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No. 215 April 2022


translation Marek Dyba
images Wojciech Pacuła

No 215

1 April 2022


SO, IT’S WAR! As of today, all other matters and issues become less important. We put our entire public and private life on a special track. We have entered the war period. All the efforts of the nation must go in one direction. We are all soldiers. We only have to think about one thing: a fight to the victory".

HESE WORDS ON SEPTEMBER 1st. 1939 at at 6:30, interrupting the scheduled radio program, were used by ZBIGNIEW ŚWIĘTOCHOWSKI on the Polish Radio informing the public about the beginning of World War II. We know them because for years they were the leitmotif of the celebrations of the anniversary of its outbreak. Today they are true for our neighbors, the Ukrainians. One nation was attacked by another. This war is waged under the slogans of "liberation" and "self-determination." And they are delivered by a man who did everything to destroy these qualities in his own country, to strangle them and - preferably - forget about them.

It is THEM today, WE could be next, we should not delude ourselves, as we heard it expressed by the ruler of the Kremlin. Much now depends on the reaction of the world, above all the USA, NATO and the European Union. The first steps have already been taken, but something tells us, that it is not enough, that it is too slow, that it should hurt! We don't know how it will all turn out, but we do know that we are largely powerless. We can help as much as we can, put pressure on our councilors, deputies, representatives, that the Polish state, local governments, etc. to do something about this matter. However, it is a high politics, so we feel that it does not depend on us.

And so the sparkle of revenge lights up in us. What is the easiest way for us? - Turning away from the Russians, canceling everything Russian from the public space. We feel an almost physical hatred towards Russian-speaking people and - this is its extension - towards everything Russia-related, including the culture. It is not for me to judge what is good and what is bad, the more so because I am sitting safely - for now - at home, I have something to eat, I have electricity, water and gas.

However, I would like to point out that the aggression of the Russian state is not the same as the aggression of the Russians, or at least not entirely. Right now, in a moment of emotion, it is difficult to separate these two, but let's try to think of it this way: if we wanted to erase the culture of the aggressor countries, the countries where war criminals came from, we would not listen to Bach, Beethoven and Wagner on the one hand. on the other hand, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich, we would not read Mann and Dostoyevsky, and the entire culture of Japan should be plowed and forgotten by us.

The Russian culture cannot be erased from our mental space, from our culture. It is impossible to throw away from the Polish language the words, and often whole expressions, that have grown into us and which we consider to be "ours", with the famous „koniec końców” (in Polish) being a carbon copy of the Russian "в конце концов". We will not stop listening to Russian composers, Russian artists, we will not burn books originally written in Cyrillic. People are not the same as the state, no matter what the nationalists of all countries try to convince us of.

I will say even more, this is the time to listen to music and read literature. Culture relieves anxiety and minimizes stress. And sowing fear, frightening people is the main goal of all those, all autocrats of this world. Let’s not give them this satisfaction. Let's do our job, let's live - as much as possible - normally, not forgetting about Ukraine and the Ukrainians. After successive crises, this is another one in which music can save us, at least when it comes to our psyche. So let's listen to it as much as possible and as often as possible, as we will therefore be stronger.

On Thursday, February 24 at approx. at 5 am, the state border of Ukraine was attacked by Russian troops from Russia and Belarus. Let's remember this date. This is the first European war in the twenty-first century and, in addition, extremely dangerous, because the aggressor is a nuclear power. Let me repeat: today it’s THEM, tomorrow it could be US, therefore there is no more THEM and US, WE are all in this together, we are all US ...

Chief editor

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