History UsefulNotes / Poland

27th Jul '16 4:52:05 PM Someoneman
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DuringTheWar, Poland suffered one of the most brutal occupation in the world (tied with Japan's occupation of Manchuria). UsefulNotes/TheHolocaust was carried out in Polish territory. The official start of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII is the Nazi Invasion of Poland which led to the declaration of war by Britian and France. The Poles [[DavidVersusGoliath fought brilliantly against overwhelming odds]], [[YouShallNotPass never surrendered]], and [[IShallReturn escaped to fight another day]]. The cavalry charging tanks was a myth, by the way; the incident that inspired this story involved a Polish cavalry division (actually mounted infantry, like most cavalry of the time, though with traditions and training) which routed a German infantry division but was counter-attacked by armoured cars. Additionally, while some Polish cavalry units ''did'' deliberately engage German armor, they did so dismounted while wielding [[BigFreakingGun anti-tank rifles]]. The Poles didn't take occupation lying down. As well as [[LaResistance organising a resistance movement]], tens of thousands of Polish men escaped from the country and [[GovernmentInExile made their way to Britain and France to continue the fight]], forming entire squadrons of airmen and divisions of ground troops. By the end of the war, there were ~250 thousand Poles fighting alongside the Western Allies, with another ~200 thousand aiding the Soviets. Suffice it to say that Poland had more than its fair share of AwesomeMoments during the period.

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DuringTheWar, Poland suffered one of the most brutal occupation in the world (tied with Japan's occupation of Manchuria). UsefulNotes/TheHolocaust was carried out in Polish territory. The official start of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII is the Nazi Invasion of Poland which led to the declaration of war by Britian and France. The Poles [[DavidVersusGoliath fought brilliantly against overwhelming odds]], [[YouShallNotPass never surrendered]], and [[IShallReturn escaped to fight another day]]. The cavalry charging tanks was a myth, by the way; the incident that inspired this story involved a Polish cavalry division (actually mounted infantry, like most cavalry of the time, though with traditions and training) which routed a German infantry division but was counter-attacked by armoured cars. Additionally, while some Polish cavalry units ''did'' deliberately engage German armor, they did so dismounted while wielding [[BigFreakingGun anti-tank rifles]]. The Poles didn't take occupation lying down. As well as [[LaResistance organising a resistance movement]], tens of thousands of Polish men escaped from the country and [[GovernmentInExile made their way to Britain and France to continue the fight]], forming entire squadrons of airmen and divisions of ground troops. By the end of the war, there were ~250 thousand Poles fighting alongside the Western Allies, with another ~200 thousand aiding the Soviets. Suffice it to say that Poland had more than its fair share of AwesomeMoments during the period.
Soviets.
14th Jul '16 9:13:25 AM Erpegis
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A note about noblemen's names - an old-style nobleman would list the coat of arms (''herb'') to which his family belonged as a part of his name. A gentleman Mr. Długoszowski may thus call himself "Wieniawa-Długoszowski" (as his family belongs to the Wieniawa coat of arms), or even "Długoszowski herbu Wieniawa". But as the nobility died as a social class, the coat of arms fell out of favour. Some people still use the hyphenated form nowadays, but it is a name like any other (ie. no ancestral castles to go with it). [[labelnote:Explanation]]To explain why does he do it this way, we need to bring up both the traditions of Polish nobility and the Roman naming customs. A coat of arms didn't belong to a single family, more like groups of families shared a single coat of arms. Think widely branched clan or something like that (adoption notwithstanding). So, while introducing himself he also lists his family's clan allegiance. The hyphenated form was inspired by the Roman convention of ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_naming_conventions tria nomina]]'', with the coat of arms standing for clan name ''nomen'' - and since it is handier if you want everyone to know about your family history (and in later times less pretentious), it gained popularity. Generally speaking, the more modern a setting, the lower chance somebody uses the "X of Y" form.[[/labelnote]]

