Tag Archives: communism

Paweł Styrna lectures on communist infiltration of Polish-Americans

On Sunday, January 4, 2015, Paweł Styrna – Kościuszko Chair research assistant and IWP international affairs student – delivered a presentation at the annual conference of the Polish American Historical Association (PAHA) in New York City.

The lecture was entitled “Paralyzing the Polonia From Within: Communist Secret Police Infiltration of the Polish-American Community” and constituted a brief outline of a much more detailed, research-based scholarly article, which will be published in a forthcoming anthology.

Having explored the historical roots of communist secret police operational tactics, Mr. Styrna discussed the various manners utilized by Warsaw to divide, recruit, and co-opt the Polish-Americans and analyzed the extent of the penetration. He pointed out that the communist secret police treated the Polonia either as an enemy or as a potential asset and continued his exploration into the post-communist era. He concluded by pointing out that scholars should not underestimate the impact of secret police “disintegration” work on the American Polonia’s gradual loss of political influence during the beginning of the twenty-first century.

Cuba Libre

This piece by Marek Jan Chodakiewicz was published on the website of the American Thinker.

After a sustained effort in clandestine diplomacy, the White House has recognized Cuba. Yet, the Obama administration has failed to explain convincingly why, for Christmas, it has decided to bless a Communist totalitarian dictatorship, second only in ruthlessness to the North Korean satrapy.  Nonrecognition was a symbolic policy of our objection to the trampling of the island’s freedom. It was a powerful sign of our refusal to acquiesce in Cuba’s enslavement. True, we had no immediate plans to liberate the nation, but we morally condemned its Red slave masters.

The power of symbols in the policy of nonrecognition was palpable. Despite the fact that most of our allies, notably the EU and Canada, did business with Cuba, America stressed its exceptionalism for over half a century by refusing to treat the totalitarians as normal partners. Nonrecognition gave free Cubans at home and abroad hope that, first, the world’s leading power identified with their plight, and, second, that freedom was a universal norm that the United States would never compromise on. That policy is no more. The current administration has thus abandoned the moral high ground we occupied vis-à-vis the Castro regime following the betrayal of free Cubans at the Bay of Pigs by an earlier Democrat team in 1961.

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Bolesław Piasecki as the victim of post-modernist historical revisionism

SONY DSCAfter giving a lecture at the Kosciuszko Chair’s Fourth Annual Spring Symposium, Dr. Wojciech Jerzy Muszyński of the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) in Warsaw, Poland, shared with the KC his paper entitled “Bolesław Piasecki as the victim of post-modernist historical revisionism.”

In the paper, he discusses Mikołaj S. Kunicki’s book entitled Between the Brown and the Red: Nationalism, Catholicism, and Communism In 20th-Century Poland – The Politics of Bolesław Piasecki (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2012).

An abstract of the paper is below, and the full paper can be found here: Muszynski, Boleslaw Piasecki as the victom of post-modernist historical revisionism

Abstract

In the following review, Dr. Wojciech J. Muszyński offers a critical analysis of Mikołaj Kunicki’s book on Bolesław Piasecki. As an iron pragmatic who began his political career as a nationalist radical, and ended it as a communist collaborator, Piasecki fascinates his ideological enemies to this day. Furthermore, they mirror image and reduce him to the role of the antithesis of what they themselves are: liberal or leftist ideologues, usually of an internationalist bent. It is a striking phenomenon that Bolesław Piasecki – a politician of secondary importance who never exerted a decisive influence on Polish history – became the subject of two ostensibly comprehensive biographies in English. This is all the more amazing, since Poland and the great personages in her history – with perhaps the exceptions of Pope John Paul II in the 1990s, and Lech Wałęsa – are generally not of much interest to Western historians. Piasecki, however, became the subject of an English-language biography well before his death in the form of Lucjan Blit’s The Eastern Pretender (1965). More recently, in 2012, he became the antagonist of a second work in English: Mikołaj Stanisław Kunicki’s Between the Brown and the Red: Nationalism, Catholicism, and Communism in 20th-Century Poland: The Politics of Bolesław Piasecki. Blit’s publication, however, was a political pamphlet, which the author never denied; just as he did not deny his open, fierce antipathy toward Piasecki. Kunicki’s biography, on the other hand, is presented as a work of objective scholarship. In essence, the latter represents efforts by post-modernist, neo-Stalinist academics to depict Polish nationalists as communist collaborators, which serves to whitewash Marxism by pinning much of the blame for the crimes of communism on “nationalism.”

* * *

Bolesław Piasecki, an iron pragmatic who began his political career as a radical nationalist, continues to fascinate his ideological foes to this day. It is quite astonishing that this admittedly second-rate politician who did not play any significant role in Polish history, has already been the subject of two quite substantial biographical publications in English. This is all the more astounding given that famous personages in the history of Poland have not attracted much interest on the part of Western historians, except perhaps for Pope John Paul II during the 1990s and Lech Wałęsa. Upon investigating the shelves of American and British book stores, it is difficult to find any books on important Poles. Piasecki, however, became the subject of an English-language biography many years before his death, i.e. Lucjan Blit’s The Eastern Pretender: The Story of Bolesław Piasecki, which was published in 1965. In 2012, another work appeared: Mikołaj Stanisław Kunicki’s Between the Brown and the Red: Nationalism, Catholicism, and Communism In 20th-Century Poland – The Politics of Bolesław Piasecki. But whereas Blit’s publication was a political pamphlet—which the author did not really disguise, nor did he deny his sharp antipathy towards Piasecki—Kunicki’s biography is presented as an objective work of scholarship.

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Investing in Cuba: Dr. Chodakiewicz mentioned

The Institute of World Politics was recently mentioned—along with the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies, and its current holder, Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz—in Anólan Ponce’s article in the Cuban-American Spanish-language newspaper, the Miami-based El Nuevo Herald.

Entitled “Las inversiones en Cuba y el amor a la patria” [Investing in Cuba and patriotism], the piece argues that investment in their communist-occupied homeland by Cuban-Americans will server primarily to bail out a regime whose Marxist economic policies destroyed the nation’s economy. Mr. Ponce quoted Dr. Chodakiewicz’s article, “Carbon Copy Communism,” which demonstrated that the communist regime in Poland followed the same blueprint that the Castro regime is attempting to implement now by wooing exiled businessmen. The goal was not only to obtain Western cash, but also to utilize the diaspora to spread propaganda that the communist system is allegedly no longer a totalitarian dictatorship. In other words, Havana is attempting to pull off a great deception operation.

Please click here for the whole article.

Persian Hospitality: The Poles from the Gulag in Iran

On November 2, 2013, Pawel Styrna, Research Assistant for the Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies, discussed “Persian Hospitality: The Poles from the Gulag in Iran” at the Sixth Annual Kosciuszko Chair Conference at The Institute of World Politics.

Video by Adam Savit, Center for Security Policy

Beyond Solidarity: Polish-Jewish Relations in WWII

On November 2, 2013, Dr. Ewa Kurek discussed Beyond “Solidarity: Polish-Jewish Relations in WWII” at the Sixth Annual Kosciuszko Chair Lecture at The Institute of World Politics.

Video by Adam Savit, Center for Security Policy

The Children of the Victims of the Polish Operation of the NKVD

On November 2, 2013, Dr. Tomasz Sommer discussed “The Children of the Victims of the Polish Operation of the NKVD” at the Sixth Annual Kosciuszko Chair Lecture at The Institute of World Politics.

Video by Adam Savit, Center for Security Policy