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Poland : history, culture, civilisation byJGozef Polish schoolchildren's committee, Warsaw. A Poignant Introduction to 1930s Poland. Debunks Negativisms About Interwar Poland (1918-1939)Statkowski

jan peczkis|Thursday, November 16, 2017

This small book packs quite a punch. It provides basics about Polish history, Polish culture, and Polish culture. It contains historical tidbits, such as the fact that Kosciuszko correctly had distrusted Napoleon’s promise to restore Poland. (p. 32).

The photos or pre-WWII Warsaw are sad in a way. The reader realizes that they would soon be completely destroyed by German aggression and Soviet perfidy, as well as the barbarity of both.


One common long-term fixture of anti-Polish propaganda, obviously designed to delegitimize Poland and to justify hostility to Poland, has been the tale of the horrible Polish magnate and the terribly-oppressed Polish serf.

In describing the situation in pre-Partition Poland, Statkowski counters this, as he writes, “The corruption of the Court and magnates was not greater than that which disgraced all the European courts throughout the eighteenth century, the private life of the great lords was neither better nor worse than in the West, the morals of the Polish nobility were not below the average of Europe. On the other hand, the peasant of Poland, exempt from heavy taxes and from military service, was better off than in France, much better than in Russia or Prussia, as was proved by the constant immigration of Russian and Prussian peasants into Poland.” (p. 24).


The Second Republic of Poland (1918-1939) has gotten a bad rap from those who would like to score political points at Poland’s expense. This has variously included Communists, Judeocentrists, cultural Marxists, Euro-enthusiasts, various LEWAKS, etc.

Statkowski demolishes this besmirching of prewar Poland as he writes, “Poland supplies 20 percent of the world’s crop of potatoes…The President of Poland, Ignace Moscicki, a distinguished chemical engineer, created in 1930 one of the largest factories of nitrates and fertilizers in the world, Moscice, near Krakow. It is a tremendous factory, occupying a site of 1,300 acres, with an output of 100,000 tons per annum. The Polish Railway system, entirely ruined during the war [WWI], is now one of the best in Europe, with locomotives and cars of Polish make, which are models of uptodateness and comfort; air traffic consists of 16 lines, connecting all parts of Poland. Gdynia, the chief port of Poland on the Baltic, is a modern miracle. As late as in 1924 a fisherman’s village with 500 inhabitants, Gdynia is now a modern town of 50,000 inhabitants, with several excellent hotels, a yacht club, boulevards, and a remarkably attractive railway station…The port is developing splendidly: in 1925 157 ships sailed to and from Gdynia, whereas in 1930 the total number of outgoing and incoming ships was 4,457, carrying a cargo of over 4 million tons.” (pp. 37-38) Poland : history, culture, civilisation byJGozef Polish schoolchildren's committee, Warsaw. Statkowski
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