The narrative of the public life in Poland in general is presented in the Communist mode. This is essentially the narrative of self-appointed prison authorities explaining their role as guardians of dangerous prisoners.
Elections are presented as revealing tensions in the society between the educated, urbane, younger, more beautiful, world-friendly, in other words good progressive people on one side and uneducated, backward, irrational, prejudiced, xenophobic folks inhabiting mainly the countryside and small towns.
The situation is controlled by providing the entire cast of candidates: the good, the bad, and the ugly ones.
The choice is clear: in the long run the winner must be only one. The one who understands where the history’s arrow is pointing. Forward.
The Communist fake narrative was the primitive story of progress. The killings, the victims are mostly eliminated from the text or fake victims are presented instead. The post-1990 narrative strictly follows the same lines, although the slogans and details vary.
By listening to this story over and over again, people get used to the idea that this is THE story and expect more of the same the next time around. Brainwashing complete, check.
This narrative served the hideous dictatorship. Its aim was to provide justification for the entire system of direct and indirect violence. Today, this story continues to run in Poland.
The time invariance of this narrative and many other Communist invariants, which remain hidden from the media are key to understanding the system of control and social violence in Poland.
This is merely a spectacle about elections and democracy pretending to be the real thing. It is not.
It is useful to refresh the memory somewhat. The first so-called ‘non-Communist’ Polish PM in 1989 was Tadeusz Mazowiecki, a Catholic Communist functionary, a three-time member of the Communist ‘Parliament’. In 1961 he won 97.42 percent of the vote, 96.60 percent in 1965, and 98.92 percent in 1969. Quite an achievement.
The first female PM 1992-1993 was Hanna Suchocka, who also was an MP in the Communist ‘Parliament’. She won 97.52 percent of the vote in 1980.
Mazowiecki and Suchocka were both members of the Freedom Union, a party to which Duda also belonged in early 2000s. Trzaskowski’s career revolves around people from the same environment. The Civic Platform he is associated with was created by people who were in the Freedom Union.
One more example of this nonsense. Earlier, Trzaskowski was a political assistant to Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, former member of the Communist party, who was firmly tied to the Freedom Union and the Civic Platform. However, Saryusz-Wolski was supported by the Law and Justice party in the 2017 contest for the President of the European Council against Donald Tusk, former PM from the Civic Platform.
I can imagine your head may be spinning by now. It should. This political goulash does not make any sense. It does not, because it is fake. The western readers get a tiny dose of this nonsense at any one time and are completely unable to follow this mess over time.
The Times prides itself on stimulating critical thinking. I don’t think this is true.
And don’t look for rescue to Oxford or Cambridge folks, because they are among the worst offenders. Those involved in the studies of Eastern Europe should rather be lecturing on How Not To Ask Obvious Questions.
In Poland, there is a democratic spectacle, but there is no democracy. There was no democracy since WWII.
The title of the article claims that there was a democracy ‘we fought for’. This is incorrect.
The opening paragraph is also incorrect. There was no uprising against Communism and no ‘transition to democracy’ in Poland. There was a staged simulation of a collapse of Communism. A provocation. Recommended reading on the general methodology of Communist provocations: The Triumph of Provocation by Józef Mackiewicz, published in Polish in 1962, in English by Yale University Press in 2009.
The reference to the Middle Ages is a typical slogan of the Communist propaganda.
Another recommended reading is Virtual Politics. Faking Democracy in the Post-Soviet World by Andrew Wilson, Yale University Press 2005. “Performance was substituted for reality; performance was reality.” This quote refers to the Soviet Union but it is valid in post-1945 Poland as well. This means Poland today as well.
Communists have a long history of manufacturing fake movements pretending to oppose the ruling regime, beginning with operation Trust in the Soviet Union in the 1920s. After WWII they formed false underground resistance movement Wolność i Niezawisłość in Poland, i.e. Freedom and Independence. CIA was duped into giving money to it. Later on they fabricated the Solidarity trade union following essentially the Leninist idea. There is no way that any underground movement could function in Communist Poland. This simply contradicts the realities of everyday life.
All organised forms of resistance against Communism were liquidated in the 1940s and the 1950s. Its participants killed, tortured, imprisoned, or executed.
The main function of the article is not to explain reality in Poland. Its aim appears to support mainly the mythology of the alleged overthrow of Communism.
This is an empty spectacle presented as the ‘real thing’. There is no political difference and no difference of interest between the people mentioned in the article, just like there is no difference of interest among the cast of a theatre spectacle. They are part of the same show.
