Witold Gadowski

We are in a situation when we must be very careful and very vigilant to….Poland. we are at the moment which is both important and interesting. On the one hand we are building the foundations of independent country – it is happening with a lot of resistance from ancient regime, but on the other hand – there appear unexpected dangers. A conference concerning the issues of the Near East which was held in Warsaw, had raised a lot of contradictory opinions from the beginning. Rationally-thinking people were warning us against causing unnecessary troubles. Saying that we are taking part not in our game, that we are taking out chestnuts from fire for somebody else, were not without any sense. In response we heard that the conference in Warsaw proved the growth of the part of our country in the international policy, that the conference was an occasion for lots of world politicians to hear the Polish voice; there was also a belief that we would gain the status of a country which would be able to play a conciliation role in a conflict between the East and the West.

Reality, as usually, verified those hopes. The pronouncement of Mike Pompoeo in Warsaw was a painful awakening. Not referring to the issue of the conference, an American politicians dared to express intentions: either Poland would begin to realize claims of Jewish groups concerning the so-called non-inheritance property, or there would be mechanism of international pressures and sanctions started. In addition to it there was an extremely brusque speech of the prime minister of Israel Beniamin Netanjahu, who – unceremoniously and not considering the hosts’ sensitivity – expressed his suggestion that Poles had participated in the tragedy of Holocaust. Certainly, the issue is trivialized in the country, but I am lucky to be in the United States frequently and I hear from all Polish diaspora groups a voice of growing outrage and dramatic questions: What does the Polish government think about it? Why don’t we hear a definite reaction of the Polish president and the prime minister?!

Can we still pretend that nothing is happening? We live in the world in which only the opinion of the strong and the determined is respected, whereas we show the weakness, being silent at the moment when the Polish history, our ancestors are suffering from injustice. This is not only weakness but also wickedness. Maybe in the country it will sound too radical but I express the feelings of the Polish diaspora with which I meet here.

Crowds of Poles who have never renounced their Polish roots, on contrary – are proud of them, demanding a definite attitude of the Polish authorities and declaring help, want to create the Polish lobby in the USA.

These are people who succeeded in the USA, getting rich and running big businesses and are still asking Poland to get interested in them and gave them a helping hand. Unfortunately, this hand, is still in vacuum…our diplomacy seems not to need the power of the Polish diaspora.

Defence of the monument of Kaczyński in Jersey City, spontaneous actions against enacting the Act 447, still did not gain enough support from the Polish country. Polish diplomatic institutions still were not homes of active Poles. I still hear the same accusations addressed to the Polish Foreign Ministry. Will it change one day? Will Warsaw understand that it is weak, lonely in the unfriendly world without the Polish diaspora?

So, you will ask: what can Poland do now for the Polish diaspora which breathes abroad?

I am alone and I do not have a right to express my opinion on behalf of a social power but I declare that on 14 August – on the day of death of Fr. Maksymilian Kolbe – I am organizing the ‘Pro-Life March of the Polish diaspora and Poles in Auschwitz’. We will go to the wall of execution in reflection, we will visit the places of execution, we may talk with the director Piotr Cywiński. We are going to organize these marches periodically, so that the world would hear about the Polish martyrdom and see the opposition of Poland to totalitarian ideologies and mass homicide. It will be a purely Polish testimony, a respond to the growing campaign of falsifying history about the Second World War. It will be a march of truth which will not be aimed against anybody. We are going to walk in silence, commemorating the victims of German crimes. I am aware of responsibility for that event but we cannot be silent any longer, and Auschwitz is just a place from which we can hear the voice of opposition to totalitarianism.

That is not all. In the USA there has just appeared an idea about building ‘The World Embassy of Polish diaspora’ in Warsaw by Polish diapsora, where every Pole living abroad will feel home. This house is going to be built thanks to donations of the Polish diaspora and managed by the Polish diaspora. It is going to exits regardless of changing political situations and moods of the Warsaw local government. It is going to be a place which will unite all groups of Polish patriots in the world, it will be an alive Polish brain which will be talking with the whole world, spreading information, gathering knowledge and opinions, coordinating initiatives. If such an idea appeared, today I know that it will happen.

And – in this gallop of thoughts – there is another issue. In Gliwice a monument of the Slaughter in Wołyń ‘was arrrested’. Its author is a master Andrzej Pityński, a creator of an also moving monument in Jersey City and a monument of Polish Partisans situated in Boston. There is no city in Poland which would be courageous to put up this monument. Rzeszów, Stalowa Wola, even Toruń refused to do it. It must change! I saw a monument, shocking everyone with its naturalism and epic beauty, belonging to Irish emigration at the time of ‘deep feminine’ which is placed on the shore in Philadelphia. You should also see an incredible monument of slaughter done by the Germans in Lidice in Czech Republic. Does Poland have to resort to the painful truth about murders committed by the Ukrainians in Wołyń? Do we have a right to be silent publicly so long, as for those anonymous victims of those terrible tortures and crimes? We must put a great pressure so that this monument would be put up in Warsaw, on the route which is visited by thousands of foreign tourists. May they read a table placed on it in various languages which will inform about those times.

This is what our fight for the truth must look like. We should not wait for the movement of the government or politicians. We must act now. Everybody who want to feel the pain of Wołyń should listen to an incredible song ‘Ballad about Podkamienie’ by an excellent bard from Wrocław Wojciech Popkiewicz. You will find it on YouTube. It explains all your doubts.

You will ask: Don’t I overestimate my own possibilities? Isn’t it my pride? I will not do anything by myself but we all can do unusual things. For, in us, Poles, there is – still an undeveloped seed – excellent, romantic, which blossoms in the most difficult times. We are a wise nation and we can do great things and I am only trying to notice what sounds in our hearts. This time it is not important who proclaims these ideas – what is important is what content we will fill them with.

This is how our respond to the perfidious campaign of lies should be like, through which we are forced to pay undue donations.

I am aware of the seriousness of these projects and I know that I am not able to initiate them by myself, but I hope that these ideas will be taken over by people who are more competent and professional to pursue them. As long as it does not happen, I will be determined to act so that the dreams would become real.

I also have another big project but I will write about it soon.

Translated by Aneta Amrozik

Niedziela 8/2019 (24 II 2019)

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