Jersey City mayor regrets jibes in Katyn statue row: report
PR dla Zagranicy
The mayor of Jersey City has said he regrets calling the Polish Senate Speaker “a known anti-Semite” in a row over plans to remove a statue in the US honouring Poles massacred by the Soviets in WWII, according to reports.
The Jersey City monument to the 1940 Katyn MassacrePhoto: Eleanor Lang/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Poland’s PAP news agency reported that Jersey City mayor Steven Fulop has said in a statement he is finalising plans to travel to Poland in the last week of June.
Fulop added he hoped Polish Senate Speaker Stanisław Karczewski would meet him, the PAP agency added.
A trans-Atlantic row erupted 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 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.
Karczewski called the plan "really scandalous" and "very unpleasant."
Fulop 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.
The Polish ambassador to the United States called for an apology from Fulop. Karczewski, meanwhile, said he had taken legal steps over the mayor’s accusations.
Even as emotions ran high, an agreement on the statue was reached last week. Public broadcaster Polish Radio's IAR news agency reported that the monument would be moved 60 metres to a “prestigious location” by the Hudson River.
The statue 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 where thousands of Poles were murdered by Soviet secret police during World War II.