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Jack Strong ( Film about Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski )


InWroclaw 89 | 1,914
5 Mar 2014 #31
Interesting that almost all of his fellow officers managed not to betray their country.

Doesn't mean anything. You know the term, sheeple. How many concentration camp guards just got on with it? Probably almost all. Wasn't the right thing to do there either, was it? Anyway, thanks for sharing your views, although I can't agree I greatly appreciate your and Harry's putting the other view to me, and of course there is merit in Harry's point about RPII, but I still can't say what I read about post-WWII was better, well not for ordinary non-commies anyway.

About the prison or camp, this is the most succinct summary I could find:

en.tracesofwar.com/article/30960/Concentration-Camp-Bereza -Kartuska.htm

This former Polish concentration camp was opened on 17 June 1934 to detain people who were viewed by the Polish state as a "threat to security, peace and social order" without formal charges or trial for three months. From October 1937, notorious and financial criminals were also detained here. Citizens suspected of pro-German sympathies were first detained in Bereza in middle 1938. During the first days of the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, Polish authorities started mass arrests of people suspected of such sympathies and members of the German minority. The camp was closed in the night of 17/18 September 1939. At least 13 people died in this camp.

More here:

encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Concentration+Camp+Bereza+Kartuska

Until I'd spent a bit of time talking with army officers (who universally condemned him) I took the latter view. But an officer's oath is to his country - not to some alternative vision he has of his country's politics.

I sincerely admire your honesty for posting that.
jon357 71 | 20,347
5 Mar 2014 #32
And add to that list Edward Snowden...

Who hopefully has a taste for Vodka and Herring by now. Plus that guy hiding in the Ecuadorean Embassy and poor Chelsea Manning. And the Rosenbergs, Burgess, Maclean, Blunt, Prime etc (I won't include Vassall who was blackmailed or that American guy who did it for the money to pay off his bills).

All had a vision of what they wanted for their country and the world. which was incompatible with their profession. They aren't alone by any means, but most don't seek access to state secrets and then pass those secrets to another state.

How many concentration camp guards just got on with it? Probably almost all

I gather they found it very hard to get guards to work in them and many if not most we're forced to be there. Though Kuklinski wasn't a camp guard, nor was he exposed to any special unsavoury knowledge other than that which is concomitant with his role.
Ozi Dan 26 | 569
6 Mar 2014 #33
Kuklinski's country was Free Poland (he was born into it, mind you), not Communist Poland. Communist Poland was an unlawfully and unconstitutionally created appendage of the Soviet takeover and occupation of Poland in the latter stages of, and after, WW2. Ergo, the "Oath" he purportedly took (which probably included a clause to the effect that he had to co-operate with the Soviets) was a construct of an unlawful regime, meaning it was not an Oath at all. But, for argument's sake, if it was an Oath, it would needs be broken to the extent that it conflicted with his over-arching obligation to Free Poland because, in law and in equity (if not 'in fact') Kuklinski's country was Free Poland, not Communist Poland.

To advocate otherwise is to turn the concepts of the rule of law and national sovereignty on their heads.

In any event, he was 'released' from his "Oath" upon the collapse of Communist Poland and Soviet Russia. Such release, in the circumstances, was retro-active by virtue of the fact that:

1. There was no-one (be it a person or entity) to whom the Oath could be upheld to as there was no-one to enforce it, nor was their any subrogation type arrangement.

2. Had the "Oath" remained binding (which presupposes there was subrogation from the Soviets, which there wasn't), the Post Communist, Free Polish Government (being the lawful and constitutional Government) would have prosecuted Kuklinski (or enforced it, but most likely issued punishment for breach), which it didn't.

Heartfelt and handwringing pleas to the concepts of honour and loyalty surrounding an Oath are just argumentum ad passiones.

It could be argued that Kuklinski served Poland whereas his fellow officers served a foreign power.

No need to argue it mate - the facts speak for themselves, no matter how hard some apologists try to dissimulate.

Given the reality of 'service' to the Soviets however (i.e. you either serve or you go to jail/get shot etc.), I don't think we can stand in judgment and condemn a very great many honest Poles who had no choice other than to survive under the Communist juggernaut (save and except those 'Poles' who relished their life under Communist rule and were part and parcel of the system).
goofy_the_dog
6 Mar 2014 #34
it wasnt his country though, the true Polish country was dead anf chained to the soviets.
PRL was not Poland, it was a bloodthirsty regime with its own SS, Gestapo like firces to keep the people quiet.
Would you call Germans that would desert the Wehrmacht traitor?
He served the Fatherland and he hated communism.
God bless His soul.
Czesc Jego Pamieci
InWroclaw 89 | 1,914
6 Mar 2014 #35
would have prosecuted Kuklinski (or enforced it, but most likely issued punishment for breach), which it didn't.

I agree with your post, however Walesa refused to pardon Kuklinski (for whatever reason). But even Walesa eventually gave some ground:

Former President Lech Walesa, the Solidarity founder, however, has mixed feelings about the turncoat colonel. While he says Kuklinski showed great courage in a time of struggle, Walesa says the colonel set a bad example as a soldier breaking his oath.

community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19980428&slug=2747661

Personally, I'd have no problem with anyone breaking 'oaths/rules' if to save life and limb. Especially the life and limb of millions of innocent people. But, perhaps that's my silly and quaint free world thinking!

