A book in the spirit of the MAK report

Czeslaw Ryszka

In ‘Niedziela’ issue 3 of 16 January 2010 there was a note explaining the manipulation connected with the book entitled ‘Katastrofa smolenska. Dzien po dniu, godzina po godzinie’ [The Smolensk Plane Crash. Day by day, hour by hour], and specifically, with the attempt to deceitfully engage the Jasna Gora monastery and the weekly ‘Niedziela’ in the promotion of this publication. Thus it is worth dedicating more attention to this book. It includes the suggestion that its editor is the Pauline Father Henryk Pietraszewicz (the Jasna Gora monastery denies to have such a member of the congregation). In turn, the footer informs that the contents came from the bimonthly ‘Jasna Gora’ (this periodical did not include such a text at all). The foreword included a fragment of the sermon of the Jasna Gora prior Fr Roman Majewski, delivered on the day of the Smolensk plane crash, i.e. 10 April 2010 (the whole sermon was published on pp. 28-29 and the prior was promised that the book would be an objective presentation of the crash). Moreover, the book has a reproduction of the Picture of Our Lady of Czestochowa and the so-called robe of thanksgiving with a fragment of the TU-154 wreck. These elements were to authenticate the book, make it true and objective. It should be added that the book was published by the Sfinks Publishing House in Czestochowa. Its copies are almost everywhere, in all bookstores, and the promotion of the book aims at convincing every Pole to read it.
The content of the publication, written absolutely in the pro-Russian spirit, is supported by biased photos. The exception is only a few photos of the late Presidential Couple. But there are no photos of President Ryszard Kaczorowski, the Polish Army generals, the bishops, the Deputy Speakers, the heads of the central state offices or representatives of the Katyn Families. But there are five photos of Prime Minister Putin and two pictures of President Dmitrij Medvedev. Considering only these facts one can have the impression of the prevailing message about Putin who showed compassion for Poles, strengthened by the false last statement of the book, ‘On 7 April 2010 in Katyn, Vladimir Putin apologises for the Katyn massacre.’ Unfortunately, he did not apologise but only put the whole responsibility for the massacre on Stalin.
Ordinary falsehoods appear from the information about the circumstances leading to the separate celebrations in Katyn: with the participation of Prime Minister Donald Tusk on 7 April and with President Lech Kaczynski on 10 April. Today we know that it was the Russians, namely Prime Minister Putin, who did not want to commemorate the Katyn victims together with the Polish President, that Putin had control over everything. Then the book does not say anything about the fact that Putin invited Tusk to visit Katyn only after he had got to know that President Kaczynski would organise the Polish celebration in Katyn on 10 April. But why did Prime Minister Tusk agree to that so eagerly? He should have known that Putin was playing a game against the Polish President and that he hated him for the fact that President Kaczynski upset his plan of annexing Georgia, not speaking about Lech Kaczynski’s protest against the construction of the German-Russian gas pipeline omitting Poland or that Kaczynski made the EU sensitive to the ‘warlike’ energy politics of Russia. We will not find such information in the book. On the contrary, Lech Kaczynski is shown as a weak president, without a political vision. It is not known why the book included so many negative commentaries about the aggressive language of the Chairman of the Law and Justice Party Jaroslaw Kaczynski and about him steering Poles’ emotions. We will not find any good words about the defenders of the cross in Krakowskie Przedmiescie. But there are numerous positive and warm opinions about Donald Tusk and Bronislaw Komorowski.
There is much inaccurate information about the choice of the procedures and course of the investigation and actually about Tusk’s government allowing the Russians to conduct the investigation. Therefore, we will find no information that the Polish officials had no access to the fundamental evidence of the investigation, i.e. the black boxes. There is no mention about the destruction of the wreck, no analysis concerning the course of the crash, including the fact of incorrect information about the height, landing path, etc., given by the Russian air traffic controllers to the pilots.
Summing up, it is a publication written and published to fulfil the order of our Eastern neighbour because all, even unclearly formulated controversies concerning the Smolensk plane crash, are explained from the Russian authorities’ point of view. It is not enough to write that the book lacks reliability and honesty. One cannot resist the conclusion that the main aim of this publication was not to commemorate the victims of the Smolensk plane crash or present the investigation into the causes of the crash, but to create a positive image of the Russian authorities among the Polish people. Following this thought one can compare this book to the MAK report, which in a one-sided and groundless way blames the Polish pilots as well as General Blasik, and implicitly President Kaczynski, for the plane crash, and which is based on speculations and not on evidence.
It is worth adding the information included in the book that one zloty from each sold copy is transferred to the 10 April Foundation that supports the families of the Smolensk crash, especially the bereaved children of the deceased. The founders of the Foundation include the company Agora SA, which also publishes ‘Gazeta Wyborcza.’
I count that the Jasna Gora monastery will file personal interests infringement suit against the editors and the matter will finally be referred to court.

"Niedziela" 4/2011

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl