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41. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Witold Kieżun Virtuti Militari
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During the 1944 Warsaw Uprising Witold Kieżun served in the Home Army’s “Harnaś” [Highlander] Special Unit. During an assault on the Polish Post he personally took 14 Germans prisoner, seizing large quantities of arms. He also singlehandedly damaged a German tank in the district Wola. A unit under his command captured the parish office of the Holy Cross Church and a heavy machinegun, and was the first to enter the city’s police headquarters, where it seized another heavy gun.During the Uprising Witold Kieżun was decorated with the Cross of Valor, he also received the Virtuti Militari from the hands of the Home Army Supreme Commander.
42. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Andrzej Tymowski, Mark Znidericz “…and She also is Not Here”
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The story of a boy soldier who loses a leg in the first days of the Warsaw Uprising. His bitterness at being unfit to fight is steeped by his helplessness to prevent the Nazis massacring the wounded in the hospital to which he was brought. His only source of consolation is his nurse Liljanka.
43. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Stefan Bałuk Home Army Paratroopers in the Warsaw Uprising
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An account of the Home Army’s elite paratrooper unit, formed at the outset of the war under orders of General Sikorski. The article recounts the unit’s formation and subsequent operations.
44. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Tadeusz Targoński, Zbigniew Prokopiuk Arm in Arm with Death
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Description of painful experience in the Warsaw Uprising of an 18-year-old corporal of the 1st Polish Army which participated, together with the Soviet armies, in seizing the right-bank part of Warsaw. Together with a part of his regiment he supported the dying out Uprising in the district adjacent to the Vistula. The author cast in his lot with the most dramatic history of the Uprising.
45. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Stefan Morawski, Maciej Bańkowski Selected Frayed Memories (Aug. 2–Sept. 6, 1944)
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Recalling his Warsaw Uprising days after years and from a considerable distance, Morawski reflects on human behavior during the fighting and the degree to which it was justified, simultaneously wondering whether humans had the right to take the lives of other humans. He also dwells on the erroneousness of memories recalled after years. The text is full of critical reflection on the Uprising and human attitudes during the battles.
46. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Walter Jajko The Warsaw Rising from the Contemporary American Perspective
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Sixty years is a sufficient lapse of time to examine dispassionately the Warsaw Rising of 1944. The Rising is one of the several exceptionally destructive tragedies that indelibly stamp Poland’s struggle for survival from 1772 to 1989. The Warsaw Rising is also a major milestone in European and World History, having affected what became the superpower balance of power. During World War II, Anglo-American diplomacy vis-à-vis Poland was an inept combination of pretense, self-delusion, and deceit, dishonesty added to betrayal. The US conspired in consigning half of Europe to captivity. As a result, Russia, not the US, won the war in Europe. The destruction of the Warsaw Rising by Germany, facilitated by Russia, had long term, evil consequences. The destruction of Poland’s political and intellectual class finished the Underground State as an existing alternative, democratic government. The destruction of the Home Army prevented armed opposition to Sovietization. The defeat of the Rising was the primary, initiatory, and necessary antecedent to the Sovietization of Eastern Europe. The capture of Poland ensured the half-century-long impoverishment of half of historic Europe, for whose social, economic, and demographic consequences we will be paying for years to come. The capture also ensured the moral and ethical impoverishment of half of Europe, which will take generations to set right.
47. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Stanisław Nałęcz-Komornicki, Anna Tchórzewska Cadet “Storm Wind”
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In his short stories describing tragic events during the Warsaw Uprising the author, himself a participant in the fighting, recalls fallen comrades, particularly cadet “Storm Wind”. This concise tale paints a moving picture of the insurgent’s heroic stance and the horrors of war.
48. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Bronisław Troński Notes of an Insurgent
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This running account of the fighting shows the complex circumstances that surrounded the Warsaw Uprising and its tragic finale. The author recounts the frontline atmosphere, the fighting frequently taking place between two floors—even two rooms—of one house, the scant living space and the terrible air-raids on hospitals and clinics. A look back at sixty-three days in which superhuman courage and sacrifice walked hand in hand with fear and dejection.
49. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Wiesław Chrzanowski, Magdalena Grala “Who Needed That Sacrifice?” (An Interview with Wiesław Chrzanowski)
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An interview with Wiesław Chrzanowski, a member of the Home Army’s “Gustaw” unit. Chrzanowski recounts the political situation in Europe at the time and the Soviet Union’s and Allies’ stance towards the Warsaw Uprising. He is also critical towards the uprising’s commanders, who launched it without adequate preparation.
50. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Andrzej Krzysztof Kunert, Maciej Bańkowski Colonel Ignacy Matuszewski Remembers the Warsaw Uprising
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Two important essays on the Warsaw Uprising, both written in distant New York, the first completed after the Uprising’s October, 1944 fall, the second shortly before the second anniversary of its outbreak and days before the author’s death. They came from under the pen of Colonel Ignacy Matuszewski, before the war a member of Poland’s ruling elites and during the war years a leading journalistic voice for Poland’s independence (the poet Jan Lechoń even called him “the Mochnacki of the post-September émigré community”).Both texts belong to the most important Warsaw Uprising accounts and contain a personal note—the title’s “Mewa” (seagull) was the codename carried by Colonel Matuszewski’s 25-year-old daughter Ewa Matuszewska, a Home Army medic who died in the fighting.
51. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Wieńczysław J. Wagner A Bad Dream or Cruel Reality? Some Thoughts on the Origin, Developments and Aftermath of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944
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The traditional German policy was to “push to the East”. After signing a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union, Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, and the Red Army entered the Polish territory on September 17.The German occupation was marked by terror and executions. A resistance movement was developed, and along a secret government and underground army came into being. It was organized by officers who were not taken prisoners of war and by main political parties. The German retaliation—arrests, tortures, concentration camps—did not deter the Poles from joining the patriotic conspiracy.For about five years, the nation waited for a proper moment to fight the occupants. For the city of Warsaw, it seemed that the good time was the middle of the summer of 1944. The Germans were retreating on all fronts, and the Red Army was on the suburbs of Warsaw, on the right bank of the Vistula. It was expected that it would help the insurgents.The Uprising was intended to last a few days. It ended after more than two months, when the Home Army had no more bullets, and the population—no more food. An honorable surrender was signed with the Germans, by virtue of which the insurgents were treated as allied soldiers rather than bandits to be executed, as was the case at the beginning of the Uprising.
52. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Ignacy Matuszewski, Maciej Bańkowski Warsaw’s Final Days
53. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Jacek J. Jadacki, Aleksandra Rodzińska-Chojnowska Thinkers with Brave Hearts
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After recalling the fact that many Polish philosophers participated in national insurgences of the 18th and 19th centuries, the paper presents the philosophical standpoint held by representatives of the lost generation of Professor Władysław Tatarkiewicz’s pupils, killed during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. The main features of this standpoint were: optimism, realism, creativism, and, first of all, patriotism.
54. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Aleksander Gieysztor, Ewa Gieysztor Introduction to the Conference “The Meaning of Polish History”, Royal Castle, Warsaw, November 4, 1988
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The State and the nation belong to the ideas created by the common consciousness, and at the same time, as a true forma formans, have connotations to the world of predominance, influencing the reality. There exist such strong connections, that their understanding is an intellectual duty of those who research nowadays the social links and try to explain them to the contemporary audience.
55. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Michał Pohoski, Maciej Bańkowski Towards the Uprising
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An account of a mission to help the Warsaw insurgents by Home Army soldiers from Mińsk Mazowiecki, a small town near Warsaw, and from the county of Mińsk. The mission was called to a forced halt and disarmed by the Red Army, depriving the Warsaw insurgents of the help they needed so badly. Eventually, many of the participants of the mission were sent to the labor camps in the Soviet Union.
56. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Jerzy Pelc Soldiers of the Uprising
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The author looks for ideological reasons for which the Poles joined the military organizations. On the basis of his own experience, he attempts to establish a relation between the political attitudes of the Poles and their decision to join respective (right wing or left wing) military units that fought during the war. He states that in many cases the main factor in the decision to defend the country was the heart and not the reason. Political preferences of the young and politically inexperienced soldiers were of little importance in the process of deciding under which banner to fight.
57. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1/2
Art Stawinski Truth in Myth and Science
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We humans are a curious species. Of all the life forms that inhabit the earth, we alone strive to make sense of the world in which we find ourselves. For thousands of years we understood the world through stories. Our ancestors told stories of how the world began, how our people originated and came to be at this place, and how those people across the river or beyond the mountains came to be where they are. Some stories were of animals and plants in our neighborhood, and their powers to help us, feed us, or cure our ailments. But in the last few centuries, starting in Europe and spreading throughout the world, a new way of understanding began competing with storytelling as a means of comprehending our world. Science supplanted storytelling largely because it empowered us to transform the world in ways that were unimaginable to our ancestors. We understand the world scientifically by describing the world instead of by telling stories about it. The stories our ancestors told no longer explain the world, but are data within the world, part of the world that science (i.e. cultural anthropology) describes. Our stories have become myths, cultural artifacts that may be interesting and a subject of study, but cannot possibly be true. Yet even in societies that have thoroughly embraced science as a means of understanding the world, myths remain a powerful force. Myth and science exist side by side, often creating confusion and conflict.
58. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1/2
Werner Krieglstein Compassion: The Focal Point of Any Future Philosophy
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Traditional analysis and reductionism put no value on direct experience. Negative Dialectic allows the human mind to return to an experience of mythical connectedness without falling into the trap of ideological isolation. The paper addresses the problem of truth claims of personal experiences by relating the truth of an experience to its context.The quintessential wholeness of the quantum world corresponds with the commonplace experience of the unity of our mind. Mind is an organic part of the growth process of ever-more complex processes and events that comprise the natural world. Today science provides some support for the idea that all individuals embody spontaneity and experience.
59. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1/2
Nicholas Maxwell A Revolution for Science and the Humanities: From Knowledge to Wisdom
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At present the basic intellectual aim of academic inquiry is to improve knowledge. Much of the structure, the whole character, of academic inquiry, in universities all over the world, is shaped by the adoption of this as the basic intellectual aim. But, judged from the standpoint of making a contribution to human welfare, academic inquiry of this type is damagingly irrational. Three of four of the most elementary rules of rational problem-solving are violated. A revolution in the aims and methods of academic inquiry is needed so that the basic aim becomes to promote wisdom, conceived of as the capacity to realize what is of value, for oneself and others, thus including knowledge and technological know-how, but much else besides. This urgently needed revolution would affect every branch and aspect of the academic enterprise.
60. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1/2
Graham Harman Some Preconditions of Universal Philosophical Dialogue
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Our own era is widely viewed as a golden age of intellectual tolerance when compared with the persecutions of yesteryear. But in fact, this tolerance serves to mask a fundamental indifference of one perspective to another. Each world view is seen as a personal opinion, walled off from others and immune to challenge or alteration by them. This article blames the current situation in part on the triumph of critical philosophy since Kant. In closing, several concrete and even whimsical proposals are made for remedying the situation and restoring a more wild and fruitful form of intellectual combat of a kind that no longer exists.