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WHY IS POLAND STILL GIVEN THE COLD SHOULDER?


bimber94 7 | 254
21 Oct 2010  #1
Looking at Poland's history, Poland has, as we know, all too often been given a bad deal. One of the most notable sad episodes was the 1997 flood, which even damaged the wonderful Ossolineum. In a tragedy where 69 people lost their lives, not a solitary news item about these floods were mentioned on British news, TV, radio or press (I don't know about other countries). The only news about it was that there were flash floods in the Czech Republic; and about six weeks later the news items were that "the flash floods in the Czech Republic have now reached Germany". Not one mention of anything that happened in between. The BBC above all, and other media bodies, deliberately ignored Poland's plight in its hour of need.

When travelling from Poland to London by coach in the 1990s, all the Czech nationals at Dover were whisked through with no problem, but all the Poles were given the third degree, and always, without fail, at least one or two from each coach were deported. There's much more I witnessed on a number of occasions at Dover, but I'd be trolling here.

Looking further back, what had Poland done to the UK, for Churchill to stab Poland in the back at Yalta? it's understandable that a red scumbag like Stalin would harm Poland, but Roosevelt and Churchill for Chrissake! The Polish people are still being badly treated, such as being kept in comparative poverty with such low wages, higher prices than in UK etc. And who in Poland can even dream of cheap international phone calls such as on Lebara (4p/min to Poland and 5p/min to India)?
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
21 Oct 2010  #2
I too have wondered about that for years. Indeed it seems that Poles have frequently got the wrong end of the stick, been snubbed, cold-shouldered, marginalised or ignored. OK, so there was no independent Poland on the map during the great 19th-century immigration to the US and most of those who went were illiterate peasants. But so where Slovaks, Ukrainians and Hungarians, and yet who has ever heard of Hungarian, Ukrainian or Slovak jokes? There must have been some but not on the scale of the 'Pollack joke'.

Obama outdid himself trying to curry favour with the 6-million-strong Jewish electorate but never bothered to address a single PolAm group during his campaign although our Polonia number 9-10 million.

Some say that America's culturally WASPified and financially largely Jewish controlled media are responsible for Poland's poor PR image. Maybe Poles themselves are to blame for not being assertive enough. They are often at each others throats but towards foreigners or the host society as émigrés they tend to be meek, mild, complaisant and try to melt into the woodwork rather than stand up for their rights.

What rights? Well, for one taxpayer-funded Polish studies in schools similar to holocaust studies, Afro-American curricula, Hispanic studies and the like.
convex 20 | 3,978
21 Oct 2010  #3
When travelling from Poland to London by coach in the 1990s, all the Czech nationals at Dover were whisked through with no problem, but all the Poles were given the third degree, and always, without fail, at least one or two from each coach were deported. There's much more I witnessed on a number of occasions at Dover, but I'd be trolling here.

I think you just answered the question there.

But so where Slovaks, Ukrainians and Hungarians, and yet who has ever heard of Hungarian, Ukrainian or Slovak jokes?

It's a question of numbers.

Obama outdid himself trying to curry favour with the 6-million-strong Jewish electorate but never bothered to address a single PolAm group during his campaign although our Polonia number 9-10 million.

Here, it's not just a question of numbers. The average Jewish American is a bit more influential than the average Polish American. Not to mention, that geopolitically, Israel is much more important to the US, and the politicians than Poland. Not an opinion, just calling it like it is. Or maybe it's a question of organization... Also the Jewish vote is fairly single issue, whereas Poland doesn't have issues with its sovereignty :)

What rights? Well, for one taxpayer-funded Polish studies in schools similar to holocaust studies, Afro-American curricula, Hispanic studies and the like.

If no one wants to study it, and no one finances it, why should a university offer it? You mentioned it earlier, be assertive, that's what the US is all about. Start a program at your local college. The US, despite where it's headed, isn't a fully communist nanny state yet. You can't sit back and wait for things to happen. Take that money that you wanted to invest, and start a program.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,388
21 Oct 2010  #4
In a tragedy where 69 people lost their lives, not a solitary news item about these floods were mentioned on British news, TV, radio or press (I don't know about other countries).

simply not true.

When travelling from Poland to London by coach in the 1990s, all the Czech nationals at Dover were whisked through with no problem, but all the Poles were given the third degree

also not true

i was in wroclaw the first week of the 97 flood. i then went to the uk by coach, which arrived early.

while in the uk the only way to find out what was happening at home, apart from the phone, was watching tv and reading the papers. there was plenty coverage.
alexw68
21 Oct 2010  #5
not a solitary news item about these floods were mentioned on British news, TV, radio or press (I don't know about other countries)

You were in the UK at the time? I distinctly remember it otherwise. Not a huge coverage, I grant you, but facades falling off the front of apartment blocks in Wrocław definitely made it to the Nine O'clock News.
Torq 26 | 2,371
21 Oct 2010  #6
yet who has ever heard of Hungarian, Ukrainian or Slovak jokes? There must have been some but not on the scale of the 'Pollack joke'.

