Sunday, 11 April 2010

Today we mourn with poor Poland

Today we mourn with poor Poland following the tragic death of the country's president, Mr Lech Kaczynski (left), his wife, Maria, and many other leaders of Poland. It is ironic that Mr Kaczynski and the others were on their way to commemorate the massacre of 22,000 Polish prisoners in 1940 by 'Uncle Joe' Stalin’s secret police in the Katyn forest and elsewhere in Russia and Ukraine.

Here (below right) is a borrowed picture (from The Sunday Times) of the former Polish prime minister, Mr Jaroslaw Kaczynski (the late president's twin brother). The caption suggests that Jaroslaw (right) identified the bodies of Lech and others.

I say 'poor Poland' because not only has that great country suffered a grievous loss now and, whilst there is little doubt that we British did the right thing by pledging aid to Poland before the outbreak of Hitler's war, no Western aid was forthcoming for the Poles and they soon saw their country carved up by not one, but two, vicious and totalitarian regimes, Hitler's and that of the Soviet Union under Stalin. Poland was effectively obliterated from the map and did not emerge again as a free country until 1989.

(2009, of course, marked the 20th anniversary of the collapse of most of atheistic Communism and, when I was doing my earlier politicking, I never thought that I would live long enough to see the end of the Soviet 'empire' and all that it entailed). By that time (1989), the Poles had suffered enormously for fifty years and their country's boundaries had been moved westward. Not much fun, that, suffering enormously as a result of your neighbours' actions and having your country moved at the same time.

However, many thousands of Poles fought valiantly with us during the war and I recall afterwards that my late father employed former soldiers and other 'displaced' Polish people on the farm - there was a 'D.P.' (Displaced Persons) camp at Bottisham on the site of the former R.A.F. and U.S. Army Air Force base - and I liked them. I have also liked Poles and those of Polish descent whom I have met since. I will never complain about Poles 'taking our jobs' as, by and large, they appear to be both pleasant and industrious. The same cannot be said for all of the other so-called 'economic migrants' that make their way here, either legitimately or illegitimately.

So, I say again, 'poor Poland,' and I and others mourn for the Polish people.

The Polish National Anthem may be found on YouTube at -

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