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Expats in Poland - would you fight for your new country?


Ozi Dan 26 | 569
2 Dec 2010  #1
Hi all,

It's always with a sense of wry amusement that I read posts from (generally) UK expats in Poland who are critical of Polish-Americans, and others of Polish descent living elsewhere, variously describing them as "traitors", "Plastic Poles" and so on.

That's fine, but the flip side of that coin is whether or not those expats would heed the call up themselves and physically fight for Poland, if, hypothetically, Poland ever found itself in a conflict, and moreso, if such conflict involved the UK as the other side.

If the answer is "no", then aren't you being hypocritical?

I'm looking forward to some hand-wringing excuses here...
PennBoy 76 | 2,437
2 Dec 2010  #2
Watch delphiandomine come on here swearing he would ;)
OP Ozi Dan 26 | 569
2 Dec 2010  #3
The honey-pot beckons...
Maybe 12 | 409
2 Dec 2010  #4
Against who?
delphiandomine 83 | 17,596
2 Dec 2010  #5
I'm looking forward to some hand-wringing excuses here...

But surely this isn't the same thing at all? We don't describe ourselves as Polish, we don't have Polish citizenship, we're only residents of Poland, nothing more. Compared to -

It's always with a sense of wry amusement that I read posts from (generally) UK expats in Poland who are critical of Polish-Americans, and others of Polish descent living elsewhere, variously describing them as "traitors", "Plastic Poles" and so on.

Those people are claiming to actually be Polish - or worse still, are Polish and have sworn allegiance to a foreign nation. It's not the same thing as being resident in a foreign country at all.

If the answer is "no", then aren't you being hypocritical?

No, because you can't compare British residents in Poland (who describe themselves as British) with American citizens who declare themselves to be Polish. It really isn't the same thing.

Perhaps it would be better to ask Brits who have Polish citizenship, but they're probably few and far between. I've met with one Polish citizenship, a few with permanent residence, a bit more with temporary EU residence rights and quite a lot with no residency at all.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,389
2 Dec 2010  #6
Expats in Poland - would you fight for your new country?

if the call to arms came, the younger folk would go before me. i'm already past the age of enlistment.
if you asked the question ten years ago i might have said yes. but now half my family don't live in Poland. so, i would simply move out of the war zone to our flat in Berlin.

i did my bit for queen and country through the late 70's and 80's. no more for me, thanks.
OP Ozi Dan 26 | 569
2 Dec 2010  #7
Perhaps it would be better to ask Brits who have Polish citizenship, but they're probably few and far between. Most of them have permanent residence, nothing else.

It's an open question. Whilst I appreciate your analysis of the nuances between 'resident', 'citizen', 'allegiance' and so on, you haven't answered whether or not you would don the czapka and take up arms in Poland's defence.

Technicalities aside, you seem to profess a love for Poland and live there. Would you take the next step and fight for Poland if it was at war with the UK?

A simple yes or no is sufficient.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,596
2 Dec 2010  #8
Whilst I appreciate your analysis of the nuances between 'resident', 'citizen', 'allegiance' and so on, you haven't answered whether or not you would don the czapka and take up arms in Poland's defence.

I wouldn't be eligible to do so - not a Polish citizen. Pretty simple, really.

As I say - asking Brits with Polish citizenship makes more sense, because they would be eligible to fight for Poland. I don't think there's any on this forum, though.
Maybe 12 | 409
2 Dec 2010  #9
Expats in Poland - would you fight for your new country?

I would fight for whoever paid more.... :)
PennBoy 76 | 2,437
2 Dec 2010  #10
But surely this isn't the same thing at all? We don't describe ourselves as Polish, we don't have Polish citizenship, we're only residents of Poland, nothing more.

Whoa whoa whoa!! Here's the man who just the other day was talking to me as if he's more Polish than i am, because he lives there and pays taxes, and now says he's not Polish and wouldn't fight for Poland because he's only a foreigner. Hmm i guess where you're born and what blood you have in your vanes does count more.
OP Ozi Dan 26 | 569
2 Dec 2010  #11
I wouldn't be eligible to do so - not a Polish citizen. Pretty simple, really.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I recall you recently saying words to the effect that in about two years you would be eligible for Polish citizenship and you would probably take that honour? Changing the parameters thus, would your answer change?

