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political world

European History

Poland, 1944-1962: The Sovietization of a Captive People

Friday, October 30, 2009
Insights into the Communization of Poland and Its Counterparts Today, September 19, 2009 Support for Communism, as by a disproportionate fraction of Jews, is commonly attributed to poverty and injustice. This is incorrect. Staar comments: "The popular appeal of Communism in Poland has been rather ineffective. This was always true, even in the early 1930's when the unemployment and low standard of living theoretically should have provided a fertile field for the development and mass acceptance of Communism." (p. 7). >>more...

The Old Country: The Lost World of East European Jews

Friday, October 30, 2009
The many pictures of this book, generally dating from the period 1860-1920, hearken back to a simpler time. They make it obvious that, not only were Poland's Jews generally unassimilated, but that they essentially lived in a world of their own. [The reader, beholding the poverty of the Jews, should realize that most Poles were even poorer.] A hierarchy existed within the Jewish community: "Manual workers were generally looked upon with condescension, but some professions were held to be lower than others." (p. 12). >>more...

Russian lies about Poland never end

Monday, October 26, 2009
After WWI and the foundation of the Republic of Poland, the new nation was in great danger to its very existence as it was weaker than the growing power of Germany and Russia. The essence of the predicament of Poland and a threat to its independence and even to its existence, prior to the Second World War was summarized in the testament of Marshal Józef Piłsudski. He told the Poles: “veer as long as possible between Germany and Russia; if this becomes impossible, bring in to the conflict the rest of the world.” >>more...

The Dialectics of Pain

Sunday, August 2, 2009
In essence, the Nazi secret police torturers were interested in learning the truth from their victims.8 Not so the functionaries of the Communist terror apparatus. The Communist interrogators also tortured members of the underground or, more broadly, their political opponents. However, the reason for inflicting pain was two-fold: to extract true information and to force the prisoner to confess to false charges which the interrogators themselves knew were untrue. The objective of the latter endeavor was to break the spirit of the individual under interrogation and then to destroy his image in the eyes of the public.9 Nonetheless, just like in the case of the Nazi police, the ruthless reputation of the Communist secret police, justly earned by its frequent application of torture, served to terrorize not only the immediate victims (and intended victims) but also the population at< large. This paper investigates the process within which torture was used and abused throughout various stages of the interrogation. Communist Torture in Contemporary Sources The use of torture by the Communists was ubiquitous. The secret policemen of the Public Security Office (Urzàd Bezpieczeƒstwa Publicznego – UBP, or, colloquially, UB) tortured cruelly even a few of their own comrades accused of ideological „deviation,” including in a secret prison in Miedzeszyn.10 However, torture was applied primarily against the independentist camp. This entity encompassed all covert and overt forces from the extreme left to far right enrolled in the anti-Communist underground and the political opposition, originating in the war-time Polish Underground State and its Home Army >>more...

The Road to the Israeli–Polish Rapprochement

Saturday, July 18, 2009
Polish Israeli relations have been marked by numerous upheavals. The existence of a thriving Jewish community in Poland and the Holocaust experience had profound impact on the bilateral relations from the very beginning. And what made the bilateral relations particularly unique was the fact that Poland became a Soviet satellite in the aftermath of the Second World War.
It was only after the collapse of the Soviet Union that the Polish Government was in a position to fashion an independent foreign policy and normalize relations with Israel. It would be inaccurate, however, to assume that Polish foreign policy during the Soviet era was a mere reflection of Moscow will. >>more...
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