Thursday, October 29, 2009

Smearing Poland


Daniel Hannan, not a politician I tend to see eye to eye with, has a little piece on David Miliband's recent anti-Polish rant.

The Sunday before last I had a small group of Poles complaining about a poster which was put up in our porch featuring Stephen Fry who tastelessy reminded his fans Auchwitz was in Poland and therefore the Poles, who were victims, were somehow implicated in the Nazi atrocities. Incidently I had forbidden putting up the said poster, which was for a concert in aid of the Passage, someone else had put it up. After the complaint I had found this poster crumpled and burnt in our Parish Centre Courtyard. The Passage after my complaint and Fry's now notorious opposition to the Catholic Church as a force for good in the world, are reviewing Fry's role in its fundraising.


But back to Poland, is Poland as the largest Catholic country in Europe going to be the target of secularists in the UK and the rest of Europe precisely because it is Catholic, because it supports marriage, the family and other Catholic values? Are we going to see Catholics and Catholic countries increasingly object of scorn and repression? Being anti-Polish, is that a way for politicians to join in the so, so popular Catholic bashing of people like Fry and Hitchens and Dawkins?

41 comments:

Catholic Mom of 10 said...

Unfortunately a lot of Poles are very materialistic like the rest of europe. They seem very prone to a likking for designer brands & goods, big houses & cars. Obviously not all 7 many keep their traditions & the sacraments. On my Legion visits I find the young Polish branded with designer gear & can't do Mass coz their kids go to football. One of my friends..a Polish young lady with 4 beautiful children by different fathers is totally atheist but jokes I may get her in the end! She did come on a rosary walk with me..

Crux Fidelis said...

These people would do well to remember the sacrifices made by Polish servicemen in WWII.

It used to be Ireland that was the target for the smears of the anti-Catholics but, now that its public face is no longer as resolutely Catholic as it once was, it would seem that Poland is to take its place.

nickbris said...

The GARBAGE PRESS have been wittering on about us all being doomed because of the "Birth Rate" of immigrants from Eastern Europe.

Last week they wanted to Euthanase the elderly for taking up too much space & exhaling C02.

Xenophobes will always find a way of getting us at each others throats,we can only be destroyed if we are split up into warring factions.

I don't think Stephen Fry meant anything really bad,he just has his ups & downs like all Bi-Polar people.

Ma Tucker said...

Didn't David Miliband's grandfather leave his own family to fight in the Russian Devolution?

Anonymous said...

I went to school with several 'ski's and 'ska's in the sixties. Their fathers had returned to work in the mines after the war.

The Polish airborne soldiers trained around Falkland Palace and left a Madonna icon made from brass shell-cases, spam tins etc

Lets not forget the heroism of the Poles

Jim

dillydaydream said...

I grew up with Catholic Polish girls whose parents came to England after the 2nd world war (as teenagers or Polish Airforce). They had all suffered terribly, and were very grateful to be here, and worked hard to assimilate, while retaining great pride in their nationality. Jews were not trusted by that generation because many of them, in Poland, before the war had been landlords (supposedly saying "You own the streets but we own the houses" to the native Poles). Well, as in Ireland 50 years before - this perception (and I'm not saying it was accurate) coloured attitudes towards Jews. However, as described by Maria Von Trapp in her autobiography, Hitler hated the "degenerate" Slavs so much that he once had a soldier shot for whistling a Polish folksong outside his window. In parts of Poland, like Silesia, which had been settled earlier by Germans, Hitler "chose" the racially "pure" descendants of Germans and gave them the option of joining the German Army or going to a concentration camp. I met one man who refused to serve and was sent to Dachau as a political prisoner, and his brother to Auchswitz. I have also met a Jew who was in Auschwitz. From his perspective, the gentile prisoners had slightly more privileges, and were therefore resented. In actual fact - both sets of prisoners were treated as absolutely dispensable and sub-human. Really - at the level of misery that both suffered, I think that comparisons are futile.

Some years ago a Convent of Carmelites who made it their mission to pray for all the souls who died there, was banned from the outskirts of Auschwitz because of complaints by Jewish activists.

Now these upper class English liberal plastic-jewish secularist twits like Miliband and Fry have suddenly discovered their roots - oy vay (not that Mr Fry would sacrifice so much as a pork sausage for his ancestral religion).

