Category Archives: Poland

Polish Government Acts Like Poles

The history of Poland has been a series of defeats by other nations with an occasional period when some form of democracy was in place. After the end of Communist rule in Poland, its people were able to enter the European Union and enjoy the benefits of a democratic society.  The Polish economy took off and standards of living increased for all people. The press finally enjoyed opportunities to engage in the open discussion of ideas. Within a few years Poland became a model of  how dictatorship could be replaced by democracy.

Alas, that is no longer true. A Conservative political party emphasized in the last election that it was committed to democracy. It lied.The new government which is dominated by Jaroslav Kaczynski has taken control of the Constitutional Court, curbed freedom of speech and places its people in control of television and radio programs.

A sad day for the Polish people.

From 1914 To 2014

We are gradually working our way to the anniversary of the beginning of World War I back in 1914. The actual conflict began when the son of the Emperor of Austria Hungary was murdered by a young man named, Princip who believed the Slavic people were being persecuted and had to stand up for their rights. The actual scenario resulting in war took about eight weeks to unfold as nations warned one another about getting their armies ready for war. No one actually believed the road being taken was the road to war since diplomats were talking with one another and the thought that the end result would be war appeared too crazy to even consider. British Foreign Secretary William Hague warned the Russian government it had to end the attempt to make the Crimea part of Russia. Even as he spoke, thousands of Russians were cheering in the streets about the need to aid their Slavic brothers in the Crimea against oppression by Western Fascists. Most probably the Russian people support actions by their president.

Putin feels powerful sending troops into the Crimea knowing he has control over atomic weapons of destruction and he just wants to dare the West to oppose him. He also has control over oil and gas supplies that are needed by Western European nations. In the summer of 1914, the Russian government did not believe Germany would actually go to war over someone getting shot. The road to war just seemed to get shorter and shorter as nations threatened the use of force. William Hague warned of “the real danger of a shooting conflict.”

Is this a repeat scenario??

Poland To the Fore?

Historically Poland, was an area in Europe which continually for the past two hundred years was divided up by its neighbors and only gained a sense of having its own government in post Word War I. Even that nation was divided between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia in 1939. After WWII, a new Poland was created and soon fell under the control of the Soviet Union. It was not until the end of communism in Russia that Poland became a “nation” able to conduct its own affairs. Entering the European Union during the 1990s enabled Poland to become a nation that had power and voice in foreign affairs. The current Ukraine crisis has allowed Poland to become a leader. It has strongly supported the Ukranian rebels who thew out former President Yanukovych and now provides political and economic aid to Ukraine. Poland has also brought together nations that formerly were under control of Communist Russia–Hungary, Slovakia and Czech Republic into the Visegrad Group.

The Visegrad Group has been the most aggressive force within the European Union demanding a strong response to Vladimir Putin. It has made clear that unless Putin enters negotiations with Ukraine “within a limited time frame work” then additional punitive action will be taken against Russia such as freezing assets or bans on travel or other economic sanctions. Poles have not forgotten how Russia bullied them for years and now they are prepared to give the Russians a taste of their own medicine!!

Future For Youth?

Four years ago in most European nations young people were hopeful that with further education there would be ample opportunities to secure a good job.Today, the unemployment rate in Spain or Greece is over 50% for young people with scant prospect of changes during the coming decade of their life. Stylia Kampani, now works as an unpaid intern for an important Athens newspaper. What happens after the end of her internship is unknown. “None of my friends believes that we have a futureor will live a normal life. That wasn’t quite the case four years ago.” She is now part of a lost generation which is doomed to low wages, uncertan job security and loss of control over individual lives. European nations have not learned the lesson of America’s Depression when the federal government created jobs for youth like the CCC. It funded the theater, opera, symphony orchestras and provided many job opportunities in society.

Germany recruits some  skilled workers from Greece or Spain. In the UK anger is directed at immigrants because the government has done nothing to offer youth a chance for the future. Oh, it has tripled the cost of college. Youth needs to go beyond protest and organize political parties which pledge to create jobs, and, in so doing create hope. If governments refuse to act to create jobs, the end result will be emergence of neo-fascist political parties based on hate an violence.

Modern Nazi Lovers??

World War II ended 68 years ago and left in its wake not only over forty million dead people, but millions of survivors who would never forget what the German people did in Europe. This March, German TV introduced a miniseries called “Unsere Mutter, Unsere Vater,” which means, “Our Mothers, Our Fathers.” The series describes lives of ordinary Germans who lived through the Holocaust that swept through Europe. Most Germans apparently enjoyed seeing film about World War II that depicts ordinary “innocent Germans” just trying to get along. However, many in Poland-three million Poles died– have a different take on the series. The Polish magazine, UwazamRze, concludes the series is simply an attempt to prove that Germans were “victims” of Hitler, not the perpetrators of horror.

In one scene a Jew who is in Poland has to hide his Jewish identity from anti-Semitic Polish resistance fighters. Polish commentators regard this idea as having “nothing to do with historial reality.” Sorry, it is historically valid and the evidence is overwhelming. Perhaps, Poles would like to deny murdering hundreds of Jews AFTER the war ended!

