February 7, 2014

The new conventional wisdom: Szukalski vindicated

As C. van Carter pointed out to me, Jim Woodring wrote in his profile of the eccentric Polish sculptor, The Neglected Genius of Stanislaw Szukalski:
Among his most strongly held (and extensively documented) theories was the notion that a race of malevolent Yeti have been interbreeding with humans since time out of mind, and that the hybrid offspring are bringing about the end of civilization. As proof of this, he pointed to the Russians.
Szukalski: Typical Russian
     
Also, I apologize for going a full 24-hours without any new Amy Chua-related content.

The last two Chua-centric posts have garnered 129 and 212 approved comments, so I shall get back to work ferreting out more denouncers or defenders of Professor Chua.
      

63 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Russians aren't so bad. So what if they don't want you to flush your toilet paper in the Olympic village, same thing in Santorini and I never hear anyone bitch about Santorini.

Anonymous said...

The last two Chua-centric posts have garnered 129 and 212 approved comments, so I shall get back to work ferreting out more denouncers or defenders of Professor Chua.

Steve, why haven't you been posting anything about Paul Walker lately?

Steve Sailer said...

Paul Walker Still Dead. Film at 11!

Mr Drab said...

Someone should have reminded Szukalski that there isn't much difference between ethnic Russians and Poles genetically.

The Poles seems to hate the Russians more than they hate the Germans, which is odd considering a) Russians and Poles are both Slavic peoples and b) the Nazis considered the Poles "sub-human" and planned to systematically destroy the Polish nation. As brutal as Stalin was, he didn't have plans to totally wipe Poland off the map.

(I always found it odd that the Nazis so intensely loathed the Poles but tolerated other Slavs, such as the Slovaks and Croatians. This Nazi Polonophobia was even more bizarre when you consider the not insignificant level of Polish-German admixture in some sections of the German population, particularly in eastern Germany and other regions such as Silesia.)

I understand that Katyn massacre is still an open wound but that alone doesn't explain the extreme animosity between Poland and Russia. Conspiracy theories continue to run rampant in Poland that Putin had Lech Kaczynski murdered.

As for contemporary Russia, say what you want about Putin and his ex-KGB gang but I agree with the Derb:

... Russia’s rulers, as cynical and ruthless as they are, hold off on bringing in Muslims and Africans to break the ethnic back of their people. Nobody has yet managed to make any large number of Russians hate their own ancestors.

Russia’s post-Soviet rulers are certainly very wicked people. They have sucked their country’s precious natural resources out of the ground, sold them on world markets, and pocketed the proceeds, leaving Ivan and Katya to trudge through freezing mud for a lousy wage or starvation-level pension.

But are they more wicked than the Anglosphere’s rulers, who have swamped their own people with millions of hesperophobic welfare-dependent foreigners from regions of low mean IQ and high mean criminality—mullahs, muggers, and moochers—just for the satisfaction of humiliating their own domestic enemies? Will they, in the long run, have done more to destroy their nation than our rulers have done to destroy ours? History will tell.


Full article

Anonymous said...

two remarks:
1) In the XXth century (and earlier) there were a lot of people who had good reasons for representing Poles themselves as a bunch of monkeys murdering humans.
2) He is definitely a talented person but not much of an innovator. Andy W. is simply more interesting. Without his politics Szukalski's recognition might have improved but only marginally.

Anonymous said...

The Poles seems to hate the Russians more than they hate the Germans, which is odd considering

It's not odd. Poland is a part of Western civilization, Russia is not. Read Huntington.

Anonymous said...

The reason why Poles hate the Russians more than the Germans is because...

1) The Poles of my family knew the Germans were right. No shame in the truth. But they also took a ton of pride in being more realistic and 'street-smart' than the Germans which I think is the truth too.

2) Some of my polish family members married wonderful German men and had 50+ year long marriages while other family members were raped by Russian men.

So...

A feeling of superiority doesn't actually mean your violent or mean to someone.




Cho cho said...

As I understood it, the Russians had been mating with Mongolians and Manchurian peoples in ages past.

Duke of Qin said...

Polish animosity towards Russia is simply human nature. As Steve so rightly points out, everyone loves a champ, nobody likes a chump. The Germans, despite losing two world wars, still have the aura of champs. They are still rich efficient Teutons, in contrast to Russian relatively poverty and boorishness. Also since Germany and now Poland are full up Nato members, its actually impossible for the Polish to actually do anything to get even with the Germans whereas the Russkies are still enemy number one or two depending on who you ask in Washington.

