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No de-Communisation in Poland?


Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
24 Sep 2010  #1
Is it true that Poland was the only Soviet-bloc ciountry (except for the USSR itself andf maybe the Balkans whoa re always mucked up anyway) that did not carry out any meaningful de-communisation process? There were feeble attempts -- the Macierewicz files, lustracja, the Wildstein data base, etc., but those resposnible for the 45 years of PRL misgovernment and mismanagement have never been brought to justice.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,626
24 Sep 2010  #2
Still trying to stir up trouble, are we? I've noticed that your topics seem to always be about divisive topics in Polish society - topics that attract the nutjobs.

The vast majority of people in Poland have moved on. We don't need "lustracja" or any witch hunts - what happened, happened - and now people want to move on from those times and towards a better future. There's no support in Poland for people to be hounded on the basis of unreliable files from the SB and the like - in fact, seeing as high ranking public servants must sign a declaration of non-cooperation with the Communists anyway - there's little to no need for any such "decommunisation" process.

The fact that the only party that supports full-scale lustration is hovering at about 25% in the polls should tell you what the view is - that it doesn't matter and it's time to move on. The witch hunts orchestrated by PiS should be enough evidence of why it's a bad idea - they spent their entire time hunting down alleged agents and not enough time actually governing.
Harry
24 Sep 2010  #3
Is it true that Poland was the only Soviet-bloc ciountry (except for the USSR itself andf maybe the Balkans whoa re always mucked up anyway) that did not carry out any meaningful de-communisation process?

In Poland there was no need to carry out that process: no Pole ever collaborated with the Communist occupiers, just as no Pole ever collaborated with the Nazis.
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 9,714
24 Sep 2010  #4
Still trying to stir up trouble, are we?

Trouble for whom???

In Germany we had/still have the Stasi Behörde...

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Commissioner_for_the_Stasi_Archives
bstu.bund.de/cln_029/nn_710332/EN/Office/office__node.html__nnn=true

All people can get access to their files the Stasi made about them and also all
people ever working for the Stasi, all informers and all crimes are investigated.
It was a great tool during the last 20 years to achieve justice and to start
the healing process.
It is still important as it is still a black spot on ones bio to have been an informer...several
officials had to step down from their offices after their files had been found and published as it is not taken lightly.

Yes, there was of course talk about leaving it all rest...as is now the talk of "enough already"
but estimates are that the archives will be open and used for another ten years.

Who was troubled by it you ask? The right ones..those who abused their power
and afterwards tried to hide it...to f'ucking bad!

The vast majority of people in Poland have moved on. We don't need "lustracja" or any witch hunts

I disagree...
For most Germans at least the Stasi Behörde was a good, necessary thing...I don't think the Poles are that different.

I would be suspicious of all people who would try so hard to push all this under the rug....
convex 20 | 3,978
24 Sep 2010  #5
Who was troubled by it you ask? The right ones..those who abused their power
and afterwards tried to hide it...to f'ucking bad!

The problem is that the Polish archives have been seriously undermined and lack integrity.
convex 20 | 3,978
24 Sep 2010  #7
files removed, lack of controlled access, plants, selective release of information
Malopolanin 3 | 134
24 Sep 2010  #8
We had "licensed opposition" so there was no chance for de-Communisation.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
24 Sep 2010  #9
Every PZPR official starting with a POP (podstawowa organizacja partyjna) secretary, should have not only been prevented holding public office for 10 or 15 years, but should have had his wages docked for the next decade to compensate for the Soviet-backed communist crimes, thievery, mismanagement and corruption that went on in PRL. Politburo and CC members should have been forced to pay 50% of their monthly income in compensation to the state treasury, and lower-level PZPR flunkeys -- proportionately less but not less than 10%. All fat-cat old-age pensions should have been done away with and former PZPR officials and even rank and file members should have not been allowed to get more than the average pension.

