I used Google Maps recently to try and locate monuments to Felix Dzerzhinsky in Russia. There is lots of them all over the country. Here is a sample. The tweets quoted below are part of a thread, where I provide coordinates and pictures, courtesy of Google, of this organizer of the Communist secret police.
Public space in Russia is as Soviet and Communist as ever. Most of the articles from Russia ignore this most basic information.
Monument to Dzerzhinsky in Novosibirsk, city of 1.6 mln in south-western Siberia on the Ob river. 3rd largest city in Russia. Prospekt Dzierzhinskogo/Dzerzhinsky Avenue. 55°03'43.8"N 82°59'19.6"E 55.062174, 82.988790 3X6Q+VG Novosibirsk, Russiahttps://t.co/1oh6vYerhrpic.twitter.com/CeVTCHKaVz
The men in the BBC documentary Borrowed Pasture, Eugeniusz Okołowicz, photographer, and Włodzimierz Bułaj, electrician, were in the Polish Army during September 1939 campaign of WWII, then crossed into Lithuania where they were interned, to avoid capture by either Germans or Russians. Soviets occupied Lithuania in Spring 1940 and transferred the interned Poles to Russian camps. My wife’s grandfather Aleksander Głuchowski was also among them.
The camps, where Włodzimierz/Wlodek Bułaj was held, marked with yellow pins on the enclosed map:
Yukhnov, Kaluga Oblast, from 15 July 1940
Ponoy in the Kola Peninsula, Murmansk Oblast, from 6 June 1941
Yuzha, Ivanovo Oblast
Camps, where Eugeniusz Okołowicz was held are marked by blue pins:
Kozielsk/Kozelsk, from 13 July 1940
Gryazovets, Vologda Oblast, from 2 July 1941 to 3 September 1941
Orange pin is the location of Tatishchevo, Saratov Oblast, where both men arrived in September 1941. This was one of the meeting points for Polish soldiers and their dependants after they were released from the Soviet camps, following the German attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941.
Note the location of the Ponoy camp at the tip of the Kola Peninsula. It is a barren tundra in an uninhabited land, very far from any human settlements. Soviets referred to it as the ‘Ponoy point’. Number of prisoners at this location was about 4 thousand. Many of them would be dead during the following months, had they been kept there longer. NKVD documents state the POWs were to be used for the construction of an airfield. It is obvious, however, that the death toll would be enormous. That was probably the aim: to kill by exhaustion and hunger.
My wife’s grandfather was in the same camps of Kozielsk/Kozelsk and Gryazovets as Okołowicz. Thousands of earlier Polish POWs from the Kozielsk camp were murdered by the Russians at the Katyn site near Smolensk in April and May 1940. Returning to Poland under Communist/Soviet control after the war was therefore very risky. Many of the Poles interned in Lithuania and later in the Soviet camps lived in eastern Poland, which was occupied by the Soviet Union after the war. This was the case of Głuchowski and could be the case of Bułaj and Okołowicz as well.
Aleksander Głuchowski arrived in Poland in 1947 to reunite with his son he last saw in 1939, his wife having died of hunger, exhaustion and disease in 1945. He was arrested by the Communist secret police and imprisoned. He died in 1952 at the age of 45.
The 22 December 1959 edition of Western Mail (Glamorgan County) noted that cameraman William Greenhaigh served at the mass celebrated at the farm:
Wearing gumboots, he recently served at a Roman Catholic Mass for two elderly Poles on a remote farm in Carmarthenshire.
The BBC Welsh television unit, of which he is a member, was on location, shooting scenes for “Borrowed Pastures” – featuring Polish farmers who have left their native land to settle in Wales.
Coventry Evening Telegraph, 15 June 1960, in the article Tribute to Courage of Polish Farmers:
A happy ending has been provided to one of the most fascinating human interest stories in recent years, which began when about 100 Welsh farms passed into the possession of Polish Ex-Servicemen at the end of the war.
