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Not in our land perished once

Не в землю нашу полегли когда-то

Warsaw is gradually becoming a leading force in Eastern Europe, and will do its utmost to prevent Russia to establish relations with the countries of the region. Especially, if the power of Brussels will weaken and the EU will gradually become a “social club”.

The other day, the head of the state Institute of national remembrance of Poland łukasz kamiński said that symbolizing “supremacy of the Communist system on Poland,” the Soviet monuments to be dismantled and moved to museums, there are around 500 monuments. The Russian Foreign Ministry plans of the Polish authorities called “outright cynicism”.

On a recent initiative with the demolition of the monuments of Russian-Polish relations in General, gray Cardinale jarosław Kaczyński Warsaw and politics in Eastern Europe Expert Online told europeist, associate Professor of the Higher school of Economy Dmitry Officers-Belsky.

Young people need to educate

The current history of the Russian heritage is the continuation of Russophobic trend? How is the attitude of Polish society and political-academic community?

In General, Russophobia poles should not be exaggerated. Her personality is very peculiar – it is often categorical rejection of Russia, but quite friendly attitude towards Russians. Yes, in recent years, the propaganda does its job and the support of the Russians Putin’s policies in fact remove this duality of attitude towards us.

However, the idea of Lukasz Kamiński (Director of the Polish Institute of National remembrance) to dismantle 500 of monuments of the Soviet era and is now very controversial for most poles. Even for voters “Rights and Justice”. One part traditional, it’s old and very religious part of the population. These are people who remember the horrors of German Nazism, who had been in the USSR and to a lesser extent prone Russophobic sentiment than a generation of “Solidarity”. The second is youth, which recently managed to attract the right Polish. For her, these monuments are neither a symbol of liberation of Poland from German occupation, or as a reminder of the years of socialism. Polish youth are becoming more cosmopolitan and historical issues of concern to its much smaller than the older generation.

Then why do “Law and Justice” brings up the topic?

The cosmopolitan youth and makes the Polish right-wing puzzled by the problem of revival of national memory among the younger generation.But then the question arises – where is the soil in which must be brought forth Polish identity among young people? The problem is non-trivial, because more than seventy years, Poland has no one fought, suffering is not tolerated, and meanwhile, the Polish identity traditionally victimized and is based on the national memory of endless suffering. And if the suffering in the past is not foreseeable, they should be come up with. Germany the role of historical tormentor of Poland not so much right now for political reasons, albeit on Western neighbor, the poles are now making sharp attacks one after the other. As for Russia the role of the enemy of Poland, it fits perfectly, but the reasons for this are historical, but very relevant.

The Institute comes out of hibernation

And it’s all for the Institute of National remembrance? What does he do?

We are accustomed to understand under the word “Institute” a certain scientific institution and therefore initiatives of this kind are surprising. In fact, the Institute of National Remembrance has a long name, the second part of which is as follows – “the Commission for investigation of crimes against the Polish nation”. This is a state structure, which in addition to the investigations also involved in the drafting of the lustration lists, which fall into the former Polish politicians, military personnel, employees of special services of socialist era.

Traditionally it is believed that the organization tied to Polish right, it has been operating since 1998. The year before in Poland, parliamentary elections were held, won by the coalition electoral Solidarity – these were the last fragments of former “Solidarity” and their recent success. They managed to push the law establishing the Institute of National Memory, but since years this Commission has gone through many governments. And as soon as you win the right, the Institute emerges from hibernation and begins to produce one after the other crazy ideas, trying to confirm the necessity of its own existence. The organization has long been living on our own senses, but from time to time, in periods of revival, something of what they are doing, is in demand. So, they collect and publish information about crimes of the third Reich, Soviet policy to exempt the territory of Poland, the activities of the Soviet secret police in Poland. In fact, everything, where you can see the “hand of Moscow” until 1990.

While the national memory only applies to Soviet Poland 30-ies too? The poles don’t remember the same Russophobic policy and refusal to protect their own interests for the sake of this policy almost led to the destruction of Poland by Germany? In General some analogy with that time?

On how Russophobic policy has led to a national catastrophe in 1939, I do not undertake to say, just because I originally the specialist for that period. There has been much more difficult. There were, of course, errors of perception of Germans considered the cultural European people, and Hitler was seen as a populist with harsh rhetoric, but only just. Even the Anschluss and Munich are not really forced to think. Russians saw some Asian barbarians with a strange atheistic ideology with Eastern tyrant at the head. But this is only part of the answer, actually it was much more difficult.

