Poland: protest voting between Gdansk Victory Day mascarade and Kresy restitution

A latest opinion pole showed Andrzej Duda, the candidate of the Law and Justice Party, ahead with the backing of 48% and his challenger incumbent Polish president Bronislaw Komorowski supported by 43,2% with 6,9% undecided.

A man who is believed to strongly influence the outcome of the May 24 second round of the presidential elections in Poland is named Paweł Kukiz, 51. He is a former rock singer and political novice, who finished a surprising third with more than 20, 8%. in the first round.

Two month ago Paweł Kukiz had only two men in staff of his electoral office in a tiny apartment in the provincial town of Lubin and one telephone line. One week later he could count on thousands of volunteers and gathered  half a million zloty of donations in his bank account.

Polish establishment is notably annoyed. An icon Polish dissident and Gazeta Wyborcza editor-in-chief Adam Michnik said that «the results of the first round show Poland may get into the hands of irresponsible and incompetent people…The support for Kukiz means many of us want to substitute democracy with a crowd watching a rock concert. Pawel Kukiz has as much in common with President of Poland as me with Elvis Presley. A Duda-Kukiz coalition would result in absurdity and lead to witch hunt. This is a gloomy scenario for the country».

Adam Michnik has a good reason to be concerned. What Pawel Kukiz says sound appealing to people. For instance, he says that “Poland is being manipulated” and that Brussels sees the country as «an exporter of cheap labor and agritourism». He calls himself an «anti-system candidate» ready to team up with anyone willing to «rip up the political system» that he calls “gangster”. The fact that Kukiz was supported by 42, 2% of young voters (18-29 year old) tells a lot.

Warsaw's ban to enter the Poland for Moscow - Berlin Victory Day bike ride guaranteed public support and extra publicity for The Night Wolves.
Warsaw’s ban to enter the Poland for Moscow – Berlin Victory Day bike ride guaranteed public support and extra publicity for The Night Wolves.

It also becomes evident that the revisionist views of the Polish establishment on the history of WWII are hardly shared by the majority of the Polish people. The general line of comments on the decision of Polish government to ban Moscow-Berlin Victory Day ride of the Russian bike-club The Night Wolves was «We, Poles, think differently than idiot Komorowski».

The events organized in Gdansk as «an alternative» to the Victory Day celebrations in Moscow failed to add points to incumbent president but rather put him into an awkward position. Warsaw wanted to be an event of global importance while in reality it all boiled down to bickering between the East European countries that were Nazi vassals during the Second World War. Indignant Polish bloggers emphasized that «The United States, our privileged strategic partner, did not even condescend to send anybody as a representative, not even a clerk».

Another dimension of Kukiz’s success is linked to his ambitions to return former Polish property in Eastern Borderlands or Kresy (Kresy Wschodnie), territories of contemporary Ukraine, Lithuania and Belorus, annexed by the Soviet Union in 1939 according to the 1939 Soviet-German non-aggression agreement. It is known that his father, Tadeusz Kukiz, was born between the two world wars in what today is Ternopil region of Ukraine. In 1946 he moved to Polish Silesia.

«Restitution Kresy», a recently established organization, is created to deal with the return of Polish property in the Western Ukraine. It brings together heirs of former owners of property nationalized in 1939-40. The founders of this civil group refer to the Association Agreement signed by Kiev with the EU which envisions finding ways to resolve this kind of issues. The Polish heirs of former owners of property are adamant in their desire to go the whole hog till they get what they want.

Konrad Rękas, the head of «Restitution Kressy», is sure that as a civilized state Ukraine will follow through and pay 5 billions of dollars. According to the leader of the organization, «…the European Union invests into Ukraine billions of euros. It means the regime can pay off its old debts instead of spending it all for buying weapons to kill its own citizens».

Poland-claimed territories of Kresy.
Poland-claimed territories of Kresy.

It is estimated that there are about 100 thousand people in Poland who have a chance to prove that they are heirs or successors to owned property in Kresy region. With a corresponding database at their disposal, they are organizing a group of lawyers to prepare legal actions.

If «Restitution Kressy» succeeds and Ukraine starts to return property to the successors of former owners, then Germans would think seriously about «restituting» the territories that had once belonged to their country. And these chunks of land make up a large part of contemporary Poland as well…


Source: Strategic Culture Foundation

Original text adapted by ORIENTAL REVIEW.

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One Comment
  1. Gregory

    In fact, current Polish politicians try simply to warn Ukrainian authorities against sabotage their own will to establish an association agreement with the EU. It has turned out that the issue of restitution of Polish property rights in Ukraine was put on the table because Ukraine agreed to start dealing with the European Community, eh?
    To all seeming it is true to fact as even the European Parliament asks Warsaw to put on hold restitution lawsuits against Ukraine to a later date because now it ‘may have a detrimental impact on the attitude of ordinary Ukrainians towards the idea of European integration’.
    I wonder if Ukrainians guess that in reality their authorities are lying to them, saying the EU entering can solve all their problems…

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