World War Two Polish resistance fighter and Georgetown scholar Jan Karski (G’52, H’83) will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, President Barack Obama announced this morning.
Karski had served as an officer in the Polish Underground during WWII and reported the atrocities committed during the Holocaust to the British and American governments.
In 1944, Karski published his book, “Courier from Poland: The Story of a Secret State,” in an attempt to make the situation in Nazi-occupied Poland publicly known.
After the war, Karski moved to the United States and matriculated at Georgetown, where he studied and taught for the next 40 years. He died in 2000.
“Jan Karski … witnessed Jews being put on cattle cars … [and] told the truth, all the way to President Roosevelt himself,” Obama said in his announcement. “Jan Karski passed away more than a decade ago. But today, I’m proud to announce that this spring I will honor him with America’s highest civilian honor.”