Imagine if a handsome elegantly dressed gentleman walked up to you and slapped you in the face, only to be followed up with by a shabbily dressed hobo proceeding to do the same. For most people, being insulted by the hobo will gall much more than the gentlemen because on an instinctive level, people are pack animals and acknowledged the superiority of the former while seething at the insult of the later.

This is why the Poles are so much more Anti-Russian today than anti-German.

Georg said...

This questions
are answered easily. Polish are roman catholics, russians are orthodox, germans are mostly prostestant. The problem with polonians was/is that they used to fight third parties interests (Vatican, Austrian, French etc) instead of mentioning their own business.
Similar to the mentality/fate of the Irish, they think very big of themselves,
and fought silly wars.
A lasting source of hate is the "smuta"
when the polish invaded russia when russia was in an internal struggle and
tried to switch russians to catholicism by force, stealing and murdering.

Cattle Guard said...

I hope Greg Cochran comments on the Yeti admixture theory of Russians.

Mr. X said...

"
The Poles seems to hate the Russians more than they hate the Germans, which is odd considering a) Russians and Poles are both Slavic peoples and b) the Nazis considered the Poles "sub-human" and planned to systematically destroy the Polish nation. As brutal as Stalin was, he didn't have plans to totally wipe Poland off the map.

(I always found it odd that the Nazis so intensely loathed the Poles but tolerated other Slavs, such as the Slovaks and Croatians. This Nazi Polonophobia was even more bizarre when you consider the not insignificant level of Polish-German admixture in some sections of the German population, particularly in eastern Germany and other regions such as Silesia.)"

Everyone hates the neighbors. This is because they have a long history of war with those neighbors over borderlands and so on. Sure adjoining countries have some gene flow between them, but that doesn't stop them from going to war. People are a lot more likely to hate the people next door who they've been fighting with for years than they are some random group across the world.

Anonymous said...

The only reason that the Amy Chua threads went on so long is that you made the mistake of bringing India into the conversation, which attracted the attention of the psychopathic ethnocentric extremist "Desi" woman who obsessively posts in the HBD-manosphere 14 hours per day (at least), and has been doing so for six or seven years that I know of.

Anonymous said...

I always found it odd that the Nazis so intensely loathed the Poles but tolerated other Slavs, such as the Slovaks and Croatians. This Nazi Polonophobia was even more bizarre when you consider the not insignificant level of Polish-German admixture in some sections of the German population, particularly in eastern Germany and other regions such as Silesia.)

I think the Nazis were angry with the Poles because they blamed their intransigence (as they saw it) for getting them involved in a second world war. Earlier they had offered Poland an alliance against the USSR if they allowed Germany to annex Danzig. Widespread Polish persecution of ethnic Germans, early Weimar armed border conflicts between Poles and Freikorps and traditional Prussian anti-Polonism may also have played a role. See Serbs vs.Croats for an analogous phenomenon.

Anonymous said...

Some choice extracts from Steve's article on Szukalski:


"Szukalski’s politics weren’t helpful. In Chicago in 1914, to which his blacksmith father had brought him a half decade earlier, he was training 20 Polish boys in the manual of arms, “So when the time comes they will be ready to go back and fight for the freedom of Poland.” Polish nationalism, however, was not exactly the most career-promoting ideological obsession for a 20th-century artist. To the right is his plate, Ahuman and Human commemorating the Soviet massacre of the young leaders of Poland at Katyn in 1940, shows an ape in a Soviet Red Army uniform shooting a Pole in the back of the head. To the left is Yaltantal, presumably a reference to how the fate of Poland was determined at the Yalta conference without the Poles having a say."


"Szukalski was ecstatic. He loved to hold forth and he felt affectionate toward his every audience. He mounted the podium and within four minutes had alienated or offended everyone in the place. In his opening remarks he praised Reagan to the heavens and dumped all over Picasso (he pronounced it “Pick-ass-oh”); he denigrated art collectors, Russians, FDR, California, America and professional sports, and wound up with a stern denunciation of “homos.”


Yeah, I cannot conceive of an artists more at odds with the prevailing orthodoxies...

panjoomby said...

but were the Yeti descended from outer space aliens?

bleach said...

I can think of a lot better candidates for this theory.

Anonymous said...

Poland was under Russian hegemony for a lot longer than just the post-WWII years. Also, the majority religion in Poland is Catholic while the majority religion in Russia is Eastern Orthodox. The Eastern Orthodox and Catholics have a very long and contentious history in the Slavic/Balkan world.

joe jaruzelski said...

