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Pieces of Real Polish History


Nathan 18 | 1,363
17 Jun 2011 #31
She told some horrendous stories

It is always someone: your mother, then your daughter. Do you have sisters? ;)
Btw, how do you sleep? Ok? If you still have nightmares, try melissa.
OP Antek_Stalich 5 | 997
17 Jun 2011 #32
Related to the post of David_18, which was untidy and therefore hard to quote:
Yes, Poland and Russia had hard history but Poland and Germany had hard history too, and Poland and Sweden also had "some" problems. I avoid talking in terms of nations because it is far too easy to make generalizations, and it is a step to get into spreading ethnic hatred. When I say "Russians and Poles can get along well", I mean the Russian and the Polish individuals can get along well. A Russian individual in Poland can feel safely and will be respected because we Poles respect foreigners. "Gość w dom, Bóg w dom" (A guest in my home is God in my home). Compare it to "My home is my castle", which is definitely not a Polish saying,

Antek_Stalich: You are not allowed publicly talk on Communism in Poland.
are you sure ?
i know there was a move to ban symbols

I have checked the Polish Penal Code for you and it is more interesting than I thought. Sorry for poor translation to English, I'm not a lawyer:

Article 256
Para 1: Who publicly promotes the fascist or another totalitarian system, or spreads hatred based on nationality, ethnic, racial, creed differences or due to (someone else's) atheism, is subject to fine, restriction of liberty, or imprisonment up to 2 years.

Para 2: The same penalty is applied to who, in order to disseminate, produces, records or imports, purchases, stores, owns, transports, or sends printed material, recording or another object, comprising the content as described under Para 1, or that is a carrier of fascist, communist or another totalitarian symbolic representation.

Para 3: A perpetrator of the act as forbidden by the Para 2 does not commit the crime, if the act was done in the framework of artistic, educational, collector or scientific activity.

Para 4 discusses loss of the objects as described under Para 2 as the result of the court sentence.

Article 257
Who publicly insults a group of population or an individual due to their national, ethnic, racial, religious or atheism affiliation, or, for above reasons violates the bodily inviolability of another person, is subject to imprisonment up to 3 years.

(Administrative regulations define the totalitarian systems, including communism).

Now, will you agree with me, Wroclaw, that:
1. PolishForums rules violate the Penal Code of the Republic of Poland and such site could not operate in the Poland's domain?
2. The big number of PF members spread views recognized as criminal in Poland?
3. Many of PF members, the residents of Poland (foreigners and natives), violate the Law of the Republic of Poland and find the haven to spread their criminal views here, on Polish Forums?

4. I, as a law abiding ciitizen of Poland, have good reasons to be shocked by opinions that I can read on PF?

Yes, I know PolishForums are not Polish but American, however, I have reasons to be disgusted.
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
17 Jun 2011 #33
Many of PF members, the residents of Poland (foreigners and natives), violate the Law of the Republic of Poland and find the haven to spread their criminal views here, on Polish Forums

Outlaws! Everywhere you look! So much of this forum wears black hats! Marshal Antek is gathering a posse....
OP Antek_Stalich 5 | 997
17 Jun 2011 #34
You can probably express your views where you live, Des Essientes, but now you know what are your acts according to the Polish Law. If you act against the Polish Law, you are a criminal in Poland. Simple like that.
OP Antek_Stalich 5 | 997
17 Jun 2011 #36
I thought you were a law abiding person, Des Essientes? Don't you respect the Law of the Republic of Poland? Do you claim any affiliation to Poland? Are you an anti-Pole? Are you a political refugee to the US, fleeing Poland because of her oppressive system?
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
17 Jun 2011 #37
I thought you were a law abiding person, Des Essientes

I believe in freedom and I assumed that in Poland, the land of the shining Golden Freedom, the freedom of speech would be sacrosanct but apparently not everyone in Poland is so devoted to liberty because you Antek seem to be some sort of sad Polish abortion guided by the restrictive Soviet mores you mistakenly believe you oppose. That being said I have not engaged in any speech that the laws of Poland restrict. You've got no case against me Kommissar.
OP Antek_Stalich 5 | 997
17 Jun 2011 #38
Thank you very much for your Kalafiornian answer, Des Essenties.
alexw68
17 Jun 2011 #39
Those two clauses of the Penal code are slippery at best, Ant - and in the best (?) tradition of Polish law need a lot of case law interpretation before one can really get a sense of what's allowed and what's not.

