Poland – journey to Przemysl-Ujkowice – 01. July 2011 – 07. July 2011
1.1 In 2010 already I prepared, to visit a region in Poland near the Ukrainian border, where my mother for unknown reasons has lived some years in the time of World War II. I however went not to the town RAWA RUSKA – Ukrainian spelling: Rawaruskaja, during World War II an important railway station for use in war and for transportation of Jews (such for instance from Podkarpaskie-Przemysl-region) to BELSEC NAZI DEATH-CAMP -, which my mother once mentioned and where she probably met her fate in form of NAZI-prosecution (GESTAPO imprisonment or other body- and mind-breaking illtreatment) because perhaps of some JEWISH GENETICS from FRENCH origin of the family from old age, but picked instead PRZEMYSL – meaning in translation something like “industry” – as destination, because there since 1986 is a NEW orthodox monastery, to which I had something to offer, that is: help during heavy work of harvesting time.
1.2 This journey by bus – 26 hours, 1400 km or so – had not only PERSONAL objectives, but was aimed to FIRST HAND KNOWLEDGE from OWN EXPERIENCE, because I normally have a STRONG FEELING, that especially German news-media GIVE NO ACCURATE PICTURE from anything more East than “little bit behind Berlin and Dresden”. We may however stress the point, that here is given report from the view of DETACHED OBSERVER, which we might SPECIFY as follows: So in my own family we have every reason to complain about Nazi – and Communist times, it seemed obvious to me, that I myself had to go BEYOND BOTH not digging into OLD TRAUMA ALL THE TIME. This my personal approach could NOT BE CHANGED by all the ACTUAL FRICTIONS coming from BOTH sides, Polish and European or especially German, which however I am very well aware of. And I understood from Polish history, that was mainly TRAGEDY, that Polish people have every good reason, to STAY SCEPTIC to everything coming from abroad – not to speak of the genius of Polish people to find ever new topics to fall into heavy dispute among themselves.
1.3 In the end the journey was SHORTEND to just one week, of which I was 4 DAYS on bus and only 3 days in Przemysl / Ujkowice, because of RAINY BAD WEATHER at 14 degrees Celsius only, that prevented ANY work on the fields, not to speak of the fact, that seemingly EVERYTHING on the fields was LATE 2-3 weeks this year. This means in effect: The journey was near to a little adventure with need of CHANGING PLANS and every observation reported here restricted to VIEWS FROM BUS and short stops – but taken with a TRAINED OPEN EYE (from my own trainings and experience in farming and business).
Przemysl special: they on Rynek – marketplace central city – have a monument of “soldier SCHWEIJK” (from novel of Czech novellist Jaroslav Hajek/Hashek, (1883–1923)) – which as all the OLD buildings additionally reminded on over 100 years of IMPERIAL AUSTRIAN-HUNGARIAN administration.
2. Observations en route
Although history background was not in my mind, it nevertheless may be remembered, that both towns mentioned, once played a remarkable role.
In World War I the Tsarist Russian Armies WON (whatever history-books normaly try to give an impresssion of a SAID ONLY “poor quality” of Tsarist Army) in two great operations, the BATTLE of Przemysl – Przemysl at that time being a GREAT FORTIFICATION with 10 or so FORTS, of which Ujkowice was just one fort, manned with no less than 100.000 soldiers from the Austrian-Hungarian Imperial Army – and the BATTLE OF RAWA RUSKA (which in Second World War again became a critical front …).
In times of World War II Rawa Ruska was some sort of CENTRAL TRAIN RELAIS STATION to the GERMAN UKRAINIAN FRONT – remember WINNITZA German headquarters – plus to GERMAN DEATH CAMP BELZEC, which Wikipedia tells was SPECIAL in that the death-camp period of Belzec saw only VERY FEW survivors with VERY FEW documentation.
The ROUTE of this journey, by the way, was remarkable historically in such way, that it followed nearly perfectly the old VIA REGIA (from Santiago di Compostella to KIEV) – to which fact we feel not inclined to comment here. More important here seems, that I followed the SOUTHERNMOST TRANSVERSALE through Poland from Zcgorlice / Görlitz to Krakow to Tarnow, Rczechow, Jaroslaw to Przemysl, which is only 5,00 € by Polish state-bus PKS from LVIV / LWOW / LEMBERG in UKRAINIA, which is just one part of the Via Regia, especially that part of Via Regia which has been under HABSBURGIAN RULE of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire for appr. 150 years.
Now, historical background is something, that often is instrumentalisized for whatever purposes, which we certainly do not engage in. For us it is enough, to whish, that OLD BUILDING SUBSTANCE in towns of whatever century may be preserved – as is the wish of the Polish themselves.
For us it is enough, to OBSERVE, that in Southern Poland INDEED we find TODAY several “Biblioteka Austriacka”, indicating perhaps how UNSENSIBLE MORE OFTEN HISTORICAL REMINISCENCES ARE ADRESSED BY GERMANS – and others.