Two such people were Eugeniusz Okolowicz and Wlodek Bulaj, who borrowed enough money to buy infertile acres and ruined buildings of Penygaer Farm, Trawsmawr, Carmarthen, which had stood abandoned for 20 years.
Neither knew much about farming, but they managed to clear a mountain stream to an old mill and harness a generator. Living on a few groceries and two tins of meat a week, they built up a small herd of cattle and found market for the milk. Also, they found an old tractor, which they bought for £4 10s.
Today, they still work 18 hours a day; their only contact with the rest of the world being a weekly rendezvous with a travelling grocer, and a six-monthly visit of a Polish priest.
The courageous battle of these two men was spotlighted last month in the film, “Borrowed Pasture”, shown on BBC TV, and the Hawker Siddeley Group offered the two farmers one of its new aero-dynamically designed Gloster forage harvesters, worth some £300. An offer which was speedily accepted.
The presentation of the Harvester – built by the same experts who designed Gloster Javelin and Gloster Meteor jet fighters – was made at Penygaer Farm yesterday by a Gloster board member, Mr. W. W. W. Downing.
On Friday, January 6 1961, The South Wales Gazette, Monmouthshire, noted
The BBC Film Unit’s presentation of “Borrowed Pasture” which can be seen on Wednesday, attracted a great deal of attention when it was shown in May last year […]
The film, written and produced by John Ormond, tells the story of two former soldiers in the Polish Army, who settled in a bleak decaying farm on a Carmarthenshire hill-side. […]
The film’s most moving passage deals with loneliness of Wlodek Bulaj, one of the farmers. Bulaj has not seen his wife for 22 years.
John set about the task of helping Bulaj to get Polish and British visas for Mrs Bulaj to come to Wales.
Viewers who had seen the film sent money to help. After months of delay, Mrs Bulaj is now at the farm, having been reunited with her husband in Ormond’s own home. Now she can stay in Britain indefinitely.
The article mentions ‘Polish and British visas for Mrs Bulaj’. This may indicate that the family lived in eastern Poland, occupied by the Soviet Union after WWII.
Here is the scene from the film, in which Włodek is looking at his family pictures. The little daughter he last saw in 1939 has just got married.
However, in 1963, a little over two years after the reunion with his wife, Włodzimierz Bułaj died. What happened to his wife, Mr. Okołowicz, and the farm?
The personal dimension of the story is closely linked with the Communist policy of elimination and separation of anyone not willing to serve the totalitarian system. I mentioned my wife’s grandfather, who was prevented from reuniting with his son, my father in law, and imprisoned upon arrival in Poland in 1947.
Farms of my grandparents on both sides in eastern Poland were seized by Soviet authorities after WWII. Nearly entire family on my mother’s side were sent to concentration camps in different parts of the Soviet Union. Some were tortured. My parents met in the camps. Later on, in the 1980s, Soviet authorities refused permission for my visit to the family still remaining in the Soviet-occupied territory. In 2015, after many years of harassment, my wife and I were expelled from our workplaces at the State School of Music in Zielona Góra and University in Poznań, respectively. Despite official proclamations, the Communist policies continue. I am now in London in the UK, where I came in 2016, while my wife remains in Poland. The story of Bułaj, Okołowicz, Głuchowski, and others like them is not over. It continues.
This is a ridiculous comedy. Russian state apparatus can do what they want. If the messages travel outside, then this is exactly what the Russian authorities want. Navalny is not a victim of that state. He is one of them.
My parents and other family members were prisoners of Communist concentration camps in Russia. This is the same Russia, but Navalny is a fake victim. The trick is to talk about fake victims instead of real ones.
Fake opposition is already a hundred-year old concept in Russia.
In Russia, during the decades of the Communist experiment, was there a single person who was happy? “Millions of the citizens of this great country,” writes Ludmila Ulitskaya in this harrowing book, “were killed by the very Utopia that they strived to create.”
