On April 10th 2010, Poland's president, his wife and some of the country's most prominent military and civilian leaders died when their plane crashed while coming in for a landing in thick fog in western Russia.
Russian and Polish officials gave differing death tolls but agreed there were no survivors.
President Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria were heading to Russia's Smolensk region to mark the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre, where Soviet secret police killed thousands of Polish officers during World War II.
"The Polish presidential plane did not make it to the runway while landing. Tentative findings indicate that it hit the treetops and fell apart," Smolensk's governor, Sergei Anufriev, told Russian TV. "Nobody has survived the disaster."
Russian officials said the plane was carrying 96 people, while Poland's foreign ministry put the figure at 88.
For more or the article from www.aol.com visit http://www.aolnews.com/world/article/polish-president-lech-kaczynski-was-killed-in-a-plane-crash-in-russia/19434298
I was working at my neighbors house when I heard the news. I am Polish and I live in Poland, so let me give you a quick recap of Polish history from its "conception".
The history of Poland is being counted from the year 966 and is a date when Poland, as a whole country, has been baptised.
It was a way for the first ruler of Polish state, Mieszko I, of strengthening his hold on power, as well as using it as a unifying force for the Polish people. In the long run Mieszko's action proved highly influential; by the 13th century, Roman Catholicism had become the dominant religion in Poland.
So you can say that the act of baptism is what brought all the former Polish tribes together and made them into a one establishment called a country of Poland.
So Roman Catholicism til this day is highly rooted into the collective consciousness of Polish people. One of the most important events in Polish history was when Karol Wojtyla got elected to become the first Polish Pope and soon changed his name to John Paul II.
He's considered by many to be the first Pope that really got "out there", which means he collaborated in many different endeavors to unify all the different religions of the world. His death was one of the saddest days in the history for the Polish people.
So what can I tell you about the Polish people except how highly they value their religious institutions? They are people with a very low self-esteem. Let me elaborate on that one for a second.
Poland, as a country, has been probably invaded more times than any other country in history.
The reason for that is its position on continent of Europe which is, on the left side -Germany, and right side - Russia.
Those two countries were at war which each other the most part of the last millennium. They both struggled to gain as much influence as they could from as long as they've existed.
One of the most recent attempt was the World War II, which was a campaign, on which Germany set off to conquer the world. So where was the first shot fired? You guessed it, Poland.
It was on the September 1st 1939 when German troops entered into the Polish territory and opened fire on the Post Office in Westerplatte, near Gdansk. It was the beginning of what would be known as the bloodiest war in human history, when over 60 million people died.
So before that Poland was cut up, sold, cheated, corrupted and many other things in between. Polish people were always manipulated, always struggling to regain their independence, to have their own sense of nationality.
But we were out numbered. We were out numbered by our neighbors who wanted to cut us up for their own reasons, to gain influence, power and money, so they tried every means possible to do that.
This article isn't a historical dispute, but I want to give you a taste where do Polish people that live today in the world come from.
After the World War II, when Hitler's Germany gave up, Poland was given away for "protection" to Russia. It was a deal that the major countries of the world of that time made with each other on how to split the world for their own benefit.
The world was in chaos and despair and nobody had to strength to stand up and fight for what they believed was true. After six years of fighting the bloodiest war in history, Polish people seemed to acknowledge and come to terms with the fact that they will never be free, that they will always be controlled by others.
But that wasn't in our nature; our nature was to fight back. It was all we did for more than 1000 years.
After regaining our independence in 1918, after the World War I, after 123 years of slavery before that event, Poland had only 21 years to feel the joy of being free. After the World War II it all came back like a boomerang; we were in slavery again.
But it was more than physical slavery; it was the slavery of the mind.
In 1945 the Soviet Union once again (since its creation in 1922) emerged as one of the world's two superpowers, and occupied most of Eastern Europe and installed totalitarian, Soviet-loyal dictatorships there.
The postwar period was marked by the cold war, an ideological and political struggle between the USSR and the communist countries on the one side and the United States and the West on the other side.
Throughout the 1980s, it became clear that the Soviet bloc had lost this fight, and when Mikhail Gorbachev took power in the Soviet Union in 1985, it was clear that fundamental reforms in the social structure was necessary.