2.2 Lands and agriculture
The first main impression was, that Poland is a really GREAT COUNTRY with seize of fields, which may be at least compared to France. And indeed the facts are: Poland is in overall seize 3/4 of Germany – nearly the seize of Italy -, but with only HALF the population of Germany resulting in some impression of EVEN MORE EMPTY than fromer German DDR! The fields were generally in GOOD ORDER and under plough and showing some GENEROUS handling of “open land”, which however was considered just NORMAL in such a GREAT country, that can be MORE GENEROUS than WESTERN Germany for instance. From this immedeately sprang off the consideration: IF Poland farmed lands are in such status of WEALTH, the country should be RICH, PROVIDED everything from harvest can be sold for REASONABLE PRICES, which latter however are a problem everywhere because of WORLDMARKET PRICES depending ALL on SPECULATIONS in OIL-prices AND of U.S. STOCK EXCHANGE in COMMODITIES, as for instance in CHICAGO, showing not only heavy uncalculable fluctuation but a GENERAL TENDENCY TO DECREASE, which cannot be correlated reasonably to the BASIC IMPORTANCE of FOOD-PRODUCTION.
Behind Krakow however there were not only HUGE fields – may be from fromer Communist “Kolchose-type” agriculture or even from FEUDALISTIC times – but something, that in Germany is called “Obstwiese mit Kleintierhaltung”, meaning fruit trees with some gras-land below and small animals. (We learned from Wikipedia, that in Communist times the Polish had a DIFFERENT MODELL with regard to private land property and set up of state-governed KOLCHOSE and SOWCHOSE…) I such learned, that this type of “small gardening enterprise” of socalled “fruit tree meadows” is FAR MORE WIDESPREAD, than was expected from German experience, where this type of economy on the lands nearly has vanished or has become economically uninteresting. I observed however a DIFFERENCE to the German experience in that – say from Tarnow to Przemysl – these meadows are 1-2 hectar in size with surprising lots of WALNUT-trees and even with a set of BUILDINGS both for STORAGE and (little) MACHINES and for living, the living houses not really small and such indicating, that there once must have been families with several children. TODAY the impression of the TREES is, that they are in good condition and not too old but the buildings not really kept well and the machinery somewhat oldfashioned and in sufficient maintenance only. But AGAIN we see from these observations, that the country is RICH with PLENTIFUL of possibilities in everything with regard to agricultural production. And it may be assumed, that LAND PROPERTY is SPREAD widely among COMMON FOLKS, at least outside the towns, the inhabitants of which however may have their “datcha-type” small land-property in nearby surroundings. There is one thing, that may cause at some point trouble: In Ujkowice someone explained from an advertising, that people are offered the opportunity to LEND MONEY in giving THEIR OWN LAND AS SECURITY – which at some point of developement may lead to the consequence, that PRIVATE DEBTS will result in the BANKS BECOMING GREAT LAND OWNERS – which would imply ALL THE BAD CONSEQUENCES we know from nearly all history whereever and which must not be detailed here. Or to put it in other words: If we read, that officials in Poland DEMAND from European Communities to PROTECT the 30 % agricultural sector of Poland, which is RATHER untypical for TODAY industrialisized European countries, this should include CLOSE WATCH to the NEW CREDIT PRACTISE of “money against security in land property”! This may be even more important in present period of transition, because THIS SMALL LAND PROPERTY REDUCES DRASTICALLY the NEED OF MONEY for LOTS of people and ENABLES THEM, to SURVIVE even if not on level of socalled “walfare-state” of Westeuropean type of today.
We have to add here with regard to PRIVATE hold farms, that we have a second specifics, which is called “mixed farming”, which is something else from more TRADITIONAL approach in farming and different from today INDUSTRIAL approach tending to HUGE MONOCULTURES whatever.
What was MISSING nearly COMPLETELY were any signs of GREAT INDUSTRIAL MEAT production: NO great herds of cattle to be seen outside, NO silos (for animal food, cows and swines), at least REALLY VERY FEW. This MAY indicate, that meat and milk production is in OTHER regions of Poland. I even on MY route saw NO INDICATION of Polish GEESE production, which however MUST BE EXISTING, because otherwise Christmas in Germany would be a rather POOR occasion, missing important FESTIVE incentives.
2.3 Cemeteries and Churches
A VERY UNUSUAL EXPERIENCE was the following: NEARLY EVERYWHERE the CEMETERIES are not at hidden places, but in FULL VIEW of the public and allover decorated with an abundance of flowers and far away from impression of parks as for instance in Germany. To this must be added, that nearly EVERYWHERE there were MODERN CATHOLIC CHURCHES, not the great type, but the familiar small ones and nearly all in BREATHTAKING and VERY BEAUTIFUL MODERN ARCHITECTURE with MODERN MATERIALS, which however formed a HARD CONTRAST to the centers of towns with their great building substance from around the turn to 20th century, which sometimes even were in state of decay worse than in former Communist DDR, but with Satellite-TV-antennas on most of balcons, which was causing real pain to the eyes. We may say however, that the urban agglomeration around Kattowice to Krakow was not in such decay and that here they at least started with restauration and more so, than from Krakow to Przemysl.
