Everyone in Europe knows and remembers that World War I ended 100 years ago. The terrible conflagration had a positive political outcome for some, while it hurt others. For Poles it has a special importance because we regained our independent statehood after 123 years of servitude. (…)
In our case, our freshly regained independence hung by a thread when the young Soviet state marched against Poland. Thanks to the bravery of our troops, the wisdom of our commanders – led by Marshall Józef Piłsudski – and with the assistance of our Hungarian friends in the decisive battle (still remembered as the “Vistula miracle”) we managed to push back the invaders to the East and, as many historians say, halted the westward advance of Communism. (…)
This was followed by two decades of hard work of rebuilding social and state structures. This process was interrupted by the outbreak of an even more terrible war. In this, we ended up on the winning side, but at an unimaginable cost in human lives and national wealth. Then came 45-years during which the winning major powers only allowed us – and other Central European states – limited sovereignty. (…)
As a consequence, we are very sensitive about our entity and sovereignty and this is why we have the utmost respect for the feelings, attitudes and aspirations of other nations in a similar position. But we are worried about the visions of a Europe whose political future is one of a superpower, because the resulting uniformization would endanger all smaller languages, cultures and national identities. (…)
For the past couple of years Poland – along with Hungary and the other Visegrád states – has enjoyed a dynamic development and has been closing the economic gap separating it from the Western countries. Polish-Hungarian economic relations have also been growing at the same pace and both Poland and Hungary have recently estbalished foundations for the promotion of cultural and scientific relations. (…)
God bless Poland!
God bless Hungary!
God bless Europe and all of its states represented here!
Note: Jerzy Snopek (66) is a literary and cultural historian, distinguished university professor, translator and diplomat. He has published five books, two of which are on Polish-Hungarian relations and has been awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit.
Title image: Polish ambassador to Budapest presents his accreditation letter to Hungarian President János Áder on November 24, 2016 (MTI archive)