Category Archive 'Poland'
24 Jul 2017

Bison Versus Wolves in Białowieża Forest

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HT: Karen L. Myers.

09 Apr 2017

Ołobok Madonna

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Madonna of Ołobok, Late 12th century. Lime wood, gesso, polychrome. The earliest specimen of romanesque wooden sculpture preserved in Poland. The statue served as a reliquary, as indicated by a hollow in the throne where the relics were kept. From a Cistercian convent established in 1213 in Ołobok in Great Poland. The statue references the theological concept of Sedes Sapientiae, the Throne of Wisdom, characteristic of early medieval liturgy. It symbolizes the idea of Mary as the throne for the Incarnated Logos (Christ), in accordance with the dogma of the Mother of God, adopted by the Council of Ephesus in 431. National Museum, Warsaw.

24 Dec 2016

Wśród nocnej ciszy

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Warsaw Boys Choir.

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Wśród nocnej ciszy

Wśród nocnej ciszy głos się rozchodzi:
Wstańcie, pasterze – Bóg się wam rodzi!
Czem prędzej się wybierajcie,
Do Betlejem pospieszajcie
Przywitać Pana.

Poszli, znaleźli Dzieciątko w żłobie,
Z wszystkimi znaki danymi sobie.
Jako Bogu cześć Mu dali,
A witając zawołali,
Z wielkiej radości.

Ach, witaj Zbawco, z dawna żądany!
Tyle tysięcy lat wyglądany;
Na Ciebie króle, prorocy
Czekali, a Tyś tej nocy
Nam się objawił.

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Amidst the stillness of the night

Amidst the stillness of the night, a voice proclaims:
Arise ye shepherds – God is born to you!
Seize the moment,
Hasten to Bethlehem
To welcome the Lord.

They came, they found the child in the manger
With all the signs of honor
given by God ,
They shouted a greeting,
With great joy.

Welcome Savior, long desired!
Looked for for one thousand years
By kings and prophets
They waited, and you tonight
Revealed yourself to us.

02 Sep 2016

The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation Rules That the Soviet Union Did Not Invade Poland in 1939

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SovietInvasionPoland

Human Rights in Ukraine reports on a remarkable ruling, denying obvious fact.

Russia’s Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of Perm blogger Vladimir Luzgin for reposting a text which states that both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland in 1939. The Supreme Court’s ruling came on September 1, 2016, the 77th anniversary of Hitler’s invasion of Poland, 17 days before the anniversary of the Soviet invasion from the east.

Henry Reznik, the well-known lawyer who was representing Luzgin, commented that the Supreme Court has discredited itself through this ruling and promised to appeal further. He added that an application to the European Court of Human Rights was simply demanded.

As reported here, 37-year-old Vladimir Luzgin was convicted in July this year by the Perm District Court and fined 200 thousand roubles. The charge was under Article 354.1 of Russia’s criminal code (‘rehabilitation of Nazism’) and concerned Luzgin’s repost of a text on his VKontakte social network page entitled ’15 facts about Bandera supporters, or what the Kremlin is silent about’.

It may be no accident that the ‘offending text’ should be Ukrainian, and fairly nationalist, however it was specifically over the following paragraph in the repost that the criminal proceedings against Luzgin were initiated:

    “The communists and Germany jointly invaded Poland, sparking off the Second World War. That is, communism and Nazism closely collaborated, yet for some reason they blame Bandera who was in a German concentration camp for declaring Ukrainian independence”.

Russia’s Supreme Court has now agreed that this paragraph constitutes “the public denial of the Nuremberg Trials and circulation of false information about the activities of the USSR during the years of the Second World War”.

It is hard to know what is most shocking in all of this. A prime contender must be Alexander Vertinsky, dean of the History Faculty of the Perm Humanitarian-Pedagogical University. He proved willing to appear for the prosecution and claim that the paragraph really did contain “statements that do not correspond with the position accepted at international level”.

There are also two Russian courts willing to agree that since the Nuremberg Trials did not mention the Soviet invasion, the information was ‘knowingly false’. With the Soviet Union as one of the victors exerting considerable influence at Nuremberg, it was highly unlikely that Soviet collaboration with the Nazis and its invasion would get a mention.

