Sunday, April 30, 2017
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History and People

Mikolaj Rej, the Father of Polish Literature, 500th Anniversary of his Birth

Mikolaj Rej (Rey) was one of the giants of XVI century Renaissance Poland. He was born in Little Poland in a Rusyn village on the Dniestr River. Rej was blessed with good health and lived a long life (1505-1569) compared with his contemporaries, since the average lifespan at that time was about 20 years and those who lived longer than 49 were considered old.

Read more: Mikolaj Rej, the Father of Polish Literature, 500th Anniversary of his Birth


"Images of War" - Graphics of Poland's WW II Suffering

A truly amazing exhibit by artist Jerzy Kajetanski -"Images of War"- opened here on April 20, 2005 inside the Amalie Rothschild Gallery, a component of the Creative Alliance At The Patterson. It consisted of 36 remove-drawn "scratchboards" depicting the horrors and suffering of Poland during World War II at the hands of a most cruel, murderous Nazi Germany, led by Fuehrer Adolph Hitler. In all, Kajetanski created over 200 works that recorded this tragic and blood-soaked chapter in Poland's history that he had personally witnessed and experienced. The stark panels cover the initial attack and siege of Warsaw in September 1939 (18 dedicated panels) as well as the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the city-wide Warsaw Rising of 1944, and the hell-on-earth, genocidal, Nazi concentration camp ultimate insult to humanity.

Read more: "Images of War" - Graphics of Poland's WW II Suffering


The Katyń Massacre

In 1918, Poland regained her independence after enduring three partitions and domination for 123 years by Russia, Prussia, and Austria. Barely 21 years later, on September 1, 1939 Nazi Germany invaded Poland from the west, triggering the Second World War. On September 17, the Soviet Union, in cooperation with the Nazis and without a declaration of war, invaded and occupied eastern Poland. Thus, Poland was partitioned a fourth time. In spite of having been only partially mobilized because of strong pressure from its Allies, England and France, Polish forces valiantly fought both invaders for weeks before being overwhelmed and forced to lay down their arms.

Read more: The Katyń Massacre


The Best and the Most Evil Political Figures of the XX Century According to Poles

Recently we said farewell to the most important and best known Pole, John Paul II. We are lucky that people around the world see Poland as the country where this great and charismatic leader was born. Here we will analyze how Poles see the world, the turn of the new century and millennium was a good occasion to summarize the passing historical epochs. The ranking of the ten best and ten most evil politicians of the twentieth century was published by a renowned Polish weekly journal, Polityka.

Read more: The Best and the Most Evil Political Figures of the XX Century According to Poles


Long Shadows of War

Just as August will always be remembered as "Polish August" or the month of the Warsaw Uprising, as well as the month when Solidarity was born, the month of September will be associated sadly with the beginning of World War II in Poland.

Some may say that since it is more than 60 years after the war, it is time to forget. I agree, at least in part: we should not point fingers at Germany again and again. I also agree that we Poles have a tendency to remember and re-analyze the past over and over again. We are sometimes rightly accused that we do not live in the present or look to the future; therefore, we do not progress as much as we should! But to remember the anniversary of World War II is not just to evoke the past, it is also to make sure that the past will not be repeated in the future. Germany is a different country now than it was 60 years ago. It went through a period of separation and a difficult reunification. Germany is one of the strongest forces for European integration at the present time.

Read more: Long Shadows of War


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