POLISH PROFILES: The Land, the People and their History by Antoni Gronowicz

POLISH PROFILES: The Land, the People and their History

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An effusive, sentimental ode to Poland--the land, the poetry, the unvanquished spirit of the people. Gronowicz, playwright and novelist (An Orange Full of Dreams, 1971; The Hookmen, 1973) left his native land in 1938 and returned 25 years later to see his aged mother and to marvel at the Socialist reconstruction of the state. His adulation is, to say the least, uncritical, and everyone from the poet Adam Mickiewicz to Gomulka is in his galaxy of patriots and heroes. Part I is a brief overview of Polish history from the 17th-century reign of Jan Sobieski under whom Poland reached her peak of ""political and cultural splendor"" to the travails of the 18th century when Prussia, Russia, and Austria between them partitioned the benighted country off the map. In Part II Gronowicz records his joy and wonderment at returning to the tiny village of his forefathers. He finds the people friendly, the universities thriving, the housing projects in Warsaw spotless, and the theater flourishing (""in Poland culture is for everyone""). He admires the 3,200-room Palace of Culture--a gift from the Russians--and even the sparrows seem superior to their ""smaller and thinner"" American cousins. The only sour note in the idyll is Gronowicz' persistent mistrust of Germany. Polish nationalism having repeatedly suffered from the German Drang nach Osten, he is suspicious of Germany's remilitarization and fearful of the specter of a Fourth Reich.

Pub Date: May 24th, 1976
Publisher: Lawrence Hill