Fr. Monsignor Zdzisław Jastrzębiec Peszkowski, Jastrzębiec coat of arms (born 23 July 1918, died 8 October 2007)
Honorary Citizen of Warsaw from July 2003
Resolution of the Council of the Capital City of Warsaw XIV/174/2003 of 3 July 2003
A Roman Catholic priest, doctor of philosophy, John Paul II’s chaplain, chaplain for the “Katyń Families Association” and murdered in the East, scoutmaster and Chief Chaplain for ZHP (the Polish Scouting Association), honorary patron of the ZHP district of the Sanok Land. As a cavalry cadet he took part in the September 1939 campaign. He was taken prisoner by the Soviets. He was imprisoned, inter alia, in a camp in Kozelsk and almost miraculously evaded Katyń. Then, he joined the Army of Gen. Władysław Anders, with which he passed the trail of war through Russia, Iran, Palestine, Iraq, Egypt, India, Syria, Lebanon, Italy and England. After demobilisation, he joined the Polish seminary in Orchard Lake, United States, where in 1954 he was ordained priest.
As a chaplain for the Katyń Families Association, and the Murdered in the East, he undertook numerous initiatives to commemorate the martyrdom of Poles in the former Soviet Union.
Going around tirelessly between the homeland, to which he returned for good in 1989, and Polish communities scattered throughout the world he integrated older and younger generations of Poles, in the name of values: God, Honor and Fatherland, and also in the name of the Truth and Reconciliation of Nations. He was intercessor of truth, memory and justice for crimes committed in the East. A founder and President of the “Golgotha of the East” Foundation. He contributed to the creation of military cemeteries of Katyń, Kharkov and Mednoye, numerous monuments and memorials in honor of Polish officers in the Polish land and abroad, among the Polish community.
Father Monsignor Peszkowski spent years in Poland and abroad conducting a very successful campaign to preserve the memory and make aware the international opinion of the Katyń massacre.