- Michael and Romuald, your post is correct to say that Poland on one hand used the excuse of THEY ARE NOT POLISH CITIZENS and on the other hand, it was veryMessage 1 of 5 , Mar 8 12:56 PMView Source
Michael and Romuald, your post is correct to say that Poland on one hand used the excuse of THEY ARE NOT POLISH CITIZENS and on the other hand, it was very poor and could not support itself.
I do remember Polish people going back to visit relatives, but they would not live in Poland, instead sent parcels of food and clothing. Also, on these holidays because of the poverty of Poland and the value of the American Dollar, when they went on holiday, would purchase all gold and precious stones, metal that people wanted to sell and they were eager to sell their own jewellery for money for food. Also another product of Poland which was relatively unknown back then was Polish Crystal, which today is one of the highest quality, most valued crystal ware in the world. These holiday makers would go into Poland with bag of clothes and provisions, leave them there and come home with bags of jewellery and crystal, knowing they were coming straight home and did not need much on the return journey, until the 1990 when there was no precious metals to be found, because Poland had sold everything it could to survive and even its own people living outside in free countries were taking advantage of this, plundering while on holidays, with the much sought after American Dollar.
Also two year ago, while speaking to a now permanent resident of Australia, who spent the first 26 years in Poland, learned of the forced Russian Language in all schools and the cheap alcohol. All other commodities, food, electricity, water, furniture, clothing etc. was expensive, but for some reason alcohol was very cheap. In the now permanent Australian residents’ eyes, this was especially organized, designed by the Soviets, to keep the Polish Population drunk, so not to offer resistance to the Puppet Government and the Polish People were dying at an early age from Alcoholic related sickness.
All Polish people who left Poland over 18 years ago, had one opinion, they loved Poland but would not go back to live, because the standard of living, freedom of education, was much better in their new country of residence, they had more to offer their children outside Poland and even though they learned Russian as a compulsory subject in schools, it was the first and easiest to forget. Once they had freedom and money, they quickly forgot and adapted to the new country, but still held a love for Poland and would go back only to visit.
Thank you, Michael, for the interesting email. I would like to add to this the fate of the Poles left in the Soviet Russia after our departure in 1942. It is my opinion that the Polish communist regime after the war did not consider their return to Poland as the first priority on their agenda. They simply left this to the likes of the Soviets. They did not want to burden themselves with finding for the newly arrived Poles with accomodating them with jobs or shelter. I remember that on one occasion we met (I and my wife, also Sibiraczka) some members of the Polish Embassy in Washington. We asked them about the Polish citizens who were deported during the war like us and how the Polish Government proceeds to bring them back to Poland. They gave us some excuses which reflected what I just wrote above. At that time my wife asked if she could come to Poland and settle there. The answer was "Of course, you would be most welcome!". It became to us that if you come with some money the doors are open. Money talks...
---- "m.kulik@...m.kulik@...> wrote:
> I have just finished the above book which was a fascinating read and which will be of some considerable interest to others. The place referred to in the title is what the author (Kate Brown) refers to as "Right bank Ukraine" - the area between the 1921 Polish/Soviet border and the Dnieper River.
> As a result of the 1921 border, the author tells us that 450,000 Poles (mainly those of some means) moved into the new Poland, whilst leaving around 1,000,000 still living in Right Bank Ukraine. The book covers with some interest the attempts of Soviet Ethnographers in the early to mid 1920's to categorise the various populations into nationalities.
> According to the book, what they found in many cases confounded them as many people did not easily fit into any particular ethnic stream - decades of intermarriage had made matters less than straightforward.
> For example they found Poles who were of Ukrainian ancestry and Ukrainians whose roots could be traced back to Polish ones.
> Some people when asked their nationality replied simply "Catholic", others said they spoke "po-chlopski" ("in the peasant way") or "po-prostomu" ("in the simple way"). Yet more replied "tutai'shi" ("the language of here"). Or that they were Polesian or Wolynian.
> The book describes in some detail the setting up of the Marchlevsk Polish Autonomous Region around Zytomierz and itself eventual dismantling leading to major deportations of its Polish population to Kazakhstan and elsewhere.
> Sadly according to the book, out of the estimated 100,000 persons of Polish heritage in Kazakhstan only 300 people were given permission to emigrate to Poland between 1991 and 1997. Some of the reasons for this are that, or were that, "a Pole of Kazakhstan must have an invitation from Poland guaranteeing housing, a job,and insurance."
> Perhaps more difficult, they were also required to prove "with Soviet documents, that he, or she, is of Polish origin and show competency in the Polish language, history and culture." The author interviews one rejected petitioner who expresses his sense of betrayal - "They tell us (the Polish Government) that if you aren't from the Second Republic you are not a Pole, but what of us?"
> Although occasionally a difficult read (the author sometimes uses words that I had to check actually existed!!), it is a fascinating insight into a truly complex,very intermingled territory much of whose population defied any sort of classification at least by our modern instincts and reasoning.
> Michael Kulik