For the second time this year, on 25 January 2019, a meeting between IPN representatives and the guests from the Defense Prisoner of War / Missing in Action Accounting Agency (DPAA) was held at the headquarters of the Institute of National Remembrance.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency is an agency within the United States Department of Defence whose mission is to recover missing personnel who are listed as Prisoners of War (POW), or Missing in Action (MIA), from all past wars and conflicts and from countries around the world.
Professor Krzysztof Szwagrzyk, Deputy President of the Institute of National Remembrance met with General Kelly K. McKeague to discuss further cooperation between the two institutions. Brian Pearl, Col. Smith, David Kuehn and Russell Grimley also participated in the talks. The Polish IPN was represented by Joanna Zowczak-Krajewska, Director of the IPN Legal Office, Andrzej Cisek-Head of the Documentation and Analysis Department of the Office of Search and Identification, Monika Mużacz –Kowal- Head of the Identification Department of the Office of Search and Identification, and Agnieszka Jędrzak, Head of the Division of Information and International Relations and Katarzyna Ratajczak – Sowa, a specialist from the Division of Information and International Relations.
During the meeting, the guests listened to a lecture by Prof. Krzysztof Szwagrzyk "Poland is looking for heroes". After the presentation, they expressed their appreciation for the work the Institute is conducting to commemorate and find the burial sites of murdered soldiers, the victims of communist terror. Both Prof. Szwagrzyk and gen. Kelly K. McKeague noticed the similarities in the work of the IPN and DPAA, these being common values such as responsibility, a sense of duty, professionalism and communication with families who are looking for the places where their loved ones died. The American guests emphasized the fact that the nature of the work of both institutions is very similar. They also pointed out the significance of passion for one’s work, employee involvement and an interdisciplinary approach to the tasks performed. Both sides expressed their willingness to cooperate, counting on mutual support. A joint search for the remains of American soldiers is planned.
At the end of the meeting, prof. Szwagrzyk and General McKeague exchanged symbolic signs of remembrance connected with key moments in the history of both nations.
The American delegation also visited the IPN Archive, where they had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the resources of the Institute and the specifics of the work of archivists.