Would you fight against Poland then, given you are a UK citizen? Terrible hypothetical decisions, aren't they?

What about fighting as a guerilla for Poland? I'm sure any Polish insurgent band wouldn't be to fussed if you couldn't produce a citizenship certificate. The Scots (and Irish moreso) have a proud tradition of fighting alongside the Poles, citizenship or no.

It's a quandary, isn't it.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,389
2 Dec 2010  #12
asking Brits with Polish citizenship makes more sense, because they would be eligible to fight for Poland.

i would imagine that most eligible ex-brits would be used for other duties like translation of messages etc.

expats would find themselves either sent home or under lock and key. if they helped Poland and their home country won... then God help them.
Harry
2 Dec 2010  #13
If the answer is "no", then aren't you being hypocritical?

Could you perhaps go into some detail as to why a person would be hypocritical in not fighting for a country which refuses to give him the rights of a citizen of that country?

Would you fight for Poland against Australia?

Personally I wouldn't fight for any country. People yes, a country no. Which means if the chips were down I'd most probably be with Poland if the shiit hit the fan here but even so I'd certainly never invade any other country with Polish forces.
Maybe 12 | 409
2 Dec 2010  #14
I'd certainly never invade any other country with Polish forces.

i wouldn't worry fat chance of that happening...
Ashleys mind 3 | 456
2 Dec 2010  #15
whether or not those expats would heed the call up themselves and physically fight for Poland, if, hypothetically, Poland ever found itself in a conflict

This is a question of allegiance, and therefore is a matter of free will and choice, and therefore loyalty to one particular country or another - a sene of duty. This proves that nationhood can not be demonstrated by where you pay taxes. Taxes are NOT a choice and given the choice, many would not pay them no matter where they lived.

We are talking about the ultimate sacrifice...

Good question Dan :)
delphiandomine 83 | 17,596
2 Dec 2010  #16
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I recall you recently saying words to the effect that in about two years you would be eligible for Polish citizenship and you would probably take that honour? Changing the parameters thus, would your answer change?

My personal feeling is that if such a war broke out, you have to drop one of the citizenships. It's just not possible to align oneself to both sides in war.

But to answer your question fully - I would fight for the side that gave Scotland the most chance of independence - and indeed, would fight for the Scottish side.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,389
2 Dec 2010  #17
We are talking about the ultimate sacrifice...

one reason why i'd make sure i'm not here. my family are more important to me.

i doubt many expat Poles would come home and fight either.
Jonas_m - | 9
2 Dec 2010  #18
If sweden and poland in some for some unseen strange reason would go to war against each other, I probably would be a coward and run away and hide. However since I have done my national service in Sweden I would be required by law to come back and fight for sweden.

In the case of Poland being invaded/attacked by someone else than sweden, - I dont know. I would love to say that I would somehow enlist to protect the ones I love, however I would be more likely to grab my loved ones here in Poland and take them with me to Sweden to safety and wait it out.

Would it be a situation of defending my loved ones or we all die or end up in some POW camp then of course I would pick up arms. I would fight for the people, not the country.
Maybe 12 | 409
2 Dec 2010  #19
We are talking about the ultimate sacrifice...

What is this Dungeons and Dragons?
Ashleys mind 3 | 456
2 Dec 2010  #20
Poland ever found itself in a conflict

This is a tricky one however because Australia is (usually) involved in some form of combat or "peace keeping" mission abroad, but rarely on our own soil has there been call to take arms to protect my country's independence. So I haven't felt the urge...

I find that frequently, these wars to protect *democracy* are being fought further and further afield with no tangible benefits to my freedom as an Australian. And so I have never felt the need to join the military.

That being said, if there was an invasion tomorrow (and I can't see this happening) it would most likely be in retaliation for something, because now with immigration, you just have to ask to be let in. But let's say for arguments sake that China decided enough was enough, and they wanted to stretch their rule, well hell yeah, I would be willing to die to defend my country (along with al my Chinese buddies). Mainly because I could never be abe to grapple with Chinese language!

