Propaganda and Deception: A case study of Poland’s anti-Communist insurgency, 1944-1963



I'm so sorry i live by two points at leesburg and on K Street I met first Colonel Mosby and then I don't know who is fighting here it's daunting I have to turn around I'll make it as brief as possible because i have about five hours of material to tell you about so i'll try to boil it down in a acceptable format today we'll talk about well it'll be a case study of communist propaganda but the background to it is anti communist insurgency the movie you're about to see is based on yes the movie you're about to see is based on a book with the same title by years angielski the story of the book is very simple the head of the secret police Yakub Memon called in a formerly nationalist writer and said redeem yourself write a book here's a file from the secret police and write a book so according to the story a righteous decent wonderful communist provincial governor was assassinated by a deluded ill informed and confused former Home Army fighter hamari was wartime anti-nazi underground after the war elements of it continued the struggle in the movie the movie the book came out in 1947 serialized and then it was published in 1948 by 1950 even though as a book was welcomed by the communist authorities and the author received a great accolade for his work by night in value by 1950 the book was not Stalinist enough even though you have various proper and vignettes of evil London ability now dispossessed by the communists who serve as bartenders and waitresses in a reactionary restaurant where the proprietor sleeps with a fiance of a communist worker killed by the reactionary bandits meaning the anti-communist resistance that was not good enough by 1950 following 1956 which was a huge break with many of the Stalinist practices in particular open and master a the communist government tapped on GV de a director and said well make a movie a movie based on the book but make it now about more of a reconciliation let the insurgents be still deluded and a wrong on the Communists pretty and nice eh but make things urgent's more human not beasts like you know for the past 11 years or so when I was a kid I only watched the movie because of a couple of scenes one scene in the bar famous scene where the Home Army underground fighters remember their friends who had fallen in battle and they light up a moonshine glasses and and slide him to one another pronouncing the names of those who had been killed that's one scene which really gives me goosebumps the second scene is about interrogating captured insurgents by the secret police and there is a scene or perhaps an 18 year old kid who falsely in them in the movie and in the book is described as the son of the righteous communist proven so governor who gets assassinated a when he's interrogated by the secret police an officer asked him so how old are you and the kid says 100 so the secret police slaps him and says and now and the kid responds 101 because he had been through the war had been in the forest fighting the Nazis and then the Communists as all decent human beings should have been doing and so that's all as a kid that I could relate to everything else was repulsive to me was obvious communist propaganda but in a very subtle way very artistic way that's why artists are so insidious because they can penetrate your soul I will not tell you how yes if they want to do it to nefarious ends I will not tell you more about the movie you'll see it yourself instead I'll tell you the true story Stanislav coach its key the hero of the anti hero of the movie he was in the anti-nazi underground during World War two with gray ranks those are Boy Scout under ground troops he was in the forest as a guerrilla fighting in in July 1945 his underground squad which had returned from the forest and secret itself in the city of kilter received an alarm call alarm alarm there is a robbery since the Communists didn't have too many followers and since they were incapable of setting up any form of a government and the communist leader vadis of goo mukha admitted in May 1945 without i quote without without the Soviet troops would be gone in a day since they didn't have a government the home army continued fulfilling various functions aside from freeing prisoners bound for the gulag aside from assassinating secret policemen and bumping off red army is a home army also performed police functions so they are this particular alarm when the when the squad was called to assist occurred because there was a robbery of a house of a private residence so a kid a ten-year-old or a twelve-year-old ran to a neighbor and the kid new than a neighbor was with the underground the alarm went out to help out the kids parents who were being robbed by unknown perpetrators so the squad Harry hurried to the rescue and this kid this particular soldier this is his picture at the time was shot at and he returned fire and killed one of the robbers the rest fled lo and behold it was the provincial governor communist provincial governor his name was young forum yacht not only that he had been with the NKVD Soviet secret police he had been parachuted into Poland was a part of the Communist tiny communist underground and because he was then appointed as provincial governor he decided to get himself a suit because he didn't have one and since he was used to the Communists were Hayes he went and attempted to wrong one this is not what the movie is all about you will see what the movie was all about but that is the background story to the movie I repeat a secret police top supervisor Yakub Memon provided a file of this to a very gifted writer who lied and then the lie was perpetrated by vida huh I'm sorry Oh nationalist rider action Wow okay this is how the Communists bought people that's how they co-opted them that's how they made people prostitute themselves and that is how they lied to everybody else okay so that is the story by the way the kid this kid stan is rothko shitski survived he went into hiding the Communists caught him I think oh he was arrested and he was in jail and then shouted and he died as a general but at that time he was a captain attacked the jail and freed the