Polish Toledo

This blog is associated with www.polishtoledo.com

Thursday, July 31, 2014

A different kind of boxing

Peter Szewczyk is a young wood working craftsman from Poland now living with his wife in Coshocton, Ohio, which is not much different from his native Poland geographically. He said the weather and landscape are similar, but most importantly, the people have a humor and kindness he can relate to. 

He's a vendor at Commonwealth Americana in Rosoce Village just a couple miles down from his home. He sells tea boxes, jewelry boxes, cigar boxes, keepsake boxes and others of varying size to sit on table or dresser tops. Coshocton is about two and a half hours from Toledo and near Ohio's Amish communities.

Peter's hand crafted keepsake boxes

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Russia slapped a ban on the import of all fruit and vegetables from Poland in the latest of a series of trade restrictions linked to a deepening showdown with the West over Ukraine. 

Critics have long accused the Russian government of using bans as a political weapons at a time of increased tensions with the West.

The latest ban comes after the European Union and the United States introduced sectoral sanctions against Russia, dramatically raising stakes in the months-long Ukraine conflict. EU member Poland is one of the staunchest supporters of Ukraine's pro-Western course.

Problems with gas ain't from kapusta

The EU sent Poland formal notice that it was opening a case against it for infringing the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive as it pertains to shale gas drilling.

If Poland doesn't satisfy the EU's concerns by the end of August, the case will begin a path that could end at the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

More than a quarter of shale gas reserves in Poland are located deeper than 1,000m, which require special impact studies before drilling.

The EIA law obliges shale gas producers to analyse and report on factors including volumes of water used, numbers of wells created, and the environmental impact of heavy truck traffic to and from shale sites.

Secret shots of Patrycja Makowska

Polish photographer Patrycja Makowska takes incredibly detailed shots of ruined buildings but refuses to divulge their location. Makowska began shooting about 12 years ago after visiting a ruined castle in Muszyna in southern Poland.

Makowska says she doesn't want people to find the location of her images because "these places are destroyed and devastated, it's better for them to have been forgotten."

Sunday, July 27, 2014

When Poland Came to India

Irena Sendler
You've heard stories about Poles like Irena Sendler saving Jewish children from extermination during World War II.

But you probably never heard of somebody saving Polish children from the terrible situation Stalin had imposed on them... until now when you click on this link. 

When Polish children were saved by India

Along the Eastern Front

The downing of Malaysian flight MH-17 over embattled Eastern Ukraine and Russia's repossession of Crimea has finally awaken NATO HQ. Perhaps that along with Poland screaming in NATO Command's ear.

General Breedlove
General Philip Breedlove NATO’s Europe commander advocates stockpiling a base in Poland with enough weapons, ammunition and other supplies to support a rapid deployment of thousands of troops against potential Russia aggression. A formal presentation will take place in September at the upcoming NATO summit in Wales.

The alliance has already strengthened its presence in the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea and deployed a small number of additional military aircraft in Eastern Europe.

A possible site could be the Multinational Corps base in Szczecin near the Polish-German border. 

 It is said the moves are needed to boost the confidence of eastern NATO members in the alliance’s ability to protect them from  ever growing Russian aggression.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Casual Poland

Most people would admit to 'dressing down' when they run out to the convenience store to buy a quick snack. But one young woman in Poland took that quite literally and walked into a gas 'n' go completely naked to buy her lunch.

Customer Cezar Zawadzki, 34, filmed the startling moment on his mobile phone and said he had been filling his car petrol when he saw the young woman walking towards the garage in Krakow. 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2694533/Poland-shows-little-appetite-naked-mystery-shopper-customers-fail-bat-eyelid-queues-sandwich-busy-shop.html#ixzz37tUq6MAF 

Hot in Wrocław

Ever been to Wrocław, Poland's fourth largest city? 

It's not exactly on a well traveled tourist path, but that situation is rapidly changing. Besides being a picturesque old river town with lovely squares, the city has been selected as a European Capital of Culture,  World Book Capital and has been chosen to host the European Film Awards for 2016. But, this fall a new attraction – one with a bombshell figure, blonde hair and a signature red-lipped smile – promises to give the capital of Lower Silesia a little more international star power.

