The power of museums not only at night

They say that history is life’s best teacher. Of course, as long as the unruly students themselves don’t want to lecture him. The Long Night of Museums, which awaits us on May 14, will allow many people to look back and reflect on the past, which we generally like to embellish or tend to humiliate. Although in our part of the world we still refer to belonging to a Christian civilization in love with our neighbor, we can, contrary to popular understanding, boldly call it the civilization of death. After all, the conversion of the “pagans” was largely done at first not by benevolent teaching, but only by fire and sword – if I may use the expression of the well-grounded Henryk Sienkiewicz in Polish consciousness.

The British Count Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), bringing together in his exceptional personality all the traits of a sage, very rightly affirmed that “in all periods, from Constantine to the end of the 17th century, Christians have been more cruelly persecuted by other Christians than before by the Roman emperors. Russell – an excellent mathematician, philosopher, publicist, social activist, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature – will probably agree today that this proportion did not stop in the 17th century. That is why the majority of Orthodox Russians attack Ukrainians representing various branches of the Orthodox Church, and the Catholic Pope – instead of launching actions that could end it, he only adds oil to the fire. And he promises to pray fervently for both sides, without even announcing that he has deleted newly converted adventurer Vova Putin from his Facebook friends list. Would Putin be allowed to engrave on the buckles of military belts the German words of the Hitler era translated into Russian – Gott mit uns?

Russell’s statement at the beginning reminds me of a truth that a friend from this nation told me about the Jewish people. She said that, contrary to what we goyim believe, Jews are in no way in solidarity with each other, because if there is a conflict of interest, there is no greater enemy of a Jew than another Jew. There are many examples, and one of the most drastic is the utter indifference of the wealthy American Jewish community to the poor Semitics who came to the United States from Europe to save themselves from the extermination initiated by Adolf Hitler. New York croissants had their poorest…brothers. The former Speaker of the Knesset, and later Israel’s Ambassador to Warsaw – Shevah Weiss – is therefore correct in saying that there are no completely bad or completely good nations, there are there are only good and bad among them. And Józef Piłsudski, experienced like anyone else in reconciling people from different countries, at one point got unduly irritated with the Poles and said: “a wonderful nation, only whores”.

Should the same be said of Russians today? Adam Mickiewicz – if he had lived – would he still write a section To Friends of Muscovites in the third part of Dziady? Faced with staunchly anti-Russian sentiments, would he put touching words to paper: “Where are you now? Ryleev’s noble neck – which I hugged like a brother, tsarist phrases – Hangs in shame, tied to a tree; Woe to the peoples who murder their prophets.”

About a month ago I published an interview in “Pass” with a Russian couple from Moscow who, protesting against the war started in Ukraine by Putin, only miraculously escaped from his paws and came to Warsaw . This couple, as well as their sons, no longer return to Russia. Should they also be treated as Ruthenian wanderers? Will we never sing the ballads of Włodzimierz Wysocki or Bułat Okudżawa again?

There would probably be plenty of people ready to burn down the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, which was originally named after Soviet dictator Józef Stalin, a Georgian by the way. And the Palace of Culture and Science is also a kind of museum. It is architecturally imposed on us as part of the compulsory Russification at all levels, which is imposed on the satellite nations around the USSR. My generation of Warsawers, however, have no bad associations, as not being thrilled with the architecture of the building, we eagerly used it for practical purposes. The most famous artists from all over the world have performed in the congress hall; at the restaurant Kongres, the editors of Przegląd Sportowy organized the Sports Champions Ball; at the Dramatyczny Theater, Friedrich Dürrenmatt himself admired the way his play “Romulus the Great” was staged at the Drama Theater of the Palace of Culture and Science, and the direction of Ludwik René and the brilliant interpretation of the role principal by Jan Świderski were an artistic experience that I will never forget. Great sports talents in swimming and jumping in water developed in the youth part of the Palace, Władysław Komar took his first steps in boxing, and Irena Kirszenstein, who was to become the best athlete and the best athlete in the world under the name of Szewińska, was still educated in the art of … acting. . Thanks to the language courses organized in the Palace of Culture and Science within the framework of the Wspólna Sprawa cooperative, I was able to learn English as a child, which was not part of the school curriculum.

I share these few thoughts as a man who inherited from his parents the will to help others. They saved a sympathetic Jewish couple from being shot, I now give a roof over the head of the twenty-seventh Ukrainian with young children, who managed to escape from war-torn kyiv on March 4 . A guest at home, God at home – it was once used in Poland, when it was not yet known what an accordion could be used for. It is all the more regrettable for me now to conclude that the initial enthusiasm with which the Poles began to help Ukrainian refugees and refugees seems to be waning. Also in Ursynow. And it’s not the end of the war, which can also affect us in a moment…

Leave a Comment