Examples:

1) Am I liable for prosecution if I say - accurately, I believe - that the Communist system DID bring about some concrete improvements in the general living standards of many Poles? For example, the postwar expansion of health care provision, the electrification of the countryside (1967)? Of course, this came at a cost - probably too high a cost in terms of personal freedom and national sovereignty but that shouldn't have to be said in the interests of balance.

2) Proletaryat pub in Poznan is covered with portraits of Bierut, the odd ZOMO uniform, and various other curios from the not-so-good old days. Should we be sending the boys in blue round?

And while we're on the subject of perceived insult: any constitution or penal code that criminalises, without further clarification, 'insulting the office of President' and thus allows individual presidents to press charges on personal grounds unconnected with their office of state (you remember the case, of course) is a pretty cack-handed formulation, which does rather devalue clauses 156 and 157 you quoted above.

All of this said: I agree with you in principle, but the appeal to legal statute doesn't wash for me - you'll see as bad, if not worse, on the newspaper blogs and forums here in PL. At root, this should be a matter of personal morality and principle.

(And before anyone says it - I know I'm not whiter than white and in the heat of the moment there's been a bit of ad hominem from me here and there. But not much, and in any case NEVER on the grounds of race, colour, gender or creed)
OP Antek_Stalich 5 | 997
17 Jun 2011 #40
Alex,

The WWII and 44 years of the Soviet oppression in Poland were the result of spreading nationalism, racism, religious discrimination, and totalitarian ideology and it created so much of atrocity and calamities that Poland decided that it shall never happen again and this is reflected in the Law. Whatever you say, Alex, your residence in Poland requires law-abiding, do you like it or not. Dura lex sed lex.

Those two clauses of the Penal code are slippery at best, Ant - and in the best (?) tradition of Polish law need a lot of case law interpretation before one can really get a sense of what's allowed and what's not.

Why do we discuss that? The Law is Law and you rather do not find sites such as PolishForums in the Poland's domain.
Have you heard of the band Honor? They have been effectively prosecuted. It did not help them to talk on "artistic values" because they were spreading hatred.

2) Proletaryat pub in Poznan is covered with portraits of Bierut, the odd ZOMO uniform, and various other curios from the not-so-good old days. Should we be sending the boys in blue round?

This is the "artistic" purpose. The pub does not promote the totalitarian system, don't you think so?

And while we're on the subject of perceived insult: any constitution or penal code that criminalises, without further clarification, 'insulting the office of President' and thus allows individual presidents to press charges is a pretty cack-handed formulation, which does rather devalue clauses 156 and 157 you quoted above.

Am I wrong thinking you shall not insult the Queen in UK?

1) Am I liable for prosecution if I say - accurately, I believe - that the Communist system DID being about some concrete improvements in the general living standards of many Poles? For example, the postwar expansion of health care provision, the electrification of the countryside (1967)? Of course, this came at a cost - probably too high a cost in terms of personal freedom and national sovereignty but that shouldn't have to be said in the interests of balance.

Such matters can be discussed. Do you think Alex the postwar expansion of health care provision, the electrification of the countryside would not happen without the Communism? How was it possible in West Germany for instance. Have you heard about the UNRRA programme that helped rebuilding West Germany but the Polish Commies refused accepting the UNRRA driven by orders from Moscow? Was it Soviets who rebuilt Warsaw?

A thought: Does UK have a Constitution? Is there written Law in UK?
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
17 Jun 2011 #41
Does UK have a Constitution?

No, the United Kingdom does not have a written constitution. It is a monarchy. The republic of Poland would do well to enshine freedom of speech in theirs as it is in the constitution of their fellow republic the USA.
alexw68
17 Jun 2011 #42
The republic of Poland would do well to enshine freedom of speech in theirs as it is in the constitution of their fellow republic the USA.

I think it does. Indeed, that's what clauses 156 and 157 are indirectly for (don't promote ideologies which themselves, if implemented, would result in the curtailment of basic human freedoms). It's just that the ways they are implemented are wonky.