How we can interprete these observations? Perhaps like this: They in Poland SET PRIORITIES, the CHURCHES first, the cemeteries second and the towns on third place, behind which we may assume a PHILOSOPHY in place working DOWN from SPIRIT to the MATERIAL, which however in today Western Europe, where we see a VANISHING of anything Christian or religious and even NEW PAGANISM, may be felt with some alienation, an alienation not only from OLD-FASHIONED or CONSERVATIVE approach. Of course the VAST AMOUNT of NICE NEW CHURCHES arises the question, where the MONEY for this EXTREME EFFORT may have come from. Well, we may assume, that we see here the CENTRALISIZED ROMAN CHURCH acting like a GLOBAL PLAYER, not only pumping money into Poland church-building, but taking out of Poland CLERGY EXPORT LABOR FORCE, because quite other as in Germany or France, the young in Poland are interested in religious professional education and all the major Catholic orders there with a SURPRISING NUMBER of NEW ENTRIES from new followers.
As a SCEPTIC we however DOUBT, what may be EXACTLY the nature of this CATHOLIC and/or CHRISTIAN REVIVAL … see chapter on Ujkowice orthodox monastery.
2.4 Systems of Transportation and Traffic
VERY DIFFERENT to Germany are impressions from SYSTEMS OF TRANSPORTATION, which are a REAL PROBLEM in a country so to say GREAT AND EMPTY like Poland. Here we have an OLD RAILWAY SYSTEM, cheap but NEGLECTED and even today in parts given up, with the main problem, that there are TOO FEW STRATEGICAL MODERN LONG-RANGE LINES connecting the agglomerations WITHIN Poland and serving the TRANSIT THROUGH Poland. (We were told for instance, that going by train from Przemysl to Lublin – ca. 500 km or so – or Torun would take 17 hours, due to SCHEDULES / ORGANIZATION and to ODD and even QUEER ROUTES / LINES …) What was working well was the STATE SYSTEM of PKS-Busses, but the busses in agglomeration of Kattowice-Krakow much more modern than from Krakow to Przemysl, where they give every impression, that they are so much old, so that they probably may not be able to serve such a long time ahead. With regard to this POOR STATUS of bus-fleets we however have to report an ODDITY, because Poland is EXPORTING special busses for TOWN-traffic to Germany and even to Neuss (type: Solaris, partly with hybrid technology, partly climatisized, at least from montage of components if not from own (licence-)production – this was checked in internet to be true!). I may add: TODAY POZNAN is center of MODERN bus-production. But in communist times there has been somewhere more to central regions and the East a really GREAT CENTRALISIZED BUS-production facility delivering to the ENTIRE Warszaw-treaty countries of former COMECON, which of course today is not on technical level of state of art and given up. But overall Poland has CONCENTRATED on STREET traffic everywhere with surprising modern trucks and with an astonishing STREET-BUILDING-ACTIVITY in agglomeration Kattowice-Krakow showing again a BREATHTAKING MODERNITY and ARCHITECTURE – especially with regard to BRIDGE-CONSTRUCTIONS, so much extravagant and differentiated in techniques, that I found in my memory and travel-experience NOTHING to compare with!!! Well, to be honest, outside the agglomerations streets are often in POOR condition, but the Polish even working here, even if at 9 olock in the evening, which we add for all those, that believe for reasons whatever, that Polish people may be lazy or so … We may add: Polish seemingly ARE FOND of CARS – and one is surprised, how they manage to PAY them, at least after looking on their in great parts old or neglected lodgings. Here we have the following: There are QUITE A LOT of PRIVATE CARS, not only from Czechia (which means from SKODA, and the collaboration of SKODA with German VW) but JAPANESE as well, with only underrepresented GERMAN cars, however SOME French cars. To repeat it: One really wonders, how they can pay their cars at all – but CONCENTRATION ON STREET TRAFFIC seemingly being a GOOD STRATEGICAL DECISION for such a GREAT country in transition.
( I may add here: I have seen reports from Ukrainia, that HIGH LEVEL of PRICES for gasoline had drastical effects on street traffic already, which is reported to have become SURPRISING LOW, at least in PRIVATE sector of transportation … )
2.5 Building activities
We have to add to above mention of really impressive CHURCH-building and STREET-building:
In the region of Przemysl there can be seen of course some OLD HOUSES FROM WOOD – and even CHURCHES from wood (especially in SANOK-region near Przemysl) but only VERY FEW MODERN HOUSES FROM WOOD, which however in a country with such abundance of forests would seem a field to be explored in more depth, say in comparison with new developements in wood architecture as presently arising in Canada and the U.S.. So in the end NEW PRIVATE HOUSES – even of bungalow- and villa-type – are from STONE, but showing QUITE OTHER COLORS than in Germany or Greece or Italy. Indeed COLORS tend to socalled WARM NOTES from socalled EARTH MINARAL COLORS like ochre, but all NOT DARK but LIGHTFUL. We may say: THE NUMBER OF NEW PRIVATE HOUSES along the route was IMPRESSIVE GREAT, showing not only, that the PRIVATE SECTOR in Poland has money, but that there really is some sort of BOOM OUTSIDE the towns. This boom may be compared with at least signs of IMPRESSIVE ACTIVITY in modern TOWN BUILDING, especially in the agglomeration where I saw NEW QUARTERS FOR THE MASSES, BETTER than in Communist times and COLORED, even if not precisely with the SAME luxury Germany is used to, BUILDING activity however included MIDDLE SIZE (PRIVATE) ENTERPRISES in surprising numbers along the route and even FEW MODERN TYPE INDUSTRIAL PLANTS or FACTORIES, not of GIGANTIC size, but of considerably GREAT seize.