To young Poles, born under democracy, the movie is revealing, with its well-reconstructed atmosphere of Poland under communism. "I have not heard much about Kuklinski, but I see that he was a real hero who prevented a nuclear conflict," said Ewa, 26, after a pre-screening of the movie this week. "And I liked the movie. It's really a thrilling spy story."

My last post on this, and the last word in my last post on this goes to:

... George Tenet, the director of central intelligence, issued a public statement calling Colonel Kuklinski ''a true hero of the cold war to whom we all owe an everlasting debt of gratitude.''

nytimes.com/2004/02/12/world/ryszard-kuklinski-73-spy-in-poland-in-cold-war-dies.html
OP sobieski 107 | 2,128
6 Mar 2014 #36
Jon, where would you place Von Stauffenberg in this case? According to your view...he is a full-blooded traitor.
The Cambridge Five, as fondly quoted by you, were spying for one of the most brutal political systems in the world. George Orwell did not do this, indeed his opinion of the Stalinist were suppressed by the same crowd.

Kukliński is a heroe.

And let me tell you another story. My father-in-law (since long deceased) was in Auschwitz in the war, and after the war again tortured in soviet prisons. My wife's grandmother was in Ravensbrueck and later in Mauthausen, and then in a Soviet prison in Warsaw. She and I regard Kukliński as a genuine heroe.

Easy it is.. to spy for Beria from a lofty place in Cambridge....Close your eyes for what happened in the USSR. Easy to sabotage Orwell's books.

Munich 38 all over.

Can EVERYONE stay on topic please, we are discussing Kukliński.
jon357 71 | 20,347
6 Mar 2014 #37
Jon, where would you place Von Stauffenberg in this case?

A very long way from Kuklinski since as far as I know Von S wasn't passing secrets to a CIA handler.
Harry
6 Mar 2014 #38
He served the Fatherland and he hated communism.

If that is the case, why didn't Kuklinski move back to Poland once it had again become a free country in 1989? Why did he live in the USA for the rest of his life?
krecik89 3 | 60
6 Mar 2014 #39
Both his sons died there. Also, there were a lot of ex-commies still in power in the 90s. He needed guards when he came back to visit.
Harry
6 Mar 2014 #40
Both his sons died there.

Two more reasons to leave and go back to the country he supposedly loved so much.

Also, there were a lot of ex-commies still in power in the 90s.

a) No there weren't: I was here from '95 onwards.
b) Even if there had been, that would have simply another reason for him to come back and try to improve the country he supposedly loved so much.

He needed guards when he came back to visit.

He had bodyguards for his '98 visit; whether he needed them or not is another matter.
OP sobieski 107 | 2,128
6 Mar 2014 #41
If that is the case, why didn't Kuklinski move back to Poland once it had again become a free country in 1989?

Harry, I wonder if you have relatives who suffered and died in NKVD camps after the war. My wife has.

A very long way from Kuklinski since as far as I know Von S wasn't passing secrets to a CIA handler.

Easy to tell from a Cambridge 5 Very Lofty position.
I honestly think George O. would laugh in your face.
Harry
6 Mar 2014 #42
Harry, I wonder if you have relatives who suffered and died in NKVD camps after the war.

Nope, just ones who suffered in Japanese concentration camps during the war. However, when it comes to Kuklinski, he wouldn't have been sent to any kind of camp if he'd moved back to democratic Poland.
Lenka 3 | 2,767
6 Mar 2014 #43
To all the ppl that say Poland wasn't Poland at that time- I assume you want to say USA was more Polish?
krecik89 3 | 60
6 Mar 2014 #44
There were a lot of regime people in seats of power in government, civil service, secret service, police, army well into the 90s. That's an indisputable fact. Don't think it would have been easy for him to come back and deal with these people to improve the country especially as his skills set was only in army affairs. Most Solidarnosc leaders went straight into politics as they already had populist support and their aim was to shake up the system.

Also, the Soviet army didn't leave until 93. It all comes down to your definition of 'country'. Many educated Poles don't see any problems with what he did. They saw the PRL govt as a puppet govt to the Soviet regime. Soviet soldiers stationed in many bases in the country was evidence of this coercion. In the end his actions had little ill effect on the Polish people, in fact only positive as they may have hastened the end of the PRL.
lpinho - | 8
6 Mar 2014 #45
I watched this movie with a polish friend.
She thought that there were subtitle in english, at least. I'm brazilian and don't speak polish. LOL.

It was funny watch a polish movie about one guy that I didn't know. But I like that kind of movie.
Before go to the movies, I read a little about him. So, it was possible understand the movie flow.

I'm waiting for a version with subtitles in english to watch again.

At the end I had to ask her:
- But, he was considered a hero or a traitor?
She told me:
Both.

Is it really?
goofy_the_dog
6 Mar 2014 #46
He was a hero, all those that say otherwise are either foreigners that don't know a lot abou the history but try to cover uo with random posts from the interenet or Polish trolls.

He was a hero, deal with it.
Lenka 3 | 2,767
6 Mar 2014 #47
Or ppl who believe PRL was more Polish than the USA :D
Harry
6 Mar 2014 #48
He certainly was a hero to some people; however, like him, most of those people do not choose to live in Poland.


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