Unfortunately, Poles being bungling Poles, they failed to declare the PZPR a criminal organisation from the very start. And when the Olszewski government in 1992 attempted to start a clean-up, the Tusks, Kurońs, Kwaśniewskis, Moczulskis, Michniks, Pawlaks, Mazowieckis and the remaining motley crew began quaking in their boots with Wałęsa at the fore. So he gathered in a side room of parliament and they agreed to topple the government. The only penance the Tusk regime ever did to offset that travesty of justice was to slash fat-cat pensions. But the old veteran commies are now appealing against the measure, so the villains may soon again be getting more than the victims they oppressed.

America knew how to carry out de-Nazification in post-war Germany. It should be remembered that communists, of whom the PZPR were a part, murdered far more people world-wide than all the Nazis, fascists, Francoists, Tisoists anfd Vichy types combined, yet they mostly got off the hook.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,626
24 Sep 2010  #10
How so?

As convex says, and add in the fact that the files have already been used for political games and that the organisation dealing with them is politically biased - it just wouldn't work here and now. No-one can trust what's in those files - especially when the SB themselves were well known for falsifying files. They might be interesting from a historical point of view, but the way that they've dealt with it has been amateurish at best.

The German example worked because it was on the basis of full disclosure from the very start and supervised by a strong West German state. Poland in the early 90's was very very unstable - hardly the right climate for attempting to "lustrate" people.

All fat-cat old-age pensions should have been done away with and former PZPR officials and even rank and file members should have not been allowed to get more than the average pension.

Very easy to say that from abroad. Not so easy to say that in a country where the former communists were still very strong politically - or have you forgotten who won the 1993 election?

Don't forget that those officials were also the ones with experience of management and organisation. You know - people you need to rebuild the country. Germany didn't need them, but Poland?

Unfortunately, Poles being bungling Poles, they failed to declare the PZPR a criminal organisation from the very start.

How do you propose doing this in the climate of mid-1989 when the Communists still had control of the key ministries? All very well talking hypothetically, but it wasn't possible.

And when the Olszewski government in 1992 attempted to start a clean-up, the Tusks, Kurońs, Kwaśniewskis, Moczulskis, Michniks, Pawlaks, Mazowieckis and the remaining motley crew began quaking in their boots with Wałęsa at the fore.

That's right, and they're all Jewish too, aren't they?

Your political bias is hilarious. May I remind you that Kaczynski's father has serious question marks over just what deal he made with the communists? I'd say that daddy Kaczynski has far more question marks over his head than any of the ones you mentioned.

America knew how to carry out de-Nazification in post-war Germany.

Indeed, America invited many of the top officials to take part in the reconstruction of the country, paving the way for the economic miracle of West Germany. In fact, the denazificiation in East Germany was what partially caused the weakness of the state from the beginning - instead of getting people with experience to run things, they elected people with political experience with no practical experience.

West Germany should have been the example that Poland looked to - and it more or less was.

I don't think it's any surprise that those who are obsessed with communists tend to be the ones who have spent their whole life making excuses and complaining. Or indeed, they aren't even in the country.
Harry
24 Sep 2010  #11
That's right, and they're all Jewish too, aren't they?

Precisely. But you forgot to add that Tusk is not only a Jew but also a German Jew.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
24 Sep 2010  #12
After the collpase of the Evil Empire, as our great, heroic President Ronald Reagan used to call it, Poland was free to operate sovereignly without looking to Moscow. And incidentally, are deals made with PZPR criminals and SB terrorists at gunpoint morally binding? The Solidarity-Oppositon side had nto choice put to promise impuntiy to the red scum at the roundtable, but by 1992 they should have all been locked up or shipped to the Russia they so admired.

BTW Wałęsa. Moczulski, Chrzanowski, Pawlak, Tusk and a few others are not Jews. What do Jews have to do with this whole matter anyway? Everyone knows how much Jews hate communism!
delphiandomine 83 | 17,626
24 Sep 2010  #13
After the collpase of the Evil Empire, as our great, heroic President Ronald Reagan used to call it, Poland was free to operate sovereignly without looking to Moscow.