Other than in case of former German DDR, which saw some sort of more or less friendly takeover, I saw in the agglomeration FEW Lidl (NO Aldi) and of course Biedranka supermarkets. Surprising again were LOTS of dependances of especially FRENCH BANKS (such as Banque Paris Bas, which as most people did not grasp in meantime has become one of the FEW REALLY GREAT global players … and even SPANISH Banks ( such as Santander) , but German banks missing completely. People on the streets – as I was told – are not really fond of POSZTA POLSKA and tend to a NEW PRIVATE post enterprise, but at least buildings of Poszta Polska are kept in good maintenance – as holds true for most BUILDINGS of OFFICIAL AUTHORITIES, with the exception of quarters of Polish Army (from old military concepts partly WITHIN towns) , which are a pity, at least if compared with Polish Airforce I myself saw en route.
2.6 Remarks on transportation of labor force
Great compliments go to SINDBAD bus-transporter from Opole/Oppeln in Slaskia, because everything was on level of today standards – and was FUNCTIONING WELL, even in case of changing details of the ticket as was necessary on return route.
At first we have here of course PERSONAL impressions:
On way TO Poland people were chatting – and I even managed to have a conversation with one of these FAMOUS “Polish nurses” working in Germany. But she had nothing new to tell me: Her MEDICAL EDUCATION CERTIFICATES were NOT ACCEPTED by German State, so that she HAD to work for old-age people – for LESS INCOME of course. Interesting was, that she qualified her work as MOLOCH, which was some sort of Phoenician God, demanding – from time to time – SACRIFICE OF HUMANS. So she was SEARCHING for BETTER work opportunity in SOUTHERN parts of Germany. Well, WHY her assessment was SO NEGATIVE? Very easy: Her contractors CUT SHORT PERSONNEL, so that on 3 floors IN THE NIGHT were only 2 nurses. What is BAD here is: Those FEMALE nurses are expected to CARRY ALONE a disabled person (back to bed for instance), resulting in HEAVY HEALTH PROBLEMS (of the nurses` back for instance)!
On way back to Germany however ATMOSPHERE was COMPLETELY different! As we approached nearer and nearer to Germany, as we eventually drove deeper and deeper into Germany, the people NEARLY WENT SILENT and SLEEPY – and in some sort of DEPRESSIVE MANNER so! – I may hint here to German writing authors Fosar/Bludorf – with free essays on their author`s web-page -, who recently suggested from developement in modern physics, that WE ALL SHOULD BE ON WATCH for FREQUENCY-based and CHEMICAL methods for INFLUENCING the human mind, TESTED and APPLIED by WHOMEVER in LARGE aereas of today Germany … (see keyword: chemtrails and mind-control) IF THIS NEAR TO TRUTH, Mr. Putin and Medwedjew even more would be justified for their HEAVY CRITICS on western-type socalled “democracy”, which in REAL is tending to some sort of DEMOCRATUR and may be compared with trials in “nice behavior dictatorship” based upon MODERN TECHNOLOGIES normally stored away for use in war … Well, I thought it a good idea, to take my Polish coins, which I could not exchange in bank, and give them to the STEWARDESS on board. BUT SHE REFUSED. At first I thought: Okay, they have an official regulation for that. So I tried again with my neighbour and a lady – and BOTH REFUSED AS WELL with comments I could not quite grasp the meaning of … I may add here from reading in Steffen Möller “Vivat Polonia”, who is the most famous German resident out of FREE WILL, to stay in Poland at present, that there might be a quite harmeless explanation to that from DIFFERENCES in everyday-behavior and social taboos, especially with regard to POLISH understanding of POLITE, DISCRETE, DIPLOMATICAL and HUMBLE … I am not overinterpreting here, because they in Poland have something very STRANGE, which is a COMPLETE SET OF VOCABULARY and GRAMMAR, which especially is reserved for use if dealing with HIGHER UPS or LADIES … certainly something any normal and average language course will miss to teach you! (I have seen indeed in internet SPECIAL STUFF related to this very special use of language in teaching materials for U.S. diplomatical personnell preparing for stay in Poland … because they otherwise simply would be of not any efficiency …)
Now we have a look, WHY SINDBAD is functioning so well. At first SINDBAD is CERTIFIED by POLISH GOVERNMENT, which secondly does so, to give a BACK UP for those TENTHOUSANDS of Polish people, who are going to and fro Germany. We indeed may assume, that such nearly 1 Million people are CONSTANTLY ON THE ROADS to and back for WORK ABROAD (praca zu granice) of Poland. Sindbad itself may have 20 busses and may hire on occasion additional busses from contractors – resulting in estimated 30.000 passengers each month by this company only! Really, the busses are FULL in BOTH directions! The Polish Government however even goes further and OFFERS REDUCED PRICES for people travelling FREQUENTLY.
