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Poles are able to forgive their enemies - how noble.


pawian 154 | 8,586
25 Sep 2011  #1
Today, former President Lech Walesa, paid a visit to Wojciech Jaruzelski who has been staying at a hospital for a few days and wished him good health (życzyć komuś zdrowia).

In the past it was Jaruzelski who put Wałęsa in a detention center during the communist martial law coup d`etat in 1981. Afterwards, Jaruzelski`s junta tried to do their best to make Wałęsa sorry for his anticommunist stance.

Quite noble of Wałęsa. Or not? After all, he is a devout Catholic.

But inspiring for other politicians.

s

s

Our Father, Who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.


< Matthew 5:25 >>

Agree with thy adversary quickly, while thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

tvn24.pl/-1,1718542,0,1,walesa-odwiedzil-jaruzelskiego-w-szpitalu ,wiadomosc.html
hague1cmaeron 14 | 1,377
25 Sep 2011  #2
Lech Walesa

And don't forget the other part of the Lord's prayer

Taketh they camera
maketh sure that thy taketh a photograth,
to showeth to the rest of the world
Be sure to stroketh thy vanity once in a while
So that the world seeth what a good person you are.

Vanity of Vanities.
OP pawian 154 | 8,586
25 Sep 2011  #3
Giving a good example to other politicians is not vanity.
One can say Wałęsa learns fast. Why? Once he refused to shake hands with his communist opponent to Presidency, Mr. Kwasniewski, and it cost him lost elections.

But I don`t think he tried to win the public with that gesture at hospital.
boletus 30 | 1,367
25 Sep 2011  #4
Absolutely, this is a beautiful gesture, qualified from whatever position you want to take - either from a Christian one or from purely ethical one.

But my opinion does not count much here since I am only an external observer. I usually do not pay attention to comments attached to main articles, since they are quite often immature, rude - even vulgar. But this time I was really curious what an average reader of TVN24 thinks about this event.

About 50% comments did not surprise me at all - cheap, idiotic, and making me regret of going through the process of reading them: calling Wałęsa a buddy of Jaruzelski, naming him an old commie, secret agent and so on. Well, this is a contemporary Poland - I am sorry to say this but - in my opinion - this is a country of logical illiterates - empowered by tools of Internet, having nothing to contribute, yet still loving to talk nonsense. The mob is replacing the Cartesian "Cogito ergo sum" by "I shout therefore I exist." I would not mind if they just disagreed with him and criticized him on some rational grounds. What I hate is this level of primitivism, worthy only of the behaviour of "football kibols".

On the other hand, there were quite a few samples supporting the Wałęsa visit:

A beautiful gesture, we want a consent within the nation and some forgiveness; life is too short and we have only this one. Thank you, Mr. President! This is a dignified Christian gesture.

Fine! Lech is like wine - the older he gets the better he becomes.

A beautiful gesture, worthy of a statesman! Congratulation. My esteem even though I was not your aficionado before.

I did not like Walesa once, but now I have more sympathy towards him. He knows how to behave.

OP pawian 154 | 8,586
25 Sep 2011  #5
Those who made such comments were PiS supporters, for sure. They talk a lot about Christian values, but seldom put them in practise.
delphiandomine 84 | 17,703
25 Sep 2011  #6
Quite noble of Wałęsa. Or not? After all, he is a devout Catholic.

A truly inspiring move by Wałęsa. He did the decent thing (as one former President to another) - and showed what nobility is really about.

So that the world seeth what a good person you are.

But to be fair - that picture of him shaking hands with Jaruzelski means more than just "Wałęsa is a good person". It's a hell of a powerful image - and shows that Poles can indeed move on.

But I don`t think he tried to win the public with that gesture at hospital.

No, not at all. But for Wałęsa to make peace with Jaruzelski will allow Wałęsa his peace, too.

On the other hand, there were quite a few samples supporting the Wałęsa visit:

I think those with half a brain can see why Wałęsa did the right thing.

About 50% comments did not surprise me at all - cheap, idiotic, and making me regret of going through the process of reading them

And yet they'll still go to Church tomorrow and act like pious Catholics. And they wonder why they get ridiculed.
hague1cmaeron 14 | 1,377
25 Sep 2011  #7
Giving a good example to other politicians is not vanity.

Well I suppose it is not, and well done to him for doing so. However a true Christian gesture would be to reconcile with him and not tell anyone about it.
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,445
25 Sep 2011  #8
However a true Christian gesture would be to reconcile with him and not tell anyone about it.

yep, I agree with that 100%. No pictures.
Seanus 15 | 19,715
25 Sep 2011  #9
Different times call for different measures. He did a good thing :)
OP pawian 154 | 8,586
25 Sep 2011  #10
=hague1cmaeron]Well I suppose it is not, and well done to him for doing so. However a true Christian gesture would be to reconcile with him and not tell anyone about it.

