How did the Soviets Lose to Poland? (1919-1921) | Animated History


Continue reading

The Invasion of Poland (1939) Video History

History video on how Poland was invaded.Enjoy

Continue reading

Five teenage girls killed in fire at an ‘Escape Room’ in Poland

Police confirmed that five teenage girls have died and a man was injured in a fire at an Escape Room location in Koszalin, Poland.

Five women have died during a fire at an escape room (an adventure game in which players are trapped in a room and have to solve puzzles to get out) in Poland..MORE>

Continue reading

Henry Sapiecha Trip to Warsaw Poland Images early 2006

The pics below are just a few of the photos I took in Warsaw Poland in winter of early 2006

I was just there for a short time & just wished I had seen & enjoyed the rest of Poland

I describe what I can as to what the pics are about as they appear. So enjoy the journey

Continue reading

How to piss off someone from Poland

1. Suggest we’re Russians.

Typical. You see the blond hair, the blue eyes, the big cheeks, you hear the thick accent, and there it goes: “You from Russia?”

Capital offence. Due to certain historical circumstances, we do not like this association at all. Also, because Russia is bigger and everyone’s more interested in what happens there. It’s like Canadians and Americans, or New Zealanders and Australians — only with centuries of conflict and oppression operating as subtext.

Of course, it’s not that we don’t like the actual Russians. We are, after all, nothing if not magnanimous and gregarious, even though they hurt us so much in the past, the evildoers…. But we don’t harbour bad feelings. No, we aren’t prejudiced at all — and if you suggest we are, we’ll take issue with that too!

2. Label our food ‘so-so’.

Poland isn’t known as a gourmet country. We like simple, filling, comforting stuff, like pork chops with potatoes or sauerkratz dumplings, and a lot of thick soups to fend off the winter cold. But anyone visiting Poland should be legally obliged to praise our fare. We are ridiculously proud of the quality of our staples — keep your baguettes and bruschettas, for we and only we are the keepers of the real, natural, nourishing bread in all its shapes and varieties.

Dairy… okay, so we don’t make hundreds of varieties of cheese — we prefer simple white cottage cheese and curdled milk (which is wasted by the rest of the world as milk gone bad) — but we take great pride in complaining about the EU directives which demand that all milk should be pasteurised, when everyone knows only fresh milk straight from the udder can be good. And sausage — we’ll give you pastrami and salami, but in terms of good old sausage with a lot of fatty bits and gristle, we’re the best. Period.

3. Feign (or admit) ignorance of Poland’s location.

“Poland?” “Yeah, y’know, Poland. Erm, Europe?” “Aaah. Didn’t know that Poland was in Europe!”

“You’re from Poland? That’s great! Now, let me show you how to use a fork and a knife!”

“I’ll let you try our national beverage, I’m sure you don’t have it where you come from. It’s called tea.”

“Poland? Wait, that’s where polar bears are from, right?”

All of the above are real-life conversations.

4. Suggest that anyone else has suffered as much as the Poles.

Yeah, so we’ve been through some major crap. The 19th and 20th centuries in particular were not too peachy. Other nations just love to pick on us. Especially the Russians. And the Germans. Unluckily, we’re stuck between the two. We’re always victimised. Poor us. Pat our backs and nod sympathetically. We’ll tell you it’s not that bad, but that’s only because we’re well-mannered and don’t like to belabor the point. But it’s true. And it doesn’t matter that sometimes we can only blame ourselves. It’s still not fair.

5. Imply that other countries are worse off.

On a related point, we do take major pride in being The World’s Number One Victim. In times of peace, when our neighbouring countries are not very obliging in providing a reason, we’ll find our own excuses. “Bad roads in Uganda? Dude, have you seen our roads?” we’ll say with a gleeful smile.

And maybe other governments are corrupt, but no one can be as primitive, classless, and ineffective as a Polish politician! This is why we have such strong characters — because we have to put up with all this nonsense! Change it, you say? Naah — we wouldn’t have anything to complain about then, would we?