I guess the nature of war has changed, and with all these multilateral forums used to exert the political will of states, it kind of makes war seem an unecessary (and costly) method of decisive sovereign action. I mean it's pretty impressive just how much cross country diplomacy is exerted on the international stage these days. Which means that for your country to dominate in this arena - you need more than military savvi. And I think a good head for business and diplomacy is the preferred weapon of choice for most states.
Marek11111 9 | 816
2 Dec 2010  #21
I will fight to protect my family and Poland is part of my family.
Harry
2 Dec 2010  #23
Good question Dan :)

But strangely one he hasn't answered when it was put to him.
frd 7 | 1,399
2 Dec 2010  #25
I'm Polish and I wouldn't want to fight for my country, sorry for the off-topic ;o
Marynka11 4 | 675
2 Dec 2010  #26
I only keep hoping Poland will keep schmoozing with the US so that I don't have to make that decision.
Harry
2 Dec 2010  #27
He's a lawyer, what do you expect. ;)

I'd be rather surprised to find out that he is a lawyer.
Bzibzioh
2 Dec 2010  #28
i doubt many expat Poles would come home and fight either.

You know nothing about Polish expats. You are judging by your coward/sissy/nihilistic British standards.
OP Ozi Dan 26 | 569
2 Dec 2010  #29
Could you perhaps go into some detail as to why a person would be hypocritical in not fighting for a country which refuses to give him the rights of a citizen of that country?

I don't get the gist of your question - please rephrase it. In any event, I was asking a similar question, so instead of asking me to answer my own question, why don't you try to answer it yourself?

Would you fight for Poland against Australia?

I honestly don't know what I'd do. Perhaps face some jail time for being a conscientious objector? It's a terrible thing to ask isn't it? That was the point of this thread really - to foster self-reflection for those UK expats (and/or Plastic Poms such as yourself) in Poland who are sometimes highly critical of the loyalty and conscience crises that face(d) Polish emigres who sometimes were forced to leave their home and adopt another country as their own.

You'd be pretty stuffed in that scenario wouldn't you - an Aussie who thinks he's a Pom but who lives in Poland. Who would you fight for? If you think deeply, it's a real tough one. How do you think Poles in WW2 felt when asked/forced to sign the Volkliste? Have a look at my thread on Koza-Kozarski's memoirs.

Personally I wouldn't fight for any country. People yes, a country no.

That's an interesting take. What do you mean by 'people'? What would be your criteria to establish whether certain 'people' were worth fighting for? How would you distinguish the criteria of 'people' in the notional sense as against a nation of people?

would fight for the Scottish side.

I appreciate your candour. But, if the unthinkable happened, would you form a fifth column behind Polish lines, or would you hand yourself in as an alien who poses a potential threat to Poland?

What if you became a Polish citizen, or had a child who was Polish of Scottish descent? Would that change your loyalties and the way in which you expressed those loyalties in reality?

How do we set the objective benchmark to decide whether your subjective assertions as to what you would do in a war are, objectively, the right ones to make?

The answer is simple - there is no right or wrong answer as to what you should or shouldn't do because the issue is metaphysical and has no right or wrong benchmark to be tested against. Thus, in my view, it's futile to assert that someone is a traitor or disloyal because those descriptions, in this context, do not apply. Judging is easy - empathising is hard.

Good question Dan :)

Thanks Ash - hope it gave you food for thought. Have you been to the Polish Club in Ashfield?

I'd be rather surprised to find out that he is a lawyer.

How are the fish portions at your local chippy? I also get bummed out when I order two large pieces of fish on a Sunday and they look like they're just medium sized.

I suppose that's the difference between you and me. I know who I am, and who you are. You wouldn't have a clue who I am, and indeed, I think you're suffering from some sort of identity crisis. You've called me omniscient and perhaps I am. Am I a lawyer though - who cares.

edited out personal content
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,884
2 Dec 2010  #30
Delphiandomine wrote:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I recall you recently saying words to the effect that in about two years you would be eligible for Polish citizenship and you would probably take that honour?

My thoughts exactly. Only he said 3 years, not 2. Delph has only been in Poland a little over 2 years.

Fair question.


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