Observations

In this issue we conclude a three part article on Colonel (posthumously elevated to the rank of general) Ryszard Kuklinski, a Polish hero of the Cold War. Kuklinski was branded a traitor by Poland’s Communist government for passing secret information to the CIA, and his subsequent recognition as a patriot, though controversial, was supported by the U.S. as a condition for Poland’s entry into NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Kuklinski provides us with the example of one who did what was right for his country as opposed to what his government expected of him, and one who saw that the regime and the military he worked for acted against the best interest of his country. It may have been a long time coming, but we can take heart that in the long run, truth wins out.

Another item dealing with Polish heroism is the message delivered by Pope John Paul II in 1994 at the fiftieth anniversary commemoration of the battle of Monte Cassino. In that bloody event of World War II, Polish military forces succeeded in taking the heavily fortified monastery of Monte Cassino from the German army during the Italian campaign, where other allied forces had been unable to accomplish the daunting task. The message of our departed Pope speaks to the actual victory and its symbolism.

Polish diplomat Donald Tusk has received the prestigious Charlemagne Prize, which is awarded annually to individuals in recognition of their contribution to European integration. I recently commented on the importance of Poland’s involvement in world politics, and Tusk’s accomplishments toward unity in the European Union are another example of how Poland continues to gain prestige on the vital international stage.

In our publisher’s note this issue we remind those who need to that you should renew your subscription to the Polish Weekly. This is an important detail that we hope you will take care of promptly, and please remember to consider a gift subscription to a friend or relative. It’s a gift that will “keep on giving” over time, and so will be all the more appreciated.

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