The publication has been automatically translated. If you want to read texts translated professionally, please make a donation and help us develop the institute.
Return of Poles from Manchuria to Poland, 1949.
The number of Polish citizens in this period was approximately 1,600 people. In mid-1949, the Communists from Poland sent to Harbin the plenipotentiary of the government – commander Jerzy Kłosowski and Kazimierz Krąkowski for help. Their task is to liquidate the Polish colony in Manchuria. They are to persuade the Poles to return to their homeland. Repatriation to Poland was free, at the expense of the Polish government. Repatriation to other countries was at the expense of citizens. However, it was apparently not true. The Polish Red Cross did not refuse to cover the costs of repatriation to other countries.
Rallies and meetings were organized to present the situation of post-war Poland. In order to rebuild the country, it was necessary to have people of various professions. Poles were encouraged to return by priest Paweł Chodniewicz. He was a frequent visitor in our home. In the book by Marek Cabanowski “Secrets of Manchuria. Poles in Harbin ” there is a picture of a priest along with a group of Poles willing to leave. There is also my mother Helena Graczyk and Lena Gnatowa. They signed up as one of the first to leave.
From that moment on, people were coming to our house, bringing small gifts; they were crying and saying goodbyes. At the cemetery, priest Paweł Chodniewicz celebrated a special farewell mass. All monuments on a graves of our family were new and the priest sacralized them. My parents hoped that the monuments would be long standing. This was our last meeting with the priest. He died suddenly after the stroke.
Polish authorities began to liquidate the Polish school. They also burned Polish books from the library. A large pile was made at school and set on fire. The Chinese looked at it with amazement in their eyes. The “Polish Farm” was also abolished. In the month of June, the first date of departure was set. It was quickly canceled because it turned out that some people do not have orderly documents. This was especially true for mixed marriages. At the beginning of July a truck drove up to the house (loaned from the sugar factory in Aszyche – we lived there). Our trunks and suitcases were packed, yard was full of Chinese kids. They were shouting and waving behind the car. It was warm and the road was dusty. We’re at the station, and there are a lot of people here. Everyone is crying. They put us into luxury wagons. And we stand. The Chinese were surprised again, they also came to say goodbye to us, but the train has not moved for a long time.
On the platform, a Chinese man runs small steps with a large basket suspended on his stomach. It’s full of sweets and fruits. In the end, my father approached him and asked (he spoke perfectly in Chinese) who he was looking for. It turned out that it was my grandfather Jasinski Jan who asked a Chinese friend to deliver fresh fruit for me. News spread that the train does not move, you can hear terrible crying again and you can see swollen faces. Apparently we are waiting for some people’s missing documents. Finally, we’re moving. We say goodbye to this wonderful city of Harbin inhabited by various nations. We leave the world of people who have not been bothered by our Catholic religion, other feasts and customs. Poles were allowed to have their Polish high school school, two Catholic churches and a cemetery on this foreign land. We had our Polish club, press, our little homeland. We say goodbye to China with their tolerance for other nations, with friendly people. We will never forget the Chinese people with whom our parents spent over forty years of their lives.
We are already at the Sino-Soviet border. Here we have to leave the Chinese wagons, which were very comfortable, covered with leather. They seat everyone in freight wagons. They place us on the upper shelf on bare wood. Above us there is the Stachurski family with three small children. In this way, they deployed everyone: several families to each wagon. My parents had bedding, so somehow we may have been less smothered. At the beginning of the trip, everything hurt. Before leaving, the Soviets organized a refreshment in the restaurant. Tables were pledged, but people approached this with some reserve. I saw the pledged tables only through the window, because it turned out that you had to pay for consumption.
During the trip we received one hot (in theory it was supposed to be) meal. Mostly it was a red borscht, but it was not always warm. Fortunately, my father bought a packed lunch. We had a search on the border. The soldiers who carried out searched for gold. In particular, they destroyed photographs that were torn up and trampled on their feet, and they took Chinese paper money (no value). He carried this money as a souvenir. The soldiers destroyed books, albums and maps. They also broke porcelain and lacquerware items. They were angry that there was no gold.
My father and two colleagues asked the train manager to slow down the driver near Lake Baikal. We could look at the section of the giant lake for a moment. The weather was nice, so the view of the lake was beautiful. The train was worst during the rain. The roof was not tight. The bedding was damp and cold. It was not possible to dry it. We were guarded by soldiers with rifles. At some point a train full of young, shaved bald boys convicted for political crimes rode up. They took them to labor camps in the depths of Siberia. For some time both trains stopped. My father and his friends quickly organized several packs of cigarettes and chocolate bars. It was necessary to distract the watchers. My father’s friends went to give the convicts cigarettes. The convicts managed to shift what they had. We only communicated with gestures. We finally traveled further and passed wonderful views, lush plants. The window in the wagon was small, but I counted 41 passing tunnels during the day.
According to the list of repatriates of the first turn, there were 299 adults, 74 children under 16 years. Together, 373 people returned to Poland initially, including 14 nuns. Apparently, they came to the monastery in Krakow. On July 29, we crossed the Polish border in Biała Podlaska.