=aphrodisiac]yep, I agree with that 100%. No pictures.

Not exactly, guys. Walęsa, allowing the photos to be taken and published, won as much support as he lost at the same time.

I still claim that Wałęsa tried to agree with his adversary while they are still both available in this world.
boletus 30 | 1,367
26 Sep 2011  #11
pawian:
Did you really mean to quote me again? I said nothing to contrary of what you had said. :-)

I understand that Wałęsa went to the hospital to visit his son (maimed in a road accident) and, since this is the same hospital where Jaruzelski is being treated, he spontaneously decided to pay him a visit as well. One scenario could be that - since Wałęsa is still very much in a public eye - the photo-journalists followed him there and took the pictures of opportunity. Another scenario could be that he was talked into a staged photo session. But for me the fact that the photos were taken is actually immaterial.

In either case, fame becomes a curse - and more so in 21st century - where more and more is being expected from the "actors" and the media pushes the envelope to the extremes. [Off topics: The current affair of supposedly staged and exaggerated report from 2007 climbing expedition to Greenland by Dawid (David) Kaszlikowski and Eliza Kubarska - ending with the "Jedynka" prize being taken away from them - may serve as an example, where normal fame and heroics do not count any more - public and media expect the super-heroics instead.]
delphiandomine 84 | 17,703
26 Sep 2011  #12
Not exactly, guys. Walęsa, allowing the photos to be taken and published, won as much support as he lost at the same time.

If anything, he didn't lose anything - his opponents of the PiS persuasion would attack him regardless, while those from PO/SLD are likely to see it as a grand gesture.

Can't imagine many people would actually go from liking to hating him because of this - but he definitely would have made a few of his doubters think "hey, nice guy".

I still claim that Wałęsa tried to agree with his adversary while they are still both available in this world.

That's what I see, too. Incredible gesture of Walesa to put politics aside for the sake of personal peace on both sides.

(by the way, Poles - why is it General Jaruzelski and not President Jaruzelski? Is it just because he's better known as the General and his Presidency was brief?
dtaylor5632 18 | 2,007
26 Sep 2011  #13
(by the way, Poles - why is it General Jaruzelski and not President Jaruzelski? Is it just because he's better known as the General and his Presidency was brief?

From what I know, and not to be taken seriously is that Poles tried to discredit him as much as possible. They loved the General but couldnt stand the president.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,169
26 Sep 2011  #14
In the past it was Jaruzelski who put Wałęsa in a detention center

Just like thousands of others (Yes Delphi, don't forget to mention that Jaro was not among them) they were never really such deadly enemies, If they had been, Wałęsa would have been dead long time ago... Jaruzelski became a President largely thanks to Wałęsa and vice versa.

won as much support as he lost at the same time.

I would say vast majority of Poles don't really give a damn about it.
dtaylor5632 18 | 2,007
26 Sep 2011  #15
I would say vast majority of Poles don't really give a damn about it.

I always found it strange how Poles take to their leaders. I get the picture that as a General this guy was honoured ect among Poles. Where as put a PM who most Poles hated and made fun of regularly in charge and when he goes head first into a fir tree there is a national uproar against the Russians, even though he brought it on himself. Then bury him in the Wawel...
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,169
26 Sep 2011  #16
I've got a feeling that you foreigners way too often base your views of Polish affairs on opinion of your few Polish buddies.
Teffle 22 | 1,321
26 Sep 2011  #17
Possibly.

But no more than many Poles base their opinions of other countries on equally incomplete sources.
OP pawian 154 | 8,586
26 Sep 2011  #18
=boletus]Did you really mean to quote me again? I said nothing to contrary of what you had said. :-)

Don`t worry. I used your quote as an illustration to what I said before it, not after. So, everything is fine.

=delphiandomine] Is it just because he's better known as the General and his Presidency was brief?

Exactly. He has been a general since late 1950s or so. The youngest in communist Polish army.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,169
26 Sep 2011  #19
The youngest in communist Polish army.

For being a great Polish patriot of course...
boletus 30 | 1,367
26 Sep 2011  #20
Translated from TVN24:

According to Italian press, a gesture of Lech Walesa, who visited seriously ill Wojciech Jaruzelski in hospital is a sign of a high political culture prevailing in Poland.

"Small gestures, but it says a lot about the culture of this great European country" - assesses the La Repubblica.. "They were enemies, then partners in the democratic transformation. One was the head of the military junta, the second the leader of the revolution. Now that the General is gravely ill, his former opponent stays by his bedside to wish him - smiling - speedy recovery," - says Roman newspaper.

Recalling the events from twenty years ago, initiated by "opening of Jaruzelski and his generals of a dialogue with former enemies," the daily concludes: "Today a new Poland, born of that agreement, has one of the most dynamic economies in the world."