That was in 1991. You might want to look at the results of the election in 1991 - where was the popular support for lustration? It wasn't there. You can talk all you want about "what should have been done" - but at the end of the day, the people voted for parties that didn't care for lustration. You know - democracy.

And incidentally, are deals made with PZPR criminals and SB terrorists at gunpoint morally binding? The Solidarity-Oppositon side had nto choice put to promise impuntiy to the red scum at the roundtable, but by 1992 they should have all been locked up or shipped to the Russia they so admired.

They had plenty of choice. No-one made Solidarity agree anything - if they had the stomach for it, they could easily have continued to watch the situation deteriorate in Poland instead of compromising for the benefit of everything. I mean - what gunpoint? Solidarity could easily have said "nie" to the Round Table.

but by 1992 they should have all been locked up or shipped to the Russia they so admired.

Right. And who was supporting this? The 1991 election results show that there was no popular consensus for such an action. Indeed, many of the people shouting now about lustration were suspiciously quiet back then - cowards? Certainly are.
nott 3 | 594
24 Sep 2010  #14
Solidarity could easily have said "nie" to the Round Table.

There was no Solidarity at the Round Table, there was a pro-commie faction. People who wanted to save as much of 'true socialism' as possible, or had dirty cards in their books. Michnik's mother was a well-known commie 'historian', and father of Kuron was an old ubek. I'll never forget Kuroń frothing from mouth while defending in Sejm the 'justly deserved pensions of hard working Poles who served the country with all commitment possible.'

The one thing you say is true: the communists were in power. But the situation was explosive, so they staged the 'national agreement', they stayed in power, and everything went down the gutter.

Not everything depended on the SB files. Party officials were widely known, and banning them from managerial posts, like in Czechoslowakia, would not damage economy nor administration in the slightest. 'Martial law' was illegal, massive abuse of power even according to the current law, so hanging of Jaruzelski and Kiszczak would not only put things right, but send a strong and clear signal as well. This was not possible, though, because of the people listed by P3.
southern 75 | 7,097
24 Sep 2010  #15
After the collpase of the Evil Empire, as our great, heroic President Ronald Reagan used to call it

Sth is wrong with this country.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,626
24 Sep 2010  #16
So Lech Kacyznski was part of the pro-Communist faction? Nice to hear it - it confirms what everyone already knows - that the Kaczynski twins had some sort of funny connection to the regime.

The one thing you say is true: the communists were in power. But the situation was explosive, so they staged the 'national agreement', they stayed in power, and everything went down the gutter.

Of course the situation was explosive. We could have seen a bitter civil war that the Soviets would have stayed out of - making things even worse. We could have had a Romanian situation where the line between good guys and the bad guys were blurred at best, with people being killed by agents working for people unknown. I'd say that in Poland, the transition was smooth, peaceful and showed that the Communists could give up power without violence.

Not everything depended on the SB files.

And where do you stop? Many people were members of the party officially - do you ban all of them? In which case, you would have had massive gaps in such things as education - who would replace all of the school directors? Even many ordinary teachers were signed into the Party - should they have been disqualified too? Where do you stop?

The declaration of martial law probably avoided civil war and a complete breakdown of society. Right or wrong, I think most people simply wanted Communism to go away. Anyway, the Church represented the opposition - and hanging people is hardly good Christian practice, is it?
Dougpol3 1 | 40
24 Sep 2010  #17
I don't think it's any surprise that those who are obsessed with communists tend to be the ones who have spent their whole life making excuses and complaining. Or indeed, they aren't even in the country.

I take exception to that remark Delph - my in law didn't take the card when "offered" and was shafted double by not being made mine director and also like the huge huge majority had all property confiscated by the state.

And yes, he still disses the old boys on the street who did the people's deputy shite. He's entitled to look down his nose at those kunts.

Mazowiecki and his cohorts sold people like him. And to make excuses for Poland and mantain it was alright that the crims held on their stolen wealth is immoral. Just for straters - we all know if this was Britain the ole president with his sunglasses would not be living in biography funded retirement, but would be languishing in a dungeon - or worse.

