Collective protagonist

My comment on the article Belarus protests: Opponents of Lukashenko lose heating and water by Marc Bennetts in The Times, 18 November 2020.

Lech S Borkowski comment in The Times 18 November 2020
Lech S Borkowski, comment in The Times, 18 November 2020

Ah, the virtual politics of BeLaLand.

“Residents said bio-toilets painted in the red and white of the opposition flag were delivered to the district on the morning that the taps went dry. It is unclear who was responsible but some locals suspect the move was a deliberate act of mockery by pro-Lukashenko officials.”

The whole thing is a mockery. The regime and its ‘opposition’ perfectly agree on the white-red-white flags and symbolism associated with the Grand Duchy Lithuania, Pogoń/Pahonia coat of arms and its flags, during its union with Poland in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Now the regime tries to appropriate that history as their own, pretending it is done by an opposition. Belarus does not have any state history to speak of. This is a long-term historic thinking at work here.

Someone has to pay for and make all that gadgetry on display during the ‘protests’. As is typical in Communist countries, the hero is a collective and the fake story is put forward as an explanation.

Mass ‘protests’ and displays of some kind of disapproval are nothing new. It has been done many times before. Condemned were capitalists, wealthier farmers, people of independent mind, disgraced Communist officials. What we are seeing today is absolutely nothing new.

They are living and practicing lies in their daily lives.



15 October 2004

My comment on the article […] abuse scandal tarnishes John Paul II’s sainthood by Philip Willan in The Times, 16 November 2020. I posted the text around 1 am. It was held until late morning when it was finally allowed to appear. Top picture, full text of the comment.

Lech S Borkowski comment in The Times 16 November 2020
Lech S Borkowski, comment in The Times 16 November 2020
LS Borkowski comment in The Times 16 November 2020
Lech S Borkowski’s comment was held by The Times from around 1 am to at least late morning, 16 November 2020

There are also other problems with John Paul II, which are outside the scope of this article and which have never received any scrutiny.

The article mentions George Weigel, the hagiographer of John Paul II. In the article Pope John Paul II’s Soviet Spy in the Wall Street Journal on 14 May 2020 he claimed:

“Students of the Cold War’s dark arts know that Communist intelligence services deeply penetrated the Vatican in the 1970s. Yet few know that Pope John Paul II, whose centenary will be marked on May 18, had his own secret agent in the Soviet Union during the 1980s.”

John Paul II celebrated the 26th anniversary of his pontificate in 2004. There was only one event devoted to this celebration: the Red Army Choir’s concert in the Vatican on 15 October 2004, broadcast on Russian and Italian tv. The last song of the evening was “Oka”, the anthem of the First Division of the future Polish Communist army, formed in the Soviet Union in 1943. Curiously enough, no one in the media commented on the “Oka” song.

Red Army Choir performing in the Vatican on 15 October 2004
Red Army Choir performing in the Vatican on 15 October 2004

The keywords of that article’s title: “pope John Paul II” and “Soviet spy” indeed seem to be accurate, but not in the way most people would expect.

The speed with which JPII was canonised was more likely due to an intervention of quite an earthly force and the problems described in the article, while very bad indeed, are not the only ones.



Revolutionary dynamics

My comment on As Polish abortion laws tighten women fear an impossible choice by Kasia Strek and Peter Conradi in The Sunday Times, 8 November 2020, online on 7 November 2020.

Lech S Borkowski comment on The Sunday Times article 8 November 2020, part 1
Lech S Borkowski, comment on The Sunday Times article 8 November 2020, part 1
Lech S Borkowski, comment on The Sunday Times article, 8 November 2020, part 2
Lech S Borkowski, comment on The Sunday Times article, 8 November 2020, part 2

This affair is being played as a typical Communist polit-soap opera. Hyper-activism of thousands of ‘protesters’ in a country without any social capital, some holding signs with foul language. Emotions seemingly run high. What you see is what you get? Well, not quite.

Some of these rallies took place in Warsaw in front of the monument to the Communist rule in Poland, the so-called Palace of Culture and Science, erected in the early 1950s, as shown in the article’s leading picture.

