• June 29, 2012
  • 242

Historians on Polish-Lithuanian relations

Fot. wilnoteka.lt

“Concessions are not always a sign of weakness, sometimes it’s worth to concede in order to show that we’re smarter,” the historian Eligijus Raila said about Polish-Lithuanian relations during a radio debate on Lietuvos Radijas. “When we get to know one another, we’ll see that the Pole is not that duplicitous at all,” another historian, Alvydas Nikžentaitis, expressed his conviction.

„Pójście na ustępstwa nie zawsze oznacza słabość. Mi się wydaje, że czasami zrobienie kroku do tyłu, a w tym wypadku niekoniecznie mówię o Polakach, oznacza raczej siłę. Ten, kto daje, ten może także brać, taki pogląd powinien dominować. Z drugiej strony takie podejście mi się wydaje czymś racjonalnym, bo przecież ustąpić czasami warto, aby pokazać, że jesteś mądrzejszy, a nie słabszy” – mówił Eligijus Raila.

“Concessions are not always a sign of weakness. It seems to me that sometimes taking a step back, and I’m not necessarily talking about the Poles now, means power. The one who gives is also the one who can take, and such view should prevail. On the other hand, such attitude seems to me to be something rational, as after all sometimes it’s worth to concede to show that you’re smarter and not weaker,” said Eligijus Raila.

Alvydas Nikžentaitis noted that lack of concessions is very often an attempt to justify one’s passivity. “Whereas solving a problem demands our work. Then various points of agreement need to be found, so that the different groups are pleased. I think that this is not only a problem of the Lithuanian authorities towards national minorities, but of the entire country. The state pays too little attention to the real interests of the society, it doesn’t listen to the needs of the citizens, and this is why there is a lot of dissatisfaction in the country, as well as among the political parties,” the historian stated.

According to him, many people in Lithuaniathink that after the Union of Lublin the process had unilateral character, meaning that the Lithuanians were being Polonized. According to the historian, it was more complex. “If we look at how people in the 16th and 17th centuries used to identify themselves here – either as Poles or Lithuanians – we’ll also see the opposite process of the Poles being Lithuanized,” the historian stated.

According to Nikžentaitis, the basic aim of the contacts with Poles is to get to know one another. “We must know not only what the Lithuanians and the Poles fought for during the Union of Lublin, but also what is happening in contemporaryPoland, what the achievements of the Polish culture and literature are. The Poles should know the same about us. When in the process of direct contact we get to know one another, then we’ll see that the Pole is not that duplicitous at all,” Alvydas Nikžentaitis summed up the discussion.

Source:   http://www.wilnoteka.lt/pl/artykul/historycy-o-polsko-litewskich-stosunkach

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

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