Monday, April 04, 2011

My own worst enemy

Everyone has their own worst enemy. Federer has Nadal. Poland has Russia. Law and Justice (PiS) has Civic Platform (PO). Jaroslaw Kaczynski has...Jaroslaw Kaczynski. Every time he speaks I am shocked how damaging for PiS and himself his own words are. In previous campaigns PiS's best strategy was to keep him hidden or, if he had to appear, pushing the mute button well before any media noticed.

This time, obviously, it didn't work out that well and Kaczynski managed to speak. And say that those who believe Silesians from south-western Poland are a national minority are in fact...wait for it...German agents in hiding. Obviously with this one remark, which was absolutely useless given the small scope of the issue and Poland's overwhelming national, racial and religious homogeneity, Kaczynski pissed off pretty much everyone in Poland's most industrialised region.

It is important to remember that if Poland's history is a unique mix of glory and a long, long torment, the history of Silesia is even more twisted and complicated. For ages it was the borderland between Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic with the actual borders and influences shifting through time. After World War I and three Polish uprisings, Silesia was split between Poland and Germany. Significant minorities remained on both sides of the border (30 percent German minority and over 40 percent Polish minority). All of this was then wiped out when Poland's border was shifted some 300 kilometers to the west after the World War II and the entire German minority (and heretofore majority) were deported.

Kaczynski sees German spies hiding in Silesia, but given the track record maybe he should look at his advisers for potential secret agents of the Civic Platform?

No comments:

Post a Comment