PS I recall that there are addenda to the above clauses that permit the use of eg fascistic/communistic material for, among other things, artistic purposes. But even with that there's room for a lot of interpretation. Dangerous...
OP Antek_Stalich 5 | 997
17 Jun 2011 #43
My point, DE, was Alex views have been shaped by his British background. Alex does not need to understand continental systems based on Constitutions and Penal Codes. Besides, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, The Netherlands, Spain and whatnot are monarchies too, and these do have Penal Codes, right?

Alex, can you insult the British Queen, when we are at the Articles 156 & 157 of the Polish Penal Code?

Poland made her first Constitution only 17 years after the United States had made their own. Moreover, Poland had parliamentary monarchy and election of monarchs when America was a colony. I do not think, DE, you should be patronizing Poland.

The United States never experienced a totalitarian rule, so your views are shaped completely differently from the Polish views, DE.
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
17 Jun 2011 #44
The United States never experienced a totalitarian rule, so your views are shaped completely differently from the Polish views.

Totalitarian rule was imposed upon Poland by foreign powers. You cannot actually believe that total freedom of speech in Poland would ever lead Poles to impose it upon themselves.
alexw68
17 Jun 2011 #45
Alex, can you insult the British Queen, when we are at the Articles 156 & 157 of the Polish Penal Code?

Legally, yes. Whether societal pressures will allow it is another matter. We stopped chopping people up for treason a while back - but due to the informality of our constitutional system there is still probably a law from 1384 which hasn't been formally repealed.

Do you think Alex the postwar expansion of health care provision, the electrification of the countryside would not happen without the Communism?

Invalid argument. Fact is, it did happen on their watch - it doesn't have to be a unique selling point for Communism. Indeed, the fact that in between all the other injustices they found time to do real work explains how they enjoyed at least some measure of popular support (or, failing that, apathy) for so long. Not all actions of government are ideological.
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
17 Jun 2011 #46
Poland made her first Constitution only 17 years after the United States had made their own.

The Constitution of the USA was not ratified until 1789 with the final state, Rhode Island, approving it in May of 1790 and so Poland was really only a year behind the USA with her May 3rd Constitution.
OP Antek_Stalich 5 | 997
17 Jun 2011 #47
Have you ever heard of the PGR, Alex? (State-Run Farm) = sovchoz? The PGR are the best example of the failure of the Soviet system. Poland has survived on the private farming, and PGRs was the wasted land with whatever that could be stolen - stolen, totally counter-productive. From the sustaining lack of food under the Communism, Poland went into overproduction now due to private farming. This is the point you cannot deny.

Regarding other economic matters, Poles were very enthusiastic to rebuild the postwar Poland and would have done it without the Soviet help. The communist system was so inefficient... Alex, if you haven't already done it, please watch films of Stanisław Bareja. They are not exaggerated very much. If you ever could get in the Bar Pokusa in the very centre of the commie Warsaw, you would certainly puke. Trust my word on that.

The Constitution of the USA was not ratified until 1789 with the final state, Rhode Island, approving it in May of 1790 and so Poland was really only a year behind the USA with her May 3rd Constitution.

My mistake. Does it make you more or less patronizing Poland?

Totalitarian rule was imposed upon Poland by foreign powers. You cannot actually believe that total freedom of speech in Poland would ever lead Poles to impose it upon themselves.

The first President of the Second Republic of Poland, Gabriel Narutowicz, was killed by a nationalist assasin.
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
17 Jun 2011 #48
My mistake. Does it make you more or less patronizing Poland

I have never been patronizing towards Poland.
OP Antek_Stalich 5 | 997
17 Jun 2011 #49
Antek_Stalich: My mistake. Does it make you more or less patronizing Poland
I have never been patronizing towards Poland.

I believe in freedom and I assumed that in Poland, the land of the shining Golden Freedom, the freedom of speech would be sacrosanct but apparently not everyone in Poland is so devoted to liberty

You said implicitly that the Constitution of Poland is anti-liberal.

I would like BB tell us how similar points look like in the Penal Code of the Bundesrepublik Deutschland.
alexw68
17 Jun 2011 #50
The PGR are the best example of the failure of the Soviet system.

Naturally. And, more directly, the private farmers (Podlasie smallholders in the family). I'm not trying to deny the overall failure of the system. In fact, there's no other conclusion to draw than that it was a failure.