If they pointed out simply that a particular political group in Poland is dodgy and we shouldn't be fraternising with them - fair enough - but as you have quite rightly pointed out this is yet another stealth operation by secularists to attack Catholic culture. In fact, they are branding ordinary Poles (who fought the Nazis with tremendous courage and were treated appallingly for it (think Katyn), and many of whom sheltered Jews in individual acts of heroism) as fascists. It sickens me - and you were so right to complain.
(Second send - first one possibly did not take - delete if it did).

Volpius Leonius said...

I think that is inevitable Father, it is all part of been a sign of contradiction.

dillydaydream said...

Sorry - historically ambiguous reference to the Katyn massacre appeared in my last post.

In fact it was Stalin who ordered the Katyn massacre - though the Germans were blamed for years till the truth came out. However it is indisputable that the Nazis were responsible for the Piaśnica massacre. In the forest next to the village during World War II, German Schutzstaffel executed about 12,000 civilians, mainly Polish and Kashubian intelligentsia from Gdańsk Pomerania. Among the victims were approximately 1,200 mentally ill persons from local hospitals.

The Nazis didn't exactly cover themselves in glory during the Warsaw uprising either, with massacres in Wola,Czerniaków, and elsewhere.

Physiocrat said...

The Polish record on antisemitism in the years preceding WW2 is mixed, with repressive anti-Semitic legislation having been introduced by the government in the inter-war period. There was also the pogrom in Kielce in 1946

On the other hand, A majority of the Righteous Gentiles honored at the Yad Vashem holocaust memorial are Poles, and of course the Poles themselves were victims of the Nazis, which would have made it extremely risky to attempt to rescue Jews.

There is what appears to be a reasonably balanced view of the subject here

Like many countries in the former Europe, Poland has grown xenophobic political movements since 1989, and these will have had an effect on mainstream politics.

gemoftheocean said...

The Polish rant type people will eventually end up with egg on their shrill faces.

Not unlike when JPII became pope and suddenly all the Micks, Krauts, Wops, Limies, Frogs and Yanks had to shut up about "dumb Polacks."

Michael Petek said...

Stephen Fry's antagonism to the Catholic Church has a good deal to do with the fact that he is a homosexual.

George said...

This makes me really sick to my stomach.

I am of Polish origin born in London - both my parents are Poles having settled in London after the horror of WW2.

I was in Warsaw with my Dad and three brothers in August to commemorate the 65th Anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising - in which my Dad now 84, but a teenager at that time, took part. His mission was to attack the heavily fortified machine gun emplacements at the Warsaw University with just a handful of friends (Powstancy) and no more than a single gun with a handful of bullets several grenades and a kitchen knife between them! Needless to say when the uprising and attacks against the Nazi Occupation of Warsaw began
my Dad was lucky to escape with his life and a handful of his mates because when the Nazi machines guns started to fire casualties were very heavy.

Dad's brother, my uncle Mietek, just married and with a child just a couple of months old was killed in the uprising. My Grandfather whom I never knew died in Auschwitz, my Grandmother was sent to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp but survived the war. My Dad's cousins - the entire family with the exception of a young boy who saw the whole episode but escaped, were executed by the Nazis for giving bread to a little Jewish boy who ran into their bakery begging for food.

My father-in-law was decorated with the Virtuti Militarii, Poland's highest Military Honour, for valour at Monte Cassino. His younger brother, just 16 at the time, was murdered by the Nazis in Auschwitz.

I can go on and on, but it is too painful to think about these things. There is so much more on my mothers and mother-in-law's side to tell.

That a few Poles collaborated with the Nazi war machine is likely, given the circumstances and death threats if you didn't comply, who can possibly be their judge. They had to live with that.

But what the hell do the likes of David Milliband and Stephen Fry know. They are ignorant, PC, liberal 'celebrities', living fatuous, self-centred and dysfunctional lifestyles. And they only have this priviledge of living in a 'free democracy' because of those who gave their all and paid the ultimate price in defence of that freedom - and indeed continue to do so around the world to this day.

Why Milliband, Fry et al... consider implicating Poles in their own self destruction during WW2 is beyond me, but I guess it is all linked-in to pushing the secular, hedonistic, 'culture of death', modernism that they all seem to have bought into.

These comments must surely constitute a 'Hate Crime' or is this 'law' only for certain sectors of society?

Just another mad Catholic said...