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A note about noblemen's names - an old-style nobleman would list the coat of arms (''herb'') to which his family belonged as a part of his name. A gentleman Mr. Długoszowski may thus call himself "Wieniawa-Długoszowski" (as his family belongs to the Wieniawa coat of arms), or even "Długoszowski herbu Wieniawa". But as the nobility died as a social class, the coat of arms fell out of favour. Some people still use the hyphenated form nowadays, but it is a name like any other (ie. no ancestral castles to go with it). [[labelnote:Explanation]]To explain why does he do it this way, we need to bring up both the traditions of Polish nobility and the Roman naming customs. A coat of arms didn't belong to a single family, more like groups of families shared a single coat of arms. Think widely branched clan or something like that (adoption notwithstanding). So, while introducing himself he also lists his family's clan allegiance. The hyphenated form was inspired by the Roman convention of ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_naming_conventions tria nomina]]'', with the coat of arms standing for clan name ''nomen'' - and since it is handier if you want everyone to know about your family history (and in later times less pretentious), it gained popularity. Generally speaking, the more modern a setting, the lower chance somebody uses the "X of Y" form.[[/labelnote]]
[[/labelnote]] Double-barelled names returned after WorldWarII, where resistance fighters (and that included about 25% of survivors) often added their pseudonym to their full name, like general Bor-Komorowski.
13th Jul '16 8:55:30 AM Free_Rollin_BAMF
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Polish grammar is even harder than the pronunciation. There are thousands of rules, each with thousands of exceptions. Some (irregular) words do not obey any rule at all. Most meaningful words undergo inflection.

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Polish grammar is even harder than the pronunciation. There are thousands of rules, each with thousands of exceptions.exceptions (though generally a lot more consistency than most languages in general, and especially English). Some (irregular) words do not obey any rule at all. Most meaningful words undergo inflection.



In short, Polish language runs on ForTheEvulz. On the other hand however, Polish spelling is quite simple (almost phonetic) as compared to English (or traditional Chinese).

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In short, Polish language runs on ForTheEvulz. On the other hand however, Polish spelling is quite simple (almost phonetic) as compared to English (or traditional Chinese).
Chinese). Notably, the stress in Polish is consistent - always on the penultimate (second to last) syllable, or antepenultimate (third to last) for: first and second-person plural verb conjugations, and any words ending in -tyka. You can always tell exactly how a Polish word is pronounced based on how it's written, though, due to some redundancies among the characters, not necessarily the other way around.
13th Jul '16 8:33:54 AM Free_Rollin_BAMF
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On a side note, the word for "mr/mrs" is also the word for "lord/lady". Other Slavs (particularly Eastern) believe it says a lot about Poles and crack jokes about the Poles' delusions of self-importance.

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On a side note, the word for "mr/mrs" is also the word for "lord/lady". Other Slavs (particularly Eastern) believe it says a lot about Poles and crack jokes about the Poles' delusions of self-importance. \n (Funnily enough, the etymological origins of this tradition can easily be spun the other way around. Traditionally, the Polish peasantry in feudal times were not addressed with any honorific at all, where the English might use "mister," while the szlachta, or nobility (exceptionally large and inclusive compared to other European nations, including all legitimate descendants of its members and independent of any landed title, or lack of thereof), would be addressed either by title or by the common honorific, pan(i), the Polish equivalent of lord/lady. Partly because a modern Polish citizen holds basically the same social status as a member of the medieval szlachta, (i.e., voting rights and constitutional protections under the law, and not inherently much of anything else), and partly due to lacking any other way to formally address a social peer, (like the French "Monsieur"), the result was for the common people to adopt the term used by the former nobility, rather than the other way around, with the effect that now we seem really pretentious).



** Having said all that -- the history of Poland in the eyes of the Western world tends to be stereotyped in these two ways: either "ButtMonkey of Europe" or "[[IronWoobie plucky little country]]". In case the abridged story above doesn't make it clear: It's a modern stereotype. While history dealt Poland a particularly bad hand in the late 18th century, it was a master poker player before. Even then, it survived being disappeared by three superpowers for 123 years, and it can't really be blamed for getting the bottom deck of geographical borders as compared to other nations with large parts of water and mountainous borders to protect them.

