• November 18, 2011
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Or patriotism, their chauvinism?

Article name: Szukiszki, Source: Wikipedia “In times of independent Republic of Lithuania, Vytautas Landsbergis, the symbol of independent Lithuania, exercised the reprivatisation reform, which allowed to replace a land in return for a lot smaller area near Kowno. He was given 9-hectare forest in Szukiszki.”(Author’s annotation: The forest in the Vilnius Region, for which reimbursement, because of the restitution of property taken by the Soviets, competed  several Lithuanian Poles.) I will withdraw my every word, if in the book “Our patriotism, their chauvinism?”, a long interview between Vytautas Landsbergis and interviewer, a diplomat (by the way he is still an employee of Polish Ministry of the Foreign Affairs) Mariusz Maszkiewicz, will be at least one sentence about controversial land replacement by V. Landsbergis. Honestly, I really doubt that. With all due respect for both of men.”

I don’t know the book yet, I didn’t have time to read it, but I know Vytautas Landbergis and I already read meny statements of Maszkiewicz in Lithuanian media about polish-lithuanian issues. Let’s face it. If there is not enough of commentators willing to mock and slate the Polish people in Lithuania, to discredit polish-lithuanian relationship and to make the Lithuanian feel better, there is still Mariusz Maszkiewicz to stand forward and speak up.

On Friday, the 18th of November, at the University of Mikolaj Kopernik in Torun, there will be the presentation of Mariusz Maszkiewicz book “Or patriotism, their chauvinism?”. Interviewed Vytautas Landsbergis will be present at the presentation. He will also be a guest  in Toruń’s City Hall.

I’m wondering if Vytautas Landsbergis even in Torun will be convincing people that Polish people are not really polish, but actually they are polish Lithuanian people. The truth is, that till now he was speaking about Lithuanian Polish people. But this is the favourite argument of “the father of Lithuanian independence’s uprising”. There was a long presentation on this subject in September’s edition of “Lietuvos žinios”.

Right, In Torun, there is a lot more this „polish Lithuanians” and their ancestors. These polish Lithuanians have been working at University of Stefan Batory and they “have been making” other people more polish, and then (in years 1944-1946 and 1955-1956) they thought that they will stay in Poland, so all of them bought just a random train ticket and all of them went to Torun. Then, they created the University of Mikolaj Kopernik. (If you are interested, I am recommending you the book “Divide et impra” – the memoir of Konrad Górski who was the great professor of polish studies at the University of M. Kopernik).

I hope that professor Landsbergis will complain to his readers and audience In Toruń against problems with „weaken polish element in Vilnius Region”. This thunderous point of view was presented by president of the lithuanian conservative party before local election In 2007. The stake was to gain as many voters as it is possible, who would move Polish pe ople away from governing In Šalčininkai and Vilnius Regions. To weaken it now, previously project “the land replacement” was launched. Surprisingly, In 2007 Polish pe ople haven’t been pushed off the government. But today, smart friends of Landsbergis from his party fund a different way „to weaken polish element” – education law, whose big proponent is Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Landsbergis.

If there were any accusations of nowaday’s lithuanian politics, Vytautas Landsebrgis would absolutely say „…most, if not all of the accusations are misleading and they don’t  reflect the real situation…” This way he responded (he signed the letter of Lithuanian MEPs to EU government as the first one) to letter of 27 eurodeputys (24 of them were polish) saying about the polish minorities discrimination in Lithuania…

This article could be interesting, but why would we have a good book author, who knows very well which issues are important and which are not. He knows that, because in years 1991-1992 he was polish chargé d’affaires  in Lithuania, and for the next 3 years he was counsel of Polish Embassy in Lithuania. After he moved back to Poland, he created Economic Promotion Agency Europe West, which was helping polish businesses to establish economic relations with ex-CCCP markets. No doubt, Mariusz Maszkiewicz perfectly knows how to promote on polish market even a really bad eastern product.

Vytaytas Landsbergis will come to Poland with pleasure, because that is where he will be greeted very warmly. Besides, he has enough time, because he doesn’t really have nothing to do in Lithuania. He was a very popular politician of the 90’, the leader of Sajudisu – a movement which fought for the lithuanian independance and started CCCP breakdown. In later years it discredit it-self in public estimation because of its own actions. Now, Landsbergis is the most popular politician, even in his own society and he constantly occupies the lowest position in the rankings of political popularity. According to recent public opinion polls – conducted by the company Spinter tyrimai on request of the portal DELFI – Landsbergis currently ruling conservatives party, has just 7% of support and it is the last one on the list of parties that have a chance to enter the new Sejm of Lithuania. Needless to say that among the Lithuanian Poles,  Vytautas Lansbergis is regarded as the architect of  “polish-eating” policy (which is present now and in times of recovery of the Lithuanian independence). But what can’t be done with good connections…?

Today’s Lithuanian ambassador in Poland is a former employee of the office of Mr. Lansbergis …

I don’t think that at the book’s promotion meetings there will be talking about tracts of forest In Szukiszki, neither about his lands In Awiżenia etc., nor about lands given to Landsbergis, which polish people were competing for, as part of the property (their property!) return.

How this opinion of ordinary Polish people has to do with Lithuanian and polish raison d’etat ?

„Polish diplomat Mariusz Maszkiewicz convinced Vytautas Landsbergisa to give an interview. Landsbergis was one of the most important people of Sajudisu, the man who is inseparably connected to the newest history of his country. Thanks to him, what we can read is a interesting and colourful story about one man against a background of his history and nation, in this particular time of appearing independent Republic of Lithuania ((Lietuvos Respublika)”.


Tłumaczenie Katarzyna Słowik w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu Translated by Katarzyna Słowik within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu

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