country in Central Europe

Poland, officially the Republic of Poland (Polish: Rzeczpospolita Polska), is a country in the eastern European Union. It is bordered by Lithuania to the northeast, Belarus and Ukraine to the east, Slovakia and the Czech Republic to the south, Germany to the west, and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast (a Russian exclave) to the north. Its capital and largest city is Warsaw.

After two years of traveling almost exclusively to Western Europe and the Middle East, Poland feels like a geopolitical spa. ~ Thomas L. Friedman


And said Poland: "Whoever comes to me, will be free and equal, because I am freedom." ~ Adam Mickiewicz
The soul of Poland is indestructible... she will rise again as a rock. ~ Winston Churchill
  • After two years of traveling almost exclusively to Western Europe and the Middle East, Poland feels like a geopolitical spa. I visited here for just three days and got two years of anti-American bruises massaged out of me. Get this: people here actually tell you they like America – without whispering. What has gotten into these people? Have all their subscriptions to Le Monde Diplomatique expired? Haven't they gotten the word from Berlin and Paris? No, they haven't. In fact, Poland is the antidote to European anti-Americanism. Poland is to France what Advil is to a pain in the neck. Or as Michael Mandelbaum, the Johns Hopkins foreign affairs specialist, remarked after visiting Poland: "Poland is the most pro-American country in the world – including the United States."
  • And said Poland: "Whoever comes to me, will be free and equal, because I am freedom."
  • But we cannot be blamed for not taking seriously people who, unable though they are to remember correctly any single fact from our history or to say which barbaric dialect we speak, are perfectly able instead to teach us how liberated we are in the East.
  • Cultivation, old civilization, beauty, history! Surprising turnings of streets, shapes of venerable cottages, lovely aged eaves, unexpected and gossamer turrets, steeples, the gloss, the antiquity! Gardens. Whoever speaks of Paris has never seen Warsaw. [...] Whoever yearns for an aristocratic sensibility, let him switch on the great light of Warsaw.
    • Cynthia Ozick, Jewish novelist and short story writer. Her character, Rosa Lublin, from Rosa (p. 21), Ozick, Cynthia (1989). The Shawl (A Novel and Novella). Alfred A. Knopf. 
  • Forbid it, England—by thine own great self,
    By thine own yet unviolated hearths,
    . . . .
    Let not thy minister go forth in vain :
    The fate of Poland now is at thy will;
    The Autocrat will hear and heed thy voice ;
    England, my glorious country, speak, and save!
    • Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1833 (1832) 'The Right Honourable Lord Durham – Now on an Embassy at the Court of Russia'
  • I have placed my death's-head formation in readiness, for the present only in the East, with orders to them to send to death mercilessly and without compassion, men, women, and children of Polish derivation and language.
  • There are few virtues which the Poles do not possess and there are few errors they have ever avoided.
  • I would like those Poles to come back. I would welcome all Polish people who went abroad. If only they could come back, it would be a great day for Poland.
  • [About Poland] A great nation, only the people are cunts.
  • NATO has confirmed that it plans to establish a storage facility in Poland for U.S. military equipment, including armored vehicles, ammunition, and weapons to arm a full brigade. A NATO official on March 23 told AFP that a report earlier by The Wall Street Journal that said the $260 million facility would be located in Powidz, some 200 kilometers west of Warsaw, was accurate. The WSJ quoted NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg as saying work on the site will begin this summer and take two years to complete. Since Russia’s annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014, Poland, the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia as well as other Eastern European states have expressed concerns about their security. The United States has deployed and rotated troops in the region since the Ukraine crisis began in an effort to deter Russia. NATO has also increased its presence near Russia’s borders. Stoltenberg told the WSJ that the storage facility would help "underpin the increased U.S. presence in Poland."
  • It has been said that Poland is dead, exhausted, enslaved, but here is the proof of her life and triumph
  • This homage has been rendered not to me – for the Polish soil is fertile and does not lack better writers than me – but to the Polish achievement, the Polish genius.
  • Poland is like an island on the north European plain. At times the island has been swamped by a tide of iron or steel helmets converging from Germany and Russia. At times it has drifted suddenly with the current; if the continent of Africa had drifted relatively as much as the boundaries of Poland have drifted in the last two hundred years, then Africa would at one time have touched the north pole and at another the south pole.
  • The Polish soldier is a marcher of extraordinary endurance.
    • Charles de Gaulle, as quoted in Warsaw 1920: Lenin's Failed Conquest of Europe (2008), William Collins, p. 105.
  • Quant à l'action qui va commencer, elle se passe en Pologne, c’est-à-dire nulle part.
