2014 was announced by the Polish government as “The Year of Jan Karski” to honor, on the 100th anniversary of his birth, the legacy of Poland’s wartime emissary. Karski was the first man who gave a credible report about the Holocaust atrocities and its scale. He was able to support it with his first-hand testimony: during his numerous missions Karski twice infiltrated Warsaw’s Jewish Ghetto and also witnessed the horror of a transit camp. Subsequently, he spread his report among the Allies – he met with F. D. Roosevelt to give his account. When President Obama was justifying his decision of giving the highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to Jan Karski, he said: “We must tell our children about how this evil was allowed to happen … because so many others stood silent. But let us also tell our children about the Righteous Among the Nations.” The lecture will focus on the life and heritage of the Polish hero.
Krzysztof Hoffmann is a Fulbright Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan and an assistant professor in the Faculty of Polish and Classical Philology at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland. A graduate of Adam Mickiewicz University, he studied also in Sweden and France. Hoffman’s research focuses on contemporary Polish literature and literary criticism. He wrote Dubitatio. O poezji Eugeniusza Tkaczyszyna-Dyckiego (2012). His monograph Poezja jako jezyk mozliwy filozofii (Poetry as a Potential Language for Philosophy) and his translation to Polish of J.H. Miller’s On Literature will be published in 2014.
Sponsors: U-M Polish Student Association, Polish American Congress-Ann Arbor Chapter, Copernicus Program in Polish Studies, Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures