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The toolbox republic

Updated on March 8, 2017
teresapelka profile image

Linguist, specialized in American English and psycholinguistics; inventor of Language Mapping, a generative grammar; author and translator.

I have never loved Poland, though I was born in the country. I was only 11 when the martial law started. Cultivation of the military junta under which I was growing up began well before 1981 and persisted past year 1983. And well, there are no inborn feelings.

Just bundles of property

Year 1989 and the Polish Round Table did not bring the change it promised. Today as well, Polish authorities would rather hold the people like property. Born in Poland — and no one ever has choice on the place — you cannot change your citizenship, unless the President allows it, says a regulation.

You get a special form to fill. You need to write a letter and enclose numerous documents, even an autobiographical note by hand. The President may grant permission or — not.

Polish citizens and Polish military

All males of Polish citizenship further "belong to" the Polish military. Armed forces qualification and potentially service is obligatory for all men aged 19.

Years 1991-2006, in the "democratic" Poland, operatives of the Polish Military Services, WSI, formed and named

The Society for Utmost Irresponsibility "Rollup",

Stowarzyszenie Najwyższej Nieodpowiedzialności „Rolowisko”.

They were seeking extra money and interfered businesses, by civilians of both genders, in a spirit of deep nonchalance as also in their emblem, to imply a crowned capon for the Polish eagle.

Below, the WSI emblem, further suggests the satirical flair by Andrew Mleczko (about whom I yet do not mean to allege this particular stroke).

The emblem of the Polish Military Information Services may be suggestive of Andrew Mleczko satirical vein.
The emblem of the Polish Military Information Services may be suggestive of Andrew Mleczko satirical vein. | Source

A report on the "Rollup" is available via Gutenberg.org. The report has the usual Polish theme, that their services were infiltrated by KGB. However, most Polish cooperatives remain chosen by long ancestry lines, "z dziada pradziada". The "Rollup" was not a Russian temptation.

The Main Directorate

WSI was a merger between the former Communist Internal Military Service and the Second Directorate of General Staff of the Polish Army. It employed people without verification, even if they had cooperated with Communist services. Those gave death verdicts on suspected opposition — also women, though women never had been subject to military service, by Polish law. Women are not drafted also today.

Identified after exhumation
Identified after exhumation | Source

"Name Unknown", "Nazwisko Nieznane"

August 2013 brought further body identifications, as one may learn from the Polish Institute of National Remembrance.

You are going to be an en-en (będziesz NN) was a phrase you could hear in Poland, if you were not complacent. NN meant "name unknown" (nazwisko nieznane). The acronym was used for bodies difficult or impossible to identify, as well as those buried secretly.

Polish Wikipedia informs,

Executed in the Main Directorate of Information, Polish Army

Masovia:

  • Krystyna Mielczarek (1923 – 1946)
  • Barbara Niemczuk (1922 – 1946)

Arrested in the beginning of July 1946. Sentenced to death on July 31 1946. The execution was carried out on August 27 1946 in the Military Main Directorate, Warsaw quarters.

The Polish military manner that drove to the martial law was beginning to take shape already then, 35 years before.

The "Meadow"

Polish Wikipedia also names those executed or tortured to death and secretly buried in the "Meadow", the infamous Section Ł (from the Polish "Łączka") in the Powązki Military Cemetery.

The "Meadow" was not the only such place. Secret burial sites have been discovered in Warsaw Służew: Wałbrzyska street, Dolinka district and Saint Catherine parish, the horseraces; in Mokotów; in Bródno; in Warsaw Praga, "Toledo" and November 11 street; in Trojanowo.

We can find these places on Google maps. The picture of Warsaw city changes, if to take into account the Polish military governance. The military information were "sadists by a big S and murderers by a huge M", Wikipedia quotes a historian.

Warsaw secret burial sites
Warsaw secret burial sites | Source

"Number Unknown", "Numer Nieznany"

Present days, the acronym "NN" has recurred for surveillance. Purportedly, it is to mean telephone "number unknown" (numer nieznany). Polish surveillance publicly claim they happen to have no idea what number they are monitoring or want monitored.

