BBC's shocking incompetence

I was surfing the internet to see how various media cover the story of the 70th anniversary of the breakout of the Second World War remembrance service, that Polandian metioned in previous post.

Naturally I went to the BBC. I wasn’t pleased what they wrote, in this article as I felt it didn’t explain anything to an average Western person, nor does it clarify what is a fact and what isn’t.

What struck me, was the map at the bottom of the page. This map: (now apparently erased by the BBC)

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slide_2

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According to the BBC it shows the German attack on Poland. Only Poland never existed in this shape at this time in history. Just to remind BBC journalists how it looked like:

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poland1939_physical

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Find differences. And I don’t mean that BBC put Gdańsk where Elbląg is, I mean that they cut the whole Eastern part of Poland from their map, and signed it Soviet Union.

It shows coplete lack of basic knowledge on the part of BBC staff. Germany attacked Poland in the 1st September 1939. At this time Poland’s Eastern boarders were unchanged. Only on the 17th of September 1939 followed the attack of the Soviet Union. Showing this map like this is illogical and makes completely no sense.

Unless you are in favour of the USSR, and regard 1939 Eastern Poland as their territory. And you want to omit mentioning 17th September Soviet invasion. But I would doubt BBC supported Stalinist Soviet Union:)

It is a mistake, although I think that this is not just a mistake. It is a proof of ignorance. If they didn’t know THAT what else don’t they know? If they don’t udnerstand what USSR did, where it was on tha map, when it attacked whom how can they inform accurately on its role in the war? How can they understand Kaczynskis words? If they don’t understand that part in history, they can’t interpret it properly.

While many people around the world treat BBC as the most trusted source.

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I managed to make some screenshots – click for larger image

newsbbccouk-screen-capture-2009-8-2-19-8-56pngnewsbbccouk-screen-capture-2009-8-2-19-9-18pngnewsbbccouk-screen-capture-2009-8-2-19-49-22png

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69 thoughts on “BBC's shocking incompetence

  1. Peter says:

    Hopefully this was an honest mistake and not a calculated move by the BBC to minimize the west’s involvement in the border changing process.

  2. Michal says:

    I don’t get why they are called celebrations on many websites including this one, why not rememberance or something like this, you can’t look back and celebrate the beginning of world war 2.

    Anyway, this is a minor point and not meant to start a flame war etc.

  3. Pawel says:

    No, it’s good point. I’m changing this now.

  4. island1 says:

    Aren’t you being just a little paranoid here Pawel? It looks like an honest mistake, especially since they apparently noticed and took it down. I’m not sure this amounts to disinformation by the BBC. I’m not sure about your objection to the article in general either. What exactly was the problem with it?

  5. guest says:

    Of course it was calculated. Someone had to prepare such a map because you can not find it anywhere and just copy&paste it.

  6. island1 says:

    By the way, I was at the Krakow commemorations today with my video camera. Hopefully you will be able to see the results here tomorrow.

  7. guest says:

    What we see there in the east is the “curzon line”.

    —————————-
    The Curzon Line was a demarcation line between the Second Polish Republic and Bolshevik Russia, first proposed on December 8, 1919 at the Allied Supreme Council declaration. The line was authored by British Foreign Secretary, George Curzon, 1st Earl Curzon of Kedleston. In the wake of World War I and the Russian Civil War, the two countries disputed their borders, and the Polish-Soviet War erupted. In July 1920, Curzon asked the Soviet government to accept it as a possible armistice line. Curzon’s plan was initially not accepted by the Soviets, as the military situation was at that time in their favour, and later was not accepted by the Poles when the military situation had shifted to their favour. As such, the line did not play any role in establishing the Polish-Soviet border in 1921. Instead, the final Peace of Riga (or Treaty of Riga) provided Poland with almost 135,000 km² (52,000 sq mi) of land that was, on average, about 200 km east of the Curzon line. A close approximation of the Curzon line is the current border between the countries of Belarus, Ukraine and Poland.