An alleged Polish folk saying (which I think I first saw here) holds that "the Germans take our lives, but the Russians take our souls".

I have discussed the who-do-you-hate-more question with some Poles. There's no love for the Germans (although no real hate either), but Russia is seen as a sort of Mordor, dragging Poland inexorably back to an eternity of sorrow, imprisonment and drudgery. Germany exploded in a fit of anti-Polish violence for a few years in the 1940s, but both before and since then it has been a benign neighbour to Poland and an impressive one in terms of science, culture, innovation and so on. Poland looks west rather than east, and right there on its western frontier is Germany.

Also, the Poles have a certain joie de vivre that the Russians lack, and envy. This may be a function of Poland's Roman Catholicism vis-a-vis Russia's eastern orthodoxy, or vice versa, or maybe a bit of both.

There is a certain sense of slavic fraternity between Pole and Russian, but if anything this makes the former's resentment of the latter more and not less intense.

Anonymous said...

From what I've read, genetic studies show Poles, Ukrainians and the ethnic Russians living in the center and south of the European portion of Russia to be essentially the same people. These are the descendants of the original Slavs. Ethnic Russians from the north of European Russia are Slavs mixed with Finno-Ugrics (relatives of the Finns). Czechs are Slavs mixed with Germans. Serbs, Croats and Bulgarians are Slavs heavily mixed with the pre-Slavic inhabitants of the Balkans. The Mongoloid contribution to ethnic Russian genetics wasn't large. Most of the Eurasian-looking people you see in Russia today identify as Tatars, Bashkirs, etc. The original Slavs started expanding around 1,500 years ago from a small, compact area in parts of what's now Poland and Ukraine.

If Poles and Russians are so close genetically, where does all the hatred come from? Religion was most likely the original cause, with other causes snowballing from there. Greeks seem very similar to Turks and Serbs to Croats. Their hatreds for each other also originated as religious differences.

Russia was created by the Rurikid dynasty and Byzantine (Orthodox) Christianity 1,000 years ago. These two forces united a dozen Slavic and several Finnic tribes into a new entity called "Rus'". Poland was created from several Slavic tribes by the Piast dynasty and Roman Catholic Christianity at about the same time.

The Byzantine Empire started losing force in the 11th century and became completely irrelevant after 1204. From that point on, from the civilizational point of view Russia was on its own, a center of its own largish world. In contrast, Poland developed as a small part of the huge Catholic world, which civilizationally (though not politically) operated as a unit. To a fundamentalist monotheist nothing can be more evil than heresy, so there was little cultural exchange across religious divides.

Anonymous said...

Just a few examples: there are no realistic portraits of Russian rulers (or of any Russians) until Peter the Great started his Westernization campaign around 1700. Realistic art was revived in northern Italy in the 15th century and quickly spread throughout the Catholic world, but no further.

Russian church architecture started on the Byzantine pattern, but then gradually developed its own style, instantly identifiable as Russian. There is no such thing as Polish church architecture - Polish architects simply operated within the Catholic tradition. Russian village houses also have a unique Russian look. Polish towns look Western. Until Peter the Great's Westernization campaign Russian elites dressed in a uniquely Russian way. In contrast, Polish nobles looked just like German or French ones - wigs, tights, the whole thing. And these are just the optics. Attitudes were different too. This is a good case study of the limits of HBD as an explanatory factor because genetically ethnic Russians and Poles are very similar.

In the 10th century, when Russia signed up for Orthodoxy, the Catholic West was objectively less civilized than the Byzantine Empire. But by the 15th century the West was definitely ahead of the East. In terms of local cross-border name calling this gave Poles an opportunity to call Russians primitive, uncultured boors. The Russian attitude was that Russia was (as it is again at this moment, in 2014) a sovereign entity, a center of its own largish universe, almost as much culturally as politically. In contrast, Poland is a small, irrelevant part of the Western world, which has lately been rotting. Poland contributed little original content to the Western world's past successes. The people who rule the West rarely think of Poland. Their only use for it is to goad Russia with it.

Another Russian point was already alluded to by a previous commenter. If the Soviet Union didn't defeat Germany in WWII, there would be no Poland on the map today. Poles, together with Czechs, Russians, Ukrainians and smaller local peoples would have been herded into Siberia in an Indian-reservation type manner. Eastern Europe and European Russia would have been given over to German settlers. In a sense Russians saved Poland.

In the 1945 - 1990 period Poland was protected by the USSR from Western influences, which by that time were all bad - non-European immigration, radical feminism and the rest of it. It was funny to see Walesa reprimanded by Western media for his anti-gay remarks recently. He made that bed, now he's upset that he has to sleep in it.

