Polish Toledo

This blog is associated with www.polishtoledo.com

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Homeward Bound

The deputy Polish prime minister says he would like to see Poles in the UK go back to Poland.

Speaking to BBC Newsnight, Mateusz Morawiecki said it would be "a great day for Poland" if all those living abroad came home.

See story from BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35837447

Not quite older than dirt

In the north of Poland pyramids an incredible 600 years older than those in Egypt have been uncovered. Archaeologists believe they may have been built circa 3000 BC (about the same time as Stonehenge in England). This discover strengthens the case of ancient sites in Europe.

Numbers on scan show pyramid sites

Experts say 7 were found near the village of Słonowice using laser technology. They are several meters in height and made using huge stone blocks. Used as funeral chambers for elders of the Funnel Beaker Culture community, the inner chambers were constructed using wooden logs instead of stones and were hidden under earth in a forested area.

Like the pyramids in Egypt, the structures are heavily influenced by astronomy and are placed along the east-west line, with the entrance to the tomb’s chamber always on the east side.

There may be as much as a dozen more in Dolic and in the Skronie forest near Kołobrzeg.

It is time to challenge what we think we know about ancient history. Mankind's development may be cyclical rather than linear. Perhaps global catastrophes wiped out the progress our ancient ancestors achieved. 
And, speaking of pyramids... more from Poland...
Polish pyramid cakes not quite so old
Like snowflakes - no two alike

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Jews need to get a clue

Gentiles who hid or saved Jews during World War II from Nazi genocide are recognized by Israel’s Yad Vashem institute as “Righteous Among the Nations”.  More than 6,600 Poles have been honored with the title - outnumbering any other nationality.

Now, a museum honoring Poles who saved Jews during the Holocaust is about to open in the southeastern village of Markowa, where Nazis killed a family of Poles for harboring Jews.

Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma

“A photo covered in drops of the victims’ blood is one of the most moving items that we have at the museum,” its director Mateusz Szpytma told reporters.

On March 24, 1944, the Nazis killed Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma and their six children — aged one to eight - as well as the family of eight Jews that they had harbored for more than a year in Markowa.

The history of the family has become a symbol of the “many heroes who, without weapons, stood up to the Nazi regime,” said Dariusz Stola, director of the Warsaw-based Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

The Ulmas posthumously received the “Righteous Among the Nations” honor.

The idea for the museum was born as a counterweight to revelations made by US historian Jan Gross in 2000. In his book “Neighbors” he revealed that in 1941 several hundred Jews were massacred by their Polish neighbors in the town of Jedwabne.

“We know full well that during the war, people had all sorts of attitudes towards Jews,” said Szpytma, adding that the museum provides that historical context.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Not every home in Poland

Zofia Rydet: how one female photographer produced an invaluable record of communist Poland. Her mission was to capture every household. With over 30,000 photos, her recently digitized archive offers a unique reportage of rural life amid modernization, and a portrait of Poland towards the end of communism. She was a Polish photographer, best known for her project "Sociological Record", which aimed to document every household in Poland, but hardly scratched the surface.

 Full story here

My Body - No Choice

LifeNews.com reports that hundreds of pro-abortion advocates marched down the streets of Warsaw to demand that the pro-life country legalize abortions and pay for them, as well.

A potential baby killer?

Radio Poland reports the pro-abortion group organized its demonstration as a counter protest to a pro-life march. The theme of the pro-abortion march was “Abortion in Defense of Life” – a theme that pro-lifers called out as contradictory, according to the report.

Unlike most of Europe, Poland protects unborn babies from abortion in most cases. The country allows abortion in cases of rape or incest, incurable defects or danger to the woman’s life. According to The Daily Mail, pro-abortion protesters said they were concerned that the conservative Law and Justice political party, which currently is in control of the Polish legislature, could toughen these abortion laws.

During the rally, pro-abortion advocates held signs that read “We demand legal, free abortion, free creches and kindergartens.” Reports showed two women dressed as pregnant nuns to mock the Catholic Church’s pro-life position, holding a sign that read, “Our priest ordered us to give birth.”

 If a woman has complete choice of what to do with her body, why do we still prosecute them for putting heron, cocaine or other illicit drugs into it? 

Where have all the milk bars gone?

According to the Telegraph, more than 350 of the 500 milk bars across the country had closed by 2011. Now, Poland’s newly elected Law and Justice Party leveled another challenge for proprietors of the bars, slashing their public funding by 25%.

Typical Milk bar

For those of you who might not have the slightest clue what a milk bar is:  bar mleczny or “milk bar,” is a dying breed of state-subsidized cafeterias, which in the communist era were plentiful across Poland. The name milk bar comes from the inexpensive dairy-based meals that were served in lieu of meat during times of rationing. Milk bars first appeared in the late nineteenth century and and then became emblematic of Poland's communist past.

For incredibility low prices, they offer quick, stick-to-your-rib staples like soups,  stews, and cabbage and root vegetable salads. But these relics of a socialist economic landscape are now in danger of extinction in a more prosperous free market economy where disposable income is spent at trendier eateries. McDonald's or KFC for instance.

Since Poland boasts the most robust economy of the former Soviet Bloc and was the sole EU member state to see economic growth in the heat of the financial crisis in 2009, an onslaught of new, independently owned restaurants and international fast food joints has tilted the scales for restaurants that don't rely on state subsidies offering inexpensive food to wide audiences.

The Ministry of Finance asserts that demand for the bars has not been high enough that cuts in subsidies should not cause alarm. Many Poles take the dramatic reduction as evidence that the milk bar is an endangered species. For patrons of the cafeterias and those who grew up eating there, the end of the milk bars would mean not only the loss of a treasured piece of Polish culture, but also of one of the few places pensioners, university students, and other low-income individuals can still turn for a hot meal.

Milk bars are probably the most egalitarian places in Poland. There is a shared love of pierogi and kotlet schwabowy -Poland's version of Wiener Schnitzel - that brings Poles together from all walks of life. You'll find corporate big-wigs who have a lot of money next to the guy who is homeless, or really, really poor elderly people.

A few protesters and activists are trying to preserve the remaining milk bars. Because everyone has to eat, they are one of the most inclusive places you can imagine. For me, I can appreciate them in a museum way. And, as such Bernie Sanders' supporters should make it a point to visit one. If the Vermont socialist is elected president, soup kitchens will become the new norm in America. I'm just sayin'.