    With minor variations, the Curzon line lay approximately along the border which was established between the Prussian Kingdom and the Russian Empire in 1797, after the third partition of Poland, which was the last border recognised by the United Kingdom. The line separating the German and Soviet zones of occupation following the defeat of Poland in 1939 followed the Curzon Line in places, while diverging from it around Białystok in the north and in the southern region of Galicia. While there is a widespread perception by historians that the line was based on the ethnic composition of the area,this viewpoint has been disputed by other historians who describe its origins as diplomatic and historical.[citation needed]

    The Curzon line was used by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin as a significant argument in the talks with the Allied Powers during 1942-1945. Stalin argued that the Soviet Union could not demand less territory for itself than the British Government had reconfirmed via Curzon some two decades prior. This has been described as a strong strategic move by Stalin, adding more land to the Soviet Empire than a pure ethnodemographic study of the time would have justified.

  8. Pawel says:

    I agree that someone had to make this map, and it can’t be found anywhere. I think it’s not highly likely that it’s calculated. In my view it just shows that people there just don’t know what was going on. What was Soviet Union role, in what happened when.

    And if they don’t understand history correctly, it means thay cannot inform on it properly.

    So answering to island1: I agree it is a mistake, although I think that this is not just a mistake. It is a proof of ignorance. If they didn’t know THAT what else don’t they know? If they don’t udnerstand what USSR did, where it was on tha map, when it attacked whom how can they inform accurately on its role in the war? How can they understand Kaczynskis words? If they don’t understand that part in history, they can’t interpret it properly.

    In my eyes BBC lost some of its credibility.

  9. Steven says:

    Yes …Yes! Now I see it is all a big BBC plot to cover up the fact that It is really the United Kingdom and the US that cuased the whole attack in the first place. Yes.. It all makes perfect sense. Great depression..big war..lots of money to be made. Then after the war sell Poland to Russia. That map has really opened my eyes to it all. And to think all along I thought it was those crazy Nazis and Commies that cuased Poland to be over run and occupied.

  10. Steven says:

    What did you do …copy and paste your 9th grade history book?

  11. island1 says:

    That’s not the case. The BBC, like any large media organization, will have a database of hundreds of pre-prepared map outlines that they can just add details to for a particular story. In this case I guess the researcher or graphic designer just picked the one that said ‘Poland, September, 1939’ and went with it.

  12. Pawel says:

    I’m not that paranoid, I typed one “wouldn’t” instead of “would” and suddenly it has become to meean I believe in cospiracies;)

  13. Steven says:

    They are celibrating the fact that Hitler started with Poland and not Norway. Otherwise they would have no 70 year old past to dwell on, and we would all be talking about the memorial service at Stavanger. And be trying to figure out why Norwegians are so stuck on a past that really has nothing at all to do with why Obama and the PM of England won.t be having cake and tea with that little man that looks like a duck on Sept. 1 .

  14. Pawel says:

    I don’t care. Researcher doing historical/political maps makes this? Come on.

    This is not Southern Nowheresville Evening Gazette, this is BBC – and it used to mean something.

  15. Steven says:

    Pawel incompetent BBC ? Yes state run and yes. But shocking? Are you really shocked ? I am shocked that you are shocked at the incompetence of the BBC. Have you noticed? They do not even know how to spell honor or labor or ass correctly….geeeez.

  16. guest says:

    Pawel.

    It is nut just a mistake. To create such a map you make a research, probably google and see how it looked like in 1939 and then you will see 100000000000000results with the correct map and borders.

    And if you still create a wrong map, then it is not just a mistake/accident. Because creating such a map/result takes too (and too much research) long to be “accidentally”.

  17. guest says:

    nut=not

    ;)

  18. Pawel says:

    You don’t have to think or talk about this. It is absolutely normal that for the Polish people, the history and fate of Poland are the most important, and the fate of Polish people.

