On the other hand, it was hardly ignoble of Lithuanians to want
He never denied Lithuanians the right to their independence. He wanted to incorporate
the Wilno area into Poland, because he considered it a Polish land - we can argue if he
was right or not, but to put him alongside Hitler and Stalin is pure idiocy.
One the one hand he had a vision that had been informed by the great days of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
One of the most common misconceptions about Polish-Lithuanian commowealth is the idea
that Poland was denying Lithuania its independence. If you listen to some Lithuanians
today it sounds as if we were occupying their country which is basically not true.
Let me explain...
Lithuania was until 1791 (shortly before the second partition of Poland) an independent
. It wasn't Polish but Lithuanian
armies stationing there, public income
went entirely to the Lithuanian
treasury, not the Polish one . Lithuanians payed
taxes to support their own country, not Poland. Their soldiers were fighting and dying
for the Great Duchy of Lithuania and not for Poland. Poles did not rule Lithuania! Lithuania
governed itself, having until 1791 their own army, treasury and their own ministries
The government of Kingdom of Poland was not at all the government of Lithuania.
Royal Chancellor, Royal Treasurer of Royal Hetman could not order in Lithuania because
there were separate Lithuanian
Hetman, Treasurer and Chancellor. Lithuania was
governed by Lithuanians!
From the puniest, tiniest office clerk up to the Great
Chancellor, all the administrative hierarchy and power was in Lithuanian hands and they
didn't take any orders from Poland
Common was the king and the Sejm Walny (joint parliament, but still Lithuania had its
own sejmik - local parliament). This was a result of Lithuanian dynasty ruling in Poland.
In that matter - Lithuania was in power and Poland was subordinated.
I could go on, but the basic fact is that Poland lost more from its union with
Lithuania than we gained. We were involved in constant wars in the East,
we shed our blood and wasted our energy on the eastern steppes without
getting much in return instead of consolidating and strengthening our position
in the West, integrating with the civilization where we belong.
Too bad some Lithuanians today, full of complexes about their country and history,
can not even show an elementary gratitude for what Poland has done for them.
it can only have been meant as a provocation
Of course. The provocation payed with Russian money. Russians are doing
what they can to keep Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine in hostility towards
one another and they are willing to spend a lot of money to prevent our
countries and societies coming closer together again.