Polish Toledo

This blog is associated with www.polishtoledo.com

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Friend of my Enemy is a Foe

Will France Deliver to Russia?
As a member of NATO, France appears to be playing a duplicitous game by undermining NATO’s strategic interests through arming its primary adversary, Russia, with advanced technology in addition to the sale of Mistral class amphibious assault warships. This presents an enormous problem for Poland, whose geography puts it on NATO’s critical eastern line of defense. An aggressive and modernized Russian military, coupled with a wobbly American president, has sent Poland on a quest to rapidly acquire an adequate missile defense system that can meet today’s threats.

Curiously, one of the two finalists to produce a key component of the Polish missile defense shield is France’s Eurosam.

Read more

Thursday, October 16, 2014

złowionych szpiegostwo

The new cold war seems to be heating up as Polish officials detained a high-ranking army officer and a civilian today on suspicion that they spied for a hostile foreign intelligence service.

According to the AP: Polish media reported that the two — an army colonel and a lawyer — are suspected of spying for Russia, but prosecutors have refused to identify the country in question, but said the pair are suspected of hurting Polish interests.

Prosecutor General Andrzej Seremet said that the matter is of an "extremely sensitive nature." He promised more information in the coming days. Some details were expected Friday.

Spying for foreign intelligence carries a prison term of up to 10 years. Organizers of spying rings can face up to 25 years in prison.

Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said several army members suspected of drug smuggling were also detained. He called it "an important day in the fight for the purity of the Polish army."

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ebola hits Poland?

TVP reported yesterday that a suspected Ebola patient was hospitalized in the Polish city of Łódź.

The Polish television network said that a 31-year-old man, who moved to Poland from Germany was hospitalized and had been recently working with natives of Guinea.

Having symptoms of the disease the patient was taken to a hospital in Łódź from the smaller town of Sieradz.

Suited up in Poland

Police escorted the ambulance for patient transfer to the hospital, which is unusual protocol in Poland.

If laboratory tests confirm the Ebola case, it will be the first one in Poland.

Cases outside the western region of Africa also having been reported in Spain and the United States. The number of people, who have died from the Ebola virus, has reached 4,033, while a total of 8,399 cases have been reported, according to WHO.

The contagion worry is high both in Europe and the United States. Several countries are quickly trying to develop Ebola vaccines.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Monument to Wiki

Wikipedia the now famous online encyclopedia which allows anyone to contribute is finally getting a well deserved accolade. University professor Krzysztof Wojciechowski, director of the Collegium Polonicum in Slubice, Poland  says the western Polish town is taking up his suggestion and will put up a monument to honor the authors of Wikipedia.

He went on to say that he is in awe of the huge and reliable job done by Wikipedia, which is vastly popular in Poland. More than one million entries in Wikipedia are in Polish, rivaling the number in French or Spanish.

The fiber and resin statue costing about $12,000 is funded by Slubice authorities and will be unveiled on October 22, 2014.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Białystok Bodies

A dig in Poland is revealing bodies from several different painful periods.

Click above for story

Robust Economy

To the east, Russian aggression has paralyzed Ukraine’s hope for faster economic development. To the south, Hungary flirts with authoritarianism and still struggles to climb out of the last recession. To the north, Lithuania and the other Baltic States are being squeezed by the cycle of escalating trade sanctions between Moscow and the European Union.

Poland, meanwhile, has managed to navigate safely around the latest strains on Eastern Europe, just as it managed to sail through the 2008 financial crisis with barely a bruise, maintaining solid growth rates, attracting considerable new investment and industry and using its relative economic strength to build clout within the European Union.

Read more in NYT

Here, There, Everywhere - Maybe

Jens Stoltenberg
Despite a 1997 agreement with Russia about not stationing a large contingent of NATO soldiers in Eastern Europe countries belonging to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization  the new NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg this week in Warsaw, Poland, said that the western alliance could deploy its forces wherever it wants, apparently calling into question post-Cold War agreements that have been shaken over the Ukraine crisis.

At the NATO summit a month ago, it was agreed to pre-position equipment and supplies in Eastern NATO countries and set up a quick reaction force that could be flown in on a moments notice to confront Russian aggression.

But they rejected appeals from NATO members in Eastern Europe, including Poland, to station thousands of troops there permanently -- partly because of the expense, and partly because they did not want to break an agreement promising Russia it would not permanently station significant combat forces in the east.

However, Stoltenberg appeared to take a tougher line with his comments in Poland.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014


Board game, "Kolejka" harkens back to everyday life in Poland at the end of communism.

Now "Queue" (“Kolejka”) is available in 6 languages: Polish, Russian, English, German, Spanish and Japanese. This is a response of the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) to the enormous interest in the game, called a "history lesson in a box", and the demand for it in many countries.

During the promotion of the new edition of the game Dr. Łukasz Kamiński, the President of IPN spoke about the educational mission of the Institute. He mentioned publishing educational materials for history teachers, launching educational websites and creating historical board games. Dr. Kamiński explained that the idea of the "Queue" is to show the mechanisms of communist economics of deficiency. "It works" – he said.

Good luck standing in line for hours trying to buy toilet paper, if by the time you get to the sales counter there is any left. Otherwise, go to the forest and gather up leaves.

Socialism at its finest. Wolne rynki lepsze!

Like the Berlin Wall

Polish police say a car crash has knocked down a historic wall that unemployed electrician Lech Walesa jumped over in 1980 to lead a Gdansk shipyard strike that grew into the country's massive Solidarity freedom movement.

Part of the Gdansk Shipyard wall was placed in downtown Gdansk as a symbol of the drive for freedom in the 1980s that eventually toppled communism in Central and Eastern Europe.

The Great Wall of Gdansk

A spokeswoman for the Gdansk police said a section of the wall was destroyed when a car crashed into it after colliding with another car. It was not immediately clear if or when the wall could be repaired.

Sex scandal

A pair of donkeys whose public displays of affection led to them being separated at a zoo in Poland are now back together again.

The happy couple

Napolean and Antosia shared the same enclosure at a zoo in Poznan for 10 years before visitors complained to zoo officials that they were engaging in sexual
acts in front of young children.

The zoo responded by separating the donkeys, which led to an social media outcry.

Two separate Facebook pages were created to advocate for the donkeys' reunion, forcing zoo officials to say, "It was never our intention for any animals to feel uncomfortable because of their natural behaviors."


Poland's first McDonald's will serve its last customers this week, being replace by a modern office complex.

The world's most iconic burger chain opened their Warsaw restaurant three years after the collapse of communism, causing a media frenzy in Poland.

The novelty value of the enterprise was so high that the store racked up the highest ever daily number of transactions of any McDonald's, with over 13, 300 purchases made. 

Currently, McDonald's has 338 locations in Poland. America's fast food hamburger chains are classified as gourmet burger restaurants in Europe and are considerably more expensive than in the U.S.