I read an article in "Polonia Christiana" explaining the origin of Polish jokes, and it seems that
their spreading was reinforced and financed by Soviet Union's propaganda machine after
the crushing defeat, that Red Army suffered in the Battle of Warsaw. They couldn't defeat
us militarily, so they started their propaganda machine, spreading lies about "stupid Poles,
who didn't appreciate the revolution, modernity and well-being that communism was bringing
them."

The article was in the 15th issue of PCh...

fidelitas.pl/1968.html

... Valdis Grinsteins Skąd się wzięły polish jokes?
Stu 12 | 522
21 Oct 2010  #7
Okay ... so now we've had a story from England and a story from the UK. Allow me to tell you about the Polish-Dutch relationship:

1. When we remember Operation Market Garden (17-25 September 1944), there are always Polish veterans present;
2. The little village of Driel still honours the Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade, which liberated the village in WWII - there are several plaques commemorating the event, there is a Plac Polski, the local football team (RKSV Driel) plays in red and white, and a parachute is part of its logo

3. The Dutch MoD has a museum on the Trip van Zoudtlandtkazerne, an army base in Breda, about General Maczek
4. The Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade received the highest military honour of the Netherlands, the Military William Order (pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_Wojskowy_Wilhelma)

5. There is a Polish military cemetery in Breda
6. There is a special website about the Polish influence on the city of Breda (polonia-breda.nl/nl/weetjes/poolse-breda, unfortunately not really up-to-date).

And (jokingly) every week the city of Utrecht is laughing its head off because 36,53% of the 850-900 cars a week are being exported to Poland (automarkt.vwe.nl/Default.aspx - in the top of the screen, you can select the language). Add to that all the fruit pluckers, truck drivers and in my village even a day care centre run by Polish women, and you'll have to agree that Polish people are very welcome over here.
Polonia1 3 | 53
21 Oct 2010  #8
Looking at Poland's history, Poland has, as we know, all too often been given a bad deal.

You have to realize that Polish history from a western perspective is simply inconvenient. They dnt want to be reminded that they betrayed Poland on numerous occasions during WW2 and prolonged the war by 5 years. Thus Polish success is hardly mentioned if at all. I remember in my history class (i live in Australia) I constantly had to interrupt the teacher stand up for the truth. all they taught us is how great the French resistance was, I had had to remind them that Poland in fact had the greatest and largest resistance in WW2 and the only occupied country without any collaboratory groups of ppl. Poland to them was jst some backward unlucky country who couldn't stand up for herself. You wnt here about the betrayals, you wnt hear about our brave and most successful pilots in the battle of Britain, you wnt hear that the Polish took the mount in mounte casino and you certainly wnt here that we werent even invited to the victory parade!!
trener zolwia 1 | 940
21 Oct 2010  #9
Maybe Poles themselves are to blame for not being assertive enough. They are often at each others throats but towards foreigners or the host society as émigrés they tend to be meek, mild, complaisant and try to melt into the woodwork rather than stand up

I think this is part of the problem.
The squeaky wheel gets the grease... just as the quiet one doesn't.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
21 Oct 2010  #10
Think of the European dynamic. We always talk of the big 3 in Germany, France and the GB. It can easily be seen that Poland is an emerging entity and that some want to stem the tide of its development. I think some prominent politicians have (had) secret beefs with Poland, notably Churchill (Martin Gilbert may say differently). It goes well back.
OP bimber94 7 | 254
22 Oct 2010  #11
Polonia1
you certainly wnt here that we werent even invited to the victory parade!!

Yes. The official excuse is that Churchill did that in case Stalin disapproved.

@ Wroclaw:
I don't know where you've been or when; it seems your experiences at Dover in the 1990s on Polish coaches was entirely different from mine. I wasn't hallucinating, Wroclaw. I also once saw a Polish qualified nurse being grilled at Dover for twenty minutes at least (1992 or 3). She said she had a fully booked-up English language course, prepaid accommodation etc. The clerk at point of entry (so-called immigration 'officer'), asked her "If you're a qualified nurse in Poland why do you need to come to this country to learn English?". She was deported and in tears. When I dared to question this there and then, this receptionist waved its paw and I was stopped and grilled by a fat cop. I still have his name. Even five years ago, Polish nationals, although no longer deported just for kicks, were still subject to stupid questions by some teenager behind a desk. One spotty jerk behind a desk too big for him didn't have the brains nor the nerve to ask questions, so his attitude was to drawl a 'welcome' in a fake Oirish accent with a "hellooooooo dere...". What a dickhead!
Wroclaw 44 | 5,388
22 Oct 2010  #12
I don't know where you've been or when; it seems your experiences at Dover in the 1990s on Polish coaches was entirely different from mine.

i've just checked my post and your quote. for some reason i quoted u (talking about the whole decade) and then i wrote about the time of the flood.

Yes, at other times i saw people turned back. and there was always a small group of Polish folk waiting in France for the return journey.

the first time i went to the uk on a Polish passport (with details of my british place of birth) i was also questioned.

the rest of my (above) post stands.
jonni 16 | 2,485
22 Oct 2010  #13
Hmm.

