My two comments on Twilight of Democracy by Anne Applebaum, review: a querulous and flawed analysis of Europe by Philip Johnston in The Telegraph, 26 July 2020.
26 Jul 2020 7:04PM
Putting it mildly, you have been misinformed by both Anne Applebaum and her husband Radek Sikorski on Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe.
Radek Sikorski has been trained by Communist intelligence, probably the military branch, and secured a place at Oxford by Zbigniew Pelczynski, an Oxford professor on friendly terms with the Communists in Poland.
When I was about to leave the US at the end of my doctoral studies at the University of Florida, I was contacted by Radek Sikorski, who suggested that I participate in his team supporting the candidate in the upcoming presidential election in Poland. My initial response was positive, but I soon abandoned this idea without having met RS. Thank God.
Below I am including the letter my wife sent to Anne Applebaum on 22 May 2013. I collaborated in writing it. It tells you a completely different story to the one you are accustomed getting from your media outlets.
This is an English translation of the Polish original. You can also view it on our website at https://lsborkowski.com/pol/killing-the-soul-22-may-2013/ , where we present some of our texts associated with our project. The same text is available at at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/330015944_Letter_to_the_Washington_Post_22_May_2013
I wrote the statement “Citizenship de jure and citizenship de facto” on 8 July 2014 and sent it to Radek Sikorski. It is available at
https://lsborkowski.com/pol/citizenship-de-jure-citizenship-de-facto-8-july-2014/ or at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329923338_Citizenship_De_Jure_and_Citizenship_De_Facto
He did not reply.
22 May 2013
It is both interesting and disturbing that historians, sociologists, political scientists or journalists do not tell the truth about contemporary Poland. Even Poles themselves do not have the courage to face the truth. They do not have the courage to admit that they are flooded with lies.
The Communists worked hard over the years to perfect their killing ways. From the murder of the body they evolved towards the murder of the soul.
The loyalty to the mob, the falsifications and the active participation in the process of liquidating a human being are all rewarded with money, advance on the professional ladder, special privileges and total impunity.
The Solidarity movement was a skillfully manufactured lie.
I can now say with full certainty that there is no democracy in Poland. There has been no democracy here since 1939. We have only Potemkin-style democratic decorations. I live in the country governed by junta, where dignity and the social function of the human being are murdered. It is only natural that the result of such action by organized liquidation groups is not only the death of the soul but often also the death of the victim’s body. The perpetrators remain unpunished.
Today Poland is a country without natural social activity. The entire public life remains firmly under control of junta, who simulate a democratic system, but in reality destroy everyone whom they classify as an inconvenient person. Those who might pose a threat to junta’s hegemony are identified at a very early stage. Their lives and careers are often destroyed before they even have a chance to spread their wings. The know-how of the Communist secret police has not gone to waste. The hunt continues. Anyone who raises his or her head will be silenced or liquidated. The totalitarian state silences its opponents, as Hannah Arendt described in her book Eichmann in Jerusalem.
The Polish junta is a far more advanced product of totalitarianism than e.g. the Argentinian junta of the second half of the 20th century. In Argentina people were kidnapped and murdered secretly in isolated locations. In Poland people’s souls are murdered “on-site”, in exactly the same location where they live and work. Observers have an excuse to claim that nothing evil is taking place. This technique is far more sophisticated than the relatively ancient methods of an average Latin American junta.
My country, to which I returned with a great joy after traveling in Europe or the United States, is subject to Bolshevik rules. Contemporary Poland is actually a Communist concentration camp, in which the Communist perpetrators donned democratic uniforms. Certainly, number of political scientists must have at least asked themselves a question, how was it possible, that the totalitarian regime so easily and simply withdrew in 1989-1990. Was it really so, that the guards of the Communist concentration camp Poland simply got up from their desks, opened the camp’s gates and went home to live ordinary lives? And the next day they became pious Catholics and democrats? Was this a miraculous conversion? After the murder and expulsion of millions? After several decades of increasingly more perfect cruelty?
No, this is not true. The Communism did not fall. It was transformed, modernized and adapted to the new times. The banner of Communism was taken down and hidden away. But the dictatorship remained in place. In many ways the actions of the junta are bolder than before 1990.
26 Jul 2020 10:55PM
Applebaum’s narrative is a Communist one. You can see this in larger texts as well as in single sentences. Here is one example from the back cover of the Penguin’s edition of Iron Curtain:
“At the end of the Second World War, the Soviet Union unexpectedly found itself in control of a huge swathe of territory in Eastern Europe.”
Try taking this sentence apart and try to understand what it tells you. A big red flashing light.
This sentence signals her allegiance to the Communist/Russian narrative. Superficially, she may criticize Russia and Communists for this or that, but the signs are clearly there. People and key facts are omitted when harmful to the Cause. Often, what is omitted is much more important than what is included in the text. You will notice it easily when browsing through the index of the Iron Curtain, an awful book written with an apparent intention to confuse the readers.
My parents, Polish citizens, were imprisoned for many years in Communist concentration camps in northern Russia in the Arkhangelsk region. My father deserted from the Communist army on 13 January 1945, one day before the military oath was taken. My mother was imprisoned in 1949. Both lived in eastern Poland, which was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1939-1941 and again after 1944. These are Communist taboo subjects and do not appear in her texts as well. Writing about it would harm Communist and Russian interests.