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Polish-Soviet friendship 2.0

My comment on the article Polish president looks for US troops to give him edge in election by Oliver Moody in The Times, 25 June 2020.


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.

@LechSBorkowski

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Sergei Khrushchev’s obituary in The Telegraph

My comment on Sergei Khrushchev, son of Soviet leader Nikita who ended up swearing allegiance to America – obituary in The Telegraph, 22 June 2020.


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?

Quote:

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.

@LechSBorkowski

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Prisoner of false narrative

Prisoners of History by Keith Lowe review — pulling down statues isn’t the answer by Richard Preston in The Times, June 20, 2020. Here is my comment on the book and its review in The Times.


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.

@LechSBorkowski

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Good man Goodman

My comment on the article Agent Gustav: Geoffrey Goodman, the Fleet Street titan who spied on Harold Wilson by Gabriel Pogrund, Martin Dixon and  Tom Calver in The Sunday Times, 13 June 2020. The text includes the comment I made following the June 8, 2019 article by Jake Kerridge in The Telegraph, ‘Why should my family apologise?’ Kim Philby’s granddaughter Charlotte on her new spy novel.


Lech S Borkowski comment in The Times 14 June 2020
Lech S Borkowski, comment in The Times 14 June 2020, part 1
Lech S Borkowski comment in The Times 14 June 2020, part 2
Lech S Borkowski comment in The Times 14 June 2020, part 2

Characteristically, these Communist spy cases are presented in a moral vacuum. There is a man/woman of ideals, there is a foreign power, but there are no victims. The victims have been sanitized out of the picture. There seems to be only one issue, that of loyalty to the state, which the spy is the citizen of.

Victims? They have not hit or murdered anyone personally, they only delivered information, so why talk about victims?

The defense of informer’s family and his sympathizers follows the familiar line “he was a good man”, an idealist or an intellectual, where the “good” extends into many dimensions.

Quote from the article:

Karen Goodman released a joint statement with her brother, saying she was “surprised” by the extent of her father’s involvement with the StB.

“Our father was a lifelong socialist and at the same time deeply patriotic and devoted to creating a better life for everyone. He was a strong internationalist […]”

Apparently, Goodman’s family and I are using different dictionaries. Our understanding of the word “everyone” is different. It is similar to the difference between “people” and “former people” in the Soviet Union. I think the full sentence should rather be “Our father was a lifelong socialist […] and devoted to creating a better life for everyone, with the exception of former people”. The code-word ‘internationalist’ is basically an admission that he viewed Communist supremacy as desirable and was a faithful disciple of the ideology.

Unsurprisingly, in a recent BBC Radio 4 podcast by David Cannadine about Anthony Blunt, the defense of his spying for the Soviet Union used similar arguments: man of ideals, great, great, great many times over. Here spying for the genocidal dictatorship is presented as an issue of ‘intellectual liberty’.

Then we have the case of Kim Philby and his relatives. In an article in The Telegraph on 8 July 2019, on the occasion of the publication of her spy novel, his granddaughter Charlotte does not seem to have any feelings of shame:

I wonder if Charlotte ever worries about having to explain to her own children what their great-grandfather did. “[…] It’s not like he was, I don’t know if I can say this, but it’s not like he was a Nazi apologist. And also they’ve grown up in Hackney, where Communism isn’t necessarily a dirty word.”

Look ma, no victims.

The victims of Communism have been mostly eliminated from the media, from schools, from public consciousness.

Members of my family, Polish citizens, were imprisoned in Communist concentration camps in the Soviet Union after the second World War. Some were tortured. Their lives were destroyed. The Soviet Communists confiscated their farms. They continued to be harassed and spied upon throughout their life.

My wife and I lost our jobs at state institutions in Poland 2015 after a long and brutal campaign aimed at eliminating us from public life. Typical Communist methods were used against us. I worked at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. My wife was employed at the State School of Music in Zielona Góra.

They attacked also our daughter in her elementary school, where the head teacher and my daughter’s main teacher participated in organized provocations.

Philby, Blunt, Goodman, and many others served those henchmen.

Few years ago I read an interview with the daughter of Rudolf Hoess, who was the commandant of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Her father was a warm family man. In her words, “he was the nicest father in the world”. His children had a happy childhood. You can also watch part of the interview online.

I do not blame the children or grandchildren for the deeds of their parents or grandparents. However, I expect them and the newspaper writers to have a genuine awareness of the enormity of the Communist crimes and to call things by their true name. If you worked for the criminal Communist regime, that means you worked for the criminal Communist regime.

My family and I are not faceless numbers. We are real people whose lives were devastated as a result of Communist persecution. This is an ongoing story, not a thing of the past.

@LechSBorkowski

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Ally de jure, enemy de facto

Comment on The Times article We led the war effort, say British — others disagree by Lucy Fisher, May 8, 2020


The poll is asking the wrong questions.