Whilst I do love the Pole's as a people the one thing that bugs me slightly is that the Polish Catholics here in the UK whilst putting their co-religionists to shame with thieir piety tend to segregate themselves into their own Churches (with the permission of the Bishop) and not interact with the native Catholics population, I've also found the same attitude prevelent amongst Catholics from the Phillipines and a few of the scots/irish.

Does anyone have any idea why this happens? its almost like segregation by race and distrubs me sometimes.

nickbris said...

What exactly is A HOMOSEXUAL

Shepherd said...

Just another mad Catholic - segregation at Mass is appalling, the solution is to insist on no further Phillipino/Polish/Irish/Welsh etc Masses and offer the Tridentine Latin Mass where we all speak the language of Heaven!

Michael Petek said...

Nickbris, you live in the City of Brighton and Hove of all places and you don't know what a homosexual is!

Go to Kemptown and you'll find out.

While we're on the subject of Poland, I've just found out that the Polish Finance Minister is one Jacek Rostowski. I used to attend his lectures in international economics when I was an undergraduate.

Independent said...

Remember the part played by Poles in the Battle of Britain. Remember the battle for Monte Cassino. Remember Arnhem. Poland has a much more glorious WW2 history than France.

Remember also that Poland suffered partition between the USSR and Nazi Germany in 1939, and in 1945 lost its Eastern Provinces with inhabitants being given a few hours notice before being expelled.

Remember too the opposition to Soviet oppression, an example to all Europe, set by the Poles until 1989. Remember John Paul II.

Certainly in the past Poland has been anti-semitic, indeed my wife's family gave refuge in Breslau to a Jewish family fleeing from persecution in Poland in 1937,the latter were not landlords but peasants from what had been the Tsarist Pale of Settlement as indeed was Poland's large Jewish population,
but nowadays university students freely toil to restore the Jewish cemetaries.

Unlike other countries, there were no quislings in Poland.

Criticise it certainly for its tardiness in compensating those who lost property in the German lands beyond the Oder-Neisse line,
but do so with respect.

George said...

Nickbris - the term refers to people with Same Sex Attraction Disorder (SSAD).

Help is at hand for those that are struggling with this problem and contrary to what the homosexualists say treatment is most effective - go to NARTH.com for their information on further help and/or read a new book just out "Light in the Closet: Torah, Homosexuality, and the Power to Change" by board certified counselor and relationship specialist Arthur Goldberg.

"Anyone wanting to listen to his message would discover that it not only sets out a knowledgeable path of healing and hope for those who are sexually confused, but will also assist anyone whose values have been confused by our politically correct culture. The author wrote the book to pull together diverse information and resources, much of which is unknown by most, he says, and to develop a unique model that integrates psychological secular healing with Biblical commandments, thereby empowering people to overcome today's sexually exploitive culture." Thanks to LifeSiteNews for that.

In a nutshell Nickbris..... ;-)

Catholic Mom of 10 said...

Some of my Polish friends go to the Polish Church & regular Parish..I think it helps them keep their language & culture..don't find it segregates really..the children go saturday morning Polish school & scout camps but have always got on fine with my family & children..like sharing Irish customs..we have an Irish Centre..no harm in that..

Stephen Fry's one redeeming grace is he's bi-polar..apart from that..

Physiocrat said...

I am concerned about the self-segregation of Polish people in the Catholic church. It is an issue in Sweden too.

Yes, Latin EF rite mass is part of the solution. Parishes also need to go out of their way to invite immigrants to their social events. It would help also if parish priests were to remind their own parishioners to make them welcome and the Polish etc chaplains to encourage members of their communities to come along.

Foreign chaplains have a useful role especially when native priests are in short supply.

Immigrant communities should be a good source of partners in Catholic marriages.

Dicens said...

Father, you rightly mention the "popular Catholic bashing of people like Fry and Hitchens and Dawkins".

Fifty/sixty years ago there were many skilled Catholics, clergy and laity who could have held their own and the position of the Church in such debates. It is sad that we are so thin on the ground today as regards defenders of the Faith.

«Can the Holy Spirit raise up in our day apostles who manifest the vitality of the Church? We are convinced He can, and ask this of Him with faith.» (Pope John Paul II)

Physiocrat said...

Mention of David Milliband reminds me that he wrote a disgraceful article in The Times earlier this week. Under the title "Britain is still a big player. Europe needs us", and speaking in support of Tony Blair's absurd bid for Presidency of the EU, he claimed

"Britain is a leading contributor of people and money in tackling the great challenges of the world. Our Armed Forces are trained, equipped and flexible. And we are willing to deploy them in the toughest places. and again Second, British ideas give us influence. During the economic crisis, Britain has been at the forefront of new thinking."