Book review of "Korean Diaspora in Postwar Japan - Geopolitics, Identity and Nation-Building", written by Kim Myung-ja and published by I.B Tauris in 2017.Nicolas Levi
Michał Wójcik , Director of the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Marine Economy and Inland Navigation (DWM MGMiŻŚ) interviewed by Krzysztof M. Zalewski.Krzysztof Zalewski
The number of confirmed executions and frequent disappearances of politicians remind us that in North Korea the rules of social Darwinism apply. Any attempt to limit Kim Jong-un's power may be considered hostile and ruthless.Roman Husarski
Witnessing the recent flurry of political activity amid the accelerating environmental emergency, from the Green New Deal to the UN climate summits to European political initiatives, one could be forgiven for thinking that things are finally moving forward.Dawid Juraszek
Book review of "North Korean Defectors in a New and Competitive Society", written by Lee Ahlam and published by Rowman&Littlefield in 2016.Nicolas Levi
Kochański & Partners and the Boym Institute engaged in delivering information about latest after-effects of COVID-19 pandemia, which has begun to spread in Poland during the past days.
We would like to inform, that Observer Research Foundation has published article of Patrycja Pendrakowska - the Boym Institute Analyst and President of the Board.Patrycja Pendrakowska
This is the second part of an inquiry into Ulaanbaatar’s winning 2040 General Development Plan Conception (GDPC). In this part of paper, I look into some of the plans and/or solutions proposed in Ulaanbaatar’s 2040 GDPC.Paweł Szczap
First burials of Catholics, mostly Poles but also other Non-Orthodox believers took place in future Harbin in the so called small „old” or later Pokrovskoe Orthodox cemetery in the future European New Town quarter and small graveyards at the military and civilian hospitals of Chinese Eastern Railway at the turn of XIX and XX century.Jerzy Czajewski
We would like to inform, that Financial Intelligence has published interview for Balkan Development Support with Patrycja Pendrakowska.
Book review of "Europe – North Korea. Between Humanitarianism And Business?", written by Myung-Kyu Park, Bernhard Seliger, Sung-Jo Park (Eds.) and published by Lit Verlag in 2010.Nicolas Levi
On May 24 Dr. Nicolas Levi gave a lecture on Balcerowicz's plan in the context of North Korea. The speech took place as part of the seminar "Analyzing the Possibility of Reform and its Impact on Human Rights in North Korea". The seminar took place on May 24 at the prestigious Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea.
A short note and photo gallery from the chairman of the Board of the Boym Institute, who stays in Rwanda at the "Kigali Global Dialogue" conference.
We would like to inform, that Observer Research Foundation has published article of Krzysztof Zalewski - the Boym Institute Analyst, Chairman of the Board and Editor of the “Tydzień w Azji” weekly.Krzysztof Zalewski
Ewelina Horoszkiewicz in conversation with Professor William Yu (UCLA) on USA, China and Europe. Professor William Yu is an economist with the UCLA Anderson Forecast and specializes in the economies of Los Angeles and China.Ewelina Horoszkiewicz
The aim of the paper is to discuss the role of the ASEAN as a critical component of the solution to the Korean unification. The Korean Unification refers to the potential reunification of both Koreas into a single sovereign Korean state led by the leadership of the two Koreas.Nicolas Levi
Intensive modernization and the desire to catch up with the armed forces of the United States made chinese interest in the military application of futuristic technologies grow bigger.Paweł Behrendt
In the first part of this analysis of Ulaanbaatar’s winning 2040 General Development Plan Conception (GDPC) I look into the historical preconditions for the city’s planned development as well as present the legislative climate in which works on Ulaanbaatar’s future development strategies have recently found themselves.Paweł Szczap
Indonesia is the largest Muslim democracy in the world. Approximately 88% of the population in Indonesia declares Islamic religion, but in spite of this significant dominance, Indonesia is not a religious state.Anna Grzywacz
The Chinese Influence Campaign can allegedly play a dangerous role at certain Central European universities, as stated in the article ‘Countering China’s Influence Campaigns at European Universities’, (...) However, the text does ignore Poland, the country with the largest number of universities and students in the region. And we argue, the situation is much more complex.Patrycja Pendrakowska
Book review of "Unveiling the North Korean economy", written by Kim Byung-yeon and published by Cambridge University Press in 2016.B. Tauris in 2017.Nicolas Levi
We would like to inform, that 9DASHLINE has published article of Paweł Behrendt - the Boym Institute Analyst, in which he wrote about history of the South China Sea dispute over the 20th century.Paweł Behrendt
We want the Boym Institute to become a valuable platform of exchanging views, making valuable acquaintances and, above all, deepening knowledge. Therefore, we undertake the organization of many events: debates, lectures, and conferences.
Book review of "GDR International Development Policy Involvement. Doctrine and Strategies between Illusions and Reality 1960-1990, The example (South) Africa", written by Ulrich van der Heyden and published by Lit Verlag in 2013.Nicolas Levi