The address of this monstrous building is Palace of Culture and Science, Plac Defilad 1, 00-901 Warsaw, Poland. It houses the HQ of the Polish Academy of Sciences. During the thirty years that passed since the alleged fall of Communism the Academy of Sciences remained faithful to its totalitarian origin in 1951 and its totalitarian location. The Communist baton dominating Warsaw has not been demolished.

We are told that now it is the Catholic church which holds sway over the public life in Poland and its political affairs. This claim, however, does not hold water. Communists got the Catholic church firmly under their control in the first years of their rule post-WWII. The Vatican itself sought to appease Communists. The Hungarian primate Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty who staunchly resisted the Communist control of the Catholic church in Hungary was stripped of his Cardinal title by the pope Paul VI in 1973.

The Polish pope John Paul II, referred to in an accompanying Times article as ‘the late Polish pope who provided the spiritual authority behind the overthrow of communism’, did not provide any spiritual authority because there was no such thing as an overthrow of Communism. It was a Communist-designed transition from an open dictatorship to dictatorship below the line, disguised as a simulated and managed democracy.

John Paul II celebrated the 26th anniversary of his papacy in 2004 with the Red Army Choir concert in the Papal Audience Hall. The last song of the evening was ‘Oka’, the anthem of the first Polish Communist division formed in the Soviet Union in 1943. The concert was broadcast to Italy and Russia. The Russians are telling you in bold letters: ‘dear comrades, he is our man’.

There was no chance for an anti-Communist priest to rise through the ranks of clergy without the regime stopping it. No chance. This could happen only in fairy tales.

Unfortunately, The Times contributes to this contemporary mythology by uncritically publishing these articles, whose entire framework is incorrect.

You also need to understand that the concept of law in Poland is largely abstract. Its meaning is similar to that pre-1990. What matters is not the dry letter of the law but the ‘revolutionary dynamics’ in the sense described by Stanisław Mackiewicz in his book “Russian Minds in Fetters” (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1932). The state is essentially criminal and it does not depend on an advertised political profile of a government. It was equally criminal twenty years ago or ten years ago as it is now.

Poland is an evolved Communist dictatorship in disguise. Dictatorship adapts and evolves.


This text is also supported by my wife Małgorzata Głuchowska, pianist and piano teacher, removed from her job in a state institution in 2015 by unlawful actions of the state apparatus.


Higher degree of skepticism

My short comment on the article Cleaner beats Putin’s man in local Russian poll by Marc Bennetts in The Times, 1 October 2020.

Lech S Borkowski comment on The Times article by Marc Bennetts 1 October 2020
Comment on The Times 1 October 2020

My earlier short comment was removed. I wrote the following:

“The story looks to me produced rather than authentic. Produced in the sense that the Russian ‘democracy’ is managed and simulated. Polit-soap opera ”

I would like to make it clear that I am not questioning the article’s author intentions or his desire to report the story correctly. I am merely saying that the stories appearing in the Eastern Europe’s public sphere should be approached with more caution and higher degree of skepticism than in the West.



Not impressed

My short comment on the article Headbutted and kicked in the ribs — Belarusian police gave me a taste of the brutality meted out to protesters by Gareth Browne in The Times, 19 October 2020.

Lech S Borkowski comment on The Times article 19 October 2020
Comment on The Times article 19 October 2020

Sorry, but I am not impressed. Those without experience of reality in Communist country might be, but not me.

The regime is staging the protests to organize a transition to the next phase, which is a fake democracy. Those protesters are people of the regime. They want to create a founding myth for the next phase: BTL dictatorship, i.e. dictatorship below the line.

I am writing this as a son of survivors of Communist concentration camps in northern Russia, Bolesław Borkowski and Irena Ostrowska.



Decades of false reporting

My comment on the article Putin has become tangled in his own web by Roger Boyes in The Times, 20 October 2020.


“He finds Lukashenko embarrassing and ducked out of at least one meeting with him in Moscow, yet under pressure from Minsk he has put the Belarus opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, exiled in Lithuania, on the Russian wanted list. If he wants quiet on Russia’s western front, he has decided, Lukashenko has to be propped up.”

The Times record, including Mr Boyes, on reporting and interpreting Eastern Europe is not particularly great. We are now in 2020, after decades of false reporting.

