Monday, May 22, 2017
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Life in PRL

At Cross-Purposes in Warsaw

     WARSAW, Poland: Wooden Cross Fuels National Controversy. The simple, lightly constructed, wooden cross that began its existence as a national unifying expression of grief and sympathy has now transitioned into a contentious symbol of political and cultural division in Poland. The cross has become a political football inflated with religious zealotry that is being used in a somewhat bizarre national ball game with no lack of players from every station in life as participants.

     On April 10, 2010 President Lech Kaczynski and his entire entourage perished in a catastrophic plane crash near Smolensk/Katyn Forest, Russia. A tidal wave of grief and mourning spontaneously swept over Poland. The entire spacious area in front of the Presidential Palace in Warsaw became an undulating sea of floral bouquets and lighted candles. On April 15 Poland's  Boy Scouts erected the now controversial cross on the site, three days before the presidential state funeral.

     Newly elected President Bronislaw Komorowski (Civic Platform Party) stated on July 10 that the cross would be ceremoniously removed to a more appropriate religious venue. Jaroslaw Kaczynski (Law and Justice Party), twin brother of the recently deceased president - and who had just lost a hotly contested run-off presidential election to Komorowski - resisted the cross removal until a permanent on-site memorial could be constructed. Depending on one's point of view, protests and counterprotests along sharp political and religious lines followed

Read more: At Cross-Purposes in Warsaw


Polish President Dies in a Terrible Tragedy - is this a Curse of Katyn?

Lech Kaczynski, Polish president died in a terrible tragedy near Smolensk where he wanted to participate in Katyn anniversary of killing about 20 thousands of Polish officers by Soviet Union in 1940. Is this a curse of Katyn again?

Check the forum for the discussions about what happened: National tragedy in Poland and Polish President KILLED IN PLANE CRASH
We have lot sof information about Katyn tragedy in our website. Check it here: The Katyń Massacre.

ANNA WALENTYNOWICZ - Solidarity heroine, was among the victims. Check the photos and information from the meeting with her in American Center of Polish Culture. in Washington DC.

Juat recently a film about Katyn tragedy was released: Its director - Andrzej Wajda is Oscar winner.

Read about Katyn Rememberance in Baltimore,  Katyn Memorial Description and Katyn Memorial: Sobieski, Wladyslaw II, Kosciuszko & Pulaski

Here is more about Katyn massacre:



PRL From the Archives of Richard Poremski

These photographs are from the archives of Richard Poremski taken during his trips to Poland in 1976 and 1978. They are currently being published in the Polish-American Journal. The photographs show the scenes from lives of average people in Poland 30-40 years ago. We are planning to add more photos, so please, check our collection every month.

Read more: PRL From the Archives of Richard Poremski


Coal Mining in Upper Silesia and Heavy Industry in Poland During Communism

Hard Coal mining as well as other sectors of heavy industry were treated preferentially during the forty years of communism as the most vital and strategic industries for the economy and defense of our country. We were reminded continuously that the work of the miner is extremely important and the coal is our most important natural resource and the export product. Polish power plants were also mainly based on the coal, now it is slowly readjusting to the natural gas which is cleaner than coal.

Read more: Coal Mining in Upper Silesia and Heavy Industry in Poland During Communism


Polish dollars: did they really exist?

In spite of the fact that Poland was behind an iron curtain Poles always had their way to travel abroad or keep in touch with the family and friends in the countries behind the curtain. Poles were travelling abroad and work there legally or illegally, they also were receiving some gifts from family or friends, therefore the Polish government tried to gather these "good" money up (channel it up) by various means. One of the more efficient way was the establishment of the chain state-run Pewex stores in major Polish cities and towns. In these stores the goods - either Polish or foreign origin could be bought only with hard currency or by so called Polish dollar checks (bony towarowe PekaO). PeKaO is the abbreviation from Polska Kasa Opieki - Polish Saving Bank.

Read more: Polish dollars: did they really exist?


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