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07 May 2010

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Hilary Perry

Having seen and enjoyed the exhibition 5 times now I can confidently say that the 2 visits with my ESOL students were the most interesting. The students added so much with their in-depth knowledge of the history and politics of their own countries. I was proud of the confident way they all expressed their own opinions.

Radek Wezyk

I visited the exhibition with my ESOL course friends inspired by our great teacher Hilary.
The most active talk which we had was about two of Yael Bartana's films. In my opinion they express author's emotions, desires, feelings and even some kind of political statement.
I'm really impressed with her exhibition - it is about what art should be.
However, if their intention was to find a solution for a problem undertaken by them or to explain the problem, - in my opinion - they failed.
They don't show the background of the problem and the symbols like 'Stadion Dziesieciolecia w Warszawie' in its current state shouldn't be shown as a description of Polish society or state. It can be symbol of anything else like 'what happens to a country when stupidity with violence rule', ‘in what scope invaders can kill thinking and good will’ or it can be just ‘a symbol of destroyed society – hurt society'.
I don't think if Polish call Jewish they come back home in communist manner like author seems to suggest. They don’t call anyone and in none manner. They still try to re-built their country.
This is country just above 20 years old after 125 years of non-existence as a state, being Russified and Germanized, after 4 years of first world war when the ‘greatest’ nations tried to make their businesses using countries like Poland, after 20 years of hope and again 6 years of second world war during which our allies said ‘we promised to help but now we prefer to betray you’ and they said that second time after second war.
In result Poland got under communist rules for 60 years. The balance? There you are: 195 years dependence on invaders, being killed, ripped, stolen and whatever unpleasant you can imagine; with no education, hospitals, authorities and state at all. 16% (6000000) of polish people were killed just during second war (0,94% of British). Polish hid Jewish for what punishment was death. This country lost about 30% of national goods during first war and about another 40% of what left during second one (0,4% - UK).
The country lost most of it’s territory and intelligence class during such long period of time. Rest of the last one emigrated during communist period.
I don’t want to say that Jewish didn’t suffer because of the second war. They did even more but the history of Poland is eventually the history of Jewish as well.
The drama of Polish and Jewish nations are very similar because of what the young activist from the film should be shouting 'All of you, who left this country because of historical reasons, come back and help to rebuilt our home: Jewish, Romanian, … , and Polish as well.

Ludwik Kowalski

This 2010 book is my autobiography. It is based on a diary I kept between 1946 and 2004 (in the USSR, Poland, France and the USA). The title is: “Diary of a Former Communist: Thoughts, Feelings, Reality.”

The URL is http://csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/life/intro.html

Comments, as always, will be appreciated.

Ludwik Kowalski
Professor Emeritus
Montclair State University (USA)
kowalskiL@mail.montclair.edu

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