It must be pointed out that Bill Browder is the grandson of the General Secretary of Communist Party USA Earl Browder. Earl as well as his family members worked for the Soviet intelligence. Why would Communist agent Putin pursue grandson of comrade Browder? It doesn’t make sense.
It would be better to devote significantly more effort into decoding deception in Communist countries, i.e. in countries of all Soviet allies. Calls for ‘unity’ amidst incomprehension of Russia’s modus operandi merely reinforce the narrative provocatively imposed by Russia.
I am writing this as a citizen of Poland. My family and I are targets of Communist social terror. My parents were prisoners of Communist concentration camps in northern Russia. My wife and I were expelled from our jobs at state institutions in Poland, following a long and extremely vicious campaign. Government members, including PMs, were informed in detail about criminal activities of the state apparatus against us. They did nothing to stop it. If you were serious about human rights, you would have to look into those cases and impose sanctions on those officials as well. Some of them are members of European Parliament now.
Communist party members are also members of European Parliament and European Commission. I haven’t noticed any protests against their presence there, while Britain was part of the EU.
Navalny is Russia’s state-run project. Anti-corruption campaigns belong to the category of non-essential criticism. They do not reveal anything substantial. This is Russia’s way of saying ‘we are just like you, comrades, we just have more of it’.
Russia produces fake dissidents. This is their way to control the narrative. Western correspondents get ready-to-print stories, endless polit-soap operas leading nowhere.
Similar methods are used elsewhere in the Eastern block, including current EU and NATO members.
Few years ago I tried to find the doctoral thesis of a well-known Polish Communist ideologue(1) and a prominent high-ranking Party official, presented in media as having a PhD.
[In 2015] I asked in the main library of the university(2) which was listed as the institution of his doctoral studies to locate the thesis. They said they had no information about it.
Newspapers provided no date when the PhD was obtained.
It was also a bit odd that the guy worked in places far from the university his degree was from. How did he do the PhD, while simultaneously holding high-level important jobs in the Party and state administration? We are talking 1950s or early 1960s here. He was later promoted to the full professor.
So, I repeat my question, where is his thesis?
I am also puzzled by the fact that I have never seen anyone ever question his academic credentials. This must be a taboo.
(1) Andrzej Werblan
(2) Adam Mickiewicz University
The article’s author represents an enthusiastic approach to Wikipedia.
Dariusz Jemielniak (author of the first ethnography of Wikipedia, Common Knowledge?, in 2014) stresses the playfulness of the whole enterprise. Why else, he asks, would academics avoid it? “When you are a soldier, you do not necessarily spend your free time playing paintball with friends.”
On his webpage, Jemielniak proudly quotes words of praise he received from Zygmunt Bauman, the late sociologist, former political officer (politruk) in the Communist army and member of the Polish Communist party and Communist military intelligence. Bauman himself used Wikipedia texts without providing attribution, see “Problematic elements…” by PW Walsh and D Lehmann (2015). In this context, the comparison of academics to soldiers does not seem out of place.
One day in 2015, someone I didn’t know sent me an email with information that a Wikipedia page in Polish with my name was just created. I replied with an objection. The page was created despite my disapproval. It was 28 October 2015. I was a faculty member at the Department of Physics of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. The next day, I received letter terminating my employment.
As it turned out, Wikipedia pages of all the faculty in the Department of Physics were created at the same time. This was most unusual for at least couple of reasons. The information on those pages was of the most trivial type and mostly reproduced information bits usually appearing on academic departmental pages. It was also clear that some of the sentences used in personal descriptions were selected not as a way of describing each person but rather as a way as emphasizing the person as ‘one of many’.
I verified that other University departments and physics departments of other universities in Poland have not received this kind of treatment. So, something significant happened that day in the Polish Wikipedia. When I let someone from the Wikipedia board know about it in 2019, he shrugged it off.