Who in Britain is actually doing this contributing, who exactly is being "deployed", and what is this "new thinking"?

Miliband should take a walk round Brighton and see the grinding poverty in which many people are trapped, as a result of being expected to "contribute". He might also consider deploying himself for a while with the military, to find out how things are at the sharp end and whether their equipment is all that it might be.

He could also usefully to a bit of travelling incognito as an ordinary standard class passenger both in Europe and Britain. He would then notice the astonishing difference between the two, and the shabbiness and poor quality of the infrastructure of this "Big Player".

I cannot even imagine what Britain's new thinking could have been at the forefront of during the economic crisis. Britain's economic policies ensured that the country was as badly placed as it could have been when when the storm hit, and in no small measure actually helped to bring on the storm. This "new thinking" has resulted so far in sterling losing about 25% of its value against other currencies, with nothing to show for it apart from signs that the asset price bubble is starting to blow up again. And it could yet slip out of control and lead to a hyperinflation.

Milliband's views on Poland or anything else are worthless.

Volpius Leonius said...

I would imagine the Polish "segregate" themselves for the same reasons you choose to "segregate" yourself at an English mass, no one will turn you away if you turn up at the Polish service.

Victoria said...

I am so sorry to read that Stephen Fry is an anti-Catholic. I think he is a very funny man and I watched his talks about bi-polar disorder and thought that he spoke very well and with feeling about the condition.

I don't have a problem with the Poles wanting to be with other Poles during Mass as long as they don't turn away non Poles. Here in Australia we have Italian Masses and Polish Masses and Vietnamese Masses etc and no one worries.

Just another mad Catholic said...

Leonus

In my diocese (clifton, uk) English being the national is the language used at Mass (apart from the few EF Mass's I'm fortunate enough to be able to attend), my concern was that the Polish and Phillipino Catholics in the UK tend set up their own Churches outside normal diocisan boundries (often with the local bishop's support) and hole themselves up there for generations (the Polish Church I pass on the way to University is at least 50yrs old) pretty much refusing to mix with their English co-religonists, now sure allot of us are ex-protestants but that doesn't make us bad Catholics, I also liked physiocrats point about immigrant communities being a potential source of marriage partners, especially since in England a good proportion of the laity are middle aged converts and a young man such as myself has to consider entering into a mixed marriage due to the shortage of young Catholic ladies.

Physiocrat said...

@Volponius
"I would imagine the Polish "segregate" themselves for the same reasons you choose to "segregate" yourself at an English mass, no one will turn you away if you turn up at the Polish service."

I never go to an English language service when I am abroad unless I stumble on one by accident, in which case I make a point of avoiding it in the future. I go to Latin or the vernacular service. I have always found that the locals are very welcoming and one quickly makes friends and starts to integrate with the community. Singing hymns and listening to the liturgy is a big helps in learning the language.

But it would be better if vernacular and foreign language masses were restricted where there are immigrants from many different countries in a single parish. Their needs should be catered for by having social activities to which all are invited, foreign language newsletters etc.

We cannot afford to have different groups of people separating themselves off in this way, we must make ourselves into an open and welcoming community.

Sadie Vacantist said...

The US Catholic church is absurd. Entire parishes are divided by language. The EF offers a means to unify communities.

George said...

As a British born Pole, my parents were part of a small group of WW2 refugees who found themselves in London in the late 1940's. They were in their late teens early 20's. Displaced, torn from their beloved Poland, having seen many of their family members killed and having suffered the most horrific violence imaginable is it little wonder that having found others like them who had shared the same suffering, they clung to each other for solace and comfort?

The Catholic Church and Polish Priests did all they could to help settle these people and that's how the small Polish parish communities grew up around the UK - usually attached to a Parish where the PP was happy to help out and accomodate a Sunday Polish Mass, usually mid to late afternoon.

They could not return to Poland - many who did were arrested and detained by their new 'Soviet' masters - to be executed/murdered for alleged 'treason' because they had been members of the Polish armed forces, belonged to the Armja Krajowa (Home Army) or fought in the various uprisings!. Like my Dad, whose mother had survived the war and wrote him letters warning him not to come back to Poland. Despite the heavy and clumsy soviet censoring of her writings - he got the message and stayed in the UK - sadly his mum, my grandmother, died before our first family visit to Poland in 1971.

