Polonia

El imperialismo ruso en la guerra con Europa central y oriental

El estallido de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, que comenzó con la invasión de Polonia por el Tercer Reich de la Alemania nazi el 1 de septiembre de 1939, es uno de los acontecimientos que se recuerdan anualmente en toda Europa. Sin embargo, la fecha de la agresión de la Unión Soviética contra Polonia, el 17 de septiembre de 1939, no es tan conocida en Occidente.

Por eso creo que también es importante recordar constantemente este acontecimiento, que decidió el destino para todo el siguiente medio siglo de mi patria, así como el de otros países de Europa central y oriental. Porque si hoy nosotros, los polacos, y otras naciones de nuestra región, solemos afirmar que conocemos a Rusia y entendemos su motivación imperial mejor que Occidente, lo decimos precisamente porque tenemos experiencia histórica, una experiencia cuyo símbolo es para nosotros el 17 de septiembre.…  Seguir leyendo »

Zares y atamanes

Vale la pena recordar estas palabras cuando vuelve a llamar a nuestra puerta, también en Polonia, la 'historia desencadenada'. Así es cómo definió un escritor polaco (Gustaw Herling-Grudziński), la época de los dictadores del siglo XX, Hitler y Stalin.

Vladimir Putin, heredero mental de esos dos bandidos, invadió Ucrania con el objetivo de destruirla como estado soberano. Probablemente esperaba poder repetir la operación de anexión de Crimea, sin un solo disparo, una rápida conquista que incrementó enormemente su popularidad entre los sectores nacionalistas de la opinión pública rusa. Sin embargo, Ucrania ha respondido con una resistencia heroica y meditada, reviviendo el espíritu de su Revolución de la Dignidad de hace ocho años.…  Seguir leyendo »

Le déclenchement de la guerre par le IIIe Reich allemand – dont le premier acte fut l’invasion de la Pologne, le 1er septembre 1939 – fait partie des anniversaires commémorés chaque année à travers toute l’Europe. Mais la date de l’agression soviétique de la Pologne, le 17 septembre de cette même année, reste relativement méconnue à l’Ouest. C’est pourquoi je crois qu’il ne faut avoir de cesse de rappeler constamment la portée de cet événement décisif, pour le demi-siècle qui suivit, pour le destin de ma Patrie et de nombreux autres Etats d’Europe centrale et orientale. Car si nous, Polonais, de même que les autres nations de notre région, affirmons souvent mieux comprendre la Russie et sa motivation impériale que l’Occident, c’est parce que nous avons une expérience historique dont le symbole est pour nous le jour du 17 septembre.…  Seguir leyendo »

La Seconde Guerre mondiale a commencé en Europe avec l’attaque, le 1er septembre 1939, de l’armée allemande contre la Pologne.

Trois jours plus tard, la France et la Grande-Bretagne ont déclaré la guerre à l’Allemagne. L’agression de la Pologne s’est révélée une ligne rouge, mettant fin à la politique d’apaisement qui se résumait à tolérer les étapes successives de la stratégie rapace d’Hitler : remilitarisation de la Rhénanie, annexion de l’Autriche, occupation des Sudètes, démembrement et occupation de la Tchécoslovaquie. Quand, enfin, Hitler a jeté son dévolu sur la Pologne, il était trop tard. L’Occident –en l’occurrence la Grande-Bretagne et la France – a alors compris que toutes ces concessions n’avaient fait que rendre le Troisième Reich de plus en plus insolant.…  Seguir leyendo »

La Pologne a été la première à refuser de se soumettre. Elle a choisi la fidélité à la liberté, la fidélité aux valeurs qui fondent la civilisation occidentale. Et elle a été trahie par ses alliés. Si nous revenons à cette histoire, ce n’est pas seulement pour nous en souvenir, mais avant toute chose pour ne pas commettre les mêmes erreurs.

La Seconde Guerre mondiale a débuté le 1er septembre 1939 : le IIIe Reich allemand, non provoqué et sans l’avoir annoncé, a agressé la Pologne. L’un des premiers actes de l’invasion fut le bombardement du dépôt de munitions dans la péninsule de Westerplatte.…  Seguir leyendo »

A l’époque, la Pologne n’est séparée de la Russie soviétique – sa voisine fraîchement née – par aucune frontière officielle et les deux parties tentent de s’approprier le maximum de territoires que les troupes allemandes en retraite laissent derrière elles. Comme les Allemands manifestent à de multiples reprises une attitude ouvertement plus favorable aux Soviétiques, ce sont ces derniers qui héritent du plus de terres. Dans les mois qui suivent, les combats engagés dans ces confins de l’Est de la République de Pologne font pencher la balance tantôt d’un côté, tantôt de l’autre, sans qu’aucun des deux belligérants n’arrive à s’imposer clairement.…  Seguir leyendo »

Avec le déclenchement de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, l’Allemagne a mis en œuvre une politique déterminée et intentionnelle d’effacement de la Pologne de la carte de l’Europe. La nation polonaise devait être privée de ses élites intellectuelles, son identité et son indépendance. Les destructions et les pillages n’ont pas épargné non plus la culture polonaise. Les dommages irréparables subis dans tous les domaines – de la littérature à la musique, en passant par le cinéma, le théâtre et les arts plastiques – ne cessent d’être perceptibles encore aujourd’hui.