entire prison this fellow this particular insurgent officer later spent time in jail with my father so I knew about this I didn't know exactly about Stannis rothko jet ski but I knew about the jailbreak Sonny's wife koshi ski changed his name and he was not captured by the Communist until nineteen fifty-seven when he went to jail and then you know he was in trouble but not as much as he would have been back in 46 47 etc he survived he lived long enough to see the fall of communism then he was interviewed by journalists who thought it was impossible then the journalists hit the archives as journalist usually don't but this one did and he said oh my goodness this is all a lie and what you will see is all a lie a lie that was supposed to do what Stalin like to say about himself and his people especially poets artists and writers they are engineers of human souls then the better the arch appears the more insidious the intention and I want you to enjoy the movie but before you enjoy the movie I'll flip through a couple of pictures so you could appreciate armed anti-communism here it is the history of anti-communism starts with pre-revolutionary times but it really explodes during the Bolshevik Revolution and its aftermath this is a white poster white meaning white russians monarchists next to it is general board-allahabad general Bullock Bala haulage was a great raider and anti-communist read leader of the whites and he focus in particular on Belarus so right now Belarusian opposition to Lukashenko or parts of the opposition defy him he is their great hero when the Soviets a when the when the nazi's attacked east in 1941 everywhere from Tallinn to Odessa there broke out an anti communist uprising there was a general uprising and general slaughter unfortunately most of the top Soviets managed to free so in many cases those insurrection of those interact insurrectionary activities turned against Jews and they started killing Jews as alleged Soviet collaborators okay here you have techniques in Serbia techniques and others fought against the communists in Yugoslavia there were several kinds of chetniks the ones we see depicted are followers of Colonel Dragic mihailovic who was a pro-western royal gorillas of the Serbs not to be confused with Serbs Serb Chetniks who collaborated with the Nazis they all dress the same sometimes they even had the same insignia so she didn't know we were dealing with that's what it was it here is on the other side of the inter Miriam Estonia oops cheers unfortunately let me just it skipped the end cheers okay here's Estonia the last insert insurgent in Estonia anti-communist insurgent was killed by the KGB in the field in 1978 there were hardcore people he was in the forest since 44 yes we just refused to surrender he lived off the land and the locals who shared food with him at great peril whoever helped was shipped to the gulag or shot so he as you know guerrillas have to have local support otherwise they don't survive by the way this was a KGB picture of an attempted arrest which didn't work out he fought a here are some faces of Polish armed and they communism from nineteen nineteen and so this is a commanding officer of my great grandmother's brother who was a sergeant cavalry sergeant in the first cracovia t Lancers regimen here is a well friends of my family in the self-defense of Vilna lon that's Colonel Yazoo dombrovskis outfit Oh paske he was possibly the ugliest officer in the Polish army didn't talk much but you didn't want to be on the other side of him here is a major yavor skis guerrillas in what is now you crying the post-soviet were the only time in history that the red army was defeated in the field some of the co architects of the victory this is a captain Cooper and major fountain Roy Americans from US Army Air Corps they volunteered to come to Poland after after World War Two they were hanging out in Paris and they launched the most successful a Polish Air Squadron they were cofounders of the Polish Air Force you all should know these guys our polish chair bears their son this is what we have this is kosciuszko sites man for cornered hat now all of you know who Cooper is right he produced King Kong and he said in his memoirs a beast from the east attempting to seduce the innocent maiden of the West and the garland pilots right to the rescue it's the Polish Bolshevik war for goodness sake Miriam Cooper his great-grandfather had been an adjutant to general kissimmee Pulaski who founded US Cavalry during the war for independence who died at Savannah I think in nineteen seven in 1778 at Brandywine kissimmee parts is seeing that the British were about to kill George Washington did an eminently polish thing and charged at all against the Brits and they balked which was very unusual in as you know infantry with bayonets is usually well prepared to meet a cavalry charge but this time they bolt and George Washington wanna was able to survive the battle of brandywine anyway so Cooper thought he owed the polls because they came to America Pulaski in Kosciusko and others not seeking commission or anything but to fight for freedom so he thought he figured they were crazy i'm crazy i happen to be in europe there i'll go and now kill some Bolsheviks will all have fun and that's exactly what he did in 1939-1945 the pollen that's how world war two started many Polish units fought a tool cornered war interchangeably against the Nazis and the Communists one of the most famous one is this olympian olympic champion he was a writer major Henry dobzhansky who bought his squadron stayed in the field from September 1939 until a april nineteen forty when it was destroyed by the Nazis but the squadron started out fighting the Soviet when the Soviets returned the poles who had been fighting the Nazis immediately switched into the anti-communist mode active anti-communist mode and they began resisting this is the map of the anti communist uprising a in Poland as it became after 44 under as a Soviet colony please note the intensity and if I if I showed you a map of voting patterns in Poland all of these areas vote staunchly conservative until this very day that used to be Germany and these areas with optimized populations tend