6. Dare to imply that Polish people are not the best.

Despite all of the above, just try to concur and join the choir of poignant Polish whiners and you’ll be dealt with swiftly and unmercifully. We Poles are the best. We didn’t have a country for a whole century and in the end we got it back. We can drink so much alcohol it should kill a normal person and still drive a car2. We even had bears fighting for us in WWII3! So yes, we may be the worst country in the world. But all the others are much worse than us.

2 fact
3also a fact

7. Suggest that other nationalities can drink more.

This is the big one. The Death Star of any Pole-befriending scheme you might be hatching. No one has better vodka than we do. And no one — no one — can drink more of it than us. We’re ready to prove it any time, any place, for as long as necessary, until we’re completely drunk, inebriated, plastered, pissed, sloshed, and out of it. But we’ll be the last ones standing.

Henry Sapiecha

10 ultra totally meaningful Polish expressions

An article

1. Masakra, tragedia

Yes, these words mean what you think they mean: massacre and tragedy. But they’re applied to totally different situations. For example, my husband and I went to Cracow once, and we wanted to take the last train to Warsaw, but the lady selling our tickets was rather slow. When she finally managed to print out our passes, she said, “Okay, now hurry up or there will be a tragedia.” This one’s similar to the Croatian word, katastrofa.

2. Bo tak

My favourite word to stop being questioned by my kids all day long: “Why do I have to do this?” Bo tak. “Why is the world round?” Bo tak. It’s the Polish equivalent of “because I said so.” Or simply “because yes” or “because so” — that’s what bo tak literally means.

3. No ba

No ba is used similarly to the English word “indeed”, even if it is way more colloquial. By itself, ba can mean “duh”, as in when someone states the obvious.

“So, did you win all that money?” “No ba!”

4. No

This little word has so many meanings. Just remember that the “o” is pronounced like in the English word “port”. Depending on the context, this word can mean yes (wanna go to the cinema? Noooo!), be used to issue a warning (no, no, no, most effective when accompanied by a waggling finger), to show sign of agreement (This film was so cool, right? Nooo!), stalling (so what do you think about this problem? No… I think it’s complicated) and many more.

5. No co ty!

This means “don’t exaggerate”.


“I am sick, I need to go to the doctor.”
No co ty, it’s just a headache.”

It’s also used to mean “Are you insane?”


“I asked her to marry me.
No co ty!”

6. Jak nie jak tak!

Literally, “how not when yes”, this one’s used to offer encouragement: “Of course you will do this. How can you not do this, when you’re totally capable?”

I was telling myself this multiple times while writing this article.

7. Spoko, wporzo

Abbreviations of spokojnie (calmly) and w porządku (okay), they’re used in a similar way — meaning cool, all right, okay, and the like. They’re also sometimes used in the context of “not so bad”.


How was your exam? Spoko.

8. No nie!

I don’t know how many times I use this to talk to my kids: “No nie, you made a mess again!” This one’s similar to “Oh no”. It can also be used in expressions like “No nie mów” (You don’t say) or no nie wiem (I don’t know).

9. Won! Precz! Spadaj!

These words have the same meaning, which goes along the lines of “please kindly remove yourself from this place”, but put less nicely. I really want to say this to some trolls who, without a doubt, will show up on my articles on Matador Network (including this one).

10. Ojej/Ojejku

Another handy word, this one allows you to express various emotional states, from admiration to panic, surprise to helplessness. For example, when your friend tells you some unexpected happy news, you can react with a loud “Ojej!” If you come back home to find that your laptop got stolen, shake your head and say ojej (it should be pronounced like ‘oyey’). And sometimes, it’s the only appropriate response to my kids wrecking chaos on the house.

P.S. If you point out to me that I didn’t include the most concise of Polish words, also known as the Polish K-word, let me tell you that it’s because I don’t swear.


