Wednesday, January 4, 2023

A Snotty Article from Poland Mocking Polish Americans


A Polish website has published a snotty article mocking Polish-Americans. The author is Marta Nowak. The article is stupid and unkind. 

Nowak operates from her conviction that she is "authentic" and Polish-Americans are "inauthentic." 

Nowak is upset that Polish-Americans don't speak Polish language well. She is upset that Polish-Americans cling to Polish food as comfort food and as an identifier. 

She is upset that Polish-Americans dance polka. She does not want them to dance polka. 

Marta Nowak, here's a news flash for you. Polish-Americans are not inauthentic versions of people born in Poland. There were *not* born in Poland. They are authentic versions of Polish-Americans. 

More: we really don't need any more ridicule. 

And here's another fact for you. Yes, I make mistakes in Polish language. Guess what? Every one of my Polish language teachers were Poles born in Poland. And most of them -- with one exception -- were the absolute worst teachers I've ever had in my life, in any subject. 

I used to teach English language overseas and in the US. There are good ways to teach a language. 

Poles, at least in my experience, are not aware of *any* real language teaching methods. 

You can read Nowak's misguided contempt here.


  1. Jan Sliwa about "Bieganski" and "Sophie's Choice"

    1. Sliwa's review from 2015. "The reviews I read suggest there exist two different books with the title."

  2. belongs to AGORA.

  3. I'm not quite sure what to think about this - what the writer's intentions are. I have come to think that any group that involves Poles of any kind getting together to talk about Polish issues will attract both attackers and policemen. But I am not quite sure what is going on here. What she says would probably be true of every emigrant group as the two groups inevitably diverge.

    I found going back to the UK after 25 years working abroad quite strange in some ways. It was not the country we left, even though we visited family and friends at least once a year during that time.

    But there is another factor that may be at work of course, and that is "the spirit of the world" which works to divide us and set us against each other. So this article my simply be intended to divide Pole from Polonian. We don't need to let it succeed of course.

  4. Every year Western journalists and activists look for antisemitic banners during the Independence March, Warsaw, Novemeber 11. Here is Orlando, Florida

  5.,pobierz,5594,d45fa622085e94760f448065ee67e8c0/IZPP422022online-1.pdf Assymetry of compensations granted to Polish citizens...

  6. My comment is too long so I have to split it.

    1. When I saw this article, which was published in the popular Polish website, „“, I felt very uncomfortable. I had a jumble of thoughts and had to wait two more days to sort them out.

    Well, apparently nothing special happened. In the United States, a certain group of people is active on Facebook. And in Poland there is a young, certainly intelligent woman who laughs at these people.

    Ms. Nowak, probably looking for material for a new article, joined this group as a member to see what they were writing. After getting acquainted, she decided to make fun of these people in public. Very uncool.

    Of course, there is no academic level. As in most groups on Facebook, because academic discourses are conducted in other places. As for me, I am on Facebook in a group of people who exchange photos of old Poznań. History professors are not interested in us. They might even laugh at us, because they have access to all the archives.

  7. 2. However, I was surprised that „“ suddenly became interested in some group overseas whose members share the fact that they do not want to break away from their Polish roots. Perhaps it was even the case that the parents, grandparents and great-grandparents of these people, i.e. generations of Polish immigrants, wanted to become fully Americanized as soon as possible so that they would not be laughed at, and it turns out that the next generations do not want to cut themselves off from their Polishness. And that's very good.

    What does it mean that they're doing it maybe a little incompetently so far? It's nothing, because maybe in a year or two they'll go to a Polish language course somewhere, maybe they'll go on holiday to Poland with their family, maybe they'll send their children to study in Krakow. Maybe one of their children will start studying Polish philology, and then they will be able to pass on knowledge about Poland, its culture and history to wider social groups. It's good that people are looking for their roots, it's a good sign!
    We should help these people, not laugh at them!

  8. 3. In my humble opinion (I am writing as an ordinary citizen, I am neither a scientist nor a journalist, etc.), Ms. Nowak's article reflects a broader phenomenon. Firstly, it is the result of cultural changes that began in Poland in the 1990s, when Poland was given a chance to develop as a democratic country. But then, unfortunately, the misunderstood freedom of speech and expression slowly began to creep in, the border of freedom of speech was often crossed, the other person could be hurt and offended. Derision has become a common stylistic device.