The Soviet Union is regarded as a totalitarian state, and conducted extensive abuse, both against its own citizens and in the occupied countries. Millions were sent to concentration camp, the Gulag and exterminated.
The USSR also conducted genocide and ethnic cleansing in various countries in Europe, especially during and after World War II. Estimates of the death toll during Stalin alone are estimated at 20 million people.
Poland was a part of that regime. We were one of the 15 countries that were a part of the Soviet Union, which the biggest one, the one that pulled all the strings, was Russia, and they did what they felt like.
For almost 50 years Poland was on the downfall. I couldn't even start to verbalize the cruelty and massive disconnection between people that a constant "fight for your life" approach has created in the collective consciousness of Polish people.
We were treated as garbage; we were given food stamps; money had no real value, because even if you had money there was really nothing to buy for it. All of it went to Russia and it was in a spirit of "friendship and help".
Poland was being stolen one piece at a time. It seemed all hope was lost; we couldn't fight against that tremendous power. The pressure was immense so the Polish people used the thing that lets us forget about our pain - alcohol.
Alcohol was the one thing that Polish people would never suffer a lack of; our "good" friends and neighbors, the Russians, made sure of that.
Even though you couldn't buy anything more than sugar and vinegar in the stores, even though to buy toilet paper you had to have a stamp issued by the country; even though eating an orange or a chocolate once a year at Christmas was a luxury most people couldn't afford; there was one thing that was never missing - vodka.
We drunk, and drunk and drunk. We wanted to drown all of our sorrows in it. Vodka was never missing, because people who are always drunk are easier to manipulate. So vodka took away our self-esteem, our power to fight the good fight, to believe in what our ancestors believed - freedom and independence.
Instead we have drowned ourselves in a see of alcohol because of the sense of failure when hearing about what people before us did, and we couldn't do the same. We were depressed more and more, as for almost 50 years we got to a point that we taught of ourselves as insignificant; we lived the past and how powerful Poland used to be, but we couldn't live up those stories and standards ourselves.
But a light in the tunnel suddenly appeared. A factory worker named Lech Walesa, an electrician by trade, with no higher education, who soon after beginning work at the Gdańsk (then, "Lenin") Shipyards, became a trade-union activist and was persecuted for this by the Polish communist government and placed under surveillance, fired in 1976, and arrested several times.
In August 1980 he was instrumental in negotiations that led to the ground-breaking Gdańsk Agreement between striking workers and the government, and he became a co-founder of the Solidarity trade-union movement.
Arrested again after martial law was imposed and Solidarity was outlawed, upon release he continued his activism and was prominent in the establishment of the 1989 Round Table Agreement that led to semi-free parliamentary elections in June 1989 and to a Solidarity-led government.
That was is, the Soviet Union was defeated. It struggled and crumbled and it finally collapsed in 1991 when Boris Yeltsin seized power in the aftermath of a failed coup that had attempted to topple reform-minded Gorbachev.
Poland was free again; it was independent. So what did the Polish people do with that independence?
It is now 21 years after the Round Table negotiations, which by most people today is recognized to be the mark of the fall of communism, followed by the fall of the Berlin War and more after that. It was the ignite, the thing that led people to action and to fight for what is rightfully ours from when we are born - freedom.
So Polish people, after 1989, were like kids who were left unattended. All of our history we were being told by everyone what to do and how to act. We fought and fought for so long for freedom, that when freedom finally came we didn't knew what to do with it.
So we started electing people to govern us that made the changes possible. Walesa was the first president of the Third Republic of Poland, followed by many others who were either incompetent or played on people's feelings of anger and despair, which they were carrying all through their life; for the hurts inflicted on their fathers and grandfathers.
Poland for the last 21 years was a place when we were living in the past. We were recollecting past events, trying to find the ones that were responsible for those occurrences; pointing our fingers at them, wanted to punish them, humiliate them.
But now I believe it's over. I believe that the President of Poland, Lech Kaczynski, was the last one of those people that were given such a huge amount of power to "get even with the past", instead of "let's look into the future".