    Thay don’t force anyone to think or listen do they? But they are allowed to have observations nad opinions. Or not?

  19. guest says:

    I am 34. You are probably 9th grade, because 90% of your comments is infantile nonsense.

  20. Steven says:

    I am just glad you got Wrocław back out of the deal. I love this city.

  21. Steven says:

    I am 44, and if I could find my high school history books I would copy and paste you in to the ground my friend. And dont even get me started on math and biology.

  22. Pawel says:

    Guys please discuss ad rem not ad personam. Thanks

  23. Joseph says:

    Shock horror the BBC make a mistake !. Seriously the BBC is a left leaning biased organisation which is prone to making such childish errors.

    Check out this website for further examples of BBC bias:

    http://www.biased-bbc.blogspot.com/

    It seems that someone has already added a link to your website on that site!..

  24. guest says:

    Steven can you just shut up plz ?

    The USA lost a pathetic number of 3000 people (many of them non americans) on September 11. and

    -started two wars (killed thousands of innocent people) in Iraq and Afghanistan because of this “tragedy”.
    -created a sadistic camp in Guantanamo (and not only there)
    -made hundreds of extremely cheesy memorial ceremonies and “god bless america bla blah” church services.
    -and there was (and is until now) a histeria about 9.11 which is just laughable. And sooner or later 10000 hollywood movies will be made.

    And Poland ?

    Poland had “9.11” EVERY DAY between 1939-1945.

  25. kuba says:

    Don’t lean to far left you may fall over. Leave your name and if you do get in trouble please don’t call us we will call you………… NOT

  26. I don’t think this was an honest mistake on the part of the BBC. You really have to work hard to come up with a map like this.

    This is not something given to a 18 year-old school leaver to knock up in half an hour. Someone had thought this one over long and hard.

    The only questions are ‘who’ and ‘why’.

  27. guest says:

    Do not worry kuba. Germany is not Poland. The US embassy will not send some fat guys with a baseball bat to my house. They tried it once in the 90s when they did not want to accept a German law verdict about US soldiers who dropped a rock from a bridge on a german autobahn and killed a pregnant woman. But after the right reaction of German authorities the USA knows already that we are not their 51. state and behaves properly.

  28. I think I need to side with island1 here. The BBC is staffed by human beings who, surprise, surprise, make mistakes. Considering that that map is probably 1:2,000,000 scale (so almost all of the detail is already lost) and the borders were changed a number of times in a fairly brief period of time it doesn’t surprise me at all that a mistake was made. At first glance, I didn’t notice the difference between the two.

    Now, the war has been history – something that happened long before they were born – for the very, very vast majority of people but for some it will always be a source of anger and resentment and, probably not ironically, a good excuse to start a fight.

    I often heard, when I lived in the US, grousing about America’s Revolutionary War/War of Independence, the Civil War and so on. For some, those wars and what started them are very real sore points! So while grousing about WWII is somewhat new for me, grousing about the past (and past wars) is not.

    It is my opinion that the problem with people who are very irritated about past events is that they can’t really be reasoned with. No amount of apologizing, explaining, arguing or debating will ever satisfy them or resolve their irritation which makes me think they’re irritated about something else. Perhaps not, but I personally find it hard to be irritated at the Germans considering they never shot at me or any living relative (though my grandparents did flee Germany between WWI and WWII).

    Personally, I am far more upset with the present. Nepotism, bribery and general corruption, petty theft, fraud (esp. insurance), various and sundry traffic offenses, extortion, tax evasion, intimidation, etc. Most here are guilty of one or the other… but, and I will be incendiary here here, I think it is easier to attack the past and moan over the losses than to actually, really do something about it here and now.