Henry Sapiecha


18 signs you were born and raised in Poland

1. As a child, you ate gooseberries until your stomach hurt.

Your summers involved eating sour cherries and cherries straight from the trees, raspberries straight from a bush and strawberries straight from a plant. And it wasn’t that you didn’t wash the fruit that caused you pain, you just couldn’t stop and ate way too much!

2. Every Saturday you woke up to the smell of a freshly-baked ciasto.

It was either a golden sponge cake layered with whipped cream and strawberries, a rhubarb crumble yeast-cake or a peach cheesecake, which had to be available for any guests visiting on the weekend.

3. You witnessed a domestic animal being killed at least once in your lifetime.

Your grandparents most likely lived in the countryside and you spent many summer vacations at their house. You ran through the wheat fields and got told off for ruining the crops. You climbed trees and maybe broke your first bone by falling off. You also have an unfortunate memory of a chicken running around without its head or pig screams coming from the pigpen. You might have become a vegetarian because of that.

4. You celebrate Easter Monday by pouring water on other people.

The tradition is called “Śmigus Dyngus”, and initially it was boys who would pour water on girls and vice-versa, but now it’s all families that continue the tradition. This is when water guns come into serious use. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like, you’re going to get wet.

5. Your living room was also your parent’s bedroom.

You grew up in a minuscule apartment in a block building. The whole apartment was around 40m2 and not larger that 60m2. In the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s blocks were built across all Poland to accommodate the influx of population migrating to cities. The housing was designed to fulfill only the basic living needs and so the living room was also your parent’s bedroom and you shared a room with your siblings. The kitchen and bathroom were so small that you could barely turn around. The apartment also included a tiny balcony, about a square meter or two of surface, which your mother used for hanging the laundry out and you for playing “string telephone” with your neighbor friends.

6. Your mum is a cooking machine when you visit home.

Arriving at your parents place you find the fridge stuffed with kopytka, pierogi, bigos and gołąbki and your mum tells you “Well, I wasn’t sure what you would like to eat”. There is ciasto for you for dessert, too, whether it’s Saturday or not.

7. Your father can fix anything yet barely knows how to turn on his cell phone.

Your car broke down – call your dad. The washing machine made a noise – he’ll ask you what kind of a noise it is, how frequent and based on that will tell you what the problem is. Your faucet is dripping? He’ll explain step by step how to clean it out or tighten the seals. When it comes to technology, though, he can barely make calls on a mobile phone (no smartphone please!), turn on a laptop, open a browser or type.

8. You walked to school by yourself since you were in 2nd grade.

You were super independent as a child. You played outside your block with friends and your parents only called you home when it was time for dinner (they would lean out from the window and call your name, no mobile phones back then!). You helped with cooking and by the time you were 12 you could cook a full meal by yourself and bake a ciasto. Around that age, you also started picking up your younger siblings from kindergarten, walk them home and take care of them until your parents arrived from work.

9. Your Christmas dinner involves 12 dishes made out of 5 ingredients.

The ingredients are sauerkraut, wild mushrooms, beetroot, fish and poppy seeds. Historically, not much variety of sustenance used to be available in winter months, and so the Polish needed to invent festive food with what they had at hand. In addition, Polish Christmas dinner is eaten on the 24th, symbolically awaiting Jesus’s birth and is meatless. What’s created of the 5 main ingredients are: a creamy wild-mushroom soup for starters, a clove-infused clear barszcz or beatroot soup, pierogi stuffed with sauerkraut and wild mushrooms, łazanki (noodles with more sauerkraut!), and a variations of fish dishes (with carrot and onion cold topping, in cream, fried). For dessert, there is makowiec (poppy seed cake) and kutia (poppy seeds mixed with wheat, dried fruit, honey and nuts). Surprisingly, there are no potato-based dishes, but given that we eat them on every other day of the year, that’s okay.