Au cours de la guerre, la Pologne a enregistré proportionnellement les plus grandes pertes humaines : un citoyen polonais d’avant-guerre sur six y a perdu la vie.…  Seguir leyendo »

Angela Merkel con Morawiecki en su primera visita al campo de concentración de Auschwitz, en 2019. Reuters

Hay crímenes que ni se perdonan, ni se olvidan por completo. El paso del tiempo no exime al perpetrador de la obligación de indemnizar a la víctima, a pesar de la dificultad de calcular los costes de los crímenes.

Tengo la sensación de que no todos los ciudadanos de los países de Europa Occidental comprenden bien la escala del drama que la Segunda Guerra Mundial representó para Polonia. Desde la perspectiva del oeste, puede que el conflicto se vea, en esencia, como una serie de batallas, movimientos militares y decisiones políticas.

Pero para nosotros es, ante todo, una larga retahíla de crímenes, atrocidades y oportunidades de desarrollo perdidas.…  Seguir leyendo »

El pasado 3 de junio entró en vigor en Polonia una medida que amplía la cantidad de información que el sistema sanitario polaco mantendrá en su base de datos sobre sus pacientes, incluyendo un registro de embarazos, además de otros datos médicos que pueden dar información sobre el estilo de vida de las mujeres embarazadas. Esto quiere decir que el Estado podrá utilizar estos datos para rastrear a las mujeres que no hayan finalizado su embarazo.

Las mujeres polacas embarazadas dejan así de ser ciudadanas libres y autónomas, y, como las criadas de la famosa novela de Margaret Atwood, se convierten en medios para otros fines.…  Seguir leyendo »

U.S. President Joe Biden and Polish President Andrzej Duda review a military honor guard during an official welcoming ceremony prior to a meeting in Warsaw, Poland, on March 26. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Poland’s stature in the West has dramatically increased since Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine. The NATO country, now on the front lines of war, has been instrumental in challenging Russian aggression and has taken in the lion’s share of Ukrainian refugees. Domestically, however, the country continues to experience democratic erosion.

While it may seem that Poland’s newfound centrality in the West’s war response has given it new leverage over the United States and European Union—which have at times sought to constrain Warsaw’s democratic backsliding—the opposite is true. Poland’s ruling party is increasingly isolated internationally, internally divided, and in desperate need of EU COVID-19 pandemic recovery funds.…  Seguir leyendo »

We knew the war was coming. But we did not expect it to become a full-scale conflict, displacing millions of people, in just a month. We did not anticipate so much tragedy and destruction. In our worst nightmares we did not expect to witness atrocities not seen in this part of Europe since the second world war.

Millions of people have fled Ukraine and 2.5m have arrived in Poland alone. We estimate that more than half a million refugees have passed through Warsaw, Poland’s capital. Another 300,000 have chosen to stay in the city and its suburbs. In just a month the population of Warsaw has increased by 17%.…  Seguir leyendo »

People, mainly women and children, arrive in Przemysl, Poland on a train from wartorn Ukraine on March 28. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Numbers never tell the full story of a war. Often, however, they offer a good vantage point to look at the bigger picture. The key piece of data that actually tells the story of the future does not feature Ukraine at all—but, at the same time, illustrates the sheer scale of its tragedy. Since the Russian invasion, more than 2.3 million Ukrainian refugees have crossed the border into Poland.

This number in itself might not yet be worrisome. It becomes so, however, when contextualized. According to calculations made by the United Nations refugee agency and the Financial Times, Poland was ranked 101st globally in number of refugees it hosted in 2021.…  Seguir leyendo »

l 10 de marzo el ejército ruso seguía bombardeando despiadadamente Mariúpol, la UE adoptaba nuevas medidas contra Putin y los jefes de Estado y de Gobierno se reunían en Versalles para consensuar los siguientes pasos. Ese mismo día, el Parlamento Europeo adoptaba una resolución pidiendo sanciones financieras inmediatas contra Polonia y Hungría por presuntas violaciones del Estado de derecho. Tal cual: el mundo retiene literalmente su aliento ante una posible guerra mundial, Europa está en primera línea y al Parlamento Europeo le sobra tiempo para pedir que les quiten todavía más fondos a los dos países más afectados por la invasión y los que más y mejor están acogiendo a los millones de refugiados ucranianos que huyen del terror.…  Seguir leyendo »

A group of refugees waiting for a bus to go to a reception area near the border crossing between Ustrzyki Dolne, Poland, and Ukraine.