    Nothing – no amount of money, land or power – can bring back the dead or to truly compensate for losses and crimes. Being a good citizen today though can make the lives of everyone better. That is how I prefer to think about and deal with the past. And, of course, to be an informed citizen by reading the news (BBC, the Guardian, Der Spiegel, Deutsche Welle, Radio Netherlands, European Voice, Bloggingportal.eu, EUobserver.com, TheNews.pl, Gazeta Wyborcza, Krakow Post, the New York Times, The Oregonian and various other misc sources (yes, something from each every day)) and voting when I am finally given that very important right. I just try to be a good and decent citizen of Poland, a country that I often criticize but a place I am proud to live in.

  29. Oh and in response to Joseph’s link to: http://www.biased-bbc.blogspot.com/

    From Biased-BBC, “First of all, some believe carbon emissions cause global warming despite the evidence that they don’t.”

    I’m all in favour of watchdogs but I think I will have to pass on this site if this is one of the first things I stumble across, not to mention the site’s main contributor outrage at a recent article about young people/sex/violence. The contributor wrote, “his character assassination of young teenage boys as violent sexual predators is also ludicrous.”

    I read that article and it also mentioned how, if I recall correctly, 1/6th of young men are also physically abused in relationships. No mention of the character assassination of young, teenage girls.

    He’s got an axe to grind and it sounds like many stories serve as grindstones.

    If you want to see thoroughly biased but “main stream” media, try watching any cable news network (Fox News is your first stop) in the US to be truly and hurtfully shocked.

  30. Steven says:

    Welcome to earth guest, I hope you have a pleasant stay here.

  31. Steven says:

    Here here well said. I only tolerate bitching and moaning about hitler stalin and the evil Roosevelt and Churchill from my stary babcia. Those born in the 80,s and bitching about poor decieved Poland just need a kick in the arse and a dose of reality.

  32. Brad: Poland in 1939 was not some vague, inchoate blob in the centre of Europe with borders that shifted like wind-blown sand dunes. It had a clearly-defined shape. This map suggested, for example, that my mother was BORN IN THE USSR. That Poles born in Wilno and Lwów, were BORN IN THE USSR. This map was an effin’ insult to the memory of pre-war Poland and the people – my grandparents’ generation – who rebuilt it after 120 years of partition. This is, for me, is getting close to “Polish death camps”.

    At least the BBC has taken the map down.

    The world must remember that on 17 September 1939 (once Stalin was sure that the war was comfortably going Hitler’s way) invaded Poland from the east. The Soviet Union occupied OVER HALF of the territory of pre-war Poland. Well over a million Poles (including my grandfather) perished as a direct result.

    Why the 70th Anniversary is important:

    On Putin’s view of the outbreak of WWII

    70 years on from Molotov-Ribbentrop

  33. Pawel says:

    You don’t understand that – but for a Polish person this is not so easy. I too look at things from different angles all the time. Have you read this post http://polandian.home.pl/index.php/2008/08/03/poles-must-stop-living-in-the-past/

    On one hand it is still valid. On the other hand, this sacrifice of my grandfathers cannot be treated so lightly. People were killed and tortured so that I could be able to speak freely now. And not use that freedom now, after so many years of lies and communist propaganda, would be like spitting on their graves. It’s kind of responsibility. It’s the same like in the case of Holocaust. There is a need to keep remembrance of what happened. To keep reminding about the truth. And to speak freely about the Polish point of view.

    And I think you Steven need to curb your emotions. You are in this culture and it would be a good idea to make an effort and understand it a bit more. You can go on saying its all stupid, but what’s the point?

    I don’t think that The Second World War is so far in history that there is no need to care. Especially that it has been such an Apocalypse for this country, and that its outcomes played a decisive role in what happened in following decades.

  34. Scatts says:

    Hmmm. I’m not inclined to be outraged by the BBC’s error, nor to believe it was deliberate. Can’t really see they have much to gain from it, certainly more to lose and to think there are Russian spies still operating in the BBC graphics department is a bit of a tall order.