There are several falsifications here already. It is a falsification to use the term ‘Communist experiment’ to refer to bloody terror of the Communist dictatorship. We do not normally use the words ‘Nazi experiment’, unless referring to cruel medical experiments, conducted by the Nazis. To say ‘experiment’ about the Soviet dictatorship is, in essence, to defend it.
Next, we have the word ‘happy’. This is a very strange way to talk about, again, bloody terror. Implicitly, it suggests, that the functionaries of the dictatorship and millions of denunciators and informers were in it together with millions of people with anti-Communist views, and that everyone was a similar victim of the ‘Experiment’. The rhetorical question posed by Roger Lewis has an affirmative answer. There were plenty of happy people. They have eagerly taken part in the criminal, genocidal pursuit of their conception of happiness. Mass crimes were part of this genocidal project from the very beginning.
If, as Roger Lewis suggests, no one was happy in the Soviet Union, we would also have to conclude that there must have been many unhappy people in Nazi Germany, who were unhappy for different reasons. Some were unhappy because they were sent to concentration camps. Others were not content because the killing apparatus they identified with was not efficient enough, terror imposed on the occupied lands has not stopped resistance and Germany was losing the war. We do not use this word, however, in the Nazi context, because it is inappropriate under the circumstances. Similarly, there is a huge difference between an unhappy functionary of the terror apparatus and unhappy dying victim. They are both unhappy but on opposite sides of the killing axis, hardly a unifying feature.
Alexander Dolgun was personally tortured by General Ryumin, deputy chief of MGB, the Soviet Ministry of State Security, see ‘Alexander Dolgun’s Story. An American in the Gulag’, by Alexander Dolgun with Patrick Watson, Knopf, New York 1975:
“Do you just sit there?” Ryumin yelled. He knocked me off the chair with a blow to the head. It hurt like hell. I roared as I fell on the floor. Ryumin yelled again, “Aha!”
By article’s author prescription this is apparently an interaction between two unhappy people.
‘Millions killed by the very Utopia they strived to create’, by an anonymised and depersonalised killing machine? This again is a defense of the Communist perpetrators. Those millions were killed by other human beings who served the dictatorship. And who was tried at Nuremberg? Was it Nazi Utopia or specific persons? There is no legal concept of being killed by a Utopia.
‘…killed by the very Utopia that they strived to create’. This is a Bolshevik-style falsification when minority of Communists among victims is presented as the majority of all.
This is clearly a Communist narrative seeking to purge non-Communist victims from history, while expressing sorrow for killing fellow comrades.
My family members, citizens of Poland, were long-time prisoners of Communist concentration camps after WWII: my parents in the Arkhangelsk region, others at Vorkuta, Norilsk, and other places. My uncle Klemens Ostrowski Jr was tortured and was disabled both physically and mentally when released from the camp. While he gradually recovered physically, he never regained his mental faculty. The document my father received upon release from the camp in 1954 can be viewed here.
My parents lived in eastern Poland, which was occupied by the Soviet Union from 1939 to 1941 and then again from 1944. Communist occupiers stripped them of their Polish citizenship and confiscated their families farms.
My family were targeted in a planned genocidal activity. There was nothing accidental about it. All those resisting Communism were to be either physically killed, crippled, or delivered social death. A Communist Final Solution.
This criminal Communist activity evolved and is continued today, albeit in a more camouflaged way. After a long and vicious campaign, my wife and I were expelled from our jobs in Poland in 2015 from state school of music and university, respectively. Her grandfather fought the Nazi forces as a Polish officer in 1939, was later imprisoned by the Soviet authorities, managed to leave the Soviet Union after German attack on Russia in 1941, fought with the Polish forces on the western front of WWII, and was imprisoned again upon his return to Poland under Communist control in 1947.
Dwight Garner in The New York Times, March 8, 2021.
I hope Kaiser recovers his family property. I am very familiar with ‘Kafkaesque hurdles’ in Poland. You need to understand the presence of the red elephant in the room. My wife and I extensively dealt in recent years with state administration, law, legal issues, prosecution office, and through correspondence, with top state officials. The Kafkaesque process is symptomatic of fundamental, deeper issues. This is not anomaly. This is actually modus operandi of the state that does not want to follow its own laws.