You need to understand that the entire ‘transition to democracy’ business in Poland is completely fake. Wałęsa and the entire Solidarity trade union were products of Communist political technologists. Even if you look at the candidates in the current ‘election’, they were part of the same political group some years earlier.
The issue of judges with Communist roots was suddenly made the centre of attention in December 2015. Why has it not been brought up during the previous 25 years? There was something else that happened in December 2015, which is much more important, which is real and reflects the real state of affairs in Poland, but has not been presented in the media.
Those with longer memory may remember that Wałęsa was portrayed as dangerous himself in the run-up to the presidential ‘election’ of 1995, when he ‘competed’ against the Communist Aleksander Kwaśniewski. The New York Times published then an opinion piece by Adam Michnik, son of a Soviet agent acting against the Polish state, warning about unpredictable, dark consequences.
Added 28 June 2020.
Correction. The last paragraph should read as follows:
Those with longer memory may remember that Wałęsa was portrayed as dangerous himself in the run-up to the presidential ‘election’ of 1990, when he ‘competed’ against the Catholic functionary of the Communist regime Tadeusz Mazowiecki. On 23 November 1990, The New York Times published an opinion piece Why I Won’t Vote for Lech Walesa by Adam Michnik, son of a Soviet agent acting against the Polish state, warning about unpredictable, dark consequences.
There is a misunderstanding about the changes of 1989-90. It was not, as it is usually presented, a ‘transition to democracy’. The ruling Communists maintained the same firm grip on power. What changed, was decorations and the plurality of lies.
As the Soviet troops were withdrawing from Poland in the first half of the 1990s, a contingent of civil operatives were brought in from the Soviet republics, who were installed at the state cultural and scientific institutions. Jobs, that were difficult to get for qualified Polish citizens, were given to the Russians. Given the circumstances and the logistics of this exercise, it was clearly the result of a cooperation of Poland, Russia, and the Soviet republics.
There was no obvious need that these people would fulfill.
Poland pretended to be officially an opponent of Russia, while on the ground continued the Communist business-as-usual. The mutual recognition of university degrees and other certificates continued until Poland entered the European Union in 2004. So, if you e.g. had a degree from a top western university, you had to go through the verification process with your diploma. However, if your degree was from Belarus, Kazakhstan, or any place in Russia, it was automatically accepted as valid.
In my wife’s workplace, at the State School of Music in Zielona Góra in what is now western Poland, the head of the piano section was and probably still is an operative from Leningrad. That woman came to Poland around 1991 to a school of music in a small town in south-west Poland. Later on she moved to a better known school on the Polish-German border, and finally, after another couple of years to Zielona Góra. These moves would not have been possible without any special backing. These are jobs which are difficult to obtain for the Poles.
There are quite many examples of this policy in Poland. Quite obviously this is the next phase of the Polish-Soviet friendship.
These Russian operatives do not have any particularly precious expertise. Their presence contradicts common sense and sometimes even the law.
My wife was fired from the said School of Music in Zielona Góra, despite being the most successful piano teacher. Interestingly, the Russians (there is more than one of them in the school), often used the Soviet and Russian editions of classic composers, which were clearly falsified. The musical text was clearly wrong. It was not only the cyrillic of the letters, that was the problem. but also the musical text. But nobody dared to raise the issue.
This tells you more about reality than the noise about American troops, which might come to Poland.
If they come, they will be puppets in someone else’s hands. Americans do not have a clue.
Both Sergei Khrushchev and his father Nikita Khrushchev lived at the center of the Soviet dictatorship, built it and served it to the best of their ability. Millions of people were tortured, killed, imprisoned in concentrations camps, expropriated, resettled forcefully, exiled, and had their life destroyed in other ways. And yet: look, no victims!
Obituary suggests that it was the Khrushchev family who have become some kind of victims of Communists. What a ridiculous nonsense.
My grandparents Klemens Ostrowski and his wife Elżbieta had a farm near the village of Buczany in the Brasław county in the north-east corner of pre-WWII Poland. Post-WWII, the Soviet Union occupied eastern Polands with a little help from Churchill and Roosevelt, as a result of the illegal Yalta deal. They were stripped of their Polish citizenship, their farm confiscated by the Soviet criminal state. Even their barn was taken apart, transported several kilometres to the newly installed Soviet collective, and reassembled there. My grandparents and four of their children were imprisoned in Communist concentration camps in various parts of the Soviet Union. My mother was imprisoned from 1949 to 1956 in the area of Arkhangelsk. She met my father there. My father was imprisoned in 1945.