I may add here because of financial troubles everywhere in Europe: The Polish recently have SET BACK the DATE for to introduce and join the EURO – and this may indicate, that the Polish in all their old-fashioned approach SOMETIMES – especially in cases when it counts – are FAR AHEAD of the European crowd – which easily may be derived from another information, that POLAND was one of the VERY FEW countries, that made NO SUBSTANTIAL LOSSES in the years of European financial crisis of 2008-2010 … Well, they really must be DAMMED GOOD!
Now, how this may be interpreted? At first we see here a GREAT DIFFERENCE in WORK MIGRATION to Germany (and others), which is PREVENTING EMIGRATION. Meaning: People are going, but have assistance to COME BACK HOME. The RESULT of this INTELLIGENT policy may be: a) People bring back MONEY to Poland as well. b) People bring back EXPERIENCE and KNOWLEDGE. c) PEOPLE DO NOT LOOSE HOME AND LANGUAGE!
2.7 “Waterfall” – effects
2.7.1 Przemysl is at the Ukrainian border and has something very special, that is a socalled “Basar”. This is a VERY SHABBY place, but a NEEDED place. Here we find UKRAINIAN goods for sale whatever, legal and from smuggle (and a lot of money exchange for unknown reasons). As just EXEMPLE may be taken CIGARRETTES, say LM. Well, LM in Germany (probably from U.S production) costs 4.50 €, LM in Poland (from Polish production with perhaps POLISH TOBACCO) costs 2,70 € – in which we see already the PRICE-INCREASING EFFECT from BOOM – but cigarettes from Ukraine cost just incredible 0,50 € – and foreigners normally are WARNED to be CAUTIOUS, that SOME of these VERY CHEAP cigarettes MAY have ingredients, which are not quite healthy, as for instance shreddered CD-waste …
2.7.2 A second waterfall effect is seen in labor force: Polish people are going to Germany, Britain, Ireland and others to WORK THERE FOR LESS PAYMENT than the national Germans, British, Irish etc. – but in meantime UKRAINIAN folks are going to POLAND, to work there for LESS PAYMENT than national Polish. We may say: An IDEAL NEXT step in this CASCADE would be, to find people, who must not be paid anything and work for NOTHING at all, say from MONGOLIA or so … We may however say, that the Polish government will take firm position in this question, regardless of any IDEOLOGICAL PROPOSALS with regard to Human Rights or so they in Brussels come forth with …
2.8 Orthodox Monastery Ujkowice (with socalled “NATURAL PRODUCTS”)
I picked as final destination Monaster Sw. Cyrilo i Metodogo in Ujkowice (near Przemysl) for 2 reasons: a) I wanted to see and learn Orthodoxy. b) I wanted to see and learn and HELP with NATURAL PRODUCTS (which to do I have special trainings and experience).
To begin with the natural products: Wheather was at 14 degress Celsius, rainy and therefor everything on the fields too wet and even 2-3 weeks late and on 3rd day the monks said, that they had no further work for me.
This settled, we now have a look on the monastery, which was COMPLETELY NEW – established since 1986 – with IMPRESSIVE great and many buildings and reminding on Mt. Athos (connections with Vatopedi, from which they have a copy of the famous and miracle-working Mazka Bozieij icon) and a rather small reconstructed old church with strange acoustics and an interesting singing practise I never before have seen. The 14 or so monks had at their disposal 20 to prospected 30 hectars of own land including some forest for wood for heating and cooking and some cows and small animals (geese, hens, poultry), so that they VERY WELL could maintain SELF-SUFFICIENCY, but with EXCEPTIONAL EXCELLENT QUALITY of OWN NATURAL PRODUCTS. We may say: I NEVER HAVE EXPERIENCED SUCH GOOD MEALS IN A MONASTERY, including for instance OWN HONEY, which however in Przemysel-Sanok-region is typical. It may be connected with the EDUCATION LEVEL of the relatively YOUNG monks, mainly POLISH ACADEMICS FROM ENGENEERING AND NATURAL SCIENCES, that they had in this monastery an IMPRESSIVE HYDRAULIC ENGENEERING to keep the place dry, that is: to cope with lots of water from rain and snow.
To be short here: The entire place gave every impression – such for instance from EXPENSIVE building materials – that it must have needed MILLIONS to build it. Question now is: WHERE THE MONEY MAY HAVE COME FROM – because Polish Orthodoxy TODAY has only 500.000 followers (very few say: 1.000.000). Next question is: The EXEPTIONAL quality of produced goods given, it was not clear, HOW TO SELL THEM. In Przemysl region itself quite a lot of people have at least some datcha-type property and would not be able to PAY ANY REASONABLE PRICES for goods, they mainly can produce themselves even if of lesser quality. TRANSPORTATION to GREAT POLISH CENTERS like Warszawa, Poznan or the Slaskia agglomeration may be DIFFICULT TO ORGANIZE – and the real interesting markets, which would be able to PAY PROPPER PRICES like Germany or the U.S. more or less are OUT OF REACH – or may be NOT ACCESSIBLE because of OWN SPECIFICS.