In other words, the legal processes and enforcement of the law have been taken outside the law. The law functions only as a theoretical concept. There is theory and there is experiment. Experimental data do not agree with theory.
We have spoken to many lawyers. I would not describe any of them as a ‘normal lawyer’. Kaiser’s difficulties are neither weird nor accidental. They are systemic.
In many ways, WWII hasn’t ended in 1945. I am currently paying mortgage on an apartment in Zielona Góra (German Gruenberg). My presence there is an indirect consequence of WWII. My parents lived in eastern Poland before WWII. They were both prisoners of Communist concentration camps in northern Russia after WWII. Their family properties are located within current Belarussian borders. Their farms were seized by the Soviet authorities during their post-1945 occupation of the area.
Whichever way you look, WWII does not want to go away.
“Just like Poland, whose solidarity movement four decades ago sparked a series of revolutions ending Soviet rule in Central and Eastern Europe and paved the way for a peaceful transition to democracy in the region at the end of the 1980s”
This is a false statement and a key element of recent mythology. The Solidarity movement was organised by the Communist regime in order to create excuse for moving to the next stage of dictatorship, dictatorship ‘below-the-line’. In this next phase, the repressive acts are more carefully hidden and masked. There is, however, a clear evidence of continued abuse, if you know where to look.
Leading members of the Polish ‘opposition’ came from within the regime itself.
The West failed disastrously to decode even the most basic elements of this comedy.
The Polish state continues to use Communist methods and violate human rights. In 2015, the state authorities issued a fake statement that my pianist wife Małgorzata Głuchowska cannot continue as a piano teacher in a state school of music and must be fired. The documents fabricated by the Regional Centre for Occupational Medicine in Zielona Góra in what is now western Poland, contain a a Soviet-style statement by a psychologist accusing my wife of unspecified delusions. These are Communist methods which the West chooses not to see and not to report. The sound recordings of two conversations with the psychologist, to which my wife was subjected under the threat of losing her job, are available on Youtube. The top Polish authorities received detailed information about our case, but chose to protect the perpetrators.
Our family is targeted because my parents were prisoners of Communist concentration camps in northern Russia and I have always supported the hard choices they made. I was expelled from the Physics Dept. of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan in 2015 after two decades of harassment, bullying, and mistreatment. I have a PhD from an American university. You can read more here: https://lsborkowski.com/pol/
Lies, falsifications, and production of fake narratives, the entire mythology of a heroic ‘opposition’ are well rehearsed in Eastern Europe. There was no transition to honesty and authenticity. People are so used to lies and falsifications in everyday life that violating the laws does not bother anyone.
Similar comedy is being played in Belarus now. Those coming on the streets in Belarus fulfil regime’s wish.
The current article is also subordinated to the Communist/Russian narrative, from which the occupation of Eastern Poland by the Soviet Union since 1939 and the subsequent genocidal treatment of the Polish population and anyone resisting Communism is absent.
Belarus known today is a Communist creation. It has nothing to do with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The ambassadors of Lithuania and Poland commit an act of historical forgery here.
My parents lived in Eastern Poland, which was later divided into Ukrainian, Belarussian and Lithuanian Soviet ‘Republics’. They were stripped of their Polish citizenship as a result of the illegal Yalta deal, conducted behind the back of the Polish government. Unfortunately, the governments of Great Britain and United States participated in this act, against the will of the people, although they had neither the moral nor legal right to do so.
Western observers completely lost the plot in Eastern Europe. In Poland, for example, the ruling class remained exactly the same as before 1990. The alleged ‘nationalists’ as a political force are a fabrication. The pre-WWII fabric of the Polish society has been irrevocably destroyed. What you have got, is Communist ruling class doing virtual politics. Politics is completely fake in Poland.
