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Poland: What makes killed president better than Victory?

Despite all efforts of Warsaw to rewrite history, this article is dedicated to Warsaw liberation anniversary.

Poland stepped into 2018 with a “refreshed” government. There is something sensational in that change and I am not speaking about the bizarre replacement of the prime minister Beata Szydło with Mateusz Morawiecki, the deputy prime minister in her government. Politicians of the ruling Law and Justice National Conservative Party have been urging “reconstruction” of the government for several months (though the reasons behind that urgency are not clear). When the opposition suggested the government to resign, the party-men fought for Beata Szydło’s team praising and calling her the best ever prime minister in history of Poland.

Nevertheless, scarcely have they declined the opposition’s petition through voting in the parliament and presented “victorious" Szydło with flowers, it turned out that Poland needs…a new prime minister. Mateuzs Morawiecki’s nomination for prime minister was not a sensation either. What was a true surprise is that National Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz, an outspoken critic of Russia, Russophobe, was left out of the new government.

It was Antony Macierewicz who scared the Poles with his television forecasts of sooner Russian aggression, shook up the entire Polish army searching Russian spies, dismissing many colonels and generals as politically unreliable ones. He went as far as blocking one of President Andrzej Duda’s general’s access to secret files, obstructing his activity and facing an open conflict with the president.

At least, entire Europe laughed tears when Macierewicz quite seriously declared at the parliament in late 2016 that “Mistrals built in France at the request of Russia but sold Egypt for anti-Russian sanctions were eventually sold to Russia by Egypt for….a symbolic dollar.”

We regret to inform those in Russia, who hoped for a spring thaw in the relations with Warsaw after the Polish government reshuffles, that no signs of thaw have been observed yet.

Polish authorities are settling more serious tasks – the so-called “de-communization” of streets and squares in Polish cities and towns, which, in fact, means removing the “wrong” heroes and post-war history of Poland from people’s mind and glorifying the “right” heroes.

In a wider context, this is a consistent government policy to rewrite the post-war history of Poland. Hence, the new heroes in Poland are not even guerillas loyal to emigration government in London, not to mention anti-Fascist movement of the left forces (for instance, Armia of Ludowa). The new heroes the Polish government has put to a pedestal are the so-called “outcast soldiers” – often ordinary gangsters who robbed and terrorized civilians. Some even committed mass killings and ethnic purges (in simple words, shameful genocide of local nature aimed namely against Belarusian and Slovaks). Their key “service” that makes Warsaw turn a blind eye to their bloody crimes is their fight against post-war people’s authority. On the other hand, Warsaw is trying to glorify former president Lech Kaczyński [killed in airplane crash near Smolensk together with 95 members of Polish delegation on April 10, 2010]. He is presented as leading statesman. In fact, what he did really good is supporting everything that was aimed against Russia, from Ukraine to Georgia, where he appeared at a rally in warring Tbilisi in the summer of 2008 “to support the Georgian people against Russian aggression.” The ruling party suggests renaming a street or a square in every Polish city after Lech Kaczyński.

With such interpretation of history, one should not be surprised to see Armia of Ludowa Alley renamed into Alley after Lech Kaczyński by an administrative decision, ignoring the views of the city self-government bodies, not to mention ordinary residents.

In Łódź, Victory Square appeared in the list of the “wrong” names and was renamed into Lech Kaczyński Square on January 1, 2018, on the same scenario, despite discontent of local residents and open resistance of the city self-government.

The local authorities did not tolerate such dictatorship and convened an extraordinary session of the City Council on January 5 and adopted a decision by majority of votes (25 vs. 12) to rename Lech Kaczyński Sqaure into Victory Square again.

To warn Russian readers against hasty decisions, I’d like to say that restoring the old name of the square was an anti-Russian propaganda: the City Council members stated that the square is named after Victory over Soviet Russia in the Polish Bolshevik war of 1920.

In such situation, no one in the political field in Poland has dropped even a word about anniversary of Warsaw’s liberation from the German-Fascist occupation on January 17. Instead, the doctrine of the current government in Poland claims that one occupation was replaced by another in Poland. To be precise, one of the pro-governmental historians said: “What liberation are you speaking about? Russians just entered the city destroyed and abandoned by Germans.”

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Alexander Shtorm for EADaily from Warsaw

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