We may even add: with respect to FINANCING, the MACHINERY was – perhaps – somewhat “OVERDONE”, which was 1 smaller tractor, 1 tractor estimated 60-80 PS with cabin, 1 middle-seize Claas -corn-harvester (from Germany!!) and a small milking machine (for 2 places) and perhaps some other, I could not see in such short time.
With this we come to the topic “orthodoxy” – with which immedeately is given one possible explanation for all that money involved: It seems reasonable to assume, that the monastery has working connections to the U.S. and its great POLISH EMIGRATION COMMUNITY, such as for instance in Chicago. Secondly it seems reasonable to assume, that the “CHIEF-MANAGER of this ESTATE” has CONVERSED FROM CATHOLIC TO ORTHODOX, which would explain, that these monks DURING THE WEEK had – except the morning prayer – NO FURTHER PRAYERS IN CHURCH. Otherwise we experienced, that the Archimandrit in trapeza – during meals – was GIVING COMMENTED LECTURES FROM ACTUAL POLITICAL BOOK, to which he added a LECTURE-type SERMON IN SUNDAY-LITURGY of more than 1 hour! Well, we – that is: I myself – in orthodox context NEVER before experienced something like that! Well, to our best experience and knowledge orthodoxy is the home of great individual diversity depending heavily on PERSONALITIES – and at least the founding tale is near to miraculous – including, that the 2 founder fathers once came from CZENSTOCHOWA, which is the POLISH NATIONAL SANCTUARY OF CATHOLICS and their ANALYSIS of state of affairs in Catholic church was very similar to my own dissapointments … So their is NO harm, if you come LATE in life to orthodoxy and OF COURSE cannot CHANGE EVERYDAY-HABITS … And the best, what we, who came from today Catholics can GIVE and OFFER to Orthodoxy is for instance our KNOWLEDGE and EXPERIENCE of “Catholic METHODS”, so that we in cases may be quite more on the watch, what is harmless EXCHANGE and INTERACTION – or what may be something not coming from HEART, but from HIDDEN AGENDAS in rather WORDLY POWER-PLAY, which nearly all observers would agree to see as SPECIFICS in any Catholic surroundings … And VERY certainly, average news-consumers in Germany simply would UNDERRATE difficulties from differences in socalled “CONFESSION MENTALITIES” ( Max Weber) in Poland, which INDEED made the refounding of Ujkowice a HARD TASK for grown-up REAL MEN – and NOTHING for the German “casual interested” in a sort of socalled “religion that costs nothing”. Even more: IF YOU HAPPEN TO BE ORTHODOX IN POLAND, YOU WILL HAVE DIFFICULTIES, which may not ALL be determined by the amount of testosteron! Well, they in Polish have a special word for all this mix-up of disparate observations, which is “trudno” – meaning not really “difficult”, but rather more “TRICKY” …
We skip some other observations – such for instance the phenomenon of RUNNING monks, which especially in an orthodox monastery is QUITE unusual – and have reached now the ABRUPT DEPARTURE. Well, there was some unpleasent incident: Another guest – in his final exam for Gymnasium / Polish Lyceum -, who made the tourist guide for me in an surprisingly EDUCATED manner in an surprising EDUCATED English all the time – hardly to be found in TODAY Germany! -, suddenly was told by the monks, to leave IMMEDEATLY, that is: PACK AND GO! He was near to tears and could not find ANY reason for this decision, and even more so, because from another visit in January he had only good memories. (We orthodox people however know, that especially a monastery is a mysterious place, and whatever is happening there would happen under watch of our protecting holy icons and patron saints!!)
Well, with this SUDDENLY came back to me memories from a JEWISH girl, that was mobbed by a South-African bureau-assistant in an U.S. company – really don`t believe, what they are telling on HUMAN IDEALS from the U.S.!: This Jewish student-girl was kicked off with nobody protesting, with exception of me, who left on the same instance!
So I had not to ponder long the pros and cons – and took in Ujkowice the SAME DECISION and LEFT ON AN INSTANCE – and we both left TOGETHER, may be somewhat to the surprise of the monks. At first I wanted to go to TORUN instead, but on advice of my “tourist guide” in the end took the next bus home.
