Citizenship De Jure and Citizenship De Facto 8 July 2014

LS Borkowski

Release 14, Poland, 8 July 2014

DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.26569.19044

Citizenship De Jure and Citizenship De Facto

On 4 July 2014 the British professor of history Norman Davies received Polish citizenship from the hands of president Komorowski, who was also educated as a historian. The ceremony was transmitted live by Polish national tv stations. This was a very important event from the point of view of the authorities, who wanted to emphasize its significance as much as possible. A similarly propagandist character had the act of granting a citizenship by Russia’s president Putin to the French actor Gerard Depardieu in 2013.

During the ceremony Norman Davies was introduced as a very deserving person, with a very significant professional body of work, telling Polish history to the world. 

If the professor Davies’ citizenship is so particularly valuable, one can surmise, as this indeed was suggested by Komorowski between the lines, that there exists also a citizenship less valuable, worse. There are also those Poles whom today’s junta refuses citizenship or refuses to help in obtaining it and returning from deportation or exile. The red carpet for Davies and firmly shut doors for the Poles who remained faithful to the country, defended their culture and identity, for which they were murdered and deported to concentration camps, to Siberia, to Kazakhstan, to northern Russia.

Differentiation of citizenship, contained implicitly in the ceremony’s character and in Komorowski’s speech, is a proof that Komorowski is not a president, but merely a member of camp authorities. It was in the camps, where life was discriminated into categories of different value. The life of some was worth to the camp authorities more than the life of others. Some were pushed to the bottom of human existence and liquidated immediately, others were permitted to live for a while, only to be liquidated later.

In the Communist Camp Poland my family was surveilled and persecuted by secret services, including probably military counterintelligence. You will not, however, find this truth in the false narrative written by the Communist junta. My grandparents, my parents, my uncles and my aunt were prisoners of Communist concentration camps. They were tortured physically and psychologically.

The Poles living in eastern Poland occupied the Soviet Union were stripped of Polish citizenship. My grandparents continued to be persecuted after their release from concentration camps. They lived in the same house as before, but Communists confiscated their farm.  They even took apart their barn and assembled it again in the Soviet kolkhoz collective several kilometers away. They refused to connect their house to electric grid, thus forcing them to use kerosene lamps to the end of their lives. During the same period the Soviet propaganda hailed achievements of space flights, and scientific and industrial advances.

Similarly, the torment of human beings today is accompanied by the propaganda of progress in Camp Poland.

The ancestry and place of birth Komorowski referred to, does not necessarily matter much. In this case it is only an empty babble aiming at camouflaging the fact of continuation of Communist junta’s policy. The current set of publicly used symbols contains elements absent from earlier Communist propaganda: religious decorations and remarks about family origins in eastern Poland, occupied in 1939-41 and after WWII by the Soviet Union. This is only a camouflage. What matters is membership of junta and realization of its goals.

I was leaving Communist Camp Poland by train from Warsaw to Paris in 1987, with the intention to buy the air ticket to USA where I was accepted to a doctoral program at a university. Border control officials ordered me out of the train at the border and led to their office. They stripped me naked ad conducted a detailed search of my luggage, my dress and my body. They took away 900 US dollars. They ordered me to bend forward and carefully examined my rectum. I do not know what they looking for. Afterwards I had to wait. The functionaries had most likely informed the Warsaw central and awaited Warsaw’s instructions. In the end I was allowed to continued my journey, but without the money saved for the air ticket to the United States.

The humiliation of being stripped naked in front of other people and the associated indignity was repeated in a different form when I returned to Poland after obtaining a PhD at the University of Florida in Gainesville in 1995. It turned out then that I was not a citizen de facto. A Polish-American conference on superconductivity was organized in Poland in September 1995, to which American scientists were invited. I sent my application to the conference in the first half of 1995 while still being in the US. The organizers have not responded in any way. When I asked for information I received only a very vague response that my application was rejected but no justification was given. This was a very clear signal: “Lech Borkowski is a Polish citizen and a scientist de jure, but we, the junta, do not recognize his citizenship and his scientific work de facto.” I did not understand this decision at that time and I did not know its true reason.

Similar situations have been repeated many times. Many lesser and more severe provocations were being carried out against me and my family. This required the engagement of dozens of people and meticulously detailed coordination of their actions. Documents were falsified. Provocations were organized during my habilitation process, significant information were hidden from me, habilitation procedure was purposefully dragged out, repeated bullying attempts have been tried, and habilitation reviewers falsified reality in a very specific way. At some other time I was verbally attacked during a faculty meeting of the Department of Physics of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. This last action was conducted in the presence of University Rector Bronisław Marciniak and all his deputy rectors. This was a provocation of course.

When during another Physics Department faculty meeting I criticized the decision of the departmental committee, which refused to support my application for the rector’s award for a scientific achievement, I was immediately threatened with being expelled from my university job. I was barred from conducting Physics classes, contrary to my professional qualifications. Obviously, it was quietly decided that I do have qualifications de jure, but as a camp prisoner I cannot have qualifications de facto. I was given either distorted information or no information at all. Access to various documents has been denied many times.

The key to understanding this situation is the secret alteration of definition of the word “Poland”. It signified earlier the Polish state, the political body and people living within its borders. The same word is being used today by the junta as the name of the camp, in which the concept of citizenship has two meanings: de jure and de facto. Since the concentration camp functions outside the law and is regulated only by decisions of camp guards, citizenship de jure is a concept of little importance and serves mainly to indicate subordination to a particular camp. What matters is citizenship de facto, which the camp junta of guards awarded naturally themselves and carefully selected persons. The rest, who are citizens de jure but not de facto, are camp’s prisoners. As slaves they are excluded from public and social life and from the public narrative.

The outlaws (lishentsi) in Bolshevik Russia, i.e. people destined for liquidation, had no rights. They were outside the law. As Stanisław Mackiewicz wrote in “Russian Minds in Fetters” (1929, English edition Allen and Unwin, London, 1932),

Finally, it is true that it is not permitted to kill an “outlaw” for fun in the streets, but it is possible to summon him before the courts, and as the courts do not judge according to dry standards of justice, but according to the “dynamics of revolution,” practically every court will practically condemn every “outlaw” simply because he is an “outlaw” and is brought before it.

Jews in Nazi Germany were deprived of citizenship both de jure and de facto. The attention paid to the decorative side of things is greater in Poland today – perpetrators do not want to leave material evidence – but the division into the privileged ones and those designed to be liquidated is completely obvious.

Today’s Poland is a camp of social death. The twentieth century concentration camps were focused on delivering physical suffering and physical death. Today’s camp is primarily focused on denying the prisoners control over their own lives and events around them, subjecting them to procedure of traumatic experience, which is supposed to shatter their psyche, as well as their social role and function.

The document named the Constitution of Poland from 1997 is a document de jure but not de facto. Constitution is a de facto decoration, an element of camp’s scenography. It does not regulate rules of action. The camp guards do not follow its articles.

Understanding this state of affairs explains the puzzle of the sudden collapse of Communist dictatorships. How did the totalitarian regimes succumb so easily at the threshold of 1980s and 1990s? These changes were merely a perestroika, as it was called by the Soviet leader Gorbachev. Reconstruction was successful, and the camp rules remained unaltered.

The special distinction of Norman Davies in a propagandist ceremony and treating him with highest honors has its counterpart on the opposite side of the axis of privilege, on the side of extreme contempt and discrimination, with which Dr. Habil. Lech S. Borkowski is being treated.

The camp’s message is unequivocally clear. Destroy Borkowski and his family. Deliver him to social and mental death.

Lech S. Borkowski

Polish version