So as they married, settled into jobs and had us kids (early 50's)wanting to maintain that Polish Culture the centre of which was Polish Mass and that deep sense of community, the parishes grew, Saturday morning schools were set up, the Polish scouting movement grew, and I am happy to say that these were some of the best days of my teenage years - not least of which was getting to know that young Polish girl guide who was to become my future wife!

Let me tell you, it had nothing to do with segregating themselves off from anyone or anything!!!! We had loads of English, Irish, Italian etc.. friends. Many of these came to Polish Mass with us! It was about maintaining that 'Polishness', that culture, so that it would not be lost, forgotten or erased from memory by the Nazis through the instrument and horror of war. This was a victory for good over evil - LOVE TRIUMPHANT! CHRIST TRIUMPHANT! A sort of resurrection - difficult to explain really, but I am proud to have these Polish roots and my wife and I have instilled as much as we can into our kids - and this includes having Polish names for all our six children, traditional Wigilja at Christmas using all our family recipes handed down from our mothers and grandmothers, Polish language - as much as we can, Swiecone - the blessing of food on Easter Saturday etc...

God Bless Poland and let her stay ever faithful to her Catholic roots despite the onslaught of secularism.

David Lindsay said...

The Czech Civic Democrats deserve British allies like the trade unionists who have spent decades defending the high-waged, high-skilled, high-status jobs of the working class. Not for us the restriction of travel to the rich, or the arresting of economic development in the poorer parts of the world.

The Polish Law and Justice Party deserves British allies like the Catholic and other Labour MPs, including John Smith, who fought tooth and nail against abortion and easier divorce. Like the Methodist and other Labour MPs, including John Smith, who fought tooth and nail against deregulated drinking and gambling. Like those, including John Smith, who successfully organised (especially through USDAW) against Thatcher's and Major's attempts to destroy the special character of Sunday and of Christmas Day. And like the trade unionists who battled to secure paternal authority in families and communities by securing its economic base, frequently marching behind banners that depicted Biblical scenes and characters.

And the Latvian Fatherland and Freedom Party deserves British allies with deep roots in the former mining communities, in the women's suffrage movement, in the 1945 General Election victory, and elsewhere. We are unsullied by the weird cult of Winston Churchill. Instead, we can and do condemn his carve-up of Eastern Europe with Stalin. Just as we condemn genocidal terrorism against Balts no less than genocidal terrorism against Arabs.

They all deserve British allies like the Labour MPs who mostly voted against Heath's Treaty of Rome. Who all voted against Thatcher's Single European Act. And who voted against Major's Maastricht Treaty in far greater numbers than the Tories.

And they need those allies in order to call them away from neoliberal economics and neoconservative foreign policy. Nothing could be more destructive of national self-government, or traditional family values, or the historical consciousness of a people. Cameron is completely signed up to both.

Are there not other groups that could propose measures and motions for generous welfare provisions, for public services in the public sector, for universal healthcare provided by the State, for workers' rights, and for the public ownership of important companies? Much of this new group would vote for such measures and motions. But then there would be the Tories.

Are there not other groups that could propose measures or motions to safeguard or restore family life in general and paternal authority in particular by safeguarding or restoring high-wage, high-skilled, high-status employment such as coal-mining? Much of this new group would vote for such measures and motions. But then there would be the Tories.

Are there not other groups that could propose measures and motions for the payment of mothers to stay at home with their children, for adoption and against abortion, for palliative care and against euthanasia, in favour of President Obama's support for traditional marriage (or, at the very least, against compelling anyone to conduct deviations from it), against sex and violence in the media, against State toleration of drugs and prostitution, against unrestricted Sunday trading, and against supermarkets opening on what are supposed to be public holidays for everyone including shop workers? Much of this new group would vote for such measures and motions. But then there would be the Tories.

And are there not other groups that could propose motions, perhaps on appropriate anniversaries, condemning by name all those (including Margaret Thatcher) who signed the Single European Act, and condemning Winston Churchill for his carve-up of Eastern Europe with Stalin? Much of this new group would vote for such motions. But then there would be the Tories.

Sorry about the long comment. But you try securing a platform for any of this.

Physiocrat said...

@David Lindsay

In short, it sounds as if you are in favour of the political programme that went under the name of "Distributism" and was promoted by, amongst others, Chesterton and Belloc, following the teachings of Rerum Novarum. Is it not time they were brought back to attention?