The "dummy citizen"

Communist times, a Bureau B human target was termed a figurant ― a dummy, poser, silly, someone to pretend. In colloquial Polish, a term to get along with thieves and their jargons. A surveillance task would be worded as

addresses, contacts, and lifestyle; observation to be continued also if the dummy departs.

adresy i kontakty oraz tryb życia; w razie wyjazdu figuranta obserwację prowadzić dalej

The facsimile below shows a declassified document from 1969 with the word "dummy" (figurant) in a red frame. It also says, taken under observation based on a photograph.

A documented surveillance task to use the term 'figurant' (in red frame)
A documented surveillance task to use the term 'figurant' (in red frame) | Source

I do not like "adoptive" language, that is, repeating words after other people without reflecting on the origin and sense. Communist services were psychopathic, to name the Quarter Ł a "little meadow": normally, the diminutive "łączka" is associated with relax, in Polish.

Today, it is also the Institute of National Remembrance to say they have a meeting at "Łączka". There remains to hope they are not about adopting the "dummy citizen" as well...

Source

The myth of "national love"

The myth of "national love" has not ended in Poland. Though you would not have to explain even to a little child that you cannot love everyone, and denying citizenship or life to those you do not love would be impractical, because then you would have to worry if you are loved by everyone and all the time, in 2013, Chris Cieszewski becomes accused of cooperation with the SB in a show by Polish state television, TVP1.

The reporter, Tomasz Sekielski, does not reckon what business Mr. Cieszewski might have had with the service ― well, not the "national love", probably? ― and money is a ridiculous argument, if to think about rejection by professional environments, moreover, when you are an immigrant yourself. Money such as for one not to need anything probably does not exist.

Mr. Cieszewski turns out innocent. Mr. Siekielski gets to suffer the bad renown a little bit of common sense would have saved him.

"The citizen has no defense"

In the "free" and "democratic" Poland — as under Communism, only openly — the "national love" is also an intimate activity. Henryk Piecuch made his observations public in year 2009,

The citizen has no chance for defense. Techniques are at such high levels. It is only the matter of matching the proper agent with the victim.

Obywatel nie ma szans na obronę. W dzisiejszych czasach technika jest na tak wysokim poziomie. To tylko kwestia doboru odpowiedniego agenta do ofiary.

"Tender Tom"

Gromosław Czempiński praised an intimate socialite, Tomasz Kaczmarek, also in year 2009, in the "free" Poland:

... he (the "tender Tom") carried out his tasks excellently. — He made two illustrious cases, and that certainly owing to his talent, skills, and proper training.

... świetnie wypełniał swoje zadania. – Zrobił dwie głośne sprawy. Zapewne dzięki talentowi, umiejętnościom i odpowiedniemu przeszkoleniu.

Mr. Kaczmarek was a police agent; we can compare Zerseztung and STASI Romeo agents.

Naturally, own conduct is citizen's own responsibility. There yet might be something to suspect, if the citizen "has no chance for defense": there are no such irresistible people.

Mr. Kaczmarek stated he was a patriot, which brought him support from the Law and Justice party. "Tender Tom" became elected a Polish Sejm representative in 2011. He gave up as a parliamentary in 2015, in context of another scandal.

Agent Tom in parliament.
Agent Tom in parliament. | Source

The "carousel"

Year 2016, Andrzej Milczanowski describes Polish services as a carousel. He says the carousel is unstable owing to frequent changes in staff.

Demand on loyalty

However, not only Polish cooperatives would need to have enormous devotion for the services as well as trust in them. After all, one also could get animated, having been painted. Pixel by pixel (pikselek po pikselku) became another verbal threat you could hear in Poland, if you were not complacent.

The operative toolkit

Under Communism, for service purposes, people also were "broken", that is, taken forcefully. A typical operative toolkit of those times would look capable of influencing things as well as people.

A standard toolkit of a Polish special security agent in the Polish People's Republic
A standard toolkit of a Polish special security agent in the Polish People's Republic | Source

The "breaking" did not end with year 1989. Today's toolkit repertoires convince that not everything is an illusion, under the term of "electronic harassment". People in service would have to trust their immunity always to be respected, or expose themselves to staff games. As awareness might grow, there could be only few, if anyone at all, to volunteer.

