Poland in the Modern World

The Misinformation is Spreading

After writing yesterday about the dismaying coverage in the Washington Post about the supposed “controversy” regarding the 2010 Smolensk crash, I’ve been shocked to see how quickly and how effectively the Macierewicz report has spread throughout the international media. Some samples from today headlines: “Russians Insist No Foul Play in 2010 Plane Crash” (NBC News);

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The Real Smolensk Lie

The Washington Post is a fine newspaper. But even the best stumble at times, and they did so today in a way that made my jaw drop. Here’s the headline: “New report rekindles questions about 2010 plane crash that killed Polish leader” The article then offers a he-said-she-said account of the “controversy” regarding what happened.

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This Weekend’s Hatred in Poland

Midday last Friday, Professor Jerzy Kochanowski of Warsaw University was talking with a colleague from Germany on a tram, when another passenger got upset that they weren’t speaking Polish. After an angry exchange, Professor Kochanowski was attacked. None of the other people on the tram did anything to intervene. The driver eventually kicked both the

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Tylko świnie siedzą w kinie

During the Second World War in occupied Poland there was a saying: “Tylko świnie siedzą w kinie” [Only pigs go to the movies.] The point was to boycott the Nazi propaganda films, which spread the most vulgar and violent forms of antisemitism and glorified the leaders of the Reich. Occasionally the saying has been resurrected

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It Could be Worse

In Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, the “Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come” offers Scrooge a horrifying prophesy of his future. English literature’s most famous libertarian then falls to the ground and begs, “Assure me that I yet may change these shadows you have shown me, by an altered life!” I recently spent several weeks in

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Hostility to Islam in France and Poland

An article in today’s Washington Post by Adam Taylor offers a very disturbing comparison between anti-Muslim sentiment in Poland and France. Actually, the headline focuses on France, and the statistics offer information about many European countries, but after Interior Minister Mariusz Blaszczak’s idiotic statements in response to the Nice tragedy (which I won’t dignify with

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