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.


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.


The camp of social death

On February 23, 2020, The Sunday Times published an article by Andrew Holgate Holocaust novelists blur Nazi fact and fiction in bestsellers. Here is my comment.

Quote from the article:
In one of the novel’s most important scenes, the number he tattoos on the arm of his future wife is seen by several critics as being incorrect. The Auschwitz Museum has said the mistakes and “misinterpretations” in the book make it “dangerous and disrespectful to history”.

While agreeing that these mistakes, whether deliberate or not, are dangerous and disrespectful, I would like to point out that the Auschwitz Museum is also capable of acting in a dangerous and disrespectful way. 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.


Fighting Auschwitz by Józef Garliński

Second comment on the article The Volunteer: Jack Fairweather’s Auschwitz spy thriller wins Costa prize, by David Sanderson, The Times, January 29 2020.

I should add that the first book presenting Witold Pilecki’s role was Fighting Auschwitz: the Resistance in the Concentration Camp by Józef Garlinski (1913-2005), Polish officer who was also imprisoned in Auschwitz. The book was published in 1975. Garlinski was tattooed with the number 121 421.

From Garlinski’s obituary in The Telegraph, December 1, 2005:

“Most strikingly, he established the importance of Witold Pilecki, the army officer who had himself arrested in order to set up a military organisation inside the camp and co-ordinate a rising with an outside attack that never came; Pilecki later escaped and survived the war, only to be executed by the Communist government.”

Garlinski’s father was a POW in the Soviet Union, following the September 1939 campaign and was murdered by the Russians in Katyn in 1940, along with thousands of other Polish officers.


Poland’s litmus test shows red

Comment on the article The Volunteer: Jack Fairweather’s Auschwitz spy thriller wins Costa prize, by David Sanderson, The Times, January 29 2020.

Lech Borkowski

Five years ago, Pilecki’s son and daughter have not been invited by the Polish authorities to the 70 anniversary of the liquidation of the Auschwitz concentration camp. This is a litmus test of who runs Poland. They showed that they indeed are Communists, because only a Communist could do such a thing.

Polish authorities did everything possible to humiliate Pilecki’s children. They contacted them only in the morning of January 27 2015, several hours before the event. They used different excuses. They said that the PM’s chancellery couldn’t find the phone number to Pilecki’s daughter Zofia.

I am pretty sure they knew the number perfectly well.

They called to someone from a non-governmental organisation, trying to obtain Zofia’s number. The official from the PM’s office allegedly did not know the exact spelling of Pilecki’s surname. A lie of course. Then he allegedly asked if Pilecki’s children are still alive and if they are capable of attending the ceremony. Again, a typical Communist lie.

Zofia Pilecka refused to accept this last minute pseudo-invitation, as this would be accepting the humiliation.

Son of the Auschwitz camp commandant Rudolf Hoess was invited to the event and participated. Apparently, the Polish government had no problem finding his phone number.

This is not an isolated incident. My wife Małgorzata Głuchowska and I were both expelled from out jobs in Polish state institutions in 2015 for political reasons. My parents were imprisoned in Communist concentration camps in the Soviet Union after WWII. My wife’s grandfather was imprisoned by the Communist secret police in 1947, upon his return from England. He was held as a POW in the Soviet Union in 1940-41. He later fought in the Allied forces on the western front.

I am proud of my family’s heritage and my parents’ unwavering stand against the Communist butchers. Firing my wife from her job at the State School of Music in Zielona Góra and me from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań is their act of revenge. I know you read silly stories about transition to democracy in Poland. Those stories are not true.

I will close this comment with reference to Rafael Lemkin, Polish-Jewish lawyer, who coined the term ‘genocide’ and was the force behind United Nations resolution on genocide. His person was completely erased from public life in Poland and other countries as well. I learned about him from the Internet. He was very critical of Communist crimes, hence the erasure.



The camp thrives

My comment following the review of tv documentary Belsen: Our Story, review: a devastating and dignified oral history of Holocaust horrors, by Michael Hogan, The Telegraph, January 28, 2020
Lech Borkowski

Great documentary.