10. You know that no party is as epic as a Polish wedding.

A typical wedding lasts for two days. The church ceremony is on a Saturday and the party starts right after that. Bottles and bottles of vodka are constantly brought to tables and drunk in shots. The food is served all evening- and night-long. The dancing and the food slow down the alcohol effect and so everyone seems to be cheerfully tipsy and silly, not downright drunk. The second day of the wedding is called poprawiny and it involves more of the same: food, drinks and dancing.

11. Your parents don’t celebrate birthdays as much as they celebrate imieniny, their nameday.

Let’s be honest, here, though. You prefer to celebrate you birthday.

12. You know at least 10 people with the same name as yours.

Name choices are very limited in Poland and so, first names are very repetitive amongst the population. Every other girl seems to be called Kasia, Basia, Ania and Magda and boys are Paweł, Łukasz, Marcin and Tomek. And if an ‘unusual’ name emerges like Maja or Nikola, it quickly catches on and again, many are named with it.

13. You say no when you actually mean yes.

In Polish, there is a word for yes – “tak” — and no — “nie.” But you use “no” when you agree with what someone is saying. The word sounds negative to a foreign ear. “Do you want some tea?” “No”. “Do you like this TV show?” “No.” Or you use it to show that you are listening attentively. Your whole phone conversation might seem like you are disagreeing with someone, but you’re really not: “Halo? No. No. No. Aha. No. No pa.”

14. When you speak Polish, you sound angry.

You got off a phone with your parents and your foreigner friends ask: “What happened, did you just fall out with your parents?” “No, I just told them about my week”. There is something about our tone of voice or the way we use our language that sounds harsh.

15. If you don’t like the top your sister is wearing, you tell her.

You are direct with your friends and family. If you’re at your friend’s house and are hungry, you ask them what they have to eat. You only heard about the need to say things gently to people (or not say them at all) when you started hanging out with foreigners.

16. You offer tea to anyone who comes into your house.

Tea is just as popular a drink in Poland as it is in England (no exaggeration there!) We don’t drink it with milk, though – just plain tea with sugar or tea with a round slice of lemon in it.

17. You complain.

A lot. You complain about the long winter. When the snow starts melting you complain about the mud. And when eventually the summer comes, it is too hot! You complain about the politicians (even though you haven’t actually voted in years) and prices (even though you can afford to live comfortably and you actually own your apartment and a car and live without mortgages).

18. But all of your complaining doesn’t make you an unhappy person.

A complaint is often a conversation-starter. It’s easier to make friends when you can both moan about something together. Then you move on to joyful topics.

Henry Sapiecha

20 of the rib-tickling Polish phrases (and how to put them to use)

1. A Pole won’t tell you to get lost.

They’ll tell you to “stuff yourself with hay” (wypchać się sianem).

2. Poles don’t snack.

They “take something on a tooth” (wziąć coś na ząb).

3. A Pole never beats around the bush.

He prefers to “wrap the truth in cotton” (owijać prawdę w bawełnę).

4. Polish people are not nit-picky.

They are “looking for a hole in the whole” (szukać dziury w całym).

5. Polish people don’t count their chickens before they’re hatched.

They “divide the skin on the bear” (dzielić skórę na niedźwiedziu).

6. A Polish person doesn’t sulk.

He “has flies up his nose” (mieć muchy w nosie).

7. Polish people don’t mess things up.

They “make bigos” (narobić bigosu) or “brew beer” (nawarzyć piwa) instead.

8. A Pole doesn’t daydream.

They “think of blue almonds” (myśleć o niebieskich migdałach).

9. Poles will not speak bluntly.

They’ll “tell it straight from the bridge” (mówić prosto z mostu).

10. A Pole is not uninformed…

He just “fell from the Christmas tree” (urwać się z choinki).

11. Poles do not simply grin and bear it.

They “put up a good face for a bad game” (robić dobrą minę do złej gry).

12. A bad Polish writer doesn’t waffle.

He “pours water” (lać wodę).

13. A Polish person doesn’t just run away.

He “gives a leg” (dać nogę) or “takes his legs under his belt” (brać nogi za pas).