Disregard for human life

As the thing usually is with myths, the "national love" would not hinder national infliction of death. Deadly eliminations look indigenous, in Poland. Dorota Kania, an investigative reporter, has written a book about a series of murders and suicides she suspects the services in, Cień tajnych służb.

The victim names involve Alicja and Piotr Jaroszewicz, Marek Papała, Ireneusz Sekuła, Jacek Dębski, Jeremiasz Barański, Marek Karp, Krzysztof Olewnik, Andrzej Lepper, and Sławomir Petelicki. Most died after 1989. Some had been involved with the services, as Mr. Petelicki. One would have to be of gladiator predilections, to fancy such an environment.

Disregard for human life has made an entire tradition, in Poland. The now celebrated Warsaw Uprising of World War II had a cost as 200 thousand civilian lives. The rebel had no chance for success, and the Polish Home Army knew the Nazi policy to inflict mass retaliation for rebels or armed actions generally.

The sad act befitted the myth by Polish Romanticists about Poland as "the Christ of Europe" (Polska Chrystusem Europy). To think about identity, "being Christ" never could make sense. It seems, no such intellection preceded the Warsaw act.

Present-day, there are more and more streets named after the Uprising and its participants: would Polish citizens favor attitudes that hold their lives for immaterial? The Uprising never was proclaimed. Nobody asked Warsaw citizens if they wanted to risk.

Or, would the myth of "national love" have had a side effect: victims of the Uprising get spoken about today as some matter of a generation past, not the matter of Home Army's attitude to people at large, as if the people who now walk the streets made a different picture. What might have been so disagreeable then about the dwellers of Warsaw, to have them "given up" to flame throwers?

Publicized opinions also have had the Uprising for motivated with fears of sexual violence. I absolutely do not defend the Red Army. My reservation is that the Uprising was incapable of repelling the Russians, neither did it have such a purpose.

Cursed soldiers

Part the Home Army became the "Cursed Soldiers" after WWII, also for crimes qualified today as those against humanity. Romuald Rajs, „Bury”, pacified villages: he gathered people in a household, locked, and burned. The Home Army repressed mostly Orthodox Christians.

Today, talk about it is considered "anti-Polish".

With the polarity of stands that might be characteristic to the Polish national manner, the "Cursed" are becoming extolled today. Polish president Andrzej Duda and defense minister Antoni Macierewicz avow the "Cursed" were and are heroes, the foundation for "the true Poland", and grant them military distinctions.

Only some 50 years before, another "true Poland" authorities had the "Cursed" in places as in the map of Warsaw above, under death verdicts . For real, Poland might use a more balanced approach.

After the War, the "Cursed" lived on armed robberies, on post offices, railways, and factories. They claimed they were fighting for Poland's independence, yet their actions were giving ground to the Soviet authority: Poland was unstable; if considered unable to manage, the country would have gone under tighter control from Moscow.

And Moscow had that authority over Poland also owing to the imbalanced outlook Poland had to suffer from the theatrical gesture the Warsaw Uprising was.The clear message being that some Poles would rather have the country bleed to death than different from an exiled imagining, western reactions were unease and tension, already in Yalta.

There is some dissent to allowing the "Cursed" for an ethos. "How is a country supposed to function without post offices?" Marek Zaremba and others doubt the "Cursed" had a vision for Poland, in Onet debate.

Nevertheless, March 1st has been declared the "Cursed Soldiers' day". There is a memorial to run through Hajnówka, Katarzyna Bonda's home village as well, where the "Cursed" murdered people. Bonda is her real second name, not a pseudonym.

A related website shows the "heroes", objectively to say it, as they play posh with old weaponry, or... intently overlook the photographer.