You can't build the future living in the past; the best thing about the past is that it's over. It's nice to visit it from time to time, but to live in it is insane.
So Lech Kaczynski and his twin brother, Jaroslaw (who was at one time, simultaneously with his brother's presidency, the prime minister of Poland), were elected by the peoples feelings of hurt and inadequacy for the past. The death of the President, and the way it occurred, I believe will mark a new beginning in the human history.
You see I'm not happy that the President is dead. I'm also not happy that all the people that were on the board of that plane are dead too. All I'm doing is acknowledging what has happened and trying to ask the crucial question "Why?"
"Why did they have to die? Why did it occur in Katyn, the place were 22 thousand police officers were murdered by the Russians, and never admitted on the Russian part?"
All those questions lead me to one answer - Change.
I believe that April 10th 2010 will mark the place in history, where the heart of the world will start to awaken.
Just look at the Polish borders for a second. (http://www.jewishgen.org/krsig/Maps/1957-1974Provinces.jpg) What does it remind you of? A Heart.
That's where I believe the love of the humanity will start unfolding. It will be a place where all the love has been lost, where we have forgotten our connection to the whole to such a degree, that when we will finally start filling that connection again we will bring the whole humanity with us.
Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying that Poland is any better or worse place than any other, it is just different and it will play a different role.
While we were in the Soviet Union, Polish people were forbidden to leave the borders of the country. We were so hugely controlled for not to see what is "out there", that when the borders finally broke we sprang out in such a tremendous speed to all places of the world at once that it's unbelievable.
We started going everywhere just because now we could. And after 21 years of wandering, finding our place in the world, learning many new different things, we are coming back together to where we always felt we belonged - home.
It's not our geographical home, but our mindset that we adopted for centuries from our grand-grandparents that we, as a country, are a one whole, one organism. The strength of those beliefs varied dependent on the age we were living in, but right now this connection is coming back. And it's coming back in a new and improved form.
We are starting to see that not only as a country, but as a whole world, we are one organism. We are One being expressing as the many and I believe that Poland will play a huge part in the changes that are taking place all over the world.
I believe some countries are the Mind of the world, like China, some are the Spirit of the world, like the USA, and Poland will be the Heart. It will be the Heart because it always longed to be the Heart. We were always full of love, full of compassion, but we forgot.
And we forgot so profoundly and so completely that finding our Hearts and claiming them is so exciting and so thrilling, that no one will stop us from experiencing it. We won't even let ourselves stop us.
But we have to be bold. We have to be bold to look beyond appearances and judge them at face value. Let's look at the news and the media with a loving disconnection and ask ourselves "What positive change can this bring about? What can I learn from this?" And see how a beautiful and a completely new world will unfold right in front of You.
Be bold, be bold, be Love.
My Great-Grandparents were from Wilno, which "changed hands" many times over the years and is currently inside Lithuanian borders. One of my Great Grandparents was Russian and one was Polish. You see, in Wilno, many lived together and got along. But as you mentioned, the country had been carved up many times. My Great Grandfather spoke so lovingly of Poland and its people, that I have always followed any news stories about Poland with great interest.
I had the pleasure to tour Poland and meet some relatives a few years ago, and it was a wonderful experience. Many happy memories were made.
Edgar Cayce, an American prophet from the early 20th century was able to tap into the universal collective consciousness. I am paraphrasing, of course, but he said that as people have an aura, so do cities, neighborhoods, churches, and even countries. The pain of Poland's past no doubt, does hang over the land.
I enjoyed reading your post so much, and I'm sure you're right, that this tragedy will be a catalyst for change. Everything happens for a reason, even if that reason isn't evident right away. I really believe that, and I can only hope for the best, for Poland; for a wonderful land and people. Best wishes!
answered 10 Apr '10, 20:28
If you are seeing this message then the Inward Quest system has noticed that your web browser is behaving in an unusual way and is now blocking your active participation in this site for security reasons. As a result, among other things, you may find that you are unable to answer any questions or leave any comments. Unusual browser behavior is often caused by add-ons (ad-blocking, privacy etc) that interfere with the operation of our website. If you have installed these kinds of add-ons, we suggest you disable them for this website