A Look Back at 2014

Happy New Year from The Polish Mission!

It’s hard to believe that 2015 arrived already. Didn’t we all just get used dating everything “2014?”

We certainly kept busy last year, with Forbidden Art traveling around the country, the opening of several exhibits here on our Orchard Lake Campus, and commemoration events throughout the nation. As we continue to strive for an advancement of our Polish heritage and culture, we wanted to take a moment to look back and highlight some of our accomplishments from the past year.


2014 in Review: A Year at The Polish Mission

January 2014: Remembrance of the 69th Anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation at our Orchard Lake Campus

 "Forbidden Art" displayed at the Galeria for the 96th anniversary for the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz Our Polish Mission director, Marcin Chumiecki, speaks to guests gathered at Orchard Lake for the 69th anniversary of Auschwitz liberation


 March 2014: Celebration of 25 years of freedom in Poland and the screening of “A Place to Stand” at our Orchard Lake Campus

25 years of Polish freedom! "Stolat, stolat..."


April 2014: “Jan Karski – the History, the Legacy and the Responsibility” at the Polish Consulate in Chicago, Illinois

Exclusive celebration at the Polish Consulate of Chicago remembering Jan Karski Vice Consul Konrad Zielinski speaking to those gathered at the Polish Consulate of Chicago back in April

June 2014:” D-Day+70 Commemoration” at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, and the opening of “Forbidden Art” at the Eisenhower Museum in Abilene, Kansas

  Procession at Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, KS for "D-Day 70+" Group photo with reenactors, Polish Mission staff, OLS staff and officers in front of the famous Eisenhower statue.Presentation of the burial wreath at the "D-Day 70+ celebration Soldiers and re-enactors standing at attention during the "D-Day 70+" ceremonyAriel view of "Forbidden Art" set up in the Eisenhower museum in Abilene, KS

August 2014: LTC Matt Urban, Medal of Honor recipient, Wreath Laying Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

 Many speeches were presented at the ceremony commemorating LTC Matt Urban in Washington D.C. Group pictures with the funeral wreath in Arlington National CemetaryLTC Matthew L. Urban, Polish-American war hero

Late August 2014: Director Marcin Chumiecki assists with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer’s “Roots” project at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland, during his annual trip to Poland

 During research at Auschwitz, Wolf looks up the names of his family members. Wolf and his guide discuss camp life as part of the CNN "Roots" series.  Wolf Blitzer and Marcin Chumiecki after the special behind-the-scenes tour at Auschwitz Wolf works the train tracks at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Dr. Nick Hersh at an animation studio in Poland Marcin in a meeting at the animation studios in Poland Marcin exploring a museum in Poland

marcin and darek poland


September 2014: The Polish Mission commemorates the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of WWII in Poland in 1939 at our Orchard Lake Campus

The procession from the Shrine Chapel to the Katyn monument led by area active-duty USMC Presentation of the flags before Mass in the Shrine Chapel "Taps" is played near the Katyn Monument with the cannon standing by, ready to fire. A beautiful soprano sing in Polish at the Mass during the 1939 Commemoration day. OLPS OS playing on the steps of the Shrine chapel in the evening light. Vice Counsel of the Republic of Poland in Chicago, Konrad Zielinski and a St. Mary's student carry a funeral wreath to the Katyn monument. Capt. Emil Kornacki, Konrad Zielinski and the USMC in front of the Katyn Monument.

Over 30 Knights of Columbus joined us for the 1939 Commemoration. Priests, USMC and Knights of Columbus pose in front of the chapel with some of the guests of the day.


October 2014: Opening of “Portrait Studios of Detroit’s Polonia: The Face of Polish Immigration” at our Orchard Lake Campus

Set up and ready for the opening of "Portrait Studios!" Our Board of Directors chairman, Dr. Stan Majewski, with his wife and a friend. Even the younger generations are being taught to research and appreciate their ancestors!

Dr. Hal Learman, co-director of PARI Generations of a family, just as would have been pictured in the early 20th century.Many of the visitors had donated artifacts or photographs that were on display. Over 200 people crowded into the Galeria to enjoy refreshments, chitchat and history.


October 2014: Opening of “Forbidden Art” at the University of Wisconsin, Madison

Moving crews in Wisconsin handle some of the "Forbidden Art" panels.

"Forbidden Art" displayed and ready for viewing at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Speeches at the opening of the exhibit. A guest signs the scroll that will be entered into the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum archives at the completion of this tour.  


October 2014: Opening of “Forbidden Art” at the Polish Museum of America in Chicago, Illinois

"Forbidden Art" set-up at the Polish Museum of America in Chicago.

Polish Mission and PMA staff with Auschwitz survivors.  A young girl gazes in wonder at the "Sorrowful Christ" reproduction pictured in "Forbidden Art."

The room is sometimes strangly quiet during tours, as people privately reflect on what exactly transpired, through these paintings and drawings.

November: Opening of “Leon Wyczolkowski: and The Art of his Epoch” at our Orchard Lake Campus

Polish language students from St. Mary's Preparatory tour the Wyczolkowski exhibit. Opening night, the guests were treated to a classical piano performance. Curator of Collections, JJ Przewozniak, explains how we acquired Cardinal Szoka's sword and chalice. Our compatriot from the Wyczolkowski museum in Poland, Inga Kopcievick We at the Polish Mission know how to light up a birthday cake!

Stay tuned for exciting developments in upcoming programming in 2015!