The rulings are extraordinarily cynical. Whatever was said at Nuremberg, any genuine historian will confirm that the Soviet Union invaded what was then Poland on September 17, 1939.

To deny this is absurd when the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and its secret protocols which carved up Poland between the Soviet Union and Germany have long been in the public domain, and can be read about in any history book.

Complete story.

07 Aug 2016

Whale-Mouth Pulpit

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Dobroszow
Baroque pulpit in the form of a whale’s mouth, Church of Saint Hedwig, Dobroszów, Poland. Apparently a similar pulpit exists in Duszniki-Zdrój.

03 May 2016

Constitution of the 3rd of May

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Konstytucja_3_Maja
Jam Matejko, Adoption of the Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791, 1891, Royal Castle, Warsaw.

The painting depicts King Stanislaus Augustus together with members of the Grand Sejm and inhabitants of Warsaw entering St John’s Cathedral in order to swear in the new national constitution just after it had been adopted by the Grand Sejm in the Royal Castle visible in the background.

Below is a short film celebrating the passage of the first liberal constitution in Europe by the Polish senate, May 3, 1791, the passage of which provoked treason by magnatial aristocrats (The Confederacy of Targowica) followed by intervention and partition of the country by Russia, Prussia, and Austria. Tadeusz Kosciuszko led the national resistance to the partition. The final defeat of Kosciuszko’s forces was followed in 1795 by the Third and final Partition of Poland-Lithuania. The actual document wound up locked in an iron box under guard in Moscow’s Kremlin, so much terror did it strike in the hearts of despots. Poles and Lithuanians still sing the praises of the Constitution of the 3rd of May which extended the rights enjoyed by the nobility to the entire country. The Third of May is today a national holiday in both countries.

21 Jan 2016

African Immigrants Attacked the Wrong Tourist

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Polish video:

Hat tip to Gateway Pundit.

01 Dec 2015

Simona Kossak

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simonakossak
Simona Kossak with pet wild boar Żabka.

Simona Kossak, daughter of Polish painter Jerzy Kossak, lived more than 30 years in a wooden hut in the Białowieża Forest, without electricity or access to running water. A lynx slept in her bed, and a tamed boar lived under the same roof with her. She was a scientist, ecologist and the author of award-winning films, as well as radio broadcasts.

A new biography, titled “Simona. Opowieść o niezwyczajnym życiu” [Simona. The story of an unusual life] has been published in Poland.

Culture.PL has a feature article based on the new bio. Amusingly, the article translates the Polish for “bison” as “aurochs.”

13 Apr 2015

Polish Prince Challenges UKIP Leader to a Duel

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Telegraph story

I don’t think there are any Zylinski families possessing a princely title, and I’m very skeptical of the successful-cavalry-charge-that-saved-6000-Jews story, but I do like his attitude.

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CORRECTION AND RETRACTION:

I should have looked it up before posting. There is indeed a Polish Princely Żyliński family, descended from Rurik, taking their name from a locality in the palatinate of Smolensk. That cavalry charge story sounds much more believable to me now.

11 Feb 2015

Bitter Polish Humor

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VodkaMapofPoland
Translation: “Garçon, bring us a bottle of vodka and a map of Poland.”

The Guardian:

Ukraine conflict: four-nation peace talks in Minsk aim to end crisis

Planned summit in Belarus capital on Wednesday comes after intense diplomacy between France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia

12 Dec 2014

Ryszard Barylinski, Brushmaker

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Barylinski

A rather charming short 3:54 video about a Polish brushmaker who still produces his wares personally by hand.

19 Nov 2014

750 Year Old Polish Oak Tree, “The Brave Oak,” Burned by Vandal

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Dab-Chrobry-2007
Dąb Chrobry, “the Brave Oak” in 1967.

An ancient oak tree, known as “the Brave Oak,” growing near the nature reserve Buczyna Szprotawska in Lower Silesian Forests around Piotrowice was damaged yesterday by fire. It was most likely deliberately set on fire from the inside. The tree germinated around 1250 and was the largest surviving Polish oak tree, the third largest in Central Europe. Centuries ago,it marked the border between two Polish principalities.

