Tag Archive for Poland

Nowa Huta: A Story of Catholic Culture and Courage

Shortly after the Nazis were driven from Poland by the Soviets, the communist masters of the new People’s Republic of Poland commenced construction of an industrial city outside of Krakow, Poland’s cultural and intellectual capital.  It was to be a tribute to the socialist ideal of order and perfection, as the proletariat and farmer were to flock there to enjoy the state-provided parks, apartment buildings and employment at the factory.  The name given the town by the typically imaginative communists:  The New Steel Mill, or in Polish Nowa Huta.  Through a combination of curiosity, perceived opportunity and a bit of

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Kung Fu, Apostate-Style

As soon as I read the Catholic World Report article linked within Timshel’s comment on the May 28 post about rogue bishops, a name mentioned in the article began rattling around in the foggy recesses of my memory:  Hans Küng.   I finally remembered and located the reference to this long-time dissident.  In researching the communist period in Poland I had previously read the following passage in a journal article on this notable period of modern Polish history.  Pardoning the length, here it is: Yet many devout Catholics, both within and outside Poland, were beginning to lose sympathy with the position of

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The Role of Polish Mathematicians Against Nazi Germany

A while ago I wrote a post about the role of Poland in defeating the Soviet Empire by virtue of the strength of the Church there.  Little did I know then that Saint Casimir had actually been involved in smashing the Nazis as well, by virtue of his patronage of the Polish people and thus of mathematician Marian Rejewski. While watching a documentary on WWII with my son recently, we awaited a segment that had be teased earlier about a “secret weapon” that the British had, which turned out to be the team at Bletchley Park who worked to decipher

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Poland’s Place In Defeating the Soviet Empire

In the course of collecting material for a personal project, I’ve discovered the amazing and unique bulwark against atheistic communism that Poland represented during the Cold War.  Despite having been fought over (and through) for centuries, the Church and the Polish state were completely intertwined for the first one thousand years after its conversion in A.D. 966.  The post-WWI Polish constitution exerted religious freedom for all, but nonetheless proclaimed Catholicism as the favorite due to its demographic advantage.  During World War II, the Church was attacked and devastated by the Nazis.  Three million Polish Jews were killed in the six

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