"A beautiful balance - Walesa certainly must have thought about it when visiting his former enemy in an hospital" - says La Repubblica.

In an extensive article, Corriere della Sera, recalls that on several occasions in recent years Jaruzelski's health was the cause of interruption of the trial instituted against him. Pointing out that the General has always considered the martial law as a "lesser evil", the largest Italian newspaper notes that until now the Poles have "ambivalent feelings towards their last communist leader, which" - adds the paper - "devoted the recent years to writing memoirs - trying to explain and understand the collapse of communism. "

gumishu 11 | 4,955
26 Sep 2011  #21
There is a Polish saying "Mom, they praise us" - if you are looking for praise from the outside world you are equalle vulnerable to being criticized
LwowskaKrakow 28 | 431
26 Sep 2011  #22
Poland was not a Communist country by choice but Communist Invaded so maybe that's why Poles tend to forgive Jaruzelski and did not send him to rot in jail like the French did with Marechal Petain. Maybe they just thought he was one of the muppets of Moscow and held no real responsability for their misfortune.
THE HITMAN - | 236
26 Sep 2011  #23
Poles are able to forgive their enemies - how noble.
Have they forgiven the Russians - occupation/communism.
Germans - occupation and Annihilation.
English/Americans - Selling them down the Swanee.
Tusk - Kaczyński, Kaczyński - Tusk?

...... I don,t think so !
Crow 141 | 7,548
26 Sep 2011  #24
Poles are able to forgive their enemies - how noble.

yes, when you deal with honest people, forgiving may sound as noble thing. Otherwise, your enemies may take your nobility as kind of weakness.

Take for example how ready was Polish King to forgive to Teutons when they kindly asked for forgiving. It was not forgiving. It was failure by Polish King to absolutely defeat enemy.
OP pawian 154 | 8,586
26 Sep 2011  #25
=Grzegorz_]
For being a great Polish patriot of course...

Nope, for displaying eager support for Soviet rule in Poland. Also, for his alleged role of an informer for communist secret services in 1940s.
delphiandomine 84 | 17,703
26 Sep 2011  #26
Just like thousands of others (Yes Delphi, don't forget to mention that Jaro was not among them) they were never really such deadly enemies, If they had been, Wałęsa would have been dead long time ago... Jaruzelski became a President largely thanks to Wałęsa and vice versa.

Indeed, one of Walesa's greatest triumphs was to manage to get Jaruzelski into the Presidency when Solidarity was already breaking into factions. We know now that he didn't have to - but at the time, the news reports make it pretty clear that Jaruzelski held immense influence/power among the security forces and could use it.

I get the picture that as a General this guy was honoured ect among Poles.

Up until the declaration of martial law, he was one of the most popular people in the country. There's quite a few sources which make it clear that him, as a "military" man - was far more trusted than the civilian Communist leaders. The army was also one of the most trusted institutions in the country pre December 1981.

I've got a feeling that you foreigners way too often base your views of Polish affairs on opinion of your few Polish buddies.

Nope. Mine is based upon reading as much as possible from as many sources as possible. Jaruzelski was a Polish patriot when the country needed him to be, in 1989. Up until then, he was nothing but a puppet from Moscow - but in that critical hour, he did the right job and oversaw the peaceful transition to democracy. Don't forget that in May 1989, there were still 2 million plus Poles who owed their position to the system.

Also, for his alleged role of an informer for communist secret services in 1940s.

Alleged?

Something happened while he was in the USSR - no-one knows what, but when he returned to Poland, he was quite clearly being groomed for the top job all along. Quite clearly, he was Moscow's man all along.
TheOther 5 | 3,710
26 Sep 2011  #27
for displaying eager support for Soviet rule in Poland

By a Pole? Impossible... ;)
OP pawian 154 | 8,586
26 Sep 2011  #28
=delphiandomine]The army was also one of the most trusted institutions in the country pre December 1981.

The Polish Army has always been top in the trust polls. After 1981 there was an obvious drop in support but it soon went up again.

Currently, the trust in our army puts it on the second position, right after Christmas Charity Action.

Funny, in the Czech Republic the army ratings are always at the bottom. :):):):)

It probably means that Poles are warlike people, while Czechs amiable. :):):)

=delphiandomine]Quite clearly, he was Moscow's man all along.

He saw how inhumane the stalinist system could be and realised that the only way of survival and then career was servility.
Seanus 15 | 19,715
26 Sep 2011  #29
Many Poles haven't forgiven the Germans or Russians, pawian. It's like a national obsession to harp back to past wounds inflicted. Some have moved on, yes, but many haven't and indeed won't.
TheOther 5 | 3,710
27 Sep 2011  #30
Many Poles haven't forgiven the Germans or Russians

Somebody should wake them up and tell them that WW2 has ended 66 years ago.


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