]On Behalf Of John Fenston
Sent: Sunday, January 07, 2007 5:38 AM
Subject: My sincere admiration
I have just finished watching "A forgotten Odyssey" on the History
Channel (Jan 7th 2007).
I was both deeply moved and appalled, at the story of courage,
endurance and the triumph of the human spirit, in the face of treachery,
brutality, and abandonment by so-called friends. I applaud and
congratulate Jagna Wright and Aneta Naszynska on their beautiful and
gently understated film.
I was only born in 1945, but have been aware for most of my life of the
contribution made by the courageous Polish troops, both on the ground
and in the air, in helping win the war for the allies. Also how little
recognition, support or help was given by Britain or the Allies to Poles
or Poland at the end of the war.
I have long been aware of the betrayal of Poland by the Soviet Union at
the outset of WW II, and at the Warsaw Uprising.
More recently, along with others, I became aware of the truth of the
massacre of Polish officers at Katyn.
I had been totally unaware, however, of the depth of perfidy displayed
to the population of Kresy by the Russians, prior to Barbarossa, and the
lengths to which they had gone to extinguish Polish nationhood. Nor of
the extent of the deportations of the entire military and intellectual
population of Poland occupied by the Russians.
Additionally, I was unaware of the role of the British Government in
both concealing the truth about the Russian atrocities, but in urging
Poles to return home after 1945, when they were certainly well aware of
the reception that was waiting for them.
I feel deeply embarrassed and ashamed of the role of senior British
individuals in betraying so callously, our brave allies and friends.
It is a small consolation to hear (in the film) that individual British
officers and men behaved decently to Polish troops and families upon
their exodus from Soviet Russia.
As I grow older myself, I regrettably have reached the conclusion that
the governing classes in Britain, of all persuasions, have a collective
PhD. in hypocrisy and perfidy. They are also very adept at concealing
this from ordinary Britons.
I have sent you a small donation via your website and PayPal of $250,
and hope it arrives and does a little good. Please let me know if it
does not arrive soon, and I will chase it up.
The terrible legacy of post-war communist mis-rule in Poland still
lingers on, it seems. Far too many Polish men and women are forced by
economic necessity to travel to Western Europe as migrant workers
because of economic stagnation and mis-management at home in Poland.
I have been delighted to employ some charming Polish migrant builders
last summer. They told me that if they could find work at home it would
be for generally no more than 8 Euros a day.
Although I was happy to pay them British rates of pay, I regret to say
that many of my countrymen not only take advantage of them by paying
below minimum wage rates, but then resent them for being here.
Please accept my gratitude for the film, which I note was made in 2001,
also my deep regret and apologies for the role of my country in
betraying yours, and my admiration for your countryman's great courage,
indomitable enthusiasm for Truth and Freedom, and remarkable tolerance
in the face of betrayal and abandonment by so-called friends and allies.
( I see it's still going on today in Iraq)
John Fenston <john@...