The spread of its crown was approximately 52.5′ (16 m). It was approximately 92′(28 m) high and had a trunk circumference of 33′ (10.10 m). Its diameter at breast height was 10 1/2′ (321 cm).

Polish news reports asked openly: “What kind of smoldering anger must a man have to do something like that?”

Acorns from the Brave Oak were blessed by Pope John Paul II, April 28, 2004, during a pilgrimage to the Vatican by Polish foresters. The nursery in Poverty bred from them 500 seedlings which were distributed all over the country. Its offspring are consequently known as “Papal oaks.” So seedlings survive, and “the royal oak will not perish forever.” Approximately, 500 “papal oaks” in Poland are trees from the acorns of the Brave Oak.

The tree was declared a natural monument on March 24, 1967, though it was also protected by law before WWII. Its age is estimated at approx. 760 years (germinated approx. 1250 years).

Polish Wikipedia article

Hat tip to Kaj Malachowski.

31 Aug 2014

Another Summer of 1939?

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Novorossiya2
Novorossiya

Max Fisher identifies the key term in Vladimir Putin’s rhetoric.

Russian President Vladimir Putin just dropped the biggest, scariest dogwhistle of the Ukraine crisis: “Novorossiya.”

The word literally means “new Russia” — it was an old, imperial-era term for southern Ukraine, when it was part of the Russian Empire, and is now a term used by Russia ultra-nationalists who want to re-conquer the area.

Putin has used the word twice during the crisis. First, he used it in April, about a month after Russia had invaded and annexed the Ukrainian region of Crimea, subtly suggesting that the annexation was justified because Crimea was in Novorossiya and thus inherently part of Russia.

He used it again on Thursday, in an official presidential statement addressed to the eastern Ukrainian rebels that have seized parts of the country — and whom he addressed as “the militia of Novorossiya.”

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Anne Applebaum, who has written a book on the totalitarian genocides committed in Europe’s Eastern Borderlands during the last century, tells us that she suddenly feels as if she is living in the Summer of 1939, and warns, on the basis of familiarity with the kinds of things which appear in the Russian press which the New York Times is never going to report, just how scary the thoughts are that Russia is thinking.

A few days ago, Alexander Dugin, an extreme nationalist whose views have helped shape those of the Russian president, issued an extraordinary statement. “Ukraine must be cleansed of idiots,” he wrote — and then called for the “genocide” of the “race of bastards.”

But Novorossiya will also be hard to sustain if it has opponents in the West. Possible solutions to that problem are also under discussion. Not long ago, Vladimir Zhirinovsky — the Russian member of parliament and court jester who sometimes says things that those in power cannot — argued on television that Russia should use nuclear weapons to bomb Poland and the Baltic countries — “dwarf states,” he called them — and show the West who really holds power in Europe: “Nothing threatens America, it’s far away. But Eastern European countries will place themselves under the threat of total annihilation,” he declared. Vladimir Putin indulges these comments: Zhirinovsky’s statements are not official policy, the Russian president says, but he always “gets the party going.”

A far more serious person, the dissident Russian analyst Andrei Piontkovsky, has recently published an article arguing, along lines that echo Zhirinovsky’s threats, that Putin really is weighing the possibility of limited nuclear strikes — perhaps against one of the Baltic capitals, perhaps a Polish city — to prove that NATO is a hollow, meaningless entity that won’t dare strike back for fear of a greater catastrophe. Indeed, in military exercises in 2009 and 2013, the Russian army openly “practiced” a nuclear attack on Warsaw.

Is all of this nothing more than the raving of lunatics? Maybe. And maybe Putin is too weak to do any of this, and maybe it’s just scare tactics, and maybe his oligarchs will stop him. But “Mein Kampf” also seemed hysterical to Western and German audiences in 1933. Stalin’s orders to “liquidate” whole classes and social groups within the Soviet Union would have seemed equally insane to us at the time, if we had been able to hear them.

16 Mar 2014

A Fine Proposal

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Poland-Lithuania half groschen coin dated 1550 featuring the emblems of both nations.

Glenn Reynolds: What Can the U.S. Do If Russia Attacks Ukraine? Give Poland and Lithuania nukes.

Tsar Putin would not like that one little bit.

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