And we are not doomed ourselves, even if we are inchoate, but there is no-one who spreads the word as much as I do about the essential decency of the Polish character. No-one. I’ve traced the true geology of your landscape and documented the perverse extensions of your humility and your virtue. I’ve borne witness to Poles who mark their existence with singular feats of charitable endeavour and on occasion I’ve assisted them regretfully and fitfully. I’ve chanced a good home here, truth, I’ve feasted on the bounty of friendship and kinship, negotiating the curious codex of Silesian ethics, a jester bearing your histrionics whilst simultaneously cataloguing (though some would say embellishing) my own Falstaffian misadventures.
Hand on heart, I have been encouraged here, my performances, my writings, all have been afforded opportunity, applause and true remedy. The eccentric and often convoluted matrix of my life has not been negated by symbols or language or any contrived differences handed down from the false arbiters of culture and purity. The Wyborcza columns which bear my name will record this.
I pay my rent here. I’ve lashed my star to Poland and am happy to do so.
The last few weeks I’ve watched, a parliament of owls couldn’t do better, the distinct majority of Poland burrow from the soil, shards of malice jutting from the earth as never before. Or have they always been part of this country, the cycle of history unearthing a subterranean army of imps growing fouler the deeper still? Somewhere this world must touch other worlds and meet aught knows what. My daughters have felt its coming, but neither can put words to it yet, and now they sit watching the scene evolve; so young, but they will be hard pushed to ever forget the days when Poland locked its doors on the weak and the wretched and failed to take its place among the nations of truth.
The ever-changing landscape that springs out of your country seems to be alive in sweet hate. A terrain that knows violence and pain only too well so that is all it offers back? No.
Your true history shows the courage of your forefathers. They took in the great swathes of wandering Jewery and the debt was repaid when the atra mors was held at bay due to their laws of shehitah and bedikah – a person who neglects washing their hands before food shall be uprooted from the world – this, what kept the Kingdom of Poland from certain destruction.
Later still, a blacker death came from the west, the gangster horde of Mein Kampf swept Pole and Jew before it, dispersed, an infinite rabble, bent, torn, black and blue, your peoples struggling, clinging to the corners of this pale globe, escaping violation and hunger. The door was opened. They were allowed to enter.
But you have forgotten the faces of your fathers.
Each man holds a debt from the day he is born till he enters the final void where there is no face or sound. The Germans have taken up their outstanding bill. And the Poles who have sought refuge in every port and kingdom? Who are you not to pay it wisely? Who are you to beggar your way to the final standings of time as misers of good fortune? You have been given a gift. A gift of faith. If you take this gift and believe in a God, you must understand that he too has the choice to believe in you. What then does he think of you pure Pole, true Slav, conjuring your tricks and excuses in the face of a people’s annihilation? What does he think of the Poles in their inglorious mansions and their capitals of tin?
What does he think of your great thinkers and men of letters? Circus animals allowed to parade and dance when the clowns have all had their say?
What does he think of your government so silent as they bite their nails before an election? What does he think of those of you who want the Kingdom but don’t want God in it?
Do you truly believe in God? Unlike my wife, I do.
The God I believe in doesn’t lock his door.
Open up Poland.
Let them in.
Pay your debt.