I made the following note in 2014:

“The last century, beginning with World War I, has seen an incredible devastation of everything. Here in the east-central regions of Europe, especially in Poland, we live on the civilization cemetery. And I am afraid we have not seen it all yet.

Traditionally, the crimes and criminal codes focus on the harm done to human bodies and material objects. What about the incredible devastation of human souls or psyche, if you prefer the latter term?

Are we out of the concentration camp yet? No, we are not. The answer depends somewhat on the definition of the camp. The old, stereotypical image of the concentration camp is the place surrounded by barbed wire, with watchtowers, guards with dogs and emaciated prisoners in striped uniforms.

The idea of the camp, however, is alive and well also today, The camp has not withered away. It thrives.

October 23, 2014”

My both parents were long-time prisoners of Communist concentration camps in the Soviet Union: my father 8 + 2 in exile, my mother 7 years. They were Polish citizens and opposed to Communism. They both survived, luckily, but the trauma was enormous, especially for my mother. For her the war, which started in 1939, when she was twelve years old, has never ended.

More recently, my wife, my daughter, and I learned, that rumours about the liquidation of the camps were vastly exaggerated. Why and how it is possible, you can read at

Irma Grese, the sadistic Nazi camp guard is not such a rarity. A certain Communist woman active in the Soviet Union and Poland was a sadistic torturer, with particular focus on genitalia. She had a PhD in philosophy from Paris obtained between WWI and WWII.

My wife, a pianist and piano teacher, experienced extreme forms of sadism in her place of work, in the State School of Music in Zielona Góra, Poland, between 2011 and 2015. Standing outside the school building, on the street, you would have never guessed, what is happening inside. In this case the camp guards were several of her fellow female employees. These were not accidental forms of social violence. These were methods meticulously scripted and based on the Communist know-how. We have also learned in the process, that these guards are fully protected by functionaries at the higher levels of the state apparatus, all the way to the top, the PM, the president, as well as the prosecutor office.

It is a mistake to think that the camp exists only as an isolated place, surrounded by barbed wire. The Communist state perfected the idea of the camp and developed it much further. This is where we are today.


Bolshevik approach to history

My second comment on The Times view on Vladimir Putin’s comments about the Holocaust: History Lesson, January 24 2020.

Lech Borkowski

I remember a Bolshevik quote about history. It goes more or less like this: “We will ride the history’s horse to its death”. This is a rough translation of a quote which I remember in Polish. This phrase might have been used by Mayakovsky, the leading poet of early Soviet Russia.

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. Contents of entire archives can be planned. You can design tomorrow’s museums even before anything they will commemorate happens. After all, what is history? History is just a bunch of stories told over and over again. These stories cannot be allowed to be told by some random people with unpredictable consequences. You write these stories by organising, among other things, fake mass protests.

Having a good history is a strategic asset. This asset can be acquired piece by piece through organised action with a long-term planning. History can be conquered, controlled and managed in a way similar to conquering territory. In this case, the area of the war theatre is the territory of the human mind, its imagination and memory. By using the right tools you can train entire nations or religious groups to follow your historical narrative. And you can liquidate those, whose thinking cannot be controlled.(*)

The anniversary of the liquidation of the Auschwitz concentration camp is an unmissable opportunity for staging provocations.

Organising a controversy is a good way to program human minds. Few would remember an anniversary where everyone agreed and everyone was polite and predictably boring. Controversy makes it memorable. There are professional cadres whose job is to design a scheme of provocation and supervise its dynamics, injecting changes as required by the current situation.

The casual observer is supposed to get emotionally involved and choose voluntarily one of the sides of controversy. Just like in a film, one can select an actor, whose words and character feel closer to one’s heart. This choice is, however, a superficial one because it is not about character A or character B. It is about the narrative and its anchoring points.


(*) I am a physicist. In 2015, my wife and I were both expelled from our jobs at the State School of Music in Zielona Góra, and Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland, respectively.

