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Response from Gerald M. Kochan, Center for Military Studies

Polskie organizacje w Dallas, Polski Kosciol, Polonia w Texasie ... Polish organization in Dallas area / Polish Church

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gerald kochan
Posty: 1
Rejestracja: sob sie 14, 2010 2:11 pm

Response from Gerald M. Kochan, Center for Military Studies

Post autor: gerald kochan » sob sie 14, 2010 2:17 pm

It has been brought to my attention that an email from Mr. Matt McCarthy purporting to seek assistance in locating the Center for Military Studies has been generating misinformation and half truths. In the interest of providing you the forum member a balanced picture of both the Center and acquisition of the Logbook of FLT Tarkowski, I would like to submit the following background information for your review:

First, the Center has never tried to hide anything of its operation or history. I do take blame for not having updated our website which would have eliminated much of the conjecture that has been guided by the slant of Mr. McCarthy’s posts on your site.

Mr. McCarthy contacted us prior to posting anything on your forum demanding that we sell back his “grandfather’s” logbook. He stated that FLT Tarkowski had dementia, he was a trustee for the estate and the Center had no right to the logbook. I wrote back stating that we as any institution had a responsibility to honor the intentions of the individual entrusting something to our care. I explained to him that there had been two occasions previously where a family member felt that they deserved the item and did not agree with their family and seller of the item. Both those occasions resulted in initial bad press because of the emotional nature of “family”, yet in the end had resulted in even the dissenter accepting the wishes of the others and acknowledging that our venue was a proper one to honor their family member. During the time that I interviewed FLT Tarkowski, he was lucid and was able to answer any and all questions with great detail. Another point that Mr. McCarthy chooses to ignore is that FLT Tarkowski’s wife was present during the entire discussion, and no one has dared to suggest that she too was suffering from dementia. I was there to talk with FLT Tarkowski at the bequest of other former flyers who had participated in a documentary that I wrote and produced on the PAF during WW2 called White Eagle in Borrowed Skies. FLT Tarkowski offered the logbook to me in hopes of aiding my efforts to research and to promote the WW2 history of the Poles. I informed them that his logbook had a financial value to collectors and that I insisted on paying them at least the auction value of comparable logbooks as a condition of taking it. At that point in time, I had already enjoyed some success in taking the Polish efforts mainstream and provided key artifacts and displays to the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum, the 82nd Airborne Museum, and the Silent Wings Museum among others.

Despite our legal right to the logbook, I have from the very first communication stated that I would consider an exception to policy, selling it to the estate, provided that I received specific information attesting to FLT Tarkowski’s dementia and Mr. McCarthy’s status as trustee and concurrence of the others responsible for his estate. So that there could be no confusion, I even had my British lawyers formally state these conditions to Mr. McCarthy. There has as of yet been no response to these basic requests.

Mr. McCarthy makes a point of saying that the item is not on the Center’s website and that he is concerned as to whether it is even in the Center’s possession. The website has never been intended as a catalog of inventory. It is there to provide additional access to researchers. Mr. McCarthy was informed from the start that the Center has the item and even has a copy of it courtesy of a researcher who obtained it though the Center.

Mr. McCarthy makes great note of seeking the museum of the Center in Texas. There has never been any museum in Texas, nor have I ever claimed such. There is a “brick and mortar” location under our own control now, but not in Texas. The Center occupies a dedicated wing of the Polish American Museum in Port Washington, Long Island. I serve as curator and member of the board of directors at that institution in addition to my responsibilities as Executive Director for the Center.