    I might go as far as to suggest that they would be more careful with maps and details about some other countries than they have been with Poland, but that’s about as far as it goes.

    The more we rattle on about this subject, the more confused I am about why 70 years was picked for such a big affair? I would say the most obvious anniversaries should be at years 10, 25, 50, 75 and 100. There’s more to this than meets the eye.

    To avoid wasting too much time reminding ourselves to remember, we (the planet earth) should set up a “global remembrance committee” and organize one massive decennial ceremony where those who suffered in all wars are remembered. Those who have more personal issues will obviously make their own additional arrangements.

    Frankly, although I’m firmly on the side of remembering, it doesn’t really work as a deterrent because there will always be influential people who don’t give a damn.

  35. Kiki says:

    Yes Steven, and your “stary babcia” would be so pleased to know her
    grandson/grandchildren will remember her sucrifise, her losses, her pain , her and her country tragedy and heroism – and that it was not all in vain afterall, as THEY will remember and they will make sure it won’t happen again.

    This is the only and the most important aim in celebrating such
    anniversaries 70 years on – to remember and not let SUCH THINGS
    HAPPEN AGAIN, ever. And sorry, but WE want to remember and WE must remember.

  36. island1 says:

    I think you misunderstood. I’m certain the border outline used for this map would have been on file somewhere, it wouldn’t have been created specifically for this article. I have some experience of this. Somebody picked the post-September 17 map rather than the pre-September 17 map. This was a mistake, no question, but an insult? That’s going too far.

    I’m guessing the graphic designer was thinking in terms of showing the relative position of Poland to Germany and the USSR (i.e. between them) and the main thrusts of the German attack. In this the map succeeds and conveys the information is was intended to convey. 99 percent of non-Polish readers would have understood this information. 99 percent of them would not have said “hmm, Poland was a lot smaller in 1939 than I thought” – that’s not the point of the graphic. This goes to your point about misinformation. I don’t believe a single reader of this article came away with the impression that Poland was smaller than it was pre-September 1939.

    I wonder how many Polish readers would spot a discrepancy in a map showing the modern border between, say, Pakistan and India. Would such a discrepancy really change your basic understanding of that particular global hotspot?

    And finally, I can’t believe we’re arguing over a map that isn’t even there any more!

  37. island1 says:

    I must disagree. I can’t believe you’re suggesting this was deliberate misinformation. You have experience in this field, you know what graphic designers are like—give them a map of the UK upside down and they’ll spend house colouring it and putting fancy drop shadows around the coast without noticing. Editorial should have picked it up, no question, but to suggest they deliberately let it through because they have some grudge against Poland is just absurd.

  38. island1 says:

    Rather an unfortunate link to your previous post there since it seems to argue pretty much the opposite of what you’ve been saying here.

  39. news says:

    I would also like to point out that the BBC map puts Lithuania as well as Eastern Poland in the USSR. In Lithuania’s case a full 11 months too early. The map also forgets to put Klaipeda/Memel in Germany, despite been annexed in March 1939!

    I have to agree that this is just incompetence by the BBC. If I had a zloty or litas for every incorrect map of Poland/Lithuania/Germany in the 20th Century I had seen I would have retired by now.

    Do Poles know what the standard Lithuanian take on interwar Polish and Lithuanian histroy is? Interwar maps of Lithuania include Vilnius, Trakai, Gardinas, Suvalkai etc, referring to them as occupied territory. Poland is seen by standard Lithuanian historiography, ie that seen in primary school textbooks, as the treacherous enemy , with Lucjan Żeligowski, who took Vilnius in 1920, the ultimate villain.

    Indeed, there will be celebrations in Vilnius on October 29 to mark the 70th anniversary of the return of Vilnius/Wilno to Lithuania after 19 years of illegal occupation by Poland.

    Quite a different interpretation of the ¨Poland is the innocent victim¨ school of history.

