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Foundation

About Foundation

The mission and statutory objectives of the Kulski Foundation for Polish-American relations are focused on the promotion of patriotic values ​​and Polish historical heritage through information and educational activities addressed to a wide range of Polish and foreign recipients, including representatives of the public opinion, media, public administration, opinion leaders and representatives of the NGO sector.

The projects implemented by the Foundation create a multidimensional platform for social and institutional dialogue in areas, such as national security, foreign policy, culture, national heritage or historical policy. By analyzing the best international system and legislative solutions, the Kulski Foundation supports the process of modernizing the Polish legal system, striving to eliminate economic and social barriers. In this way, the Foundation systematically supports the development of Poland’s economic and cultural potential in the international arena.

The strategic goals of the Kulski Foundation for Polish-American relations have been set out in details in the provisions of the statute and can be classified into 3 main categories:

  • Building historical memory and implementation of educational and information activities,
  • Activities aimed at civic culture development, as well as systematic development of the Polish civil society potential,
  • Strengthening the positive image of Poland in the international arena through activities in the field of public diplomacy.


The history of the Foundation

The Kulski Foundation for Polish-American Relations was established on 10 June, 2015 by the will and initiative of Julian Eugeniusz Kulski – the hero of the Warsaw Uprising, architect, World Bank expert and a close friend of figures, such as Jan Nowak Jeziorański or Zbigniew Brzeziński. From the very beginning of its activity, the Kulski Foundation has been dealing with documentation and cultivation of the memory of the achievements, life and activities of Julian Spitosław Kulski – the Deputy of Stefan Starzyński and the hero of occupied Warsaw. With the help of various types of social and cultural projects, the Kulski Foundation builds a sense of national identity and fosters valuable moral models. By implementing educational and scholarship projects, the Foundation strengthens patriotic attitudes among the representatives of the young generation, as well as preserves the historical memory of Warsaw heroes from the occupation period. The Foundation is also the organizer of a range of local and international conferences, historical projects and cultural events aimed at reinforcing Polish-American relations and shaping of valuable social approaches.

Among the most relevant projects implemented by the Kulski Foundation since 2015  are:

  • Organization of a series of international conferences devoted to Polish-American relations, entitled “The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Create it”,
  • Production and distribution of the documentary film entitled “Goliath – the forgotten hero” dedicated to the heritage and the history of the Kulski family,
  • The monument construction to the Presidents of Great Warsaw –Stefan Starzyński and Julian S. Kulski,
  • Unveiling of a commemorative plaque dedicated to President Julian Spitosław Kulski on the front wall of the former town hall building at Senatorska street in Warsaw,
  • Organization of the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Piano Concert along with the fashion show from the 1920s and 1930s of XX century, implemented under the “Niepodległa” grant program.

Recipients of the Foundation’s activities

The group of recipients (target group) of the projects carried out by the Kulski Foundation is extremely inclusive and extensive. It consists of:

  • Representatives of the widely understood public opinion (each time the communication language is adapted to the age group profile),
  • Academic community (students, lecturers),
  • Polish and foreign media,
  • Representatives of public administration (both at the level of local government and central administration),
  • Representatives of the non-governmental sector (NGOs),
  • Business representatives, as well as representatives of international corporations with global influence,
  • Representatives of opinion-making circles and internet opinion leaders (influencers),
  • Representatives of the world of culture and art,
  • International organizations (UN agencies, World Bank, International Monetary Fund etc.),

Diplomatic missions and the international community.


Founder Julian Eugeniusz Kulski

Julian Eugeniusz Kulski (born 3 March, 1929 in Warsaw, died on 12 August, 2021 in Washington), son of Eugenia from the Solecka family and Julian Spitosław Kulski, President of Warsaw on behalf of the Polish Underground State and the Government of the Republic of Poland in exile.

During the occupation he lived in Żoliborz. From 1941 he was a member of the underground in the ranks of the Union of Armed Struggle (ZWZ/AK/ under the war name of „Chojnacki” and “Goliath”. Then joined the “Baszta” battalion, afterwards in Żoliborz the 9th Diversion Company of the Home Army “Żniwiarz”. He is a participant of the Warsaw Uprising in Żoliborz, during which he got wounded twice. He was awarded with the Military Cross of Valor and a silver cross for his bravery and courage in the battle.

After the Warsaw Uprising, he and other soldiers of the Home Army were sent to the Stalag XI-A Altengrabow POW camp. In May 1945, the camp was liberated by the Americans, after which Julian E. Kulski escaped to England. There he enrolled at Portora Royal School in Northern Ireland, and then began studying architecture at Oxford. After three years, on the advice of a family friend and then his mentor Jan Nowak-Jeziorański, he left for the United States, where he began studying architecture at Yale University, which he graduated in 1953.

