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Władysław Bartoszewski died

jon357 69 | 19,502
24 Apr 2015 #1
Really sad news - Wladyslaw Bartoszewski just died (at a very good age). His achievements were amazing (and some of his writings interesting too). A remarkable man.

Władysław Bartoszewski (born February 19, 1922 in Warsaw, died 24 April 2015 in Warsaw[1]) was a Polish politician, social activist, journalist, writer, historian, former Auschwitz concentration camp prisoner, World War II Resistance fighter, Polish underground activist, participant of the Warsaw Uprising, twice the Minister of Foreign Affairs, chevalier of the Order of the White Eagle, and an honorary citizen of Israel and a member of the International Honorary Council[2] of the European Academy of Diplomacy.
Jasionowka2 - | 6
24 Apr 2015 #2
Blessed be His memory
יהי זכרו ברוך
A great man and an example to us all.
Condolences to his family from the Jews of Polish origin.
25 Apr 2015 #3
He blocked decorations for Pilecki and Fieldorf so he himself should be thrown down the memory hole.
OP jon357 69 | 19,502
25 Apr 2015 #4
A great man and an example to us all.

Yes. One of the most respected figures in post-war Polish history.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
25 Apr 2015 #5
But he was also somewhat controversial with some unexplained aspects to his murky past. He was sent to Auschwitz with Pilecki but was released six months later while Pilecki had to escape much later. Bartoszewski's sister (allegedly married to a German SS-man) was was said to have been instrumental in his release. He was also linked to a "Guard of Free Jews", a covert Nazi-created organisation of collaborationist Jews that pretended to engage in smuggling goods into the Warsaw Ghetto, but actually ferreted out Jews hiding on the Arian side. Considering his record, this may have been only a ploy to win Nazi confidence and facilitate his underground activity. Maybe we'll never know because none of the witnesses of those events are around.
OP jon357 69 | 19,502
25 Apr 2015 #6
Maybe we'll never know because none of the witnesses of those events are around.

Indeed, though all discussed ad infinitum in his/their lifetime.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
25 Apr 2015 #7
But not all the loose ends have been conclusively resolved. His detractors resented him being called "Professor Bartoszewski" when he didn't even hold a master's degree. But his supporters would spring to his defense, claiming his achievements for Poland and hands-on contributions to historical scholarship had fully earned him that honorary title. In a word, Bartoszewski has joined the pantheon of distinguished historical figures, political leaders and cultural personalities who have risen above run-of-the-mill reality to make an imprint of one kind or another on their country or world. Such people by their very nature and their diverse forms of involvement have nearly always been controversial, evoking admiration from their followers and criticism from their opponents.
OP jon357 69 | 19,502
26 Apr 2015 #8
That's quite a good assessment Pol3. So many of that remarkable generation passing away now and the generations that followed hardly a match for them.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
26 Apr 2015 #9
Many Poles concur that Bartoszewski's generation, which was raised in the Second Republic, was a case apart. They knew the meaning and value of patriotism, loyalty, dedication and sacrifice for the common good. All that was lost in the decades that followed when the "me, myself and I" mentality took hold. It continues to this day and lies at the root of many contemporary problems. Instead of dedication and sacrifice we live amid such buzz-words as "it's my life", "anything goes", "diversity", "whatever rocks your boat!" What ever happened to consensus?
OP jon357 69 | 19,502
26 Apr 2015 #10
Poland and the concept of consensus have never really gone together. People have pulled together during dreadful crises however there has always been disagreement and dissent and a great deal of individualism - people like Bartoszewski who was a goat rather than one of the sheep.

I think you're being a little negative about the generations that have followed Bartoszewski's. The influence of such wonderful people does have its influence on those who come after and the spirit of altruism, self-sacrifice an flair that he exemplifies is alive and well amid all the noise of modern times.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
27 Apr 2015 #11
An example can be found to prove every point. There are altruists and dedicated self-sacrificial people about today, but it is not they who set the tone for todays' Zeitgeist. The overriding, predominant and ubiquitous theme is EGOISM: it's my life, my interests, my concerns, my sensitivity, my gain, my profit, my satisfaction and to hell with the rest. Self-restraint, self-control and self-denial have fallen by the wayside, displaced by self-fulfillment, self-satisfaction, self-indulgence and self-adulation.
OP jon357 69 | 19,502
27 Apr 2015 #12
I don't think much has changed; things have always been like that. Bartoszewski and his generation had a unique chance (though chance is the wrong word given the tragedy of those times). Some of them responded as he did, some did not.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
27 Apr 2015 #13
Hey, if you want to believe that altruism best reflects today's prevailing attitude, feel free. There's no law against thinking that.
OP jon357 69 | 19,502
27 Apr 2015 #14
You're deliberately going off topic, Pol3, to air your usual hobby horse that 'fings ain't what they used to be'. But was human nature any different when Minister Bartoszewski was young?
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
27 Apr 2015 #15
Human nature never changes. It's animal side -- defence of turf, food and mating -- has always existred in the human race. The difference is the ethical context in which it develops. The existence or absence of a moral compass does make a difference.
OP jon357 69 | 19,502
28 Apr 2015 #16
Perhaps that's improved over the years - in part because of the things that his generation didn't want to see repeated.

For those in Warsaw the book of condolences for Minister Bartoszewski at the Kancelaria Premiera is available for signing until 8pm today.

A wonderful quote from him...

