I think one of the bigger differences between Irish history and Polish, is that the Brits never wanted us, as a people, they wanted our land for various defensive and imperial reasons but not the people, whereas the Commies wanted the "hearts and minds" of the Poles.
I have to disagree with this statement; I personally do not see the difference. Communism was an ideology with ultimate goal of Global domination. Although the propaganda might have painted this picture as such that was never the case.
Ceremonial rhetoric or fact?
Looking at U.S. where most of the people claim one nationality or another, I wonder why is that? We are who we are, we keep the traditions of our ancestors, we keep our native language, we are proud of who we are – no matter of what our present circumstances are or our nationality is. It does not matter if the history is kind to us or cruel, we are proud of who we are. As long as we consider ourselves separate distinct group from our bigger more powerful neighbors we are the keepers of that spirit.
Dali Lama is correct, as long as we keep that spirit we Do Exist. His people have not lost that spirit; neither did many others who do not exist as a separate identity on political map of the world today. His message is a message of hope for his own people as well as for others who would like to be independent some day. Yes it is a Fact; this was a perfect opportunity to keep the message alive for many around the world. It is his duty to do that for his people and as a Pole I’m proud of the fact that he used us as an example for others to keep the hope alive.