Some of the most powerful critiques of the Communist governments in East-Central Europe were moral. Vaclav Havel, for instance, argued that the regimes, with their propaganda and inequalities and corruption, were built on a foundation of lies. He proposed the alternative of "living in truth."
Amidst all the media frenzy surrounding Putin's nefarious destabilization efforts in Eastern Ukraine, other issues of vital importance have gone ignored.
She grew up during the Great Depression. She recounted times of how being the youngest of five children she would sometimes have to search garbage...
Janusz Reykowski was a key figure in the reform wing of Poland's Communist Party. A psychologist, he was an early proponent of promoting reconciliation between the Party and the Solidarity trade union movement in 1989. In 2013 I interviewed him about what had happened in the intervening years.
Rachel Zacharia always knew she was Jewish. Her father, a Party official, read and wrote in Yiddish, and her parents spoke Yiddish with friends. But she didn't start thinking about her Jewish identify until 1968.
We are never handed a "Growth Manual" when we enter this life. We often learn by observation and tend to integrate things from there--or try to. Of...
Until the 1970s, drug addicts didn't exist in Poland -- at least not officially. In those days, drugs were expensive and the supply was limited, so the Polish state could hide the problem by giving a different label to the small number of addicts. But then heroin became more readily available. And addiction started to grow.
Adam Bodnar of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights talked with me about the concept of strategic litigation, the challenge of getting national governments to implement European court judgments, and the importance of exporting the best practices of Poland's watchdog organizations.
Zaatari, a noted photographer, filmmaker and curator, co-founded the Arab Image Foundation in 1997 to locate and preserve his country's -- and the Middle East's -- photographic archives.
Doing business entails certain risks. You make a big investment of money and time, and you hope that your gamble pays off. Maybe people will come to your restaurant. Maybe they will buy your product. Maybe they will contract for your services. But you can't be sure. You've taken out loans on the expectation that if you build it, they will come.
Since 2000, Tarasiewicz has worked as the director for the Network for East-West Women in Poland. She has watched as many foundations that funded women's issues have pulled out of Poland as money from the European Union became available. But the EU funding has been a mixed blessing at best.
As Europe commemorates the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, a troll army secretly floods websites with pro-Putin propaganda while Russian government officials openly defend the indefensible. Moscow archivists are spreading misinformation to whitewash Soviet history.
Ewa Kulik was one of the key Solidarity leaders who kept the organization functioning underground. Today she is the director of the Batory Foundation in Warsaw, where she focuses on, among other things, civic education. She told me that Poland failed to focus on civic education after 1989.
In parliament, Agnieszka Pomaska's focus has been on European affairs. But because of her age, she has also necessarily been drawn into discussions about the state of Polish youth. I asked her what kind of policies Poland could implement to deal with high youth unemployment and the serious outflow of Polish young people from the country.
Louis Begley has written 11 novels, the latest, Killer, Come Hither, features Jack Dana, a Marine infantry officer who was wounded while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has become a writer, with his debut novel skyrocketing to bestselling status.
That feeling of being in two places, two time periods, at once, is part of the experience of a remarkable exhibit on view through May 24 at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco (CJM), a video and sound installation by Hungarian artist Péter Forgács.