Saturday, August 1, 2015

Californian Dealer Attempts to Interpret the 1944 Warsaw Uprising

Dealer Dave in distant California fancies himself as an expert on the modern history of central Europe - just as long as it discredits the past and modern inhabitants of the region. He attacks Poland in particular because it is the country where one critic of the antiquities trade lives (Here for example). How small-minded can one get?

On my PACHI blog, I wrote a post yesterday ('There is a City') about an annual commemoration which takes place in my city at five o'clock on 1st August, every year to celebrate the outbreak of the 63-day Warsaw Uprising.. This means a lot to my family and I, as it does many Poles living here whose family members - like mine - were involved in the War and the Uprising. Mr Welsh dishonourably dares to attempt to subvert the deep meaning of this to turn it against me.

Welsh (pinching my title) says: "the Warsaw Rising is one of the lesser-known conflicts of the war [...] The struggle has been largely forgotten outside Poland", ... which is precisely the reason we in Warsaw commemorate it today (and why I frequently mention  that commemoration on my blog as a piece of living heritage). There is a spanking new and imaginatively - organized museum in the city centre that every visitor to Warsaw  should go if they want to understand it. 

The Uprising today is many things to many people, still the subject of controversy and conflicting claims and interpretations (Mr Welsh by the way in his account follows that of the local Extreme Right). I am castigated for not having presented to my readers several features of that complex background which Welsh thinks I should have written about. His argument is a strained one. I, not he, decide what I write on my blog and how long and detailed any particular post is to make the point I want to make.
The topic of this particular post was remembrance concerning the Uprising. In an afterthought, I linked that to my thoughts on another feature of the history of Warsaw under Nazi occupation, the deliberate destruction of cultural property by the German occupier which relates to the running theme of my blog.

Basically, it is not the purpose of my blog (any more, I imagine, than it is within the normal remit of a hate-blog called "Ancient Coins") to give lectures on the entire modern history of any particular country. This is why I was not particularly concerned to give the historical background to when and why an event in August and September 1944 broke out, known after all, to the majority of people who are even a bit familiar with the history of this region. There is much literature (and, as Mr Welsh shows, a wikipedia page in English) on the topic. Providing a full historical bibliography or analysis was not my purpose in showing a moving video of people standing in silence in the very city centre, written and posted before I myself headed there this year. There is in what I wrote no "distortion of the record by suppression". I presented a video about what happens in "a city", and not a post giving the whole history of the Second World War and associated diplomacy in Poland and surrounding countries. To suggest I am suppressing the significance of the 'Katyn' massacres and their political fallout and some US airdrop (which missed its target anyway) because I did not mention them under the video is just nastiness. There is no other word for the smear campaign this coin dealer is engaged in.

Far from being a symptom of any (alleged and totally illusionary) "far-left-wing mentality", my post was and is a brief text on people standing in the streets commemorating war heroes. The same war heroes which Dave Welsh denigrates by trying to discredit them and the country they fought for. Shame on Classical Coins. Shame.