Cold war traitor depicted as hero in new Polish film
February 10, 2014
Col. Ryszard Kuklinski who passed 35,000 pages of Warsaw Pact documents to the CIA during the Cold War is being portrayed as a hero in a new Polish film directed by Wladyslaw Pasikowski.
“Jack Strong” which opened Friday in Polish cinemas depicts a man of honor whose courageous acts of espionage may have averted a nuclear conflict between Moscow and the west. Condemned to death for treason by Poland’s military court, Kuklinski and his family fled to America where he lived under an assumed name until visiting democratic Poland in 1998 after being cleared of all charges.
While President Bronislaw Komorowski called him a man of controversy and Solidarity founder Lech Walesa refused to honor him, CIA director George Tenet acknowledged Kuklinski as a hero who “helped keep the Cold War from becoming hot.” As contentious in death as he was in his tragic life, this film is likely to stir fresh debate on the role Kuklinski played during tumultuous times.