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Poland's whodunnit: paranoia or are they on to something?

A number of years ago I visited Poland and stayed in a special hotel attached to the parliament, as a guest of one of the deputies. It was an interesting experience: there was a gas mask under the bed - only one, even though we were two friends sharing a room, so thankfully I never had to face that dilemma, and in any case the instructions were in Polish and Russian neither of which are my strongest languages ... The only MPs around at the time (it was a recess for the parliament) were draped in gold bling, and looked decidedly unparliamentary. The old coldness and reserve of communist times was still tangible, especially among the staff ... and when I took my Polish friends out for a couple of bottles of Russian champagne (for the price of a London cup of tea) it felt like a revolution for them.

The country was in the throes of an identity crisis. Catholic or progressive; nationalistic or mulitcultural ... it was a long list of dilemmas. And on the country's western borders the Germans were busy buying back all the land conceded after World War Two. The whole of this new 'lebensraum' land was filled with garden centres, advertised mainly in German, selling garden gnomes which, apparently, Germans smash up each New Year in order to make way for new ones.

There was not much talk then of threat from Russia. Russia was humiliated then by all the prestige she had lost after the fall of communism. Even as we looked down from Lenin's gift to the people of Warsaw, the towering, Cathedral-like, Palace of Culture, we did not guess that ten years later, the eyes of worried Poles would be glancing furtively towards the east again.

A friend of mine, a young law professor, not known for his devotion to conspiracy theories or rashness, sent me these links to an English-dubbed version of a recent Dutch documentary, which explores the theory that Poland's loss of 95 of its leaders in a tragic plane crash may have been something more than an accident. Perhaps you had better watch these before the successors of the old KGB get youtube to take them down. Or am I being over-dramatic?

Links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNtP3dvFiCw (part 1)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wukSdTUpfI (part 2)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tN0E7VH25j0 (part 3)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZqVEoXYVlc (part 4)

Comments

kenneth said…
I really do think that they are on to something.

I certainly think that your description of Poland (from your visit a few years ago)would be revised if you revisited Warsaw today; many things have changed for the better - including the Polish economy.

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