In the midst of World War II, Jan Karski was dispatched by the Polish Underground to inform Western Allies about the reign of terror in German Nazi-occupied Poland - including the ongoing slaughter of the Jewish population – and to seek intervention. Karski’s courageous mission, against all odds in the darkest of hours, qualifies him as Humanity’s Hero. His testimony sets the record straight about what the world knew about the Holocaust when there was still time to act.
His lifetime of service to humanity – as an emissary, as a distinguished educator at Georgetown University, and as a voice of conscience – places him in the first rank of world figures from the twentieth century. Karski’s extraordinary legacy was recognized by President Barack Obama on May 29, 2012, when he was decorated posthumously with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor.
The mission of the Jan Karski Educational Foundation is to instill in people - especially the youth - the values of leadership, courage and integrity, as exemplified by the life of Jan Karski.
The Foundation’s work focuses on educating young people - especially Americans and Poles – through the following initiatives:
· Promoting Karski’s book Story of a Secret State as a “must-read” in Holocaust, world and European history
curriculums at the middle, high school and college levels
· Advancing interfaith cooperation and exchange, especially between the Catholic and Jewish communities
· Educating Americans about Polish history – particularly Poland’s contributions to the Allied effort in World War II
The Foundation grew out of the successful Jan Karski US Centennial Campaign, established in May 2011, which placed
Dr. Karski’s name in nomination for the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The Jan Karski Educational Foundation has established two sister Foundations, one in Chicago and one in Warsaw. Its work will continue as long as young and old seek inspiration about how to act with courage when conditions are at their worst, how to become messengers for truth and to act on behalf of oppressed peoples everywhere.