Polish people know the pain of being invaded. This is what an opera singer told me as she handed out hot stew to Ukrainian refugees in a tent near the mountainous border between Ukraine and Poland on a chilly night in early March. She had planned to go skiing. She came here instead.

“We were in the same situation in 1939”, said Susan Grey, the opera singer, referring to the Polish people during World War II. “We didn’t have such an opportunity to be welcomed. We didn’t have a place to go”.

It feels as if the entire country of Poland has joined the effort to welcome Ukrainian refugees.…  Seguir leyendo »

A woman walks outside a maternity hospital that was damaged by Russian shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 9. (Evgeniy Maloletka/AP)

As Russia rains relentless fire on Ukrainian cities, the country’s leaders have been pleading for more Western help. But the United States is rightly wary of a proposal to send the Ukrainians MiG-29 fighter jets — a move that would bring small benefits on the battlefield and entail large risks of a wider war.

The dilemma of how to help Ukraine without triggering a global conflict will only get more painful as Russian President Vladimir Putin keeps doubling down on his losing bet in Ukraine. The latest warning of Putin’s recklessness came from a senior British official, who warned Post journalists on Wednesday that “we’ve got good reason to be concerned about possible use of nonconventional weapons” by Russia down the road.…  Seguir leyendo »

Can the EU and Poland step back from the brink?

Addressing the European Parliament last week, the European Commission president proclaimed a “unity of purpose that is truly remarkable” within the EU in the face of Russian aggression on the Ukrainian borders.

Yet even as Ursula von der Leyen spoke, a European court ruling was raising the stakes in a dangerous confrontation between her commission and one of its biggest member states that has the potential to undermine the EU’s agenda just as it seeks to present a united front to its adversaries.

The European Court of Justice on Wednesday said that a new regulation seeking to protect the EU budget from rule of law violations by member states was legally solid.…  Seguir leyendo »

People place candles in Warsaw last November in tribute to a woman who died in the 22nd week of pregnancy. (Czarek Sokolowski/AP)

Last month, the death of a Polish woman known as “Agnieszka T”. inflamed public debate about Poland’s abortion law. She died a month after doctors delayed aborting twin fetuses, which had separately died in utero over the course of a week. Her family blames Poland’s current abortion law for her death. Another woman, Izabela, died under similar circumstances last September. Their deaths may be spurring protests in support of abortion access. In my research, I have spoken to activists to understand what drives them to protest.

What is the current abortion law in Poland?

Since a 2020 Constitutional Tribunal ruling, Polish doctors can only perform abortions in cases of rape, incest or if the patient’s health is endangered.…  Seguir leyendo »

The New Wave of Holocaust Revisionism

The earth outside the tiny village of Treblinka, in eastern Poland, still bears traces of the death camp the Nazis built there in 1942. Close to 925,000 Jews were slaughtered at Treblinka, making it the second-largest Jewish killing field in the world after Auschwitz. On a sad, wet day in November, I wandered close to where Germans had burned the bodies of those murdered in the gas chambers nearby. At my feet on the damp ground, among the pebbles, I saw tiny white specks. They were small pieces of bones that still rise to the surface of the tainted earth of Treblinka after the rain.…  Seguir leyendo »

A demonstration against a contentious media bill in Warsaw on Dec. 19. The government has sought to muzzle independent media and create a fortress mentality. Credit Wojtek Radwanski/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Not long ago, Poland was seen as the most successful example of democratic transformation in Central and Eastern Europe, a leader in European integration. It was enjoying, as the longtime European commissioner Gunter Verheugen wrote, a “new golden age.”

Today, the country is again ahead of others. Only this time, it’s in the vanguard of European disintegration and democratic dismantling. The government, led by the Law and Justice Party, has picked fights with the European Union, co-opted the courts, created legislation designed to muzzle independent media and taken a hard-line approach to women’s rights.

What happened? The answer, at least in part, lies in the past.…  Seguir leyendo »

Migrants stand in front of Belarusian servicemen as they gather in a camp near the Belarusian-Polish border in the Grodno region. Photo by OKSANA MANCHUK/BELTA/AFP via Getty Images.

When thousands of migrants began freezing to death in the forests on the Belarus border with Poland, Belarusian leader Aliaksandr Lukashenka was forcing the European Union (EU) into a tough choice – either give in to blackmail and welcome migrants whose attempts to trespass the EU border were a result of his policy of luring them to Belarus to put pressure on the EU, or keep the borders closed and declare solidarity with Poland despite its known mistreatment and illegal pushbacks of potential asylum-seekers.

Lukashenka’s action was aptly exploiting three key pressure points of the EU – as a normative power where the human dignity of migrants is overlooked while the European border and coastguard agency Frontex stands by, as a geopolitical actor seeking to externalize its migration problem by signing readmission agreements with transit countries, and as a community of values with the EU-Poland dispute over rule of law.…  Seguir leyendo »