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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » July 13, 2016
Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation
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From the Publisher
July 13, 2016   
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Understanding how Poles feel about Germany and Germans is impossible for anyone who lacks a Polish cultural and historical background. Whenever Poles talk about their country’s relations with Germany, the discussion takes a special angle, even though it has been 25 years since Poland and Germany signed their landmark treaty of good neighborly relations. For years, Poles used to think of Germany and Germans as their eternal enemies, despite the fact that, historically speaking, good cooperation with their western neighbors outlasted any conflicts. But when conflicts did happen, they were utterly horrible. Germans were involved in robbing Poland of its statehood and responsible for the deaths of millions of people in this country. They certainly earned their reputation as merciless enemies and hardly any little boy in Poland wanted to play as a German in backyard war games.

Just 30 years ago, any talk of friendship between Poland and Germany sounded like pure fantasy to Poles and Germans alike. Then came the first attempts and symbolic gestures such as the memorable handshake by Poland’s first noncommunist Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl in the Polish town of Krzy¿owa. And then, Poland and Germany realized they had a lot in common in terms of business and politics, and all of a sudden, opinion polls on respect and friendliness changed radically. The notorious German phrase Polnische Wirtschaft (literally “Polish economy”) for bad planning and poor management is losing its derogatory meaning in favor of the idea that things in Poland are in good order.

Published with the financial support of the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation.

Wydano z finansowym wsparciem Fundacji Wspó³pracy Polsko-Niemieckiej.

Herausgegeben mit finanzieller Unterstützung der Stiftung für deutsch-polnische Zusammenarbeit.

Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation, 37 Zielna St., 00-108 Warsaw.
More at www.fwpn.pl
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