This weekend marks the 39th anniversary of the evacuation from Poland of secret American intelligence associate, General Ryszard Kukliński, known under the pseudonym ‘Jack Strong’. He is considered a Polish-American hero and described as "the first officer of the Polish Army in NATO".
Kuklinski began his cooperation with the CIA in 1972 and continued it for 9 years until 1981. According to historians and military experts, his lonely espionage activities saved Europe and the world from the outbreak of World War III between the USSR and the USA.
Agents of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) evacuated Kuklinski on November 7, 1981, after a banquet at the USSR embassy commemorating the anniversary of the October Revolution. CIA associate Jack Strong was flown to London under the new name. His family - wife and sons - were taken to the West by an American embassy car.
On the occasion of the anniversary, the Polish National Foundation supported the modernisation of the General Ryszard Kukliński Memorial Room in Warsaw, which was established in 2006 by a friend and close associate of his, Jerzy Szaniawski.
The museum collections commemorate the unprecedented intelligence work of Kuklinski, who acquired and gathered secret plans for the aggression of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact troops against Western Europe and NATO countries and passed them on to the Americans.
The exhibition in the Old Town in Warsaw presents the profile of the secretary of the Polish delegation at the meetings of the Warsaw Pact command and the liaison officer between the command of the Polish People's Army and the Red Army - sentenced to death in the People's Republic of Poland (PRL), and after the 1989 changes, pardoned and promoted to the rank of general.
The Memorial Room also has the task of showing the Polish contribution to the victory over Soviet totalitarianism and promoting the traditions of the Polish Army and Poland’s participation in the North Atlantic Treaty.
Several years after its creation, the exhibition room was expanded, modernised and enlarged thanks to the support of the Polish National Fund. The works were also co-financed by the Polish Oil and Gas Company (PGNiG).
The exhibition dedicated to Kukliński is located in Warsaw's Old Town on Kanonia street, behind St. John’s archcathedral.