Cursed Soldiers' memorial run follows in the Home Army's paths after WWII; the Polish Institute of National Remembrance is one of the organizers
Cursed Soldiers' memorial run follows in the Home Army's paths after WWII; the Polish Institute of National Remembrance is one of the organizers | Source

Guns as above were as those the Home Army hoped to liberate Warsaw with. The Polish Romanticist slogan was to measure own strengths by the objective, not to choose the objective according to own strengths ("mierz siły na zamiary"). Standard Nazi weaponry was the Schmeisser, submachine gun MP-40.

Source

"Blame on the USA"

Some of Polish public figures continue to blame the USA, as in Communist times, for the Second World War altogether. Polish ex-president Lech Wałęsa said,

If there is anybody to be blamed, it is the USA more than Poland. Had our information been heard, they would have gotten involved early to oppose Hitler. They are guilty more than us,

Jeśli ktokolwiek jest winien, to bardziej USA niż Polska. Gdyby słuchano naszych informacji, to by się włączyli i szybko by się przeciwstawili hitleryzmowi. To oni mają większą winę niżeli my.

Lech Walesa
Lech Walesa | Source

I yet doubt Mr. Wałęsa, the Commander in Chief his own time, would have gotten on the horseback at Bzura. The Polish charge at Nazi armored infantry was literally suicidal nonsense, just as forbidding guns to citizens, despite the news from Berlin before the War. Another fact is that Poland had a defense pact with England, not the USA.

In Polish, you call it the irony in the fate: Mr. Wałęsa was later declared a documented secret cooperative of Communist services, those to have had the habit of blaming the USA for WWII.

Human life, the media, and justice

Standards differ on human life, if to compare Polish and English language media. Media in Polish describe the year 2002 Skin Hunters affair without estimates on the overall number of victims, even in approximation.

Reports agree that Łódź paramedics and doctors terminated emergency patients with pancuronium injections to get bribe money from a funeral company.

Regarding judicial standards, a regular funeral in Poland is about 5.5 thousand PLN, the state being obliged to contribute. To compare the real estate and get a picture on the Polish zloty value in Łódź, single bedroom flats of some 30 square meters could be about 106-117 thousand PLN, in Łódź.

In business, money that would not calculate for investment, cannot calculate for bribes. The court gave verdicts for 5 patient terminations, and 14 cases of exposure to a life threatening factor.

To follow the ramifications of the court proceedings, 12-70 thousand cannot pay, in promoting a funeral home for 19 people. It is too much money. There is no law in Poland to impose a funeral home. The "investment" would have been high risk. The judges yet did not find it necessary to include a calculation with their verdict.

Regarding hospital and investigative procedures, Polish hospitals that use Pancuronium are to record the substance supply and use. It is not allowed for patient self-administration.

Polish law requires autopsy for bodies of patients who die within 12 hours, in hospital or on the way to it. The law regards control over contagious factors. Autopsy is obligatory, even if the person opposed the procedure during his or her life, also in written form.

Pancuronium is a curare-mimetic, unlikely to be overlooked in analysis. In a human corpse, it remains for months. The autopsy law was binding at the time of Łódź cases, and all "Skin Hunter" victims were emergency patients, reportedly injected on the way to hospital. Discovery of the affair is yet depicted as a leak to the media.

Four persons got sentenced. One paramedic got 25 years, the other a life sentence. The doctors were sentenced to 5 and 6 years, both to be allowed back in the medical profession after 10 years. A foreign report indicated a body count at about 20 thousand people.

The Swedish-produced movie is unwelcome in Poland.
The Swedish-produced movie is unwelcome in Poland.

Law has been termed an abstraction by the very Constitutional Court, in the "free" Poland.

The legislative authority consists in making binding norms for conduct that are abstract and general in character, says one of the verdicts.

Władza ustawodawcza polega na stanowieniu wiążących norm postępowania o charakterze abstrakcyjnym i generalnym.

Developments of year 2015 showed that political affiliation means more in Poland. The composition of the highest judicial instance for implementing the Polish constitution got decided by the Law and Justice party... after another party had done the same.

Disrespect for individual property

As in Communist times, Polish authorities disregard citizen property. Early February 2014, the Polish central government decided to transfer about 51% of OFE citizen insurance money to the ZUS, a state pocket. The authorities took over 154 billion PLN people's cash, saying it was to reduce the public debt.