This obituary falsifies history. It repeats the Communist narrative, presenting the genocidal Communist regime not as gigantic criminal organisation, but as an alternative way to seek progress and happiness. Why then The Telegraph does not describe Nazism as an alternative pursuit of happiness and prosperity?
But Khrushchev insisted that his father would have understood. “He was in the Communist Party because he believed it would be best for all of us.”
Who are “us”? A Nazi leader and Party member would also say “He was in the Nazi Party because he believed it would be best for all of us.”
Here “we” does not refer to all people of course. It refers only to the subset of the population supporting the totalitarian dictatorship. The rest was eliminated in various ways. Nikita Khrushchev has not changed this policy by one bit. Only methods were altered.
In Poland, there is a similar story. Adam Gierek is the son of the former First Secretary (1970-1980) of the Communist Party Edward Gierek. He studied in Moscow and had a successful academic career. More recently he has been a senator in Poland and a Member of European Parliament. His membership in the totalitarian Communist Party was not an obstacle. Quite the opposite.
Back to my family. My grandparents stayed in their family house after returning from the camps. The Soviet occupiers imposed strict administrative ban on renovating the house and refused to connect the house to the electric grid throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, forcing my youngest uncle, the only person remaining at the house after the death of my grandparents, to move out. This is the genocidal policy at work.
My parents managed to move from zone occupied by the Soviet Union to the Communist Polish People’s Republic in 1956. Here they continued to be harassed by the Communists. Being a son of survivors of Communist concentration camps I had practically no chance to obtain a PhD in Poland, I went to the US in 1987 and received my PhD in Physics from the University of Florida in 1995. I returned to Poland and began working at the A. Mickiewicz University in Poznań. No effort was spared to make my life at work maximally miserable, frustrating, and to force me to quit. The aim was to make my coming to work at the University most traumatic and humiliating. I had to bring my own personal computer to work, because the university would not provide me with one.
Later on an extremely vicious campaign was unleashed simultaneously against my pianist wife, me, and our daughter, who was in elementary school at the time. Communist methods in full swing.
We were both eventually fired in 2015. The authorities fabricated a fake medical statement, that my wife suffered from unspecified delusions and had to be fired from the State School of Music in Zielona Góra, where she was the most successful piano teacher. We demanded truth, honesty, adherence to officially declared law, respect for human dignity, and common sense. We let the top authorities know about this. We also provided hundreds of MPs with information and documents. The perpetrators were protected and promoted. The prosecutor office refused to act and falsified the case.
I was forced to look for work abroad. I am currently working at a greengrocer’s in West London. My wife is unemployed now.
This obituary is one of many texts falsifying both history and contemporary situation. People from the core of the murderous totalitarian power are presented as the good guys who wanted to do good things. This is truly ridiculous.
I looked up the book at its publisher’s website and read a few pages about the Soviet military monument in Warsaw. I find the text being of poor quality, merely a retelling of an official story. The problem is that Poland is an epicentre of falsifications of both recent European history and contemporary politics.
First, the author would have to address the false ‘democratic transition’ of 1989-90. It was completely fake. To those unaccustomed to Communist lies, a lot of silly stories manufactured en masse by the Communists might ring true – they simply have no critical instruments to verify their veracity or even to ask proper questions. The main falsification is that the Communism collapsed. Just like that.
If the author bothered to look around, he would have found plenty to write and wonder about. Unfortunately, he did not. Hence, a very superficial and totally non-revealing story.
Just look at one of the central squares in Warsaw next to the Warsaw Centralna train station. It contains the monument to Joseph Stalin from 1953, called Pałac Kultury i Nauki, i.e. Palace of Culture and Science. It looks like a smaller version of a similar Soviet building in Moscow. It housed the central office of the Polish Academy of Science before 1990 and it houses it today. Remarkable continuity, isn’t it? Where is the supposed ‘end of Communism’ here?
The allegedly ‘nationalistic’ party of Prawo and Sprawiedliwość (Law and Justice), which is in government since 2015 did not mind that offices of its MPs in Kołobrzeg (German: Kolberg) at the Baltic coast in the region of Pomerania were located for years at the Kniewski street (ulica Kniewskiego). Władysław Kniewski was a Communist assassin, 1902-1925, who together with two others volunteered to kill an agent of the Polish police embedded in the Communist movement. However, before their meeting with the police informer, they were stopped by two policemen in civilian clothes. They started shooting and wounded heavily one of the policemen. A chase ensued, in which other policemen and members of the public were involved. They were caught.
