Plan to move Polish memorial in Jersey City proves controversial

Posted: Updated:
JERSEY CITY -

A plan to relocate a Polish World War II statue is causing an uproar in Jersey City.

The Katyn Memorial sits at the Jersey City waterfront and depicts a Polish soldier impaled by a bayonet. It is dedicated to Polish POWs killed in Russia during the war. 

But the area where the statue sits is being turned into a park and Jersey City officials say that the statue needs to be moved. The monument’s creator, Andrej Pitynski, says that he doesn’t want it to be relocated and is backed by many others, including the president of Poland.

“Please, don't do it. Don't do it,” Pitynski says. “Save the monument, save the spirit of this fighting for truth."

The monument has been at the same location for over 30 years. But Mayor Steven Fulop says that the Katyn Memorial has no direct connection to the city and draws few visitors.

“The monument has no significance to the United States, anything the United States was involved in or Jersey City was involved in. It was given as a gift in 1986,” he says.

A number of Polish lawmakers and Polish American leaders have also been critical of moving the statue.

Fulop says that the decision as to where to move the statue will come after community input.

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