This reasoning is based on assumptions that might apply to a western democracy, but not to Communist states. It ignores what happened there during the last hundred years. It postulates implicitly certain type of stupidity and lack of cunning among the Russian rulers.

If anything, they outsmarted consistently the West.

For example, the changes of 1989-90 in Poland and elsewhere in Eastern Europe were not related to the overthrow of Communism. This was merely a reorganisation, a change of scenography. It was the Communists themselves who organised ‘the opposition’ recruiting from their own ranks, with Adam Michnik and Tadeusz Mazowiecki their prime examples in Poland. Mr Boyes apparently either failed to notice the obvious or decided to cleanse his narrative of contradicting elements

It is no different in Belarus this time.



Beyond cognitive horizon

My comment on the article Belarus protests: Thousands take to streets of Minsk as Olympian Yelena Leuchanka is arrested by Gareth Browne in The Times, 5 October 2020.

These demonstrations are staged. Communists went far beyond the cognitive horizon of a typical western observer. The West cannot comprehend that the regime can simulate protests in order to move the public narrative in a desired direction. As I wrote already earlier, the Belarus regime wants to transition to a simulated, i.e. fake democracy, similarly to what has been done in Poland earlier.

There is no political power outside the regime. It is that simple.

Also, note the massive use of white-red-white flags. Having no history of their own, the regime tries to claim the heritage of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. This is clearly orchestrated.

From the point of view of the regime, the simulated ‘velvet revolution’ has many advantages of course. It is mostly a change of decorations. Power remains in the same hands. Former Communist party members are now welcomed as democrats in Brussels. It worked in Poland.



Polishing images of totalitarian agents in The Telegraph

The untold story of Edith Tudor-Hart: ‘grandmother’ of the Cambridge spies by Charlotte Philby in The Telegraph, 3 October 2020.

When thinking about woman’s bravery, I prefer my mother, who was imprisoned by the Communist henchmen in eastern Poland occupied by the Soviet Russia after WWII. She was ‘tried’ by a local Soviet military tribunal in 1949, together with her father and a younger brother. She tried to protect both of them in her responses during interrogations. She was subsequently imprisoned in a concentration camp in northern Russia in the Arkhangelsk area. She was released in 1956. The war, which was started by joint invasion of Nazi and Communist forces on Poland, has never ended for her. Communist thugs harassed her even when she went shopping when I was little. She suffered enormously and never received justice.

The Soviet security system was centered around terror and torture. She was a very brave woman. She did what was right. More recently, I witnessed the bravery of my pianist wife, who refused to yield to Communist methods of thugs running the state apparatus in Poland. This is also a very interesting story.

The current article is part of a totalitarian narrative. Both Communists and Nazis offered important roles to women dedicated to their cause. I would recommend publishing a collection of stories of female emancipation in the service of both of these genocidal regimes.

I would like to correct those optimists who claim that Communism collapsed. It didn’t. The publishing of this and similar articles in top British papers is a testimony to Communism being pushed into the mainstream. This is the next stage. Memory of Communist villains is preserved, while their victims are eliminated again, this time from memory.




Political functionary as chief of the Auschwitz museum

My comment on the article Auschwitz museum chief offers to serve Nigerian boy Omar Farouq’s hard-labour sentence by Jane Flanagan in The Times, 30 September 2020.

Mr Cywiński is more of a political functionary than a museum director.

Here is part of my comment following the The Sunday Times article Holocaust novelists blur Nazi fact and fiction in bestsellers
by Andrew Holgate, 23 February 2020.

“The Museum did not invite Witold Pilecki’s son Andrzej and daughter Zofia, to the 70th anniversary of the Camp’s liquidation in 2015. Witold Pilecki was a Polish officer, who went to Auschwitz voluntarily, organised an underground resistance organisation there and sent reports about the Camp to the Polish resistance and the Polish government in exile in London.

At the same time, Museum issued an invitation to Rainer Hoess, 51, a grandson of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Camp commandant Rudolf Hoess, to participate in the 70th anniversary ceremonies. Rainer is a well-known anti-Nazi.

