Jean-Paul Oury: "Why did not you come to help us in 1939?" – International


When I set foot in Poland more than twenty years ago, the first thing that surprised me was the Francophilia of the Poles. All my interlocutors told me said that I lived in a beautiful country and that they adored the French culture. No doubt they were very polite, because the second subject, he was much less consensual: "We love you so much … we do not understand why you, who are our historical ally, you did not come to help us when the Germans invaded us in 1939. Nothing to do with Napoleon, who came to help us against the Russians! "

The first time I heard this question, I still did not speak Polish well enough to understand and answer, so I had to dodge and take refuge without much trouble in a convenient "nie rozumiem". But this loophole did not last too long.

First of all, it seemed difficult to believe this story. It must be said that the thing is not taught in this way in history in French high schools. You can imagine that we do not tell this "treason" to the little French.

I could see that my interlocutors wanted to hear from my mouth valid reasons and no doubt an apology. What I did not fail to give them stating that I did not support the government of the time and pointing out that since the French had not been able to help themselves, we understands all the better that they could not help the Poles. And, moreover, it gave Thomas Paine's famous quote: "The duty of a true patriot is to protect his country from his government. ("The duty of a true patriot is to protect his country from his government.")

Today, I rarely meet Poles who call me on this subject. For them, it was an urgent question to ask especially after the Fall of the wall to test and see who these people were with whom they were going to make Europe.

After the long Soviet ice age, rebuilding their country after forty years of communism was not an easy task. Admittedly, they had already rebuilt the historic center of Warsaw which had known the hell of one of the greatest tragedies in history and also the Wroclaw Cathedral totally destroyed by American bombing. But in the 1990s, everything remained to be done. So, when you think that it did not take twenty years to erect Warsaw's skyscrapers and the Wroclaw Skytower, you will inevitably be in awe of this people.

So when I see what has become of this country today and what it was at the time, there is no doubt that if it has not forgotten anything of the past, it has not remained mired in the meanders of history. On the contrary, it is one of the fastest growing economies in Europe with over 4.2% growth still expected for 2019 and a low unemployment rate. Added to this are the stability and security that are values ​​that are valued today in Europe.

Here is a people loving freedom who has managed to take back his destiny. A people that has resisted communism as well as fascism and is ready to fight for their freedom again and will not be dictated by anyone. Undoubtedly, it was this same spirit of freedom that drove them to question their old historical allies to reset the counters. And if tomorrow Daladiers and Chamberlains returned to the European continent, they would immediately know how to denounce them.

Jean-Paul Oury is a consultant and entrepreneur, Publisher European Scientist.

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