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** Having said all that -- the history of Poland in the eyes of the Western world tends to be stereotyped in these two ways: either "ButtMonkey of Europe" or "[[IronWoobie plucky little country]]". In case the abridged story above doesn't make it clear: It's a modern stereotype. While history dealt Poland a particularly bad hand in the late 18th century, it was a master poker player before. before, having grown powerful and prosperous to become formally recognized as a Kingdom shortly after making its debut as a(n accepted) nation with its ruler's conversion to Christianity in the 10th century, and going on to grow into an economic and military powerhouse able to engage and emerge victorious from numerous conflicts with neighboring powers, including variously the Russian, Ottoman, and Holy Roman Empires. Even then, it survived being disappeared by three superpowers for 123 years, and it can't really be blamed for getting the bottom deck of geographical borders as compared to other nations with large parts of water and mountainous borders to protect them.
13th Jul '16 7:10:02 AM Free_Rollin_BAMF
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* ż (mira'''ge''', like 'dż', but without 'd', somehow may seem longer for English speakers; in transcription from Cyrillic this sound is rendered as "zh")

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* ż (mira'''ge''', like 'dż', but without 'd', somehow may seem longer for English speakers; in transcription from Cyrillic this sound is rendered as "zh")
29th Jun '16 10:30:36 AM Veanne
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Generally speaking, these dimunitives bear a strong resemblance to those used in [[RussianNamingConvention Russia]] but they're not used just ''as'' extensively and most of the time they seem to share a much closer bond with their original forms. The most cryptic it can get is the rare and optional ocassions when some of the initial and middle vowels are omitted (i.e. ''Helena'' turns into "Ela'' and ''Małgorzata'' becomes ''Gosia'') and the Russian level of obtuse (such as ''Sasha'' being dimunitive to ''Alexander'' or ''Alexandra'') is largely avoided.

to:

Generally speaking, these dimunitives bear a strong resemblance to those used in [[RussianNamingConvention Russia]] but they're not used just ''as'' extensively and most of the time they seem to share a much closer bond with their original forms. The most cryptic it can get is the rare and optional ocassions when some of the initial and middle vowels are omitted (i.e. ''Helena'' turns into "Ela'' ''Ela'' and ''Małgorzata'' becomes ''Gosia'') and the Russian level of obtuse (such as ''Sasha'' being dimunitive to ''Alexander'' or ''Alexandra'') is largely avoided.



Some popular names, their commonly used diminutives and English equivalents[[note]]There are no traditional {{Gender Blender Name}}s, feminine ending -a appears in masculine name form "Kuba" and in rarer names "Barnaba" (''Barnabas'') and "Bonawentura" (''Bonaventure''), but they are never used for girls; on the other hand, "Maria" ("Mary") is an exeptional female name that can be also used as a middle (second) name (never as a first name) for males, which is rarely practiced and often leads to an EmbarrassingMiddleName.[[/note]]:

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Some popular names, their commonly used diminutives and English equivalents[[note]]There are no traditional {{Gender Blender Name}}s, feminine ending -a appears in masculine name form "Kuba" and in rarer names "Barnaba" (''Barnabas'') and "Bonawentura" (''Bonaventure''), but they are never used for girls; on the other hand, "Maria" ("Mary") (''Mary'') is an exeptional female name that can be also used as a middle (second) name (never as a first name) for males, which is rarely practiced and often leads to an EmbarrassingMiddleName.[[/note]]:



There are also a few names like "Marek"[[labelnote:Translation]] Mark[[/labelnote]] and "Jacek"[[labelnote:Translation]] Sometimes incorrectly translated as "Jack", but actually came a long way through Old Polish "Jacenty" from Greek "Hyacinth"[[/labelnote]] that may look like diminutives due to the misleading -ek ending, but actually they are formal given names in modern Polish. Of course, said names can also have diminuitive forms ("Mareczek" for "Marek" and "Jacuś" for "Jacek" are common, for example).