Today I took a Polish friend in the UK to a temp agency, since he's new to my city and needs work. The guy had worked for me for five years in Poland, and always worked in offices. His English is fluent. But as soon as the receptionist heard his Polish accent, she gave him a card with the address of their industrial branch.

Amazing this still happens.
greatbritain
22 Oct 2010  #14
its not that bad
convex 20 | 3,978
22 Oct 2010  #15
Not as bad as what?
milky 13 | 1,657
22 Oct 2010  #16
So,what was the reason for this attitude toward the Poles in the post Soviet-era, was it simply that they were seen almost as an African country, full of poor, potential imigrants, and no one wanted to open the floodgates to them. Was is something to do with Milton Friedman and sabotaging their progress unless they privatise everything.....or what??
convex 20 | 3,978
22 Oct 2010  #17
If there was any specific attitude towards Poles as opposed to other "Eastern European" countries, it was probably due to the number of Poles that migrated after the revolutions. It's interesting though, Northern Europeans usually focus on Poles, and Southern Europeans focus on Romanians and Bulgarians.
PlasticPole 7 | 2,649
22 Oct 2010  #18
Looking at Poland's history, Poland has, as we know, all too often been given a bad deal.

It's because of where Poland is situated geographically and the relationship between ethnic Poles, ethnic Germans and ethnic Russians. Germany wants to be number one in the region. America had a strange relationship with Germany, kind of two faced. We didn't like the Nazis so much because of our Jewish Americans but owed loyality to Germany, more or less, because of the Deutsche influence immigrants had here.

Poles did not immigrate en masse until later, although there was a Pole who showed up now and then. So, America didn't have this influencial pool of ethnic Poles influencing what mattered and what didn't like Germany had. So, you had this indifference on behalf of America, and reluctance to get involved. Also, we had just been through WWI and no one wanted a repeat of that. It was supposed to be the war to end all wars, so what was the deal with that? Americans really believed it was the war to end all wars and didn't feel justified in fighting again so soon.
milky 13 | 1,657
22 Oct 2010  #19
A German friend of mine, told me, that the Germans tend to see the Poles as sloppy and messy.
pgtx 29 | 3,159
22 Oct 2010  #20
not a surprise here...lol... example: when you drive across Germany or Austria, you see clean and neat front yards, very nice... unlike in Poland... :)
convex 20 | 3,978
22 Oct 2010  #21
That's becoming less and less so. But I remember my grandmother telling me about sending used clothes to Poland, guessing it still sticks.
OP bimber94 7 | 254
22 Oct 2010  #22
milky
A German friend of mine, told me, that the Germans tend to see the Poles as sloppy and messy.

Some of my family are, but soon become ultra-together when they smell free vodka around somewhere.
milky 13 | 1,657
22 Oct 2010  #23
Well personally i'm sloppy and I think the Irish,especially in the eyes if the Tory English are seen as a messy type ,so............bla bla bla
Amathyst 19 | 2,702
22 Oct 2010  #24
simply not true.

Actually it is true...the BBC didnt report on it.

But similary, did / do Polish news report on recent and past floods in the UK?

Northern Europeans usually focus on Poles, and Southern Europeans focus on Romanians and Bulgarians.

Oh Americans have the Mexicans, so dont feel left out Mr C :D

This thread is just another "pitty me pitty me"
OP bimber94 7 | 254
22 Oct 2010  #25
Amathyst
This thread is just another "pitty me pitty me"

I strongly disagree with that! It's making people aware of the way Poland has and is being treated, as opposed to wallowing in self-pity (one T). It's also a small attempt in my own small way, of at least hoping for a better Poland (maybe in a hundred years) by highlighting the differences between the average English and Polish consumer's lifestyle. As one example, your attention is drawn to the end of my first post. Why on earth shouldn't Poland have international phone calls as cheap as in the UK? As though big business can't afford it!! Bah, humbug!
Pinching Pete - | 558
22 Oct 2010  #26
This thread is just another "pitty me pitty me"

Hell yes, nothing a Pole likes to do more than bit.ch about no one respecting them.
convex 20 | 3,978
22 Oct 2010  #27
Why on earth shouldn't Poland have international phone calls as cheap as in the UK?

With VOIP, calls are just as cheap. With TP...well, you might want to ask them why international calls are so expensive. It's convenient, because they speak Polish.

I gave some good tips in my first post, who's willing to follow them?
OP bimber94 7 | 254
22 Oct 2010  #28
Pinching Pete
Hell yes, nothing a Pole likes to do more than bit.ch about no one respecting them.

*moans*
Marek11111 9 | 816
22 Oct 2010  #29
why Poland gets screwed?
it is simple explanation
Poland is view in west as niger of Europe.
convex 20 | 3,978
22 Oct 2010  #30
Poland is view in west as niger of Europe.

Why? Romanian and Ukrainian labor costs are cheaper (and Hungarian now interestingly enough...). So why the reason?


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