Rohan Swee said...

The only reason that the Amy Chua threads went on so long is that you made the mistake of bringing India into the conversation, which attracted the attention of the psychopathic ethnocentric extremist "Desi" woman who obsessively posts in the HBD-manosphere 14 hours per day (at least), and has been doing so for six or seven years that I know of.

Ah, the poor thing's besotted with white men. (Can you blame her?) That's just her way of trying to get attention.

C. Van Carter said...

Nikolai Valuev.

peterike said...

If you want a new Chua angle, this week's New Yorker has a profile of the Chino-Jewish spawn, one Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld, tiger daughter.

It's pretty light weight. But points of note. Ms. Chu-Ru goes to Harvard (natch). She has her own blog ("New Tiger in Town"). There is talk about "cultures" but of course not a whisper of race. Several other students are mentioned, an elite raindow: WASP, another Asian, Mexican.

And the kicker. Ms. Chu-Ru joined ROTC ("in search of normalcy") and now her career goal post Law school is "to be a military prosecutor, with a focus on sexual assault."

In other words, a professional trouble maker, Ivy League Feminist Division.

I don't think these designer Jew-nese next-generation elites are going to be very good for the rest of us.

DR said...

"The Poles seems to hate the Russians more than they hate the Germans, which is odd considering a) Russians and Poles are both Slavic peoples and b) the Nazis considered the Poles "sub-human" and planned to systematically destroy the Polish nation. As brutal as Stalin was, he didn't have plans to totally wipe Poland off the map."

History doesn't just encompass 1938-1945. Traditionally Prussia, particularly under Frederick the Great, and Austria was instrumental in developing Poland from a barbaric backwater to a full-fledged member of European civilization.

Second Russia, both Imperial and Soviet have treated their Polish subjects as exploitable peasants at best, and human garbage to be cleared at worst. It's no surprise that the best places in Eastern Europe: Latvia, Estonia, Czechia, Hungary, Slovenia etc. have all had a strong ethnically German ruling overclass. Russian-dominated places like Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Eastern Poland are basically wastelands.

Besides for a decade of madness in the early 20th century, Germans are decent, humane, hardworking and honest people. Without a murderous ideology running their state, they're happy to just be productive and quiet, making electro-pop and excellent cars. Russians are cold, brutal thugs to their core, and always will be no matter what ruling ideology is nominally in charge.

Peoples of Eastern Europe have a deep instinctual understanding of this.

james wilson said...

Often times the ferocity of hatred between a people is in inverse proportion to their similarities. Examples abound, especially in civil wars.

SFG said...

"art collectors, Russians, FDR, California, America and professional sports, and wound up with a stern denunciation of “homos.”"

I kept waiting for Jews to come up, but I guess he had other issues. Certainly Poland's been pissed on by everyone.

Desi Pride World Wide! said...

"The Eastern Orthodox and Catholics have a very long and contentious history in the Slavic/Balkan world. "

- Christianity is problematic. So called "religious tolerance" (as opposed to actual respect) was devised by Christians because of all the schisms and in-fighting.

Read more here;
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rajiv-malhotra/hypocrisy-of-tolerance_b_792239.html

Crawfurdmuir said...

Szukalski as described here reminds me of another eccentric Polish expatriate polymath, Hoëné-Wronksi:

http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Biographies/Wronski.html

Anonymous said...

I see you have a lot of Buchanan-style neonazis here, Steve,

Rob said...

Steve, I thought you were joking about Google's rainbow colours, but apparently they're serious.

Crawfurdmuir said...

"The Eastern Orthodox and Catholics have a very long and contentious history in the Slavic/Balkan world."

See for example:

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

Anonymous said...

In the 1945 - 1990 period Poland was protected by the USSR from Western influences, which by that time were all bad - non-European immigration, radical feminism and the rest of it. It was funny to see Walesa reprimanded by Western media for his anti-gay remarks recently. He made that bed, now he's upset that he has to sleep in it.

2/7/14, 10:35 AM

What a dbag. Poland wanted to be free of a crappy, dirty, lazy hellhole of an totalitarian empire. They didn't make they their bed with the West. They by dint of character stood up to a continent sized bully and said this will not stand.

By contrast Russia actually did make its bed with Hitler, but for some reason we are still supposed to be grateful for the Soviet Union for helping out when their boyfriend started to smack them around. What I love about the Poland-Russia contretemps is the amusing spectacle of a giant country like Russia so obviously confronted as a peer by a much smaller neighbor. When Canada talks smack about the US we just laugh and pat them on the head. When Poland points out that Russia is a pretty barbarous place for a nation that calls itself the Third Rome then all of a sudden the Third Rome can't help talking trash back.