14. A Pole is never a know-it-all.

Instead, he “ate all wits” (pozjadać wszystkie rozumy).

15. Polish people won’t pull your leg.

They’ll “stick you into a bottle” (nabić kogoś w butelkę).

16. A Pole won’t take you apart.

He’ll “mix you with mud” (zmieszać kogoś z błotem) or “hang dogs on you” (powiesić na kimś psy).

17. A Pole won’t promise you the world.

But you might get “pears on a willow” (gruszki na wierzbie).

18. Polish people don’t run like hell.

They “run where the pepper grows” (uciekać gdzie pieprz rośnie) or “where the devil says goodnight” (gdzie diabeł mówi dobranoc).

19. Poles won’t pester you.

They’ll “drill a hole in your belly” (wiercić komuś dziurę w brzuchu).

20. Polish people don’t bite off more than they can chew.

They “jump at the sun with a hoe” (porywać się z motyką na słońce).

This article was originally published on March 5, 2015. Featured Photo: PolandMFA

Henry Sapiecha

Do not believe Poland is grey. These images show how beautiful it is.

Coverage & images by

If I were to have colored a picture of Poland before my trip, I would have used steel blue, muddy brown, various greys, and maybe a little bit of green. I pictured Poland as industrial and dreary. Instead, what I found as I explored the country was a palette of many colors: pinks and plums, cardinal reds, and many different shades of green. With my camera in hand, I set out to try and capture some of these colors.

Just outside the Poznań Town Hall in downtown Poznan, I spent an afternoon watching the wedding parades. The couples pulled up in flower-clad vehicles while street musicians capitalized on the opportunity to make some extra money. Little girls, like this one, got to watch fairy tales on repeat with each new bride-groom. The couples entered the Town Hall, tied the knot, and drove off about 15 minutes later. I grabbed a table on the square at the microbrewery Brovaria, ordered a Grodziskie, and toasted the happy couples.

Navy blue, bright red, and a whole lot of locks

The Jordan Bridge is a 100-year-old section of bridge that used to be about 2 km upstream. When the city wanted to build a new bridge to support a tram line, they moved this section north of its original location here. These days, as in many cities around Europe, couples that want to publicize their love come armed with locks, decorated with initials and images, and clamp them to the bridge.

Fading yellow sunsets and sweet pastel buildings

Biking around downtown Poznan at sunset was a dream. I zipped past adorable restored homes and shop fronts, up and down cobbled streets, by churches and towers, and soaked in the last rays of sun wondering if this was all a fairy tale.

Aged yellows and two battling goats

Every day at noon people assembled around Poznań Town Hall to watch as two mechanical goats emerged, cuckoo-style, from the Town Hall clock. They were commissioned by the 16th-century mayor to remind the people of one of their favorite stories: two goats escaped the mayor’s chef, climbed the tower, emerged from the turret, and began battling before a large crowd. The town was so entertained by the goats that the mayor decided to spare them.

A myriad of colors (and ice cream) in downtown Poznan

Wandering around the Old Market Square in the Old City section of Poznan you can find architecture features inspired by Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Classicism and Modern styles. I also noticed the number of ice cream shops and people walking around with cones, especially right after Sunday church. Some of the most interesting flavors I found included lemonade sorbet with parsley, mascarpone with black currant, and yogurt with fresh peaches. Kolorowa was my favorite shop but some others include Wytwórnia Lodów Tradycyjnych, and Marina where they use liquid nitrogen.

Green, green, and more green

With forest covering almost one-third of the city — approximately 70 thousand square meters – there is plenty of greenery to take in. On my second day, I hiked on narrow trails for four hours around Wielkopolska which began at this lookout tower over Lsowa Mountain. Runners and bikers were scattered throughout and people were picnicking along the lakes. I stopped at Castle Island, built in 1830 by the owner of the land as a wedding gift for his sister. When the couple broke up and abandoned the castle it was used by Polish rebels in 1848 to defend against German invaders.