In 1966 he obtained his doctorate degree at the Faculty of Architecture of the Warsaw University of Technology. He worked, among others, at Notre Dame University, George Washington University and Howard University in Washington. Over the course of his sixty-year professional career, he had coordinated more than three thousand architectural projects in the USA and around the world. As an expert of the World Bank, he supervised projects related to education and culture, which were carried out in Asia, South America, Africa and Europe.

His extraordinary life history behind the scenes Kulski described in several autobiographical books published in the USA, Poland and Brazil – they are also textbooks for the recent history of Poland, especially on the period of the Second World War. In the United States, his book “Legacy of the White Eagle” is a school textbook for learning history in public schools. In Poland, it was published in 2012 under the title “Julek Powstaniec”. Earlier, in 2004, the two-volume autobiography of Professor Kulski titled “Dziedzictwo Orła Białego” (“Legacy of the White Eagle”) was released on the Polish publishing market. The publication was resumed in 2011 by the Granmark publishing house.

The latest book by Julian E. Kulski entitled “The Color of Courage: A Boy at War: The World War II Diary of Julian Kulski” (published by Aquila Polonica in 2014) was translated into Portuguese and appeared in Brazil under the title “A Cor da Coragem. A Guerra de um Menino: About Diario de Julian Kulski at the Segunda Guerra Mundial ”(Edittora Valentina, 2016).

In 2007 prof. Julian E. Kulski received the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland conferred by President Lech Kaczyński. In 2017, President Andrzej Duda also awarded him Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta for his distinguished services to Poland’s independence and cultivating Polish national traditions. Professor Kulski also received Bene Merito honorary distinction for promoting Poland and strengthening its international position by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In his professional career, prof. Julian Eugeniusz Kulski also served as Director of the Kościuszko Foundation in New York and lectured on international relations at the prestigious Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security in Washington.

He died on 13 August, 2021 in Washington.


Presidents of Great Warsaw

Julian Spitosław Kulski (born 03 December, 1892 in Warsaw) – entered the pages of the history as a patriot, soldier, vice-president of Warsaw, and a long-time friend of the legendary president of the capital – Stefan Starzyński.

The history of the friendship between Kulski and Starzyński dates back to the high school times. They both graduated from the same prestigious gymnasium after Jan Kreczmar, which was the first school to be allowed to teach the Polish language during the Russian partition. During this period, Kulski and Starzyński got involved in a school strike in 1905, appealing, among others, for the abolition of police supervision over school youth, as well as religious and class restrictions in access to education. Kulski and Starzyński were also connected by their world views – both in their adolescence sympathized with the Polish Socialist Party (PPS), for which they paid in their later years, including also by getting into prison.

Julian Spitosław Kulski decided to continue his education at the University of Brussels, where he started studying electrical engineering. Kulski’s academic interests changed over time, and, as a result, he moved to Nancy. There, he continued his studies at the Institute of Electronics and Applied Mechanics. However, from his academic career, Kulski was much more interested in the political activity, motivated by a strong patriotic spurt and longing for his homeland.

In 1913, Kulski joined the Belgian company of the Riflemen’s Association, then in 1914, at the invitation of Stefan Starzyński, returned to Poland and joined the Legions led by Józef Piłsudski to fight together against the overwhelming forces of the tsarist army. After the end of the war, Starzyński and Kulski were interned together in the Beniaminów camp.

After returning to Warsaw and after the death of his father in 1917, the 25-year-old Julian Kulski became the head of the family. In the interests of his mother and siblings, he started working in the Supply Department of the Municipal Board as a bakery inspector. Then he connected his professional plans with the People’s Militia, under which in 1919 he took command of the Warsaw district, which at that time included not only the capital, but also the entire province. Starzyński appeared once again during that period of Kulski’s life. On his initiative, Kulski changed the job, taking up employment in the Supreme Command of the Polish Army.

At the end of 1921, Kulski decided to resign from further military service. At that time, Starzyński was the Secretary General of the Moscow Re-Evacuation and Special Commission, and Kulski was offered the position of his deputy. The activities of Kulski and Starzyński in the Re-Evacuation and Special Commission contributed to the recovery and transport of many valuable cultural and historical monuments of Poland from Moscow.

After returning from Moscow, Julian S. Kulski decided to re-enter the academic path, starting in 1925 diplomatic and consular studies in Paris. During the studies, he joined the Institute of European Law in Paris. After graduating in 1927, he returned with his wife to Warsaw and began working at the Ministry of the Treasury, where Stefan Starzyński served as a Deputy Minister. In the following years, Kulski’s offsprings were born – son Eugeniusz (1929) and afterwards daughter Wanda (1932).