Of course any look at Russian abortion statistics will tell you just how well Russia did resisting Western feminism.

Anonymous said...

- Christianity is problematic. So called "religious tolerance" (as opposed to actual respect) was devised by Christians because of all the schisms and in-fighting.
--
Unlike the way that Hindus get along with other religions swimmingly, such as when they slaughtered 4,000 Muslims in Gujarat in 2002 while the Hindu governor looked the other way.

Just more hypocritical bullshit from the ultra-ethnocentrist Hindu nationalist.

"Your shit smells, but my (much bigger and dirtier shit) doesn't!" Seems to me that you had your ass handed to you about that very thing on the Chua threads, but you don't have the brains to figure out that nobody here is buying it.



Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khmelnytsky_Uprising
--
Interesting about the Khmelnytsky Uprising, because the Cossacks were originally diaspora Kazakhs, who are Muslim-majority. Did they convert to Orthodox Christianity when they assimilated into Ukrainian society?

Anonymous said...

"Poland wanted to be free..."

But it still isn't. Wanting is not enough. Freedom has to be fought for. What Poland did was sit quietly while its old master dropped it and a new one picked it up. I say it was a change for the worse. Some will say for the better. It's silly to claim that Poland is free though. If it's inundated by Ethiopians or whoever in the next ten years, it will not be allowed to resist.

"They by dint of character stood up to a continent sized bully and said this will not stand."

This is delusional. Did the Brits withdraw from Kenya because the Kenyans chased them out? No, but I'm sure that lots of Kenyans believe that anyway. You're behaving like them right now. I've seen Indians claim that they chased out the Brits in 1947. That is also delusional. The British Empire and the Soviet Union seized to exist for internal reasons.

"By contrast Russia actually did make its bed with Hitler, but for some reason we are still supposed to be grateful for the Soviet Union for helping out when their boyfriend started to smack them around."

I doubt that Stalin ever believed that Hitler would abide by the M-R treaty. I think that he always assumed that Hitler would eventually attack and that the USSR would win. Everyone was surprised by the timing (middle of summer, when the spring made sense), but not by the fact of the attack. The M-R treaty wasn't supposed to be a lasting thing by either of the signatories.

"the amusing spectacle of a giant country like Russia so obviously confronted as a peer by a much smaller neighbor. "

Poland was once a giant country, heavily at Russia's expense. As late as the interwar period Poland's leaders seriously talked about Poland again becoming a giant country, at all of its neighbors' expense. Weakness, not humanitarianism crashed those dreams. Poland confronted the USSR in 1920 but at no point since then. Those silly gestures in the 1970s and 1980s were irrelevant.

Again, real freedom is fought for. Tito's Yugoslavia emerged truly free from WWII because it fought and won. If the Poles repulsed the Germans and/or the Soviets in 1939, Poland would have been truly free after the war. If the Poles rose up (I mean militarily, not with placards) at any time after 1945 and won, they would have become truly free. Surprise, surprise, sitting on one's hands as one master hands one to another did not produce real freedom.

Mr Drab said...

"History doesn't just encompass 1938-1945. Traditionally Prussia, particularly under Frederick the Great, and Austria was instrumental in developing Poland from a barbaric backwater to a full-fledged member of European civilization."

No, history doesn't just encompass 1938-1945 and we can see that German anti-Polish sentiment dates back long before the advent of Hitler.

Frederick the Great had no love for the Poles - or "slovenly Polish trash" as he labelled them - and sought to systematically suppress Polish national sentiment through forced Germanization and the mass settlement of ethnic Germans (demographic warfare) following the partitions.

Bismarck was even more extreme, quietly believing the only solution to the "Polish question" was extermination, an idea later picked up by the Nazis. Bismarck notoriously described Poles as wolves that "one shoots if one can."

"Besides for a decade of madness in the early 20th century, Germans are decent, humane, hardworking and honest people. Without a murderous ideology running their state, they're happy to just be productive and quiet, making electro-pop and excellent cars."

Interestingly, I've met Czechs who say they wish the Germans would move back in and govern their country for them as Germans are renowned for their good and effective governance.

Oswald Spengler said...

"Frederick the Great had no love for the Poles - or 'slovenly Polish trash' as he labelled them - and sought to systematically suppress Polish national sentiment through forced Germanization and the mass settlement of ethnic Germans (demographic warfare) following the partitions."