The UK and the US allied with one of the two genocidal regimes in Europe against the other one. Collectively, they succeeded in defeating one enemy, while the other enemy expanded its occupation zone, gained international recognition and the ability to control the newly formed United Nations. That must be called for what it is: a failure. The war against Germany was won, but the war against the Soviet Union was lost.

The need for a myth of fighting a good war, being heroic and making all the right choices is tempting to all nations. The truth is more prosaic. The desire to create a myth and hold on to it may be understandable in the years immediately after the conflict, when the wounds, sacrifices and the loss of the loved ones is so palpable. However, as the years go by, one would hope for a more intelligent analysis.

The western Allies won the war against the Germany and Japan only, while losing it to the Soviet Union. Soviet Union won the war against everyone else. British and American governments deceived themselves and their citizens about USSR suddenly becoming their ally, when it was not.

Soviet Union was an ally de jure, i.e. on paper only, but not the facto. The inability to properly process these basic facts, was a self-inflicted wound.

The West tries desperately to cling to the binary logic, good guys vs the bad guys, although ever since 1917 this approach continued to fail. The situation has changed. The rise of the Communist state in Russia using different logic and different methods, a widespread terror and increasingly more sophisticated genocidal techniques, was an intellectual challenge, which the West, taken collectively, miserably failed to meet.

Antony Beevor wrote a very sensible comment in The Telegraph yesterday: “75 years on, have we got the Second World War all wrong after all?”

Indeed, you have.

@LechSBorkowski

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Soviets tortured Poles in Brześć (Brest) in 1945

Comment following The Times article Airman held hostage by the Soviets missed VE Day celebrations by Mark Bridge, 8 May 2020.


Bolesław Borkowski, document from Communist concentration camp, page 1, 1954 concentration
Bolesław Borkowski, document from Communist concentration camp, 1954, page 1

On this day 75 years ago, my father Bolesław Borkowski was imprisoned by the Soviet NKVD in the citadel in Brześć (Brest) on the river Bug. The Soviets tortured Polish prisoners. At night, those sitting in the cells heard the cries of the tortured ones. The cells were terribly overcrowded, filthy, with puddles of standing water. The overcrowding was such that they had to take turns sleeping, while sitting on the floor.

My father avoided the torture only because he had the guts to stand up to the interrogator and threaten him if he came closer. As the interrogator tried to get up from his seat, my father immediately told him to sit down, telling “Sit down. If you only try to touch me, I will not be responsible for my reaction. You are worse than the Nazis”.

He was desperate, determined and ready to fight and lose his life right there on the spot. A bit of luck helped as well, as the interrogator was alone with my father at that moment. The torture was usually conducted with one or more other NKVD men in the room.

My father was later sent to a Soviet concentration camp in northern Russia, in the Arkhangelsk area, where he remained from 1945 to 1954. He spent further two years in exile in the area. He was lucky to survive.

He met my mother in the camp. She and several other members of her family were imprisoned by the Soviets after WWII. My mother was imprisoned from 1949 to 1956. The trauma was enormous. For her the war that started in 1939, when their area was occupied by the Soviet Union, never ended.

My wife’s grandfather Aleksander Głuchowski fought with the Polish army in Italy. When he returned from the UK to Poland in 1947, he was immediately imprisoned by the Communists. He died in 1952 at the age of 45. His wife remained in Poland with their little son. She died in 1945, right after the war ended.

@LechSBorkowski

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Pugachev and Putin are voices of one Soviet choir

Short comment on The inside story of how Putin and his KGB cronies took control of Russia, an article by Catherine Belton in the Sunday Times, March 29, 2020, which is based on her book Putin’s People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took on the West.


Let me quote first:

In the rush to help install Putin, though, Pugachev had ignored warnings that appointing someone from the KGB was “to enter a vicious circle”.

Those who believed they were working to introduce a free market and democracy had underestimated the enduring power of the security men.

“This is the tragedy of Russia,” said Pugachev.

Pugachev comes from a Soviet military family. There is not much difference between the KGB and the Soviet military. This quote shows that Pugachev tries to present a false narrative. He got to a very good start in the 1990s because he is coming from the inner circles of the Soviet power.

@LechSBorkowski

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Philippe Sands silent on general Rudenko

Short comment on The Ratline: Love, Lies and Justice on the Trail of a Nazi Fugitive by Philippe Sands review by Dominic Sandbrook, The Times, April 12, 2020.


I read Philippe Sands’ East West Street. I was unpleasantly surprised that he chose to completely ignore the problem with the Soviet presence at the Nuremberg trial. He spent time criticising Rafael Lemkin’s approach to the enormous crimes while at the same time seeing nothing wrong with the Soviet presence at Nuremberg. The head of the Soviet team was general Roman Rudenko, a criminal himself, guilty of crimes against humanity.

His writing has many strengths but also some very significant weaknesses.

I won’t go into detail, because this review is about a different book. So, this is just my remark on the margins.