Politics and the entire public life in Poland has not returned to authenticity. What you took for the democratic transition was merely a theatre play. Poland is an evolved Communist regime, where different fake political forces are manufactured, depending on circumstances.
The Catholic church got firmly under Communist control in the first years after WWII. The Polish pope John Paul II was a Communist delegate in the Vatican. You have been told lots of fairy tales.
The last song of the concert was Oka, the anthem of the Polish Communist 1st Division formed in the Soviet Union in 1943. Presented merely as a "Polish song", a gift for John Paul II from the Red Army Choir. Vatican 15 Oct 2004 pic.twitter.com/9Z43Xq4dzy
My parents were long time prisoners of Communist concentration camps in northern Russia post-WWII. My father deserted from the Communist army in 1945 before the oath was taken. The Soviet Communists were killing members of the Polish WWII resistance.
My mother was imprisoned in the camps from 1949 to 1956 for resisting the Communist occupation of Eastern Poland and helping the Polish resistance. Her brother was very cruelly tortured.
I am very proud of my parents.
The fall of Communism in Poland was fake. It was a theatre play to fool people like you.
Navalny is one of many Russia’s state-run projects. He is clearly a member of the Russian privileged class. This spectacle is a creation of political technologists. Engaging in it is a waste time. They don’t teach Communist techniques of provocation and narrative control at UK universities, do they?
I have not seen any mention of the Communist genocide in this context. Corruption is a problem but genocide isn’t? I haven’t noticed anyone protesting against town names such as Dzerzhinsk or street names such Dzerzhinsky Street or Dzerzhinsky Prospekt.
Corruption is a nonessential criticism in Russia. It is a useful diversion.
What about those millions murdered, expelled and terrorised? Communist genocidal policies are continued in Eastern Europe, including EU and NATO members.
I have an obligation to point this out as a son of Polish survivors of Communist concentration camps in northern Russia.
It isn’t about the man in the Kremlin either. Russians and other East Europeans successfully trained West Europeans to follow the fake narrative. It is as if Communism has never existed and from extremes of collectivism Russia, Belarus, Poland moved into extremes of a one man rule (Kaczynski in Poland ruling allegedly from the back seat). This is nonsense of course.
These protests are staged. You just don’t understand. You have been told the wrong story.
This comment was removed by the newspaper staff. Later that day I posted another comment including the removed text.
Around 3:30 pm I posted a comment which was removed. I am not sure on what grounds? I am posting it again minus a web link.
I find it quite symbolic that opinion expressed by a son of survivors of Soviet Communist concentration camps is eliminated. My short text above is not a casual remark. It is based on experience and long-term analysis of public narratives in Eastern Europe. I doubt there is anyone with similar family connections among The Telegraph staff and experience similar to mine.
Uniformity of opinion and interpretation is not necessarily a sign of correctness.
Promoting corruption as the main issue in Russia has obvious benefits to the ruling class and Russia in general. It is a safe subject and a universal problem encountered in varying proportions around the world. Communist political technologists understood long time ago that it is far better to engineer an issue rather than wait until one appears spontaneously and grows out of control. Anti-corruption campaign is a nonessential criticism. Russia’s power structures and loyalties are built on Communist foundations and terror. The issue of corruption, whether real or imagined, is a useful diversion. Had Navalny been an independent person, he would be eliminated very early on and you would never have heard about him. The personnel and appropriate techniques can be deployed at any time, without resorting to poison. Instead, the cycles of arrest-release-rearrest are carried out by the Russian state mainly to stimulate interest in the spectacle.
“a wonderful, freewheeling, ultra-mobile 30-year affair that started with the downfall of communism in 1989 has come to a screeching end.”
Communism has not collapsed. Being on the receiving end of the stick, I know this first-hand. You have seriously underestimated the Communists and their creativity in pushing the fake narrative. EU is their paradise. Communist party members and their subordinates are in the European Parliament and European Commission. Communist methods deployed on the ground.
Communist celebrities visiting top world universities. The need for self-deception is as high as ever.