There are decent people who were in Germany and decent people who were in Poland, it was a horror and it cannot be changed. Portraying Chancellor Merkel in a Concentration Camp picture is not funny. It is sad

He Once Was Great

His name is Lech Walesa and once upon a time he was a hero to people of Poland and to the people of the world. Millions in Europe regarded him as a brave warrior in the fight for human rights. At a time when the Soviet Union dominated his  nation, Mr.Walesa openly defied Communist brutality and, he himself, endured beatings and torture. He joined with Catholic leaders of his nation to organize workers in shipyards and to demand an end of tyranny. Mr. Walesa played a key role in ending communism in Poland and leading his nation into a new world in which respect for the dignity of all was central to life.

Yesterday, this brave warrior for peace informed gay people in his country they were not entitled to equal rights, heck, they were not entitled to any rights. As  he put it, “a minority should not impose itself on the majority.” Lech Walesa is now an elderly man. Let us remember the fighter for equal rights, not the man of 2013.

US Troops In Europe-Why?

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago there was something termed a Cold War between the Soviet Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance. The assumption was there was need for American troops in Europe in order to make clear to Soviet leaders that an attack on West Europe would involve an attic on the United States of America. In 1991, the nation then known as the Soviet Union, collapsed and ceased to exist. The current Russian army would encounter problems fighting Georgia-as it did. The question of the hour is-why are there American forces in Western Europe?

The Cold War ended two decades ago. There is NO  threat from the East. There is NO threat from Russia. Ami, it is time to pack up and Go Home! It is time to end relics from the past.

Ukraine Has Become A Lost Nation

President Viktor Yanukovych has become the latest petty tyrant on the block who refuses to accept basic human rights in his nation. After defeating former President Yula Tymonshenko, the Viktor decided to introduce a new concept in political change. Charge your opponent of violating the law by supporting a law that you don’t like. He placed Ms. Tymoshenko on trial charging that she signed into law a law that was wrong.

Gee, if we followed that concept, George Bush would be doing a forty year sentence right now. Polish leader Jaroslaw Kaczynki is calling for canceling the football championship which was to be held in Kiev and sending it to Warsaw. He charged Yanukovych with “flagrant human rights violations in the Ukraine.”

Heck, Angela Merkel and even Vladimir Putin agree on this one. BOYCOTT UKRAINE should be the new slogan.

False Auschwitz Analogy

There are some Jews who take out the Holocaust card in order to justify actions today. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apparently argued with President Obama that attacking Iran was similar in need to having Allied airplanes bomb the Auschwitz death camps. American and British military leaders during WWII turned down requests to bomb Auschwitz and Netanyahu believes President Obama is using the same line of reasoning to avoid bombing Iran.

Bombing Auschwitz would have not saved the life of a single Jew in Europe. The Auscwhitz death camp was located in Poland. It was not until 1944 that Allied bombers had access to long range fighter support, but flying to Poland would have been beyond the capacity of any existing fighter plane. Normal Allied raids from England led to a 15% rate of planes being shot down or severely damaged. Bomber planes flying across Germany, into Poland, turning around and flying back would have resulted in enormous losses.

There is a worse problem. At no time up during WWII up until the last months of the war did it take German troops more than 48 hours to repair railroad lines. At Auschwitz there was manpower to speed up the repair. Benjamin Netanyahu is not interested in the survival of the Jewish people, his main concern has always been, gaining power and retaining it.

Were Germans Mistreated During WWII?

The legacy of World War II continues to impact the minds and hearts of Europeans even though the event occurred over sixty years ago. There is a proposal in the German legislature to commemorate the expulsion of Germans from eastern Europe who were forced to flee their homes in Poland, parts of eastern German and Czechoslovakia due to boundary changes. Several members of the German government are citing a statement issued by Germans in August, 1950 named the “Charter of German Expellees.” There is no question that millions of Germans were forced to leave their homes in the aftermath of the bloody war which resulted in the death of over 35 million people. Of course, Germany was responsible for these murder of the innocent and for some strange reason those remaining alive were angry and filled with hatred toward the perpetrators of death camps, and mass killing of the innocent. The original statement in 1950 made no mention of death camps, it made no mention of mass murders, the killing of millions of Russian POWs, the systematic murder of Jews, Poles, gays, Roma and millions of others.

Many contemporary Germans cite British and American air attacks on their cities as examples of murder of the innocent. Reality check. German planes began the process of bombing civilian areas in cities. German V-Bombs blasted London and other English cities. Yes, US and British 1,000 plane raids destroyed housing, killed civilians and wiped out industrial areas. Yes, one wrong does not justify another wrong. But, war is hell. Once set on the path of war, the innocent always die.  As I recall, millions of Germans yelled support for Adolf Hitler. He was a Pied Piper leading Germans into disaster, but there were points on the road to destruction when some Germans enjoyed the good life.

War is brutal. There were innocent Germans caught in the aftermath of Nazism. But, among those expelled were millions of Germans who enjoyed the good life that came with rule by Germany over Poland or Czechoslovakia. Land and property of Jews were taken by Germans living in occupied areas. Of course, not all Germans committed these heinous crimes, but it is difficult to differentiate between the innocent and the guilty. The idea of commemorating those who were guilty is a horrible miscarriage of justice and an insult to the dead.