All three were tried, received a death sentence and were executed by shooting.
When the Soviet Union seized control in Poland after WWII, the three Communist volunteer assassins were specially honored. Streets were named after them. The place in Warsaw where their execution took place, was called Kniewski, Hibner and Rutkowski Park and a monument was unveiled in 1950.
Back to Kołobrzeg/Kolberg. Law and Justice MPs had an office at the Kniewski street. They didn’t mind the name and they have not tried to change it.
Quite a few street names were changed more than 25 years after the alleged ‘transformation’. The Law and Justice party existed for quite a long time before that moment, so why they have not raised the issue much earlier? I myself have been a member of the Law and Justice Party from 2008 to 2010 and I have never heard anyone proposing or demanding to change street names. I stopped being a member, when I saw that the party was completely phony.
When in May 2016 my wife and I rode through the streets of Krosno Odrzańskie (Crossen an der Oder in German) in what is now western Poland, we saw that many of them had Communist names. One of the longest was the Red Army Street. I recorded a video driving on it in both directions. It is available on Youtube and on Vimeo. I used a recording of Lenin’s 1919 speech from March 1919 as the audio track.
These are just couple of examples. There is plenty to see, if you can read. It seems that western scholars, journalists, and writers do not want to read. They are mainly interested in reinforcing the all-familiar narrative.
The narrative they are reinforcing, however, is completely wrong.
Now to the Katyń monument in Jersey City. Polish officers in Katyń and other sited of Soviet mass murder, were shot in the back of the head one by one by single shot from a hand gun. Bayonet was used by Polish troops in earlier wars and was symbolic in some ways, but it had nothing to do with the method of killing Poles in Katyń. This monument is quite clearly a Communist provocation. One can excuse simple servicemen of the failure to understand that they were backing the enemy project, when it was originally proposed and erected.
In my personal opinion, the person behind the project has likely followed instruction from Communist Warsaw. I can’t imagine any sane sculptor seriously trying to honor the murdered Polish officers with this sculpture. I emphasize that this is my personal opinion.
Did the book’s author notice, that in the centre of Warsaw, there is no monument to the Polish officers murdered in Katyń? There is the monument to Stalin instead.
One should also note that the Polish Museum of WWII was located in Gdańsk/Danzig several years ago. This move obviously follows the Communist narrative which tried to present German expansion as the main source of Polish problems in history and to use Gdańsk/Danzig as the centerpiece of this narrative. The Solidarity trade union was located by the Communists in Gdańsk as part of this grand narrative. There was nothing accidental about it.
The Museum’s natural and the only logical place is Warsaw of course. I haven’t noticed any significant protests over the Museum’s location coming either from Poland or from abroad. Instead, western scholars of Polish history and culture were involved in a fake row about the person of Museum’s director couple of years ago.
The building of this canal is an exercise in telling the fake narrative. Poland does not need this canal. The goal of the functionaries in control of Poland is to solidify the present irrationally places Polish borders and make them seem permanent, while pretending that Warsaw is standing up to Russia.
As a result of the Soviet aggression in WWII Poland lost half of its territory, My parents’ families and my wife’s families come from eastern Poland occupied by the Soviet Union between 1939-1941 and after 1944.
The centerpiece of the Communist/Russian narrative in this part of Europe is to present this aggression as justified and irreversible. Hence the idea to build the canal to focus attention and create physical barriers and visible signs of the Polish-Russian border. It is ridiculous.
The Polish so-called ‘democratic transition’ was a farce, a Communist provocation. A lot of noise, little substance. The decorations changed, but not the essence. Polish authorities are subordinates of the Soviet/Russian narrative.
The West is duped, as indeed are many of the Poles.
As I wrote in my yesterday’s comment, the canal described in the article is part of a false, Communist narrative.
Let me give you couple more examples from the same script.
In recent years, the national Museum of WWII was located in Gdańsk/Danzig instead of Warsaw. Gdańsk/Danzig was an episode of WWII, not the main stage. Warsaw is the only place in Poland, where such museum could stand. It is due to the Communist management, control and falsification of history and memory that decision to locate the Museum in Gdańsk was made.
In the centre of the Polish capital stands the Communist monument imposed by the Soviet Union, the so-called ‘Palace of Culture and Science’. It was erected in the early 1950s. Polish Academy of Science’s central office continues to be located in this Stalinist building – symbol of the Communist dictatorship and genocide.
