- January 7, 2013
Wisdom not always comes with age…
… but sometimes age comes alone. This accurate quote seems to match the recent comments of Prof. Vytautas Landsbergis on the situation of Lithuanian Poles.
On the occasion of the recent Christmas when people traditionally wished each other all the best, the spiritual guide of the conservatives insulted us two times by calling us post-Soviet scoundrels who had been unfairly born “partly in Belarus” and unfairly educated in “Soviet schools”.
When at the beginning of January in a daily newspaper Lietuvos žinios I read the professor’s article which assumed that the representatives of the Polish minority in Lithuania “declared their Soviet origins”, I thought, “The same old story!”. How many such statements have we already heard form our “would-be President”? And there was also something like citizens of Lithuania gave their country to the Soviet authority because they let the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania [Polish: Akcja Wyborcza Polaków na Litwie; AWPL] win the elections in Vilnius Region. We have received such compliments for almost 25 years. The politician usually pretends that he does not hear our arguments so we are also deaf to his insults. However, the situation becomes worse when the professor expresses his opinions before the half of Poland. It occurred in the interview for Plus Minus (a supplement to Rzeczpospolita).
“Poles in Lithuania constitute a very specific group. They graduated form Soviet schools and have a particular mentality”, Vytautas Landsbergis exposes us and suggests Polish readers that they should not identify themselves with this rabble of noisy people. Moreover, the Polish-Lithuanian relationship cannot depend on the treatment of Poles in Lithuania. In conclusion the politician assumes a manner of a kind father and asks the journalists, “Are we going to sulk because of some letters in passports? Is it worth it?”
I wonder why any of the Polish journalists who listened to that “voice of Lithuania” about our supposed Soviet illness did not politely ask, “Professor, how did you manage to avoid those scary Soviet schools? And how did you, a person born in 1932, acquire all your scientific degrees, honourable mentions, profits and privileges? What about your mentality?”. It is enough to prove that Vytautas Landsbergis achieved his honourable age but lost somewhere the companion mentioned in the title. Would a smart person who unscrupulously used all advantages of the Soviet system throughout his whole adult life accuse other people of such a opportunistic behaviour? Would he even mention such a sensitive topic in order present the community that is the biggest victim of the Soviet system (and is aware of that) as its biggest worshipper and beneficiary?
Tłumaczenie Karolina Rolka w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Karolina Rolka the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.