Poland in the Modern World


One Year Later

As we approach the one year anniversary of the Polish parliamentary elections of 2015 (October 25), it’s a good opportunity to take a look back to assess how many of the fears and hopes of last Fall have come to pass. I conducted a survey just after the PiS victory, asking Polish Studies experts to

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Faulty Memory Codes

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Poland has called upon Poles around the world to monitor the media for any use of phrases that have been designated as “wadliwe kody pamięci.” The phrase is tricky to translate, because it sounds as weird in Polish as in English: something like “faulty memory codes.” I’ve listed the

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Stairway to History

Don’t Blame Kaczyński for Everything

Jarosław Kaczyński and PiS have become a metaphors for the resurgence of authoritarian nationalism in Poland, but I was reminded today that this is unfair. Without a doubt, Kaczyński and his supporters are attacking the foundations of liberal democracy and promoting a toxic form of nationalism, but occasionally we should step back and ask about

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Our Perpetrators, Our Victims

Two controversial movies have been released in Poland in recent weeks. The first, which I’ve already written about on this blog, is Antoni Krauze’s Smoleńsk, a tendentious regurgitation of the conspiracy theories surrounding the 2010 crash that killed an airplane full of Polish dignitaries, including President Lech Kaczyński. The second was Wojciech Smarzowski’s Wołyń, a

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Black Monday

Here’s what Warsaw’s “Black Monday” protest looked like from my very wet perspective within the crowd. The view from above was much more impressive (courtesy of Gazeta Wyborcza and Fakt.pl). For an English language account of the day’s events, click here. In brief, this protest was a response to a proposed law that would completely ban abortion

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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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