Every month, Polish workers have to pay 18% income tax, 9% obligatory health insurance (even if not sick), and about 19.5% state pension fund. All the pockets to belong to the State, this makes 46.5% tax, in sum.

Coat of arms of Poland
Coat of arms of Poland | Source

Neglect of public vote

Citizens were not asked their opinions, about the Polish national emblem after 1989. The crown was added to the Polish eagle by the Contract Sejm. The paradoxical result is to have presidents with royalist insignia. Poland is the only such eccentric in Europe.

Polish monarchy "golden times" are just another myth. Poland was chronically at war or vanished from the map of the world, then.

Below, the famous Rejtan by Jan Matejko: the first partition of Poland was decided in a sejm by Polish nobility.

Disrespect for democracy

Democracy yet does not get respect. The video below shows the SLD 2015 presidential candidate, Magdalena Ogórek. She meets all requirements for the colloquial Polish phrase, "a blonde with big eyes".

In Communism, it was the Central Committee to decide on the country. You also did not have presidents. You had party first secretaries, in an all-male company at the top of the party structure.

Personal immunity

Poland still has not ratified the 2002 European Convention on transplants. The 2005 Polish law has everybody for a donor, unless the person registers his or her objection. The law says it yet might be the family to have the last say, for which it is enough a family member states you spoke with them on the matter.

Stork the wrong place

I did not know any of the information publicized after 1989, before that year. However, the martial law and simply learning history at school discouraged me from the country I had been born. It was a country to have held absurd for the highest value, and that since olden times. And me, however aware of human mortality, I never thought a human being should be considered some living nonsense.

I honestly would recommend Common Sense by Thomas Paine, to Polish readers. Obviously, there is no way to "transplant" human thought, but the precious observation is that the country is more of a business for citizens to have together, and good conditions for that business are worth caring. But this is the important thing: business, not some theater, or ethos for dying. One will always make it on time, to die.

Already the Polish constitution would wrangle against good business. Thomas Paine had constitutional complexity for a serious flaw. Generally, his pamphlet is worth reading, allowing of course for those plus two hundreds of years to have passed since he wrote it. Much has changed since those times, regarding religious tension or relations with Europe, to the better. His observations on the State and business remain valid.

The American constitution can be presented in a poster, and a simple person would be able to read: it is written in actually good language style, importantly, legible one. I have made posters for the public domain.

Polish constitution consist of a preamble, 13 chapters, and 243 articles.

Absurd has been sneaking into the Polish language generally. It was in 1996 that a committee became established for "the official language regulating organ of the Polish language". The Polish Language Council (Rada Języka Polskiego) began to issue actually edicts or decrees.

One of those totalitarian ordinances is about ousting the form "wziąść" from the Polish standard. The form follows natural Polish phonology: ś began mediating back-of-the-tongue proximity in Polish already in the Middle Ages. "Wziąść" was the form according to Henry Sienkiewicz, Juliusz Słowacki, and Adam Mickiewicz, with whom you could disagree on views, but you could not deny them language skill.

The arbitrary resolve by the Council is to have the form "wziąć", without a glimpse at phonology. I cannot agree with Mr. Jan Miodek also on language economy:

A few days ago, I received a volume of more than ten articles, in Polish and German versions. And every article in German is a few pages longer than in Polish, as there are more compound words in German (…) However, an average Polish text translated into English will be shorter still, because English is the most economical language, said Mr. Miodek for Gazeta Wyborcza.

I hope my posters as above show sufficiently why I cannot agree with Mr. Miodek.

To conclude, I think "the stork stopped the wrong place". I want to change my citizenship and I do not need a dispute about it.

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    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 3 years ago from Reno NV

      After a quick and then a much longer read of this incredible hub, I have come to the conclusion that I might have to list this as my number one. Jamie

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      Teresa Pelka 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      @jhamann

      I've expanded the hub; living under a bit of stress, writing has become more of a process. You can change your comment, if you like.

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 3 years ago from Reno NV

      Much much better. Jamie

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