    (However, the Lithuanian govt will not shout from the rooftops that they regained Vilnius thanks to a dirty little deal with Stalin that turned out to be one stop on the road the the Soviet occuptation of the Baltic States in 1940, but that is an anniversary for next year!)

  40. Kiki says:

    Steven, relax, have some cake and a cup of tea…
    it’s so much better than all that historic crap, isn’t it ?

    By the way – Poland lost the most in that war, but was given nothing in return, just another occupant for 50 years, who helped himself to what he could.

    But the poor Germany on the other hand, was given big money from the good Uncle Sam and his friends….just in case , so Germany could rebuild itself in no time and they wouldn’t loose a good partner in trade.
    Afer all it’s ALL about the money, or am I wrong ?

  41. guest says:

    Lithuanians will be quiet because they were in the Waffen SS and killed more than 200.000 Jews Poles and other nations. This is how they fought for independence during the war.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponary_massacre

  42. guest says:

    The war ended for Poland 1989. The last Russian troops left Poland In September 1993.

  43. news says:

    Quite agree with you. I am fully aware of the Paneriai/Ponary massacre, I have visited the site on a number of occasions.

    Indeed, there are sites of similar massacres outside every town in Lithuania.

  44. Kiki says:

    And this time Steven the “little man” was absolutely right! And respect for him, as he alone has got enough integrity and courage to speak the truth!
    And what was all this chit chat on the Sopot pier between Mr P. and Mr. T ? Lots of smiles and lost of NOTHING in the end!

    Being 44 and being an inteligent man as I see you, one would expect a bit more of a distance from you and maybe it wouldn’t harm to do some digging and get the right info to hand ??

    Or alternatibely, you can ask your “stary babcia” – I bet she knows it all!

  45. Pawel says:

    It is true, and both these perspective coincide in me, because there is something valid in both. I can’t explain it plainly. Maybe there should be a term similar to “love-hate” invented that would suit the situation.

  46. island1 says:

    Just listened to yesterday’s PM Live on the BBC. Their report from Johny Diamond in Gdansk ended with the words “The war that started here 7 days ago today…” In what is technically known as a ‘mistake’ he said “7 days ago” rather than “70 years ago.” Disaster, now the entire UK believes WWII started 7 days ago and Poland was probably to blame somehow. Yes, I am being sarcastic.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00m9z31/PM_01_09_2009/

    Report starts about 18 minutes in.

  47. Pioro-Boncza says:

    Ha! I’m with Steven here. Pawel you’re making a mountain out of a molehill with this map nonsense. I would rather be discussing what you all think about Putin’s comments regarding the role of the USSR in the war. Unlike the PiS’ed-off Ducks I think he went quite far in admitting USSR’s fault in the Mol-Rib pact albeit no Katyn. But he made a good point with the policies of appeasement of the UK, France, and to a lesser extent USA during the Thirties. Oh it’s just the Sudetenland…relax guy..have some cake and tea (Saddam Hussein’s character in South Park the movie comes to mind:^)). Also Russia did pay the largest human price of ANYONE in this war…this is an undisputed fact.

    The point I am trying to make is what the USSR did to Poland was terrible, but the world was a very different place back then and people/nations did terrible things to other people/nations. How is it any different than what Poland did to Lithuania in 1920-1922?

    And most importantly how does calling Russia a nation of backstabbers help us today? What is there to gain? It’s like going to your 30 year High School reunion with your wives and you get mad at the guy who shagged Sally behind the bleachers when you were dating her for those long summery 3 months back in 19xxwhenever.

    I just heard the other, gay, cat loving, duck say how could we be discussing energy deals with Russia on a day as Sept. 1st. Damn right we should!! What a great symbol that would be for Tusk and Putin to be shaking hands on some awesome multi-zillion euro deal to put the past behind and working towards a mutually beneficial non-zero sum future together! …with cake and tea of course :^)

  48. Steven says:

    We all care Pawel, my grand father died on a ship shooting at Japanese planes. I just find it silly to blame the follies of today on what happened 70 years ago. Poland has a proud and tragic history. The EU will not let it happen again. ……really. If I ever hear my 7 year old Polish son blame his life on Stalin, England, or anyone but himself, I WILL SLAP HIM SILLY.