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There are also a few names like "Marek"[[labelnote:Translation]] "Marek"[[labelnote:translation]] Mark[[/labelnote]] and "Jacek"[[labelnote:Translation]] Sometimes "Jacek"[[labelnote:translation]]Sometimes incorrectly translated as "Jack", but actually came a long way through Old Polish "Jacenty" from Greek "Hyacinth"[[/labelnote]] that may look like diminutives due to the misleading -ek ending, but actually they are formal given names in modern Polish. Of course, said names can also have diminuitive forms ("Mareczek" for "Marek" and "Jacuś" for "Jacek" are common, for example).



Important note: New given names are rarely created in Polish (they might be borrowed from other languages, often through popular foreign media, but this seems a bit awkward). If you'd rather not name your character something ridiculous, check if the name is used in Poland (eg. look it up in Polish version of The Other Wiki). Some names are less common than others, but you should be able to figure which are fine, a slong as you bear in mind that Polish naming customs seem to evolve significantly over relatively short periods of time. And so, while seeing that two Polish presidents elected in 1990 and 2005 respectively bore the name Lech might tempt you to think it might be an awfully popular name, you'd have a pretty hard time finding anyone called Lech among anybody born in the 1970s or later. Generally speaking, Polish society seems to be moving away from the traditional Slavic naming fashion faster than her Slavic neighbors; names like these are all but extinct among women and lose their popularity with men with each passing year.

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Important note: New given names are rarely created in Polish (they might be borrowed from other languages, often through popular foreign media, but this seems a bit awkward). If you'd rather not name your character something ridiculous, check if the name is used in Poland (eg. look it up in Polish version of The Other Wiki). Some names are less common than others, but you should be able to figure which are fine, a slong as long as you bear in mind that Polish naming customs seem to evolve significantly over relatively short periods of time. And so, while seeing that two Polish presidents elected in 1990 and 2005 respectively bore the name Lech might tempt you to think it might be an awfully popular name, you'd have a pretty hard time finding anyone called Lech among anybody people born in the 1970s or later. Generally speaking, Polish society seems to be moving away from the traditional Slavic naming fashion faster than her Slavic neighbors; names like these are all but extinct among women and lose their popularity with men with each passing year.
21st Apr '16 12:15:26 AM Jaro7788
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In short, Polish language runs on ForTheEvulz.

...On the other hand however, Polish spelling is quite simple (almost phonetic) as compared to English (or traditional Chinese).

to:

In short, Polish language runs on ForTheEvulz.

...
ForTheEvulz. On the other hand however, Polish spelling is quite simple (almost phonetic) as compared to English (or traditional Chinese).
Chinese).

There are, however, a few things about Polish that make this language a tad easier (or more interesting) to study. Despite the impressive number of its speakers, due to historical reasons, Polish has all but lost all its dialects save for a few minor ones. To put it simply, if three people were to have a discussion, one from Warsaw, one from Kraków, and one from Gdańsk, chances are that none of them would realize where the other two come from unless informed directly. In other words, once you have mastered standard official and colloquial Polish, you're all set to get the message across no matter where you go (and the people you will have trouble understanding will prove a hard nut to crack to native speakers as well). Moreover, Polish ortography is remarkably different from those of other Slavic languages which tend to get mixed up by beginners at times. Even if there are no peculiar Polish characters (such as ''ą'' or ''ę'') involved, if you see the letter ''w'' popping up a few times in an apparently Slavic text, you can tell with 99% accuracy that the whole thing's written in Polish.
20th Apr '16 11:58:28 PM Jaro7788
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Generally speaking, these dimunitives bear a strong resemblance to those used in [[RussianNamingConvention Russia]] but they're not used just ''as'' extensively and most of the time they seem to share a much closer bond with their original forms. The most cryptic it can get is the rare and optional ocassions when some of the initial and middle vowels are omitted (i.e. ''Helena'' turns into "Ela'' and ''Małgorzata'' becomes ''Gosia'') and the Russian level of obtuse (such as ''Sasha'' being dimunitive to ''Alexander'' or ''Alexandra'') is largely avoided.