    • As to the action which is about to begin, it takes place in Poland – that is to say, nowhere.
    • Introduction to the premier of Ubu Roi in Paris in 1896. Quoted in Jarry, Alfred; transl. Beverly Keith and Gershon Legman (2003). Ubu Roi. Dover Publications. 
  • The soul of Poland is indestructible... she will rise again as a rock, which may for a spell be submerged by a tidal wave, but which remains a rock.
  • Un polonais – c'est un charmeur; deux polonais – une bagarre; trois polonais, eh bien, c'est la question polonaise.
    • One Pole is a charmer; two Poles – a brawl; three Poles – well, this is the Polish Question.
    • Voltaire, quoted in Davies, Norman (1996). Europe: A History. Oxford University Press. 
  • We shall soon have the scenes of the Polish Diets and elections re-acted here, and in not many years the fate of Poland may be that of United America.
    • Charles Pinckney, speech to the U.S. Congress in 1800 about presidential elections. Quoted in Vile, John R. (2005). The Constitutional Convention of 1787: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of America's Founding. ABC-CLIO. 
  • Who only knows Latin can go across the whole Poland from one side to the other one just like he was at his own home, just like he was born there. So great happiness! I wish a traveler in England could travel without knowing any other language than Latin!
  • Wielka mnogość religii, które się w nich roją, zwłaszcza w Polsce, o której mówią przysłowiowo, że jeżeli ktoś utracił swoją religię, to niechaj jej poszukuje w Polsce, a znajdzie ją z pewnością. Jeśli nie, to będzie mógł uznać, że zniknęła ze świata.
    • Great wealth of religions existing, especially in Poland, about which they say that if someone has lost religion, let them search it in Poland and they will find it there, surely. If not, they are to think that the religion disappeared from the face of the Earth.
    • Sir Edward Sandys
  • With respect to us, Poland might be, in fact, considered as a country in the moon.
    • Edmund Burke, in a parliamentary debate about Britain's war against France. Quoted in Cobbett, William; John Wright, Thomas Curson Hansard (1817). The parliamentary history of England, from the earliest period to the year 1803. T.C. Hansard for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme & Brown. 
  • Через труп белой Польши лежит путь к мировому пожару.
    • (Cherez trup beloy Pol'shi lezhit put' k mirovomu pozharu.)
    • Over the corpse of White Poland lies the road to world-wide conflagration.
    • Mikhail Tukhachevsky, order of Russian invasion of Poland in 1920. Quoted in Davies, Norman (1996). Europe: A History. Oxford University Press. 
  • For two centuries, Poland suffered constant and brutal attacks. But while Poland could be invaded and occupied, and its borders even erased from the map, it could never be erased from history or from your hearts. In those dark days, you have lost your land, but you never lost your pride. So it is with true admiration that I can say today, that from the farms and villages of your countryside to the cathedrals and squares of your great cities, Poland lives, Poland prospers, and Poland prevails. Despite every effort to transform you, oppress you, or destroy you, you endured and overcame. You are the proud nation of Copernicus—think of that—Chopin, Saint John Paul II. Poland is a land of great heroes. And you are a people who know the true value of what you defend. The triumph of the Polish spirit over centuries of hardship gives us all hope for a future in which good conquers evil and peace achieves victory over war. For Americans, Poland has been a symbol of hope since the beginning of our Nation. Polish heroes and American patriots fought side by side in our War of Independence and in many wars that followed. Our soldiers still serve together today in Afghanistan and Iraq, combating the enemies of all civilization.
  • Poles cherish a heroic image of themselves, unshared by and little known in the outside world. One of their self-glorifying images is that of the defiant Pole. According to the Polish version of history, the Czechs allowed German occupation and the Poles resisted. The Czechs accepted communism in 1948 and the Poles resisted. The Poles rebelled in 1956 and supported the uprising in Budapest, while the Czechs said nothing and remained loyal to Moscow. Poles recall the fact that they sent a food shipment to support the Hungarian rebels, but the trucks had to pass through Czechoslovakia, where they were stopped. In the complicated pecking order of central Europe’s national images, Poles say that in 1956 “the Hungarians acted like Poles, the Poles like Czechs, and the Czechs acted like pigs.” Now the Czechs, whom the Poles had sneered at under Novotny’s Stalinist anachronism, were becoming the vanguard communist nation, the one to be followed. “It was surprising to see the Czechs ahead of us. They were supposed to be the opportunists and cowards,” said Eugeniusz Smolar.
  • An independent Polish state should be erected which should include the territories inhabited by indisputably Polish populations, which should be assured a free and secure access to the sea, and whose political and economic independence and territorial integrity should be guaranteed by international covenant.

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