Monday, July 28, 2008

The Ultimate Pole (or...?)

The Economist has an obituary for Bronislaw Geremek, "Polish historian and politician", one of the handful of people who formulated Polish history in the second half of the 20th century, and thereby also European history.

He was also a Holocaust survivor.


Anonymous said...


Richard Pipes is Daniel Pipe's father. In the early 1980's, Richard Pipes went from Harvard, to a job on Reagan's White House staff. And, unlike most professors, Richard Pipes was effective!

Later, I would read Richard Pipe's autobiography. A book with Roman Numerals in the Title. (Which is all I remember right now.)

Given that my parents came from Poland; and I carried a feeling that all Poles were bad people ... it took Richard Pipes, writing about this, to set me straight.

Poland was a place where Jews thrived better than they did in the rest of Europe. He directed me to a book, written by a Pole, that showed with maps and text, what it had meant to be born in Poland; and not to think of all Poles as anti-Semitic.

(Let alone what I know of WW2! Where England said it was going to go to war with Germany; when Poland got invaded. But the truth tells ya this isn't so. That Chamberlain had no intention of even ordering up enough ammunition; let alone protecting the Poles with air power. As the Poles were decimated by Hitler. And, then at the end of WW2, by Stalin! Who exacted a price for his participation with the Allies. And, Poland was that price.

Lynne Olson has also written eloquently of Police pilots, who went to England and FOUGHT during WW2. "The Kosciuszko Squadron: Forgotten Heroes of WW2."

Plenty of brainwashing to go around. But at least the Polish jokes have stopped. (Perhaps, because Yiddish went out the window?)

Also, the reason the Poles gained freedom from the Russians, has to do with the Polish Pope: John Paul II. The battle was enjoined by the Vatican treasury.

And, the Poles escaped from the clutches of the Bear. Not so, the Ukraine.

Conversation may, some day, come to the rescue?

Anonymous said...


TYPO: "Police Pilots" ... when I meant to say POLISH pilots.