to vote left and liberal see see the new president was elected mostly in the south and east poland was in the only country of course it was anti-communist resistance everywhere here is hungry the only problem is that hungary was an axis country and most people who were in the anti-communist resistance had been pranati not so in Poland in Poland there is no inferiority complex the poles are equal opportunity haters they hated starving and Hitler just like anybody decent shooter here is communist propaganda the Giant and the expectorated dwarf of reaction which is and it says Home Army on the door and this is a communist soldier super new photos by the secret police they had just shot two underground soldiers you see his pants are ripped the guy who's holding them he was later executed the pants are ripped because when they ran out of ammunition and they were still fighting the Communists sent in dogs to get him another souvenir picture this is a push to kuna 1949 and you guys stop the war ended in may 1945 in Europe there is another 1953 they're all secret police archives soooo week and here is a friend of my grandmother and my grandfather they were in the underground together major will posco executed in 1949 I'll stop here there are very many stories each picture has a story I could tell you for five hours or so this one is very significant she was a combat medic of major will Pasco of the previous guy of this guy she was a combat medic with his unit her father was shipped in the gulag and he died her mother was executed by the Germans when she was 14 so she was sworn in her mother's stead into the underground she didn't she she remained a she remained outside of the unit she was when she was 14 she would deliver bandages and supplies and carried messages from time to time but generally speaking she was in local she was at home and was not involved in fighting in june nineteen forty-five no July 1945 hair whereabouts became known to the communist secret police there was a general bust her boss she was working as a typist at a foresters house her boss was arrested oh he was with the underground too she was arrested a bunch of other people as they were being escorted to be shipped off to the gulag major will pass cause even attacked wiped out the Communists freed the prisoners and she had no place to go so she became a combat medic she made a mistake during one of the firefights and I think may 1946 danke Shh hakuna it patched up a wounded communist policeman two months later she was in the dice in support more precisely on the Baltic Sea coast and she was recognized and arrested the trial took three days she refused she didn't break down under interrogation she was tortured horribly she was 17 her last letter from jail to her grandmother was please tell my grandmother that I did the decent thing which means she didn't break down and then she was executed she was killed before she was i before she turned 18 she also refused to ask for clemency she was hardcore and there are more people who were killed by the communists each one has a story that included kids this by the way this one on the right hand side spent 25 years in jail communist J after he was captured their priests who were underground Chaplin's oh here's a friend of my family he was dropped from England as a commando and fought the Nazis then he fought the Communists and was eventually executed by the communists in 1949 this guy was arrested in 1959 this is a picture from his arrest you have some other guys even Mountain yards in southern Poland hardcore this is Captain organ this guy Fellig Salman ovitch was also a in the same underground outfit as my grandparents he's a polished Tatar saline Salman ovitch yes and he was killed by the communists together she was he was executed together with that girl inka they were caught together Sigmund behav it was a year which is still alive in Arizona he freed the convoy where the girl was and and here is a my step-aunt GG on him of thats actually her husband who was a commando he brought out his gorilla brigade he was a chief of staff and they hooked up with General Patton 1500 young men and women they hooked up with General Patton and General Patton of course told the Soviets off he wouldn't turn the polish girls over to the communist and here is another friend of mine another commando I grew up with him his stories he passed away in not so long ago so he lived to see the fall of communism he was very hardcore mariyaan going be asking a great fighter and here is the fellow when I volunteered for Afghanistan he was my commanding he was supposed to be my commanding officer and a foul Gangan ovitch was ten years old when the Germans killed his mother in Warsaw bombing wars in 1939 then his father took him to warsaw uprising in 1944 his father was killed and the kids stayed on the ground when he was 14 eh he survived the uprising against the Germans later he set up his own underground group and they would write anti-communist graffiti the group consisted mostly of war orphans it was an underground anti-communist group but the secret police in the ruins of Warsaw decided was the best thing to put paid to put paid to tagging was to shoot at those kids well those kids were war orphans so they had weapons they started shooting back that went on until nineteen fifty when the secret police showed up in his on his door steps he was warned retrieved his to Colt revolvers got under a train lay down on a break of a train and travel west he made it to Berlin then he reported to the Americans turned in his weapons then he was sent to Bavaria where he attended a cadet officer school of the Polish army in exile under General Anders and at the same time he was trained as a commando by the Americans his task was to be the first wave in case a general Eisenhower's electoral promise liberation rollback and liberation would come true it didn't so after 1956 the outfit was dissolved rafa became a French teacher he loved literature someone he was training to be a commando that was the degree he got in addition to his military skills in nineteen sixty or so Africa went up in flames congo so he went to joseph chambas embassy a in belgium joe moses samba samba was