The story of Julian Spitosław Kulski was also intertwined with the fate of Stefan Starzyński, who in the years 1934–1939 held the office of the President of Warsaw. In 1935, Julian S. Kulski accepted his friend’s proposal and became the Deputy President of the capital. The management of the City Board then consisted of six people: the president and five vice-presidents. Soon after the start of the German occupation, Kulski remained the only Vice-president in office. Afterwards he became President Starzyński’s the right hand.

In 1938, due to the growing threat of war, Kulski was appointed the Commander of the Civil Air Defense of Warsaw. After the arrest of President Starzyński in October 1939, he took over his duties. With the consent of the delegate of the Polish Government to Poland – Cyryl Ratajski and the representatives of the Polish Underground State and the government in exile, he served as the president of the capital until the first days after the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising.

Before his arrest, President Starzyński ordered Kulski to continue his mission watching over the fate of the inhabitants of Warsaw. Thanks to Kulski’s efforts, the lives of thousands of Warsaw civilians were saved. Employees of the town hall, with the consent of Kulski, issued false identity documents and employment certificates in the town hall. It turned out to be invaluable help for members of the Polish Underground State and other people wanted by the Nazi occupiers. The capital city hall actions also saved the lives of thousands of citizens of Jewish origin, as well as refugees from the Warsaw ghetto.

President Kulski and his family risked their lives every day. During his tenure in the occupied Warsaw, Kulski experienced many dramatic moments, including his arrest and interrogation at the Gestapo headquarters at Szucha Avenue, the arrest of a 14-year-old son or numerous arrests of City Hall employees. Their evacuation from Nazi arrests was possible thanks to the personal intercession of Kulski.

Julian Kulski, with the consent of the Government Delegate for Poland, Stanisław Jankowski, resigned on 05 August, 1944. After 3 weeks of fighting in the vicinity of Śródmieście and the Old Town, he managed to get to Żoliborz, where his fifteen-year-old son was. After the fall of the Uprising, Julian S. Kulski shared the fate of thousands of Warsaw residents, passing through the German transit camp in Pruszków.

After the end of the war, Julian S. Kulski continued his work for the City Hall, preparing reports on the activities of the City Board during the war and occupation for the needs of the city archives. From 1946, he was employed in the shipping company C. Hartwig in Gdynia. A year later, he worked at Public Sector Building in Warsaw, and then at Workers’ Housing Estates (ZOR).

He retired in 1960, devoting himself entirely to historical and opposition activities. He died in Warsaw on 18 August, 1976. His grave is located in Aleja Zasłużonych (“Avenue of the Distinguished) in the Warsaw Powązki Cemetery.

Julian S. Kulski was honored with a number of medals and distinctions for his heroic and courageous actions. He was awarded the Medal of Valor three times for his service in the Legions. For the fight against the Bolsheviks, he got honored with the Silver Cross of the Order of Virtuti Militari. For post-war services for the activity aimed at independence and social work Kulski received the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta. As a token of recognition for the activities for the Malta Hospital in Warsaw, the Order of Malta awarded him the Grand Cross with the Star of the Order of Merit.

Stefan Bronisław Starzyński was born on 19 August, 1893 in Warsaw. He was a politician, publicist and economist. He was the Commissioner President of Warsaw in the years 1934–1939. During the defensive war, he was the Chairman of the Citizens’ Committee during the defense of Warsaw.

The birthday is supposed to be 19th August, 1893. He was born at 33 Dobra street. He was the third son of Alfons Karol Starzyński and Jadwiga Lipska. In his family house, he received a solid education, where patriotic and insurgent traditions were passed further.

His spent his childhood in Łowicz. From the early age he demonstrated signs of social activity. After moving to Warsaw, together with Julian S. Kulski, he participated in the school strike in 1905. From 1907 he continued his education at the Emilian Konopczyński gymnasium in Warsaw, where he was an active member of the Progressive-Independence Youth Union. This organization was ardently operating among young people in Polish secondary and academic schools in the Kingdom. Already since his junior high school times, he was very independent. He was earning additional money by tutoring. He was also a member of the Underground. For the first time he was arrested in 1910 and served a month’s sentence in the Citadel. After leaving the prison, he was forced to change the school. At the age of 19, he became involved in the independence activities.

He spent the First World War period serving in the Legions. He was declared as pro-Piłsudski. In the army, he reached the rank of reserve major. In the Second Polish Republic, after the May coup, he was an official for special tasks at Prime Minister Kazimierz Bartel. From 1930, he assumed a parliamentary mandate on behalf of the Non-party Block of Cooperation with the Government. He also realized his professional competences as a lecturer at the Warsaw School of Economics. After Piłsudski’s death, he supported the the rule of Edward Rydz-Śmigły.

In 1934 he was appointed the President of the capital city of Warsaw. He tidied up the capital’s system. At the initial stage of his activity, the inhabitants were reluctant to him, only then did he gain their respect as an efficient manager. His achievements include modernization of the sewage system, improvement of public transport efficiency or many streets renovation. Just before the outbreak of the Second World War, he developed a plan for the evacuation of the Government and the collections of the National Museum.