----------------------------------

It looks like our SWPL overlords have adapted a page or two from Fred's "drang nach Osten" playbook.

Anonymous said...

The Poles seems to hate the Russians more than they hate the Germans, which is odd considering

Consider this history between the two:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish%E2%80%93Russian_War_%28disambiguation%29

Hunsdon said...

DR said: It's no surprise that the best places in Eastern Europe: Latvia, Estonia, Czechia, Hungary, Slovenia etc. have all had a strong ethnically German ruling overclass. Russian-dominated places like Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Eastern Poland are basically wastelands.

Hunsdon said: Ah, the saga of poor plucky little Poland. Poor Poland. Plucky Poland. Little Poland.

This works until one reads a little history, maybe---maybe!---even going back FURTHER THAN THE 19th CENTURY.

Then it's pretty much not poor plucky little Poland. Then it's "Oh my God deliver us from the fury of the Poles" Poland, then it's the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, astride Central Europe like some deranged demi-god, then it's Poland bordering with the Krim Khanate and the Ottoman Empire, and in regular, ruinous wars with them.

Ukraine is to Poland and Russia as Korea was to China and Japan: a good place for the two big boys to fight their wars without messing up their own homes too much.

Poland rode high for a goodly while under the Jagiellos, and even longer, and the expression "proud as a Pole" meant something. Of course, you know what they say: pride goeth before destruction,and a haughty spirit before a fall.

PS: lest someone think I am overly castigating the Poles, forsooth and avaunt! They rode high and they rode hard. They fell, because great powers falling is in the nature of things.

Anonydroid at 3:50 PM said: Interesting about the Khmelnytsky Uprising, because the Cossacks were originally diaspora Kazakhs, who are Muslim-majority. Did they convert to Orthodox Christianity when they assimilated into Ukrainian society?

Hunsdon said: They were as much diaspora Kazakhs as the Texas buckaroos were diaspora Mexicans. They adopted a loan word to describe themselves (vaquero) and the Kazakhs stayed out on the other side of that sea of grass. Tatars, now, they did assimilate up into Lithuania, but mostly remained Moslem.

Mr Drab said...

"What I love about the Poland-Russia contretemps is the amusing spectacle of a giant country like Russia so obviously confronted as a peer by a much smaller neighbor."

Do you recall the Russia-Estonia diplomatic spat a few years ago? The amount of Russian rage directed against tiny Estonia was quite astonishing. And let's not forget the 2008 Russian-Georgian war.

Mr Drab said...

'Oswald Spengler' said: "It looks like our SWPL overlords have adapted a page or two from Fred's "drang nach Osten" playbook."

I can just imagine Frederick selling the German takeover to the Poles.

"We Germans are here to enrich you with our vibrant culture and economic dynamism! Only xenophobic racists would oppose such cultural enrichment! Diversity is strength!"

Tom Piatak said...

Dismissing Solidarity as a "silly gesture" is, frankly, obscene. But not too suprising coming from a Soviet apologist like "Anonymouus."

Anonymous said...

Actually, the latest genetic studies found the Polish to be closest genetically to the Czechs, and not to the Russians or Ukrainians, which makes sense since the Polish language belongs to the western Slavonic family and is heavily latinized. About 70 percent of the Polonians have blue eyes, and if you visit Poland you'll find that the typical Polish look is blue or green eyes combined with light brown or blonde hair.
Unlike Russia, which came out of the strong-man Byzantine tradition of despotism and corruption, Poland's democratic traditions and the rule of law go back 600 years. The proportion of people entitled to vote in sixteenth century Poland was one that England would not surpass until the Reform Bill of 1867. In 1433 Poland which in the next 300 years was one of the largest countries in Europe, already had the equivalent of Habeas corpus, called Neminem captivabimus, that England would not adopt until 1679. Unfortunately, in the 18th century Poland found itself surrounded by despotic powers with a complete absence of democratic traditions, Russia and especially Prussia among the German states. Why the German states were technologically advanced and yet politically immature compared to Poland is an interesting paradox. Blind follow-the-leader mentality in the German psyche and the absence of a philosophical tradition of skepticism, people like Descartes or Hume, were undoubtedly some of the factors. Germany inflicted on the world two deadly philosophies - Marxism and Nazism - both would have been ridiculed if Germany hadn't been so politically immature

Mr Drab said...

"Dismissing Solidarity as a "silly gesture" is, frankly, obscene."

I think most objective people recognise that Solidarity was fairly instrumental in bringing about the end of communism in Eastern Europe.