Important note: New given names are rarely created in Polish (they might be borrowed from other languages, often through popular foreign media, but this seems a bit awkward). If you'd rather not name your character something ridiculous, check if the name is used in Poland (eg. look it up in Polish version of The Other Wiki). Some names are less common than others, but you should be able to figure which are fine.

to:

Important note: New given names are rarely created in Polish (they might be borrowed from other languages, often through popular foreign media, but this seems a bit awkward). If you'd rather not name your character something ridiculous, check if the name is used in Poland (eg. look it up in Polish version of The Other Wiki). Some names are less common than others, but you should be able to figure which are fine.
fine, a slong as you bear in mind that Polish naming customs seem to evolve significantly over relatively short periods of time. And so, while seeing that two Polish presidents elected in 1990 and 2005 respectively bore the name Lech might tempt you to think it might be an awfully popular name, you'd have a pretty hard time finding anyone called Lech among anybody born in the 1970s or later. Generally speaking, Polish society seems to be moving away from the traditional Slavic naming fashion faster than her Slavic neighbors; names like these are all but extinct among women and lose their popularity with men with each passing year.

There are middle names in Poland but, unlike in the East Slavic countries, these are optional and are one hundred per cent dependant on the parents' decision rather than their own names.


Added DiffLines:


Many female celebrities, such as politicians and journalists, will choose to retain their maiden names. Unlike the West, however, they rarely opt to get rid of their husbands' names completely, instead attaching their maiden names to that of the husbands', joining the two by means of a dash. This phenomenon is virtually unheard of among more than 99% of society though. That does ''not'' mean that ''every'' woman with a two-part surname is necessarily her invention as there are plenty of rather old last names consisting of two separate words.
20th Mar '16 9:31:26 PM JulianLapostat
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The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth has sometimes been likened to UsefulNotes/AntebellumAmerica since many of its leaders and rulers proclaimed freedom while still owning large ''folwarks'' (manorial plantations) of serfs. The period of the Commonwealth coincided with the Refeudalization of Poland and Eastern Europe. At the time when Serfdom was on its way out in Western Europe, and feudalism gave way to the UsefulNotes/TheRenaissance and the Early Modern Era, serfdom ''increased'' in Poland where peasants, who were formerly allowed to own land and given rights to travel, soon had their rights taken away from them. 80% of the population in the Commonwealth consisted of serfs who were bound to their manor houses, denied permission to leave and [[http://culture.pl/en/article/slavery-vs-serfdom-or-was-poland-a-colonial-empire who could be bought and sold]] at the whim of their masters. Since the Polish szlachta (Nobility) were reluctant to break up families and sell serfs (unlike slaveowners in the American South) this often meant that whole villages of serfs could be bought and sold by various nobles. The economic reasons for renewed and heightened serfdom was that Poland, a bread-basket region, relied heavily on grain exports to other countries, which combined with the lack of devolution of the artistocratic-military elite, meant that Poland still remained a classically agriculture-based economy at a time when the rest of Europe was starting to diversify. This meant a halt in the development of cities and towns, and a firm halt on the rise of the Polish middle classes. This paved the way for...

to:

The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth [[http://nonsite.org/article/forget-postcolonialism-theres-a-class-war-ahead has sometimes been likened likened]] to UsefulNotes/AntebellumAmerica since many of its leaders and rulers proclaimed freedom while still owning large ''folwarks'' (manorial plantations) of serfs. The period of the Commonwealth coincided with the Refeudalization of Poland and Eastern Europe. At the time when Serfdom was on its way out in Western Europe, and feudalism gave way to the UsefulNotes/TheRenaissance and the Early Modern Era, serfdom ''increased'' in Poland where peasants, who were formerly allowed to own land and given rights to travel, soon had their rights taken away from them. 80% of the population in the Commonwealth consisted of serfs who were bound to their manor houses, denied permission to leave and [[http://culture.pl/en/article/slavery-vs-serfdom-or-was-poland-a-colonial-empire who could be bought and sold]] at the whim of their masters. Since the Polish szlachta (Nobility) were reluctant to break up families and sell serfs (unlike slaveowners in the American South) this often meant that whole villages of serfs could be bought and sold by various nobles. The economic reasons for renewed and heightened serfdom was that Poland, a bread-basket region, relied heavily on grain exports to other countries, which combined with the lack of devolution of the artistocratic-military elite, meant that Poland still remained a classically agriculture-based economy at a time when the rest of Europe was starting to diversify. This meant a halt in the development of cities and towns, and a firm halt on the rise of the Polish middle classes. This paved the way for...
20th Mar '16 11:36:03 AM JulianLapostat
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** TheTeutonicKnights are bad. UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan is good. Poland had a historically close relationship with the UnitedStates after the fall of communism and one of her most loyal allies. Poles are, on the whole, less turned off by hawkish American politicians than the rest of Europe.
** Poland is one of the few countries outside France where UsefulNotes/NapoleonBonaparte is adored, due to his [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duchy_of_Warsaw restoration of the Polish state]]. Partial restoration, that is.
** Poles are quite insistent that Poland is [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial not in Eastern Europe, but Central.]] It's a geopolitical matter.
** Having said all that -- the history of Poland in the eyes of the Western world tends to be stereotyped in these two ways: either "ButtMonkey of Europe" or "[[IronWoobie plucky little country]]". In case the abridged story above doesn't make it clear: It's a modern stereotype. While history dealt Poland a particularly bad hand in the late 18th century, it was a master poker player before. Even then, it survived being disappeared by three superpowers for 123 years.

