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2018/10/lawsuit_seeks_to_force_council_to_hold_hearing_on.html