Frankly surprised at you Delph - defending the Polish propensity to do nothing if at all possible, but you are so right in that it is now too late........

It wont stop the likes of me spitting at anybody and starting a ruck with anybody in a certain village town that my in laws point out as zomo or ex party.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,626
24 Sep 2010  #18
And yes, he still disses the old boys on the street who did the people's deputy shite. He's entitled to look down his nose at those kunts.

Is he obsessed with it to the point where he's always looking back and not forwards, though? It's one thing to react when you see them, but another thing to spend your days constantly complaining and moaning about it.

We can't compare though - Britain is a stable democracy, whereas Poland has only really had about 13 years of it and still isn't very stable politically.

The case with Jaruzelski - well, let's not forget that Pinochet was allowed to leave the UK without standing trial.

It wont stop the likes of me spitting at anybody and starting a ruck with anybody in a certain village town that my in laws point out as zomo or ex party.

The problem with the "Ex party" tag is that many people were members just to give their family a better life, or indeed to keep their jobs. Are they really so bad? It's fine and well to play the hero, but in those times, who could blame someone for simply wanting better living conditions?
Dougpol3 1 | 40
24 Sep 2010  #19
The problem with the "Ex party" tag is that many people were members just to give their family a better life, or indeed to keep their jobs.

No no no! Inexcusable - though my father in law gave that view I am more extreme and would have demonised such people - that is crap and you know it - my father in law didn't get to the very top without the Party but still managed to buy a flat in TysiacLecia and build his house with his bare hands without the Scum's card.

Nobody with any credence would have joined that mob. It seems our discussion is at a crossroads :))

I don't like my father in law in some ways (catholic and all that) But he's a thoroughly decent human being and a gentle man and I admire him for (politely) and determiedly turning don a party card when the rewards were great.

And I know enough people in Katowice who lost their posts at the university and other institutes - these people should still be lauded today- and I would not in any way support those who took the easy option to "change the system form within"

That was just opportunist bull shite(I foget this is an American forum LOL ).
You seem to be with the Poland of "that never really existed". I am a Platforma "voter", but we must not forget the Scum of Polish society.

In my view.
nott 3 | 594
25 Sep 2010  #20
So Lech Kacyznski was part of the pro-Communist faction?

He was nobody.

Of course the situation was explosive.

For the commies.

We could have seen a bitter civil war

people didn't have guns. Not in 1981, nor in 1989. The army was unreliable even during the martial law. The worst what could happen was massive demonstrations and possibly some freaky accidents.

This is a hindsight, of course. But plenty of people then saw it this way too.

I'd say that in Poland, the transition was smooth, peaceful and showed that the Communists could give up power without violence.

Only they didn't give up power. They smoothly converted it from political to economical, adopting part of the opposition for the front.

And where do you stop? Many people were members of the party officially - do you ban all of them? In which case, you would have had massive gaps in such things as education - who would replace all of the school directors? Even many ordinary teachers were signed into the Party - should they have been disqualified too? Where do you stop?

Paid apparatchiks, that's what I meant by party officials. Not the 3.5 million of conformists. Easy distinction.

The declaration of martial law probably avoided civil war and a complete breakdown of society.

Wrong, as could only be. People had no guns, the makeshift pikes worked only once and for a while, in bitter defence. And society didn't need commies in power, as could be nicely seen in self-organisation skills during various previous events. People gave everything from themselves then, hope paid for the efforts. One of the things that prompted the 13 December action was that Solidarity started to organise 'shadow governments'.

Right or wrong, I think most people simply wanted Communism to go away.

'simply' wasn't an option. General strike and replacing the commie structure with the new one, was.

Anyway, the Church represented the opposition - and hanging people is hardly good Christian practice, is it?