The 5 years of Stefan Starzyński’s rule contributed to Warsaw flourishing. Over 100,000 apartments with the necessary infrastructure were built. The construction of 30 school buildings and the modernization of several dozen old ones got completed. The following places were finished and put into service: the National Museum, the Tourist House, the market hall in Żoliborz or the Hospital of the Transfiguration. The Blanka Palace, the Arsenal and the Bruhl Palace were renovated. Other initiatives undertaken during the reign of Starzyński include: the discovery of Warsaw medieval walls fragment, preparation of the preliminary design for the construction of the Piłsudski bridge and the metro network, modernization of Warsaw’s arterial roads, modernization of seven hospitals, construction of the Żoliborz viaduct over the Gdańsk Railway Station, as well as the extension of Bonifraterska Street. On 27 July, 1939, he wrote a will, where he bequeathed his own art collections to the National Museum.

In the face of the approaching German troops, he refused to carry out the evacuation order from the capital. At that time, he assumed the position of the Civil Commissioner at the Warsaw Defense Command. On the proposal to depart from Warsaw by plane sent by E. Rydz-Śmigły, he replied to General Juliusz Rómmel as the Commander of the defense of the capital: “Just as you share the fate of your soldiers – so I will remain among my own.” On 6 September, General Kazimierz Sosnkowski summoned President Starzyński to the headquarters of the commander of the defense of Warsaw, General Walerian Czuma. In his memoirs “Shadows of September” K. Sosnkowski wrote:

“I appealed to President Starzyński with a demand to immediately mobilize the people of Warsaw for the fight and the auxiliary work. It was agreed that he would immediately appeal to the inhabitants of the capital to appear at designated assembly points for digging ditches and building barricades. The city committed to provide as much engineer equipment, as it had at its disposal. The rest, as well as mining equipment, were to be provided by the commander of I district. The city administration was to turn off gas and water in defense zones. Before the end of the briefing, President Starzyński reported to me that he would implement all the recommendations immediately, but the next day he had to hand over the office of the president to his deputy and leave Warsaw to report to the regiment the 8th Heavy Artillery Regiment in Toruń), which he was assigned to on the basis of a mobilization card. My response was a call to stay where he was, in Warsaw, where he would be more needed than in the regiment. President Starzyński declared that in the face of such an order, he would remain in office, treating my order as an exemption from the obligation to appear in the regiment ”.

After the capitulation of Warsaw, Starzyński was a co-founder of the underground administration structure. He collaborated with the first commander of the Polish Victory Service, General Michał Karaszewicz-Tokarzewski. He was arrested by the Germans on 27 October, 1939 in the town hall, imprisoned in the Central Detention Center in Warsaw, and then transferred to the Pawiak prison. The investigative division of the Institute of National Remembrance, conducting the investigation regarding the circumstances of Starzyński’s death, completed the investigation on September 8, 2014. The prosecutor of the Branch Prosecution Commission stated that his death was the result of being shot by the Gestapo between 21 and 23 December 1939 in or around Warsaw. The perpetrators of the murder were: SS-Oberscharführer Hermann Schimmann, SS-Hauptscharführer Weber and SS-Unterscharführer Perlbach.

 


Council and Board of the Foundation

Council of the Kulski Foundation for Polish-American Relations:

  • Julian Eugeniusz Kulski – Founder (1929 – 2021)

    The hero of the Warsaw Uprising, a graduate of architecture at Yale University, academic lecturer, long-time associate of the World Bank, a friend of the figures, such as Starzyński, Karski and Nowak-Jeziorański. Awarded with the Cross of Valor and the Silver Cross for bravery and courage in battle. Former Director of the Kościuszko Foundation in New York, as well as the lecturer in international affairs at the prestigious Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security in Washington.
     
  • Catharine Kulski – Head of the Foundation Council
  • Oskar Tułodziecki – Member of the Foundation Council

Board of the Kulski Foundation for Polish-American relations:

  • Małgorzata Bogusz – President of the Management Board of the Foundation 
    Possesses extensive experience in cooperation with the companies from the pharmaceutical, financial and energy sectors and other actors, that are vital from the Poland’s international economic interests perspective. Małgorzata Bogusz also worked as a press and radio journalist, publishing, inter alia, in Rzeczpospolita, Newsweek Polska, Newsweek International (New York), Polityka, Twój Styl and Super Express. Earlier, she was a Communication Advisor at the British-Polish Chamber of Commerce.  Thanks to her considerable expert knowledge and know-how on international political and economic phenomena and the effectiveness of activities carried out in the non-governmental area, in 2020 Bogusz was nominated for the position of Polish delegate to group III of the European Economic and Social Committee (2020-2025 term).

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