If you talk about reminiscences from the distant 1930s, they became relevant again. In fact, in the era of józef piłsudski (the actual head of the Poland in the 20s and the first half of the 30-ies of the – Expert Online) Kaczynski draws inspiration. His role now is head of the state. Like Pilsudski, he does not occupy the highest state posts, but rules the country. Only times have changed and such an informal management style, which with Piłsudski stayed on violence and brutal repression against the opposition, is now impossible. Further attempts by the concentration of power will meet very strong resistance in the society and among European neighbors.

The poles want to be in the Euroclub, but not in the EU

As present relations between Poland and Brussels? Not only in the question of refugees, but also Ukrainian and Russian topics? As Poland sees the future of Europe?

Не в землю нашу полегли когда-то

Relations are very bad. Brussels still has not lost hope that Polish authorities will come to their senses and further reforms of the constitutional court will not go, whereas in Poland hope that the weakening of the EU will give the opportunity to go further and to make radical changes to the Constitution or even adopt a new one.

Polish right – the real skeptics, the same highly tuned against Berlin and its leading role in the EU. However, they remain committed to Atlanticism and the traditional course in the Wake of American policy. It should be noted that in Warsaw with great interest to the British experience of bargaining with Brussels and intend to seek similar concessions. The future of Europe from London and Warsaw is seen the same way – as a sort of club, each of whose members are free to choose the necessary options. As the United Kingdom, Poland intends to remain committed to the national currency and to conduct an independent migration policy, however, tries to insist on formulation of consolidated European countries in international Affairs, which is not interesting for the British. In General, a key U.S. allies in Europe are now the policy aimed at weakening European unity and this is a very interesting symptom.

Can it still be considered a leader Poland Eastern Europe? How does the EU and the Visegrad Group?

Of course. The Visegrad group is now experiencing a Renaissance and leadership poles in the region, no one will challenge. The main objective of Poland in the region is to expand the circle of interaction, not limited to more cooperation within the Visegrad four. Into public circulation is the concept of “country ABC” is an Adriatic-Baltic-Black sea. Among the tasks of the second level – to develop a common position of the Visegrad countries and other neighbors on key issues to the NATO summit in Warsaw and the formation of a common position on energy issues. In this context, very interesting is the tour of Andrzej Duda Visegrad countries, which he organized in March of this year. A very cordial meeting with Czech President miloš Zeman and Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Parliament speaker Laszlo Kover, accompanied by the presentation of the highest Polish awards, in the vein of the 1930-ies.

Hungary – not a competitor

Orban and Kaczynski did not consider each other as competitors for dominance over the Eastern Europe and in the region of the growing radical sentiment?

Orban all like it – another radical in the region has become more, which may result in a reduced level of criticism of the Hungarian Premier from Berlin and Brussels. As for the Polish leader, a year ago, Kaczynski refused to meet with Orban because of his “Pro-Russian position”, and in January of this year they six hours together, talked warmly, and ate trout. He , first, understands that Orban is not the weight in the region in order to somehow compete with Kaczynski. And secondly, against Hungary, the Polish leader, there is some separation of powers with Washington. All tasks hard pressure took on the Americans, while Kaczynski implements the strategy of “soft leadership”

The rhetoric of Polish diplomacy towards its neighbours has changed significantly. Even the theme of the refusal of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia from a more active role in NATO touches very soft. As noted by the Polish President’s Advisor on foreign Affairs Krzysztof Szczerski, even if the Czech Republic and Hungary are not striving to ensure that their territory was strengthened NATO presence, they still support the position and efforts of countries such as Poland, which attracts such a presence. Warsaw plays “good COP”, but gently and persistently draws Visegrad neighbors in the region of the Atlantic solidarity.

That is, the talk about the rise of Pro-Russian moods in Eastern Europe exaggerated?

The Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia are not so loyal to Russia, as we sometimes like to think – in the course of the tour, Andrzej Duda, 17 March 2016, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker sent a letter, initiated by Poland, in which nine countries of the EU, and these were exclusively the countries of Eastern Europe, pointed to the threats of European energy security the Nord Stream project-2. In General, the policy of Poland although facing difficulties, but quite successful, and that means it’s time for us to stop perceiving poles as the possessed the trouble and to pay attention not only to the demolished monuments, but also on more substantial things in current politics. Warsaw is gradually becoming a leading force in Eastern Europe, and will do its utmost to prevent Russia to establish relations with the countries of the region. Especially, if the power of Brussels will weaken and the EU will gradually become a “social club”.

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