:) the Church allows for hanging traitors no problem. Possibly Jankowski would say a short prayer.
gumishu 11 | 5,012
25 Sep 2010  #21
delphiandomine

That was in 1991. You might want to look at the results of the election in 1991 - where was the popular support for lustration? It wasn't there. You can talk all you want about "what should have been done" - but at the end of the day, the people voted for parties that didn't care for lustration. You know - democracy.

if people knew better they would do better

btw some important people in Poland do behave like they are acting agents of foreing powers - look at Mr Pawlak and his gas contract until some time in 2030's (is it 2037 - this is not the only flaw of the contract as you propably know) when there is a prospective for Poland to be energetically self-suficient in some 10 years
Dougpol3 1 | 40
26 Sep 2010  #22
Lol - I was a great deal pissed when I wrote that last post.

But:

I share the opinion of my Polish family of the last 21 years - Civil War? A joke excuse for doing nothing, almost as bad a joke as selling out at the Round Table talks.

Czechoslowakia and Eastern Germany did it right - nailing their commies.

Poland, as ever, woosed out.
Ironside 48 | 9,705
26 Sep 2010  #23
I would be suspicious of all people who would try so hard to push all this under the rug....

Good post BB:)
Furthermore you're right !
delphiandomine 83 | 17,626
26 Sep 2010  #24
I share the opinion of my Polish family of the last 21 years - Civil War? A joke excuse for doing nothing, almost as bad a joke as selling out at the Round Table talks.

What was the alternative of the Round Table? The country was sinking to almost rock bottom, it was bankrupt and was in a dire mess financially. We know in hindsight that the Soviet Union was serious about not interfering - but in those times, accepting "Contract Sejm" with all the conditions was the best thing on offer.

It's easy to say now that they should have fought the communists as the Soviet Union wouldn't have interfered - but given that the Soviet Union was unstable and unreliable at that point - it wouldn't have been a huge shock for an Army coup there to restore "order" in Poland. Indeed, if the August 1991 coup had come in August 1989, it's hard to imagine that Poland would have been allowed to carry on her independent path.

As for civil war being a joke - if Walesa had prepared Solidarity for a war, don't you think that there would indeed have been one in 1981? The only reason the Communists succeeded with marital law was that they caught Solidarity sleeping - that, and the fact that Solidarity as a whole believed that Poles wouldn't fight Poles.

Czechoslowakia and Eastern Germany did it right - nailing their commies.

Poland, as ever, woosed out.

Well, East Germany had no say so - it was forced on them by the West Germans. That leaves Czechoslovakia as the sole state that practiced Lustration - and no-one knows for certain as to how reliable the files actually are. Let's not forget that the Stasi, among others, were very good at producing false records for the purpose of destroying people.

The behaviour of the IPN tells us one thing - that lustration would be used as a weapon in Poland towards political enemies.

Let's not forget that the Constitutional Tribunal has thrown out parts of lustration laws twice, declaring it against the constitution - I'd say that defending the constitution is probably the most important thing in Poland today.
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 9,714
26 Sep 2010  #25
Well, East Germany had no say so - it was forced on them by the West Germans.

Crap!
The Stasi Behörde was called "Gauck-Behörde" earlier...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joachim_Gauck

Joachim Gauck (born 24 January 1940 in Rostock) is a German Protestant pastor, a former anti-communist human rights activist in East Germany, a co-founder of the New Forum opposition movement and a member of the only freely elected People's Chamber for the Alliance 90 in 1990, and following the Reunification of Germany, the first Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Archives, serving from 1990 to 2000.
As a Federal Commissioner, he earned recognition as a "Stasi hunter", exposing the crimes of the former communist political police[1].

Nothing Wessi about him!
Why do you think the East Germans should feel "forced" to hunt the Stasi criminals and their informers???

Let's not forget that the Stasi, among others, were very good at producing false records for the purpose of destroying people.

But still you would prefer to leave them alone? Those destroyed lifes leaving unpunished?
I don't get you at all...

The behaviour of the IPN tells us one thing - that lustration would be used as a weapon in Poland towards political enemies.