to:

** TheTeutonicKnights UsefulNotes/TheTeutonicKnights are bad. bad, UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan is good.good, Pilsudski is a hero and don't call him a dictator, even if he was one. Poland had a historically close relationship with the UnitedStates after the fall of communism and one of her most loyal allies. Poles are, on the whole, less turned off by hawkish American politicians than the rest of Europe.
Europe, and several Polish intellectuals eagerly supported the Iraq War.
** Poland is one of the few countries outside France where UsefulNotes/NapoleonBonaparte is adored, due to his [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duchy_of_Warsaw restoration of the Polish state]]. Partial restoration, that is.
is, though that was mostly because he was working the territory he had.
** Poles are quite insistent that Poland is [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial not in Eastern Europe, but Central.]] It's a geopolitical matter.and cultural matter, driven by resentment towards Russia.
** Having said all that -- the history of Poland in the eyes of the Western world tends to be stereotyped in these two ways: either "ButtMonkey of Europe" or "[[IronWoobie plucky little country]]". In case the abridged story above doesn't make it clear: It's a modern stereotype. While history dealt Poland a particularly bad hand in the late 18th century, it was a master poker player before. Even then, it survived being disappeared by three superpowers for 123 years.years, and it can't really be blamed for getting the bottom deck of geographical borders as compared to other nations with large parts of water and mountainous borders to protect them.



** It should also be noted that, despite the Poles being generally pretty conservative and not at all supportive of gay rights when compared to Western Europe, Poland is still much more gay-friendly than most of post-Soviet and post-Yugoslav states. It may partly stem from the fact that even the most traditional of Polish people would rather be associated with the liberal, developed Europe than with the backward, reactionary Russia.

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** It should also be noted that, despite the Poles being generally pretty conservative and not at all supportive of gay rights when compared to Western Europe, Poland is still much more gay-friendly than most of post-Soviet and post-Yugoslav states. It may partly stem from the fact that even the most traditional of Polish people would rather be associated with the liberal, developed Europe West than with the backward, reactionary Russia.East.




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* TheExile -- Polish artists in exile are a common trope in literature and life. Famous expat Poles include Chopin, Joseph Conrad and Roman Polanski.
* MeetTheNewBoss -- Poles tend to be quite bitter and cynical since almost any government inevitably uses, belittles and betrays them. They do have a point. There's a lot of grudges against Russia, Germany, the Western betrayal and so on. Inevitably people are disappointed by Solidarity too.
* MindScrew -- Polish history, is genuinely confusing for many outside observers to grasp (mostly because of how the map keeps changing all the damn time and mostly people wonder "what is Poland"). Polish nationalism on the whole is equally confusing mostly because the Polish after three hundred years of instability are themselves confused about it, and their movies, especially Skolimowski's and Wajda's reflect that confusion.
* LastStand -- Whether it's Kościuszko's doomed uprising, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, and the many other failed heroic attempts to resist or die trying, and they always do die trying.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=UsefulNotes.Poland