After WWII, Witold Pilecki was executed by the functionaries of the Communist dictatorship in 1948. This is clearly the reason behind refusing to invite Zofia and Andrzej Pilecki to the 70th anniversary. The concentration camp lives on under new leadership and with new guards. This is the camp of social death and elimination from history. The narrative is being actively managed and controlled.”

The entire comment can be found under the original article as well as in my blog.



Communist narrative in The Sunday Times Travel section

My comment on the article Exploring Poland’s Lake District by Emma Thomson in The Sunday Times, 27 September 2020. Polish version: Narracja komunistyczna w The Sunday Times.

Lech S Borkowski comment The Times 27 September 2020
Lech S Borkowski, comment in The Times, 27 September 2020, part 1
Lech S Borkowski comment The Times 27 September 2020 part 2
Lech S Borkowski, comment in The Times, 27 September 2020, part 2

The article is representative of the Communist narrative. This is a region whose inhabitants either escaped or were expelled later in a totalitarian action. Practically the entire population of this large region was purged. The region was split by an arbitrarily drawn border and the Soviet enclave of “Kaliningrad” was installed north of it. The Koenigsberg of Immanuel Kant and several hundred years of history were annihilated.

“The capital of the region is the “garden town” of Olsztyn”

It is not a garden town. It is full of Communist blocks of flats. This was East Prussian Allenstein before WWII.

My wife’s grandmother Wera Głuchowska and her son Witold, my wife’s father, then a little boy, happened to be in Allenstein as refugees in 1945, just as WWII was coming to an end. Their home was in Iwacewicze, town in eastern Poland under Soviet occupation, presently under Belarussian control. Food was extremely scarce. Wera died of disease and exhaustion in 1945, after the war ended. She is buried in a neglected cemetery behind the church of St Joseph (current name, I am not sure of the German name). An office of the Polish Institute of National Remembrance is located just across the street from the church. The name is misleading, however. A short walk to this cemetery is enough to expose the lie. This has nothing to do with remembrance and everything with forgetting and subjugating to the official propaganda.

This cemetery bears witness to a great tragedy. Graves of little children who came to the world in the aftermath of WWII, graves of older Polish folk, who died in a foreign land instead near their farms in the fields, where they grew up and farmed. Graves of pre-WWII Prussian inhabitants, whose descendants fled, were killed, or were expelled. Most neglected, their boundaries sometimes difficult to recognize.

“The farm near Utka was bought by her great-grandparents for a small sum when the borders were redrawn after the Second World War. This previously German region became Polish, the Germans left, and residents from modern-day Lithuania moved south.”

The name of the place in Polish is Ukta, not Utka. It is quite an achievement to falsify so much history in two sentences. “Borders were redrawn”? By whom? Who did that? Why? No mention of an illegal Yalta agreement to which, sadly, the British government were part.

The phrase “bought by her great-grandparents” is meant to suggest a legal transaction as well as create an air of a long Polish history of the place. The sentence “This previously German region became Polish, the Germans left, and residents from modern-day Lithuania moved south” is a classic example of a totalitarian story-telling. The tragedy of the people is presented like a simple house sale. It was anything but.

This is the Communist narrative subordinated to the Soviet/Russian narrative.

The phrase “residents from modern-day Lithuania moved south” is simply a lie. I am a son of those “residents”. They were indeed residents, but not of Lithuania. Post-WWII, they resided in Communist concentration camps in northern Russia, Arkhangelsk region, for quite a long time. They were lucky to get out alive. Before that, they were citizens of Poland. They were stripped of their Polish citizenship by the Soviet occupiers. Both of my parents lived in eastern Poland, now marked as part of Belarus.

I was born in Kętrzyn/Rastenburg and grew up among refugee families from eastern Poland. We had a very small flat in former German barracks. Among our neighbours was a quiet German-East Prussian family. They may have been evicted from their house or farm. They left for Germany in the 1970s. Two of my childhood friends also moved to Germany during that time. They had a Polish father and a German mother.

As time went by, I gradually realised the enormity of the tragedy of all the people in that war.

And what are we served by The Times? No mention of vandalised country houses, ruined farms. It is all sweet and beautiful. “Bought for a small sum”. Really? This area is not my place and not my heritage.


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