The distinction, established in 2009, is awarded by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in recognition of activities aimed at the strengthening of Poland's position in the international arena.
The ceremony took place on 22 June in the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the participation of Deputy Ministers Andrzej Papierz and Bartosz Cichocki. For "tireless campaigning for the good name of Poland" and "activities strengthening of the Republic of Poland on the international arena" the Bene Merito honorary badges were awarded to: Deputy President of the IPN Dr Mateusz Szpytma, Marshal of the Podkarpackie Voivodeship Władysław Ortyl, Deputy Marshal of the Podkarpackie Voivodeship Bogdan Romaniuk, and Terry Tengazian, founder of the publishing house Aquila Polonica Terry Tengazian.
Thanking for the distinction "on behalf of himself and the Marshals", the Deputy President Dr Mateusz Szpytma, stressed that in carrying out the task of building the Ulma Family Museum of Poles Saving Jews, "they did not think about prizes." “We are pleased that our work has been appreciated. Marshal Władysław Ortyl rightly emphasizes that the local authorities of the Podkarpackie region, deciding to build a museum, assumed, in fact, the responsibilities of the state. This self-government was the only office interested in building the museum, and it undertook this task despite many other obligations,” emphasized Dr. Mateusz Szpytma.
Dr Szpytma explained that "one thing is building a museum and making an exhibition that will attract interest, and the other - promoting the institution". “The opening of the Ulma Family Museum of Poles Saving Jews in the Second World War was one of the most important events of 2016, which was recorded in many places around the world. This success would not have had such a dimension, also abroad, were it not for the cooperation of the Podkarpackie Voivodeship authorities, the Łańcut Castle Museum, and the IPN but also the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For one of the biggest events in the history of public diplomacy, I would like to thank the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here,” he noted.
In 2009, the Deputy President of the Institute of National Remembrance, Dr Mateusz Szpytma, was awarded with the Bronze Cross of Merit by the President of the Republic of Poland Lech Kaczyński, in 2016 - with the Silver Cross of Merit by President Andrzej Duda.
More information about the scientific achievements of Dr Mateusz Szpytma: https://ipn.gov.pl/en/about-the-ipn/structure/deputy-president/916,Dr-Mateusz-Szpytma-Deputy-President-of-the-IPN.html