Mayor says Jersey City’s Katyn monument will stand in ‘respected’ place: report
PR dla Zagranicy
The mayor of Jersey City in the United States has signalled he wants dialogue amid a trans-Atlantic spat over plans to remove a statue honouring Poles massacred by the Soviets in World War II, according to reports.
The Katyn Massacre monument in Jersey City. Photo: Colin Knowles [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Mayor Steven Fulop said that the monument needs to be removed for renovation but added that ultimately it would stand in a “respected” place, public broadcaster Polish Radio reported.
“My commitment to the community is that we will conduct a formal meeting with you prior to the monument being re-situated anywhere and I can commit to you that we will place it back in the public view in a respected location in the city,” Fulop said, as quoted by Polish Radio.
His comments to the Polish community in the US followed a row over plans to remove a statue in Jersey City in the US state of New Jersey which honours the victims of a 1940 Soviet massacre of some 22,000 of Poles, including in the Katyn Forest, western Russia.
Members of the Polish community in the United States and officials in Warsaw protested after Jersey City last month announced that the statue would be removed in order to redevelop a public square that has been the monument's home for 27 years.
Fulop previously said the monument - at Exchange Place in Jersey City, just across the Hudson River from New York City - would be put in storage while the space is converted into a park.
Polish Senate Speaker Stanisław Karczewski called the plan "really scandalous" and "very unpleasant".
Fulop then responded on Twitter that Karczewski “is a joke.”
“The fact is that a known anti-Semite, white nationalist + Holocaust denier like him has zero credibility,” Fulop said last Thursday.
The Polish ambassador to the United States has called for an apology from Fulop.
Karczewski said he had taken legal steps over the mayor’s accusations.
The monument at the centre of the row features a 10-metre-tall bronze figure of a soldier - who has been gagged and bound and impaled by a bayonetted rifle - mounted on top of a granite base containing soil from the Katyn Forest in western Russia where thousands of Poles were murdered by Soviet secret police during World War II. (pk)
Source: Polish Radio