My person and the fact that I was being fired from the faculty of the Department of Physics of the Adam Mickiewicz University were the only reasons for creating the nearly hundred personal Wikipedia pages.
Shortly afterwards, my pianist wife was fired from her job of a piano teacher in the State School of Music in Zielona Góra in Poland, on the basis of a fake document fabricated by the state service of occupational medicine. The authorities have been carrying out an intense bullying and harassment campaign against our family for years. Now they decided to eliminate us from our jobs.
One needs to keep in mind that Wikipedia pages come near the top of Internet searches. If someone somewhere was looking for Lech Borkowski the physicist, it would certainly be picked up by the snippets of code serving the search engines. And indeed, some time later, I could observe how the viewing numbers of the Wikipedia containing my name page rose, whenever I was more active in contacting other people. Wikipedia simply serves as a giant listening device. The information it collects enables identification of people and places looking for certain keywords.
The Polish Wikipedia has nothing to do with its English language counterpart, despite sharing the name. It is used for purposes contrary to those officially proclaimed. It is a social medium and a perfect tool for the exercise of power. Control of information and story telling (in general sense) are among the most basic instruments of power. The individuals controlling Polish Wikipedia are well organised. There is a great degree of similarity with actions of Communist intelligence, both inside and outside the country.
It is no accident that the military Communist political and intelligence officer Bauman praised Jemielniak’s enthusiastic book on Wikipedia. It is also no accident that (1) I was fired from the University (2) Wikipedia page was created to control my narrative. After WWII, my parents were in Communist concentration camps, where they were sent by the likes of Bauman.
And let me emphasize once again that I stronly oppose having a Wikipedia page with my name on it.
PhD, shop assistant at a west London greengrocer’s
Stingray stuffed reel-to-reel tapes and lyrics into her leather jacket and boots to evade Soviet customs guards. “I was so enchanted by the music that I was completely blind about the dangers of being caught,”
I am pretty sure she was under careful surveillance. If she managed to get tapes out of the Soviet Union, it was because she was allowed to. I am not saying she necessarily collaborated with the Soviet intelligence. Nevertheless, the Soviets must have decided it was in their interest to let the tapes out.
P.S. The article doesn’t dwell on such mundane bits as a permit to stay. These are the informative bits.
Grebenshchikov was a Komsomol member, the youth wing of the Communist Party. Presenting these guys as independent or contesting the system is ridiculous. Authorities had everything under control, including fabrication of fake dissidents. They played and recorded because the authorities wanted them to.
The author based his article on a false dichotomy.
“Was the greatest crime of the Soviet spy, who died last week, betraying his country? Or believing in an inhuman creed?”
Conjuction ‘or’ in English is explained as allowing for only one of the presented possibilities. If so, it is different from the logical ‘or’, which makes sentence logically true if one, the other, or both parts of the sentence are true. This being a regular text, I presume we are supposed to read it in the sense of ‘either… or…’.
(a) This is the wrong conjuction. The proper one is ‘and’.
(b) Entirely spurious question, which tries to reframe the issue and is more worthy of a defense lawyer than a writer fully concious of the enormity of totalitarian genocides.
Blake served the genocidal Communist regime of the Soviet Union fully voluntarily, enthusiastically, with great dedication. That is his primary guilt. The rest is the consequence.
The Nazi at the Numerberg trials were not accused of ‘believing in an inhuman creed’. They were accused of specific crimes. The author knows perfectly well that people believe lots of different things, some sensible, some rotten, but that beliefs themselves are not exactly punishable. It is the deeds that matter.
So, this Times writer tries to act as Blake’s defense lawyer in a court of history. Sad.
Note also the absence of victims in his text. My family and I are some of those victims.
There is an article in the same World section of today’s Times about removal of a kneeling slave memorial from Boston in the US, illustrated by a picture of the statue. The slave is crouching in front of an erect figure of Abraham Lincoln.