Our organization has gone through several growth stages in its history. From small scale such as the earliest efforts in which I promoted the work of George Cholewczynski, author of Poles Apart by arranging a speaking tour and accompanying him so that he could present to many professional schools such as the Infantry Officer’s Career course. We learned much through our efforts to document the Polish struggle resulting in the documentary, White Eagle in Borrowed Skies. Each event gaining greater contacts, experiences and broadening our focus. Just as you don’t need to own a studio to make a documentary, our early efforts at exhibits were aimed at using other institutions to pass the word. Soon, we were involved with supporting several institutions. September 11th changed the access to many of the military museums and we experienced the effect that a change in directors can have at other institutions. So in the quest for greater control and access we formed an alliance with the Polish American Museum under the leadership of Barbara Szydlowski, President which started off as a series of cooperative ventures and is now a formalized partnership. As stated earlier, we occupy a dedicated wing of the museum under our control and continue to expand, rotate and present new materials at that location to enhance understanding of not just Poland’s WW2 experience but recent efforts in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq in conjunction with U.S. forces. Currently, we are in the process of releasing two new documentaries about the Polish Forces in WW2 and updating the websites of both the Museum and following that of the Center.

Much has been made of the emotional impact of a family member’s artifacts going outside the family. I understand the influence of emotion because it is the emotional homage to my own Father’s service as a Polish paratrooper during WW2 and my Grandfather with 2nd Korps as while as numerous other family members that prompted my efforts. They were crystallized for me as a result of my own experiences as an officer and decorated combat veteran who served alongside Polish forces. I hold very sacred the trust to honor the veterans, and family members who have placed their trust in us. We are not yet perfect and with each spurt of growth experience the growing pains that accompany it, yet we are still dedicated to that mission.

Lastly, I hope that you members of the forum will use that same energy you have displayed thus far to help us do an even better job in our mission. We invite you to get involved, please feel free to contact me with your insights or questions directly at gkochan_cms@hotmail.com

Posty: 7
Rejestracja: wt sie 03, 2010 3:07 am

Re: Response from Gerald M. Kochan, Center for Military Stud

Post autor: mattm1970 » pn sie 16, 2010 5:14 am

Gerald M Kochan - Center for Military Studies.

I note from the recent entry Mr Kochan of ‘The Center for Military Studies’ that he is, as ever, being highly selective in his responses and his use of language and mis-information. The highly defensive and emotive nature of response speaks volumes. I will try to answer his points as briefly as follows:
My reason for my enquiries on the internet was to gather information about my Grandfathers wartime career in the RAF and the Polish Air force. The Log Book arose as an adjunct to that research. In response to the specifics –
· He acquired the Log Book in the months prior to my grandfather’s death when he was extremely unwell and vulnerable

· He has failed to mention that my mother, Flt Lt Tarkowski’s daughter and Executor/Trustee, first wrote to Mr Kochan in October 2006 when she found out about the missing Log Book. She explained her father’s medical history but Mr Kochan refused to return it.

· In recent months I took up the challenge of trying to have to Book returned to his family. There was no demand from me – I offered to buy it back.

· As explained to Mr Kochan there is unity not dissent within the family regarding its return.

· In the very brief time Mr Kochan met my grandfather he feels he is an expert on his mental wellbeing. Mrs Tarkowska, his widow (who was a Doctor) made it quite clear at the time that he should not sell the book. My mother, a nurse, cared for him in the months before his death during which time the Log Book was obtained without her knowledge.

· Mr Kochan has been unwilling to answer why he obtained the Log Book when all my grandfather’s other militaria were given to my mother for safekeeping.

· It was me who first approached his lawyers (not the other way round as Mr Kochan is trying to suggest) to establish what information they required to facilitate the return of the document. The dialogue is on-going. We have never suggested that the document wasn’t legally his – it is the circumstances surrounding the acquisition that we challenge. His statements are disingenuous.

· Despite all his assurances Mr Kochan still fails to confirm where the Log Book is being held or provide evidence that he still has it.

· I have been informed that neither he nor his organisation is known to the following who are based in or near his home town
Texas Association of Museums
RockwallCounty Library
W. Walworth Harrison Public Library
Air Force Association NE Texas Chapter 416
Greenville Chamber of Commerce

· This is the first time Mr Kochan has admitted that there is no facility in Texas.