pro Westing of all the forces fighting there and he said well I'd like to help you against the communists I'd like to help you against the communists and they said sure polls are not colonialist so you're very welcome and he fought in the Congo he almost got check avarra he didn't know that I didn't know that we found out from communist archives after nineteen ninety disclose Jay fled to Tanzania because Rafa wiped out his outfit then he fought for the king of Saudi Arabia and his last caper was the head of the Foreign Legion to fight in Afghanistan which didn't work out at any rate well there are other people who were tortured by the secret police and didn't give up that one actually yoga was very this is a very sad case she was pregnant a secret police kidnapped her because she was a wife of OGG on francesc accretions named major orchards young one of significant regionally significant insurgent leaders kiss secret police kidnapped her and stand let her out of the car and a secret policeman named sue produce order in the head killed her it wouldn't be anything worth mentioning because this was a daily occurrence in Poland under in the early stages of communism but after 1989 when a with Bill Clinton's help and State Department helps State Department's help a Poland elected post-communist crush nevsky to be president the president decided to give a high metal decoration to that particular secret policeman so we decided to remind everybody what his background was a okay here's another here's my grandmother she was arrested by the Gestapo November 43 held until 44 never broke down she was arrested by the NKVD in May 45 released in August August 45 i have her interrogation records didn't give him anything he and then she was arrested by polish communist secret police same story except she was unwell and she brought me up so it must have rubbed off anyway here is a root touch-up risk I helped out when she accused a secret police officer of torturing her the the secret policeman would stand one would stand on her chest others would hold her hands and they used a lead chipped whip to beat her on the crotch so she would talk oh yes when anybody wants to say anything about how Americans torture terrorists I would like to read I would like them to read the paper I wrote about commun secret communist secret police torture techniques have you heard cool american way of dealing with terrorists called walling that's when you put someone against the wall and yell at him there are some more people well there were insurgents and here's what I found in my County that I studied for my dissertation this guy was caught in 1961 in a bunker so one of the last insurgents a many of them committed suicide rather rather than surrender this one when he broke through a secret police dragnet there was just him and his son and twelve hundred troops secret police troops so when he broke through the dragnet his son was wounded he killed his son and himself do you know why well because the secret police tended to catch people torture them and usually most people ninety-five percent or men may be 98 from based on my studies it would reveal the names of whoever had helped them so if an insurgent was caught it could lead to the arrest of about 400 human beings that means your kids would be taken away from you and put in a communist orphanage to be indoctrinated you'd be in jail your house would be leveled and you'd lose all your property for feeding insurgents that's why suicides suicides were not that uncommon and here's this is what many of them wore on their on their uniform across and Our Lady and here our executioner's she ended up valina ended up in Oxford oh yeah Stephanie he ended up in Sweden his brother runs Poland's a largest left-wing liberal daily called gazeta wyborcza here is another guy Stannis Robb Zara kozhara kofsky doll live well huge pensions huge houses everything is hunky-dory Adam Homer that's the dude who was who was beating a root touch-up link on her crotch that's the one he's the only one we really got meaning we found documents he also killed murdered while torturing my friends uncle a who was an underground newspaper editor so Adam Homer is still around anyway but things have gotten better re-enactors took this picture of a dude dressed in an NKVD uniform they always stage battles and do anti-nazi and anti-communist of their movies songs we won't go into it I just want you to know the background song songs more songs and we've been able to retrieve this from the secret police archives this is another badge insurgent barge maybe I'll play one for you so have one more minute to have to run back to cut the same way I came 60 miles the class because i have closet to soccer fans and doesn't i don't think it'll work see soccer hooligans unfurled banners it says apologize for your brother and for your father and son this is the editor of Poland's largest leftist newspaper those are messages that soccer hooligans sent so the memory is back and if it weren't for well actually Ronald Reagan is a pope Margaret Thatcher and basically America fighting the Cold War and even caring none of this would have come out it would have been just within my family and then only some none of this would have found gotten out we wouldn't have own the origins of the movie you're going to see the dinosaurs are always invited to marches by the kids always and honored always just like here you know we honor the vets November 11 memorial day chew at any rate without freedom none of this would have come out who wouldn't have known that the head of the secret police made a very talented nationalist catholic author write a book of course the guy didn't have to be a swine and he could have said no money then he would not have been given a nice paycheck he would have been given a shovel and sent to the gulag so those those are the choices a very gifted director that vidas and you will see in one second movie would not have made this propaganda movie but you see that's all the walls and that's all that was permitted because there was no freedom once there is freedom all of this comes out the truth will always out thank you very much

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