Kto gardzi ludźmi, obojętnie, z powodów wyznaniowych, z powodów rasowych, z powodu ksenofobii wobec kogokolwiek, wobec ludzi pochodzenia ukraińskiego, białoruskiego, rosyjskiego, niemieckiego, żydowskiego - ten przede wszystkim gardzi sobą. roughly translates as:

Whoever despises people regardless, because of their religious affiliation, because of their race, because of xenophobia against them whoever they may be, against people of Ukrainian, Belarusian, Russian, German, Jewish background - this person above all despises himself.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
29 Apr 2015 #17
He was also known for many other quotes such as the insults and ridicule who readily heaped on those who dared disagree with him. Like calling his political opponents "diplomutts" (dyplomatołki) and saying: "If they are cattle I'm not going to call them non-cattle!" Rather undiplomatic rhetoric for a diplomat!
OP jon357 69 | 19,502
29 Apr 2015 #18
That was part of his charm, telling it like it is.
29 Apr 2015 #19
Finally he kicked the bucket
Bartoszewski was a sent away from Aushwitz because of ill health hahaha
he also used to call Poles cattle..
Burn in hell "proffesor"
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
29 Apr 2015 #20
Saying that the first post-PRL populary elected Sejm was the most judaised (in terms of the % of MPs with Jewish ethnic roots) national assembly outside of Israel is also telling itlike it is, but is it really all that charming?!
OP jon357 69 | 19,502
29 Apr 2015 #21
Neither charming or not charming, unless you're the sort who might think there's something wrong with that for whatever reason.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
29 Apr 2015 #22

Agreed. Neither charming nor non-charming but, considering that Poland is not Israel, certainly a bit strange! Might even remind some of the disproportion of the Berman-era Ministry of Public Security.
OP jon357 69 | 19,502
29 Apr 2015 #23
Not really, given firstly that the parliament in question was mostly Poles and secondly that most politicians are from the urban political class.

You'd probably find something similar in most of the 1980s UK cabinets though who's counting?
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
29 Apr 2015 #24
It's good to know who's running the country and why. Civic indifference is never a good solution. Since then the situation has largely stabilised and the over-representation is not quite as acute. That may or may not be a good thing. It could well be that MPs are free to engage in their parliamentary mud-slinging when the real power base is somewhere else. As you know, nothing is straightforward or black and white,especially in politics. Many Poles believe, amongst them political analysts, that Magdalenka and subsequent stages of the "deal" boiled down to the regimists handing over political power to the Solidarity-led opposition, whilst retaining a significant economic foothold for themselves and wresting a non-decommunisation pledge from the political neophytes. That is why lustration was such a farce and so many regimists made it through the screening into positions of power in the privatisation process, state administration and other key areas. We will probably never know for sure. We know that Jaruzelski and Kiszczak ordered tonnes of documents shredded at the Konstancin-Jeziorna papermill. Following the Magdalenka period.
OP jon357 69 | 19,502
29 Apr 2015 #25
It's good to know who's running the country and why.

One is a matter of public record and the other in the manifesto.

No such thing as 'over-representation' here, the voters choose.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
29 Apr 2015 #26
It is extremely naive to believe that the political rhetoric "I am here to serve the people, my sole concern is the nation's welfare - bla-bla" is anything more than campaign promises (usually unkept), when we all know the purpose of politics for the politician is to get to power (the feed trough) and stay there as long as possible. The political process everywhere is mainly behind-the-scenes deals, hand washes hand, you help me with this one and I'll be in your debt... In totalitarian regimes that is all there is. As Stalin once put it: "It's not important how people vote but who counts the ballots!" In a parliamentary democracy things are a bit more subtle but the behind-the-scenes element is far from being entirely absent.
OP jon357 69 | 19,502
29 Apr 2015 #27
Very often it's true, and no sign whatsoever that Prof. Bartoszewski had any ulterior motives. To introduce stuff about Stalin's concept of democracy or eminences grisés is just a red herring. And off topic too.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
30 Apr 2015 #28
This was about politics in general. No intention to link Bartoszewski to Stalinism. The only point was that all politics is pretty dirty business, and that the Western model does it all a but more subtly than ham-handed dictatorships. That is not to say that getting and staying in power are not the prime goal of most Western politicians that Western slogans and promises are any less empty than dictatorial ones. But they have to be more clever to fool the public and get them to vote for them.
OP jon357 69 | 19,502
30 Apr 2015 #29
All politics in a developed country involves deals and accommodating conflicting and opposing interests, ideally for the greater good. Bartoszewski and his generation survived times (pre-war Endeks, the horrors of war, the Stalin terror, the PRL, and all the chaos and panic when it fell) where that either wasn't possible or necessarily took an extreme and much criticised form. During any and all of those times you can't expect a public figure in Poland to act like one in Sweden - to nie Kanada.

He was however head and shoulders above so many other in those times and there were still some very good people in office during those periods (except of course for the war). Regardless, by the way, of their DNA.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
30 Apr 2015 #30
ideally for the greater good

Good to see you are not a hopeless propaganda swallower and added " ideally for the greater good". Everyone can add in their own mind, "but actually for the 5 Ps: personal power, privilege, perks and prestige." This has to do with politics in general. Agreed, the pre-war generation was full of dedicated patriots and idealists unlike present times. Maybe it was the backlash effect to 123 years of foreign subjugation.Probably, if after the war Poland could develop without Soviet domination and had received the Marshal Plan, there would have been a similar post-occupation backlash into decency and patriotism. At least for a decade or two until the slime of "me,myself and I" commerpop egoism began seeping over. But we will never know what might have been, n'est-ce pas?

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