Poland Rises Above Past Conflict With Ukraine Because “Russia Has Always Been the Bigger Evil”

(p. A1) . . . the paradox of foreigner-leery governments taking in huge numbers of Ukrainians has been especially stark in Poland, long one of the world’s most ethnically homogeneous countries with a deep-seated mistrust of outsiders and a tangled, often painful history with Ukraine.

. . .

. . . , consider the change of heart Ryszard Marcinkowski, 74, a retired Polish railway worker, experienced.

. . .

He grew up with horror stories about the brutality of Ukrainian nationalists told by his parents and aunt, all refugees from formerly Polish lands in what, since World War II, has been western Ukraine.

Yet when millions of Ukrainians started arriving in Poland last February [2022], Mr. Marcinkowski drove to the border to deliver food and other supplies.

“I had a very bad image of Ukrainians from my family but realized that I had to help them,” Mr. Marcinkowski said. “For Poland,” he added, “Russia has always been the bigger evil.”

For the full story, see:

Andrew Higgins. “Insular Poland Opens to Wave Of Newcomers.” The New York Times (Thursday, February 23, 2023): A1 & A8.

(Note: ellipses, and bracketed year, added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date Feb. 22, 2023, and has the title “How Poland, Long Leery of Foreigners, Opened Up to Ukrainians.”)

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