By Zbigniew Wojcik
- Untrue statements about Poland in Polish Heritage Center at Panna Maria, Texas
1.1. Accusing Poland of expelling millions of Germans at the end of WWII. In July 2022, I took a trip to the Polish Heritage Center at Panna Maria, organized and scheduled by the Convention of the American Council for Polish Culture (ACPC), held in San Antonio, Texas. One of the exhibits in the Center accuses Poland of expelling millions of Germans at the end of WWII. The exhibit entitled ‘REFUGEES, EXPULSION, RELOCATION (Fig.1) says: “… Poland ultimately expelled four million of five million Germans who had not already fled west. …” Not every visitor would know that it was the Soviet Red Army, who, at the end of WWII, pushed Germans west and then the Soviet authorities governed its occupied territories. Poland did not have its own independent government at that time. Poland only switched hands after WWII: Poland found itself under Soviet occupation. After WWII, the Polish puppet government was nominated by Moscow, and this way all orders made on the territory of Poland were the Soviet Union’s decisions enforced by their military presence in Poland. The Soviet Union did many atrocities under Stalin’s iron hand. The accusation that Poland expelled Germans after the second world war should not be presented as a part of the Polish Heritage Center. More emphasis should be put on the barbarian treatment of Poles by Germans during WWII though. Instead of antagonizing Germans against Poles by making untrue accusations, a statement about the Katyń massacre of Polish officers, which was ordered by Stalin during WWII would be a better illustration of crimes committed on innocent Poles by both Germans and Russians. By the way, there were Germans who uncovered the massive graves in Katyn and let the world know about the Soviet Union’s crime.
Fig.1 Exhibition in Panna Maria Polish Heritage Center telling that Poland expelled millions of Germans
1.2. A big Polish city, Białystok, is located outside of Polish territory on the map prepared by the Polish Heritage Center, see Fig.2. Białystok is a Polish city.
Fig.2. Białystok, a big Polish city, located outside of Poland on the exhibit in Panna Maria
1.3. Lech Wałęsa, found to be a communist agent by the National Resemblance Institute (IPN), is depicted as a Polish hero. On June 7, 2022, during the meeting in Houston organized by Polonia with top IPN representatives, the president of IPN, K. Nawrocki admitted in public that it is beyond any doubt that Lech Wałęsa acted as a paid secret communist agent during the Cold War. IPN is the top historical institute in Poland, studying communist crimes. See also literature [4,5,6,7] on the topic. Interestingly, even Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Pope John Paul II greeted the communist agent Lech Wałęsa who pretended to be a great Polish patriot . Why was Wałęsa’s agential game important to keep it alive and even to reward it by Nobel Price? Read the literature attached for explanations, especially , because nothing else can explain well the contradiction between Wałęsa’s version and the historical truth stated by the IPN and its professors.
For instance, the historical truth is, that the most significant event in the Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk in Aug 1980 was not just the workers’ protest. It was a communist provocation directed by the communist agent, Lech Wałęsa [5,7]. Anti-communist protests were growing in Poland after the first visit of Pope John Paul II in 1979, and the communists had to control them. The total control through their man, Lech Wałęsa, was the solution . The massive killing of workers was avoided, compare this event to the massacre in Gdańsk in December 1970.
The exhibit in Fig.3 tells that Walesa was detained. Historical study show , that on Dec. 13, 1981, Wałęsa was transported from his apartment to a government palace in Chylice near Warsaw . Top communists in Poland told him he was on an invitation by the government . Then, he was moved to the government palace in Otwock, and then to a luxury hotel in Arłamów, the southeast part of Poland. There were no limits on visits. During about 11 months of stay in Arłamów he consumed, sometimes alone, hundreds of bottles of alcohol and over 1000 bottles of beer. He was surrounded by government service people, not by prisoner service or police. Compare this Walesa’s detention to six days of continuous torture and finally murder of the true hero, Father Jerzy Popieluszko, who truly opposed the communist rules in Poland . Walesa declared his support for the communists multiple times. The Arłamów style detention was the process of fabricating the “legend” about Lech Walesa , accepted currently by the Panna Maria Center as evidence that Walesa was the national Polish hero (Fig.3). Communism is a very sophisticated system.
- Deliberate ignorance of the historical study completed by the National Resemblance Institute (IPN)
Many people in America and in Poland like the confusing legend about Lech Wałęsa, not the historical truth. There are also strategic political reasons for ignoring the historical truth about the uncomfortable Wałęsa’s past. Below are the circumstances of collecting material for this article and explanations of the political reasons for ignoring historical findings of the IPN.
A Polonia club in a big city in Texas delegated me for the ACPC Convention. I attended the Convention and then I wrote a report. The club rejected my report in which I described the findings about the exhibit with Lech Wałęsa, despite the main bylaw specifying the objective and purpose of the club: “to encourage and further knowledge of Polish history, … current affairs, and local events… through any and all appropriate means.” The club’s bylaw also specifies the duties of the club Directors (I play this role): “Perform any and all duties imposed on them collectively or individually by law, by the articles of incorporation, or by these bylaws”.
Fig.3. Exhibit in Panna Maria promoting Lech Wałęsa’s story, not Polish National Resemblance Institute (IPN) version of the historical truth on the communist agent known as Bolek
During a Texas club meeting in Aug. 2022, I was stopped when I was talking about Lech Wałęsa. My audio was disconnected so that other Directors of the club meeting could not further hear my speech. The club’s President admitted that she pushed the button and then reprimanded me for telling the historical truth about this well-known Polish politician. This action discouraged and disturbed the distribution of knowledge about current affairs, specifically about the historical exhibition at the Polish Heritage Center in Panna Maria.
