Tag Archives: poland

A letter from the past. 25th Anniversary of Polish Freedom

This morning I was watching Barack Obama driving through the聽streets of Warsaw to celebrate with Polish people the 25th Anniversary of the Freedom and first free elections behind the Iron Curtain that happened on the 4th of June 1989. What was I doing that time? I was only 13 years old, finishing primary school, thinking of my future education and witnessing the Wind of Change blowing throughout the European prairies.聽So when I came聽back from work I went straight upstairs and opened my memoirs box (yep, I’m sentimental 馃檪
What I’ve found was a bunch of letters I once wrote to my beloved friend, who was taken by her parents on a summer trip and to Greece and escaped from there later to Canada, right before those first elections. Her mother told her in that bus to Athens, that she would never see her friends and grandmother again…

Raciborz, 31st October 1989


Bogna, I am sorry for not聽replying for such a long time but it was not my fault, its just that nothing is worth to write about. October was very, very hot with temperatures up to 31 Celsius! Polish television is getting better and better, there is still no English at schools because there are few聽English teachers, so I went to an English course and I now need to pay 37,420 zlotys per 94 classes.

Bogna, I am so, so curious what is going on there in Canada, how is the TV, how is your city, what are your plans for the future?! So let me start about myself.
I have聽graduated the school year 88/89 with very good results. I am now in the 7th grade (7d), my master teacher is Mrs Piasecka and half of the class is new. They came from 6e which was another athletic class and guess what, they just don’t know anything! I didn’t go to the School of Sports eventually and I think that was the right decision.
Now I can spend my time at聽different classes and courses like 聽English, chemistry and in general I have a lot of spare time and almost not getting ill, which I am happy for.
After the primary school I would love to continue in High School, preferably in the Human Arts profile or biology-chemistry but its not decided yet whether we would stay or we would聽emigrate to Germany for good (we’ve got all the passports already and聽anyway there are only us, uncles from the 9th floor and both grandparents who stayed in Poland so maybe we will meet abroad?)

I spent my summer holidays in聽Zagorze Slaskie, at that hotel from Rafako, my father’s company. I wanted also to go to DDR but I was too late with my application, and there were no places left.

So as you know in Poland we have a PRESIDENT (hi hi hi) Jaruzelski and I am not sure if that’s gonna change anything for good since the ham costs ca. 30,000 zloty, the sausage from 3,000 to 40,000 zloty, one pack of matches is 25 zlotys, ice cream almost 200 zlotys, bread 1,500 zlotys,聽bread-rolls聽150 zlotys and butter 5,000!!! Literally every聽day the prices go higher and higher like crazy, seriously! Before we leave Poland I don’t know whats going to happen…

Nothing has changed in Raciborz, well maybe apart from that our blocks are not from Rafako anymore, but they belong to a company that bought them from Rafako for a song … So as in聽our backyard and there are also changes in the city. A lot of new blocks are being constructed (even next to our school) they also build a new post office and telephone exchange building which I hope will eventually give us the long expected phone number!

On our backyard more and more people are leaving for I don’t know where and there are also new people coming so in the end you really don’t know who’s still there are who are these new people. Once upon a time everybody was saying hello or good morning but now forget about it and there’s even no smile! (well, with few exceptions maybe).

I would like to write you about the winter holidays I had in Zagorze Slaskie. So, it was super, super, really cool and very super simply the best winter holidays I have ever been to! We had a lot of excursions, discotheques, movies, great teachers and of course the people over there – a big bunch of good聽friends! When going back聽home some of them had tears in their eyes… On the very last day we had an art exhibition of all our art works and the hotel director told us that we were the most joyfull and singing group she had ever hosted at her place!

Few last words for the end with greetings from folks from the backyards and our neighbors: Asia, Ola and Madzia. Please give my best regards to your parents, your sister and your little brother.

I look forward for your letter. 聽Bye!


Discovering Future in the Past

Have you ever felt this enlightenment, after few dozens of pages, when something you were suspecting all of a sudden becomes clear and obvious and since then you know you learned the Reason?

This amusement accompanied me throughout 600 pages of Jan Sowa’s delightful book “Fantomowe cia艂o kr贸la” (Phantom King’s Body”) At first you notice a strange title but after a while you know what this phantom means, as well as who’s the King’s body. Yes, its about a murder, phantom murder to be correct, of a King in the Kingdom of Poland in the late XVIIIth century. It is a story of the Fall of once the biggest country in Europe – the聽Polish鈥揕ithuanian Commonwealth…

It is a story about how our Middle-Eastern Europe has been self-colonized by its aristocracy and later on colonized by the neighboring states. Fascinating reading on how the Roman’s Empire legacy continue to influence entire Europe which until today is divided by the Elbe riverrun.

You also come up to the questions like:聽Into what will develop the capitalism? or聽How to release our creativity? or Is all what we have given for ever and ever?

One of the most interesting analyses is the one regarding the post-colonialism in Eastern Europe . Once you read it you become to understand more of what is going on right now in Ukraine and Crimea. Current situation of Mid-Eastern Europe countries can be easily explained from the perspective of the post-colonial discourse and thanks to its analytic methods.

If you want to know how to overcome our fate and how to position ourselves beyond the periphery of Western World? It a book for you. Challenging & recommended reading.

Read more about Jan Sowa’s book here

A Silesian Mansion…

I’ve been dreaming about this Silesian Mansion House… Not once, twice, but many times.
Each time I walk these wooden stairs up to the spacious and bright ball rooms with wooden floors and big windows opening to the park behind the castle. 19th century floor is creaking delicately and when I get closer to the window and open it the fresh air comes in together with the birds tweets…

In 1989 when the State Owned Farms were liquidated the wind of change had also reached Rudnik Mansion House.
My auntie, who used to live in that house as one of the Farm’s Accountant, emigrated within few months to Germany through the opened borders with her sons and daughter. Right after the inhabitant left the apartments the Mansion was sold immediately by the Agricultural Real Estate Agency to an unknown private person and that was the beginning of the end… Later on the Mansion was sold to a Foundation which was deliberately established to rip out some mortgage money from these still in good condition buildings and that was it. Today after almost 15 years, the interiors are completely devastated with almost nothing left but bare floors and walls. The roof starts leaking as somebody started to collect the roof tiles…

The local community claims that the situation is hopeless since the Foundation is in liquidation status and there are no moves from it in order to sell the property. Anyway the local authorities somehow managed to localize two of the Foundation members of the board but just by talking to them the community has been convinced that these two people were just substitutes in order to blur the real owners of the Mansion, who most probably left the country with the money years ago…

There are only two possibilities which may help to rescue the once beautiful property, either the creditors will call for their money/property back or the Agency who sold the buildings will try to take them, but in order to do so it wants a big favor from the community and wants to sell their other ruins from the neighboring area…Real Gordian knot. Will anybody find the Gordian or is there no hope?

I had a dream…the last one of the series was that I had established a Foundation and in the next twink of an eye the Mansion was full of young people, running around and painting the walls, decorating the rooms, planting azaleas in the garden…

Believe it or not but that dream happened to me before I knew about the REAL Foundation!

The same foundation/mortgage/escape scheme happened to hundreds or even thousands of Mansion Houses across Poland.
If anybody can help the Rudnik’s Community let me know.
I promise, my dream will become real soon…