Exhibition devoted to Polish Cold War hero opens in Warsaw
PR dla Zagranicy
An exhibition dedicated to Colonel Ryszard Kukliński, who passed secret Warsaw Pact documents to the CIA during the Cold War, opened in the Polish capital on Friday.
“Colonel Kukliński – A Polish Lonely Mission,” is the title of the exhibition, held at Warsaw’s Saski Garden. It is organized by the Colonel Kukliński Intelligence Museum in the capital.
The launch falls on the opening day of the Warsaw summit of the North Atlantic Alliance, which was a deliberate choice on the museum’s part, the head of the institution, Filip Frąckowiak said.
“Ryszard Kukliński was, in fact, Poland’s first Polish NATO officer, and so the opening of the exhibition on the first day of the Alliance’s summit is no coincidence,” Frąckowiak said.
The exhibition features 19 display panels documenting the life of Colonel Kukliński and his mission to thwart the Soviet Union’s top secret war plans for Europe in 1970-1981. These included blueprints for an attack of the Warsaw Pact countries, comprising the Soviet Union and other communist countries in Eastern Europe, against Western Europe.
The exhibition features captions in both Polish and English.
Ryszard Kukliński began serving as a CIA agent in 1970, operating under the code name Jack Strong. A communist-era military court sentenced him to death, in absentia, in 1984. He was cleared of treason charges in 1997.
Colonel Kukliński died on 11 February 2004 in Tampa, Florida. His ashes were returned to Poland and laid to rest at Warsaw’s Powązki Military Cemetery. (aba)