On 29 September, the President of the IPN, Dr Jarosław Szarek participated in the closing gala of the 11th edition of the Defiant, Indomitable, Doomed Film Festival which took place at the Musical Theatre in Gdynia.
The winners of this year's festival were announced. The Institute of National Remembrance, won the grand prix - the "Golden Resistor" for the film "Passports to Paraguay". The award was received by the film’s director, Robert Kaczmarek.
The film presents events concerning the participation of Polish diplomacy in rescuing Jews during World War II and forgotten Polish-Jewish cooperation against Nazi Germany. In 1942—1943, an informal group of Polish diplomats and activists gathered in Jewish organizations worked together to obtain passports of South American countries for Jewish people imprisoned in ghettos by the Nazi German occupants of Poland.
The secret group working at the Polish legation in Bern included: Aleksander Ładoś, Konstanty Rokicki, Stefan Jan Ryniewicz, Juliusz Kühl and on the part of Jewish organizations—Adolf H. Silberschein and Chaim Eiss.
During the closing gala, honorary awards and distinctions were also given.
The President of the Institute of National Remembrance, Dr Jarosław Szarek, presented the "Door to Freedom" award, which was received by Anca Maria Cernea from Romania for her parents, Romanian oppositionists - Elsa Anka-Barbus and Ioan Barbus.
“Soon the IPN will publish an album devoted to the struggles of Romanians with the communist system. I recommend reading this truly valuable publication,” emphasized the President of the Institute of National Remembrance.
Adam Hlebowicz, the Director of IPN’s Education Office honoured Julien Bryan, who as the only foreign correspondent came to fighting Warsaw on 7 September 1939, with the Signet of Independence. The distinction, awarded posthumously, was received by his son Prof. Sam Bryan.
“Julien Bryan was defiant and steadfast. When all foreign correspondents fled from Poland in September 1939, he did the exact opposite. He came to fighting Warsaw on 7 September,” said Adam Hlebowicz.
The Defiant, Indomitable, Doomed Film Festival presents works devoted to the Doomed Soldiers and Poland’s history between 1939 and 1989. The event’s programme includes screenings of documentaries and feature films, radio reports, and panel discussions. It includes exhibitions, artistic installations and music shows. The NNW Festival takes place under the National Patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda.
Kazimiera Mika and Zygmunt Aksienow, immortalized in the pictures of Julien Bryan in 1939, will take part in a panel discussion entitled "The Heroes of Bryan's photographs" prepared by the Director of the National Education Office of the Institute of National Remembrance Adam Hlebowicz on the 80th anniversary of the surrender of Warsaw, which heroically defended itself against the German offensive for 20 days.
On this occasion, during the festival, the Institute of National Remembrance presented the "The Siege of Warsaw 1939. Photographs of Julien Bryan" exhibition for the second time. Its vernissage, with the participation of Kazimiera Mika and Zygmunt Aksienów, took place on 3 September at the IPN Educational Center in Warsaw.
It is worth mentioning that in 2010 the IPN published the “Siege of Warsaw in the photographs of Julien Bryan" album which was the first such extensive and comprehensive presentation of the work of Julien Bryan in the world.
Children of the opposition - this is yet another festival debate during which the Institute of National Remembrance played a major role. The discussion was attended by, among others Dr Jarosław Szarek, the President of the Institute of National Remembrance.
As part of the ongoing year of Anna Walentynowicz, the IPN presented the “Anna Walentynowicz. The Legend of Solidarity 1929–2010” exhibition for the duration of the festival.
The Deputy President of the Institute of National Remembrance Prof. Krzysztof Szwagrzyk took part in the “Poland is looking for its Heroes” project. The topic of Cursed Soldiers was also raised during a debate on : “ Cursed Soldiers. Facts and Controversies” ('Łupaszka', 'Bury' and 'Ogień') with the participation of the editor-in-chief of the 'IPN Bulletin' Jan M. Ruman, Dr Kazimierz Krajewski, Dr Tomasz Łabuszewski and Michał Ostapiuk.
A discussion panel dedicated to the activities of the IPN Archive was also organized as part of the Festival. It started on 27 September at 4.10 p.m. During the meeting, the Archive Full of Remembrance project, aimed at preserving the memory of Poles in Poland and abroad in the 20th century, was presented more broadly. Within the scope of the project, the IPN Archive collects documents from private persons as well as from domestic institutions and Polish diaspora institutions abroad.The submitted materials are secured, digitized and then made available. The most valuable acquisitions become the basis for publications and exhibitions prepared by the Institute. During the meeting, the most interesting collections acquired as part of the project by the Archive and its Branch Office in Gdańsk were discussed and presented.