The current article, in turn, is illustrated by a crowd in front of a towering Soviet monument, Joseph Stalin Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw erected in the 1950s on orders from Moscow.
There is no plan to remove the monument. Publishing pictures of this building whenever possible is part of the Communist policy. The picture, although not an illustration of the article’s subject, is consistent with the text in the sense of discourse control.
Writing and talking about, and sometimes prosecuting Nazi crimes is fine. The article is equipped with a testimony of one of the victims of Nazism. Good.
Not so with the Communist crimes. The aim is to purge them from memory, history, and public life. The illustration of the article with the picture of the Joseph Stalin memorial is also a clear message that Communism has not collapsed and the power remained in the hands of the same ruling class.
The article mentions “177 Polish women, many of whom had been arrested in the Warsaw Uprising.” They are only mentioned collectively as a nameless and faceless number. The Joseph Stalin memorial picture represents their post-WWII Communist oppressors. Other postwar Communist buildings in the picture were obviously not what those women fought for. Those buildings are symbolically tied to the Communist oppressors, not to the women.
Polish authorities have not tried to do anything remotely resembling prosecution of the Communist crimes. I have an obligation to raise my voice and point this out as child of survivors of Communist concentration camps and more recently a target of campaign against my own family.
“The democratic uprising that I accompanied most closely, the rise, fall and rise again of Solidarity in the Poland of the 1980s and 1990s, still has some useful pointers for today’s revolutionaries.”
Mr Boyes must have been reporting from Po La Land, not Poland. Solidarity was created and controlled by Communist political strategists. Millions of people joined once they had the impression this would be tolerated by the authorities. My father, a worker in a clothes making factory joined as well.
As a first-year student of chemistry, I took part in a two-week student strike and sit-in at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń. However, both workers and student strikes have been engineered by the Communists themselves.
He surely must have known, that one of key ‘opposition’ figures was Adam Michnik, son of a Soviet agent working diligently in the 1930s on increasing support for the future Soviet control of eastern Poland. Michnik’s mother had a PhD in history and was a devout Communist as well. His half-brother Stefan was a Communist military judge and is responsible for murdering many Polish officers who fought against Nazi Germany and resisted the Communists post-WWII.
The Communist authorities manufactured a fake fall from power. Adam Michnik became the editor in chief of the main newspaper in Poland.
My pianist wife was fired from her teaching job in the State School of Music in Zielona Góra, Poland. She was the best piano teacher of the school. Her grandfather fought against Nazi Germany in 1939, was imprisoned by the Soviet Union in 1940-1941, then fought with the Polish forces on the western front. When he returned to Poland in 1947, he was immediately arrested and imprisoned.
I was fired from my job at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań also in 2015, where I was an associate professor of physics. I have a PhD from a well-known American university. My parents and many members of my mother’s family were prisoners of Communist concentration camps after WWII.
The Times is publishing myths and fantasies about Poland.
P.S. The Times held my comment for about 5 hours before releasing it eventually. The newspaper arrested information which should be common knowledge. Interesting parallel to imprisonments pointed out in my comment.
Simple facts contradict Angela Merkel’s supposed line of thought pursued by the author of the article. She was a member of the Communist youth organisation, a training ground for future Communist leaders. She joined to support, build and benefit from the Communist dictatorship.
Lots of Communists told lots of rubbish over the years how they loved western culture. This did not prevent them from loving the Communist party and their dictatorship even more. Gorbachev quoted Sinatra. Polish Communist banker boasted of knowing Jennifer Lopez. These are only simple rhetorical deceiving tricks.
It is much worse than you think. Members of totalitarian organisations, such as Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, a Communist Party member, former Polish PM, now member of the European Parliament, are firmly embedded in western institutions. Now they participate in setting the laws applying to the EU and other countries.
Mr Cimoszewicz’s father was a high-ranking member of the Communist military intelligence. There is a perfect continuity here. This is just an example.