The story is told here, because she can shed light on HOW RELIGIOUS MOTIVATIONS WORK IN PRACTISE in today Poland! They are not only EXPERIMENTING in ORTHODOX STYLE, but have a GENERATION PROBLEM, not only between AUTHORITATIVE BEHAVIOR of “bossy old”, but even between YOUNGER ABSOLVENTS OF HIGHER EDUCATION FROM COMMUNIST TIMES and TODAY PUPIL GENERATION, the YOUNGEST in this example being the ONLY one PROMISING TO MEET REQUIREMENTS FOR FUTURE in a FAST CHANGING WORLD of today (and the young academics there for instance very busy to gain self-confident mastery in some sort of souvereignity …)
We now may have a look on the SPIRITUAL SITUATION of this YOUNGEST: He told me, that he became orthodox by CONSCIOUS decision, but in a famliy surrounding of UNDERSTANDING. This made him a SINGLE FIGHTER, who had to go in his central Poland home 60 kilometres to the next orthodox church! Now add the above told experience from the monastery – and everybody may conclude, that this young school-generation MUST FIGHT HER WAY ALONE, even becoming HARD in some way or another! WITHIN orthodoxy this school-generation will have to fight her way through INCREDIBLE and HOT “debates” of every sort, including for instance the DESTRUCTION BY FORCE of the famous orthodox sanctuary “Mt. Grabarka” after Communist times and very probably by Catholics, which me as German reminds on MEDIEVAL AGES, including for instance every sort of CONSPIRACY debate florishing exceptional well in today Poland, even to a degree ALIENATING FOREIGNERS like me myself!
From this we have a VERY SCEPTICAL view on the CATHOLIC REVIVAL in Poland too, which is something IMPOSED by AUTHORITIES, leaving the school-generation to QUESTION the PHILOSOPHICAL basis. To be more precise here: Of course everybody Polish has some affinity to late Pope John Paul II. – but this INTELLIGENT and TRAINED generation may not escape, that this Pope was a SPECIALIST IN PHENOMENOLOGY (from Lublin Catholic University), which in NOT ANY REGARD can be considered a PURE METAPHYSICAL theory, which however traditionally is thought necessary in orthodoxy for everything related to the PHILOSOPHICAL FUNDAMENTS of any religious practise in an European cultural context.
We may even go as far as to question this SPECIAL ORTHODOX style in Ujkowice by young academics in just asking: WHICH OTHER POSSIBILITY these young academics had, than to try “something religious, something monasterial”??? Which would mean, that the RELIGIOUS MOTIVATION MAY BE VERY SHAKY or near to CAMOUFLAGE, especially near to some sort of ESCAPE FROM OTHERWISE HOPELESS situations and life perspectives!
So to resumee somehow: New Monaster Ujkowice was INTERESTING to look at and it was a WORKING NEW exemple giving every impression that it is providential place and providential work – and it was showing, how much they in Poland are ACTIVE now. But if you don`t fit in really, you better should not try – which however is the same thing eveywhere … And VERY certainly: In context of my studies on history of “Via regia” and related topics of “holy cartography” and even geomancy, everything was quite fine with this journey full of surprises …
3.1 We do not expect, that an entire country in transition shows other than SHARP CONTRASTS between OLD and NEW. That the OLD in Poland often shows not any charme CLEARLY can be linked to NEGLECTING OLD SUBSTANCE IN COMMUNIST TIMES, which indicates something else, namely that PEOPLE WERE TREATED BADLY, as if of NO VALUE!
3.2 If one agrees, that any ECONOMICAL CYCLE as in Keynesian theories has as CRUCIAL sector BUILDING INVESTMENTS, we may say, that Poland today sees some sort of BOOM and is FAR FROM anything like REZESSION. Indeed Poland at moment receives the BIGGEST AMOUNT OF SUPPORT from European Communities at all, that in internet sources normally is said to be in figures 67 BILLION € for 2007-2013 covering 98.000 single projects. We may ASSUME, that this PREFERENCE FOR POLAND as shown by European Communities may have as motivation behind it some sort of COMPENSATION for RATHER QUESTIONABLE ATTITUDE OF SEVERAL (!!) EUROPEAN COUNTRIES TOWARDS POLAND DURING WORLD WAR II.
3.3 Well, observations do not allow any other conclusion, than that there IS MONEY in Poland even in PRIVATE SECTOR. But we may add, that otherwise POLISH PEOPLE somehow DID IT MAINLY THEMSELVES – and even succeeded to stand TODAY AMERICAN-TYPE COMPETION as seen in European Communities, which is brutality in itself!
3.4 Poland has TWO SPECIFICS, that will result in HARD CONFLICT with European Communities: a) NOT VERFIED numbers say, that Poland`s
AGRICULTURAL SECTOR is 30 %, which in today Western Europe is UNIQUE and near to “out of fashion”. EMPLOYMENT in agricultural sector is said to have INCREASED to 2,2 Million people (out of 38 Million total), in spite of number of farms DECREASING! (And of course there will be HEAVY difficulties to HARMONISIZE industrialisized Westeuropean agriculture with HIGH production costs with Polish and Ukrainian agriculture, which are producing traditionally and cheap and in HUGE quantities, which – in theoretical case of OPEN MARKETS, which may be compared with REALITY of PLAN-COMMAND-ECONOMY worse than in Communism, as in place TODAY in European Communities! – would BRING DOWN entire German agriculture for instance.) b) European Communities can tell what they want and even GO PHANTASTIC, if demanding for instance STOP OF COAL-production for energy. Here Poland has NO OTHER CHOICE, because 95 % of energy are coming from – mainly OWN – coal-supplies.
