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Was PRL Poland?


Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
2 Sep 2012  #1
PAP on Sunday reported that the latest IPN bulletin Pamięć.pl showcased a debate as to whether the Soviet satellite known as the „Polish People’s Republic” (Polish abbreviation: PRL) can be referred to as Poland. Historian Andrzej Zawistowski stated that the Poland 1944-1989 was not a sovereign state, becasue society had no influence on the authorities, and compared it to the Nazi-controlled Vichy France.

But the Polish people did have an influence, when they took to the streets in 1956, 1970, 1976 and 1980.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
2 Sep 2012  #2
Anyone denying that the PRL was Poland is living in cloud cuckoo land. For a start, the hundreds of thousands of Poles that were either Party members or benefited from being associated with a Party member were all part of the State.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
2 Sep 2012  #3
The Vichy French also had little choice in the matter because they too had families to feed. The Nazi puppet state in Slovakia and PRL were other examples of typical foreign-ruled puppet states. Sure people fell in love, got married, had kids, celebrated namedays and Christmas, went on holiday, cutlivated hobbies, etc., etc. but even in Auschwitz an ersatz type of life went on. Too bad no-one so far has invented a time machine -- you'd be the prime candidate to get sent back to PRL, preferably pre-1956. That's when they openly terrorised the Church you so despise.
WielkiPolak 58 | 1,034
2 Sep 2012  #4
I would say that PRL was not really Poland. Yes of course some people were members and gained a lot from it, just like SLD, filled with commie children still has supporters now [although not a high percentage] and that is why do many despise them and call them traitors. Generally though the PRL was not accepted by the majority who saw Poland as an occupied country during this time, unable to make its own true decisions.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
2 Sep 2012  #5
you'd be the prime candidate to get sent back to PRL, preferably pre-1956. That's when they openly terrorised the Church you so despise.

And it's the same time when many Church members collaborated with the Stalinist regime, too.
Harry
2 Sep 2012  #6
No Delph, not hundreds of thousands: millions of Poles were either Party members or benefited from being associated with a Party member.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
2 Sep 2012  #7
Yes, the Stalinist regime even set up a 'patriotic' priests movement full of two-bit collaborators and opportunists. Some were not even ordained clergy but UB operatives and informers in cassocks.

All in all, some 10% of the RC clergy played ball with the regime. Sad but still a better track record than actors, journalists, career soldiers, academics, police, etc.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
2 Sep 2012  #8
No Delph, not hundreds of thousands: millions of Poles were either Party members or benefited from being associated with a Party member.

I stand corrected.

I've had a look in one book - and the number suggested is 2 million.
Harry
2 Sep 2012  #9
Party membership peaked at 3.5 million. Add to that millions more who benefited from being the children/parents/ spouses of party members. And then countless millions more who worked for the state performing jobs which made it possible for the state to function.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
2 Sep 2012  #10
The USSR and Red China had even a higehr % of party members. Does that mean life was better in those countries? Most career-minded Poles were radishes -- red on the outside.

The only true communsits in Poland were the hangovers from the KPP and a few dyed-in-the wool weirdos. The vast majroity was pretending to get ahead.
jon357 63 | 14,122
2 Sep 2012  #11
And most people got on with life. What there was in the cities was neighbourhood involvement, shared activities, organised holidays - basically a sense of community that waned as soon as the capitalist free for all appeared. The was also free education, free healthcare and a chance to get on in life without capital. It was at least as much Poland then as it is now.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
2 Sep 2012  #12
That was a nice sugar-coated propaganda veneer emanating from every Kronika Filmowa, TV news show and even feature films set in PRL times. Buu what about forcing people to listen to, watch and read outrageous commie propaganda instead of real news, or those languising in prison or killed by 'nieznani sprawcy' for daring to speak their minds... Or living in country about whose leader Gen. Jabberwocky it was said; 'The reason his lips are so red is becuase Brezhnev's got haemerrhoids!' Or maybe you also liked the PRL toilets. The good thing is that you didn';t have to ask where the loo was -- you could smell it from 200 yards away.on contemproary. So go ahead and travel down your PRL memory lane. To each his own!
boletus 30 | 1,366
2 Sep 2012  #13
Plenty of Poles who were spared the PRL loos, and who today constitute the proud "creme of the creme" of Buffalo and Chicago emigration, must surely remember S£AWOJKI

pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C5%82awojka
or even worse - they came to America well before Polish state tried to enforce some hygiene standards on peasantry. This unusual name for the outhouse, the type of facility encountered in all parts of the world, was adopted in the interwar period from the name of the Prime Minister Felicjan Sławoj Składkowski, who was the initiator of health improvement and hygiene awareness of Polish peasantry.

To each his own Polonius3, long tradition!
jon357 63 | 14,122
2 Sep 2012  #14
That was a nice sugar-coated propaganda veneer emanating from every Kronika Filmowa, TV news show and even feature films set in PRL times.

Out of interest, how long did you live in PRL era Poland?

By the way, the kluby seniorow, the klub osiedlowy, the various stowarzyszwnie in my neighbourhood all operating in PRL era premises and struggling now their funding has gone are very real - not propaganda films.
FlaglessPole 4 | 669
2 Sep 2012  #15
Out of interest, how long did you live in PRL era Poland?

How long did you? Polonius is right in his comparison to other puppet states, that's how it was and that's how it felt for the VAST majority of Poles. I wish AntekStalich or whatever his nickname was here now to talk some sense into you. He is a guy from that generation and he'd probably laugh his ass off if you told him that people spying on PRL were traitors. Btw I wonder what's pawian's take on it.
jon357 63 | 14,122
2 Sep 2012  #16
How long did you?