  49. Pawel says:

    LOL Oh please just no violence:)

  50. Pawel says:

    when you see this you’ll understand more of my point here… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKwRp_CzXtA

  51. Anonymous says:

    Hi to all,

    out of all the comments here and the previous post I must conclude with one thought.

    Namely – it seems to me (as far as I can deduct, who’s foreigner and who’s not), that foreigners rather do not get the crucial point of all that history celebrations, that Poles rather do.

    We need to celebrate anniversaries and remember, otherwise we will end up with new horrible atrocities, genocides and wars. Even if it seems improbable to most of you and you’d better just move your shoulders and think about Poles behaving like “stare babcie”.

    I wonder why there is this difference in historical sensitiveness? Maybe Poles will be like that in a new generation too…? Maybe we care more because even the youngsters in Poland were taught by their “stare babcie” and “stare dziadki” about the reality of war, neighbours dying, friends not coming back, constant fear… I remember my grandpa telling me story how he was supposed to me shot do death twice during the war by German troops and miraculously escaped.
    Stories like this fall into memory, when you can point your finger and show graves and battlefields in the real world, not on google earth.

    What do you think? What is the reason?

  52. guest says:

    “The reason is” that even younger Poles are more or less directly affected by the IIWW. The II WW ended in England in 1945 in the USA with the Japan’s capitulation and in Poland the war ended in 1989.

    And this is something which foreigners just do not understand.

    They do not understand that Poland was in a “prison” for decades and it was not allowed talk about KATYN or build an uprising or a jewish museum 20 yrs ago. Poles who are 30yo now, could not do things 20yrs ago which were normal to British or US children.

    I could go on, but it makes little sense, to repeat obvious things over and over, which are more or less ignored at the end….

  53. island1 says:

    Hello anonymous,

    I don’t really know where you got the idea that ‘foreigners’ don’t get commemorative celebrations. In the UK we have Remembrance Sunday for the dead of all wars every single year in November, and we’ve had lots of commemorations over the past 10 or 20 years for various WWII-related dates.

    I don’t want to get into comparing battle scars or war dead but every nation in Europe has its shallow graves and battlefields to point to.

    The tragedy is, as Scatts pointed out in an earlier comment, all the commemorative parades and horror stories from our grandparents seem to do absolutely nothing to stop similar things happening again.

  54. island1 says:

    We’re not ignoring you guest, just disagreeing on some things.

  55. Pioro-Boncza says:

    I think deep down inside it comes down to a resentment felt by Poles that they didnt get to live the ‘economic miracle’ that Western Europe enjoyed during their parent’s generation. A grandfather shot by Germans in your home village in Poland or an American grandfather dying in Bataan is the same family trauma. But the American’s son went on to live out his life in a free and prosperous society while the Pole’s son did not. So I think it boils down to a matter of economics rather than simple expression (although expression does play some role in it). Once all or most Poles have tasted the honey of a comfortable life, then the need for such strong and emotional expression will fade…at least that’s what I believe and hope for.

  56. Pioro-Boncza says:

    — What’s with this new weird posting system??–

    I think deep down inside it comes down to a resentment felt by Poles that they didnt get to live the ‘economic miracle’ that Western Europe enjoyed during their parent’s generation. A grandfather shot by Germans in your home village in Poland or an American grandfather dying in Bataan is the same family trauma. But the American’s son went on to live out his life in a free and prosperous society while the Pole’s son did not. So I think it boils down to a matter of economics rather than simple expression (although expression does play some role in it). Once all or most Poles have tasted the honey of a comfortable life, then the need for such strong and emotional expression will fade…at least that’s what I believe and hope for.