Just another mad Catholic said...

George,

I'm all for you keeping your traditional Polish customs, infact allot of us ex-protestants with little or no tradition of our own would love to adopt our cultural additions ourselves. The point is that if I attend the Polish Church I can't understand the homily (for the reading's i'd have a missel), something the EF no doubt would solve and that those who come from traditionally Catholic countries (phillipinos,poles, irish, maltise) tend to( in my experience) look down us english folk as second-class Catholics, mainly because a large proportion of us are converts (we figured out the C of E was not Christ's Church when the womenpriests thing began) and act accordingly i.e segregating yourself from the community and not even participating in dioceson events, in my mind this calls into question the wisdom of having ethnic parishes in the the first place.

Independent said...

Mr Lindsay - did Churchill have much choice in Eastern Europe at Potsdam? The Soviet Army occupied the area, the American Army would not intervene, and the British Army had neither the strength nor the will to do what Churchill would personally have wished. He had to recognise facts. I agree it was a pity, as I would much prefer Breslau to be still a German city and Minsk a Polish one, but politics is the art of the possible.

I assume that by "genocidal terrorism against the Arabs" you mean the mass murders in Darfur, or going further back the Black September massacres perpetrated by King Hussein?

Richard said...

Don't blame Churchill for the betrayal of Poland (and the rest of eastern Europe) in 1945. By then the UK was bankrupt, battered and exhausted. It was Roosevelt who insisted on giving way to Stalin.

Richard said...

Why do Poles in England attend their own churches rather than the normal Parish ones? I assume because of the terrible way in which the Mass and other sacraments were usually celebrated in normal parishes over the last 40 years.

Physiocrat said...

@Richard,

There are what are known as overseas chaplaincies to take care of immigrant communities. This can be very useful for the host countries too as it makes extra priests available. Many of the priests in Sweden are there for this reason and they take some of the workload off the local clergy who are a bit thin on the ground.

The key to integration is the TLM.

dillydaydream said...

I frequently attended the Polish Church in South Manchester as a teenager, with friends and their families. It has (or had) a sort of a gallery, rather like a synagogue - and round the sides are little urns containing earth from all the battle sites where Poles had fought - such as Monte Casino, which I thought was lovely and sad at the same time. I never felt excluded - and people always switched to English in front of me, when talking before or after Mass. Many Poles also went to the effort of sending their children to an English nursery and spoke English as much as possible at home, so they would be bilingual when starting school. All the Polish girls did an extra O and A Level in Polish - and strolled through Russian at school. There was no sense of grievance or victimhood although I know there were several who did degrees in languages, but were not accepted into the Diplomatic Corps (unlike the English girls with Russian)because they were considered to be a security risk, by having families behind the Iron Curtain.

Michael Petek said...

It's not just, or even primarily, a security risk. When I reached adulthood you weren't allowed to work in the Ministry of Defence, the Foreign Service (office or diplomatic) or the Cabinet Office unless you were under thirty years of age when you applied.

Also, you had to have at least one parent who was a British citizen from birth, or who had been a citizen by naturalisation for at least thirty years.

My father became a British citizen when I was two, and my mother was only ever a German citizen.

David Lindsay said...

Independent, I mean the terrorism against Catholic and other Arabs (and agaisnt Britons, including British Jews, going about their lawful business) contemperaneous with that against the Balts. If it matters, there were ties between the two.

Physiocrat, I certainly am. And I am standing for Parliament as a pro-life, pro-family, pro-worker and anti-war candidate here in North-West Durham, which contains the old Irish Catholic stronghold of Consett, the remarkable Recusant village of Esh, and Ushaw College. All help and publicity greatly appreciated. Especially since there is a blackout in diocesan freebie.

Geniusz said...

POLAND - land of holy people...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jy8fJUfPcOQ

Crux Fidelis said...

There were many boys with Polish surnames at my school, the sons of Polish servicemen who had settled in Scotland after the war. Mostly they were from Johnstone in Renfrewshire which had played host to a large Free Polish Army camp. A standing joke among some of our teachers was to ask a boy with a Polish surname "Which part of Johnstone are you from?"

Strangely enough the parish priest in Johnstone during the war years was one Canon Reifenrath, a German. As far as I know there was no friction between him and the Poles.

Jacek said...

To Independent:

Minsk was NOT Polish (is Belarussian), while Lwow (today Ukrainian) and Wilno (today Lithuanian) were Polish cities.