I was at least there, albeit briefly, which I suspect is more than Pol3 can say and I've lived there for most of the period since. As opposed to taking a holiday once twenty years ago.

And yes, people spying on their own country are traitors - whatever their motivation.
FlaglessPole 4 | 669
2 Sep 2012  #17
And yes, people spying on their own country are traitors - whatever their motivation.

I can assure you those spying on PRL were not seen as traitors - whatever the definition
jon357 63 | 14,122
2 Sep 2012  #18
They we and are, By plenty of people. Julius Rosenberg, Alger Hiss, Ryszard Kuklinski, Guy Burgess, Oleg Gordievsky, John Vassall. All of them traitors.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163
2 Sep 2012  #19
The was also free education, free healthcare and a chance to get on in life without capital. It was at least as much Poland then as it is now.

Finally. The coming out of a commie.
jon357 63 | 14,122
2 Sep 2012  #20
Or just someone (who like most of the world) think that no man is an island and shared activities are infinitely better for people than sitting in front of a tv behind a door with five locks on.
pawian 159 | 9,428
2 Sep 2012  #21
Poland 1944-1989 was not a sovereign state,

Yes, but it still was Poland.
FlaglessPole 4 | 669
2 Sep 2012  #22
They we and are, By plenty of people. Julius Rosenberg, Alger Hiss, Ryszard Kuklinski, Guy Burgess, Oleg Gordievsky, John Vassall. All of them traitors.

LOL joni, oh boy, are you trying to draw some sort of ideological equation mark in the minds of Poles by grouping these names together? Because if you are forget those who lived under PRL, that's just not gonna add up in heir heads no matter how hard you try. PRL was something to be endured, survived, a sad and a depressing nightmare the vast majority of Poles hoped one day to wake up from. Using your logic John Paul II must have been a filthy traitor, working against the PRL regime on behalf of foreign power - Vatican. Not to mention all the internal enemies like for example Walesa, wow that guy should hang, right?
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
2 Sep 2012  #23
All the jon37s, delphimides and other Jabberwocky-lovers will probably say that the AK were all traitors, They worked agaisnt the General Governorate (Generalna Gubernia) which was also a kind of Polish puppet state of sorts. Things weren'tr quite that bad in PRL, but anyone tried to weaken or undermine it for ideological reasons was a hero. The traitors joined the party and licked Jabberwocky's a*se. Komorowski has decorated many of those anti-PRL 'traitors' with medals, so he too must be a traitor, n*est-ce pas?
pawian 159 | 9,428
2 Sep 2012  #24
Either I am too drunk or you, because I cannot understand your point. What the heck?
jon357 63 | 14,122
2 Sep 2012  #25
Now that is just incoherent ravings. The AK were fighting against the destruction of everything around them. In the PRL people (most anyway) actually tried to make life work.

So Pol3. You've avoided the question but will you now answer. In English rather than a splurge of something written in the style of second rate news copy. How much time did you spend in the PRL?
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
2 Sep 2012  #26
At least 10 years, including all of martial law. Smelt my share of cinnamon-scented tear gas, and was hauled in for questioning at Pałac Mostowskich. If I had a dollar for each time I visited Kuroń's place in Mickiewicza street for the latest KOR bulletins or phoned it (that was the main dissident clearing house for news on strikes and protests), I'd be rich. But one needn't be in a country physically to know much about it. There are many Poles, too many, living in RP3 who know very little about their own country and couldn't less. Their main or sole preoccupation is finding out where they can get their hands on the most $$$, €€€ or £££.
jon357 63 | 14,122
2 Sep 2012  #27
I'm actually quite impressed! I must say that my first reaction was scepticism, but if you say so, so be it. Out of intest (really), why did you dirst leave and then not return after the regime changed. Were you born in Poland or elsewhere?
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
2 Sep 2012  #28
I don't wish to mix my professional affairs with forum discussion, but I was born, rasied and educated in the good ol' USA and first visited Poladn as an adult. Since the collapse of PRL I've been back and forth many times, maybe six or seven for a total of another decade or so;.

this year including all of Euro 2012. But that is neither here nor there. It is interest, involvement and commitment that count. No, to me Poland will never be just another foreign country.

No, I'm still sober. Jon 29 is constantly saying that working agaisnt PRL was treason. Well, President Komroowski has regularly decorated dissidents who worked to undermine communmist Poland, so in Jon59's books both they and Komorowski must be traitors. it's as simple as his skewed and convolute mind frame.
jon357 63 | 14,122
2 Sep 2012  #29
Same here. It can never just be another foreign country - it's been home for almost half my life and probably most of the rest.

Discussion of the PRL can produce some quite striking opinions. It seems to me that a lot of people acknowledge its faults but don't decry everything about it. There were certainly bad things but there were also certainly good things. A lot of older people miss it. One gentleman said to me that it's fine you can buy two brands of shaving soap rather than just one but a lot of good things - especially the community involvement have vanished now in favour of a more self-centred way of life.
pawian 159 | 9,428
2 Sep 2012  #30
A lot of older people miss it.

Yes. Reminds me of an old joke:

An old aristocratic French lady was asked about the happiest time of her life.
- The times of French Revolution.
- What? The time of massacres, round ups of nobility, hunger, war and debasement?
- Yes, it is all true, but don`t forget I was 18 then.


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