  57. Anonymous says:

    Well, but I still feel deep inside, that if we forget about the past we are going to face the same tragedies in the future!

    And I cannot say I hadn’t benefited from the new economic miracle. I just do not consider these two things being related to each other at all.

  58. guest says:

    Just read today’s newspaper…

    h ttp://74.125.39.132/translate_c?hl=de&ie=UTF-8&sl=pl&tl=en&u=http://www.dziennik.pl/polityka/article440170/Polska_do_Rosji_Oddajcie_nasze_obrazy_.html%3Fpage%3D3&rurl=translate.google.de&usg=ALkJrhgReWob4NUQtBvTqqXSQb2Qd-U45g

    And then you will see why even young Poles are 2009 victims of the war. Why Polish school children have to travel to other countries if they want to see a Lucas Cranach painting for example or a Raphael.

  59. Karl Gromadzki says:

    Hello,
    ‘They do not understand that Poland was in a “prison” for decades’…
    It`s a very true thought. That reality could change Churchil and Truman. But in a short sugestion, they have their own plan. In the last resort Stalin decided how would be look Central and Eastern Europe… Never again!

  60. Steven says:

    touche kiki touche

  61. aaa says:

    How can you write that this is a “mountain out of a molehill”, if at the same time, nearly the whole Internet is shocked by Microsoft’s marketing dept, that switched the head of someone “employee” on their website?
    This thing here is actually important.

  62. dac says:

    Not true. More Ukrainians have died than Russians, but for you USSR is equal to Russia.

  63. De says:

    Main Gott ! Main Gott !!!

  64. Once again I get the last word!

    The best comment here comes from Guest, reminding us all that for Poland, WWII ended in 1989.

    This was not a six year war for Poland as it was for the UK or France, or a four year war as it was for USA or USSR – it was a war of two phases, two occupants, the latter staying on for decades after Brits and Americans had stopped thinking about the war. The shooting carried on into the 1950s, the internal repression went on until the end.

  65. kaset says:

    Talking about incompetence. Even the Polish journalists can fail when the topic is WWII.

    http://www.2upblog.pl/2009/09/01/siedemdziesiat/

  66. Bartek Rosa says:

    They changed the map, but Gdansk is still where Elblag should be.

  67. island1 says:

    You’re right. Looks like somebody was listening at least.

  68. Ania says:

    Hi,
    I will take an opposite view. I agree with Paweł’s point, and am continuously impressed that he cares.

    It’s a silly mistake, of course, like the ‘Polish camps’. It will be repeated over and over until the world believes – but if it’s spotted, it goes back to being a stupid mistake, sorry, we’ve already cut the coffee and cookies allowance to our temporary staff.

    The reason for those silly errors are yet unclear. I only imagine that it has something to do with the general sculpting the shape of society. Suddenly the Ministry of Truth comes to mind. BBC may not be the Ministry, it may simply be the credulous innocent fool who just wanted to look real cool. Regardless of the reason, accomplice has it’s price. Unless they win.

    For that reason Paweł you are now priceless. A patriotic gay.

    Also, there is no comparison between the WWII and the Polish-Bolshevik war. Lithuania had signed up for a union, it was payable for them at the time. We went bust, and the Lithuania went regretful. Sorry. Ukraine had been incorporated since the marriages of the Rurykowicze Princesses to Polish rulers. The Crown had inherited that land long ago.
    If Poland had done something similar to someone, it was to the Czech.

    The largest count of Soviet soldiers died in the war because of Smert’ Komandos, Death Squads who followed each military unit to the front and shot all the potential deserters – barefoot soldiers, starved, with no weapons, no ammo, they were HERDED westward at gunpoint.

    How bad had they had it? Well, remember those Soviet POW’s who died in Poland of plague and starvation? Most of them survived and applied for citizenship. It’s better to starve in Poland than suffer hell in the USSR.

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