But whether by accident or design, some things got done early on - enough to placate large swathes of the populace whose individual lot had, believe it or not, improved. If nothing had got done, the whole house of cards would have fallen over by 1957.

This is not a defence of communism. It is, however, an attempt to explain its staying power which could not have been achieved by military repression alone.
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
17 Jun 2011 #51
You said implicitly that the Constitution of Poland is anti-liberal.

No, if you had quoted my entire sentence it would be apparent that I have said that you, Antek, are interpreting the constitution of Poland in illiberal restrictive manner that has resulted in your claiming that people on this discussion forum are criminals according to it.
OP Antek_Stalich 5 | 997
17 Jun 2011 #52
Alex,

The building at Rondo de Gaulle'a (opposite the former Central Commitee of the Communist Party, now Stock Exchange), the building housing the EMPIK now, carries these words: CA£Y NARÓD BYDVJE SWOJĄ STOLICĘ. (Whole Nation Bvilds Its Capital City):

Of course, it was the nation that rebuilt its Capital City. It was also Commie road system planners who made all roads leading through inhabited areas that makes all of us suffer today. Ask however, a Silesian, what he thinks about the reconstruction of Warsaw: "Them Warsawers have robbed Silesia and Wrocław of building bricks, this is the WHOLE NATION".

No, if you had quoted my entire sentence it would be apparent that I have said that you, Antek, are interpreting the constitution of Poland in illiberal restrictive manner that has resulted in your claiming that people on this discussion forum are criminals according to it.

I have quoted Polish Penal Code and said PolishForums would not be allowed in the Poland's domain as the site based on criminal rules, according to the Polish Law. And indeed, many PFers commit crime according to the Polish Penal Code.
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
17 Jun 2011 #53
The first President of the Second Republic of Poland, Gabriel Narutowicz, was killed by a nationalist assasin.

You write this in response to my assertion that the Poles would never impose totalitarianism upon themselves given unrestricted freedom of speech, because you are lacking rational faculties. The USA has had several of its presidents assasinated, but no one here would be stupid enough to claim that freedom of speech was to blame for these assasinations, nor that totalitarianism naturally follows from such assasinations. If Poland became a sort of dictatorship after Narutowicz's assasination that has absolutely no weight as an argument against unrestricted freedom of speech.
OP Antek_Stalich 5 | 997
17 Jun 2011 #54
If Poland became a sort of dictatorship after Narutowicz's assasination that has absolutely no weight as an argument against unrestricted freedom of speech.

Perhaps the US assassinations and the murder of Narutowicz had anything to do with the freedom of possession of firearms? My Grandpa the gardener indeed owned a revolver pre-WWII.

After assassination of Narutowicz, Poland was able to defend democracy. I could mention, however, the mild totalitarian system introduced by colonels after Józef Piłsudski's death, the totalitarian regime leading to imprisonment of the opposition in Bereza Kartuska, involving torturing the political prisoners. Did I already say, DE, Poland suffered enough atrocities and calamities due to nationalism, racism, discrimination, totalitarianism to let it happen again?
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
17 Jun 2011 #55
Did I already say, DE, Poland suffered enough atrocities and calamities due to nationalism, racism, discrimination, totalitarianism to let it happen again?

Yes, and you have utterly failed to prove that restricting freedom of speech will prevent any atrocities or calamities for Poland.
OP Antek_Stalich 5 | 997
17 Jun 2011 #56
Will you continue teaching Poles how they should organize their own country? Show me any thread where I told Americans how they should live, please.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
17 Jun 2011 #57
Typical polaczek arrogance - telling Poles how to live in their own country.
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
17 Jun 2011 #58
Will you continue teaching Poles how they should organize their own country? Show me any thread where I told Americans how they should live, please.

Antek you cannot refute my argument in favor of freedom of speech and so you claim that I am being patronizing towards Poles. I trust that Poles will govern themselves democratically while having total freedom of speech. It is you, not me, that has a patronizing attitude towards Poles, because you see them as being incapable of rejecting totalitarianism if they are allowed to hear some people advocating it.
OP Antek_Stalich 5 | 997
17 Jun 2011 #59
Luckily for us Poles, you are not the person to decide in these matters, DE.


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