There is no monument in the centre of Warsaw to the Polish officers murdered by the Soviet Union in 1940. There is also silence on Soviet murders of members of Polish WWII resistance. Similar silence surrounds the genocidal treatment of anyone resisting Communism, including Poles in the area occupied by the Soviet Union.
“About hundred years after the Bolshevik revolution the West still refuses to deal with the Bolshevik approach to history. History is not something that happens by itself and is written and told with limited manipulation only. Not at all. History is planned, organised and executed. Given sufficient resources, material, human and organisational, history can be planned and scripted just like a theatre play.”
Poland is a country of evolved and evolving Communism.
The latest of the comments made by the user […] agrees with the Communist/Russian narrative. It presents a narrative which I know to be false.
Quote 1: “The Soviets and Russians have always operated by means of manipulation and intrigue, and for Poland and the Baltic States this has meant that they are almost permanently in a situation of having to monitor and restrain such external influence”
In Poland, the state apparatus and its functionaries are the same people as before 1990. There was no change apart from some redecoration. Their modus operandi is the same as that of the Soviet/Russian state, although this may not be immediately clear to an average observer due to, yes, manipulation, intrigue, and use fake symbolism.
Quote 2: “most of all I would ask readers to consider that this is exactly the kind of ongoing infiltration that the current Polish government is having to deal with and is doing its utmost to eradicate. This alone explains the great popularity of the PIS party currently in power. Previous Polish governments have had their fair share of corrupt pro-Soviet officials and their successors in their midst. If they were not pro-Soviet and espoused that mentality, they would not have risen to their positions in the first place, and so when the Soviet Union fell, these were the only kinds of public officials and civil servants in power available to take over.”
This is false as well. It is another typical element of the fake narrative. The current Polish government is no different from previous Polish governments, except for some superficial symbolism and some rhetoric, which are just a camouflage. As I wrote in a comment to another Times article recently, I was a PiS party member from 2008 to 2010. I saw it from inside.
The leader of PiS, Jarosław Kaczyński, comes from a family privileged under Communism and serving the Communist state most loyally. His father was a Communist party member and mother worked at the Institute for Literary Studies.
Russians do not need “a foothold” in Poland, because Poland is run by the functionaries loyal to the same cause.
My pianist wife Małgorzata Głuchowska and I were fired in 2015 from our jobs at the State School of Music in Zielona Góra and Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań in Poland, respectively. We were fired for who we are and we stand for.
The head of the piano section in the school where my wife worked is a woman from Leningrad, a Russian. This is not an isolated case and not an accident.
The authorities, including prime ministers and presidents, past and present, are well informed about what has been done to us. The campaign against our family bears all the marks of the characteristically Communist modus operandi. There is plenty of evidence. We presented it to the prosecutor office. It is also available online in Polish and English.
History has not ended. It continues. My parents Irena Borkowska (Ostrowska) and Bolesław Borkowski were targets of Communist persecution. They were imprisoned for many years in Soviet concentration camps after WWII. My wife’s grandfather Aleksander Głuchowski fought with the Polish forces in Italy during WWII. When he returned to Poland in 1947, he was immediately imprisoned by the Communists. He died in 1952 at the age of 45.
There is a perfect continuity of the criminal state in Poland from 1944 to this day.
My yesterday’s comment was blocked. Were my few critical words unbearable for this unabashedly self-promoting article in the old, well-established paper?
Was my satirical take on Niall Ferguson’s prophetical prowess with Joseph V. Stalin’s ‘dizzy with success’ Pravda article of 2 March 1930 considered inappropriate? Was the editor concerned about possible violation of copyrights to Stalin’s words?
As a historian, Niall Ferguson is trying to write history of the future before it happens. In the old days person trying to predict the future course of events was futurist. Now they call themselves forecasters or superforecasters in apparent analogy to those predicting tomorrow’s 15pc chance of rain.
The difference between predicting tomorrow’s rain and next year’s events is that weather is not so directly influenced by newspaper articles as is the narrative about the present and the future. Political and economic forecasting in popular media and government agencies is not neutral.
Take a look at the second part of the word ‘forecast’: cast. As in ‘cast of characters’. Think: narrative. Participants of the narrative. Forecasting is shaping and guiding the public narrative. It promotes certain characters, elevating their status, and eliminates others. It is definitely not a neutral activity.