POMOST: California Chapter

After establishing martial law solicited support for a free Poland

by Artur Zygmont

The California Chapter of POMOST was established in 1979 as a branch of a National organization with headquarters in Chicago. This California Chapter was organized by a group including Stefan Sznajder, Hanna Tyszkiewicz, Jan Malek, Janusz Szymanski, Grazyna Dabrowska, and Adam Kiernik. The latter was also the coordinator for the Chapter untii 1986. At the peak of its activities, POMOST of California had 220 members and established contacts on both local and national levels.

POMOST grew in response to the deteriorating situation in Poland including the onerous martial law and the continuing imprisonment of Solidarity activists. POMOST solicited support for a free Poland from both the ethnic and mainstream committee in the United States and among local, State and National officials. Between 1979 and 1985 POMOST was in regular contact with Congressmen Tom Corcoran, Robert K. Dornan, and Jack Kemp (representing a District in New York), former ambassador to Poland Richard Davis, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, and the U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, Robert W. Kasten.

One of the principal initiatives of POMOST was a "Renounce Yalta Campaign" and on Feb. 5, 1985, Senator Kasten introduced S.J. Res. 37 in the U.S. Senate. Jack Kemp introduced a similar resolution in the House of Representatives (H.J. Res. 219) on March 28, 1985. Both resolutions proclaim U.S. solidarity with captive nations and renounced the negative consequences of Yalta.

From: Polish Americans in California, vol. II. National Center for Urban Ethnic Affairs & Polish American Historical Association. California 1995.