Recently, more than 3,000 celebrity photographs – many of Marilyn Monroe and some of them never before seen – were auctioned off in Warsaw. Selections from the collection will be the centerpiece of Poland’s first photography museum, set to open in Wroclaw in 2016, the same year that Wrocław will be one of three European Capitals of Culture and host the film awards.

According to Rafal Dutkiewicz, Wrocław mayor since 2002, "The city is getting much more international attention; we have many attractions in the city, but at the moment, they are connected to Polish culture and to the previous, German culture,” he said . “But in the case of Marilyn Monroe, she’s one of the most recognized and well-known brands worldwide. And this is something that every city needs to get tourists and visitors.”

The BBC reports - How these photographs came to wind up in Poland’s hands, never mind Wroclaw’s, is a story with as many twists and turns as Monroe’s life itself.

The images were taken by Milton H Greene, a famed American fashion photographer who captured the likenesses of celebrities such as Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando and Audrey Hepburn. (Photographs of some of these celebrities are also included in the Wroclaw collection). But his most iconic images were the ones of Monroe, including the famous shot of her in a white, ballet-inspired tulle dress, seemingly ready to blow a kiss to the camera.

Monroe and Greene met in 1953 and quickly became friends and business partners, forming Marilyn Monroe Productions in New York. Greene helped Monroe produce the 1956 film Bus Stop, and she often stayed with him and his family. They later had a falling out, but not before Greene had taken thousands of photographs of the star.

When he passed away in 1985, Greene left behind hundreds of prints and negatives. His estate – including both the images and their copyrights – was purchased by a real estate investor based in Chicago for $350,000. The Polish government later accused the businessman of cheating Poland’s Foreign Debt Service in a complicated embezzlement scandal. To help pay back some of the debt that he owed, he offered up the collection.

In 2012, the government sold the first lot of photographs at public auction. All but one of the 238 photos, including an image of Monroe in black stockings that went for 50,000 zlotys, sold for a total of 2.4 million zlotys – more than 10 times the value of the starting price. It was the largest photo auction Poland had ever seen.

But, the bulk of the collection had yet to be sold. Julius Windorbski, chairman of action house DESA Unicum, said that if this final batch of photographs had been sold at public auction, they could have been sold for 18 million zlotys or more. All parties had agreed with the culture minister of Poland, however, that any buyer had to keep the collection in Poland – and put it on public display.

At the end, just three bidders were on the short list – all of them all cities: Gdańsk, Kraków and Wrocław. Wrocław, the fourth-largest city in Poland, won the photographs for 6.4 million zlotys, a record bid for any individual lot sold at a Polish auction, Windorbski said.

While the Monroe-Poland connection might seem specious to outsiders, Dutkiewicz noted that the star visited Wrocław “many times”. “In addition, film production was pretty big here,” he said. “The most important Polish films used to be produced in Wrocław.”

The hope, of course, is that the Greene photographs draw more attention – and tourists – to Wrocław.

“Marilyn Monroe is so international, so recognizable. [The collection] could be a tourist attraction for people from all over the world,” Windorbski said. “We’re so, so excited that something like this could happen in Poland.”

Friday, July 04, 2014

Taking 75 years to give Poland credit

The BBC reports today: The first breakthrough in the battle to crack Nazi Germany's Enigma code was made not in Bletchley Park (England) but in Warsaw. The debt owed by British wartime codebreakers to their Polish colleagues was acknowledged this week at a quiet gathering of spy chiefs. 

The 2001 film Enigma co-produced by Mick Jagger, who provided funding for the film, as well as access to his own Enigma machine had mostly positive critical reviews although there was criticism of the largely fictional story-line which does not mention nor give due credit to the Polish cryptanalysis foundation Cipher Bureau that originally broke the dauntingly difficult code.

Read more

There are many other contributions by Poland through the centuries. Giving credit where credit is due is a long time coming for the Poles.