The Jan Karski Eagle Award was awarded once again. This year, the chapter decided to award one of the two awards to a collective hero – the Polish nation. The second will go to the Ukrainian defense hero of Kiev.
As reported by the Jan Karski Society, the chapter of the award established in 2000 by Professor Jan Karski, a war courier during World War II and a witness to the Holocaust, awarded this year’s Eagles. As reported by the Society, “for the first time, one of the two traditionally awarded awards is collective and global.” This award was granted to the Polish society.
According to the chapter, the Poles showed the Ukrainians an “unprecedented gesture of human solidarity”. As they write in the statement, “we believe that Polish society passes the moral exam to save our neighbor”.
The second of the Eagles will go to the Ukrainian hero Volodymyr “Vovka” Bigun, commander of the 7th Banner of the 207 Territorial Defense Battalion of Kiev. As the chapter justifies, Bigun showed exceptional heroism in defending freedom against Russian fascism, “defending not only Ukraine but also Poland”.
Before the war, Volodymyr Bigun ran a small business – he supplied furniture to schools. On the day of the invasion, he volunteered for the territorial defense of Kiev. He became the commander of a 100-strong rota that resisted the Russian invaders, first in the battles for Kyiv, and now in the east of the country.
“With great personal commitment, he provided his soldiers with good equipment and training.” Currently, he is fighting with subordinates in Lisiczańsk near Severodonetsk. “He is a model for his soldiers, but also a father of two children and a husband. His family remains in Kiev all the time,” writes the Society.
The awards will be presented in the second half of June.
The protagonist of the reportage “Supervisor”
The Vova branch – because this is how they address the commander of the 7th territorial defense rota of Kiev – is the city’s first line of defense. The life of the inhabitants and the safety of the government district depend on them. They have been under enormous pressure since the outbreak of the war.
“The brothers with whom I’m here call me a mechanic,” emphasized Kolia, who is the shooter. He said he fights for his country, for his land, for his friends and acquaintances. He emphasized that he wanted peace and that he wanted to go to work again.
Michał Przedlacki, associate of TVN’s “Supervisor”, spent a few days with one of these departments. The fruit of this trip was a report “The Vova Company is defending Kiev“.
See the report “The ring around Kiev. Ukraine or death”
The award has been awarded for 23 years
The chapter includes, among others, Archbishop Alfons Nossol, Archbishop Grzegorz Ryś, Father Ludwik Wiśniewski, priests professors Andrzej Szostek and Alfred Wierzbicki, former president Aleksander Kwasniewski, professor Julian Kornhauser, rabbi professor Abraham Skórka, Abraham Foxman as well as Jan Karski’s family represented by his Wiesława Kozielewska’s niece and goddaughter.
Jan Karski stated during the awarding of the award that he wanted it to be given to people who “can feel sorry for Poland with dignity” and to those who “wish Poland well, not being Poles”. The first winners of the award were Jacek Kuroń and Józej Tischner.
Main photo source: PAP / Wojciech Olkuśnik