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The IPN's delegation in Kazakhstan - 8-10 October 2018

On 8 October this year at the presidential library in Astana - the capital of Kazakhstan - Ambassador of the Republic of Poland Prof. Dr. hab. Selim Chazbijewicz and Director of the IPN Branch in Białystok Dr hab. Piotr Kardela held the grand opening of the exhibition "For Independence. Tatars in the Struggle for Free Poland in the Eighteenth-Twentieth Century." The author of the exhibition is Dr Łukasz Lubicz-Łapiński from the Białystok Branch of the Institute.

 

The opening of the IPN’s exhibition was an opportunity for the IPN delegation to meet  Poles living in Astana and representatives of the local scientific and academic community. The opening of the exhibition was preceded by a session inaugurated by the Director of the presidential library in Astana, Rakhimzhanov Amerkhan Muratpekovich. During the meeting, the following persons spoke: Ambassador, Prof. Dr. hab. Selim Chazbijewicz, who stressed the importance of the celebration taking place on the hundredth anniversary of Poland's regaining independence; Director of the IPN Branch in Białystok Dr. hab. Piotr Kardela, who read the letter by the President of the IPN Dr. Jarosław Szarek to the participants of the meeting, drawing the merits of the Tatars in the task of regaining independence by Poland; Deputy Director of the IPN’s National Education Office, Dr. Waldemar Brenda, who spoke about Polish aspirations for freedom in the 20th century, also referring to the struggle of Kazakhstan for independence; representatives of the Tatar community in Kazakhstan, including Sayapova Zukhra Aleutdinovna, an MP representing Tatar-Bashkir Cultural Centre. The meeting met with a great interest of the radio, press and television, which reported about the whole event on the same day.

On 9 October the IPN delegation visited the Labour Camp for the Wives of the Traitors of the Fatherland in Ałżir, near Astana. Over 18 thousand women passed through the hell of this camp, 800 of whom were murdered or died from exhaustion or frost. There were 40,000 child prisoners in the Ałżir camp. 1500 of them were born behind wires. Representatives of the IPN delegation together with Ambassador Selim Chazbijewicz lit candles at the plaque commemorating the Polish victims of Soviet repression and bowed under the Arch of Suffering.

On 10 October at the L.N. Gumilow Eurasian National University in Astana a meeting of representatives of the IPN with Poles from Astana, representatives of the scientific community and Polish language students was held. The meeting was chaired by the Dean of the Faculty of Philology, Prof. Sholpan Zharkynbekova. Dr hab. Piotr Kardela presented the structure and activities of the Institute of National Remembrance. Dr. Waldemar Brenda discussed the activities of the Institute in connection with the centenary of regaining independence by Poland and presented the scale of communist repression against the Polish nation. Dr. Łukasz Lubicz-Łapiński presented the problem of the participation of the Tatars in the fight for the independence of Poland. The head of IPN’s Branch National Education Office in Białystok, Dr. Paweł Warot, talked about the deportations of Poles to Kazakhstan, as well as Soviet occupation of Poland after the end of World War II. The speeches of employees of the IPN  were a stimulus for a lively discussion. Some listeners from the Kazakh side heard about the realities and specifics of the post-war Soviet occupation of Poland, German-Soviet cooperation until 1941, or the brutality of combating Polish independence aspirations in the 20th century for the first time.

 

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