East Germany's Erich Honecker was so concerned by the rise of Solidarity that he urged Moscow to invade Poland and stamp out the movement.

Anonymous said...

Also, the Poles have a certain joie de vivre that the Russians lack, and envy.

The Russians don't envy the Poles. The Russians hardly ever think about the Poles. The Poles, on the other hand, evidently think about the Russians all the time.

Anonymous said...

About Poland being western and Russia not... Poland is a Baltic country, for instance, Warsaw is on the Vistula river that flows into the Baltic at Gdansk, where Solidarity did its thing...

If you can speak of Mediterranean countries and Mediterranean peoples, you can also speak of Baltic countries and Baltic peoples, in a very general sense. The Baltic countries of course, were long connected to the west. For instance, the Hanseatic League (established largely in the 1200s) and all that.

Wends (western slavs) also had a long close relation with Germans in these areas (for instance, the Pomeranians).

Until Saint Petersburg was built Russia didn't have that much connection to the Baltic and the west. Saint Petersburg was deliberately built for that purpose and to establish a Russian sea port. Saint Petersburg is considered the most western of Russian cities:

"Saint Petersburg is often described as the most Western city of Russia, as well as its cultural capital."

Anonymous said...

Under the Soviet-imposed Communism Poland's children were forced to study Russian in school while the Russians conveniently studied English. When the Talks of the Round Table overthrew Communism in Poland in early 1989, and started the chain reaction that kicked the Russians out of Central Europe, Russian was promptly removed from schools and replaced by English. Today's younger generation in Poland has very little interest in the Russian language or Russia for that matter. Why should they, when being located in the Schengen zone they can hop in the car and enjoy skiing in the French or Italian Alps or, under the Erasmus program, study at some of the best universities in Europe. True, most Europeans still dislike and distrust the Germans and the Russians. It'll take decades or centuries of good behavior before this can change

Mr Drab said...

"About 70 percent of the Polonians have blue eyes, and if you visit Poland you'll find that the typical Polish look is blue or green eyes combined with light brown or blonde hair."

While there are plenty of blondies in Polska, I've noticed during my travels through that country that there are also a lot of Poles with dark hair and eyes. That 70 percent blue eye figure seems far too high.

Anonymous said...

No, history doesn't just encompass 1938-1945 and we can see that German anti-Polish sentiment dates back long before the advent of Hitler.

The source of much of this anti-whomever sentiment was the Prussians. Unfortunately for them, other Germanic peoples (e.g. Baden, Bayern) were dragged into two disasterous World Wars by the Prussians. The best medicine for Germany long-term was the post-WWII Great Power Disneyland of East-West Berlin, emasculating the Prussians for decades and allowing other regions of Germany to punch above their weight in political, social and economic influence.

Anonymous said...

The great puzzle in European history is why Germany could not be one of the "good" European powers with centuries-old parliamentary traditions like England, France, and Poland. From Russia, on the other hand, one doesn't expect much since its culture mainly grew out of the despotic and corrupt Byzantine tradition

Svigor said...

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

Lol. War of Ukrainian Liberation = ANTI-SEMITISM!!!

Anonymous said...

"I understand that Katyn massacre is still an open wound but that alone doesn't explain the extreme animosity between Poland and Russia. "
It has more to do with 17th-18th centuries and losing territory to Russia in that time. Additionally, during the partitions of Poland the majority of Poles lived under tsars, and stardom was the least developed partitioner of Poland (the other two Prussia and Austria).

Another Anonymous
"Widespread Polish persecution of ethnic Germans,..."
Would you elaborate?

Anonymous said...

Interesting about the Khmelnytsky Uprising, because the Cossacks were originally diaspora Kazakhs, who are Muslim-majority. Did they convert to Orthodox Christianity when they assimilated into Ukrainian society?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cossacks


Vassmer's etymological dictionary traces the name to an Old East Slavic козакъ, kozak, originally from Cuman Cosac - a free man (in the Latin translation of this word in the Codex) or a freed man (in the Arabic translation).[20]
In written sources the name first attested in Codex Cumanicus from the 13th century.[21][22] The English word is attested from 1590, an Irish surname Cossack has existed since 12th century. The ethnonym Kazakh is from the same Turkic root.[23][24][25]

Crawfurdmuir said...

Anonymous (at 2/7/14, 3:50 PM) wrote: "Interesting about the Khmelnytsky Uprising, because the Cossacks were originally diaspora Kazakhs, who are Muslim-majority. Did they convert to Orthodox Christianity when they assimilated into Ukrainian society?"