@LechSBorkowski

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Truwoman show

Comment on The Countess and the Russian Billionaire review — the 1 per centers who went peak Jeremy Kyle in The Times by Carol Midgley, April 9, 2020


If information available on the Internet is true, Sergei Pugachev comes from a Soviet military family. A career like his would be absolutely impossible without the full support of the Soviet/Russian inner power circle. The 1990s were presented to the outside world as some kind of a Russian ‘wild west’ rush. However, you ought to keep in mind that we are talking about a country where everyone and everything was subordinated to the Communist power collective through decades of terror. Such deep structures of utmost loyalty and fear do not mysteriously disappear.

The private ownership introduced in the 1990s was not so private. Big money was handled by trusted insiders. Private ownership in Russia is not the same as private ownership in the West.

Look at some of the guys who made big careers in Russian business post-1990. There is Mikhail Khodorkovsky, member of Komsomol, the youth organisation of the Communist party. Then there is William Felix Browder, grandson of Earl Browder, the general secretary of Communist Party USA. Both have spectacularly fallen out with the Russian state. However, they would have no chance to achieve anything in the first place, had they not belonged to the inner circle of the most trusted comrades.

It is more likely that these lawsuits and spectacular rows between Putin-led state and the so-called oligarchs are merely a spectacle, a diversion. The aims of the contemporary Russian state vis-a-vis the West are pretty much the same as the aims of the Soviet Union. Russian goals are long-term and the presence of Russian rich functionaries in the West allows to survey, gather information and exert influence without arising suspicion.

Evgeny Lebedev, the owner of two UK newspapers, is a son of a KGB functionary. Some in the British elites see nothing improper to be employed by him or to fly to his parties in Italy:

‘In a brief entry of ministerial interests on the Foreign Office website, Johnson declared he had an “overnight stay” with Lebedev on 28 April, travelling “accompanied by a spouse, family member or friend”.

Johnson did not give any further details of where he had been, who he was with or the reason for the visit – reportedly his fourth to Lebedev’s Italian home in recent years.’

This was 2018. The quote is from article in the Guardian.

They have successfully infiltrated western elites.

And it is in this context that the story shown in the documentary plays out. Alexandra Tolstoy was most likely honey-trapped in a planned operation. The humiliation she was subjected to on the Russian tv show was most likely planned as well.

Open quarrels and lawsuits between so-called oligarchs and the Russian state are most likely only spectacles for western consumption. Everyone knows that there is no life outside the power circle. You either belong, tooth and nail, or you are eliminated. These so-called oligarchs know this perfectly well. They are also not stupid to suddenly start thinking that they can rewrite the code of the Russian state, the code that has been shaped and hardened over decades of terror.

@LechSBorkowski

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Communism evolved

My second comment on the article This virus is a shot in the arm for science by David Aaronovitch in The Times, April 1 2020, which I posted today, April 5 2020.


The selection of characters and other elements of the story presented in this article, shows that the article is used as an opportunity to push cultural acceptability and respectability of Communism.

The idea is to present the ideology based on violence and its concomitant multiple methods of inflicting physical and social death to people classified as Other, as synonymous with progress, scientific advance and a positive intellectual adventure.

Both the author and Sir Paul Nurse know the context in which Sputnik appeared. They know that the Sputnik and Soviet military missile program are inseparable as parts of the same whole. They also know about millions of victims of Communism. My uncle Klemens Ostrowski Jr. was tortured by the Soviet henchmen in parallel to the early development of the Soviet space program. He was a young man then. Following torture he lost large part of his consciousness and memory. He was not even able to stand upright. His brain was so severely damaged by torture that he was not able to tell afterwards, where he was held and what has been done to him.

Scientists under Communism were not spared. Educational and scientific institutions were tightly controlled and were weaponised just like everything else.

In mid-1970s my mother’s cousin, an accomplished researcher in semiconductor physics in the Polish Academy of Science was driven out of his laboratory and out of the country. He was a person of integrity and unwilling to bow to ideology and thus the authorities decided to eliminate him.

To point to a by-product of this genocidal system as something positive is absolutely astonishing. And to have it published in the leading British paper is even more so.

I happen to know a great deal about Communist methods of social elimination. They are not thing of the past. My wife Małgorzata Głuchowska and I have been targeted as well. We were expelled from our jobs in 2015. My wife is a pianist and was a piano teacher in the State School of Music in Zielona Góra in Poland. I was an associate professor of Physics at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. These methods are alive and well, just like people using them. They deserve careful, critical examination.

Couple of years before being expelled I discovered a group of very interesting dynamic phenomena in driven nonlinear systems. I studied models of resonant neurons. I speculated that the phenomenon of anti-resonance in driven resonant neurons might be useful in explaining e.g. the beneficial effect of Deep Brain Stimulation procedure in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

So in the area of social, political and historical studies, there is plenty to be researched about Communism and its continued, albeit evolved existence.

@LechSBorkowski

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