In my report from the Convention, I attempted to further my knowledge about historical exhibits in Panna Maria that differed from the official historical knowledge which resulted from the study by the National Resemblance Institute (IPN), a top Polish historical institution, and no mention was available in the Polish Heritage Center that the IPN’s historical version is very different. Disconnecting my speech from the audience is a violation of the underlying club’s bylaw. The president also violated the US Constitution protecting the freedom of speech.
What is the true political reason for this Polonia club’s attitude? Why telling truth in a Polish club about Lech Wałęsa’s past is forbidden? Why a Polish club violates its own basic objectives listed in its bylaw?
Before the club’s meeting, I wrote to the vice-president a message with my clarifications of the problem I saw in Panna Maria, and she replied. The vice-president’s explanations only deepen the conspiracy. My message was:
“A very strong political campaign is underway to build the German Empire under the name of the European Union. A lot of people living in Poland want to be the inhabitants of Europe (read the German Empire). The whole political opposition in Poland under the direction of Donald Tusk is an enemy of Poland because of working for the construction of the German Empire.
Current tensions about funds that Poland should receive from the Union are aimed at forcing Poland to accept Germany’s supremacy. For that purpose, there are pressures on the activities of Polonia organizations abroad to gradually eliminate the sense of people of Polish origin to the cultural heritage from their country of origin, because as far as I know, Poland’s foreign affairs are conducted, among others by the Senate, which is controlled by the opposition.
People reading information about Lech Wałęsa, who know the truth given by the Institute of National Remembrance, can be disgusted not only with Wałęsa but also with Poles recognizing the communist agent as a great national hero. There is evidence that Wałęsa gave up patriots to persecute by communist torturers and took money for it.
Hence the financial contribution of Poland to the Center of Panna Maria is, I think, focused on making the exhibition with a dubious historical value, for the construction of the future German Empire. Has this political background influenced the content of the exhibitions? Is this a political speculation? The facts are and they should be explained. Should we be afraid of the truth?”
The Polonia club activist replied. Here is the excerpt of the activist’s answer: “Zbyszek, I know all this, and I agree with the merits. I disagree with the methods. If I preached my views to the right and left, I would never have been running a magazine dedicated to Polish culture outside the country for so many years, and I am the editor-in-chief of Polish writings abroad for 19 years. I would lose energy on a political fight, not work. I would never create such a great archive of Polish culture abroad, which is served to scientists and to researchers. I would have enemies at every step I make. And, as Młynarski sang, ‘I just do my own’. Truth is one thing and diplomacy is another. One will reach out further by working diplomatically without burning out all bridges behind. …”
As I understand, the Polonia activist knows everything about the mechanisms of struggles to include Poland in the future German Empire and does everything to be a significant part of the new European power. Panna Maria organization also needs funds from Poland and gets support, not for free.
Interestingly, also the organization ACPC promotes the untrue Lech Wałęsa’s legend by assisting him during his visit to America (compare Fig. 4).
Fig.4. ACPC President assisting Lech Wałęsa during his visit to America. No information about historical study findings by the National Resemblance Institute that Wałęsa was the paid communist agent working against the Polish people.
- Missing Polish History Library in the Polish Heritage Center
I live in Texas and have heard about the library and archives in Panna Maria. A few friends of Polish origin donated to the Center a lot of books on Polish history and culture. The Polish Heritage Center’s Library & Archives was not presented during the ACPC trip. This library would promote Polish traditions and Polish history, there is no obvious reason to hide it.
During the ACPC Convention, I heard a great speech delivered by the Consul General from Houston. The Consul proposed a network of cooperation of the Polish Heritage Center in Texas with Chicago, Milwaukee, and other similar places to keep Polish culture thriving in America. The library would be a good starting point for the Consul’s proposed network of cooperation of Polish Heritage Center Texas with other similar places. Archives could be shared through the Internet. As no information about the library was passed to ACPC during the trip, the participants were not given an opportunity to provide ideas about possible future usage and popularization of the library.
Instead, the trip involved the show of longhorns, the bulls existing in Spanish/Mexican agriculture, not a Polish one.
Panna Maria Heritage Center can be a strong point in the future if it is directed and operated wisely without exhibiting anti-Polish accents, despite the fact that too many Polish organizations operating in America are far from promoting the true history of Poland as researched by qualified Polish professors and institutions, as evidenced by promoting Lech Wałęsa as a Polish hero without even mentioning any controversies (see Fig.3).
. T. Lindsay Baker, “The Polish Texans”, The University of Texas, Institute of Texans Cultures, San Antonio, 1982.
. T. Lindsay Baker, “The First Polish Americans. Silesian Settlement in Texas, Texas A&M University Press, 1996.
 Sławomir Cenckiewicz “Wałęsa, Człowiek z teczki” (“Wałęsa, the man from the folder”), Zysk i S-ka Wydawnictwo, 2012.
 “Wałęsa, also known as “Bolek”. Communist Terror in Poland under the Shield of Solidarity”, by Zbigniew Wojcik http://poloniainstitute.net/recommended/walesa-also-known-as-bolek/
 Zbigniew Wojcik, “Slaying the Soviet Beast. A True Story about How the Cold War was Won. What Next”, Liberty Hill, 2019
 “The Polish Heritage Center in Panna Maria, Texas, is of World Significance for All Polish Immigrants”, by Zbigniew Wojcik, 2020, http://poloniainstitute.net/polish-diaspora/the-polish-heritage-center-in-panna-maria-texas-is-of-world-significance-for-all-polish-immigrants/