Bogdan Khmelnytsky was an Orthodox Christian. According to Wikipedia:

"As it was the custom in the Orthodox Church, he was baptized with one of his middle names—Theodor, translated into Ukrainian as Bohdan."

Under the assumed title of prince of Ruthenia, he wrote:

"I already did more than was thinking before, now I will obtain what I revised recently. I will liberate out of the Polish woe all of the Ruthenian people! Before I was fighting for the insults and injustice caused to me, now I will fight for our Orthodox faith. And all people will help me in that all the way to Lublin and Krakow, and I won't back off from the people as they are our right hand. And for the purpose lest you won't attack cossacks by conquering peasants, I will have two, three hundred thousands of them."

See:

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

Crawfurdmuir said...

Anonymous (at 2/7/14, 9:42 PM) wrote: "Wends (western slavs) also had a long close relation with Germans in these areas (for instance, the Pomeranians)."

Note that until quite recently, the Swedish monarch was styled "by the grace of God king of the Swedes, the Goths, and the Vandals" (Dei Gratia Suecorum, Gothorum et Vandalorum Rex). The three crowns on the Swedish coat of arms are in reference to these three kingdoms.

The "Goths" in question were the residents of Gotland, the southern third of Sweden; the "Vandals" were the Wends, inhabiting the historic domains of the house of Vasa on the south coast of the Baltic sea, opposite Sweden.

Anonymous said...

Peter the Great led what may have been the first explicit effort to "westernize" a country (which was also fairly successful):

"...implemented sweeping reforms aimed at modernizing Russia. Heavily influenced by his advisors from Western Europe, Peter reorganized the Russian army along modern lines and dreamed of making Russia a maritime power. He faced much opposition to these policies at home, but brutally suppressed any and all rebellions...

...

In 1697 he traveled incognito to Europe on an 18-month journey... Peter learned much about life in Western Europe. He studied shipbuilding... given the opportunity to gain practical experience in the largest shipyard in the world, belonging to the Dutch East India Company, for a period of four months. The Tsar helped with the construction of an East Indiaman...

...

He traveled to the city of Manchester to learn the techniques of city-building he would later use to great effect at Saint Petersburg.

...

Russia was ill-prepared to fight the Swedes, and their first attempt at seizing the Baltic coast ended in disaster..."



The Russians and Peter got their "window on the Baltic" and seaport when they captured a Swedish fort and built Saint Petersburg near its location:

"Swedish colonists built Nyenskans, a fortress, at the mouth of the Neva River in 1611...

On May 12 1703, during the Great Northern War, Peter the Great captured Nyenskans...

The city was built by conscripted peasants from all over Russia; a number of Swedish prisoners of war were also involved in some years... Tens of thousands of serfs died building the city."



This map sort of shows the early connection between Russia and the west. Russia was not entirely isolated from the west, but "at the end of the line" and without a direct connection by water.

Anonymous said...

What I love about the Poland-Russia contretemps is the amusing spectacle of a giant country like Russia so obviously confronted as a peer by a much smaller neighbor. When Canada talks smack about the US we just laugh and pat them on the head.

Yeah, the US is so tough. We might laugh at Canada, but we have taken in over 10 percent of Mexico's population and counting.

Anonymous said...

Small towns and villages in Poland, particularly in the north, have more people with blue eyes and light brown or blonde hair. Visiting only major cities like Warsaw or Krakow will not give you a representative sample. The figure of 70 percent having blue eyes comes from an official survey

Anonymous said...

The northern tip of Poland (near the Hel peninsula)lies on the 55 parallel which corresponds to southern Alaska. It helps to be blue-eyed and lightly pigmented when you live in a Nordic country. By contrast, the Ukrainians, being much farther south, have a slightly darker complexion

Anonymous said...

"Peter the Great led what may have been the first explicit effort to "westernize" a country"

On the one hand the West really is the birthplace of democracy. On the other hand history's two biggest Westernizers of non-Western lands (Peter I and Ataturk) were extremely authoritarian guys, even by their homelands' standards.

Anonymous said...

""Dismissing Solidarity as a "silly gesture" is, frankly, obscene."

I think most objective people recognise that Solidarity was fairly instrumental in bringing about the end of communism in Eastern Europe."

Solidarity was heavily infiltrated. In fact Walesa himself was an informer...

Mr Drab said...

"Solidarity was heavily infiltrated. In fact Walesa himself was an informer..."

If so, Lech obviously didn't follow his orders. He clearly wasn't dancing to Wojciech Jaruzelski's tune.