· Attempts to log on to the National Polish Museum in Port Washington have interesting results http://polishamericanmuseum.org/

· From advice I have been given by them The Museum of The Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum and the 82nd Airborne Museum have a very different view of Mr Kochan’s relationship with them and the content and value of his ‘contributions’ to their organisations.

· A simple search of the internet has shown that there are many people or families who have the same experiences as us. I have been contacted by several individuals and organisations who have provided important background information.

· To others out there I would ask you contribute to this discussion if you have had similar experiences regarding the loss of important family history. There is no reason to be afraid providing your information is true.

All I have endeavoured to achieve is the return of the Log Book to its morally and ethically correct guardians. Mr Kochan’s obfuscation, continuing failure to answer direct questions and issuing of mis-information has made it very difficult.
Ostatnio zmieniony pt sie 20, 2010 7:11 am przez mattm1970, łącznie zmieniany 1 raz.

Posty: 7
Rejestracja: wt sie 03, 2010 3:07 am

Re: Response from Gerald M. Kochan, Center for Military Stud

Post autor: mattm1970 » pn sie 16, 2010 9:11 am

"Among the many museums benefiting from the Center's programs and donations have been The Mighty Eighth Air Force Memorial Museum, The 82nd Airborne Memorial Museum, The Silent Wings Museum and the National Infantry Museum" http://centerformilitarystudies.org/index.php

Dear Sir,

Over a period of 3 years, 2000-2003 Mr. Kochan donated various items to this museum to be placed in the Polish AF exhibit. There were only medals, a garment bag, hats, ties, etc. All of these items had no personal names attached. We required a Deed of Gift from Mr. Kochan which in effect gives us legal right to the items. There were no logs included. We have not heard or seen the gentleman since and have no knowledge of the Center as these were donated as a personal donation from him. None of this helps you with your quest and lack of contact with him is unacceptable in our view. His address you gave is the same one he used here.No mention of "The Center" is anywhere in evidence with this donation.

(Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum)

Please understand that this museum does not have any business arrangement or agreement with Gerald Kochan. In addition, he has never been employed by the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum. It is true that he has donated some artifacts in the past. It is also true that he rented space at this museum for a luncheon. However, this museum rents space to paying customers, and it was on that basis that he was here.

(Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum)

I have checked the correspondence files for information about Gerald Kochan.These letters do not indicate any museum affiliations. In addition, he has never been employed by the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum.

(Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum)

Response from U.S. Army Airborne & Special Operations Museum

I've contacted all the museum folks here at Bragg (at
least us and the 82d Airborne Museum people). None of us have ever
heard of Mr. Kochan and we know nothing of a Polish Military Museum. If
he continues to pursue you on this, I'd check with the American
Association of Museums or some of the other professional museum
organizations to verify the person. We at Fort Bragg have no knowledge
of him.

U.S. Army Airborne & Special Operations Museum*

Response from Texas Association of Museums

From: Admin []
Sent: 11 August 2010 23:02
To: McCarthy, Matt
Subject: RE: Center for Military Studies - Greenville Texas ( Gerlad Kochan - Rockwall )

Mr. McCarthy, I regret that I have no information to help you.

I am not familiar with The Center of (for) Military Studies or the name Gerald Kochan. I have checked the membership database of Texas Association of Museums. There is no record of the center or the person.

Executive Director

Texas Association of Museums

Posty: 1
Rejestracja: pt gru 14, 2012 6:33 am
Lokalizacja: uk

Post autor: honeyfree » pt gru 14, 2012 6:37 am

Mr. McCarthy was informed from the start that the Center has the item and even has a copy of it courtesy of a researcher who obtained it though the Center.

Posty: 1
Rejestracja: pn cze 03, 2013 6:11 am

Post autor: mohsinj677 » pn cze 03, 2013 6:14 am

:P This post is so great and beautiful :P :P