June 2009


From now through September 30, 2009, you are invited to view an exceptional exhibit in Warsaw’s main public library on Koszykowa Street.   The exhibit includes a variety of materials from the library’s collection, including newspapers, memoirs, photographs, and drawings, illustrating how the U.S. was perceived by Poles in the years 1764-1919. Special attention is given to key topics such as: the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, Polish immigrants after the November uprising, Poles participation in the Civil War, American relief efforts for Poland during World War I and the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries. 

As we celebrate the 90th anniversary of U.S.-Polish diplomatic relations this year, the Warsaw Main Public Library’s exhibition is a fascinating and compelling reminder that the relationship between the Polish and American peoples extends much further back in time than the formal relationship between our two countries. The exhibition  will be open for viewing at Warsaw Public Library, Koszykowa 26 till September 30, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm, and Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.  

We’re excited to present you with the opportunity to meet our latest American Expert in Poland – Lt. General Lawrence Farrell (retired), CEO of the National Defense Industrial Association.  He’ll be speaking at a debate hosted by demos Europa this Thursday, June 26, at 15:00 at the Warsaw University Library (see announcement below – registration is required), where he’ll discuss the impact of energy choices on national security policies.  For more information, keep reading… (more…)

Ambassador Verveer with guests of the Embassy

Ambassador Verveer with guests of the Embassy

Over the weekend and yesterday, the U.S. Embassy had the privilege of hosting Melanne Verveer, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, who came to Poland to attend the “Women for Poland/Poland for Women” Congress held June 20-21.  Ambassador Verveer has been engaged on women’s empowerment for many years, from her work with NGOs such as the Vital Voices Global Partnership to the time she spent in the White House as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady during the Clinton Administration.  Ambassador Verveer was delighted to return to Poland and stayed after the Women’s Congress to meet with activists working against gender-based violence, women entrepreneurs and business leaders, students, academics, and other thought leaders. 

The U.S. Embassy was very pleased to be able to welcome Ambassador Verveer and to engage once again with the many women AND men in Poland who are working to resolve issues such as gender-based violence and help empower the women of Poland politically, economically, legally, and socially.  Thank you to everyone who participated in these events.


BEFORE STONEWALL: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community
Free screening + panel discussion
Thursday, 25 June 2009, 6:00 pm
Kino.Lab at the Center for Contemporary Art Zamek Ujazdowski
Ul. Jazdow 2

The U.S. Embassy in Warsaw and the Campaign Against Homophobia are pleased to invite you to a free screening of American documentary BEFORE STONEWALL: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community on Thursday, June 25th at 18:00 at the Center for Contemporary Art’s Kino.Lab (ul. Jazdow 2).  The “Stonewall riots” that followed the June 1969 police raid of New York City’s Stonewall Inn, then the largest gay and lesbian establishment in America, are largely regarded as the starting point of the gay rights movement.  The film explores the history of the gay community before the Stonewall riots through archival footage, and personal recollections.  It will be screened in English with Polish subtitles.

After the screening, we invite you to a panel discussion, “40 Years After Stonewall: LGBT Rights in the U.S. and Europe,” featuring Robert Biedron, Board Member, Campaign Against Homophobia and dr Tomasz Basiuk, Head of the American Studies Center, Warsaw University. 

The U.S. Embassy would like to give special thanks to BEFORE STONEWALL’s producer/director, Greta Schiller, for making this free screening possible.

This event is free and open to the public.  No RSVP is required, but early arrival is advised.

We are excited to recommend to our readers the blog of the 2009 Humanity-in-Action participants, “Warsaw’s Melting Pot,” at http://hiapoland.blogspot.com/, where this year’s participants are discussing a range of issues from women’s rights to national minorities to the situation of disable persons in Poland.  You can also see photos from their activities, including a tour of Warsaw and a visit to the former concentration camp at Treblinka. 

Want to take part in this program in 2010?  Application is highly competitive.  Bookmark the HiA Poland page and check back in the winter for more information about next year’s Core Program in Poland as well as the U.S.-based program.


Today, the Embassy got to host a group of students from the Warsaw gymnazjum named for Ignacy Jan Paderewski.  Chris Snipes talked about “the good, the bad, and the ugly” of TV in American culture; Andrew Hay presented on the U.S. education system and opportunities for Polish students at all levels; and Tom Zia gave some examples of U.S. multiculturalism.  We also learned from the students about their favorite Polish movies (Sami Swoi), the Polish food everyone should try (bigos!), and places visitors to Poland must see (Zakopane). 

We had a lot of questions about visas to the U.S. and about study opportunities.  For questions about visas, we encourage you to visit the consular pages of the U.S. Embassy website.  For those interested in study in the U.S., your first stop should be EducationUSA.  If you are seriously considering studying in the U.S., please get in touch with us and we will direct you to a qualified educational adviser.

To the students, we all really enjoyed meeting you, and hope we’ll have a chance to talk again!


This year, the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw has been pleased to support the fourth summer program of Humanity-in-Action Poland, a unique educational and exchange program that brings Poles, Ukrainians, Germans, and Americans together in Poland to work through some of the most difficult questions of history and the present moment.  The summer fellowship program includes several lectures and workshops, as well as a period of research and writing.  Fellows are encouraged to pursue individual action projects in their communities that aim to improve minority rights, and those who complete these projects become Senior Fellows, with the opportunity to apply for international internships and to participate in a network of alumni from all over Europe and the United States. 

We at the Embassy have had the pleasure of supporting this program over the last year, and last night, we were able to celebrate this year’s fellows along with several special guests — Dr. Judith Goldstein, Executive Director of Humanity in Action; Ambassador Eugeniusz Smolar, Chairman of HiA Poland; Ambassador Janusz Reiter, President of HiA Poland; many HiA Senior Fellows from Poland and the United States.  Deputy Chief of Mission Pamela Quanrud hosted this group in her home, where she encouraged the fellows to continue working for minority rights well after the program’s conclusion.  She said:

Your influence will be both individual and as part of a network of people committed to democratic values and minority rights.  Whether you choose to work in politics, in private business, in the non-government sector, in the arts, or in any other field, you can help construct a more peaceful world.

Her comments reinforced the message that Ambassador Victor Ashe delivered to this year’s Fellows during their opening ceremony on June 9:

This exceptional program created by Humanity-in-Action Poland will, I hope, inspire you to be leaders in your communities.  I hope it will strengthen your beliefs while at the same time helping you become more open to the views of others.  I hope it will empower you to go out into the world and strengthen human rights.  I hope that you will leave here with a network and a knowledge base that will support and inspire you throughout your lives.

It is an honor for us to take part in this exceptional program and to get to know the many extraordinary people from all over the world who participate as Fellows and who make it possible as supporters and staff.  We hope you will all stay in touch.

Next Page »