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Modern History XIX - XX

Introduction to Chernobyl's Catastrophe

Chernobyl called in Polish Czarnobyl belonged to Poland or rather Polish-Lithuanian Kingdom from 1569 (Lublin's Union) until the Second partition of Poland in 1792. But only very few Poles - less than 10% lived there. The majority of people were of Rusyn, Ukrainian or Jewish origin. Jewish were usually innkeepers and they owned all the taverns in the town.

Read more: Introduction to Chernobyl's Catastrophe

 

Polish National Flowers: Red Poppies from Monte Cassino

Every state in the USA has its flag, song, flower, bird - so people expect that Poland should also have a national flower. Does Poland has a national flower? This question is not that easy to answer. We don't have national or state symbols which are so popular in the Anglo-Saxon culture, like flowers, animals, music instruments, mottos, or "official nicknames". The average Pole - would have a hard time to answer this question. The more Polish people you ask - the less they would agree which flower is a national one.

Read more: Polish National Flowers: Red Poppies from Monte Cassino

   

Misconceptions about World War II in Eastern Europe: Two Fronts

Let me start with a digression : during my life which was spent in Poland, some other parts of Europe, and in the USA I learned that the image of the world seen by mass media very rarely gives an objective insight into past and present. Especially distorted are the images of history and politics.

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World War II and its Impact on Everyday Life in Poland: A Personal Perspective

How Second World War affected us in Poland? Enormously. I would say, Poland to this today did not fully recover from five years of Nazi and Soviet occupation. Many facts of the Soviet occupation were not officially discussed until early 90s.

I was born almost twenty years after the war, in the early 1960s but, the impact of the war on my childhood was just very significant. Even as kids we were very conscious of the war. To this day I remember my fifth birthday, not because anything special happened or because I was given some beautiful toys. I remember it because my older brother was teasing me that the war was going to start on the day of my birthday. I was a very sensitive kid I guess and I took words seriously. It had such an impact on me that I could not really enjoy my birthday, waiting for the war to start at any moment. I still remember vividly fragments from my fifth birthday. For many Poles, long after the war, hearing an airplane low in the sky was associated with the irrational fear that it may be a bomber.

Read more: World War II and its Impact on Everyday Life in Poland: A Personal Perspective

   

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This is Brande from Uganda with a photo of Ela, my daughter.

Polish Pottery

Polish pottery