3.5 POLAND MAY BE ON THE WATCH, that new AMERICAN METHODS to direct entire economies based on CURRENCY and MONEY may not BRING DOWN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY! We only have to remember, what for instance George Soros did to Thailand and Greece! But so far on the contrary: The VERY INTELLIGENT NATIONAL POLISH CURRENCY POLICY PREVENTED THE COUNTRY FROM MOST OF THE BAD EFFECTS OF THE WORLDWIDE FINANCIAL CRISIS OF 2009/2010 SUCESSFULLY! (HOW did they DO that? How can WE learn that?) But certainly: IF someone like George Soros will pick the country for currency-games, Poland will have a BAD CHANCE to cope with it without European backup.
3.6 Since years we have here in Neuss AUSTRALIAN LOVEBIRDS (Sittiche) IN OPEN AIR, which may be said enough, that INDEED NATURE HAS CHANGED ALREADY, not only the CLIMATE. Because of this we add here a short STRATEGICAL SKETCH (German) on SCENARIOS FOR POSSIBLE DESASTERS FROM WATER in Poland, which however is not that urgent at moment.
3.7 So we have such a lot of UNSENSIBLE reactions everywhere, we tried VERY HARD, to keep the position of DETACHED OBSERVER. However, we are not American nor in any way “cool”, so that we feel inclined, to add, what popped up because of our interest in Polish “Koledy”, some sort of rather elaborated Christmas music tradition. Well, during research on this topic, we stumbled upon a story, that in Christmas time someone from Austria is organizing a BIG DINNER for HUNDREDS of people in KRAKOW, so that they at least on this occasion may cope better with POLISH WINTER – and rather POOR conditions of POLISH SOCIAL SYSTEM. In this context we may hint especially to The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity (GOCC, Polish Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy, WOŚP), which is one of the biggest, non-governmental, non-profit, charity organizations in Poland and was founded 1993 (just type into google “GOCC”).
3.8 Purely by accident my journey started on 1st of July 2011, in which Poland took seat of Presidency in European Commission for half a year to come, which event was followed by a private visit of German Chancellor Merkel to Poland at end of my journey on weekend of 8th-10th of July 2011. From the announcement, that the Polish during this presidency will go to FOSTER SHALE GAS production by FRACKING TECHNOLOGIES (some special separation, cleaning-technologies as in place already in Canada, German keyword: Schiefergas, Schieferöl, Ölsand), we may conclude, HOW MUCH INTELLIGENT AND AWARE this NEW POLAND is. (Indeed new surveys show, that SHALE GAS is in Germany and The Netherlands for instance as well …) We may link this AWARENESS to the SPECIAL STRUCTURE of POLISH MANAGEMENT ELITE, which mainly has a TECHNICAL BACKGROUND from 2 or 3 TECHNICAL UNIVERSITIES resulting in a STRONG SOCIAL GROUP-COHERENCE – which may be compared with the role of Ecole Nationale d`Administration (ENA), Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole Normale Superieur (ENS) in FRANCE.
3.9 If we light heartedly say: “I like the country!”, we today very often forget, that love has something to do with KNOWING REALITY, the climate, the natural riches, the hard struggle of hard people, to get along under TODAY GIVEN CONDITIONS. With which remark this report from my own – and very short only and hopefully first – REALITY CHECK in Poland has come to its end!
3.10 And yes: IF I WOULD KNOW SOME REASONABLE OPPORTUNITY on just average income level, I NEVERTHELESS would consider POLAND – and with regard to expected water-desasters especially the higher grounds of SOUTHERN POLAND – a GOOD PLACE to stay, at least with MY TRAININGS in several fields at hand. Certainly NOTHING for the AVERAGE German or Western European of today, not experienced in traditional ways of life.
FOLLOW UP – Thursday 21st of July 2011
Fate has its own logic: Although I really would have liked to stay in Przemysl until end of July, today I suddenly became very glad, that I am back home already! The reason is: At least since Wednesday, 20th of July 2011 the great depression-system “Otto” with storm and heavy rains reached from Saxonia / Eastern Germany coming Poland, where it met a difference in temperatures from 13 degrees celsius at the border to Germany to 32 degrees Celsius at the border to Belarus resulting in NATIONWIDE desaster: Warszaw, Lodz, Krakow partly under water (from the rivers there) – most affected not only Ermland and Masowia but far more populated Malopolska (Kleinpolen) as well. WHEATHER knows nothing about state-borders – and Czechia and Slowakia were affected as well. And there will be at least until Friday 22nd of July no changing to better, meaning: lots of houses without roof, lots of electricity wires broken and possibility for evacuations in PARTS of most affected towns at the riverbanks … Hardly to believe: in internet they told, that in Warszaw they laid 40.000 sand-packs to enforce the dams at Wisla-river in only few hours … And of course: The Army is engaged as well … But in German media I was informed in an English-speaking TV channel on thursday already! Well: My thoughts and prayers are with my loved ones – even if in Poland and including my unknown (Polish and German) relatives there …
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