    For a longer time, many contemporary media have been trying to propagate the model of a new Pole - a "conscious" Pole (whatever that means) who should understand that faith in God is superstition and that the Church, especially the Catholic one, is evil. These "new Poles" should reject tradition, should reject Polish martyrology and recognize that during WWII Poles were not victims, but rather perpetrators. He should be absolutely politically correct, he should rather have no respect for his history and the ignorant people around him. He should even cut himself off from the culture and traditions of his ancestors. He should be ashamed of it.

    A very good way to get it is by derision and devaluation. After all, who wants to be laughed at?

    Sometimes I wonder why these people write like that. Do they do it out of pure calculation in order to "exist" faster, to receive support? Do they do it out of aversion to Polishness, not realizing that it is an aversion to themselves? Or maybe because they want to belong to the progressive elite and cut themselves off from the "simple people" from which their ancestors come?

    Admittedly, I myself believe that our Polish society is still a bit immature, which still needs to cover many topics, which still needs to learn some things. Let us remind ourselves, however, that it is only for 32 years that we have been able to develop freely as a society. Other societies have had it for centuries.

    1. yes I talk about the 'new pole" you mention here:

    2. The AGORA does exactly what you write.

  9. 4. So, I'll come back to the group I Love My Polish Heritage just for a moment.
    Members of this group were probably born in America after their grandparents or great-grandparents came to America from Poland. In one of the photographs, a T-shirt with the Polish national flag, the Polish eagle, and the inscription: BUSIA - THE WOMAN - THE MYTH - THE LEGEND is presented against the background of dumplings. This t-shirt expresses great love for grandma, who wanted to give all of herself out of love for her grandchildren. Who loved them, cared for them, stroked their heads and whispered warm words, cooked for them and fed them. Busia. Babusia. Babcia. A grandmother who wanted to give her grandchildren what is most precious in her. These „pierogi“ or stuffed cabbage are an expression of love for the country that grandma or her ancestors left long ago, an expression of longing. Because while grandma was putting a piece of pierogi in her mouth, she could close her eyes and move in her mind to those places she missed. When cooking dumplings for her grandchildren, grandma puts not only her whole heart into them, she puts all of herself into them.
    And her grandchildren can appreciate it. Love for dumplings is a sign of love for grandparents, it is an expression of respect for them and respect for tradition, an element of which is always also the culinary tradition.

    These „pierogi“ are not just stuffed dough. All the love of the universe is expressed in these dumplings. Even if I don't know how to spell it.

  10. Some city historians describe Polish peasants as primitive and cruel. They ignore the terrible past of serf agriculture, which in Russian part of Poland finished at the same time Afroamericans were liberated in the USA. PLM, Peasants Lives Matter! Galicyjska nędza created mass emigration. The most terrible was 'export' of young Jewish women

  11. My great-grandmother's brother, Andrzej Szczupakowski, emigrated ca. 1888 with his young wife from the Prussian part of Poland to Michigan. After a few years, she changed her name to Andrew Shuppert. After Poland regained independence in the 1920s, he came to Poznań with his young daughters. They could not speak Polish at all. But because they wanted to communicate with their cousins, they taught them to dance the foxtrot.

    Ever since I read Danusha's book, I feel like following the fate of this part of the family again. Maybe now I can find out more.

    I've read on the Internet about Zwi Migdal. How terrible is that.

    1. There is a novel,p1128867469,ksiazka-p , which describes the world of human traffickers in Kraków. It's fiction but based on research.

  12. Three Minutes - A Lengthening A three minutes of 1938 Jewish Nasielsk. Not only this world was destroied by the Germans. The whole pre-war Poland, especially the city of Warsaw, totally destroied, people murdered or expelled.

  13. A cute case of internalized Polonophobia.

  14. "III Reich economy", an IPN exhibition, the pictures shows popular German labels supported by Nazi state, who used slave workers and have paid only symbolic support to their Polish vicitms.


Bieganski the Blog exists to further explore the themes of the book Bieganski the Brute Polak Stereotype, Its Role in Polish-Jewish Relations and American Popular Culture.
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