Hazy white castles in the sunset

The original owner of the Rydzyna Castle redesigned the structure in the 19th century based on the calendar: there are as many windows as days, rooms as weeks, representative halls as months and towers as seasons. Today it is a museum, hotel, and a venue for special occasions.

Brown bottles of local brew

One of the first assumptions I had about traveling to Poland was that some form of vodka tasting would be involved. To my surprise, I quickly learned there is a whole other revolution taking place with craft breweries. I tried craft brews flavored with accents like pine, elderberry, coffee, and maple syrup. Some of the best local spots in Poznan include Brovaria, Nepomucen and Browar za miastem. Grodziskie is the only original-style beer produced in the Wielkopolska region of Poznan — it dates back from the 13th century. It is made of smoked malt, is very light and bubbly, and comes with its own champagne-inspired glass.

Brick Orange Castles

I got to spend a couple nights at a castle and it was as good as it sounds. I ate roast duck with apples, walked around manors and moats, sipped polish vodka called Zubrowka, and woke up to a rooster crowing at 6 am. With more than 800 castles, palaces, and manors in the region of Wielkopolska, it is easy to indulge one’s inner prince or princess.

Jet Black and a Locomotive

I grew up watching the PBS television series Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends, so I got nostalgic at the Steam Locomotive Station in Wolsztyn. Seeing this 100-year-old facility with real operators running the trains, loading coals and fixing parts in the workshop, I felt like I was back on the carpet in front of my television set.

Red, White, and Love

Poland is full of much, but what I felt most was history, culture, and love. I was very wrong to picture Poland as cold and grey. Its people are warm, its culture is vibrant, and its history is long – and there are beautiful colors everywhere.

Kristin was a guest of the Polish National Tourist Office.

Henry Sapiecha



2…Worldwide famous Poles and people of Polish roots

3…Who are the Polish People? Where did the Poles come from? History of Poland

4…Polish History in 10 minutes

5…45 Interesting things about Poland

6…Poland Rediscovered: Krakow, Auschwitz, and Warsaw

7…Best of Krakow: city of Polish Kings

8…HELL MARCH _ Polish Army || Piekielny marsz 2017 HD

9…Sexy and beautiful Women in polish army

10..Top 5 Most Feared Special Forces In the World

11..How Powerful is Poland ? – Polish Military Power 2017

12..UKRAINE VS POLAND – Military Power Comparison 2017

13..Hungary and Poland defend Europe from Islamic invasion * B.Szydło & V.Orban – ULTIMATE NO TO E.U.!

14..National Geographic – Guardians Of Nature: Poland (2005)

15..Poland is beautiful

16..Poland’s Geographic Challenge

17..Gladiators of World War II – The Free Polish Forces [E5/13]

18..Heroes Of War Poland Episode 2 Cichociemni

19..Bloody foreigners. Untold Battle of Britain

20..Husaria – Polska Duma / The Winged Hussars – Polish Pride

21..POLAND / Rzeczpospolita

22..Battle of Prostki – October 8, 1656

23..The battle of Poltava (Swedish warfare) (Without music.)

24..Z OGNJEM IN MEČEM – Sottotitoli-Podnapisi -Subtitles- WITH FIRE AND SWORD-Old world polish movie of the Robin Hood genre

25..With Fire and Sword part 3 Tűzzel Karddal, only english text, polish voice Ogniem i mieczem

26..With Fire and Sword part 4 Tűzzel Karddal, only english text, polish voice Ogniem i mieczem

27..With Fire and Sword part 3 Tűzzel Karddal, only english text, polish voice Ogniem i mieczem

28..2/4 With Fire and Sword Tűzzel Karddal

29..Ostatni pociąg do Auschwitz – PL

30..Katyń [ru, en, fr subtitles] MOVIE.The massacre of 30,000 polish elite by the Russians.

31..Karol The man who became pope. Full length movie in English

32..John Paul II A Pope Who Made History with Cardinal Sapiecha