Well..if you think of commies and ex-secret service agents as political friends maybe...do you?
delphiandomine 83 | 17,626
26 Sep 2010  #26
Why do you think the East Germans felt forced to hunt the Stasi criminals and their informers???

Did the Volkskammer pass a law about it? I don't recall that they did...

But - also - you could generally trust Germans to behave themselves with the information. Would you really trust hotheaded Poles?

But still you would prefer to leave them alone? Those destroyed lifes leaving unpunished? I don't get you at all...

The solution certainly wasn't relying on files of dubious integrity. Even in Germany, you can see that there was no desire to thoroughly punish them - look at the sentences handed out to Krenz et al. Even Mielke was tried on the basis of shooting a policeman in 1930-something as opposed to being tried for his part as the Stasi boss.

The German approach was probably the best one - but they had the benefit of big, stable West Germany to make sure that no-one went too far with abusing their power. In Poland, there wasn't that guarantee - heck, even the New York Times expressed doubt that Walesa wouldn't turn into a dictator. Who would have been trustworthy in the post-1989 climate to deal with the files in a sensible, grown up way? None of them.

Well..if you think of commies and ex-secret service agents as political friends maybe...do you?

And you think that the IPN and the hysterical anti-communists would only chase those who were guilty? We already know that they've attempted to smear Walesa as an agent - without providing any definitive proof apart from a few things found in files - files controlled by his political enemies. Who knows what else they would "find"?
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
26 Sep 2010  #27
Smear campaign? Hasn't there been plenty of proof that Wałęsa made a slłp-up in his younger days? Maybe it was inadvertent. Maybe he just signed some slip of paper to get them off his back or maybe he thought he could outfox them (Wallenrod style)? As president, he had his SB files delivered to his presidential office for perusal and they somehow went missing. None of this discredits or undermines what he managed to achieve in overthrowing the regime and introducing democracy. He would have done better to fess up, apologise and be done with it, insetad of trying to cover it all up or stonewall.
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 9,714
26 Sep 2010  #28
But - also - you could generally trust Germans to behave themselves with the information. Would you really trust hotheaded Poles?

Wot??? What is that for an argument???

Even in Germany, you can see that there was no desire to thoroughly punish them

Sure...by those who had to hide something. Since when get the criminal to decide if he should be persecuted or not???

Nobody in the whole of Poland the people trust? No polish Gauck??? Hard to believe...
AdamKadmon 2 | 508
26 Sep 2010  #29
I dare to say that de-communization is now not an important question for an average Pole. For politicians, de-communization seems also more and more an issue of the past, for it no longer stirs the emotions as it used to do. For the time being, it matters only for the ruling cast of Solidarity-origin (rodowód Solidarności) in the case when they feel threatened by challengers from the left (if there is such a thing).

Also democracy serves well the current political elites, it allows them to stay in power by periodical reshuffling of the pull of people considered fit to rule. The question remains, if de-communization could be used by an outside group against the ruling class, which is so much immersed in the past? The future will show, but I think de-communization also as an instrument of political struggle will walk away together with the current ruling class.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,626
26 Sep 2010  #30
Smear campaign?

Well, from a neutral point of view (I neither dislike or like him) - there's no evidence whatsoever that he actually did anything wrong during PRL times. Both Walesa and his political opponents may have interfered with his file - we know the part where he had the file delivered, but there's no evidence to suggest that he was the one who removed documents. We don't even know what those documents were - indeed, who is to say that the Communists (as they held the Interior Ministry) didn't remove the documents for their own reasons in 1989?

Sure...by those who had to hide something. Since when get the criminal to decide if he should be persecuted or not???

Erm, surely Wessies had nothing to hide, and yet they hardly prosecuted many people?

Nobody in the whole of Poland the people trust? No polish Gauck??? Hard to believe...

That was partially the problem - even Walesa wasn't trusted by certain aspects of Solidarity in 1989 due to his behaviour as Solidarity leader in 1980-1981. And - also - let's not forget just who controlled certain ministries in Mazowiecki's government. By the time these people resigned or were kicked out of the government - who knows what they would have done?


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