Stakhanovites of death

My first comment following The Times view on Vladimir Putin’s comments about the Holocaust: History Lesson, The Times January 24 2020.

Lech Borkowski

The event in question is a prime example of the weaponisation of history. In the hands of Communist regimes of Eastern Europe under Soviet control, everything was used as a weapon. Literally everything.

WWII was a meeting of two genocidal ideologies, each with its own killing dynamics and its own algorithms of the delivery of death. The Bolshevik regime of the Soviet Russia was the first to embark on its murderous trajectory on a mass scale long before WWII. The Stakhanovites of death have exceeded expectations and earlier ‘norms’ of killings. The Communist genocide and the associated concentration camps preceded the Nazi invention of the gas chambers.

“Just as the Polish government was wrong two years ago to make it illegal to accuse Poles of complicity in the Holocaust, so Mr Putin is wrong to accuse them now of complicity in starting the war.”

You must understand that both the current Russian and Polish leaders have come from the same Communist school and although they pretend to differ, they represent the same Communist narrative. I know you will say “Wait a minute! The Communism collapsed in Europe, including Poland!” To which I say: sorry, it did not. You have been misinformed.

I would like to make it clear that neither the current government represents me or my family nor any other government of Poland post-1945 did so.


Co-staging provocation, preserving narrative

The Times article Poland to boycott Jerusalem Holocaust ceremony amid row over Russia rewriting history by Catherine Philip, January 23 2020. My comment.

Lech Borkowski

There are two issues deliberately mixed here with the intention to confuse.

1 Holocaust memorial day. Day of reflection and remembrance.
2 Polish-Russian relations.

Issue 2, in the main, has little to do with issue 1. However, the situation was arranged, or shall we say ‘staged’, to try to make a mess and to try to create an impression that issue 2 is chained to issue 1. Hence the noise on theme 2 in the context of theme 1.

This trick is a political bread-and-butter, at least in Communist countries. It is called provocation. Provocation is successful if observers don’t notice it is a scripted spectacle and engage emotionally. It would be useful to notice not only what is being said, but also who and what is not being spoken about.

There are two general interpretations of this attempt to make a mess.

Interpretation 1. Russia and Poland have different interpretations of WWII and their respective roles in it and that is why their leaders disagree. This is the interpretation roughly followed by the media, including The Times. No surprises here. Round up the usual suspects.

Interpretation 2. Leaders of Russia and Poland try to preserve the Communist narrative of WWII as much as possible and collaborate in creating the row, without revealing anything interesting. They try to preserve the status quo of the dominant WWII narrative.

In fact, if Polish leaders were independent from Moscow, they would follow a different plan of historical action. The way they act means that they are either (a) idiots, or (b) subservient to Moscow. I say option (b) is the correct interpretation of this pseudo-row.

Summing up, this is not about who is for or against something, but about the narrative they operate in.

Since this is the Holocaust memorial day, the attention should be focused on the victims. This is about them, not about Polish or Russian leaders. Attempts to make it into something else are a provocation.


1945 Yalta

And another comment following The Times article We can never be sure we’d be the good guys by David Aaronovitch, January 1, 2020.

Lech Borkowski 2 January 2020

It is useful to remember the disastrous 1945 Yalta deal made between the democratic and freedom-loving leaders of Great Britain and United States with the genocidal Communist regime of the Soviet Union. It did not cause a great distress to Churchill and Roosevelt or to their compatriots to sign this pact with the devil himself. The deal facilitated Communist genocidal activities in Central and Eastern Europe.

My parents and grandparents were denied their Polish citizenship, evicted from their property, imprisoned in concentration camps, while the Polish forces serving the legal Polish government in exile in London, those who fought with the Allies on the western front were denied participation in the 1946 Victory Parade in London.

Herein lies part of the answer to questions posed in the article. It is not so hard to sacrifice Others. One day the Other is the person in another country, then the Other may be someone ethnically different from you in the same country, finally the Other is your neighbour. As the evil encroaches, so does grow the otherness of people you know. One day you learn, as I had a chance recently, that to your best mates from high school you are the Other.


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