A message from our President, General Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank
'I am delighted to be associated with the work of the Polish Heritage Society and very honoured to serve as its President. The Society's work highlights the enormous contribution which generations of Poles have made to their adopted country. Preserving and celebrating that heritage will only further strengthen the ties between Poland and the United Kingdom.
I worked closely with the Society on the project to build a memorial to the Polish Forces at the National Memorial Arboretum and saw at first hand the energy and dedication of those involved.
I encourage you to explore this website and learn about the many other projects the Society has sponsored. Do please contact us if you would like to be involved in any way'.
General The Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank GCB LVO OBE
A Debt of Dishonour is a unique documentary film dedicated Major General Sosabowski and all ranks who served in the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade Group and to their Comrades-in-Arms of the 1st British Airborne Division that fought in the ill-fated “Operation Market Garden” at Arnhem and Driel during September 1944.
20 July 2015
Ministerstwo Spraw Zagranicznych
al. J. Ch. Szucha 23
I have just read in the recent The Times newspaper (18 July, page 40) that you have declared that Zhanna Nemtsova, the daughter of the late Boris Nemtsov, is due to receive the Solidarity Prize by the Polish Government (4th August).
Congratulations – a magnificent, imaginative and very important statement on behalf of Zhanna’s brilliant Late Father.
The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ statement has marvelously increased its existing superb reputation – I have circulated the interesting details from your Ministry announcement of the Lech Walesa Solidarity Prize being awarded to Zhanna Nemtsov (attached).
Please be advised that I personally knew Boris Nemtsov very well. He was a remarkably practical Governor as well as an excellent politician which is why he was promoted to being a Deputy Prime Minster of Russia in 1997.
As a Director of the investment bank Baring Brothers, I was his finance advisor between 1996 & 1997. Given his passion for the EU, I personally called him “Euronemtsovski” which he adored and subsequently called himself that.
(I apparently also met Zhanna once, when she was a very young child).
I also took him skiing to Colorado (USA) for the annual Baring Brothers business client extended skiing weekend in 1997. He made a wonderful witty speech and all of us, clients and bankers, were overwhelmed by his comments.
Please see attached my letter to The Times (02 March 2015) which I wrote immediately after Nemtsov’s murder in Moscow.
Christopher Marek Rencki FRAI
Director, Polish Heritage Society (UK) Ltd
• Bronislaw Komorowski, Kancelaria Prezydenta RP, ul. Wiejska 10, 00-902 Warszawa
• Lech Walesa, Institut Lech Walesa, al. Jerozolimskie 11/19, 00-508 Warszawa
• Henryka Moscicka-Dendys, Ministerstwo Spraw Zagranicznych, al. J. Ch. Szucha 23, 00-580 Warszawa
• Wiktor Sobkow, Ambassador to the Republic of Poland, 47 Portland Place, London W1B 1JH, United Kingdom
02 March 2015
Boris Nemtsov was tragically murdered by being shot publicly late Friday evening at the center of Moscow.
Whilst being a Director & Head of Fixed Income Research (and responsible for Ratings Advisory) at Baring Brothers, I worked very closely with Boris Nemtsov in 1996/1997 when we received a mandate for the Russian Region, Oblast of Nizhny Novgorod, being the 3rd largest city in Russia (formerly Gorky).
I subsequently spent 3 long 1-week visits in Nizhny Novgorod with my analyst.
At that time, Nemtsov was the Regional Governor based in Nizhny Novgorod, being appointed by the Russian President Boris Yeltsin. I had an excellent personal relationship with Nemtsov, working very closely with him and his team, being responsible for obtaining the rating advisory as well as finance. During our numerous meetings, I nicknamed him “Euronemtsovski” which he loved and subsequently used it himself, being personally very keen for Russia to join EU.
Following the February 1997 rating meetings with Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, (after which Nemtsov was promoted to Deputy Prime Minister by Yeltsin), Oblast of Nizhny Novgorod would have received a much higher rating grade but was limited by the low rating of the Russian Republic at the time (BB-/Ba2) – Russia collapsed financially the following year in 1998.
I also had dinner with Nemtsov in New York, and subsequently Boris and I flew together to Denver (Colorado) for the annual Baring Brothers client skiing weekend (26 February – 02 March 1997).
Very sad, very tragic.
Christopher Marek Rencki FRAI
Director, Polish Heritage Society (UK) Ltd
17 July 2015
The Russian journalist Zhanna Nemtsova was awarded the Lech Walesa Solidarity Prize. She will receive the prize from the President of the Republic of Poland Bronisław Komorowski and the former President of the Republic of Poland Lech Wałęsa, the Chairman of the Prize Committee, at a ceremony in Warsaw on 4 August.
The laureate was announced on Friday by Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna at the MFA headquarters. The minister recalled her late father Boris Nemtsov, who was murdered in February, and his contribution to democracy. “[He] is a symbol of what was best in Russia’s history in recent years. A symbol of Russian opposition and its efforts to carry out the idea of solidarity. Through solidarity, through cooperation with Poles and Ukrainians alike, with its neighbours and with all those who want to change Europe, in this case Russia, in an open and peaceful manner,” said Poland’s top diplomat at a meeting with journalists. “Today Boris Nemtsov is no longer among us. His death is a symbol of the triumph of evil (…) and a great loss for Russia, Europe, and the free world,” assessed Minister Schetyna.
Grzegorz Schetyna said that Zhanna Nemtsova is a very experienced person, despite her young age. “She is a symbol and depository of the struggle waged by her father,” noted Poland’s chief diplomat. “A struggle for an open Russia, for peaceful coexistence in solidarity with its neighbours, for dialogue that is capable of building something better in us, but also in relations between nations and countries.”
During the press conference, the minister recalled that Solidarność, the independent and self-governing trade union and, was established in Poland 35 years ago and gave rise to a social movement that “changed the course of world’s history.” “Solidarity is a special idea (…). This prize should express everything that can be said about the history of solidarity and the people who carry out the idea of solidarity,” said Grzegorz Schetyna.
The MFA conference was attended by Deputy Foreign Minister Henryka Mościcka-Dendys, who recalled the Lech Walesa Solidarity Prize’s underlying principles and concept. “[The Prize] was established to commemorate Poland’s regained independence,” stressed the deputy foreign minister. She also recalled that the first laureate of the Prize was the leader of the Crimean Tatars Mustafa Dzhemilev, who has received several nominations for the Noble Peace Prize. “The prize is worth approximately 4 million zloty,” Deputy Minister Mościcka-Dendys added.
The Solidarity Prize was established by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. It is the first universal award for supporting democracy and freedom in the world offered by a country that has carried out a successful transition to democracy.
The Solidarity Prize statuette was designed by Professor Krzysztof Nitsch, an award-winning sculptor.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of Poland